Often when we think of car care, we think of the maintenance that is required for “under-the-hood” components. But there are other ways that we can practice care for our vehicles that doesn’t require automotive repair skills or maintenance expertise. Some of these things may seem to only benefit the car from a cosmetics standpoint, but there is actually great value to the health of your vehicle from things that can be performed to its exterior. Here are three easy ways to provide maintenance for your car, while also improving its appearance and resell value:
1. Properly washing your vehicle. We all can agree that washing our vehicles certainly makes its appearance look nicer, but we often forget that a good wash can also improve the health of our car. Our cars come in contact with many foreign substances while driving, and regularly washing our vehicles can cleanse away contaminants like pollen, tar, dirt and other pollutants. Also, washing your car helps maintain a fresh look by preventing rust from occurring which adds to the resell value of any vehicle. Most car experts agree that washing your vehicle weekly or bi-weekly is the perfect frequency to properly maintain your car’s look and health.
2. Properly waxing your vehicle. Often times we have the mentality that waxing our cars is the same as the practice of flossing our teeth; an added bonus that is healthy but is not necessary. This is faulty thinking! Waxing our vehicles provides an added layer of protection that can shield our cars from minor dings and scratches. This means that when a rock or gravel kicks up on your car while you’re riding on the highway, the layer of wax protection can mitigate some of the cosmetic damage it may receive. Furthermore, this layer of protection can create a barrier between your car and the outside world to prevent contaminants from seeping in to the mechanical workings of your car. Studies have also shown that cars that are regularly waxed have paint jobs that are more intact with less chippings over time. Car experts recommend waxing your car approximately once every three months.
3. Properly cleaning the interior of your vehicle. Let’s face it: from the looks of the insides of our cars, some of us appear to LIVE in our vehicles! Besides just being common courtesy to clean out the junk from your car’s interior, it’s also an important reminder to ensure that all objects are cleared from the driver’s floorboard, to prevent something from sliding beneath the brake pedal and locking up your brakes when trying to stop. Vacuuming your car can also be helpful to prevent a build up of dust particles that can fester in the ventilation system. Perhaps the most crucial aspect of maintaining your car’s interior comes with cleaning the fabrics on the seats. The first step is to identify whether the interior is lined with cloth, leather or vinyl. For a cloth material, you have the freedom to use basic cleaning materials to apply to any stains. Baking soda, salt and seltzer water can also prove a useful concoction for hard to remove stains. For a leather interior, there are special leather cleaners that can be applied using the motion of small circles. Remember to overlap these circles to ensure that all cracks and crevices of the leather are reached. For vinyl interiors, it may be necessary to scrub and stains with a brush before applying a vinyl conditioner with a damp rag. It is recommended that ALL types of interiors be treated with this process 3-4 times a year. This will maintain a fresh look on your car’s interior, and will drastically help with the resell value of the vehicle.