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What Happens If You Never Wash Your Car?
The idea of never washing your car is one that does appeal to some people who don’t enjoy or find time for looking after something that has invariably cost thousands of pounds. Even if the vehicle has been bought for under a thousand pounds there is no real excuse for not looking after something that lots of us use daily and in many cases is somewhere we spend more time sitting in than most rooms in our own homes.
Fundamentally, not cleaning the car shouldn’t make it breakdown sooner, but it will age the bodywork and interior quicker. This could possibly lead to earlier corrosion and certainly devalue it before you get the chance to resell or part exchange for your next car. In the winter, road salt, if left on the vehicle, will cause damage to paintwork. Bird lime (poo) should always be removed promptly as it will etch itself into the paintwork and leave a permanent mark that will take a lot of work to improve and could even need paintwork to correct.
If you are reluctant to clean your car regularly then it is worth taking the time to do a good job of it at least once or twice a year, by cleaning the bodywork thoroughly and carefully when you first get the car and applying a hand wax. See our blog on how to clean the car. This wax layer will help to protect the paintwork if left for a long period of time between cleans and will have an added layer of protection against the elements. The wax has an amount of resilience and if the car is then not cleaned again it will sit in place doing its job against what the elements will throw at it for up to three months in most cases. If you prefer to get your car cleaned at a car wash or supermarket then the wax will get washed away as most of these places use harsh chemicals and aggressive cleaning products which will attack and remove the wax quickly. It would be much better for you to try and get into the habit of a good home cleaning process to protect the wax and keep it working for you.
There is a safety element to not cleaning the car as well, the more dirt that builds on the headlights will reduce visibility when driving at night. Interior glass, if not cleaned, will gradually get more and more grime on it that will also reduce visibility when driving during both day and night. Cleaning the glass on the inside is easy and inexpensive to do it just needs a good glass cleaner and the right cloth and about 5 minutes of your time.
If you smoke in the car this will increase the build-up of grime on the interior of the glass and, even worse, will devalue the car as the odour and staining on roof headlining will put off prospective buyers. This is especially important to note if part exchanging or selling to an online site, they will immediately knock down the price as they know the difficulties involved in removing the odour and staining before the car is sold on. Spray or hanging air fresheners will help to mask the smells of a dirty car but won’t completely remove them.
Another factor to consider when using your car is the effect a pet can have on the future value. Wet dog is a very difficult odour to remove from a car as it gets right into the ventilation system and is very difficult to get rid of. Pet hair on the carpets and seats is another perfect opportunity for any future buyers to knock the price down. Pet hair is a nightmare to remove and pet odour can be very difficult to treat. Always restrict your pet to one area in the car, this is good practice for their safety too. Make sure seats and trim are covered to reduce the effect the hair will have on the fabric. Try and keep the air moving in the vehicle by using open windows. Take the time to occasionally treat the heating system with an odour neutraliser to keep it fresh and kill bacteria in the vents which is the cause of the smell. This is easy to do and will help to keep the system odour neutral.
Ultimately the better you treat your car the better and longer it should last for you and the more effort you take will be reflected in a better sell on price when the time comes to hopefully upgrade in the future.