We are not saying that you need to be an expert auto mechanic or a genius with automotive trivia, but there are some things that are non-negotiable with cars and one of them is a car wash (and no, waiting until it rains does not count, especially in California). A thorough and comprehensive car wash/detailing is as essential for the body of your car as an oil change is for your engine.
Really? Or Are You Just Being A Drama Queen?
Really. First of all, we need to look at the purpose of paint. This goes beyond “it’s my favorite color”, “it matches my personality”, or “it’s British racing green”. Paint protects the body of your car. The body is made out of metal, and metal rusts and weakens when exposed to the elements (moisture, in particular), and will eventually compromise the structural integrity of your car. This, plainly and simply, is a safety hazard and absolutely dangerous.
When dust and dirt is left unhindered, it acts like sandpaper. The paint starts to weaken, crack, and chip away. You may think you’re in the clear if it rains, but rain mixed with dirt, dust, and other pollutants can act even faster in terms of damaging your paint job. Now, let’s say you live on a nice tree lined street and park under the tree nearest your house or building. You may avoid sun damage with the regular shade, but what happens when the tree drops sap, or when birds drop… other things? These all accelerate the rate of damage.
Don’t panic. Your paint job will not be ruined overnight (unless it is of ridiculously poor quality and something extraordinary happens). Have your car detailed regularly and it will go the distance with you.
Some people stick with a car for decades while others like to get a new one every 50,000 miles or so. It does not matter which category you fall into because not washing/detailing your car regularly will eat away at your wallet one way or the other.
Let’s say you’re a one and done type of person. As long as your car is still running, you’re still driving it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But, that’s just the thing… it will break, and you will have to fix it, and fix it, and fix it again. Damage to the body of your car is potentially devastating, and you will need to have it repaired repeatedly so as not to compromise its structural integrity.
Are you ready to sell your car and get a new one? Great! There’s just one problem… the resale value of your car has plummeted due to the fact that it is now an ugly rustbucket. It’s an extreme, but nonetheless true. Whether you’re in true rustbucket territory or your car has some paint and body damage, the resale value of your car will take a hit.
Your car is an investment, one way or the other.