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How often should I wash my car?

Most cars should be washed at least every two to three weeks. Depending on where you live, where you park and how far you drive, that might need to be increased.

Keeping your car clean is as important as staying up with regularly scheduled oil changes if you want to maintain the value of your vehicle.

Answer these three questions about your vehicle to determine its particular wash-and-wear needs:

1. Where do I park?

f you park near industrial areas or the beach or any area with a lot of dust, you should be washing your car once a week. Also, if you park outside, your car will get dirtier faster and will need more time at the car spa!

2. How much time do you spend on the road?

The more you drive, the more you expose your car to the environment. If your drive to work is more than 20 miles, think about the route and what you pass along the way. If you travel near large bodies of water, construction sites or other areas that generate wind and dust in the air, you'll need to wash more often. Vehicles exposed to the environment should be washed once a week, garaged cars can be washed once a month and those anywhere in between benefit from twice-a-month cleanings.

3. What's the weather and climate like where your car lives?

Hot climates speed up the damage to your car's paint job by activating acids in the bird droppings, bug guts and sap that accumulates there. Rainy areas create moisture that attracts contaminants that can damage your paint and create rust. The more you wash — and dry — the better you'll protect your paint job.

Experts say most cars should be washed at least every two to three weeks. Depending on where you live, where you park and how far you drive, that might need to be increased.

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