This summer I discovered I could wash my car! I realize this isn’t much of a monumental discovery, but in my parents’s house, washing the car generally happened whenever there was a midwestern rainstorm that came through. Occasionally if it got really bad they would take it somewhere and put a few quarters in the machine to get soap out of a hose. Last summer when I tried to adopt their car-cleaning methods, the family van got pretty disgusting because I had a very bad sense of timing. I’d leave it outside, hoping that it would get rained on, but only the birds came and rained on it… then when I would get tired of seeing it get progressively dirtier, I’d park it in the garage and rain would promptly come.
So it’s pretty exciting to clean my own car, spend some quality time with it, and have it shiny (if often somewhat streaky) for only the cost of the soap, cloth, and bucket, plus the 45/min per week or so to do the work. Much cheaper than taking it to the wash that often, and I get some exercise in the sun. I feel bad about the chemicals I leave on the pavement, but I’m not sure what people do to avoid that. Also, I have the feeling that every time I clean the car, the windows come out worse than they were before. I tried washing them with the same soap as the rest of the car, and with my window cleaner, but they always come out streaky and covered in some sort of greasy residue. :( I think I need to get something to put on the tiny rust spots that are developing on the hood though, I’m worried about them getting worse. Haven’t really looked into that yet.
Overall, I like my car. I’m not a big car person so I can’t say much there, but I think I get decent mileage – I refill the 10-gallon tank about once a week and my commute is about 10 miles each way. I have a plug for my iPod when I get tired of NPR, and lots of space in the back with which to move Craigslist furniture. Also I think it’s cute. ^^ And in good family tradition, my 2008 Honda Fit has a name – “Black Rockett.” :D (My parents’ Prius is “Shuttlecraft.”)