The Benefits Of A Clean Car: It’s Not Just Vanity!
Honesty time! I’m a notorious pack-rat when it comes to the things that I allow to sit and gather dust inside my car. This reality became painfully apparent this week when I lost my wallet, which included every single card that I needed to prove I was me. Realizing that the last known place I had it was in my vehicle, I grabbed a couple of trash bags and set about confronting the growing mass of trash that was building up on the floorboards, under the seats and even in the passenger and back seats. (We won’t even talk about the trunk.)
I cringed with each slip of paper and every receipt that bore a different year-date on it — the oldest was from 2011. Why did I let this happen? No good answers. As my wife and parents tell me, I’m just a pig (or have “piggish qualities”).
For the longest time, I tried justifying these piggish qualities by replying something to the effect, “What’s the point of wasting my day off cleaning the car? As long as it runs fine, that should be all that matters.”
As fine of an excuse as any for embracing laziness! However, I didn’t realize that there really is something beneficial to treating your car well, even if the actions you’re taking don’t directly affect the engine.
Benefit 1: Pride Will Pay Off.
When you take pride in the way your vehicle looks, you’ll respect its function and be more likely to take care of interior problems as well. “Letting the car go” by not taking out trash or vacuuming seats and floorboards or dusting the dash and steering wheel, slowly add up over time until the car looks and feels worn out. Treating your old car like a new car for longer, will ensure that it behaves closer to that perception.
Benefit 2: The Longer You Own, The Less You Pay.
Car payments are the worst, in my opinion. Any time I have one, I try really hard to get rid of it. The only problem: I don’t always treat my automobile like I want it to stay around even though I’m not keen on buying another vehicle. If you’re the same way, then you could be sacrificing years of the vehicle’s longevity. And those years spent without a payment are years you could be saving for retirement, helping your kids with college, or building up for a down payment on a house.
Benefit 3: Lower Insurance Costs.
No, your insurer is not going to follow you around to make sure your car is washed and detailed at regular intervals. But, as we’ve established, your car is going to run better and last longer if you are willing to pay attention to the little things. It’s simply a natural progression. And as that progression comes about, you have more auto insurance options — options like, cutting the amount of coverage to liability and greatly reducing your monthly premiums in the process, or ridding yourself of a car payment entirely and getting more breathing room for your insurance needs.
Develop a maintenance plan for your vehicle. Take care of the big things first. Don’t miss tire rotation periods or oil changes. These actions will expand the life of your tires and keep your engine running smoothly.
From there, schedule time each month to go over your car’s interior and remove any buildup of trash or objects. If you can pull it off, take out any existing trash when you get home from work each day or when you arrive for work in the morning. That way you won’t find yourself in the position of wasting an afternoon one day or losing something important (like a wallet).
It can be easy to let junk buildup inside your car or truck, particularly when you lead a busy and hectic life. (Who doesn’t?) But taking a small amount of time each day to maintain your vehicle’s look and feel can add years of functionality, saving you money in the process.