Consequences of Not
Cleaning Your Car
Ok, so you haven’t washed your car since disco was king. But you get your oil changed, replace old parts, and keep it running like new. So what’s the big deal? It’s just dirt right?
Well, a filthy car can be more than just smelly. It might actually be damaging your ride…and your wallet!
Dirt Can Hurt
One way or the other, your car’s going to get dirty. So what happens if you don’t wash it off (besides kids writing “Wash Me” on it)?
- Dirt build up can act like sandpaper, wearing down and weakening the paint.
- Dirt can mix with rain and other pollutants, etching paint right off.
- Other things, like sap and bird droppings will ruin your paint even faster.
Why is Paint so Important?
The color of your car is a big deal. It might define your personality (lime green? Must be a free spirit!) or fit your car perfectly (nothing like a hot red sports car!). But your paint does more than just make you look cool. It protects the body of the car from the elements too.
When paint starts to crack, etch, or chip off, it exposes the car’s body to moisture. And when that happens, the metal can start to rust and corrode, spreading like a nasty brownish disease. Left untreated, rust can weaken the car’s body, eat away holes, and expose vital parts…doing some real damage.
Even if you couldn’t care less about what your car looks like (rusty, yellow, dirty, whatever), you probably still give a hoot about its resale value. And it goes without saying that good looking, well cared-for cars sell for more than old rust buckets. So besides just causing damage to paint, or spreading rust, a dirty car could eat into your pocket down the line too!
What Can I Do?
Bottom line? Just keep your car clean! Take it to the local car wash and get the whole wash, wax, and undercoating package. Or put on your favorite laundry-day outfit and wash the car yourself!
However you do it, just remember to not skip the wax. Waxing helps keep your car shimmering, but it also creates a protective barrier between the paint and the elements, defending against sap, insects, overzealous birds, and all kinds of other stuff. Wax properly and clean regularly and you’ll protect your car’s paint job, extend its life, and increase its resale value.
Even if your car has 4-wheel drive, you should never ride through running water during a storm.
Personal property coverage from your Homeowners policy could protect things stolen from your car, too! Make sure you’re protected from car thieves.
If your windshield has a crack in it longer than 6 inches, you should replace it immediately.
Take an inventory of everything in your home and it may help settle a claim faster.
Is your teen about to start driving? No doubt you’re nervous about handing over the car keys. Stop your hand from shaking with these tips.