5 Shocking Reasons You Should Clean Your Car

By Tim Fox | Car

Feb 12
Reasons you should clean your car

You may think the only reason to clean your car is so that you’ll have a good-looking ride. While that’s certainly a good reason, it’s far from the only one. Some of these other reasons may surprise you.

The Elements Can Be Damaging

Salt, sun, bugs, and bird poop. Not to mention acid rain, road dirt, tree sap, and smog. All of these things can get on your car as you drive it every day. And they can all cause damage to your car’s chrome, metal, and finish. Leaving these nasty things on your car will eat away at your vehicle’s paint and cause rust and corrosion. Preventing this damage from occurring in the first place is much easier and less costly than trying to fix it once it’s happened. And once you see it, it’s too late.

A car that has rust, corrosion or damaged paint will have a lower resale value than one that has been well maintained and washed regularly. The cleaner you keep your car, the better its condition will be when it comes time to sell, and the more likely you’ll be to get top dollar for it, whether you sell it to another person or trade it in.

For Your Health

Cleaning your car means cleaning the interior too. The steering wheel, dashboard, door handles and upholstery of your car gather harmful bacteria. Cleaning these areas, along with the rest of your car’s interior, will keep you and your passengers healthier.

Most people would never let the interior of their home get as dirty as the interior of their car, but think for a moment about the amount of time you spend in your car. You probably also eat and drink in your car, causing the inevitable spills. Giving your car’s interior a good cleaning on a regular basis will keep it healthier as well as looking and smelling better.

Fuel Efficiency

car fuel meter

A clean car is more fuel-efficient than one that’s covered in dirt and grime. A lot of people discount this theory. Some say that the difference can’t be great enough to be meaningful. Others use the example of a golf ball, saying that a dirty car should be more aerodynamic since the dirt acts like the dimples on a golf ball, and dimpled balls go further.

Myth Busters measured the difference in fuel economy and found that a clean car got two more miles per gallon of fuel than a dirty one. This may not seem like a big difference, but over the lifetime of your car it can add up. If you drive 15,000 miles a year, you could pay over $100 a year more for your gas if your car gets 24 mpg than if it gets 26 mpg. Over ten years, you’d save over $1,000 just by keeping your car clean.

Safety

Dirt and grime on your car can make the paint look dull. This makes your car less visible to others in poor driving conditions, which could lead to more accidents. A dirty windshield or windows can reduce your visibility. Certain mechanical parts of your car are more vulnerable to dirt and grime, and these parts will work better and last longer in a clean car.

Peace of Mind

It’ll make you feel better. Let’s face it. A clean car looks better and makes you feel better when you’re driving it. Just like that feeling you get when you drive your new car off the lot, or when you’re out for a drive on a sunny day in a car you love, driving a clean car makes you feel good about yourself. Driving around in a dirty, messy vehicle doesn’t do a lot for your self-esteem.

These are all good reasons to clean your car on a regular basis. By cleaning it often, not just when it looks dirty, you prevent damage that you might otherwise not see until it’s too late. You’ll also have a good-looking ride whenever you need it. And everybody wants that.