Friday Five: Buyers pay more for a good-looking car, and you’ll get more enjoyment of ownership too.
You don’t need to be an obssessive-compulsive to take care of your car, and sometimes it’s about not doing things.
Five things NOT to do:
- Use the dreaded brush – the drive-in carwash brushes are notorious for causing swirl marks on your paint, and you just don’t know what those brushes have been doing. These marks can be removed with skill, but there’s only so many times that can be done. If you must use the dreaded brush, first carefully clean it, and the car with a high-pressure spray.
- Use low-cost car cleaners – cheap detailers work quickly on the car and may well clean it, but at a cost of more than the money you pay. Use only detailers who come well recommended and don’t charge budget prices.
- Leave bird droppings on the car until the next wash– bird poo is acidic and will eat into your paintwork. Remove immediately!
- Delay cleaning up spills. – food, juice..anything other than water will stain and be difficult to remove later. Like birdpoo, clean it immediately.
Five things TO do
- Get a quality paint protection scheme and keep it updated – a long time favourite of dealers trying to sell extra services after the sale, a high quality paint protection system really does work. However, you need to pay decent money from a specialist, not the average detailer who reckons a bit of wax will do the job. Once in place, it’ll take annual touchups but be easy to clean off between times.
- Wash and clean it regularly – like anything else that gets dirty, the longer you leave it, the harder it is to clean off properly and the more damage there is to the underlying surface.
- Garage your car – temperature extremes, frost, hot sun..none of that is good for a car’s interior or exterior. Not just the paint either, all the other parts suffer too.
- Get the little things fixed straight away – there’s many little touch-up services that fix minor dents and scratches, alloy rims can be repaired after a kerb scrape, and panelbeaters can re-fix loose panels.
You should also beware poor-quality seatcovers which can wear the underlying seat, and if you use adhesive to fix things in place you may find that after some years it’s impossible to remove the residue.
Generally, just spend a little time, often, on car cleaning rather than a huge amount of time infrequently, and treat your car to a professional detail once or twice a year.