9 Easy Tips To Preserve Your Car's Looks
Modified On Jul 10, 2018 06:26 PM By Khan Mohd.
Follow these simple cleaning tricks and keep boasting about your new car for years
We all resolve to keeping our cars in showroom-like condition for years to come while buying it. However, eventually, that rarely happens in the long run. The reasons can be many, but if you aren't lazy enough, here are a few tips and tricks to keep your car shiny and squeaky clean.
1) Protect it from the sun
It’s better to park your car in the garage, and if you don’t have one, a shaded space should help keep the sun at bay. The least you can do is use a car cover (costs around Rs 2000, but varies according to the type of vehicle) to ensure your car is well protected all around. Beware of good lucks (bird droppings) on your parked car as that could bring bad luck for your car’s paint.
Tip: We know black cars look stunning but they also tend to attract more heat and dust. So, if you can, avoid darker shades.
2) Wash at regular intervals
The most obvious approach to keeping a car spick and span is to wash it regularly. While you can clean it almost everyday, you should also visit a car wash that can even wash your car’s underbody. Use water for everyday cleaning but you should practice “two-bucket cleaning” once or twice every week to keep your car looking fresh more often. While doing that, fill one bucket with clean water and the other with soapy water (do read the label on the bottle to check how much liquid you need to add). You can use any of the branded ones, but we recommend 3M’s car wash liquid. Scrub the car’s surface gently with a clean sponge and then rinse it with a high-pressure water sprayer. To keep your car’s paint glowing, we suggest you carry out this exercise once a week.
Tip: Getting occasional wax coating (once in three months) can prolong your car’s paint life. You can get Meguiar’s Liquid Max to get the job done.
3) Use microfibre cloth
It’s recommended that you use separate microfibre cloths for exterior, interior and dusting. Use different cloths for dry wiping as using the same wet cloth will leave swirl marks on your car. You can use a regular cloth to clean the rims and tyres of your car. This practice will help you clean your car without leaving behind any scratches. A typical microfibre cloth will cost around Rs 200 to Rs 250. A good quality microfibre will be thicker and would have a 70:30 ratio of polyester and polyamide. Buy cloths of different shades so that it’s easier for you to distinguish.
Tip: Avoid washing the car when hot or under the blazing sun to avoid its harmful effects on the paint.
4) Damaged? Fix the part immediately
A damaged car body with exposed panels is likely to rust quickly. Get it repaired as soon as you can as it’ll not only cost you more in the long run, but might also lead to a mishap if the damage happens to be on a critical part of the car.
Tip: Keep a check on hidden parts under the bumpers or the wheel wells as they aren’t easy to spot unlike damages on the body.
5) Dine out, not in!
Just avoid eating/drinking/smoking inside the car. No matter how much care you take, the crumbs from your sandwich or burger are likely to fall off. If you spill a drink that’s even worse as it could leave stains on your car’s seats and carpets. And smoking will inevitably leave a smell that will linger on. As soon as you see a liquid spill, clean it up. Try to avoid keeping eatable stuff on the dash and seats. Use the cup holder to place coffee cups and cola cans.
Tip: Always keep some trash bags in your car. You can put the junk inside the trash bag as soon as you’re done, to avoid its odour from spreading in your car.
6) Watch your shoes before you step in
Yes, the biggest source of dirt and dust inside the cabin are your shoes. A little knock of your shoes before entering would help you greatly in keeping the car clean.
Tip: Try to knock your shoes on the ground or you can sit down on the seat with your legs outside, knock the shoes against each other and swivel in.
7) Get your car detailed occasionally
While being a DIY person is a good thing, a professional detailing of your car ensures it remains spanking new, always. The detailing will eliminate minor scratches and blur the bigger ones as well. We would recommend this exercise twice a year but it also depends on your usage. Besides detailing, we suggest you opt for synthetic paint sealants for additional protection of your car’s paint.
Tip: Detailing could be a little expensive affair (costs between Rs 4,000 to Rs 10,000, depending on the body type/size of the vehicle) but don’t shy away from shelling out a few extra bucks as it will go a long way in keeping that paint shiny new.
8) Vacuuming the cabin
No matter how much you try to keep your cabin clean, small dust particles tend to stick to your beige-coloured upholstery (the dirt is less visible on grey or black upholsteries). A visit to a service center will make sure the dust is eliminated even from areas your hands can’t reach, such as inside AC vents.
Tip: You can also get a handy car vacuum cleaner and do the task for yourself, even on the go.
9) Coating: Teflon vs Ceramic
Teflon coating isn’t very durable. In fact, you need to get it done every six months. Moreover, opting for teflon coating frequently damages your paint in the long run. On the other hand, ceramic coating is made of a hard substance, which forms a protective layer above the paint that can withhold chemical etching and even protects the car from rusting.
While teflon coating is affordable, costing anywhere between Rs 4,500 to Rs 7,000 depending on the body type of the car, ceramic coating is expensive and ranges from Rs 18,000 to Rs 35,000. We recommend ceramic coating over teflon as it’ll keep your car’s paint in mint condition for a longer period.
Tip: Do not fall for upselling tricks of the dealer when you go for getting your car coated.