How often should I get my car washed?
It depends, there are many factors that come into play when making the decision. Things to keep in mind and consider are the following –
Those ugly splatters are more than just nuisances. Sure, they block our vision and look pretty gross but did you know they could also damage your car?
If you leave them unattended they can eat away at the paint and even eat into the metal beneath. Don't wait to get those things removed as quickly as possible. If you live in a highly wooded area or even just regularly park your car under a tree, and if you're driving through the spring and summer when those bugs are more likely to be out, you might want to take a quick trip through the car wash as often as you need to be sure you're not accumulating damaging sludge on your car. Even tree sap can damage the paint, so don't let Mother Nature get the best of you. You may not notice it right away but over time these elements can really corrode your car and lower its value.
Salt air can seep into crevices and rust the metal so if you live in a salty climate, it's important not only to wash the surface of your car but to wash out the undercarriage. If you drive along the beach, especially if you do any summer off-roading in your truck or SUV, follow up with a thorough surface and undercarriage wash to remove not only damaging salt but sand accumulation, too.
This also applies to salt and brine on the roads when it ices or snows. The salt gets up in the undercarriage and can eat away or corrode the materials.
Do a lot of city driving?
The pollution in the air – especially if it rains – can create an acidic environment that will eat away at the finish of your car. After a good rain you may not feel compelled to wash your car – after all, Mother Nature just helped you out. But even after the rain dries, acidic chemicals remain on the surface of your car. Those little water marks you see can become permanent and mar the paint unless you remove them. So if you live or drive regularly in a polluted area, and especially after a period of rain, it's a good idea to wash any chemical residue off your car.
Now you can see why the answer to, “How often should I wash my car?” is, “It depends!”
But here is a general rule of thumb:
If you live inland in an area where your car is free of salty air and sand, and if you don't have to contend with tree sap, bird droppings and dead bugs, you can wash your car about once a month and still keep it in good shape. If you live in a polluted environment, near a salty coast or in a wooded area, once a week may be your best bet. Otherwise, a couple of times a month is a good bet to ensure that you're not waiting too long to get rid of harmful chemicals, residues, salt, sand, tar, grease and grime.