While it is important to regularly clean and maintain your car to keep it free from harmful dirt and contaminants, the underside of a car is often overlooked and left neglected. It is important however to also clean the underside of your car to ensure that harmful dirt and contaminants are not left to accumulate and so that the large variety of components are able to operate properly. It is especially important to try and keep the underside of your car clean if it is used off road at all, or if it is used in areas where it is subject to an excess of road grime or surface salts during winter months for example.
The underside is easily overlooked during cleaning because of the accessibility of it but there are a number of things you can do to help and now there are even products available to allow you to easily access the underside of your car. Your car can be jacked up, placed on axle stands and even the wheels removed to provide much greater access to the underside, arches and suspension components.
Your car does not have to be raised however as there are under body lances available that connect to you your pressure washer or hose pipe and simply slide underneath the car. You can of course simply just get down and reach under your vehicle with a pressure washer lance or powerful hosepipe attachment.
The underside of your car should be cleaned using products that would used to pre clean any heavily soiled exterior areas. De greasers, traffic film removers or all purpose cleaners will all be effective and should be applied to all areas generously and left to dwell. It is important to note that you should only clean the underside of your car when it is cool as if you do it just after the car has been used then the heat from the brakes, exhaust and engine will immediately dry any cleaning products and water that is applied.
After the cleaner has been allowed to dwell it should be thoroughly rinsed off at high pressure ensuring all areas are accessed. You can then follow up with a foaming product if you have access to to a foaming pressure washer lance or hosepipe attachment. Foaming products are ideal for this kind of cleaning task as the foam easily penetrates and accesses tight and awkward areas and effectively lifts off excess road grime, dirt and grease. The foaming product can be left to dwell for a considerable amount of time if necessary and then thoroughly rinsed off.
It is not necessary to clean the underside of your car every time you clean the rest of it but it should be cleaned when you know it has been exposed to an excess of contaminants and especially so when it has been exposed to road salts. After the underbody has had an initial thorough clean if it is even just simply rinsed off with a hosepipe or pressure washer lance every time the rest of your car is washed and cleaned then this alone will really help to reduce a build up of any harmful contaminants.
Most cars come under sealed from the factory to prevent sensitive & critical components from corroding early on. This under seal will diminish over time however and so it is worth considering re sealing the underside of your car, depending on its age, condition and how it is used.
There are a number of products available to seal the underside of a car but it should be noted that they should only be used after an initial though clean has taken place. After sealing, intermittent maintenance cleaning should be undertaken to keep the freshly sealed underside clean and free from the build up of any contaminants.