How Often Should I Wash My Car?

Posted on: February 26th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

how often to wash carAs your auto body shop, we get this question all the time, but there isn’t a hard and fast rule to answer it. There are a number of things to consider – some environmental factors, some personal driving factors. If you’re not sure what to consider when setting a carwash schedule, factor in the things we discuss in this article.

Paint Protection

Car washing is often about aesthetics, but it’s also about keeping your car in the best condition possible for as long as possible. While chips, wear and tear, or dulling of your vehicle’s paint might not seem like more than a cosmetic thing, that’s not always true. All of those things can contribute to the weakening of your vehicle’s exterior and may indicate larger problems on the horizon – like rust. The car paint does more than just make it look pretty – it helps protect and maintain, too.

Salt Buildup

This time of year, when the weather gets snowy and the roads get salty, buildup is one of the main concerns that brings this question about time and time again. Yes, the salt buildup can cause premature rusting on your vehicle. This means that yes, you should wash it more frequently in the winter when the weather gets bad, but it’s not an immediate or critical danger. It takes a lot of salt sitting on your vehicle for a long time to cause irrevocable damage. If you have a regular car washing routine in place, that should be sufficient enough to keep up with the salt buildup around the Front Range. Adding in an extra wash or two when the snow melts between storms isn’t the worst idea.

Facing the Elements

Snow and the salt that keeps us safe in winter weather aren’t the only things that can cause premature wear and tear to your vehicle. All year round, your vehicle faces the elements when you drive. Bright, hot sun, rain, mud, dirt, dust, rocks. It all impacts your vehicle. Understanding the impact that these elements have on your vehicle’s exterior can help you set the proper car washing cadence for your vehicle and situation. For example, if you work at home and only go out on the weekends, you’re less likely to need a car wash as often as someone who commutes an hour both ways daily and ventures out into the mountains on their off-days.

Like we said at the beginning, there isn’t a hard and fast must-follow rule when it comes to washing your car. However, we encourage owners to treat it like any other part of regular vehicle maintenance. Set a schedule and stick to it. Add “emergency” washes when you need to and conserve when you don’t. If you want a rule of thumb to follow, every two weeks would be ideal with daily usage. Keeping your vehicle clean and free of dust, debris, salt, and more extend its life and its peak performance years. As long as you’re regularly washing it, you should be good.

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