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  • Writer's picturebiffsautodetailing

Why You Should Clean Your Car MORE During Arizona's Monsoon Season

Updated: Jan 23

If you have lived in the southwestern part of Arizona through at least one summer, you are likely familiar with a weather event known as monsoon season. A monsoon is a seasonal change in wind direction which brings an increase in moisture over a typically arid environment (in our case the desert) that results in significant size thunderstorms which often produce dust storms, heavy winds, and sometimes widespread damage and flooding. But what does all of this have to do with your vehicle?

Arizona’s monsoon season tends to fire up in the later part of June lasting through September. During those 3-4 months our vehicles are subjected to some of the harshest conditions that Mother Nature can dish out. From daily temperatures of 110°F or more, to sudden zero-visibility dust storm conditions and finally drenching downpours, most people choose to avoid washing their car because well, the odds of it getting dirty the next day seem to go up with every wash! But without heightened care for your car’s finish through this part of the year all of that monsoon dirt, industrial fallout, minerals trapped by the rainwater (not to mention any bird droppings, bug remains, and other contaminants sitting on the paint) can cause permanent damage. This is especially true for vehicles that sit out in the sun more frequently.

Dirty versus clean car

Automotive paint’s primary function is to prevent corrosion and rust and to keep the car protected from the environment. The second aspect is the beauty and appearance part detailers tend to fall in love with, but do not mistake good car washing habits with vanity, it serves a mechanical purpose too. By letting all that monsoon crud bake into the paint day in and day out during the summer months it will significantly reduce the lifespan of automotive paint. In some cases, it can cause just a 2-3 year old vehicle to need thousands of dollars in repaint work. Auto manufacturers continue to push the boundaries with paint chemistry and application rates, adding to the problem.

Most all automotive manufacturers utilize a base coat/topcoat system on modern vehicles. The base coat is the pigment or color portion, and a hard clear coat outer layer is applied on top to enhance gloss and add some UV protection. Stacked on top of each other the thickness of these coats of paint are a mere 100-180 microns, just about 1.5-2.5 times as thick as a human hair! OEM automotive paint has been getting thinner and thinner in recent years. When your car’s paint starts to oxidize or peel off, it is usually because the outer clear coat layer has been compromised. At that point no amount of “buffing” will save the appearance; it’s time to call a body shop. But if a vehicle is kept free of contamination and protected with a wax, sealant, or ceramic coating on a regular basis, then that vehicle’s paint can remain breathable and unclogged. It will retain a brilliant appearance and higher value for years to come.

If you have any questions about our Arizona Monsoon weather and keeping your vehicle looking its best, please give us a call we would love to help! (480) 861-7150 or email us at



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