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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My apologies if this seems like a silly question. After many years of driving Volkswagens, we are very reluctant to wash our 2016 Volt unless we get a warm spell and it can be dried off - thoroughly. VW uses a rubber gasket around the doors that will freeze shut when wet on any day below 32 degrees due to the way the rubber gasket is open to the water and breeze. Also the door windows will freeze shut and refuse to open until a warm day. More than once we've had to crack out the hair dryers.

Now the Volt is dirty as can be and I seriously need to wash it (and dry it carefully) but don't want to make the mistake of assuming the doors or windows will work tomorrow. 12 degrees now and predicted to drop to only 1 degree by morning.

What about the charge port door ? Any and all advice welcome, thank you.
 

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http://articles.chicagotribune.com/...tormouth-20140213_1_car-wash-temperature-rust

https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/why-washing-your-car-in-winter-is-important-by-kevin-woo

Once it starts to snow you should wash your car as often as possible. Maybe as often as every other week.

If you plan to wash your car at home, grab a few five gallon buckets and fill them with warm water. Use soap that is specifically made for cars, not dishwashing soap as so many people do. Dishwashing soap can strip off the wax you worked so hard to put on, and even more importantly, the clear protective coat that was sprayed on by the manufacturer.

Using warm water to rinse the car will not only keep your hands warm, it will melt away road grime.

Drive-in car wash bays with power nozzles are another option. The powerful spray will not only clean the top side of your car, it will allow you to wash underneath, knocking loose the big chunks of salt and slush that accumulate.

If you decide to use a power washer, spray water into as many nooks and crannies as you can find because salt and road crud hides everywhere.

You should avoid washing when the temperature is below freezing because the water will immediately freeze and you’ll be driving around in a popsicle. It will be especially hard to de-ice your windows if you wash your car when it’s below 32 degrees.

Instead, pick a day when the temperatures are moderate (i.e. maybe in the high 30’s or low 40’s). Washing on a warm day guarantees that the power windows won’t freeze, and your defrosters won’t have to work double time to de-ice the windows.

If you want to wash your car when the weather is at or slightly below freezing, drive it around the block a few times before you start to warm the hood, and turn the heater on high to warm the inside of the car. These two things will keep the water from freezing while you wash.

Note: If you are a volunteer firefighter you can always wash your vehicle in the station's service bay and let it dry out before pulling it out into the nasty old winter weather...plus, you are already at the station in case a call comes in...:)
 

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I've had both, VW and Volt, and had this problem with them and many other cars. My solution has been to wipe the weatherstripping and the window channels with silicone before it gets wet. Once a year in the autumn does the trick. In prehistoric times I used Ivory soap.
 

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I took use silicone on the rubber gaskets and the charge port door. We have a slap and tickle wash that uses 120 degree water and air dry. I use it after every snow fall to get the salt of.
 

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http://articles.chicagotribune.com/...tormouth-20140213_1_car-wash-temperature-rust

Once it starts to snow you should wash your car as often as possible. Maybe as often as every other week.

If you plan to wash your car at home, grab a few five gallon buckets
I think their version of winter is a little different than many other peoples version of winter. Bucket washing in the winter? Good luck with that - the buckets, your hands, the wash cloths, and the car would soon be blocks of ice in the temps we're experiencing right now.

Anyhow, I washed both of ours at -25 a few weeks ago at a pay-and-spray.

No problems. Doors opened fine. Charging door on mine needed a little prodding to get open again upon arriving home, but no biggie. Just make sure you have enough coins to FULLY complete the job as any blobs of soap left over will quickly freeze if you are talking serious cold - you need to get a good sheeting action on the final rinse to get everything off, and any ice that was left melted off inside a few days.

If you have a drive through car wash option that'd be even better yet as the blower fans on the exit will get rid of 95% of any remaining water.

If I can do a pay and spray at -25, anyone can do a drive through at any temp.
 

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Bucket washing would convert my driveway into a hockey rink, besides being nasty work in cold temperatures. $7 for a car wash once or twice a month till April is money well spent.
 

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I've had both, VW and Volt, and had this problem with them and many other cars. My solution has been to wipe the weatherstripping and the window channels with silicone before it gets wet. Once a year in the autumn does the trick. In prehistoric times I used Ivory soap.
look for Gummi Pflege and treat all rubber seals with it. Really good stuff and temperature resistant.
 

