Okay, you say: now you’re being ridiculous. And yes, we agree. We are being a bit ridiculous. But we’re car washers, and so we also think it’s crazy when we hear people say: Why wash my car? It’s only going to rain again.
Oh, how those words frustrate us! You can’t imagine. We grit our teeth. A twitch emerges at the corner of our eye. Our ears burn red. We might keep our mouths politely shut (we are professionals, after all), but we’re thinking to ourselves: Sure, okay. But why blow your nose? It’s only going to run again. Or, why wash your shirt? You’re only going to sweat again. Or, why vacuum your carpet? You’re only going to walk on it again. And of course, our favorite: Why cut your hair? It’s only going to … You get the idea.
And while, yes, we are having a little fun here, there is also a lot of truth in what we’re saying. Most people neglect getting their car washed regularly. They think it’s a hassle; they don’t make the time. In fact, according to a study by the International Carwash Association (ICA), 16% of the motoring public never wash their car and 67% wash only once every 3 to 6 months (in other words, only a few times a year).
Those statistics might seem reasonable if all you’re thinking about is image – i.e. I need to get my car washed so I don’t look like a degenerate to my boss in the office parking lot, or a slob to the date I’m picking up for the first time (she’ll eventually learn the truth, of course, but let’s keep that part hidden for as long as we can). However, there are several more important reasons you might be overlooking.
It helps preserve the Value of your vehicle by keeping it looking newer longer. The truth is, dirt is damaging. Dust and grime on the surface increase the chances for scratching, not to mention pollutants in the dirt eat away at your car’s protective paint that leads to fading. Bird droppings contain acid that deteriorate clear coat, creating blemishes and weaknesses in your paint if not removed within days; the sun of course is a barrage of damaging UV that can do irreparable damage without the protection of wax. And it’s not just the outside. Regular vacuuming better preserves your carpet and upholstery (as unattended dirt grinds into and weakens fibers); conditioner provides UV protection and longevity to your seats and vinyl. The list can go on. Keeping your car clean inside and out, on a regular basis, is simply good car maintenance. Whether a lease you’re turning in someday, a trade in, or an asset you’re going to sell, regular washing preserves the car better … and that equates to real dollars in your pocket.
Safety. You may think it an exaggeration, but dirty windshields are truly a safety problem. In fact, insurance companies spend significant money ensuring even minor windshield cracks are fixed (or replaced); a main reason is for the number of accidents that occur because of blemishes in the driver’s line of site. Just like a chip in the glass, squished bugs, bird poop, and other debris can cause distractions to your driving vision. A clean windshield is
Fuel Efficiency. You think we’re kidding, but it’s been proven: clean cars are more fuel efficient. In fact, Discovery Channel’s “Myth Busters” even tested this one. And the result? Clean cars improved fuel efficiency by 10%. In 2002, an engineer named Tom Wagner, Jr. wrote an article about saving money in this manner. The truth is, randomly distributed dirt particles on your car’s paint create drag as air clings to the grime. So … it wasn’t your imagination. Your car does run better after a wash!
It’s Healthier. Again, we’re being serious here. In a recent study by microbiologists from Queen Mary University, London, they discovered that, on average, the steering wheel, driver’s floor, rear seats and gear lever contained an average of 700 bacteria per 10 square centimeters. So that you have a reference point, Public Toilets only contain an average of about 80 bacteria per 10 square centimeter. On the plus side, most of those bacteria were unlikely to cause human health problems. However, some of the bacteria found
in the study did include Bacillus Cereus, which can cause food poisoning, and Arthrobacter, a bacteria often found in rotting organic matter.
Perhaps it’s not surprising. We eat in our cars. We shop with our cars. We haul our kids, tracking who-knows-what they picked up from school. It’s going to transfer; our cars are a
breeding ground for germs. We wash our hands, we clean our clothes, we launder our sheets. But our car … Said Dr. Ron Cutler, director of Biomedical Science at Queen Mary University:
“Most people clean their homes, but many are neglecting to clean their cars and are driving around vehicles which resemble a rubbish bin. A car is the perfect place for germs to breed, especially if you eat in it and leave litter or uneaten food around. To avoid potential health risks, it would be wise to regularly clean your car both inside and out.”
Oh, how we agree with the good doctor! Come see us more often folks. For preserving the value of your investment, for safety, for fuel efficiency, for your health! Bet you didn’t know we were providing such an important service, did you? And if that didn’t convince you, just remember: you do look better in a clean car too. Nothing wrong with appealing to a little vanity while we’re at it.