Sharing useful car care tips to help keep your vehicle lasting as long as possible is a big part of what we do here at Spiffy. But considering that we offer consumer services to almost 20 cities in a dozen different states, some places deserve a little extra attention. For any native and long-time Florida residents, it may not be surprising that your home state is one of them.
If you’re looking for some advanced strategies to best protect your car, from the Panhandle to Key West and everywhere in between, then we’ve got you covered.
What makes Florida weather terrible for your car?
The Sunshine State is clearly high on the list for UV-related damage, such as oxidation, but that’s not all.
Floridians have to deal with wet and humid summer months, which can rapidly accelerate damage to a car’s exterior. Cities like Orlando and Tampa typically see thousands of sunshine hours and a few feet of rain each year.
The potent mix of heat, humidity, and recurring rain is a surefire way for rust to develop on your car. Typically, rust gradually forms as the hydrogen and oxygen atoms fuse with iron atoms in a vehicle’s exterior. In subtropical climates like Florida, that chemical reaction intensifies, which makes routine car washing and detailing crucial for car owners.
As if that’s not enough, there’s also hurricane season. While the number of tropical cyclones peaks from August through October, the full season stretches from May through December. The most potent storms can wreak havoc, leading to some creative ways of saving vehicles from flood conditions.
What if I live near the ocean?
For the overwhelming majority of Floridians living in coastal areas - 76.5 percent, to be precise - the worst of Florida’s weather happens in your neck of the woods. While the state is known for beautiful beaches, perfect for spring break, living in proximity to them adds some hurdles for maintaining your car.
The immediate culprit is salty air, which effectively supercharges paint corrosion and rust. Not only can this damage your paint, but other metal parts of your vehicle are at risk too. These can range from regular nuts and bolts to brake calipers, which control your vehicle’s brake pads and pistons.
Without routine cleaning and maintenance, you bear the threat of failing brakes, putting you and your passengers in potential danger.
How can I protect my car’s paint against sun damage?
Florida is no stranger to periods of intense sun and heat, which poses a unique problem for your car’s paint.
The standard solution for many drivers is a routine application of carnauba wax. Beyond making your car’s paint pop like new, it offers some protective properties that keep environmental damage at bay for a couple of months. The key is using a random orbital buffer, which evenly distributes the wax across the exterior to ensure a consistent finish with no swirls left behind.
A more advanced option is paint sealant, which bonds with a car’s paint to provide enhanced protection. Vehicles that have suffered from significant UV exposure fall under the category of paint restoration, which targets chalky oxidation and smooths over the rugged clear coat layer that remains.
Finally, there’s the ceramic coating, a tried and tested heavy-duty option for maximizing your vehicle investment. The liquid polymer coating molecularly bonds with a vehicle’s paint, effectively creating an additional layer of protection on top of the clear coat. While this service is typically more expensive, most come with extended warranties to cover the cost of unexpected damage.
What do I do about heat damage inside my car?
Damage from the sun isn’t limited to the outside of your car; it can impact the interior as well. It doesn’t take long for your vehicle to heat up after you park, which can make getting back in a miserable experience. If parking in the shade isn’t an option, then you may need to consider purchasing a sunshade and seat covers.
For those who own a vehicle with leather seats, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Dark leather heated by the sun doesn’t just feel like a third-degree burn when you sit on it, but it’s also at risk for cracks and tears over time. To fight this, you’ll need to apply leather conditioner routinely and practice proactive measures, such as the sunshade and seat covers mentioned earlier.
How can I best preserve my tires?
With Florida’s long, flat roads, hydroplaning is a consistent concern whenever a storm hits. Drivers are forced to consider how their tires stand up to the heat, rain, and humidity. Even new tires struggle to perform in hydroplaning conditions. As a result, your tires’ quality and how they handle both dry and wet roads is a greater priority than most states.
Unlike residents in colder climates, Floridians need to be on the lookout for high tire pressure. Intense temperatures result in an increase in pressure, which can damage your tires and leave you at risk for a blowout.
What are lovebugs, and why are they terrible?
You might be wondering what a bug has to do with the weather. Lovebugs, commonly referred to as “the bug you love to hate,” are a relatively newer part of the spring and late summer months. They originally migrated north from Central America, traveling through Texas and Louisiana before settling in Florida for the hot and humid subtropical climate.
Despite being a harmless nuisance that tries to enter your house against your will, lovebugs can do terrible things to your car.
Since female lovebugs lay hundreds of eggs, it’s effortless for thick swarms to surround your car while driving and significantly impair your visibility. When your car hits them, their remains begin eating your car’s paint with a pH value of 6. As they dry up, the acidity increases to a value of 4. That’s like the difference between milk and tomato juice!
We’ve talked about bugs as a common cause of paint damage before, and lovebugs are some of the worst culprits. It’s crucial to clean your vehicle’s exterior after striking any bugs. Better yet, a routine wax can help keep their acidic remains at bay.
Is there a convenient way to handle my car’s care?
With so much potential damage risk to your car, managing maintenance can feel overwhelming to handle. What if a service prioritized your car’s care and was flexible to fit your schedule?
That’s where Spiffy comes in. We offer complete mobile car care, from washing and advanced detailing to oil changes and tire replacements. From the moment one of our vans arrives, we’re prepared to turn your driveway or office parking lot into a full-service car wash that leaves nothing behind. Our technicians are expertly trained to help protect your car from the elements. They even recommend services based on comprehensive inspections, so you have a choice of providing the best for your vehicle.
If you’re looking for mobile car care throughout Orlando, Miami, Tampa, and beyond, then our team at Spiffy has you and your vehicle covered. Take $20 off your first appointment today, just for giving us a try!