The 9 reasons why you should give your car a wash this spring

Spring car wash

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 spring car wash. 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 do a spring car wash to clean the contaminants off before the weather starts to warm up.

spring car wash
Car washes are all well and good but they won’t help you to spot damage (Picture iStock/Daniele Russo)

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. Keep your car sparkling.

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 a spring car wash 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!

THIS POST WAS FIRST PUBLISHED ON 5 MARCH 2019

We’re supporting Highways England’s ‘Go Left’ campaign.  If you break down on the motorway, remember to go left.

Find out more on the Highways England website.

22 comments on “The 9 reasons why you should give your car a wash this spring

  1. steven ward 09/05/2019 7:14 PM

    very funny love it, if they think ime rich they need help

  2. mary williams 10/05/2019 6:26 AM

    are the waterless polish cleaners good to use

    • Jack Haynes 26/05/2019 4:32 PM

      I use the waterless polish cleaners all the time. If it’s good enough for rally drivers it’s good enough for me. Why wash with water then have to go over it again with polish.when the waterless polish cleaner does both. My car looks brand new when I’ve finished. Jack Haynes Manchester May 26 2019

    • Spider 08/05/2021 9:41 PM

      I use a waterless cleaner on a regular basis, if you are fit enough you can also benefit from the workout I’m usually knackered after the cleaning session. The one good thing is that you can use it on all parts of the car, no need for extra item such as glass cleaner, tyre dressing or metal polish and waxes. Waterless wash does it all give it a try.

  3. Sandro Platten 10/05/2019 7:04 AM

    good to give a reminder from time to time, thank you.

  4. Fr Peter Clark 10/05/2019 9:01 AM

    Unfortunately some of us are physically unable to undertake this task ourselves. I find that the next best way is to use a hand-car-wash where you are familiar with the staff, and have taken the trouble to get to know them. People always work better for a friend, and friendliness cast nothing.

  5. Oliver hornny 10/05/2019 2:29 PM

    Can’t argue with that a all good coments

  6. j a marshall 10/05/2019 2:33 PM

    cheers for the information

  7. Amin 10/05/2019 7:56 PM

    Have done it .And it works

  8. fareed 11/05/2019 4:23 AM

    lovely piece of advise to care about the car what it went through in winter, worth reading your tips on good care. thank you

  9. Linda Heaton 11/05/2019 6:24 AM

    Makes total sense. Anyway, as with most things clean tidy car, clean tidy mind.

  10. Adrian L 11/05/2019 10:26 AM

    Always clean the wiper blades with a cloth if they have not been used due to dry weather. It will prevent the windscreen from being scratched, because dust builds up where the wipers sit on the windscreen. Once such an event cost me a new screen. A piece of grit stuck to the wiper on the drivers side. It scratched the wind screen. The screen was an MOT failure.

  11. Abdi Hussein 11/05/2019 11:43 AM

    Very good information

  12. Colin P 22/06/2019 7:37 AM

    Thanks Green Flag, good advice.
    Colin P

  13. Jane Payne 19/02/2020 8:56 PM

    Lots of really useful information thank you

  14. lez 08/05/2021 8:39 PM

    cleaned inside all the wheel arches and was shocked by the amount of dirt /leaves that was left on the drive

  15. John McDonald 08/05/2021 8:50 PM

    Washing keeps the car bodywork looking good but it also gives an opportunity for close inspection of the lights and tyres. Check the tracking. Badly aligned wheels cause excessive tyre wear. Worn tyres and faulty lights are endorsable offences. A simple inspection can save a lot of money .

  16. Henry Stamp 08/05/2021 9:25 PM

    Thank you for the reminder as I’d forgotten over the last couple of years.
    I find the do-it-yourself car washes which have a jet lance and brush good. Using the jet lance for getting up around the wheel arches and underneath the car to wash the salt off (in either initial wash or particularly final rinse mode).
    A Jet petrol station near-ish to me has one of these machines. Just not so good for a work-out though.

  17. David Sole 09/05/2021 11:38 AM

    More common sense from Green Flag. Thanks

  18. Brian Hicks 09/05/2021 1:03 PM

    Supporting the Drive left campaign on the Motor way seems odd Where else would you go if you break down and have to stop ? I personally think these motorways are highly dangerous and the idea that they will be well monitored by cameras is still open to doubt.

  19. CR15 09/05/2021 8:17 PM

    Get down and dirty

  20. mark rs 09/05/2021 9:08 PM

    I wash mine 2 times a week think I’m obsessed

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