It’s summer in Canada, and for many of us, that means the always memorable road trip.
Perhaps it’s to visit with friends or family after a year of being locked down, or maybe it’s just a drive to
escape those you’ve been locked down with – either way, there’s usually a constant. Bugs. Of all sizes
and varieties, on all leading surfaces of your vehicle. Windshields and headlights are obvious targets,
Bumpers and wing mirrors are like giant flyswatters at 100km/h, and then there’s the grill. Oh geez, the
We’re all tempted to walk away from the carnage, but here’s the thing – all of the bug carcasses
are emitting ‘juices’ including acids. Add in the direct sunlight, and you have the perfect combination to
ruin your chrome, or clear coat. Here then, are a few tips to keep your expensive paint and chrome in
good order, without depriving yourself of a good drive.
- Paint Protection Films (or PPF) – When you get your car from a dealership, they’ll offer to sell
you on a lot of things, including a thin, transparent plastic shield that goes over the front of the
vehicle. While you can have PPF installed aftermarket as well, the purpose remains the same –
protect your paint from stone chips (and bugs). And, if the film ever gets too damaged, you just
remove it and either have brand new paint beneath, or put on a new film.
- Wax on, Bugs off – Not really applicable to glass, but certainly on paint, a good fresh coat of wax
before heading out makes a HUGE difference. If the bug bits don’t have the chance to stick to
the car, you’ll have a lot less to clean later. Ceramic coatings are also great for this.
- Dryer sheets (yes, really) – Have enough bugs on your windshield to recreate the opening scene
from Saving Privat Ryan? Take some glass cleaner and a dryer sheet – you’ll be amazed at how
easily the bugs come off. Follow up with a clean microfiber cloth to get the debris, and you’ll
have a clean windshield again (also works on headlights).
- Steam, punk – Household steamers can be found on major shopping websites for $150 and up.
While they can have a lot of uses around the home, getting bugs out of intricate grills is
definitely their forte. Not only does the pressure blow them away, but the heat helps remove
some splatter and the vapour gets in areas you can’t reach. Maybe use an old toothbrush for
particularly stubborn ones.
And there you have it – 4 ways to mitigate and clean bugs from the front of your car, and save your
paint and chrome. Summer is too short, get out there and drive!