Last year, we wrote about Favourite Fall Road Trips and leaf peeping was front and centre. The fall foliage is stunning right now - the leaves seem lit from within and seeing the string of flaming red maple trees down our street makes me smile every morning. Gorgeous!
When we moved to our current home, it was a big adjustment for our beloved vehicle (we call her Chloe). Since we bought the vehicle, we'd had underground parking - but at our new place, Chloe is parked on the street. And while I am certainly enjoying the glow of the autumn leaves, I am also learning that fantastic fall foliage can pose a problem for vehicles parked outdoors.
They certainly look beautiful, but fallen leaves can actually damage your vehicle's exterior. Leaves are covered with sap and other acidic coatings that, if left too long, will etch your vehicle's paint. And when leaves build up on your car, they can leave behind permanent leaf-shaped stains that may be difficult or costly to remove.
How can you avoid leaf stains? Well, you can avoid parking under trees, if that's possible - or you can buy a car cover to keep the leaves off. Absent these two options, you can best avoid leaf stains and marks by clearing your car off every day. It's better to pick the leaves off individually, if possible, because brushing them off may cause micro-abrasions that etch your vehicle's paint. Taking a minute or two in the morning to clear off the leaves can go a long way in protecting your car's exterior.
If you do get leaf marks on your vehicle, there are tricks you can use to remove them. Check out this step-by-step guide to remove leaf stains from your car.
Leaf stains aren't the only reason to worry about falling leaves. Autumn leaves are beautiful on trees, but once they fall and gather into soggy piles on the road, they can be a hazard. Wet leaves on the pavement can make the road greasy and can affect your braking distance, so be careful about following too closely on wet, leafy roads.
Also, it may be tempting to bomb through a pile of leaves you see on the road, but those piles of leaves may conceal a hazard - a rock, a pothole or other debris. Best to steer clear of any piles of leaves you come across, no matter how irresistible they seem. Save the leaf pile jumping for the yard! Or the neighbour's yard…
Fall is all about enjoying the crisp weather and the beautiful colours - just be sure to keep your eyes on the road and the leaves off your car.
- Rose R.