Your house is not the only thing that could use a little spring cleaning—especially if you own a vehicle that has endured the onslaught of snow, slush and salt that occurs during winter. Now may be the time to get into the habit of a car cleaning routine, both for the sake of keeping up appearances and for retaining value.
When you drive, dust and dirt particles are liable to land on your car and stick. Moisture in the air helps debris stick to your car’s exterior. After a while, this creates a noticeable, dirty film coating the surface of your vehicle. Not only does this film make your car look dull and less attractive, but over time it can do damage to its finish, as well.
Dirt dulls a car’s finish, exposing paint to the elements. Once paint wears off, the sheet metal itself could rust. If you plan to hold on to your vehicle for a long time, regular and thorough car washes can make the difference between having a well-preserved automobile and a rusty old jalopy. Since appearance plays a large part in determining a car’s trade-in or sale value, car washes are a wise investment.
Another advantage of washing your car regularly is that it allows you to frequently check up on other aspects of the vehicle’s exterior. While washing, keep an eye out for components that may be loosening, such as license plates and frames, headlight and taillight lenses, mirrors, valve stem caps, hub caps and antennas.
Similarly, while you are washing the undercarriage, you can take a look under the chassis to confirm that there are no loose or broken cables or hoses. Also remember to pop the hood and inspect the engine compartment for loose wires, broken cable ties, loose connections of the battery or other big warning signs. If you get your vehicle washed at the dealership, trained professionals can often perform basic and more advanced maintenance for you.
In the same way that you get regular oil changes and engine tune-ups, regular car washes are an essential component of maintaining your vehicle’s look, health and overall value. If your car has gotten dirty enough that someone was able to scrawl “clean me” into the dusty rear window, take their advice and wash your car!
This article is presented by Colonial Honda of Dartmouth in N. Dartmouth, Massachusetts.