Summer Car Care
Maintaining Your Vehicle During New England Summer
As the weather gets warmer, it’s important to remember some essential ways to care for your vehicle during the summer months. Everyone knows the potential harms that winter can bring to cars, but many forget to take care of their vehicle during the summer. Warm months in New England bring a variety of potential hazards to your vehicle.
Bird Droppings, Pollen, Tree Sap:
Bird droppings can cause damage to both your car’s paint and clear coat. Average bird droppings have an acidity level of about 3.5-4.5 PH. This eats away at the clear coat around your vehicle as well as causes paint damage. The longer the bird droppings remain on a vehicle the more extensive damage may occur to the paint and clear coat.
1.) Always wash off bird dropping as quickly as possible limiting the time of exposure.
2.) Avoid parking under any trees or under large structures.
3.) Apply a hand wax to the painted surface of your vehicle several times per year to offer a buffer between bird droppings and your vehicle’s paint. Visit our website to learn more about hand wax options and schedule a detailing appointment.
Bottom line: bird droppings may be burnt or etched into vehicle paint if not properly cleaned.
Similar to bird droppings, pollen is also very acidic. Pollen has a varying PH level depending on the type of pollen in question. The PH level of pollen directly effects how effective the pollen is at germination. The higher the PH level is in pollen the more likely it is to succeed at its natural goal and the PH levels can range from low 3s to well into the 9s. Although the higher levels of PH is good for pollen it is bad for your car’s paint and can easily cause more damage than bird droppings and over larger areas of paint if left unattended on a vehicle.
Note: much of pollen has a pH value greater than 4.
Source Link: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Relationship-between-pH-value-and-pollen-germination-percentage-correlation-04829_fig1_228613761
Tips: Washing your car at least once a week is a good way to ensure that pollen doesn’t build up on or eat away at your paint. Wax is also a good buffer for preventing pollen from being able to damage your paint plus wax makes it easier to wash the pollen away.
Tree sap may also damage your vehicle surfaces if left on your vehicle for an extended period of time. Tree sap will etch its way through your clear coat causing paint discoloration. Tree sap also becomes harder to remove the longer it is on your vehicle and exposure to the sun causes it to be baked on even further. Removing tree sap requires regular washing and often a detailing appointment with the proper chemical solutions to clean and protect the paint while removing the sap.
Tips: Tar and Sap removers can be purchased online for an affordable value but you must be very careful to not use too much or you can take the paint off. Examples of tree sap removing solutions include applying WD40 or Rubbing alcohol on sap for 5 mins then wipe with microfiber cloth or detailing sponge. Nail polish remover on a cotton ball may also be used to remove sap. It’s easy to use these products on a glass surface but again exercise caution on painted surfaces.
During the summer months your vehicle is exposed to larger amounts of sunlight. This additional sunlight will worsen the effects tree sap, pollen, and bird droppings. In addition to that the UV rays in sunlight cause paint to fade or become damaged overtime. Darker cars are at higher risks as well as dark plastics found on vehicles.
Tips: 1.) Park your vehicle in shade when possible.
2.) Be sure the paint on your car isn’t coated in any substances that may have a high pH level.
3.) Use wax on your vehicle for protection. Purchase wax options that protect from UV ray damages.
The summer heat can cause its own issues aside from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV light. The main issue caused by heat is the effects on your vehicle’s engine. A vehicle has a much higher chance of overheating during the summer months, which could leave you stranded with a dead car for hours in the summer heat. The heat can also affect tire pressure as well as damage or fade the materials found in the interior of the vehicle. The sun heats the metal exterior of the vehicle all while allowing more light and heat into the windows. This heat is then trapped inside your vehicle creating an oven effect.
1.) Always try to park your vehicle in a garage or shaded area.
2.) Never leave a child, animal, or perishable goods inside a vehicle during the summer months unattended.
3.) Regularly check engine coolant levels and service your radiator.