Owning a car is an ongoing endeavor that requires regular trips to fuel stations, yearly oil changes, semi-regular tire rotations and windshield wiper replacements are just some of the tasks of a good car owner. However, most of us underestimate the importance of keeping our cars clean. Not only does it improve the immediate appearance of our car but it also plays a big role in maintaining the value of our cars. In the worst case scenarios, a dirty car can even weaken the body of your car.
As dirt builds up on your car’s exterior, all of the grit and grime can damage your paint. Think about what the dirt itself. How much of that is tiny rocks or tiny pieces of metal capable of noticeably scratching your paint? It’s not difficult to imagine those rocks or tiny metal pieces being move across the exterior of your car as you build up speed on the highway or by the wind itself on a particularly windy day. When this happens it is scratching your paint.
If you are unlucky enough for your dirty car to be discovered by an inconsiderate person who just can’t control the temptation to write “wash me,” or worse, on the side of your car then you’re in for even more risks to your paint job. Their finger is also moving around that dirt and therefore scratching your paint job. While it’s certainly not your fault that someone decided to touch your car, you can eliminate the possibility that that happens by keeping your car clean.
Your car actually as a clear coat over the paint which acts as a sort of protectant for your paint. However, eventually the dirt and grime will scratch through that and, if given enough time, through your paint. Underneath that paint is sheet metal. In addition to making that sheet metal look nice, paint also protects it from the elements and in particular, moisture.
You don’t have to be a mechanic to know what moisture does to metal: it creates rust. Over time, this will be detrimental to your car because rust will eventually weaken the metal itself. The metal can become corroded and eventually holes will develop where the dirt and moisture have eaten away at the clear coat, paint and metal. This is nothing short of a disaster for the value of your car.
Perhaps less importantly but true nonetheless is the fact that a dirty car just looks bad. If you decide to sell your car at some point, you can count out your neighbor as buyer or anyone else who might have seen the car with some regularity. This is because, even if you have a stellar record of keeping up maintenance in every other aspect, a dirty car gives the impression of a careless and neglecting owner. If this isn’t you, go the extra mile and spend a Sunday afternoon outdoors with the proper soap and a water hose. You may even enjoy yourself.