Here you are. The newest driver in the family. Big, strong and 16.With newly printed license in hand, you want to show off your car to your friends. But before you get behind the wheel of your hand me down Oldsmobile, you have got to get that baby shining. (Hey, it’s an Oldsmobile. Being shiny and clean is it’s only selling point!)But before you whip out that hose, consider a few things. Did you know that washing your car can actually damage the car if it is not done right? And do not think that your young driver insurance will cover nicks and scratches that you inflicted on the car while haphazardly washing the car. Whether you decide to wash your car yourself, take it to the $5 car wash or get it professionally detailed, here are a few things to consider.1. Check the weather. Nothing says money down the drain like washing your car only to have it rain the next day. While the weather man cannot always be trusted, be smart. 40 percent chance of precipitation tomorrow? Save yourself the 5 bucks and let the rain wash your car.
2. Beware of freezing temperatures. If ice is covering the road, it will not be worth it to wash your car. In fact, it might be impossible. The soapy water might freeze as it hits the car, becoming essentially useless. You will get the best car wash if you wait until the mercury rises.
3. Beware of scorching temps. One hot summer day, my husband grabbed the hose to give his car a little shower. Instead of a shiny car, he ended up with a huge crack down the middle of the windshield. Young driver insurance will not cover a crack if it is larger than a $1 bill. Since the crack engulfed the whole windshield, we payed $150 out of pocket. Ouch. The combination of the hot windshield and freezing hose water was too much for the windshield to handle. This does not mean you can never wash your car in the summer, but make sure you wash it in the morning when the glass is not too hot, or park your car in the shade to bring down the temps.
4. Soap matters. Think again before using dish or laundry soap on your beloved Oldsmobile. The chemicals can be too harsh for most paint jobs, and those scratches will not be covered by young driver insurance. Consider using gentler soap like baby shampoo or car wash soap designed specifically for cars.
If this all sounds like too much work and you would prefer to give your car a more natural look without washing it, think again. Not washing your car can actually be damaging. This is especially true in the winter time. Salt used to get rid of ice on the roads can actually eat away at your paint. Plus it speeds up rusting which is the ultimate kryptonite to your car.