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How Often Should You Wash Your Car?

Published Fri December 29, 2017

washing car


There are a couple of ways to keep your car clean—either paying for an automated car wash service or simply grabbing a bucket and sponge and tackling it yourself. However you do it, car washing is important—and not just for the obvious aesthetic reasons.


Why Having a Clean Car Matters


Your vehicle is a major investment. You spend a decent chunk of cash to get it, and then you spend more money maintaining it over the years—occasionally replacing tires, having the oil changed and the transmission fluid replaced, getting repairs made to your brakes, and so on and so forth. In the end, you’re going to be putting a lot of money into your vehicle, so naturally, you want to do anything you can to protect that investment. Regularly washing your vehicle is a simple and effective way to do that. That’s because the appearance of your car is one of the first things people will notice. If they see a vehicle that’s covered in rust and faded paint, that signals to them that you haven’t taken care of the vehicle very well-meaning the value of the vehicle can actually drop. Routine car washes present an excellent way to avoid this. Incidentally, it’s also an inexpensive way to put some TLC into your vehicle!


Common Car Hazards


Your vehicle is naturally going to get a bit dirty just through regular use—but there are some specific hazards you’ll want to be aware of, too.

If you live near the coast, or in an area where the roads get salted during winter, that salt can accumulate and do damage to the undercarriage of your vehicle. Bird droppings and dead bug splats, in addition to being nasty, can also corrode your paint over time. For those who live in wooded areas, tree sap can also fall down onto the vehicle and cause long-term corrosion. The bottom line: There are plenty of everyday hazards that, over time, can do significant damage to your vehicle, even lowering its value. That’s what makes regular washing so essential.


How Often to Wash Your Vehicle


Yes, but how regular is regular? That is, how frequently should vehicle owners give their cars scrub-downs? The general rule of thumb is to wash your car every two weeks or so. Of course, there are special circumstances that might increase or decrease that frequency. If you live in a part of the country where some of the aforementioned hazards are quite common, you’ll need to wash your vehicle more regularly. By contrast, if you keep it in a garage and only drive once or twice a month, such regular washing might not be necessary. What’s important is that you take care of your vehicle—yes, even its outside. Washing your car frequently is a great and ultimately inexpensive way of protecting your investment in it. Make sure you’re setting aside some time for routine car washes!