6 Ways to Keep Your Car Looking Like New
Posted by: Lydia on 18/07/2017
However you look at it, a car is a complex vehicle. It may look sleek and shiny on the surface, but a lot of work goes into keeping it in good condition.
The regular wash and polish is to be expected, but much of the work involving car maintenance occurs behind the scenes. Here are 6 essential tips for keeping your car looking like new, whatever its age.
1. Wax on, wax off
Oh sure, Mr Miyagi may have been mainly focused on teaching martial arts in the Karate Kid, but this classic 80’s movie also had a first-class tip for maintaining your car into the future. Most motorists will give their car a quick wash and a wax now and then. But to really maintain your car’s looks for the long term, making sure that each and every cleaning is done thoroughly is really important.
Often this can be a little annoying, as it’ll take a little longer each time you do decide to clean and polish. It will be worth it in the long run, though. You’ll avoid the buildup of dirt and grime (and even wax you forget to wipe off) that can start to grow some unsightly marks on your car’s decal over time.
2. Visit the car wash regularly
The annual revenue of the car wash industry is $5.8 billion dollars - that’s a lot of water and air freshener. It’s also a good indicator of what you should be doing regularly to keep your car looking like new. Sure, a trusty bucket and towel will do a reasonable job of cleaning your car, but a professional clean is best to see your car truly shine.
Whether you wish to do it yourself or turn your keys over to a staff member to clean depends on your experience and expertise. The essential thing is to ensure the car wash you use has a wide range of equipment. Some car washes are really outstanding and clean every nook and cranny of your vehicle, while others barely outpace a bucket and hose. Be sure you pick a good one.
3. Keep your car in a garage
Keeping your car looking new doesn’t need to be complex. Sometimes it can be as simple as keeping your car out of the rain, hail, and harsh sun. Depending on your home’s setup, it can be annoying to park your car in the garage each night. It is worth the effort though, as not only will your car be better protected from the elements, but the added safety means your insurance premium may be lower.
If you don’t have a garage handy to park your car in, all is not lost. Alongside the availability of car covers you can use as a shield when you see particularly bad weather coming in, it also pays to be mindful of your surroundings. Park your car in the shade on a hot day, but keep it free and clear of trees when a storm is coming in. Small tips like this are a great way to keep your car safe and looking good.
4. Fix problems when they arise
Like a crack in your windshield, problems with your car only grow over time. That is why it’s important to attend to any problems you notice as soon as possible. This will not only keep your car looking like new, but it will also save you money in the long run.
This is important not just for unexpected repairs but for regular maintenance, too. You may think a regular service isn’t necessary if your car is currently running fine, but problems often develop over time well before they become apparent. Service your car regularly, and you’ll be sure to spot any troubles early on.
5. Build relationships with suppliers and enthusiasts
As your car gets older, parts can be harder to come by. That’s why it’s important to build good working relationships with your mechanic and others who can help keep your car on the road.
Often this is just as simple as joining a Facebook group of enthusiasts who own the same car as you. Beyond this, it’s also good to seek out a local car club to join. You might not have the chance to get to each event and parade, but the community can be an invaluable resource when you start noticing an odd sound coming from your engine, or a part needs replacing.
6. Just drive it
A car is a lot like a human body when it comes to maintaining it over the long term. Sure, there is a chance some damage can be sustained by activity now and then, but your car will certainly lose its fitness fast if it goes unused altogether. That is why it’s vital to actually drive your car, and ensure it has a chance to get its parts moving.
If your car sits in the garage all day and gathers dust, that can be bad for it across the board. Not only will it gather dust and marks which can spoil the decal, but lack of use can also place a strain on the components. If you’re not a real car guru, you might not find an easy excuse to take your car on the highway for a long weekend drive each month; but try to put your car through its paces regularly, and it’ll be all the better for it in the long term.
Make it a Kodak moment
A final tip that is really worthwhile is also fun: be sure to take lots of photos of your car. A cheeky selfie with your auto now and and then can be a great way to keep track of its condition. If you are a real car enthusiast, don’t be afraid to also take photos of any upgrades that are installed.
Many of these photos may go into the archives, but they can quickly become very useful in the event that something goes wrong and you need to find a way to restore your car to its original mint condition.
What other tips and tricks do you use to keep your car like new? Let us know in the comments below: