We’re all aware of the obvious risks to our vehicles, slippery roads, unexpected wildlife, and other people, but one thing that may slip your attention is the small, subtle things that it’s exposed to.
Specifically, dust and small, micro-scale debris such as sand. Not only it will affect your driving but it can also cause pollution inside your vehicle. While you may think that this is something that your vehicle can brush off till its next carwash, there are some very real problems that these tiny things can cause.
The Air Filter
Let’s start with the most obvious one. Air filters are crucial for a car’s engine to function well and can stop your car from overheating. However, depending on your destination or usual driving conditions, your air filter can last a lot less than you’d think.
One of the most common uses of vehicle repair equipment is to check on overheating engines, and a large part of these breakdowns are caused by the air filters failing since they’re packed with dust.
The Car’s Chassis
Sun exposure can do its part in weakening our car’s chassis, but did you know that dust and debris can also help weaken the outside shell of our cars? As the sun breaks down the finish and erodes your topcoat, it also breaks down the overall integrity of your chassis as the material cracks over time.
The dust and debris embed themselves in these cracks, giving your car that cracked appearance. However, this isn’t just a sign that you need a new paint job: if not maintained, your car’s outer shell will eventually chip away under the strain, which means you may need to get a new chassis entirely.
Windows and Windshields
Finally, dust and debris can cause a lot of microabrasion on your car’s glass, scuffing and eventually shearing off the top layer over time. Not only does this mean that your windshield won’t offer its usual protection such as UV resistance, but it also drastically reduces visibility, making you more likely to crash in poor sight conditions.
If you have existing damage on the windshield (like a crack) the damage can be much worse. Like your car’s shell, dust and debris can lodge itself in the cracked lines, widening the stress lines and making it more vulnerable to shattering. In the worst-case scenario, a small impact could be enough to turn a simple fracture into shards of broken glass.
How Do I Deal With Dust?
Simple: always remember to keep your car maintained! It’s relatively easy to deal with dust and debris, but the important thing is that you need to be consistent about it. Take your lifestyle and usual driving habits into account: do you go to the beach often? Live in an area where there’s a lot of dust kicked up from unpaved roads? Or have you recently driven under extreme conditions? All of these are factors to be considered in how often you check your car for these kinds of damages.
Clearing away dust and debris can be as easy as washing your car and giving it some oil, but sometimes you may dig in under the hood itself to check if it hasn’t caused some internal damage as well. Depending on the conditions, your car’s engine could be caked with the stuff, which means no driving for you till you get all of it thoroughly checked out.
Remember, it’s always the small things, and that counts double for vehicle repair. Always be aware of how and where you drive, and things like dust and debris shouldn’t give you any pause.