When you purchased or leased your vehicle, you were making an investment into something that you rely on each day. Providing it with the proper preventative maintenance is the best way to provide the components and systems with some TLC, but taking proper care of the exterior is also important to many drivers. Pampering your vehicle and making sure to maintain a certain appearance is important – but could you be causing more damage than good with all those trips to the car wash? How often should you wash your car anyway? Well, let’s delve into this topic a bit since there are some factors to consider.
Can you wash your car too often?
Most automotive experts will recommend that you wash your car every two weeks. (There are some people who wash way more often, but in some instances, over washing the exterior may cause some minor damage or imperfections in the paint or finish.) Nonetheless, this is not quite a cut and dry answer. There are many factors that can contribute to the frequency. Just like how often your vehicle will require some routine maintenance or common car repairs depends on how often you drive, how far you drive, where you live and so on, it is important to consider the following factors for car washing frequency:
- How often you use your vehicle – The more frequent you drive, the more often you may need to wash it. You may be able to go longer periods between washes if you do not drive every day, but washing your vehicle is an essential part of vehicle upkeep and maintenance.
- Where you primarily drive – Roads and terrains filled with grease and grime mean your car is more likely to get a lot of nasty build-ups that can downgrade its quality and appearance. Similarly, if you live in an area where there is often salt on the roadways, you will want to wash it off your vehicle routinely. Salt that is left on any vehicle for too long can corrode the vehicle or lead to costly repairs and replacement of parts or components in the future.
- When you use your vehicle.
- How you use your vehicle primarily.
- How you wash your car and where – What is the water like in your area? Are you washing with hard water? This could lead to spots from hard minerals on your vehicle.
Why should you wash your car? Do you even need to?
Yes, washing your vehicle is part of maintaining it. Removing the following can help prevent damage to your vehicle’s paint or metal:
- Road salt
- Animal droppings
- Bug splatter
- Dirt, mud or debris
- Tree sap
- Tar or road grime that can accumulate
- Stagnant water
- Brake dust
Is there a certain way to wash your vehicle that is better than others?
Soap and water and some elbow grease will go a long way. Some experts suggest softened water while others explain that hard water is still just fine. If you notice white spots or buildup after you rinse your vehicle and it air dries, you may be washing with hard water and those spots are common. You may also need more soap to get a good lather when using hard water. Car washing spots occur when the water evaporates and the minerals are left behind as residue on your vehicle. These spots may also occur with soft water (when using wax) but it will be easier to remove than with hard water.
We know how much you care about your vehicle and appreciate all it does for you. If you have any questions about car repairs, preventative maintenance services or any other car questions, our expert mechanics are waiting to help you out. Come on in and see us for any service on any make or model. We will care for your whole vehicle, inside and out!