Why You Should be Washing the Undercarriage of Your Car

Washing the undercarriage of your car

Caring for the exterior of your car is important, both washing and waxing. But don’t forget about the area underneath your car – the undercarriage.

Washing the undercarriage of your car regularly, can help prevent damage and keep your car safe, and in good working condition.

The undercarriage of your car faces the ground, and most of it is exposed to the road.

It’s more vulnerable to dirt, salt, sand, rocks, potholes, and water.

If they’re not rinsed away, they become caked-on and can cause rust, corrosion, and other damage over time.

Why is washing the undercarriage of your car so important?

If you get a ding on your door, you notice.

If your car overheats you notice.

But the undercarriage isn’t visible.

It’s not as easy to get to as the door, or under the hood.

Unless fluid is leaking, or a part is dangling or dragging, it’s hard to know if anything is wrong with the undercarriage.

And the parts that are under there, are very important to the performance and safety of your car.

Frequent exposure to dirt, water, and salt expedites rust build-up. This corrosion can negatively impact the very important safety systems of your car.

Take steps to avoid these situations by washing the undercarriage regularly to dislodge any caked-on debris—especially after a snowfall where salt was applied to the roads.

Regular cleaning will help prevent rust and corrosion that can interfere with how these systems function.

4 vulnerable parts of the undercarriage that need frequent washing

1. The Brakes

One of the most important parts of your car’s undercarriage are the brakes. Corrosion can cause a stuck emergency brake and a decrease in your car’s breaking ability. Anything that interferes with your brakes functioning is a major safety concern.

2. The Suspension

The suspension includes many parts of the car including the wheels. The suspension system’s purpose is to absorb the shock of bumps in the road, so the passengers enjoy a smooth ride.  Corrosion can cause steering and alignment issues, not to mention a bumpier ride.

3. The Exhaust

The exhaust system is responsible for filtering and directing dangerous emissions. It converts carbon monoxide (CO) to carbon dioxide (CO2) and then releases it outside through the exhaust pipe. Corrosion that disrupts the functioning of the exhaust system is very dangerous, having the potential to not filter the CO correctly and release deadly gas outside, or worse, inside the cabin of the car.

4. The Wheels

The wheels are the only part of your car that touch the road, so they are exposed to everything. In addition to dirt and salt, wheels also get covered with brake dust which is tiny metal particles that are emitted by the contact between the brake disc and brake pads. This metallic dust corrodes the metal of alloy wheels.


If you live where it snows, or by the ocean, or if you drive on unpaved roads then your undercarriage is more vulnerable to rust, corrosion, and physical damage.

Wash the undercarriage after every snowfall, ice storm, or whenever salt is applied to the roads.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your car’s undercarriage is important for keeping all the parts in good condition and working order—but most importantly keeping them free of safety issues.

Check out Cascade Xpress’ affordable Unlimited Carwash Plans.