Should I Detail My Car Before/During Winter?

Detailing your vehicle, or getting your vehicle detailed should be a routine maintenance task.

Detailing your vehicle, or getting your vehicle detailed should be a routine maintenance task. Whether it's yearly, seasonally, or monthly is up to the frequency you drive and the preference of the driver. However, to avoid long term defects to the interior or exterior of your vehicle, there's certain times out of the year where detailing is vital to your vehicle.

When Should I Detail My Car & How Often?

Forward receives this question regularly, and more so as winter approaches. Considering the mileage you drive, severity of the seasons, and your financial situation are the first things to consider. Different seasons brings different cautions to your vehicle's exterior paint as well as the overall condition of your interior. Altogether, the main points to protect year round are:

  • Leather Interior Surfaces
  • Car’s Tires
  • Wheels & Rims
  • Exterior Paint & Trim

Southeast Michigan has harsh winters and harsher roads, from potholes to the volume of salt accumulated over the season, Winter is definitely the season to worry about when it comes to safety and condition of your vehicle.


The season of speed. Collectible cars, hot rods, toys, and cars with a higher value usually come out to play during this season. However, summer is filled with contaminants and UV rays that can ultimately start fading your car's paint. Getting it highly detailed at the start can help protect the exterior from things like bird drops, tree sap, bugs, acid rain, and other contaminants that can embed themselves into the paint. Once embedded, they make a permanent mark on the paint, making it more difficult to achieve a flawless shine and also presenting further potential damage if regular drive-thru car washes are used.

Not only does the exterior have its cautions, but the interior can quickly pick up dirt, sand and mud that only hardens as compacts as time goes on, making for a more difficult detail job. Leather surfaces can begin to crack in high heat if left untreated and dry. Consider getting your vehicle detailed at the start and end of summer with priority on the exterior.


Perhaps, one of the most important seasons to get your vehicle detailed during. Mainly, to prep for winter. The season of fall is Nature's preparation for winter, and it should be yours too as winter culminates the perfect conditions for rust and irreversible damage to your car. Temperatures are still moderate during Autumn here in Michigan, so booking a mobile detailing or detailing your car outside is possible and recommended. Consider getting your vehicle's Interior detailed after Fall or the beginning of Winter to give it a "reset." This will make salt and dirt build-up less compact and easier to clean up as we move forward into the colder season. Ice, salt, and other road contaminants are highly present during Fall and Winter as well, detailing the exterior and applying an expertly-installed layer of ceramic coating or graphene coating can make for the best protection plan against harsh weather conditions. Best of all, most ceramic coating and graphene coating options will last you years.


It's vital that you have some sort of protection or preventative plan for your vehicle in the winter. Not only to protect its resale value, overall look, but for safety as well. Here at Forward Detailing, we offer a GlassParency Glass Coating that makes your windows hydrophobic so anything from snowfall, rain, or mud won't accumulate and block your vision. The coating also allows water to slide right off, reducing glare overall, especially at night.

Whether you live in an area that salts roads or not, salt isn't the only thing that can deteriorate an exterior. "Caked-on" snow, road grime, and "snirt," - snow & dirt mixed, can all result in oxidizing your car's exterior and form rust. Not only is the exterior presented with cautions, but the interior as well. Your vehicle's interior most likely receives the same amount of foot traffic as it does in the summer, adding snowy or muddy boots to the mix doesn't help. Dirt can get compacted into your floor surfaces and live debris from the ground caught in footwear treads can cause mold to grow overtime. You should also be cautious of what the winter conditions can do to your wheels and rims. Embedding small rocks and objects into the tire's rubber or building up debris around your brakes can cause issues that could've been prevented by a thorough detail.

Consider getting a complete Interior and Exterior detail before and after Winter if you take pride in your ride. Forward offers packaged service for those who prefer to get both done at once and would like to save some money, you can check out our services if you'd like here.


Spring is known for the revival of nature. That means rainfall which means mud and dirt. Blooming flowers and plants make for birds looking to make their way back south. With natural debris presenting dangers to your exterior, they can also present a danger to your safety. We recommend regularly detailing your vehicle and getting a GlassParency Window Coating installed to allow heavy rainfall to be less of a distraction while you drive.