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Did you know that you should wash your car in the winter as often as you do in the summer? Regular washing isn’t just to keep it looking nice. It also preserves your car’s integrity and value. Cars in North Texas are exposed to a wide array of contaminants including dirt, dust and grime; dead bugs; bird droppings; tree sap; pollen; and air pollution chemicals. Over time, these contaminants can corrode your paint, and it’s important to remove them regularly.

Most people wash their cars less often in the winter, and that can be a mistake, as our cars are exposed to just as many contaminants (and sometimes more) in the winter as in the summer. How often you should wash your car should depend on your environment, not the time of year. Experts recommend anywhere from once a month to once a week depending on the types and amounts of contaminants your car is exposed to.

Do you live/work/drive in a manufacturing area? We don’t tend to think of manufacturing when we think of North Texas, but according to the Dallas Regional Chamber, DFW boasts more manufacturing than any other Texas metropolitan area. This includes the General Motors assembly plant, Texas Instruments, and Lockhead Martin, among others. Areas around manufacturing plants can have high levels of air pollution.

Construction also contributes to higher levels of air pollution, and you can’t drive far in North Texas without running into a construction area. North Texas is booming and should continue to boom for some time to come, and that means construction pollution should continue to be a problem.

Do you live and drive near parks and/or areas with lots of trees and birds? Then sap and bird droppings can be a real headache. Because North Texas is a warmer climate, these things can be a problem even in winter. Bird droppings and splattered bugs left too long can adhere to your paint making them almost impossible to remove without causing damage. Sap can stain and tarnish paint, causing extensive damage.

Are you often in or around high levels of traffic? We really depend on our cars here, and they spew exhaust and kick up dirt, dust, and whatever other contaminants are on the road.

Combine all of these things, and you can have a real mess on your hands. For many of us, a weekly car washing is a must—even in the winter.

Of course, an automatic car wash is most convenient and great for when the temperatures are uncomfortable, but a handwashing is more thorough and can be better for your car. If you wash it by hand:

  1. Always use a car wash shampoo. It will remove dirt and grime without degrading your car’s wax protection or sealant.
  2. Use two buckets—one for washing and the other for rinsing.
  3. Don’t wash your car in the sun or when your car’s exterior is hot.
  4. Use a different sponge for tires and wheels.
  5. Pat your car dry with a microfiber cloth. This will prevent scratching of the paint.
  6. Several times a year, apply a wax, sealant, or other protective coating.

Taking good care of your car’s exterior is important all year round. And taking good care of yourself after an accident is even more important. Here at Accident and Injury, we know how valuable quality care is. So. if you’re in an accident in the remaining winter months, come to the Accident and Injury clinic nearest you.

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