4 Reasons You Shouldn't Neglect Cleaning Your Car In Autumn

4 Reasons You Shouldn't Neglect Cleaning Your Car In Autumn


Driving through a tree-lined road and you start to notice a kaleidoscope of yellow, red, and orange leaves fluttering through the air and landing on your windshield. You’re sure it’s a sign that weather patterns are about to change from the arid summer to the freezing winter. 

But what does this mean for your car?

Among the four seasons, autumn, or fall as many call it, is the season that has been statically reported to be the least popular season for a car wash. Many car owners feel no need to wash their cars before winter approaches. 

However, far from being a season that requires less car maintenance, autumn is the time of the year that comes with unique circumstances for your car. And this is also the best time to prepare for the harsh and corrosive road salt you’ll encounter daily during winter. 

In this post, we’ll reveal the reasons why you need to clean your car during the fall and how you can do it. 

By the end of this post, you’ll know how to get your car spick and span throughout autumn and also prepare for winter. 

Let’s get right to it.

Autumn Leaves And Mold Can Damage The Paintwork

In summer, you have to deal with stubborn bug guts baked on the clear coat. In spring, your car will get covered with a thick layer of yellow pollen. In winter, you have to deal with corrosive road salt. 

Recommended Reading: How To Remove Bug Guts And Splats From Your Car

What do you have to deal with during autumn?

Leaves. Lots and lots of leaves. 

Autumn Leaves Can Damage The Paintwork


When left sitting in your car for too long, leaves get dry and wet again and eventually start to decompose. When this happens, the acid on decomposing leaves can etch into your paintwork. 

It also gets your car in contact with mold spores, the slimy black unsightly spots you’ll see on your car. 

You can simply remove the leaves by hand. But by the time you do so, some leaves may have started decomposing and may have already emitted acids that got etched onto your clear coat. 

The remedy to this is a thorough car wash. Some leaves can be too small and they can fall into the crevices between the windshield and the hood. You have to get rid of those too. 

One simple and quick way to do it is by spraying the surface with a jet cleaner like a car cleaning gun

Not only does it apply the car cleaner on the surface, but the airpower also dislodges dirt and leaves stuck on crevices and tight spots ensuring they don’t sit on the car’s paintwork to etch it. 

The car cleaning gun also gets rid of bug splats sitting on the front grilles that can also cause acidic reactions and discoloration. 

Why is it so important to remove these kinds of contaminants? 

It’s because bug guts, tree sap, and decomposing leaves can etch into the paintwork, seep into the metal layer and start corrosion. 

Autumn Car Wash Improves Road Visibility

The transition from summer to autumn means shorter days, hence darker roads to commute in. The absence of sunlight already reduces visibility to a large extent, you have to make sure your windshield and windows are crystal clear so you can drive safely. 

Getting a good car wash during autumn helps get rid of bird droppings, tree sap, and other grime stuck on your windshield and windows that blurs your view out. Washing your car helps you to see your surroundings better and thus drive safer even at night. 


Autumn Car Wash Improves Road Visibility

With Autumn Comes More Frequent Rains

With fall comes having rain almost every day. While rain can quickly rinse off dirt and grime stuck on your car, the acid that rain brings can be damaging to your paintwork too. 

This means you have to rinse rainwater off your car as often as possible to prevent the acid from sticking to the paintwork and cause dullness and corrosion. 

Also, this means you’ll be bringing part of the rain’s acid on your car every time you get in. This also calls for a thorough interior clean especially for your floor mats and car carpets. 

Recommended Reading: 4 Practical Tips To Clean Floor Mats And Car Carpets

If you noticed by now, almost every contaminant your car comes across with can be corrosive. Coming across these contaminants every day means cleaning your car often to keep these contaminants from starting corrosion. 

Rainwater is very fluid, it can get into tiny spaces behind doors, the hood, and the trunk. Make sure to rinse off and dry these areas thoroughly too to prevent watermarks and rain residue. 

With Autumn Comes More Frequent Rains


Recommended Reading: Is It Bad To Wash Your Car In The Rain?

Autumn Is The Time You Prepare For Winter’s Hard Road Salt

While it's still convenient to do and not still cold outside, fall is the time to reapply a protective coat like wax to your paintwork. 

Car wax is hydrophobic, it can repel the acid rain in winter and also repel the slushes of road salt sprayed on your car when you hit a puddle on the road during winter. 

As you know, salt is also highly corrosive. Leave it on your car for too long and eventually, you’ll start to see parts of your paintwork starting to bulge, indicating that pitting is about to take place.  

This gravely affects your car’s structural integrity making it unsafe for you to use on the road. And even if you reason that you can just sell it, the resale value for highly corroded cars will go down steeply. 

Simply said, corrosion won’t do you any good whether you plan to keep your car or plan to sell it in the future. 

Recommended Reading: Why Washing Your Car During Winter Is Important

Last Thoughts

Autumn is the season of falling leaves, shorter days, and frequent rains. Rain and leaves can cause corrosion. Shorter days mean you need sharper visibility, especially at night. Each one of these calls for a good car wash. 

Also, fall is the preparation period for winter. During this season, you can reapply a protective coat to your car to repel acid rain and the road salt of the following season.  

The bottom line, practically, autumn is an important season to wash your car unlike how many car owners see it. In the long run, if you have a good practice of washing your car throughout winter, you’ll see how better-looking your car is and how much safer it is than the cars of those who don’t feel the need for it. 

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