How the fall leaves can damage your car & what you can do to stop it

Map shows where and when to see fall colors
Posted at 5:43 AM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 06:37:05-04

DETROIT — The fall leaves are something we all enjoy seeing in Michigan, but those falling leaves can cause some serious damage to your car.

As leaves decay, they release aides like cap and pollen. Wet leaves can help those compounds release, wrecking the paint job on your car.

Tom Wolfe, Executive Vice President of Ziebart, says this happens more often then drivers believe.

“Especially in the north with rock salt and the leaves decaying,” said Wolfe.

Wolfe showed 7 Action News how this happens, explaining it only takes a couple of hours to create damage.

“We can see here on this vehicle, this leaf, we had some rain today, it’s kind of left an impression on the paint and unleft it will continue to damage the vehicle,” said Wolfe.

Leaves under the hood of the car can also create damage. Rodents can use the leaves to nest there. They can also create rust.

“The places that you have to worry about are usually in the corners where stuff will fall down and maybe make it to the outside metal and that’s really own indication you’ll see that rust develop on the outside but on the structural pieces you may not necessarily see that until it’s too late and that can turn into a safety issue as well,” said Wolfe.

Your best best is to clean off the leaves from your car, but use a hose or blower to get the leaves off. Avoid using a brush, the bristles can scratch the paint job on your car.

Also, if you can help it, don’t park your car under a tree. If you have to, make sure not to stay in that spot for too long.