The UAE is a great place to live and explore. Many expats move here from all over the world, and having a desert in our back garden (so to speak!) can be exciting. Summer season is just around the corner, and the recent sandstorms serve as a little reminder of what’s to come. Desert safaris, dune driving, more sandstorms… sand, sand, and more sand!
Here are some easy tips to take care of your car during these sandy and dusty times:
Look after your car’s paint job
Sand sticks to your car and will get into all the nooks, crannies and crevices. Sand is made of small, sharp particles that can scratch and chip the paint. A simple car wash with warm soapy water after a sand storm or desert exposure will avoid paint damage. Many people make a mistake by using a sponge when they wash their car – ditch it! Due to the flat surface of the sponge, sand particles will get stuck and scratch your car paint. Rinse your car down immediately after a dusty or sandy trip using a hose or microfiber mitt instead (it’s much softer).
Do not use the one bucket wash rule!
Who else is guilty of this? Using just ONE bucket of water when you are washing a car, or even several, is not good – all the sand that you have just spent time removing will just find its way back onto your car.
Look and wash in the unexpected places
Check areas such as the car wheel arches or car windshield. These are places where you are likely to get sand build-up but are they are places that are less visible to the naked eye, so sand is often missed. Small sand particles on your windshield can cause small cracks which then grow into big cracks. Sand will also weaken and worsen any existing ones.
Clean the air filter
After a couple of trips to the desert or after driving through a bad sandstorm, you will find that your air filter may be clogged. A clogged filter reduces the amount of airflow to the engine, causing it to overheat. Frequent sand exposure may also constrict the cabin filter and contaminate your oil. This results in extra (and ongoing!) car maintenance – which is both a hassle and extra expense. To avoid this, remove all filters when you are washing your car to clean the sand off. Leave them to dry before re-fixing them back on.
Get a car wax job
It perhaps seems like another chore to add to your list, but trust us, getting a wax job will help. A wax job not only makes your car shine but adds a protective layer to prevent scratches.
Sand can be fun (and not so fun during a storm!) but it’s important to maintain and protect your car. Believe it or not, even professional car washers make these mistakes above, so it won’t hurt to give a little guidance.
Keeping your car in a fabulous shape will be helpful for a quick resell in the future.