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Tips on How to Disinfect Your Vehicle without Damaging Its Interior

Frequent hand washing as directed by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a crucial part of staying healthy, but so is disinfecting surfaces, including those in your car.

“Most people are still using their vehicles, whether they are essential employees commuting to work or someone running to the grocery store while in quarantine,” said Ryan Fulkerson, director, New Model Engineering, Nissan North America. “We want to make sure they’re informed on how to best keep their vehicle disinfected.”

The CDC recommends wearing disposable gloves for cleaning and then disinfecting surfaces. If a surface appears dirty, it should be wiped down with soap and water prior to disinfection. For vehicle interiors, a soft or microfiber cloth dampened with soap and water can be used to wipe down hard surfaces.

If you are using your vehicle to go to work or run essential errands while practicing social distancing, Nissan recommends disinfecting the interior of your vehicle regularly.

While most common household disinfectants are effective, some are not ideal for use on a vehicle including bleach, hydrogen peroxide, benzene, thinners or other harsh and abrasive cleaners. These chemical products can damage your vehicle’s upholstery and/or interior surfaces. Instead, alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol are effective against the coronavirus according to the CDC, and can be safely used in your vehicle.

The infotainment screen is tricky because it’s a high-touch area that should not come in contact with aggressive cleaners. Use screen wipes or a soft cloth dampened with soap and water to clean the screen surface. Wipe dry with a clean, soft cloth. Ammonia-based cleaners should not be used on infotainment screens, as they can damage the anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings. If the vehicle is equipped, using voice commands can help avoid touching the center screen altogether.

Nissan is providing a checklist to help you remember vehicles surfaces to regularly disinfect:

  • Steering wheel
  • Key and remote fob
  • Exterior door handles, both sides
  • Trunk lid or lift gate grab areas
  • Interior door pulls, both sides and interior door panels
  • Start button, if equipped
  • Rear view mirror, back and edges
  • HVAC vents
  • Gear selector
  • Turn signal lever
  • Windshield wiper controls
  • Center stack knobs
  • Center console and arm rest
  • Seat belt and buckle. Avoid harsh cleaners on the belt itself, they can degrade the fibres and the belt’s strength
  • Parking brake handle, parking brake or release lever

If a vehicle requires more attention, remember that automotive dealerships and their service departments are deemed essential services while many businesses around the country are closed in response to government mandates aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. As a result, many Nissan service departments remain open and are available to assist with vehicle service and repairs. Many are offering no-contact drop off or at-home pick-up and delivery.

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