All Hallows’ Eve–better known as Halloween in western civilization–takes place every year on the night of October 31. The holiday’s original Christian celebration of All Hallows has long since given way to a commercialized night where kids dress up and get free candy by going door to door in their neighborhoods. For the older crowd, it’s the perfect excuse to get boozed up while wearing a costume, and maybe chase down that guy or girl in the sexy costume. Either way, Halloween lends itself to being the perfect night for mischief and many vehicles parked outside get the brunt of it.
However, this isn’t a reason to be scared. Even on the self-proclaimed scariest night of the year, you can take steps to prevent your vehicle from getting pasted with eggs, silly string, or even the remnants of a smashed pumpkin or three. The good natured–or even mean-spirited–fun can have long-term consequences for your car’s finish. For example, eggs can etch and permanently damage paint. Of course not every single vehicle in your neighborhood, including yours will get tagged by one or more of the aforementioned Halloween night staples. However, there are five steps you can take as a precautionary to protect your vehicle on All Hallows Eve. Besides, you never know when Jack the Pumpkin King may stop over at your house.
- Apply a protective coat of wax to your vehicle a week before Halloween. So for those of you following along at home, apply that coat of wax no later than today. This will also help protect vehicles that are forced to trounce through winter weather by thwarting salt, sand, and all other road grime. Most waxes wear off after a few weeks, but this is a solid preemptive measure to take.
- You can’t hit something that’s not exposed. If you have a garage or car cover, park in or underneath it. Yes, you may have to move your golf clubs and various miscellaneous sporting equipment strewn everywhere but it’s worth it. Taking five minutes to clean a space for the car will save you the anger and work that comes with wiping off egg whites and silly string.
- If your vehicle has been tagged, wash off the pumpkin/silly string/egg white residue as soon as possible. After you get the unwelcomed addition to your vehicle off, give it a thorough wash whether it is on your own or by a professional detailer. Either one will work.
- If you opt to clean it off yourself, get a small spray bottle and fill it with water and soap used only to clean off a car. DO NOT use dish soap as it will only undo all the hard work you just did waxing the car. Dish soap will take wax clean off your car’s paint.
- Waxes made with abrasives can help phase out paint damage caused by various Halloween staples like eggs. As long as the acid from the eggs or silly string hasn’t eaten through the vehicle’s clearcoat, certain types of wax can take a thin layer of paint off giving way to the undamaged paint beneath. If that next layer is damaged though, you’re going to have to take your vehicle in to be repainted. Luckily if you have a newer car, many automakers now use a paint that is resistant to these types of attacks.
Source: Consumer Reports