If you have a car and you want to protect your investment, you have to make maintenance a priority. Cleaning a car is something a lot of us assume we’re doing right, but in reality, a lot of us make mistakes without realizing it. While they may not be apparent at first, the look of your car may start to diminish, or you may start to see cosmetic issues appearing after a while.
This is why you need to know the right way to go about it if you want to preserve your vehicle for a long time. Here are a few exterior car maintenance tips and hacks.
Make Sure You Clean It Regularly
Some people may assume that they shouldn’t clean their car too often so they don’t scrub off the finish, but you should clean it as often as possible. This is especially true in the winter when they apply de-icing agents on the roads. Dirt and grime will deteriorate the exterior of your car and can lead to premature damage. De-icing agents can be particularly tough on your paint and accelerate corrosion. So, make sure that you keep a regular cleaning schedule.
Spot Clean Between Washes
There’s no escaping the occasional bird dropping on your paint job right after you have the car cleaned. Spot cleaning can seem tedious, but it is important if you want to preserve the car’s paint. Any matter that stays on the vehicle, whether it’s bug splatter, plant material, or bird droppings, will damage the car if left to dry. It will start to cake up and eat into the car’s paint. Not only that, but you might end up damaging the paint trying to take it off after. Save yourself the hassle and clean it immediately.
Wash by Hand
We would also suggest that you clean the vehicle by hand if you have the chance. This is because automated car washes often use powerful jets and harsh brushes to clean your car, and it can remove the finish of the paint as well as cause damage over time. If you don’t have enough space to clean the car by hand where you are, either get it cleaned by a team or go to a self-serve car wash.
Know the Difference Between Car Polish and Car Wax
A lot of people assume that car wax is just another word for car polish, but these two are not interchangeable. In reality, they act completely differently. Car polish is actually a gentle abrasive and should be used to remove small imperfections on the surface. It does so by removing the top protection layers. Polish can be applied on spots with small scratches to smooth them out, or on dirt and grime that won’t go away. Wax should be applied afterwards, and less frequently, to give the paint a nice glossy finish. Wax can also protect the paint from UV rays in some cases depending on the formula.
Use the Right Soap
Also, don’t get into the habit of using dishwasher soap to clean your car. While it’s a natural degreaser and could work if you’re in a pinch, it’s better to use soap that was made specifically for cars. These are formulated to preserve the paint of the car and its sheen, so you should spend a few more bucks on real soap if you care about it.
Have Dents Fixed Immediately
You also have to make sure that you fix any dent that you see on the car immediately. This is because there could be more serious damage underneath the body. There could also be cracks and crevasses that contribute to corrosion. You have two options when it comes to fixing dents in your car. You could either go to a shop or have a professional come to you. Both options have their pros and cons, but if you’re a busy person, then having someone come to you could be a very convenient option to consider if it’s within your budget.
These are all things that you can do starting today to make sure that you keep your car’s exterior looking pristine. It might take a little more time but it could also add a few years of life to your vehicle.