How often should you wash your car? Here's what experts say

February 7, 2023
Automotive, Maintenance

Buying a car is just the tip of the iceberg regarding car ownership, and the other huge part is maintaining the car to prolong its longevity.

Whether you have paid it off or you’re still paying for it, taking care of your car is a vital part of owning a vehicle. Proper maintenance on the interiors and exteriors of the car enables you to get the most value out of your money. This maintenance involves everything from auto detailing to oil changes, brake checking and replacement, tire rotations, vacuuming the interiors, engine checks, and washing your car.

This maintenance is essential to keep your car running smoothly and contributes to safety and security when you’re on the road.

Many car owners take engine and tire maintenance seriously, but car washing often comes as an afterthought. The question on every car owner’s mind is, ‘How often should I wash my car?’ This is a valid question and a concern depending on how you view it. Some car owners worry that washing their new or antique cars may cause the wax or paint to wear off.

So, what do experts recommend when it comes to washing your car?

Every two weeks once

Experts recommend washing your vehicle at least two weeks once. This is under normal wear and tear circumstances. This frequency depends on how you drive and where you drive your car. If you use your vehicle primarily for city driving, you can reduce it to once in three weeks. However, if you’re driving your vehicle down dirt roads or where there’s salt on the highways, then a once in two weeks is a good ballpark.

More frequent in different seasons

Depending on the season, you may need to wash your car more frequently. Many people wash their cars more often during summer; however, that shouldn’t be the case. In the winter, salt on the roads also increases the need to wash your car more often. Salt can cause your vehicle to rust earlier than expected. Even more, ensuring your car is washed often is to remove any salt, dirt, and debris off the tires and parts.

Auto detailing

When you take your car for a wash, this should also be the opportunity to investigate your vehicle’s auto detailing. The inside of your car is just as important as the outside to give it a long life and a great look over the years to come. Auto detailing takes care of the floor mats, upholstery, console, and overall general cleanliness of your car. It also prevents insects such as cockroaches and ants from taking over the crevices and eating away food crumbs left behind if you eat and drink in the car.

Make sure to wax

Some car owners worry about washing their cars too often to the point that it’ll affect the paintwork. Washing too often will not destroy the paintwork at a substantial rate. However, not waxing your car may prove to be a bigger problem. If you are trying to protect your car’s paintwork, waxing it will help protect the paint and the exterior finishings of your car from corrosive substances and make it look great overall. Waxing helps to keep the paint job looking good for a longer lifespan, and it keeps your vehicle looking spick and span.

Take it for car washing services

If washing your car by yourself every once in two weeks seems like a lot of work, the easiest thing you can do is drive your car to the nearest car wash service in your area. Professional car wash services have the manpower but, most notably, the right tools and equipment to give your car the complete care and attention it deserves. Starting with a wash, dry, vacuuming, buffing, and waxing- you pay an affordable sum of money for services that make your car shine and one that looks as good as new.

It also depends on how you store your car

Car storage is also vital in ensuring the longevity and beauty of your car. When you leave your car parked on the street, there’s no ignoring that it’ll be susceptible to dirt, damage, and theft. Leaving your vehicle in the sun for a prolonged time will negatively impact your car, and sun damage can reduce the brilliance of the car’s paint. Also, fallen leaves and debris may seem minor, but if left to gather, they will wreak havoc on your car’s engine parts. Leaves and debris will also begin to corrode the paintwork. Leaving your vehicle outdoors will also make it susceptible to tree sap, branches, bugs, acid rain, and bird droppings. If you do not have a garage to store your car, the best you can do is purchase a car cover to protect it against the elements.

So, if your car is often parked outdoors, then the frequency of washing and waxing increases. You’d be surprised how much dirt can accumulate from one day of being left outdoors. Season and climate also affect a car’s exterior, thus requiring more washing and cleaning.

If you keep your car parked in a garage, car washing frequency can be reduced to even once a month.

Final thoughts

Cleaning your car’s interiors and exteriors is part and parcel of car ownership. Even if you are happy to drive around in a dirty vehicle, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t take this route. Leaving excessive dirt and dust on your car for lengthy periods can wear away the clear coat, resulting in faster rust appearing on your vehicle.

Apart from affecting the aesthetic wear of the car, it’s also dangerous to drive a vehicle that is dirty because it can lead to poor visibility. If taking the car to a professional car wash seems too expensive, then maintaining it by washing your car by hand is one way to maintain a decent appearance. A properly maintained car also helps you sell it in the future for a better rate, should you choose to.

Featured Photo by Brad Starkey on Unsplash