How To: Clean Your Undercarriage
Caring For Your Car!
It’s not a secret that we car owners love our cars. Whether it’s the latest model that was released recently or it’s a good oldie that’s been with you for years, our cars are something that we want to keep in tip-top shape.
At the end of the day, as big or as expensive as they may be, cars are tools that we expect the best performance from. So it’s only natural that we do maintenance on our cars from time to time.
From a stain on the seats in the interior, to every small nick and scratch on the chassis, every minor flaw can be frustrating. Which is why we do everything we can, take it to the mechanic, ask for advice, take it to the carwash and even learn how to do all this by yourself. Just for the purpose of keeping your ride as reliable as it always has been.
Caring for your (Under)Car(riage)
As thorough as we may think we are, one area of the car tends to be neglected surprisingly often: Your Undercarriage.
Mud, dirt and grime tends to get stuck in a car’s undercarriage and it’s pretty hard to get it cleaned up. Trust me, I’ve tried doing this, without asking anyone and it took me 3 hours before I gave up and took my car to a Professional car wash. Unsurprisingly, this cost me a lot.
But the thing is, not cleaning your undercarriage can cost you much more. A dirty undercarriage is prone to overheating due to the grime blocking proper ventilation from circulation and getting into drainage holes in your chassis.
What’s more, rocks and debris can remove the rust proof coating under your care making it vulnerable to rust. This will cause damage and cost you parts, or even affect potential resale.
What YOU can do
Of course, not everyone has the time or money to keep bringing their car to the washers for maintenance. But nobody wants to just leave their undercarriage alone until it collapses under them, do they?
So, what can you do for your undercarriage? Well, it’s simple, three words: DO IT YOURSELF!
You might be thinking that this is complicated and difficult, but it’s only a bit of learning at first and it’s sure to be better than spending tens of dollars for maintenance. After all, no one’s been with your car more than you, right?
How you can Do It Yourself:
1. Gather Your Tools: You don’t just need water, a sponge, some soap and you’re done. You’ll need a degreaser and something to dislodge any debris within the undercarriage.
Here’s a list of what you might need:
Garden hose, protective mittens or gloves, oil, soap, a screwdriver, a stiff brush, tweezers, microfiber cloth.
✏️ Note: Using a pressure washer and an undercarriage cleaner attachment makes this entire process so much more simple.
2. Put on the Emergency Brake: Loosen the lug nuts, put the car up with a jack, and then add the jack stands, so you can fit under the car to see the undercarriage.
✏️Note: Remove all of the lug nuts and the tires from the back end of the vehicle once it is up.
3. Spray and Wash: Spray the rear part of your undercarriage to remove any large chunks. Pour water with soap all over using a large sponge or cleaning mitt. Let the soap sit on the undercarriage for 15 minutes. Then scrub away what’s left with the brushes, use the tweezers to remove any hard debris, and put some degreaser on greasy parts of the undercarriage
✏️Note: As mentioned, steps 1-3 can be shortened by using a pressure washer with an undercarriage cleaner attachment. You’ll just have to spray the undercarriage using the pressure washer, no need to jack it up and take off the lug nuts.
4. Rinse and Dry: Spray the undercarriage with water to rinse it off and the dirt is removed. Wipe it down with a soft microfiber cloth.
✏️Note:Ensure that you dry the painted areas completely so the water does not rust these surfaces.
5. Oil to Protect: Coat your undercarriage with motor oil for protection. Add the oil to the axles and bearings in the shaft. Wipe off any extra. You can then put the car back together and bring it down off the jack stands. Ensure that the lug nuts are tightened completely on the wheels. Repeat this process for the front of your car.
This actually sounds pretty simple right? Why not try it yourself and pick up the skill? You can even get a pressure washer with an undercarriage cleaner to make it even easier! Check out the one we have in store!