Preserving Your Ride: 6 Environmental Factors That Can Damage Your Vehicle
Modern innovation continues to mitigate a lot of problems that arise with our vehicles. However, the simple fact remains that they’re only driven outdoors, and we can’t control Mother Nature – nor should we. Therefore, it’s helpful to be aware of and monitor the effects our natural environment can have on our automobiles. Here are the six biggest factors in environmental damage.
- Dirt. Inevitably, your vehicle will encounter dirt. This only becomes a problem when you refuse to wash it off. It doesn’t matter if it will just get dirty again; this kind of buildup can harden and damage the vehicle’s finish, as well as gunking up your undercarriage. Individual dirt particles can also be sharper than the naked eye detects, meaning tiny scratches will be left behind. Do your best to wash your car as needed.
- Trees. When we think of tree damage to our cars and trucks, we usually think of a tree falling down on our vehicles. But the most probable risk trees pose comes from consistently parking beneath them. Sap, small animal refuse, branches, leaves, and more can gradually dull your car’s shine. Switch up your parking spots whenever possible.
- Sun. Well, if parking in the shade of a tree is risky, full sun it is. Except sun weakens and fades all exposed portions – interior and exterior. This can lead to chipped paint, a cracked dashboard, and a damaged bed insert. Fortunately, formulas like those made by Durabak do a better job of protecting your investment.
- Harsh winters. A chunk of ice or hail can wipe out a windshield in a split second. Still, this isn’t what happens every day during winter drives. The most basic trouble here would be the salt-covered roads. These dull paint and can even eat away at your finish if you don’t take steps to prevent it from doing so. Wash your undercarriage regularly, and if you’re exposing your car to salt a lot, try neutralizing it with a baking soda and water solution.
- Sand. Speaking of salt, the air and water at and near beaches can also have an impact on your vehicle’s appearance. Adjacent to this is sand, which is basically tiny shards of glass. People who live at the beach know to use seat covers and mats which can be vacuumed or shaken out easily, in addition to the almighty exterior car cover for times when the vehicle is parked. It’s also helpful to wax your vehicle regularly.
- Heat. Extreme heat poses a risk to tires, with scorching hot pavement and increasing air pressure. If the temperature gets high enough, it can weaken clear coats and other protective finishes you use on your vehicle’s exterior. If constant heat is a problem where you drive, remember to take frequent breaks to let things cool down, and park under a carport or in a garage for shade.
Don’t let the environment get the best of your vehicle. Know what risks come with each season, as well as your daily driving conditions. Wash regularly, wax when you can, and think critically about where you park. It’s key in keeping your car, truck, or SUV in brilliant condition for as long as possible.