Your car needs to last a long time, and keeping it clean is an important part of maintenance.
Cleaning doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when done on a regular basis. With these five tips, your car will not only look great, it will serve you for many years.
Wash your car at home
This will save you money, especially in the long run, and help you spot scratches or other damage that need to be addressed before they turn into rust and holes, requiring extensive repair work.
Doing the work yourself will also lead to a more thorough cleaning than running it through a drive-through wash, so your vehicle will sparkle. You can involve the family, as washing a car could end up being a fun Saturday chore for kids.
For the exterior, you need a few simple and inexpensive purchases: car soap, wax and, optionally, a garden hose sprayer attachment. For the interior, most home vacuum cleaners have upholstery attachments, which you can use on the seats and floor.
Dry it off
Water sitting on a car can leave behind minerals, particularly from hard water. They are as easy to get rid of as drying your car immediately after washing. Doing so will also prevent sediment from sticking to the wet surface.
Some car washes offer a drying option at the end, so you don’t immediately dirty your car as you drive away. At home, you can sweep off moisture with a rubber blade squeegee. A squeegee produces less friction than a regular towel, so you are less likely to scratch the paint, although you can also use a soft towel, if you prefer.
Waxing your car will extend the time you can go between washes, as it stops gunk from clinging to the car’s exterior. Wax will also make your car shiny.
In addition to giving you more time between washes, wax decreases the amount of time you need to spend washing your car because dirt will come off wax faster than if it’s stuck to the paint. Most car washes offer a wax coat option, and there are easy-to-apply products you can use at home.
Because many soaps strip away wax, re-apply at least every season, or simply wax every time you wash your vehicle.
Replace the air filter
This oft-overlooked task should be part of a vehicle’s standard upkeep, as an air filter protects both you and your car. It keeps dust, pollutants and allergens out of your lungs, and reduces odors, so replacing the filter will make your car smell nice.
Additionally, an air filter keeps debris from the engine. When the filter gets clogged, your car’s gas mileage will suffer. Although you can have a professional complete this task, replacing the air filter is simple to do yourself.
“Many cabin air filters are located behind the glove box and are easily accessible by freeing the glove box from its fasteners (instructions should be in the owner's manual),” according to cars.com.
Materials, such as plastic and leather, used in car manufacturing have improved over the years, but they still need care to stay in good condition. Don’t worry, though, if you already see damage on your vehicle, as it’s not too late to prevent more problems. For example, if your plastic trim looks worn, use a restoration product on it to stop future damage.
Regularly cleaning your interior, whether cloth, leather or any other material, and using protective products on it, will make it last longer.
As for rims, brake dust constantly sheds onto them and builds up over time, so clean your rims, and use a dust repellent on them. Doing so will keep them in good condition as well as looking new.
Keep up with other maintenance
In addition to cleaning your vehicle, follow through with other regular maintenance needed to make it last. The experts at Jensen Tire & Auto help give your car a long, healthy life by offering the best tires and superior auto service for competitive prices at many convenient locations.