In a few weeks, we will be entering the season of falling leaves in all their beautiful colours; Autumn. One of my favourite seasons when everything looks golden and aflame with leaves of orange, red and gold. But despite the season’s beauty, leaves falling on, collecting in and around your vehicle can actually be quite problematic.

Leaves that fall off trees and lie collecting in the road can often cause slippery road surfaces when drenched in water. Leaves also obscure potential hazards such as potholes or important road markings. This is important to note if you are driving in an area where shedding trees are common (especially those beautiful tree-lined suburbs in Jozi),so be extra cautious in such conditions.

Falling onto your car, and especially if collecting and left to stand over time, can cause damage to your vehicles paint work due o the sap and pollen, as well as the acidic nature of the leaves themselves. Most especially if the leaves are wet or damp, stains and marks on your paintwork can become a reality.

Without using an intentional pun, leaving leaves to clog and pile up can cause further damage to your car parts. Clogging up filters and the drainage area near your windshield is only one of the problems this can cause. Here are some tips to prevent and deal with the potential hazard of Autumn leaves:

  1. Try not to park under trees; if you have no other choice, look for a tree that has already lost most of it’s leaves. If that fails, try to clean off the leaves as soon as possible
  2. Make a habit of clearing leaves in your general vicinity, most especially on and around your car. If your car is standing or not in use, consider getting a car cover if you are not able to store it in a covered area.
  3. Wash your car regularly if you see leaves are a problem. Use a good, soapy solution to wash away residue and potential acidic stains, and rinse well with water. Always dry your vehicle with a towel or microfibre cloth to extend the life of your paintwork.
  4. Use a wax or polish from time to time to act like a sealant over your paintwork. This will help to ward off stains or marks from debris that may collect on your vehicle.
  5. Check for leaves in hidden crevices or possible collection spots in your vehicle. Rotting leaves bring damp and moisture into your vehicle which could potentially lead to rust and putrid smells.
  6. Remove leaves from your vehicle by hand as far as possible to avoid scratches on the paintwork. A pressure washer also works wonders by lifting debris without being abrasive.

With these great tips, your vehicle will stay in tip-top shape through the Autumn months!

 

By Desh Bechan