Can a Leaf Blower Damage Your Car?

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Is it safe to dry cars with a leaf blower? This is a common question and many car owners are under the impression that leaf blowers should be avoided. But is that true or not? That is what this post is going to answer and other related questions.

Leaf blowers do not produce enough power to damage car paint. In fact, a leaf blower is one of the best ways to dry your car. As long as the nozzle is not making any contact with the vehicle, there is no problem.

Are Leaf Blowers Safe to Use on Cars?

The short answer is yes. Even if you use a powerful gas blower like the Poulan Pro PR48BT, your car paint and exterior will be fine. The key is that you must use the leaf blower properly.

A leaf blower relies on a gas engine or electric motor to power its blades. The blades turn, air goes in and then pushed out of the nozzle.

In other words, air is doing all the work. Air blows leaves and other debris so this cannot damage car paint.

Even the most powerful leaf blower cannot strip or scratch the finish. The only possible damage can occur if the nozzle or any part of the blower makes contact with the car. Keep the nozzle a safe distance and nothing bad will occur.

If you hear stories of leaf blowers damaging paint, it is likely due to mishandling. If you are going to use a blower to dry your car, the nozzle must be pointed towards it. If the nozzle is blowing all over the place, leaves, stones, foliage and other stuff will fly into the car and possibly scratch it. However, this cannot be blamed on leaf blowers directly.

For a leaf blower to dry cars effectively, it must be in perfect running condition. If the leaf blower bogs down at full throttle that has to be fixed right away.

Advantages of Using a Leaf Blower to Dry Cars

If you have been holding back because leaf blowers might cause damage, now you know that will not happen. And once you start using a leaf blower to dry your vehicle, the benefits become very apparent.

Dries faster. If you thoroughly washed your car, it can take a long time to dry it with a car towel. If the car was really dirty, it is going to need a lot of hand work with towels to get it dry.

With a leaf blower you don’t need to get your hands dirty. You just turn the blower on and with a top to bottom movement, watch the water droplets disappear. It takes way less time than manually wiping the car or letting it air dry.

Safer than drying cloth. Contrary to what some believe, a leaf blower is safer than a dry cloth or towel. As long as the nozzle is a safe distance from the car, the finish does not get tarnished.

Even if you are careful with dry towels, accidents can happen. Swirling, wiping roughly etc., any of these will leave scratches or marks on the finish. With a leaf blower that is not going to happen since it does not make contact with your car.

Preserves paint job. You have probably heard stories of towels leaving scratches on the finish. Or using a dry cloth with some dirt on it that ends up leaving unsightly marks.

A leaf blower is safer than a dry towel. You don’t have to worry if the fabric is going to scratch the surface or not. Just focus the nozzle on the car and let it run. As explained earlier, the force produced by leaf blowers is not enough to inflict damage.

Easy to use. Leaf blowers take the drudgery out of blowing leaves and also drying cars. It is literally just point and move the blower from top to bottom. With a handheld, battery operated blower like the EGO Power+ LB5302, the process gets easier.

Best Practices to Dry Cars with Leaf Blowers

Check the leaf blower before using it. If it is gas, make sure there is enough fuel. If corded, ensure the cord is long enough so you can move freely. Now if you are using a battery-powered model, charge it to 100%.

Make certain the area around the car is free from debris, leaves, rocks and other objects that might get sucked in by the nozzle.

Point the blower at the part of the car you want to dry. Work in sections the same way you do when washing it. For example, you can start with the door or the hood.

Try to keep the motion as consistent as possible. Only point the nozzle towards the part you are drying. If you point to the ground the blower might pick up debris and scatter them everywhere.

If you are using a corded blower, your movement will be limited by its length. Most leaf blowers come with long cords so this should not be an issue.

This video shows you how to use a leaf blower for your car.

But it can be a mild hindrance if you are using an electric leaf blower. Its power comes from an electrical outlet and if you move too far, the cord might come loose. This is not a problem with gas or cordless blowers however. Do not let the cord make contact with the car at any point.

Do not let the nozzle or any part make contact with your car, even the hose. Be mindful especially with long cords. As you walk and dry the car, the cord might scrape or scratch the surface.

Do not use a leaf blower in a dust-filled environment. The force will pick up the dust and get all over your car. Use a hose or pressure washer to remove the dust before drying.

If you have to remove dirt on the ground, do not use a leaf blower because it will send dust and dirt flying. Clear the area first before drying the car.

Some people say wind direction is a big factor when using a leaf blower to dry your car. If the wind is blowing hard then yes, it could send water droplets, leaves, dust etc., all over the place.

But that will only happen if the conditions are really strong. And if the wind is blowing that hard, you probably don’t need to use a leaf blower anyway. Let the wind dry the car and use the leaf blower to remove debris flying around.

Can You Clean a Car Interior with a Leaf Blower?

If a leaf blower doesn’t damage the car paint, can you also use it to clean the interior? After all dust and dirt also get into the nooks and crannies of your car. So will it work?

It is not a good idea to use a leaf blower to clean car interiors. The nozzle might blow the dust into the electronics and other components and cause a malfunction.

Using a leaf blower on car exteriors is different because you can focus the blower on a specific part. Any dirt or debris picked up gets blown far from the car.

But if you use a leaf blower inside a car, chances are high dust goes deeper into the vents and other parts. Prolonged use could end up clogging instruments and lead to problems.

A low powered leaf blower at the lowest setting might work, but you should follow it up with a thorough vacuum. Leaf blowers blow debris and dust, and in the case of car exteriors, water. That is what makes it great for drying.

But inside a car, all the dirt flying around could end up in various spots. If you decide to use a leaf blower inside your car, use an electric model to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. After leaf blowing the car interior, use a vacuum to clean it up.