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Buying a new car is a great feeling. The smell of fresh leather as you enter. The paintwork is gleaming and waxy smooth. You might even catch yourself stealing a glance at the reflection of your pride and joy as you drive away from your house.
Skip ahead by 12 months and see how it looks now. Is it still gleaming new or does it look look tired, dull and "old"? How can some look brand new even though they are already 3 years old? Why do others look "old" when it just rolled out the showroom 12 months ago?
The secret is in how you care for your pride and joy! It is easy to keep it like new if you know how.
1) A Wash A Week Keeps it Clean & Slick
Much as you wish that it will remain clean by itself, it just won’t happen. Dust will accumulate even if you just keep it in your garage. There’s only one thing to do. Wash it! It’s very important that you wash it especially after you’ve driven in the rain. If you let the water droplets dry naturally, especially under the hot sun, there will be tough-to-remove watermark stains on your paint.
The first thing you need for washing is a clean and soft terry cloth. Alternatively, you can use cloth diapers as well. You can get these easily at the baby’s section in your local departmental store. They’re cheap and it works. Of course, if you want to be posh, then get the Ultimate Wipe cloth from Meguiar’s. You’ll need a good shampoo next. I personally use Meguiar’s NXT Generation wash. It’s reasonably priced and a 64oz bottle will last you quite a while.
Start off by hosing it down to remove any dirt, mud or grime. Then mix 3 caps-full of shampoo with around 20oz (a small bucket) of water. Apply the shampoo mixture using the cloth/diaper and hose off the shampoo once you’ve finished. Use your cloth under running water to wipe off any remaining shampoo residue. It is VERY important that you wipe it dry with another clean terry cloth/diaper. Make sure the entire surface is wiped dry.
Next, clean your rims. Brake dust normally accumulates there and cleaning it will make a huge difference in the total look. It’s pointless to have clean paintwork when you’re your rims are dirty. It’s also advisable to vacuum the inside every week or every other week. You spend your time inside the car, so cleaning the interior just makes sense.
2) A Monthly Wax Keeps The Shine To The Max
Waxing will keep your paintwork gleaming new. You can either send it to an auto detailer or do it yourself. It’s actually not that difficult to do. If you have an hour or so of spare time, then try waxing it yourself.
It’s important that you wash and wipe dry it before waxing. NEVER wax it before washing/drying it! It’s best to park it under in a shady area when waxing. It makes sense to use a good carnauba wax like Meguiar’s NXT Generation Tech. Use the included sponge and apply it in a small circular motion. Do one section at a time, remembering which section you started with. Finish applying to the rest of the surfaces.
Wipe off all the excess using a soft terry cloth/cloth diaper. Start with the first panel and continue from there. You’ll find the residue accumulating on your cloth. Shake it off periodically and continue to remove the excess until you’ve finished all panels.
Look carefully and check for remaining residue. Use your cloth to clean any remaining residue.
To prepare your cloth for your next wax, wash it with a liquid softener. It’s fine to use the liquid softener that you use for your clothes. This guarantees there isn’t any remaining dirt/grime that may cause scratches during your next waxing session.
3) Tire Wax:
For that shiny, wet look, wax your tires after every wash/wax. Use Meguiar’s Hot Shine High Gloss Tire Spray. The trigger spray makes it easy to apply. You literally need less than 5 minutes for this but applying tire spray/wax makes a big difference.
4) Condition That Leather To Help It Fight The Weather
Make sure you clean and condition your leather seats at least once every 2 months if you car comes with leather seats. Use Meguiar’s Medallion Premium Leather Care conditioner. Apply the conditioner with a clean cloth/cloth diaper, leave for 15 minutes and wipe off excess conditioner. Your leather will look and smell like new if you do this every month.
While you’re at it, clean any vinyl surface using Meguiar’s Vinyl & Leather Cleaner/Conditioner. This maintains the interior looking like new.
5) Shiny new So You Can Be Happy
Your car will look like it’s brand new if you follow this routine. An hour or so every week pays huge dividends. Friends and family will think you’ve just bought a new car even though it’s 3 years old. The best thing is when it comes time to sell, a car with gleaming new paintwork and a clean interior makes a strong impression and will automatically raise the selling price!
P.S. The writer does not work for Meguiar’s and only recommends the products as a satisfied customer.
About the Author: Fantic Carro
Fantic Carro is the owner of FD Cars which is a resource for car lovers worldwide. For more articles, reviews and tips on cars, please visit his site below:http://www.fdcars.com