(WBBM Newsradio) — Chicago is a city full of dirty, salt-encrusted cars because of the current cold snap.

Car wash operators may not agree, but Marvin Daniels Jr. of Wilmette’s Daniels Auto Body says his best advice is to stay away from the car washes until temperatures rise above freezing.

Daniels has been in the auto-body repair business for 50 years and inherited the business from his late father. He says anyone who tries to persuade you otherwise is making a mistake.

Daniels said many car washes close when temperatures near or plunge below the freezing mark.

A spokesperson said the car wash at Castle Honda, in Morton Grove, is closed anytime the temperature dips below 35. Some, though, keep their doors open.

“You’ll be okay until it freezes,” Daniels says with a laugh. “But no, once it’s below freezing you shouldn’t be washing your car at all.”

About a dozen of the cars he sees each winter need body repairs.

But he says for most, the repair is one you can do yourself. Heat the key with a match or cigarette lighter and wiggle it in the door lock, repeating until it opens, or if you can run an extension cord, fire up a hair dryer and train it on the lock.