Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Spring Driving Series: Allergies & Your Car

Spring is upon us, and with it comes those dreaded allergies!  You may not suffer allergies, but someone you know does.

You can't always control the allergens in the air, but you have some control as to what allergens you allow in your vehicle. Dirt, dust (dust mites), and pollen are some of the major sources of allergies for many of us.

Allergens can be found in many places in your vehicle, from the forgotten french fry under the seat, to the dusty air vents, to the leaking engine, to the dark, damp trunk.  Some of those allergens will enter your vehicle just due to the fact that you drive it, but here are some helpful tips to keep others out:
  • Clean out any clutter.  Too often, clutter becomes a part of your vehicle and quickly becomes a breeding ground for dust and mildew.  Clean it out, don't leave papers and trash on the floors.  If you have one, empty your garbage regularly.
  • Keep your carpets clean and dry.  Vacuum the interior of your vehicle regularly.  Use floor mats to help protect the carpet. Steaming your carpets is one way to kill any mold or mildew and clean them thoroughly.
  • Avoid eating in your vehicle.  Crumbs and even small spills can breed mold and mildew.
  • Vacuum upholstery, or wipe down leather seats regularly, just like you would your couch.
  • Frequently wipe down all surfaces with a clean damp cloth, and wash your windows regularly.
  • If your pet rides with you frequently, consider keeping a crate in the car for it.  This will help minimize flying fur and pet dander and keep it all in one spot.
  • Skip the air fresheners. Air fresheners release gases and can contribute to allergies.
  • If your air vents are smelling musty, have them checked and cleaned out.
  • Keep your engine compartment clean and leak free.  Oil leaks and condensation can lead to mold and mildew.
  • Clean out your trunk.  Check the area around your spare tire to ensure that it is dry and does not contain any standing water. 
  • Examine weather stripping, and watch for rust spots that could allow water into your vehicle.
Breathe easy this spring by eliminating some of the allergies in your vehicle.

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