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’ll find that hand grooming your car achieves a far better result. There’s no need to spend a lot of money on car care products, however you will need to buy a few. These are some tips I use every time I clean my car.
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 so you should 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. A great product to go for is one which removes bugs, tar and other spots, while polishing the car’s surface at the same time.
Polishing and waxing your car regularly maintains the “shiny look” and also protects the paint from being damaged by the sun.
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, I always use a spray-on tire shine which is quick and easy to use. This not only keeps them looking like new, but protects them from the sun and 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.
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. I vacuum the seats and carpet every time I clean my car. 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 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. I use a normal household glass cleaning spray for this and it seems to do the job. When cleaning the dashboard and other interior surfaces, be careful you don’t use a product that will damage them. Some vinyl and plastic surfaces can be ruined simply by using the wrong product when cleaning. Once cleaned, you can use a surface protecting spray on these areas also.
When you aren’t using your car, park it in the garage. This not only keeps it out of the weather, but also prevents it from getting dirty. If you don’t have access to a garage, consider buying a car cover. Protecting your car from the weather as much as possible will ensure it remains immaculate.