As residents of southern California, we are all too familiar with the devastating effects of wildfires. Even if you are fortunate and live far away from the flames, the ash from a fire can wreak havoc on your vehicle’s paint. Here are some tips for caring for your vehicle during a wildfire:

  • Keep your vehicle in an enclosed garage with the windows and sunroof closed. If you don’t have a garage, use a fitted car cover to protect your vehicle from ash.
  • Avoid dusting off the dry ash with a rag, as the flecks of ash can be abrasive and scratch your paint. Instead, spray the car with water from top to bottom to remove the ash particles.
  • If there is rain or heavy fog in the forecast, keep your vehicle inside or wash it as soon as the rain stops. The elements in ash can be highly corrosive when mixed with water, so you will want to remove the ash as quickly as possible.
  • When washing your vehicle, use a pH-balanced car soap. Ash is high in alkalinity, so you’ll want to use a neutral soap to avoid damaging your paint.
  • Regularly wax or polish your vehicle every few months. This adds an extra layer of protection for your paint.

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2 Comments

  1. That’s good to know that ash can damage your car even if you live far away from the fire. I live in an area that has the occasional wildfire, so I could potentially have an issue with that. I should make sure to keep an eye on the car after a fire to see if I will need to take it in to get some scratches repaired.

  2. I wanted to thank you for the advice for keeping a car clean. It’s nice to know that simply by keeping the paint protected by using a good wax or sealant. I’m interested to learn how often you may need to wax your car to be able to keep it in good condition.

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