Personal Hygiene - 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long-Term Road Test
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1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long Term Road Test

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1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Personal Hygiene

January 31, 2011

1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Personal Hygiene  

Not sure if you're aware of this, but there's a whole industry devoted to just making your car clean.

There are washes and treatments, lotions and potions -- all designed to keep your car looking good. You don't even have to do it yourself, as there are these big places where people will do it for you. They are called "car washes." 

It kind of makes you wonder how our poor old Miata ever got to looking so bad.  How many years did it suffer, parked in the back of some apartment without even a carport to keep off the sun? And yet it's never too late for cleanliness. Even in its worn and sun-bleached state, the Mazda still seems to sparkle once it's been to the car wash.

It's not that a little cleaning makes a car look like new. (This Miata will never look new again, no matter how hard you rub on it.) But when a car is clean, it seems like it's been prepared just for you. The connection is a little stronger in some special way. Even when you're just at the car wash and they tell you that your car is ready, it just seems like your relationship with the car is a little more personal.

It's always tempting to dismiss all that car wash stuff, those weird concoctions of chemicals that seem like patent medicine. Totally not worth the money. And yet if you keep thinking you're too smart to squander your money on such frivolous stuff, pretty soon your car starts looking as bad as this poor old Miata. So instead of saving money, you've actually squandered the intrinsic value of your car. 

So go to a car wash, maybe go off your usual menu and get something special, maybe a clay bar treatment and some good wax.  

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com @ 124,711 miles.  


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