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Motoring experts have claimed that dirt can damage paintwork and hinder visibility, as well as bring some unwanted nasties inside the car, and potentially leave drivers open to a costly fine. With that in mind, experts at Scrap Car Comparison have put together some tips for keeping the car clean during the winter.
Don’t Forget About the Interior
With all the talk about the exterior, it can be easy to forget the interior, but as with everything, cleaning here in the winter becomes more important too.
Earlier this year, Scrap Car Comparison ran a study with the microbiologists at Aston University that revealed just how dirty the inside of cars can be.
The study found that every car will be host to harmful E. coli bacteria (in other words, faecal matter) that is usually bought into the car via muddy feet or paws if you own a dog.
With winters synonymous with muddy walks, in addition to coughs and colds that can spread further bacteria around the interior, keeping clean inside as well as out is all the more important.
Dr. Jonathan Cox, Senior Lecturer in Microbiology at Aston University said drivers should reach for the anti-bac, clean the interior as often as the exterior and not just to rely on whether things ‘look’ clean.
He added: “It’s important to be aware that there is a difference between being clean visually and being clean biologically.
“We generally just focus on the visual element, meaning that if something looks clean or tidy, we do not look to cleanse more deeply.
“If you were cleaning a kitchen sink or toilet you would clean these biologically with chemicals – it’s unlikely that the majority of car owners would clean their cars in this way.
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“Hopefully, people to be more mindful of their vehicle and germs and clean their cars in a more thorough way.”
Preparation is Paramount
As the weather turns darker and colder, Drivers should prepare in advance and consider applying a layer of wax on the exterior of their car, in order to give a protective layer to their paintwork and protect their vehicle against dirt and grime.
Modern waxes are much easier to apply than the waxes of yesteryear and should be applied straight after the clean.
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Heat Things Up
When cleaning the car, it’s always best to do so when the weather is more favourable, so hold drivers should out for when it isn’t raining, and ideally, when the temperature is above freezing.
However, if drivers are enduring a real cold snap where they live and need to clean their car, the experts at Scrap Car Comparison would always advise giving the car a drive first and turning the heaters on for 5-10 minutes.
This will help to stop the water you’re using from freezing on the bodywork as you are washing your car.
Pay Attention to Headlights and Numberplates
There are two areas that require some special attention in the winter. Namely, the numberplate.
By law, this must be visible to Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras and if it is obscured by mud and becomes illegible, drivers could be running the risk of an on-the-spot fine of £100.
However, in some cases, the fine could reach up to £1,000, making cleaning the car during the winter even more important.
Drivers will also need to ensure that their lights aren’t obscured by grime and can throw out enough light to guide their way during the long dark nights.
Dan Gick, Managing Director at Scrap Car Comparison, said: “Winter driving requires more care when out on the roads, but also when your car is parked at home.
“It can be a chore to get out in the cold and clean your car, but you’ll always be thankful for it when it’s ensuring your safety and saving you from potential fines.
“Beyond that, we have seen many cars end up having to get scrapped because they haven’t been cared for, and over time have been taken hold of by rust.
“It is never good to say goodbye to a vehicle because it hasn’t been cared for properly, and a regular clean can be all it takes to avoid it.”
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