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Cicadas can damage your vehicle this season. What to watch out for!

Turns out, the relatively harmless insects can do some damage to vehicles if you don’t know what to do.

According to AAA, cicada emergences can lead to a number of concerns with vehicles, including overheating vehicles, airflow issues, paint damage and more.

“While cicadas are harmless, they can cause quite a bit of damage externally and internally to vehicles,” says Chris Storms, District Director for AAA Car Care. “Drivers are urged to take proactive steps to protect their vehicles while cicadas are in the area.”

According to Jim Crubaugh with Ziebart in Franklin Park, a car-care company that professionally details vehicles, “bug guts cause serious damage to paint.” Cicadas, in particular, are “highly acidic bugs,” which can make them bad for car paint if left unchecked.

Ziebart suggests regular professional cleanings during cicada season and being “extra vigilant about keeping your car cleaned” in between those times. Ideally, he said, you’ll want to clear the car “before the bug residue dries.”

Experts noted that splattered residue on windshields can also lead to unsafe driving conditions, so keeping windshield washer fluid in your car, and even extra on hand, can prove beneficial.

According to AAA, cicadas can also clog radiator grilles, “causing the engine to overheat.” Experts suggest getting a grille cover, bug screen or using netting to cover the front of the vehicle.

In addition, cabin and air filters “can become a playground for cicadas as these insects like to hide in the air filter or in the cabin filter housing,” AAA warned. They suggest drivers listen for an unusual sounds and bring their car in for an inspection if they hear one coming from those areas.

Overall, be keep your car clean and it won’t be a issue. (Easier said than done!)