You may think that those weekly trips to the car wash are just for show, or that keeping your car in pristine condition is nothing more than vanity, but that is not necessarily the case. In fact, maintaining the exterior of your vehicle and taking time to keep it in good condition can help it run more efficiently, last longer and even increase its resale value.

If you want to keep your own vehicle in top shape, K&S Car Wash suggests starting with the exterior. You will still need to change the oil and check the fluids, but a quick glance around for debris, fallen leaves and other debris is a big part of proper maintenance as well.

  As the fall gives way to winter, this exterior maintenance becomes even more important. The same fallen leaves that clog your gutters can also wreak havoc with your vehicle, leading to rust and corrosion, water leaks and possibly even triggering a fire as those leaves dry out.

The next time you rake up those leaves, take a few minutes to remove any stragglers from around your car. Start your exterior inspection with the spots where fallen leaves tend to accumulate, including the area around the windshield. This is a common spot for leaves to get inside and do their damage, leading to water leaks, wet carpets and possibly costly electrical repairs as well.

Modern cars are highly sophisticated electronic devices, and even a small water leak could be devastating. Avoid costly damage from a few errant leaves, by removing them in a timely manner.

If your vehicle has a sunroof, be sure to check the top of the car for fallen leaves, small branches and other debris that tend to collect in that area. In order to operate properly, the seals surrounding the sunroof must be able to drain any accumulated water, and accumulated debris will stop that natural draining process.

Over time, those blocked seals can wear down, leading to leaks that could be devastating for the integrity of the sunroof, and for the rest of the vehicle as well. Worst of all, you will not know there is a leak until the next time it rains, and by then it may be too late.

These types of water damage are bad enough, but they are not the worst that can happen to your car as the fall season comes to an end. Wet leaves can lead to water leaks, rust and corrosion, but dry ones could do even more damage. As those leaves dry out, they can get stuck in the tailpipe, under the hood, around the undercarriage and in other spots that generate a lot of heat.

When that heat inevitably builds up, it could spark a fire, one that could destroy your vehicle or even cause harm to yourself of your family. Be sure to check your car regularly for leaves and other debris, especially if you park outside. Even if you park in the garage, leaves and debris can accumulate while you are out running errands, so check for those items every time you park.

Keeping your car clean gives you a sense of satisfaction, but car cleaning does more than just feed your vanity. If you want to avoid problems with your car, K&S Car Wash encourages you to pay close attention to the exterior, clearing away leaves and of course, stopping the car wash to fully clean and protect the vehicle’s finish.