Car Cleanliness….is it the higher road?
An amusing story last year showed a worldwide desire of wanting to keep our cars clean. On a street in China, a fire hydrant burst. Rather than scaring the drivers, the spout of water became an impromptu car wash. Several cars slowly drove through the water, cleaning off debris and dust in the process. This is fun to watch, but don’t wait on a fire hydrant to burst before going to the car wash. Cars are investments, and they last longer with care and maintenance, inside and out. And no one wants to find some grubby finger marks spelling “Wash Me” on their rear window.
The average commute time in America is about 25 minutes. That equals over 4 hours in a car per week, and that doesn’t count grocery and shopping trips, vacations, football practice, chores, or date nights That’s a lot of time at the mercy of the sky and the ground, with snow, fog, insect swarms, salt and mud doing their best to stick to every vehicle passing through. All of this can wear on your car, and result in rust and the need for repairs. So, wash your car frequently – it’s far cheaper than auto body repairs.
You can go to a car wash or do it yourself, but make sure to be thorough. Spray the undercarriage to rinse off anything underneath that may be caustic or smelly, and always spring for the rust guard at the car wash. The bottom of any car is the weak underbelly, which is even more vulnerable to wear and tear. Plus, anything can get caught there and begin to rot. A good waxing is highly recommended, too. The paint on your car is semi-porous, and caustic materials can get stuck in there, widening the holes and leading to serious body deterioration. A good coat of wax will seal those pores and prevent issues.
The windshield requires care beyond the occasional wash while you pump gas. Make sure to replace your windshield wipers regularly. They may not damage the glass but they sure won’t do their jobs. The windshield is important. It keeps you from the cold, the wind, pollution, and every mosquito and fly on the highway. It might even sacrifice “its life” to keep fast-moving pieces of gravel from hurting you. If your windshield shatters or severely cracks, don’t try driving. Call a tow truck. If your windshield manages only to get a chip, inspect the chip. You have multiple options. If the chip looks like it will expand, definitely get it fixed. Certain companies can seal the chip, which will extend the life of your windshield. However, if the chip is small enough for at-home repair, go to your local auto parts store for the “real” repair stuff. If you try something like using clear nail polish, it will not end well. Eventually, the chip will turn into a crack and you will have to get it entirely replaced. Either way, don’t ignore it.
No matter where you live or what the season is, you and your passengers will track many things into your car — leaves, sand, ice, salt, and pollen will stick to everything from the dashboard to the floor carpets. Vacuum your carpets. Prevent allergies and unwanted guests like spiders and insects from getting in. Spread baking soda on the carpets and seats before vacuuming to absorb odors and the odd stain. Leather seats should be cleaned every few months, especially if you have kids or pets. Along with that, remember to replace your cabin air filter. It can develop mold and mildew that can be dangerous to all passengers – including our fur babies. Check your owner’s manual to find out how to replace the air filter in your car, truck, or SUV.
Besides dust, there can be bigger problems than the litter cluttering on the floor and seats. If old coffee cups and fast-food wrappers and bags linger in your car, it won’t take long for them to rot and cause odor and mold. Remember, it’s easy to spot the trash that’s clearly in sight, but don’t forget to check under the seats, the glove compartment, the center console, and the car door pockets. All of these are great hiding spots for trash and cleaning them will prevent the search for “where is that odor coming from?”
To help keep trash from accumulating, be preventative and keep a plastic bag in your car. Use it to collect the trash left behind. Remember to empty the full bag in the trash receptacle when you stop for gas or your favorite convenience store for that next cup of coffee. Whatever you do — don’t litter – let’s keep our roads and highways clean.
Keeping a car clean is important for many reasons. The first is that a car is an investment and regular maintenance repairs and keeping it clean will help to extend the life of the car — whether it’s owned or leased. The second reason is for your health and the health of your passengers. Asthma and allergies are on the rise, especially amongst children, and an air filter that hasn’t been changed for a while can cause more harm than good. The final reason is safety. Debris on the dashboard and seats can go flying if you make a sharp turn, sudden stop or find yourself in a collision – resulting in minor or major injury to you and your passengers.
Regular maintenance of your car – such as making sure the breaks are working — can help lower the chance of an accident. But if luck isn’t on your side and you find yourself in an accident, having Good2Go Auto Insurance can help. Visit www.good2go.com to get a free, no-obligation quote for low-cost, minimum limits auto insurance that can keep you driving legal for less.
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