‘Tis the season for green vehicles in the Capital Region, and I don’t mean Teslas. I mean coming out in the morning to a thick dusting of gross, wheeze-inducing, eye-watering pollen all over your ride.

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We’ve talked about the Capital Region’s serious pollen problems before, but it’s so annoying to see that green-yellow dust caked on every day. Washing the pollen off feels like a fool’s errand – 24 hours later and they're totally covered again. Maybe you’re guilty of the same mindset as me: waiting for the next summer rainstorm to rinse your car. Turns out, that’s damaging your car and potentially your resale value.

Pollen is naturally acidic, a quality that – to the disadvantage to those of us who try to ride out washes between storms – only gets worse when you add water. This does direct, invisible damage to your vehicle’s clearcoat. The pollen not only looks awful, but it’s eating away at your car’s first line of defense from the elements. Once that clearcoat is gone, its expensive to replace and means your paint can be damaged even more easily.

Pollen Text On Car Hood
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This problem only gets worse as the weather changes. Clearcoat protects your auto from salt in the winter. When the clearcoat’s gone, road salt is going to corrode and rust out, potentially causing serious structural damage.

Photo by Guillaume Techer on Unsplash
Photo by Guillaume Techer on Unsplash
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The easiest way to cut the pollen? A car wash with soap, cloths, and a dry. Want even more protection? Get in touch with your inner Miyagi and wax on. A quarterly wax adds a double level of protection between the pollen and your clearcoat.

If you’re noticing pollen inside your car (and it’s there, especially if you drive windows-down), make sure to wipe down the interior from time to time. If you notice an especially high amount, take a look at your cabin air filter. It’s recommended to replace every 12,000 miles, but you can typically swing every other year.

Same thing with your engine air filter, by the way. If the pollen is piling up inside your vehicle, it could be gunking your air-intake too. These are very easy self-fixes – check your user manual or search your car make and model’s air filter replacement online. Odds are a video tutorial for filter replacements for your car is on YouTube, which are even easier to follow.

So don’t just ignore your vehicle’s summertime hue. It’s not just ugly; it’s hurting your car. A wash today could give you thousands more on resale later on. (If you need a wash on the cheap, here’s a hack that will also help feed families in our community.)

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