Keep Your Car Looking New
Written By John Linden
Are you envious of those people who drive cars that look brand new even though you know they’ve owned the car for years? If so, you may wonder how much they pay to keep their car looking that way. You might be surprised at just how little it really takes. Keeping your car looking new isn’t that costly, nor does it require that much time. Here are a few little tips and tricks you can do to keep your car looking amazing.
Regularly Wash Your Car
This seems like an obvious thing, but you’d be surprised how many people do not wash their car on a regular basis. It’s the most basic of car care tips, but so many people ignore it. Washing your car removes dirt, dust, dead bugs, and grime that makes it look old. It also helps improve your visibility by removing dirt from your windows and all of the lights on your car.
Don’t forget, of course, to wash under the car, too. It’s important that you keep the undercarriage clear even though you don’t see it on a regular basis. Mud and other gunk can build up and lead to rust, corrosion, and other issues. Give the tires and hubcaps a good scrubbing, too. Mud can easily accumulate here.
If you get a large stain on your car, don’t let it sit until you can get to the car wash: do a spot clean. Dead bugs, for example, can begin to damage the car’s paint within a couple of days, so be sure wipe off large stains.
Don’t Forget to Wax
While you’re washing your car, be sure to apply a layer of wax to it as well. Wax does more than just make your car look shiny. It also protects the paint from dirt, stains, and scratches. Some wax also helps keep the paint from fading after sitting out in the sun for hours. Make it a point to remove wax from the seams and crevices of the exterior for a clean, detailed appearance. A small, soft brush will work well for this job.
Use your Garage
If you have a garage, you should park your car in it every day. This will keep your car safe from the elements. It also protects your car from animals and from bird droppings, falling tree limbs, and much more. Animals won’t be able to get up under your car, either, which is a major concern during cold weather.
Just be sure your garage is clean enough that you can get in and out of your car without hitting things with the door. Don’t stack things up near the car, either. You don’t want it to fall and damage your vehicle.
If you don’t have a garage, consider putting up a carport. You may need to check with your neighborhood association before doing so (some have rules against carports).
Use a Car Cover
Car covers aren’t just for long-term storage, although many people do put a car cover over a vehicle they aren’t going to drive regularly. Car covers protect cars from damage, dirt, the weather, and the sun. They can also help keep animals and insects from getting onto or into your vehicle. If you have to park your car outside, use an outdoor car cover. If you have a large car, you can even look at getting a custom car cover made that covers everything.
Remember to Clean the Inside, Too
Keeping your car looking new involves more than just making sure the exterior looks good. You also need to pay attention to the interior. If you tend to be one of those people who lives in their car, be sure you regularly clean it out. It’s easy to let the backseat accumulate a lot of trash and other things, especially if no one rides back there.
Fast food bags are one of the biggest issues. In addition to making your car look cluttered and messy, they also often have bits of leftover food on them. This attracts bugs, which can easily get into your car if you have the windows or doors open for more than a few seconds. They can also start to smell, which will definitely make your car seem older.
In addition to cleaning out trash, be sure to vacuum your car’s interior on a regular basis to get all of the dirt out of it. Use floor mats to help protect the interior from mud, too. Also, be sure to regularly clean the insides of the windows and the windshield. This can improve visibility in addition to improving your car’s overall look. Get into small spaces and crevices with cotton swabs for that professionally-detailed look. Wipe down the dashboard, clean the center console, and even clean your seatbelts. You’d be surprised at how dirty they can get just from the oils and dirt on your hands. Be sure to use protective sprays, too, to keep your seats in good shape.
Get Those Small Dents Removed
A new car definitely has no dents in it, so if you want your vehicle to look like it just came off the dealer’s lot, you need to get those little dents removed. It’s actually fairly affordable to have small dents and dings worked out of your car, and there are techniques that do so without damaging the paint job.
Have Your Vehicle Detailed
Experts recommend that you have your car deep cleaned and professionally detailed once every couple of years if you want to keep it looking its best.
These are just a few of the tips that can keep your car looking great. Putting a car cover over your vehicle every now and then or giving it a wash once every few months won’t do much for its overall appearance. The key is developing regular protective, cleaning and detailing habits that will keep your car looking like new inside and out for years to come.