As the seasons change, leaves develop their vibrant hues before falling from the trees and covering anything in its path. Even though leaves look beautiful, they do damage when it comes to your car. Here are ways protect your vehicle from potential leaf damage.
How Can Leaves Damage Your Car?
If the fallen leaves sit on your car for too long, it can damage to your paint. Leaves contain pollen, sap, and other acidic things, that can damage the clear-coat on your car. Wet leaves release more acid during the decomposition process and can completely break through a clear coat; this may cause dull spots or peeling paint. Your car may even rust. Some other risks include clogged drains or damaged air filters.
How Can You Avoid Fall Leave Damage?
There are several things you can do to prevent leaf damage to your vehicle. Park your car away from falling leaves and avoid parking underneath trees. Even though tree coverage can be great for keeping your car cool while parked, it also makes your vehicle a direct target for falling leaves. This may not remove the risk entirely; strong winds may still blow leaves onto your car. If you can’t find a parking space that’s not under a tree, try to choose a tree that has already lost most of its leaves. Parking under a covered area would remove the risk completely, as your car would never be exposed to fallen leaves in the first place. Car covers also protect your car from wind, rain, dust, snow hail, ice, and general scratches. If you can’t park under a car cover or avoid parking under trees, you will need to be proactive about removing fallen leaves from your car. Few people enjoy cleaning their car, raking and picking up leaves, but cleaning off your car and removing fallen leaves can remove the risk of damage. Remove leaves on your vehicle by hand (using a broom or blower could damage the finish on your paint.) Check your undercarriage, air conditioning system and exhaust pipe for hidden leaves. If leaves are not removed from these areas, they could rot, leading to rust and bad odors.
Clean the Exterior of Your Car
Wash your vehicle at least once a week, even if you remove the fallen leaves, they still leave behind acidic remnants that may damage to your paint. Washing your car at least once every week will clean away any leftover acid so your paint doesn’t get damaged. When the fall season comes to an end, wax your car after you give it one last wash to remove any trace of acidic leaf leftovers. The wax finish will protect your car from any future damage during the winter months including road salt and other abrasives. It may also be wise to detail your car, paying attention to the trim, wheels, and interior. For proper detailing, use high-quality supplies including tire and wheel cleaner, cloth or leather shampoo, trim and plastic restorer. Constant cleaning is essential in protecting your car from fall leaf damage. By consistently cleaning your car and staying conscious of where you park, you can reduce the risk of damage due to fallen leaves.
If you take care of your car properly, it can continue to service you and provide you value for many years. After all, spending a little extra money to care for your car is better than spending thousands more on a new car when the one you have is too damaged to run any longer. Wash your car frequently and remove debris, such as fallen leaves and you’ll be able to enjoy the season and your car at the same time.