How to Clean the Undercarriage of a Car: The Ultimate Guide

Cars can be a total dirt magnet, and even the most diligent car owners are bound to have some grime buildup over time. The undercarriage of your car is where all the dirt and grime builds up, and it’s a place you’ll want to keep as clean as you can. Cleaning the undercarriage isn’t a complicated task, but it does require some spare time.

Cleaning the undercarriage of your car is essential because it can protect the car against rust and corrosion. You simply need to jack up the car, spray down the undercarriage with a hose, use a degreaser to remove any grease or oil and scrub off any debris or dirt with a brush.

The undercarriage of a car can get quite dirty over time, especially if it’s not regularly washed. In this blog, we will go over how to clean the undercarriage of your car and provide some tips on how to prevent it from getting too dirty in the first place.

Cleaning the undercarriage of a car.

Why You Should Clean Your Car Undercarriage?

You should clean your car undercarriage because it’s often neglected. This part of the car can quickly become caked with mud, salt, and other debris if not cleaned regularly. Neglecting to clean the undercarriage can lead to rust and further damage that can be costly to repair.

Cleaning your car’s undercarriage is not only crucial for the overall appearance of your vehicle, but it’s also essential for its performance. Neglecting to clean your car undercarriage can lead to a number of problems, including: 

  • Reduced fuel efficiency 
  • Premature rusting 
  • Damage to the suspension system

The harsh weather can take a toll on your car, and it’s essential to clean it regularly to maintain its longevity. Not only does cleaning your car keep it looking good, but it also helps protect the paint job and the various parts and pieces that make up your vehicle. If you drive every day or you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, you may find you need to clean your car undercarriage quite frequently.

Cleaning the Undercarriage: Step-by-Step

1. Lift Your Vehicle with a Car Jack

When you need to lift your vehicle, a car jack is the best tool for the job. There are different types of car jacks available on the market, so it is important to know which one will work best for your needs. The most common type of car jack is the scissor jack. This jack is inserted into the vehicle’s frame and uses a scissor-like motion to lift the car. 

Another type of jack is the hydraulic jack. This jack uses a pressurized liquid to lift the car. It is important to use a hydraulic jack when lifting heavier vehicles such as trucks or SUVs. 

2. Remove Tires for Better Access

After using a car jack, remove the tires to gain better access to the vehicle’s underside. This will help you avoid damaging the paint or other components beneath the car. Most vehicles have a removable tire assembly that makes this process a breeze.

3. Degrease the Entire Undercarriage

Dirt and debris can build up on the undercarriage of your car, and over time this can lead to rust. It’s vital to degrease your undercarriage regularly to prevent rust and keep your vehicle in good condition. There are a few ways to degrease your undercarriage. You can use a commercial degreaser or make your own degreaser using household ingredients. 

Start by degreasing the entire undercarriage with a degreasing product. Use a clean cloth to apply the degreaser to all areas of the underside of your car. The type of degreaser used is not important. Just make sure it is effective at cleaning the undercarriage. 

Work the degreaser into the crevices and around the wheel wells. Allow the degreaser to work its magic for several minutes (20 minutes recommended). Then, use a hose to rinse off all of the residual degreaser. Be sure to rinse off the wheel wells as well. 

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4. Pressure Wash the Undercarriage

Before starting the pressure wash, make sure all the surfaces you want cleaned are free from loose objects or debris. Follow the instructions below to pressure wash the undercarriage:

  1. Connect the water hose to the pressure washer and turn on the water supply. 
  2. Make sure that the flow of water is steady and moderate to not damage the surface you are cleaning. 
  3. Apply pressure in a circular motion and work your way around the entire car.

5. Use Tar Remover for Stubborn Tar Spots

If you have stubborn tar spots under your car that simply won’t come off with a standard cleaner, you may want to try using tar remover. Tar remover is a potent liquid that can dissolve tar and other oils and grease. Before using it, test the product on a small area first to make sure it doesn’t cause any damage. Follow the directions below:

  1. Apply the product to the tar spot using a cloth, sponge, or applicator tip. 
  2. Work the product into the spot until it is completely covered. 
  3. Wait until the product has dried completely before cleaning your car. 
  4. Scrub the area with a brush, then rinse the residue with water.

6. Lubricate Undercarriage With WD-40 

One of the most essential maintenance tasks you can do on your car is to lubricate the undercarriage. This will help keep the vehicle running smoothly and prevent problems from developing. To lubricate the undercarriage, you will need WD-40 or some other lubricant: 

  1. Apply the lubricant to a clean cloth and apply it to the car’s underside. Every few months, you should do this to ensure that your car runs smoothly.
  2. Once everything is clean, use an undercoat to protect the surface from rust and corrosion in future situations. Undercoats are available in spray or liquid form and can be purchased at most automotive stores. 
  3. Reinstall the wheels and tires. Polish the wheel wells and underside of the car with polishing cloth if desired. 

Is Washing the Undercarriage Safe?

It is completely safe to wash the undercarriage of your car, provided that you don’t use anything with harsh chemicals. Instead, opt for a gentle soap or detergent that won’t damage the paint or clear coat. Make sure to use a hose with a suitable spray nozzle to reach all of the dirt and grime. 

How Often Should I Wash My Car?

You should wash your car every two weeks, since washing your car regularly helps to protect its paint job and keep it looking new. However, here is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on various factors, including the climate, the type of car wash you use, and how often you drive. 

It also removes dirt, dust, and other debris that can damage the car’s finish over time. In addition, regular washes help prevent rust from forming on the vehicle. If your vehicle is mostly kept inside, you may only need to wash it once every two months. However, if you frequently drive in dirty environments or have a car with a lot of dirt and dust on the exterior, you may need to wash it more often.

When Should I Clean My Undercarriage?

You should clean your undercarriage every 3 to 6 months, depending on how dirty it gets and how often you use your car. Undercarriage maintenance is something that many car enthusiasts take for granted. Still, it’s something that you should definitely consider regularly doing.

One of the benefits of regularly cleaning your undercarriage is that it will keep your car running smoothly. Dust and debris can build up over time, which can cause your vehicle to experience problems with its engine, transmission, and brakes. 

If you live in an area with heavy rains or saltwater spray, you know that rain and salt can corrode metal surfaces. This corrosion can lead to structural failure in your car’s undercarriage. Moisture can cause your car’s parts to rust and corrode, which is why it’s essential to prevent moisture from building up in the first place. Undercarriage cleaning can help to prevent this from happening. 

Do Car Washes Service Car Undercarriage?

Car washes don’t usually service car undercarriages. This includes the body, windows, and tires. More comprehensive car washes will consist of an undercarriage cleaning. This involves removing any dirt or debris that has built up over time and can cause damage to the car if not cleaned regularly. 

There are pros and cons to cleaning your car’s undercarriage yourself and taking it to a car wash. It can be a cost-effective option if you have the time, tools, and knowledge to do it yourself. However, suppose you don’t have any of those things or don’t feel comfortable cleaning the undercarriage yourself. In that case, a car wash is a great alternative.


This article showed how to clean the undercarriage of a car. It is essential to keep this area clean to prevent corrosion and damage to the vehicle. Now that you know how to clean it, be sure to do it regularly for the best results.




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