There are several things you must do to keep your car in immaculate condition and retain its value.
Apart from regular mechanical servicing and maintenance, your car must also be groomed regularly to keep it looking like new. This means more than simply putting it through the carwash each week.
Although it takes a bit longer, you will find that hand grooming your car achieves far better results. And there’s no need to spend a lot of money on car care products, either but you do need to buy a few things to give your vehicle the proper care it deserves. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Car Care Tips For the Exterior
- Rinse your car down to get rid of excess dirt, and then wash it with a sponge and soapy water. Once you’ve washed the whole car, rinse it off and then dry it with a soft cloth. If you don’t dry your car afterwards, water droplets gather dust, and when they dry out, you’re left with many spots all over the body of the car. This is especially noticeable with dark colored cars.
- Every month (or every 2 months, but not more than 2) use a bug and tar removal product on the body of your car. There are many of these types of products available at most car care stores, but a good one to go for is one that removes bugs, tar and other spots, while polishing the car’s surface at the same time. You might pay a bit more but the extra money is well worth the investment since the polish helps protect your car against rust and other harsh conditions.
- Polishing and waxing your car regularly (at least once a year) maintains the ‘shiny look’ of your vehicle and also protects its paint from sun damage (yes, this actually can happen!)
- Always clean the wheels and shine the tires. If your car has alloy wheels, dirt shows up more easily and makes them look dull. You can buy wheel cleaning products which remove the build up of brake dust, but if you clean them each time you wash your car, you should only need to use water and a cloth. When shining the tires, you could also use a spray-on tire shine which will not only keep the tires looking like new, but also protect them from the sun. Oh, this also makes the whole car look magnificent.
- For other external areas, use a surface protecting product which is designed to protect rubber, vinyl and plastic from the sun’s UV rays. This can be used on bumpers, rubber seals around doors and windows, and for the interior as well.
Car Care Tips For the Interior
- Purchase some car seat covers to protect your seats from getting worn out. They can easily be taken off and washed once in a while.
- Additionally, also vacuum the seats and carpet every time you do a general cleaning. Dirt and grit which falls deep into the carpet causes it to wear out quickly, so regular vacuuming is the best way to prevent this. Buying a set of floor mats will also help keep the majority of dirt from getting into your carpet.
- Clean the inside of your car’s windows with a glass cleaning product and a soft cloth. You can use normal household glass cleaning spray for this if car care specific products are out of reach. Be warned, however! When cleaning the dashboard and other interior surfaces, be sure to never use products that can damage them as some vinyl and plastic surfaces can easily be ruined by using the wrong products. Once cleaned, you can use a surface protecting spray on these areas also.
- Last but not least – and while not a tip for your car’s interior, it’s still something that should be mentioned regardless – park your car in the garage! When you aren’t using your car, park it in the garage as this will not only keep it out of the (damaging, especially during wintertime) weather, but it will also prevent it from getting dirty. If you don’t have access to a garage, consider buying a car cover, which will do the job just fine. Protecting your car from the weather as much as possible will ensure that it remains immaculate for as long as possible, which in turn, can extend its life to as much as several years.