It has been said that you only get one chance to make a good impression. By providing proper care for your cars appearance you will not only enjoy the way it runs but also the way it looks. Keeping your vehicle looking good will also pay off when it comes time to sell or trade in. According to Kelly Blue Book, you can net a good deal more cash from your car if it is in “very good” condition as compared to “Fair” condition. You can spend hundreds of dollars on a professional detailer, but why not save your cash and at the same time get to know all the curves on your car first hand. Take these simple steps to keep your car looking new and turning heads as you go by.
1. Suck It Up. Start from the inside of your car by vacuuming the carpets and using a household carpet shampoo on the carpets, as needed. Vacuum cloth seats to be sure and get dust and dirt off the upholstery which can cause additional wear and tear on the fabric.
2. Protect Your Seats. Spray cloth seats with a fabric protector and use a good leather restoring cream on leather seats. Use a spray on product designed for vinyl and rubber surfaces on your dashboard and similar surfaces. This will not only clean those areas but will protect them from fading and cracking.
3. Clean Your Windows Inside and Out. If you have kids, chances are your windows are frequently smeared and dirty on the inside. Keeping your windows spotless is not only good ascetically but important for your safety as well. Be sure to clean the windows using a spray on window cleaning product and a microfiber cloth.
4. Splish Splash Give Your Car a Bath. Now that you have the inside in ship shape, it’s time to attack the outside. The best way to clean the outside of your car is by hand washing using a good car wash soap. Not surprising, the majority of people who wash their cars at home use dish soap, which can strip the wax coating off and damage your paint. Use a soft terrycloth rag and rinse the soap off thoroughly afterwards.
5. Wax Poetically. A good rule of thumb is to wax your car at the change of every season. After washing your car, if the water does not form beads smaller than a quarter on the surface then it’s time for a wax job. There are several different types of waxes that you can use including liquids, sprays and pastes. Most of the brand name waxes on the market should do the trick for you, just apply according to the instructions that come with the product.
6. You Have A Great Set of Wheels. Don’t neglect the tires and rims on your car. You can use a brush to scrub the tires and then apply a protectant that will give them a nice shiny new look. There are also several products on the market designed to seal and protect your rims.
7. Attention To Details. If your car is a few years old your headlight lenses may be showing wear and tear or yellowing. You can get a headlight restoring kit that will bring those lenses back to their original transparency.
8. Tint Your Windows. Window tinting can add a very cool custom look to your car and it has several other practical benefits as well. Tinting can block out 99% of the harmful UV rays and will also keep the inside of your car cooler in the hotter months. Tinting makes the glass more durable providing added safety and security features as well.
9. Use Protection. Keep your car in a garage or carport to protect it from dirt, grime, bird droppings etc. If you don’t have a garage or carport then get a good car cover and use it to protect your vehicle from the elements.
10. Cover Your Seat. Invest in a good set of seat covers that will help to protect your seats while adding comfort and style as well.