As the new year approaches, many of us are preparing to celebrate spectacularly. We might get together with friends and family, have a drink (or four), and set off some good old fireworks.
Pyrotechnics are widely known as a traditional form of New Year's Eve entertainment. These products tend to complete the celebration, whether it's small, harmless firecrackers to deafening displays of light and sound.
That said, you don't want to put a damper on the occasion when you find out that stray firecrackers have damaged your vehicle. So, let's find out the most common ways fireworks can damage your car's exterior and how to avoid them.
Fireworks can damage your paint job
Fireworks of all sizes can leave a mark on your precious paint job. That's because anything hot enough to emit light can and will cause damage if it comes into contact with car paint. From entry-level subcompacts like the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 to more sophisticated crossovers like the Ford Explorer, no car is safe from the potential destruction fireworks can bring.
When fireworks are set off, they release sparks of ash in different directions. If hot ash touches your car exterior, it can result in tiny burns or scorch marks. Worse still, when ash mixes with water and other liquids, it can release chemicals that can eat away at your paint job, causing further damage and likely a hefty repair bill.
Small damage could come out with some light buffing and a polishing compound, but nothing is guaranteed with firecracker damage. If your vehicle has a clear coat, that will soak up the damage first unless you have ceramic coating, paint protection film, or good old wax on top of your paint job. Clear coats are famously resilient but are not impervious to extreme temperatures.
Large explosions can be dangerous for your car
Most fireworks aren't powerful enough to destroy entire cars, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Commercial-grade fireworks used in professional shows can pack a punch. When set off directly beside or in the path of a vehicle, these products will almost always cause significant damage.
It's not unheard of for high-grade fireworks to cause destruction similar to explosives. There are numerous cases worldwide wherein entire cars were rendered unusable by a few stray fireworks. These products contain a higher amount of ignitable material and potential debris. Loose firework material can hurtle into your car at blazing speeds, potentially causing anywhere from a cracked windshield to deep scratches. It goes without saying that you should steer your vehicle clear of these hazards at all costs.
It's all too easy to get caught up in holiday festivities. While it is indeed a time to enjoy and take a break, you should always take care to protect your valuables beforehand. That includes your car, which you should park in a safe space.
If you're expecting fireworks, the best move would be to secure your vehicle inside your garage. In the absence of a garage, make sure you have a durable car cover that can withstand stray firecracker material. Worst case, you'd have to bring your vehicle away from the celebration to keep it as safe as possible. Waxing your car can also help give it an added layer of protection against hot ash, so consider having that done in advance.
To be as safe on the inside, you should also avoid running the engine in the middle of the fireworks displays, as the smoke and ash could potentially wear out your cabin filters prematurely. Follow these tips, and you'll likely keep your vehicle safe while celebrating stress-free.