When was the last time you gave the old family truckster a thorough washing and waxing? If it’s been longer than two weeks, you have some work to do, Scooby Doo.
Please don’t use the weather as an excuse. While there’s no need to head out in a downpour, few places rain every day. It’s too easy to lull yourself into complacency, saying you’ll do it the next sunny afternoon. Or when the snow melts. Or when the highway department clears the cinders. Before you know it, it’s May, and your ride’s still filthy.
Neglecting your transportation can ding you financially and even put your family’s health at risk. Here’s why you should be washing your car more than you think.
Did you think you needed at least 30 to 60 minutes to wash your car? While you might need that long for a full wash, wax and seal, you can remove most of the grime in no time. All it takes is a run through the automatic car wash to do a decent job, although you might have to consult your owner’s manual. Some newer models have special tricks to get the car to stay in neutral long enough to go through the moving carport. Most kiddos love it — treat them to a ride!
However, you might be among the folks who eschew such devices, fearing the abrasion could harm your paint. In that case, a pressure washer can remove most of the exterior grime in seconds. Although you have to take care to select the right nozzle, this tool will also help you wash off every last bit of soap residue after letting it sit for the recommended product length.
You aren’t doing your car any favors if you skip the car wash to avoid damaging the paint but leave your ride filthy. Dirt and debris can scratch paint surfaces, making your ride look dull even when you get out the rags and bucket. Unwashed vehicles also look older.
It’s natural to delay washing your car if there’s rain in the forecast, but that’s often when your car needs a bath the most. Rainwater can mix with the dirt on your vehicle to create acidic compounds that can destroy the metal. Your ride could develop unsightly rust spots, even holes in the body over time if you neglect it long enough.
Did you know that dirt is a drag? This statement goes beyond the unpleasantness of lugging out the hose and bucket when you’d rather be binge-watching the latest Netflix series. It also means you lose fuel economy when your ride gets too filthy.
Drag refers to the incoming air force against a moving body. This coefficient increases when your car gets dirty, meaning you burn more fuel to continue accelerating. You may not notice the difference at the pump — but it adds up.
America has an obesity epidemic, with over 40% of adults falling into this category. A single afternoon of hand-washing your car may not deduct a notch from your belt. Still, small, everyday changes that increase your activity level often work more effectively than dramatic exercise programs you quit after a week or two.
Besides, washing your car can be fun for the whole family when the weather’s nice. Who will face the wrath of mom or dad when they’re armed with a hose?
Like it or not, people form judgments about you based on your appearance. That includes the tidiness — or lack thereof — your ride displays.
Organizers can be your best friends if you travel frequently and “live” in your vehicle. You can find car seat organizers that hold everything from multiple files to your reusable water bottle, leaving your passenger seat free and bare.
Your car represents one of your biggest investments if you’re like most people. You want to protect its value, and regular washing can help.
You’ll maintain your resale value by preventing paint scratches and debris damage. The more you get for your trade, the better replacement you can afford.
Do you scream in horror at the thought of your 3-year-old eating a moldy french fry they dug out from between your seats? Washing your car can protect your family’s health, even if they’re old enough to know better than to consume any crumbs they find. Bacteria and viruses accumulate on surfaces, and failing to wipe them down means they can land on your loved ones’ hands, giving them an infection.
You might notice your right front tire looking a bit low when you wash your rims. Is it time for a rotation?
Washing your car regularly alerts you to signs that it’s time for scheduled maintenance. It also puts you in the mindset to think about what your “baby” needs — how long has it been since your last oil change?
When was the last time you gave your ride a thorough scrub? Is it time to get out the mop and bucket?
You probably should be washing your car more often than you do. Now that you know why, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and wax on, wax off, Daniel-san.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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