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3 ways to provide care for you car's appearance and resale value

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:

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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.

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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.

Atlanta on a Tankful

As you may know, Atlanta is the capital city of of Georgia. It is the economic and cultural center of the state and was founded in 1837. What many don't know is that it mostly burned to the ground during the Civil War. However, it rose from the ashes to become a beautiful new metropolitan city and should be on any tourist’s ‘to see’ list. For the budget minded, or for those with less time on their hands, there is now a way to see many amazing things in Atlanta on just a single tank of gas. Here is an itinerary of Atlanta’s fascinating Midtown:

1. Ansley Park and Piedmont Park

Ansley Park is a very affluent area of Atlanta, filled with luxurious and expensive houses. This will be a fun and interesting drive for the start of the tour. Stop by the urban and grassy Piedmont Park for a quick and leisurely stroll before the next stop.

2. Atlanta Botanical Garden

Located next to Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Botanical Garden opened in 1976. It serves as a sanctuary and education center for many different species of plants. Make a quick stop at the Fuqua Orchid center to see the largest collection of orchids on permanent display in the U.S.

3. Margaret Mitchell's Home

Next, drive to the nearby home of Margaret Mitchell, where she wrote the famous book ‘Gone with The Wind’. This is a definitely must for both history buffs and movie lovers.

4. Hop across for a quick drive by of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta which is the sixth district of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks of the United States.

5. EAT!

By now it will be time for a quick lunch so check out the nearby restaurant district for some delicious local cuisine and a refreshing beverage. There is a restaurant on every corner and this area is home to some of the best eateries in the city. So enjoy!

6. Fabulous Fox Theater

This is our next drop on the drive tour of Midtown Atlanta. This theatre is a former movie palace and is currently a performing arts center. It is a part of a larger Fox Theatre Historic District.

7. Centennial Olympic Park

Finally, to complete our tour of Atlanta on a single tank of gas, visit the Centennial Olympic Park, which hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics and is still a popular site for large events. Today this 21 acre area is a public park. Currently performance includes several summer pop music concerts serious and an annual Independence Day concert and fireworks display.

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