As Devil’s Night rolls around again this year, it’s important to protect yourself from vehicle vandalism.
Halloween is a busy night for car and truck owners—and their insurance providers—as vandals are prone to take their festive celebrations a little too far.
There are some strategies to avoid being a target, but if you’re hit, hopefully, you can manage the cleanup and repair on your own. But, even seemingly minor problems can be more difficult than you might think. It’s best to act fast when getting rid of egg splatter or spray paint, while any other damage, like broken glass, scratches or dents, may need professional care.
Prevention is key
There are some simple ways to prevent vandalism. Discourage thieves by removing traces of valuables from your vehicle, like your GPS and cellphone chargers. Avoid parking next to large vehicles or shrubbery–these provide cover, making vandals harder to spot.
If you can, put your vehicle in a garage for the night. This approach is probably one of the best ways to avoid being hit by vandals. But, if you can’t, you can always keep your porch and driveway well-lit on Halloween. The exposure can discourage vandals from targeting your vehicle.
If your vehicle has been tagged with spray paint, it’s a good idea to get this fixed as soon as possible. Spray paint can settle into the finish of your vehicle and leave a permanent mark if not handled on time or correctly. If the paint is fresh, there are common methods you can use to remove it.
Clean the area with a soap and water mix and gently scrub in circles with a rag. People have used nail polish remover or lacquer thinner lightly dabbed onto a clean cloth, instead of water and soap, but even small errors can risk damaging the finish or eating into the paint. If the damage is done, and you can’t remove the paint on your own, then turn to an auto detailer.
Not many people realize, but egg yolk is corrosive, which can severely damage your paint if not taken care of immediately. Be careful, though, because egg shell shards can scratch your paint while you clean. Wash off egg splatters gently with a hose first.
If your car has been egged, it’s best to clean and repair every affected spot as soon as possible. Otherwise, depending on the damage, the yolk will become engrained, leaving a foggy splatter on your vehicle. Upon removing the egg, the surface may feel rough to the touch.
Theft and vandalism
If your windows have been smashed, you’re going to need help from a professional. But you can handle the cleanup. Use a vacuum to get all the broken glass out of your vehicle and then cover the open window with a transparent plastic. You can secure it with duct tape. Try to get to a repair shop right away to replace your windows. If there’s damage to the metal and paint, you’ll also have to visit a body shop.
Having your vehicle vandalized may have you seeing red this Halloween. It’s important to remember, though, to act smart and act fast. By removing spray paint damage, handling paint corrosion from egg yolk, and being proactive in repairing broken glass, you can restore your car in a timely fashion and avoid expensive repairs.