Spring has arrived, and while we’re all looking forward to a drive with the windows down, there are some lingering detractors. The return of pleasant spring weather also comes with a seasonal problem: pollen.
Pollen brings more than just seasonal allergies; it could also hinder your driving experience this spring. Between the pollen and a winter’s worth of snow, ice and salt still covering your vehicle, your car’s exterior look may be in trouble.
Many people may view carwashing as a mere cosmetic procedure, something all those April showers can take care of independently. But the truth is that a routine wash is essential for maintaining the health of your vehicle.
Impact of Winter on Vehicles
Winter is tough on cars. More than just the freezing temperatures and mounds of snow, many municipalities have begun using various chemicals to de-ice the roads. Snow, salt, potassium chloride and magnesium chloride are some of the prime corrosive contributors to vehicle damage during the colder months.
Each of these winter weather preventatives can immensely impact unprotected paint. If left unchecked, the buildup of these chemical agents on the vehicle can lead to rust and corrosion.
Furthermore, your vehicle’s undercarriage shouldn’t be out of mind despite being out of sight. A buildup of snow, ice, de-icing chemicals and more can damage your vehicle’s suspension, exhaust mechanism, hydraulic brakes and even the car’s subframe. A thorough carwash can more than help remove all the dirt, salt and other contaminants from your vehicle; it can also improve its performance and prolong its lifespan.
Pollen & Plant Problems
Another issue during the spring is the buildup of pollen and plant particles in nature.
When you leave your house or the office and your car has a fresh coat of yellow and green, it’s time for a carwash. Above all, your vehicle will look dirty and unkempt if you let the pollen linger for too long.
But the effects of pollen go beyond mere aesthetics. Pollen can be highly acidic and can eat away at the paint, tarnishing your vehicle’s finish. If left unwashed, the pollen can enter micropores on the vehicle’s surface causing abrasions that are extremely costly to repair.
Alongside pollen are tree buds and flower petals falling from above. Just like the pollen they release, these carriers are not innocent in their damaging capabilities. They can find their way into the smallest spaces of your car’s build and cause corrosive chaos to your vehicle’s interior and exterior. These are important to keep an eye on regardless of the season because pine needles, which survive year-round, are the most damaging tree for vehicles.
A professional carwash that utilizes specially formulated soap can remove pollen and plant particles from your vehicle, and prevent long-term damage to your vehicle with an added layer of protection.
Birds and Bugs
Along with the return of pollen, spring also signals birds to fly back north, littering our cars with some rather unpleasant paint jobs. If you find the birds have left you with a mess, it’s best to take care of it immediately. That waste is highly acidic, quickly deteriorating your vehicle’s exterior, especially its paint job. Some research even suggests some car colors — like red — are more prone to the bird dropping barrage.
Bugs also make their return to nature in the springtime. Whether it’s a cross-country road trip or a run to the store, your vehicle will surely experience bug splatter on the windshield and body. Similar to pollen, bug splatter can cause micro-abrasions in the surface of your vehicle, causing permanent or costly damage to it.
The good news is that a simple run to the local carwash will take care of the bird or bug splatter before causing any further damage or stress.
The Effects of Neglecting Routine Carwashes
Neglecting to take your vehicle for a routine wash can also risk the safety of you and others on the road. The buildup of dirt and grime on the windshield and windows can obstruct your view, making it more difficult to see pedestrians, traffic signals and other drivers. Brake lights and turn signals may also become obscured, making it challenging for other drivers to anticipate your movements.
A dirty car may even negatively impact your health. Pollen, dust and other pollutants can accumulate in the cabin air filter, leading to poor air quality and potentially worsening your allergies or causing other respiratory issues. In any season, routine carwashing is essential to vehicle maintenance. But, you must be particularly adamant about cleaning your car during spring. Don’t overlook the importance of carwashing this spring — it’s a simple but vital step to keeping your vehicle healthy and safe for years.
Christian Seem is the chief stores operator for Spotless Brands, a leading carwash platform in partnership with world-class operators. Through its partnerships with Flagship Carwash, Cobblestone Auto Spa, Ultimate Shine Car Wash and Okie Express Auto Wash, Spotless Brands currently surpassed 145 locations in Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington D.C. and West Virginia.