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Instead, pick a day when the temperatures are moderate (i.e. maybe in the high 30’s or low 40’s). Washing on a warm day guarantees that the power windows won’t freeze, and your defrosters won’t have to work double time to de-ice the windows.
So, late March then. :D
 

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Not a problem if you have a garage. I remember a couple times in my youth, changing my oil in the dead of winter outside my Boston apartment. I promised myself when I graduated, I would always live in a home with a garage.
 

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I took use silicone on the rubber gaskets and the charge port door. We have a slap and tickle wash that uses 120 degree water and air dry. I use it after every snow fall to get the salt of.
What he said. However, I got tired of messing with silicone sprays and such and then one day realized that the "gun wipe rags" you can buy in any sporting goods section are silicone impregnated. WAY easier to use for wiping down the door seals. (and your charge port door for that matter)
 

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+1 for silicone spray. One shot in the fall (seals and locks) never had a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Washing

Thanks to all for the suggestions. Unfortunately, here in the cold north (Wisconsin) we drain and shutoff the outdoor faucets until spring and right now both local car washes (one spray yourself and the other a drive-in and the machine circles the car) due to freezing weather. BUT, warmer weather is expected by Monday so I'll be lining up the 2 cars and the truck for a marathon washing day.

Need to check the couch for quarters next...
 

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Thanks to all for the suggestions. Unfortunately, here in the cold north (Wisconsin) we drain and shutoff the outdoor faucets until spring and right now both local car washes (one spray yourself and the other a drive-in and the machine circles the car) due to freezing weather. BUT, warmer weather is expected by Monday so I'll be lining up the 2 cars and the truck for a marathon washing day.

Need to check the couch for quarters next...
I got an email from a local car wash here that they are open during the cold. How do they do that? How do they keep their machines from icing over? How do they keep the driveways from icing over? How do their people that do initial and final prep of the car keep from icing over? Just wondering...
 

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When I lived in Milwaukee I would take my car to the car wash in winter. I would try and pick a time of day when the temperature was at or above freezing. The car wash was the drive through type and was well heated. As I recall there was a split plastic curtain at the entry and exit to the car wash to try and keep the warm air inside the car wash. Most of the water was removed from the car during the drying process. After exiting the car wash I would make sure to open the doors and trunk and wipe off any remaining water, then drive for a distance to help remove any remaining water from the under chassis. I never had a problem with the doors freezing shut.
 

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Last winter when my regular car wash was closed during a cold spell similar to what we have now (below zero F, even during the day), I went to a premium wash where they wipe down with towels after the wash. One of the last things they did was to blow out the door lock buttons with compressed air. Later that day I noticed my door lock buttons quit working and I assumed it was due to moisture. Weeks later I realized I had lock problems. Several hundred dollars later (3 new lock buttons), I again had working door lock buttons on my 12 Volt.
 

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I usually will wait till the temps are above freezing then run through car wash for $6. I get home and wipe all door jams and trunk area down then let set in sun. Never have had any problems. Later RJD
 

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I washed mine on Monday using one of those gas station robot washes. I think the temp was in the low teens. So far, no issues with doors/seals freezing. Although, the carwash had a blow dry, which probably helped get enough water off to prevent issues.
 

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I wash inside my garage, but on sunny days above freezing, I have been known to do itwash outside with hose-fed warm water from my garage. Lacking that I could do it with a hose connected to my kitchen or laundry room faucet.

Now, if I am washing my car that is another story, haha.
 

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I washed mine on Monday using one of those gas station robot washes. I think the temp was in the low teens. So far, no issues with doors/seals freezing. Although, the carwash had a blow dry, which probably helped get enough water off to prevent issues.
I always worry that those cheapo places recycle their water and wind up spraying salt water on your car. I guess it wouldn't suds if that was the case.
 

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I always worry that those cheapo places recycle their water and wind up spraying salt water on your car. I guess it wouldn't suds if that was the case.
In many places commercial car washes are required to recycle their water. The used water is recovered, filtered, re-used for the initial part of the washing cycle but just not for the final rinse. https://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-wash10.htm
 
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