If you’re ever itching for a new car, sometimes a little maintenance and cleaning up can help your car to look like the day you bought it. Regular vehicle maintenance can keep the interior, exterior, and inner workings of your car, truck, or SUV looking and running almost like new.
After years of use, your car might be lacking that new sparkle it came with. There’s probably a bit more dirt, dust, personal belongings, and maybe even trash inside your car than the day you bought it. The exterior has perhaps lost that shine. Perhaps the engine is running a little noisy.
Fear not! With some vigorous cleaning, preventative measures, and standard vehicle care, you can get your vehicle looking and even running like new again.
Start from the Inside Out
Keeping your vehicle looking new and fresh means more than just maintaining a shiny exterior. Even if a car is buffed with the best wax, no driver or passenger sitting amongst dust, trash, and other junk will experience a pleasant ride. It can be all too easy to let things in our car accumulate over time, sometimes even until the floorboards can no longer be seen.
The atmosphere/environment inside your vehicle is arguably more important than the finesse of the exterior. After all, sitting inside your car is likely how you’ll be spending the most time with your vehicle. And if you’re going to sit in a space for an undetermined amount of time until you arrive at your next destination, you should enjoy the space you’re in. That means keeping your car tidy! Keeping a bag in your vehicle to act as a trash receptacle is a great way to keep trash from littering your floorboards.
Be sure to empty your trash bag frequently! When you arrive home, take a look around your car to see if any loose items, like purses or jackets, need to come back inside the house. Set dates to frequently clean and vacuum your car’s interior. There are many basic indoor car cleaners on the market that will keep your car dust free and smelling fresh.
Keeping your car looking like new requires more than just keeping the interior clean and clutter-free. It’s important to think long term about the wear and tear your vehicle will experience over its years of use. That means planning accordingly with some preventative measures!
Protecting all the interior surfaces will keep the material - whether it be fabric, leather, plastic, or something else – in mint condition. When initially buying a car, or after a very good interior cleaning, installing barriers like seat covers, sunshade screens, and protectants for rubber, vinyl, or plastic surfaces, will significantly reduce the wear and tear of the vehicle’s interior surfaces from general exposure over time.
Careful How You Clean
Get in the habit of washing your car regularly if you want to keep it looking shiny and new. There’s a bit of a debate over whether handwashing or an automated car wash is the best washing approach. Many high-end car owners might be fearful of taking their babies through the automated wash with its flailing scrubbers.
However, the harsh detergents often used in automatic car washes would be the biggest danger to your car’s exterior. If you want to keep your paint job looking fresh, it’s important to use appropriate detergents and soaps.
When handwashing, it’s vital to use the correct scrubber, which means no old grit covered sponges or rags. Be sure the cloth is made from soft material – such as terrycloth, flannel, microfiber – and not from synthetic nylon or paper products to avoid unintentional scratches.
If Possible, Stay Covered!
Obviously, protecting your vehicle from the outdoor elements will keep it looking new. Of course, a garage or carport is not a luxury everyone has available to them, but fear not! While a physical structure, like a garage or carport, would offer the most protection, fabric car coverings, sunshades screens, or even parking under a shady tree can help protect your car from outside elements and sun damage.
Just a heads up, beware of bird poop if parked under a tree, for it is kryptonite to a car’s paint job.
Standard Vehicle Maintenance and Upkeep
While we’ve discussed a bit about keeping your vehicle looking like new, the real importance is keeping your vehicle running like new. No matter how clean and shiny, a car that doesn’t drive can’t take you where you need to go. This is why standard vehicle maintenance and upkeep should be of paramount importance to any car owner.
Staying on top of state inspections, keeping your air filters, wiper blades, and oil changed frequently, regularly rotating your tires and maintaining the correct air pressure, and standard tune-ups are all part of being a responsible car owner.
More importantly, preventative maintenance like this will save you from costly repairs in the future. And it keeps your car like new! Finding a mechanic you trust is a great way to ensure regular maintenance when your car needs it. Check out our other blogs for more info about finding the right mechanic for you!
Just because you’ve owned your car for a few years doesn’t mean you can’t experience the sparkle of a new car. Maybe after reading, you have a few ideas on how to freshen up your own car! If you have more questions about how to keep your vehicle looking and running like new or any other vehicle care, give us a call at Stewart’s Donnybrook Automotive in Tyler, TX.