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Tree Sap and Falling Leaves Could Be Your Car’s Worst Enemy This Fall

As fall begins the the leaves begin to change colors, many of us are left feeling grateful for some cooler weather. Cooler weather and less sunlight can mean a lot of things for our car. But, if you live in the north where trees are beginning to change colors and die, it could also mean that you cars are exposed to different types of damaging elements. Falling leaves can look beautiful, but they can also damage your car, and the tree sap isn’t much better. Protecting your car’s paint might not be your average form of maintenance, but it can still be important if you value your car’s appearance.

Protecting your car’s paint this fall

There are a lot of simple and inexpensive ways to protect your cars paint from leaves and tree sap. Good cleaning and maintenance habits can make a pretty big difference not only in the fall but in other seasons as well. While ceramic coating your car can be an easy and long-term solution to protecting your car’s paint, it can be expensive. The easier solution is to regularly wash and wax your car.

A car drives on a country road behind autumnally discoloured leaves lying at the side of the road | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/picture alliance, Getty Images

Leaf damage

We don’t typically think about leaves as something that could damage our vehicles, but you might be surprised. Leaves seem to manage to get into every place in your car that you don’t want to. They can get into any nook and cranny, and that can be another way that they damage your car. As you try to remove the fallen leaves your car, it is important to be gentle and avoid using any type of metal or hard-plastic tool that could scrape or scratch.

A car drives through Clarke’s Gardens in Allerton, Liverpool | Peter Byrne/PA Images, Getty Images

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How to get tree sap off your car

A quick rinse probably won’t do much to get tree sap off your car, and scrubbing it away can do more harm than good. Using any type of commercial degreaser like Goo Gone is the safety and easiest way to get tree sap off your car, no matter how long it’s been dried on. If you want to use something on hand, any brand of rubbing alcohol can be used to soften tree sap as well.

The important thing to remember when using these chemicals is that they are meant to be left on to soak and then washed off. Scrubbing or scraping could damage the car’s paint greatly, and leaving it on could also. Following the instructions for each specific product is the safest way to protect your paint.

A car driving during the fall
Colorful leaves glow in the sunlight while a car is driving along a country road | Matthias Bein/picture alliance, Getty Images

RELATED: How to Stop Falling Leaves From Damaging Your Car

Just because the hot summer rays aren’t putting your car’s paint at risk doesn’t mean it is completely safe. Maintaining your car for cosmetic purposes does more than just help it look nice, it helps you retain the value of the car a little bit better, because when you take care of the car’s paint properly it stands out from the rest.