Washing the car

Washing the car  - Vehicle care - Maintenance and specifications - Volvo S60 Owners Manual - Volvo S60

The following points should be kept in mind when washing and cleaning the car:

  • The car should be washed at regular intervals since dirt, dust, insects and tar spots adhere to the paint and may cause damage. To help prevent corrosion, it is particularly important to wash the car frequently in the wintertime.
  • Avoid washing your car in direct sunlight. Doing so may cause detergents and wax to dry out and become abrasive. To avoid scratching, use lukewarm water to soften the dirt before you wash with a soft sponge, and plenty of sudsy water.
  • Bird droppings: Remove from paintwork as soon as possible. Otherwise the finish may be permanently damaged.
  • A detergent can be used to facilitate the softening of dirt and oil.
  • Dry the car with a clean chamois and remember to clean the drain holes in the doors and rocker panels.
  • Tar spots can be removed with tar remover after the car has been washed.
  • A stiff-bristle brush and lukewarm soapy water can be used to clean the wiper blades. Frequent cleaning of the windshield and wiper blades improves visibility considerably and also helps prolong the service life of the wiper blades.
  • Wash off the dirt from the underside (wheel housings, fenders, etc).
  • In areas of high industrial fallout, more frequent washing is recommended.


When washing the car, remember to remove dirt from the drain holes in the doors and sills.


  • During high pressure washing, the spray mouthpiece must never be closer to the vehicle than 13" (30 cm). Do not spray into the locks.
  • Dirt, snow, etc., on the headlights can reduce lighting capacity considerably. Clean the headlights regularly, for example when refueling.

Special moonroof cautions:

  • Always close the moonroof and sun shade before washing your vehicle.
  • Never use abrasive cleaning agents on the moonroof.
  • Never use wax on the rubber seals around the moonroof.

Exterior components

Volvo recommends the use of special cleaning products, available at your Volvo retailer, for cleaning colored plastic, rubber, or ornamental components such as chromed strips on the exterior of your vehicle. The instructions for using these products should be followed carefully. Solvents or stain removers should not be used.

Automatic car wash

  • We do NOT recommend washing your car in an automatic wash during the first few months (because the paint will not have hardened sufficiently).
  • An automatic wash is a simple and quick way to clean your car, but it is worth remembering that it may not be as thorough as when you yourself go over the car with sponge and water. Keeping the underbody clean is most important, especially in the winter. Some automatic washers do not have facilities for washing the underbody.


  • Before driving into an automatic car wash, turn off the optional rain sensor to avoid damaging the windshield wipers.
  • Make sure that side view mirrors, auxiliary lamps, etc, are secure, and that any antenna(s) are retracted or removed. Otherwise there is risk of the machine dislodging them.
  • Chromed wheels: Clean chromeplated wheels using the same detergents used for the body of the vehicle. Aggressive wheel-cleaning agents can permanently stain chrome-plated wheels.


  • When the vehicle is driven immediately after being washed, apply the brakes, including the parking brake, several times in order to remove any moisture from the brake linings.
  • Engine cleaning agents should not be used when the engine is warm. This constitutes a fire risk.

Exterior lighting

Condensation may form temporarily on the inside of the lenses of exterior lights such as headlights, fog lights, or taillights. This is normal and the lights are designed to withstand moisture. Normally, condensation will dissipate after the lights have been on for a short time.

    See also:

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