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Cars vs. Nature

Cars vs. Nature

Looking out of the window at my car I have noticed how dirty it is. I only washed it the other day. Or to be more precise a bloke at the supermarket washed it, but all it needs is to be stuck behind a lorry on a dirty, wet road and all that good work is undone.

For most people cleaning the motor is a necessary chore if for no other reason than to help retain value. Some people really like doing it and some are even obsessive about it, but everybody, once the job is done, likes to stand back and admire their handiwork. There are few things more pleasing than a nice clean car.

The trouble is – it’s a never-ending task because car bodywork is constantly under attack. Scratches and minor dents are an ongoing concern and the car owner neglects them at their peril. A deep scratch could go down through the paint and the primer and reach bare metal. Give our British weather half a chance and find out how corrosion begins. There are plenty of suitable products on the market that make these little jobs straightforward or, if it’s too much, there’s an army of mobile specialists willing to come to the house.

Our feathered friends are another menace. Everybody like birds and birdsong but few people can tolerate great dollops of dung on the paintwork. Sometimes it is easy to believe that a full grown albatross with a fondness for curry must have flown overhead, such is the mess. It isn’t just unsightly, it is also acidic. It eats into the paint. Look at any city centre statue for the evidence. Clean off that guano as soon as possible – there are products and wipes available. Remember also that birds eat seeds which could make the mess abrasive, so wipe with care. I know you think you’re doing them a favour with the bird-feeders but all you are really doing is providing ammunition.

There’s nothing like a pleasant drive out during the summer. The roads are clear, the sun is shining and, sadly, many bugs are flying straight into the front of your car: their aim, as they give themselves up to a tonne of rushing metal, is to damage your paintwork in revenge. As a matter of course we clean them of the windscreen but we tend to leave them stuck to the front of the vehicle until the next wash. The result is that, just like the avian doo-doo, their remains are acidic and cause damage to paint. The answer is to carry a bug remover spray and get the worst off until the car can be properly washed.

In that brief period that we amusingly call Summer, it is good to remember that the golden orb fades paint, as anyone with a red motor can attest. A good polish – as opposed to wax – can revive paintwork or in desperate cases there are stronger preparations that can freshen the bodywork and bring the colour back up.

Because of the sun some drivers like to park under trees to make the most of shade. This is not necessarily a good idea. If you remember, birds live in trees. Also, trees emit sap. In ancient times our ancestors used tree sap as glue; imagine then what it does to car paint. Just wiping it will simply spread it out over a bigger area. If it is allowed to dry a proprietary product will be needed. Mineral salts will dissolve it.

Now, as Winter flexes her icy fingers and gets into your bones, the cleaning and repairing car bodywork is just as essential and remember – any work will more than likely clean off your faithfully applied wax which means that car cleaning time has come around again. Such is the circle of life.

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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One Response to “Cars vs. Nature”

  1. garry booton says:

    I have always followed the simple principle that it is much easier to clean anything, including your car, before it gets dirty. By that I mean that I am one of those people that will wipe over the windscreen before driving it, and I will wipe away bird mess as soon as I see it.
    You would not leave your living room carpet to become so stained and dirty that you need to pay someone to clean it for you, would you?
    Keeping your car clean is so easy these days as well. Wherever you are in the UK you are only a short distance from some sort of car washing service.
    Look after your car and it will look after you.

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