There are many benefits and joys to vehicle ownership. The thrill of the open road, the fact that you can go just about anywhere you want, the memories made visiting new places along with great conversations... One area some owners overlook during vehicle ownership is keeping their vehicle clean. While we understand the idea that it's just a vehicle to some people and it serves a purpose of getting from point A to B, it is still important to maintain some level of cleanliness.
For starters, a clean vehicle just looks better! the sun reflecting off the body, the rims gleaming, tires shining... No matter the type of vehicle, a clean vehicle will get heads turning no matter what type it is. But the main reason to keep a vehicle clean is getting more money when it's time to trade it in for something nicer and newer. So here are a few ideas to help you keep your vehicle clean and worth more money.
A Simple Car Wash
This one is easy, and you have a few options to choose from. Some people get their vehicle washed every few days, some once a week, some less frequently. We suggest having the exterior of your vehicle cleaned at least once every two weeks. You can do it yourself in your driveway in about an hour or so but we realize that many people simply don't have the time. So the best alternative is to bring it to an automatic car wash facility (we like Splash!). We suggest checking online reviews of car wash facilities in your area before going to one. A simple exterior wash is relatively inexpensive and will pay off down the road when it comes time to sell or trade in your vehicle.
Plus many facilities offer add ons to your wash like interior cleaning, quick wax, rim and tire care, etc...
The interior of your vehicle should also receive special attention... you spend a lot of time inside the vehicle so it's a good idea to keep things clean. We suggest keeping a few things in your trunk just in case. First off, a basic dash/ surface cleaner is a must. You can buy the wipes which will make any clean up or refresh very quick and easy. A good dash wipe is also important if your vehicle spends a lot of time outside in the sun. While newer vehicle interiors are far superior to older models, dash cleaners will help prevent cracking and greatly slow down fading over the years.
If your vehicle has leather interior, we highly recommend a leather cleaner/ conditioner. Keeping the leather in your vehicle "healthy" will prevent fading and excess wear (which leads to ripping... and no one likes a ripped leather seat!). If you have cloth seats, there are a number of good cloth seat cleaners out there. Having them at the ready just in case of a spill is never a bad idea.
Finally, some type of automotive carpet cleaner is a fantastic thing to have in your vehicle in case you or someone spills something on the carpet. The good brands come with a plastic type of "scrub brush" top that allows you to scrub out the stains.
We suggest getting your vehicle fully detailed once a year. It will improve the look and feel of your vehicle and help to maintain its value down the road. A full detail can vary from facility to facility but usually includes a full exterior wash, wax application (to help conceal the paint), rims cleaned and tire shine applied, plus a full vacuuming and shampooing of the vehicle interior. Some places will even take q-tips to the AC vents to remove excess dust!
If you want to go above and beyond we suggest every 2-3 years have a clay bar application done during your detail. What is a clay bar application and why should you get one? As you drive, small microscopic impurities and substances get stuck to your vehicle's paint. These impurities and substances are not easily removed with a quick car wash or detail. So your trusted detail facility applies a special spray wax on the vehicle exterior and then rubs a special clay bar across the paint. All the little impurities and substances get stuck to the clay as its rubbed over the vehicle and is removed. If you run your hands lightly over your exterior paint before a clay bar application and then afterwards, you'll feel how smooth the paint is.
Following these tips will not only improve your pride of ownership but will ensure you are able to get top dollar for your vehicle when it's time to sell or trade. Not sure where to begin or what to do first. What products should you buy? We're here to help! Give us a ring and we'll be happy to point you in the right direction. We've been serving Fairfield County CT and Westchester County NY since 1927 and there's a reason we've been around for so long... We care about you!