Spring has sprung, the bulbs are coming up and the birds are getting frisky. But chances are, your motor is looking far from perky, wearing the cloak of winter in the mucky form of an all-encompassing film of dirt. With warm weather (hopefully) just around the corner, now’s the time to get out and give your car a good clean. There are plenty of good reasons to. Here we list nine of them.
It’s been under attack from below
During the winter months, authorities spread salt on the roads. This is to prevent a treacherous coating of ice in freezing temperatures. That’s fine for us; not so great for our cars. The salt dissolves in the moisture on the road and is then flicked up by the tyres as we drive over it. This causes the lower parts of the bodywork, inside the wheel arches and area underneath the car to be coated in salt. This then goes to work on metal, hunting indiscriminately for any areas of weakness.
It’s been under attack from above
Rain water is more corrosive than ordinary water. As it falls from the sky, particularly in polluted urban and industrial areas, it collects pollutants from the atmosphere. When it lands on your car, these pollutants – frequently acid based – lie on your car’s paint work. You need to wash it to get rid of this acid rain residue before it eats into the car’s protective clear coat that keeps the paint looking shiny.
A clean car is a safer car
During the winter months, your car will have been assailed with dirt and moisture. As well as sticking to the paintwork, this will coat the glass. And that makes it difficult to see out, especially when the sun is low in the sky. Wash your car, clean the glass inside and out, and you’ll instantly be able to see hazards sooner.
Find damage before it’s a problem
When your car is dirty, damage is much harder to spot. This might be chips on the edge of the windscreen, bodywork dents or other paintwork damage. The earlier you find these the better. A windscreen chip that’s outside the area swept by the wipers can be repaired; a crack can’t. And it’s much easier to have paintwork chips or other bodywork damage fixed before rust gets its evil tentacles in.
Wash your car before the sun comes out
As we’ve seen the winter means your car will be covered with contaminants. Heat can accelerate the way these operate. Bearing that in mind, it makes sense to wash the contaminants off before the weather starts to warm up.
It’s better to do it yourself
If there’s one car wash in the year you do yourself, it should be this one. There are several reasons for this. First it’s gives you an opportunity to get up close and personal with your car. And if anyone cares about the condition of your car it should be you. This will give you the chance to see any damage. You’ll also be able to do the cleaning properly and get into all the nooks and crannies that a paid car washer may not bother to.
It’s a good work out
As winter turns into Spring – and if 2018 is anything to go by, back to winter again – it’s good to get outside. And washing a car is a great all-round work out. You’re stretching to reach up to areas such as the roof. You need to bend and squat to wash parts lower down such as the wheels. And whether you’re washing or drying, your arms are getting good exercise: feel those bulging biceps at the end.
Cleaning it will increase its value
The better condition a car is in, the more it’s worth. According to used car valuation experts, giving a car a good wash can increase its value by as much as 10 per cent (obviously depending on how much the car’s worth in the first place).
People will think you’re rich!
Last and probably least, when people see you driving round in your lovely shiny motor, they’ll think it’s worth more than it really is – as we’ve just seen. And with your smart looking car they’ll conclude you’re better off than you really are!