Good maintenance is key to preserving the beauty and performance of anything, and cars are no different. The right techniques and supplies for cleaning your car will help it keep a showroom-new appearance for many years to come. Here are nine things you should do to keep your vehicle beautiful.
The grime and dirt of the road are hard on your paint. That’s especially true in colder areas where road salt is commonly used. You can’t always avoid getting this stuff on your car, but you can minimize the time it stays on there by washing it as soon as the weather breaks. In fact, it is good to wash off salt immediately even if rain is in the forecast.
Use the Right Car Wash
It’s an American tradition to drag out the garden hose and wash the family car on the driveway, but that’s not always best for the car’s appearance. The discount store soaps and rough brushes used around the house can be tough on a car’s finish. A quality car wash will use touchless equipment and appropriate soap to get your vehicle clean with no brush marks.
A good wax job will protect your paint from scratches and sun damage while making it easier to wash the dirt away. Just like with washing, though, you don’t want to use just any product. See what your manufacturer recommends for the best protection of your paint so that your hard work gives the best possible results.
Drive With Care
The highway is covered with things that can do serious damage to your car’s appearance. Rocks, debris, and even fresh asphalt or paint can be thrown onto your paint by your tires or by those of passing vehicles. The resulting scratches, scuffs, and stains can be very tough to remove.
Park With Care
Nobody wants to avoid door dings by being “that driver” who parks sideways across four spaces, but how and where you park makes a big difference in the life of your car’s appearance. When parallel parking, try to get to the end of a row so that you have half the risk of being bumped by other drivers. In other parking areas, choose a space far from other vehicles to minimize risk.
Avoid the Elements
Unless you’re sporting a collector car, you’ll have to drive outside, but that doesn’t mean your vehicle has to be subjected to harsh weather conditions around the clock. At home, keep your car in the garage or carport to reduce sun damage and smooth out temperature extremes. Avoid parking under trees when you can so that birds can’t do what they love to do to clean cars and because fallen fruits and nuts can also be tough on your paint.
Consider Window Tint
Tinted windows are a complicated topic. You have varying levels that are regulated by state law, variations in which windows you choose to tint, and an endless array of tint types and applicators. Regardless of how stealthy you choose to make your car look, a tint that provides UV protection can do a lot to prevent fading and cracking of interior components.
Care for the Interior
The market is full of products designed to extend the life and improve the appearance of your dash, console, and hard interior surfaces. In addition to using an appropriate product for that, you should also make sure to vacuum seats and floors regularly. Even the tiniest piece of hard debris will eventually damage upholstery if you step or sit on it again and again.
Protect the Windshield
This may sound strange, but your front glass definitely needs care to look its best. The windshields on high-mileage vehicles can develop a “glittery” appearance after thousands of miles of being peppered with tiny rocks and grit. Applying a rain repellent can not only make it easier to see when precipitation is falling, but it can also help to reduce the damage done by these high-speed airborne particles.
The turning pages of a calendar mean that you can’t keep your car new forever, but you can definitely keep it beautiful for many years with the right care. Invest in doing things right so that you can get years of enjoyment from your vehicle!