One of the best ways to maintain the value and appeal of your auto is by regularly washing it. Whether hand-washing your vehicle or going through an automated car wash, this is an essential maintenance task that can save a very large number of problems off. Following are five reasons that car washes are actually great for your vehicle.
1. Prevent Rust and Other Forms of Corrosion
During the winter months, many drivers regularly traverse streets that have been coated in road salt and brine. These de-icing agents are commonly applied to keep city streets open and viable when the weather is at its worst. Unfortunately, road salt and brine are incredibly corrosive. They can gradually undermine the integrity of an auto’s finish to expose what lies beneath. The only way to prevent this is by rinsing vehicles clean on a routine basis.
Given that the under-body of vehicles sustains the greatest amount of exposure to these agents, these areas are at the greatest risk of sustaining long-term damage. If you aren’t regularly washing your vehicle in winter, it may develop progressive problems with rust and other forms of corrosion.
2. Washing Vehicles Lifts Away Abrasive Debris
Whereas road salts and brine eat through automotive finishes and paint layer by layer, fine, gritty particulates gradually chip away at auto paint. Worse still, the longer that these particulates are left in place, the more damage that they’ll invariably do. Dirt, sand, and other elements quickly build up on a car’s paint in-between washes. As paint finishes are worn away, autos become increasingly vulnerable to moisture, the sun’s UV rays, and other elements. Even seemingly superficial blemishes can lead to potentially detrimental levels of exposure. Washing your car at least once every 10 to 14 days is a great way to keep your vehicle protected from chipping, fading, rust, and other problems.
Using tools like a foam cannon will gently lift abrasive debris off of your auto without the risk of creating blemishes. It will also make it easier to get corrosive build-ups off your vehicle’s underbody.
3. Prevent Lasting Problems With Paint Discoloration
Drivers often make every effort to park their vehicles in the shade during the summer months. Shaded parking spaces keep automotive interiors cool so that steering wheels and other essential features aren’t too hot to touch. Parking in the shade can also prevent fuel loss through evaporation so that drivers aren’t wasting money at the pump. However, finding a shady spot often means parking under large trees. Worse still, during the warmer months of the year, these natural sources of shade may be leaking sap, dropping colorful fruit or blossoms, or filled with birds that leave droppings of their own.
Tree-fall or items that naturally fall from trees can cause serious problems for automotive paint. The natural dyes that plants possess are often deep, dark, potent, and difficult to remove. Bird droppings become increasingly difficult to get rid of without damaging a vehicle’s paint the longer that they’re left in place. Washing your car regularly prevents all of these things from having a long-term impact on your vehicle’s aesthetics.
4. Autos Look Brand New for Longer When They’re Regularly Washed
It’s a lot easier to keep your car looking like new when you care for it all of the time. With regular washes, you can avoid corrosion, discoloration, and other signs of obvious wear. It will always cost more to reverse these maintenance-related damages than it will to prevent them. If you ever choose to sell your vehicle or trade it in, you’ll be glad that you stayed on top of regular car washing. Moreover, even if you never intend to sell your auto, you can feel confident behind its wheel everywhere you go.
5. Your Fuel Will Last Longer
These days, even minor savings at the pump can make a difference. One of the most surprising benefits of regular car washes is that they can make your auto more fuel-efficient. Clearing off dirt and other debris actually reduces drag. This is especially true for drivers who live in naturally dusty areas, regularly travel on unpaved roads, or do a lot of freeway driving. Although the resulting savings might seem nominal now, they can certainly add up over time. If you’ve got a dirty, dusty, off-road vehicle that you frequently take on wild adventures, stocking up on car washing supplies and regularly cleaning it off after your off-road excursions is definitely worthwhile.
Washing cars is about far more than improving their aesthetics. With the right car washing tools, strategies, and schedule, you can prevent rust formation, permanent discoloration, and many other damages. In certain instances, a good car wash can even make your gas last a bit longer.