Most people simply do not think about cleaning their cars thoroughly. After a simple drive to the nearest gas station car wash and a quick vacuum, that’s about as much thought as we may put into cleaning our cars. However, is more needed? How would we know if we needed to get our car detailed or washed? Here are a few tips to consider:
- Tip 1: Your car hasn’t been cleaned recently
- Tip 2: Spills and Imperfections
- Tip 3: Sickness
- Tip 4: Road Trips
- Tip 5: Safety
- Tip 6: Selling
Tip 1: Your car hasn’t been cleaned recently
When was the last time your car was detailed? For frequent commuters on a budget we recommend getting your car detailed at least twice a year. Give it as a gift! For the occasional commuter at least once a year is just fine.
Here is an illustration to consider, if a house is never cleaned, maintained, or repaired after years of occupancy, it is known as a dilapidated house. The value of the home decreases dramatically and it even decreases the neighborhood value. This is because It will take more time, effort, and money to get the house back to good condition. It is the same with your car.
Your car is an investment. You want to do all you can to salvage as much value in your depreciating investment as possible. You wouldn’t buy a car that looks nice but doesn’t run, likewise you would not want a car that runs well but looks like it belongs in the junkyard. It’s embarrassing! So car repairs, maintenance, and yes…cleaning, is necessary. The longer you allow oil, sand, bugs, dirt, stains, odors, bacteria, body oils, hair, and dead skin cells to build up in and on your vehicle, the costlier it will be to remove it. Sometimes, stains left on fibers or leather will embed itself so much that it is impossible to remove completely, decreasing the value of your vehicle even more. When it comes the value of your vehicle, keeping your car paint, rugs, floors, fabrics, and vinyl as flawless as possible is just as important as keeping your engine running smoothly.
Tip #2 Spills and Imperfections
Is your car interior greasy? Do you have stains on your headliner or visors? If you feel your car paint, does it feel nice and smooth, or is it rough to the touch?
Yes, you read that right, greasy! One of the dirtiest spots in the car is the drivers side. We lean our arm on the door, we touch the buttons for the window (or turn if we are still old school), we use the door pockets to stuff things in, we use the steering wheel and buttons on the steering wheel, we spill, we cough and sneeze and others may use the roof handle to get in or out of the car. We don’t realize just how much we touch things until we see the grease buildup. Along with that, we drive though air pollution, we kill bugs, we may lean on our car, birds land on our car or relieve themselves on our cars. All of these things get embedded into the car’s paint making it rough to the touch. If left to bake in the sun day after day, your paint starts to fade, clear coats fail, and the nice luster the car once had will require a new professional paint job.
Take a look at your door and your steering wheel. Feel it, if it has a shine or if it feels sticky or oily and you have not used a cleaning product lately that left such a residue, Yuck! It’s time for a detailing. What about the headliner?
The headliner is the fabric that you see when you look at the roof of your car. Have you ever seen this fabric droop in a car? This fabric is very sensitive in older vehicles and sensitive in newer vehicles. The wrong amount of pressure, liquid, or heat can cause the headliner to droop. Yet, this fabric can still be cleaned although it has to be cleaned very carefully. Splatters can happen very easily leaving droplets on the roof of our car, especially if you have children or pets. The longer stains remain on this part of the car, the harder it is to get the stains out because the headliner cannot be agitated as much as other areas in the vehicle.
Tip 3: Sickness: Flu season is coming around again
Germs. Who knew that things we can’t see, touch, hear, smell, or taste can cause us so much harm. We rely so heavily on our senses to make sense of the world that it prevents us from noticing dangers that our senses cannot identify. There are a number of scientists to thank for alerting us of these little organisms that contribute to poor health. Now that we have knowledge, we recognize that often sickness means we have come into contact with something harmful in our environment.
For any commuter, the car can be a petri dish of germs and dust mites. If you car pool or if you have a family, even more germs are being passed around on things that we touch. It is important especially during flu and allergy seasons to get your car thoroughly cleaned. Simply vacuuming your car and wiping it down with a car cleaning wipe will not do much.
How can you reduce the chances of getting sick from your car?
1: Keep hand sanitizer in your car. Use it frequently especially before eating or drinking during your commute.
2. Keep DISINFECTING wipes in your car and wipe down areas of major use such as the steering wheel, radio, cup holders, seat belt, and car doors. Make sure the wipes you use specifically state that it kill viruses and germs and read the directions before use. Some disinfectant wipes require you keep the area wet for a number of minutes to kill certain organisms.
3. Get your car seats and seat belts shampooed and steam cleaned. Car interiors are often overlooked for disinfecting, but this can help reduce your chances of getting sick.
Tip 4: Road Trip? Love Bug Season?
Ah! The open road. The beautiful trees, beautiful clouds, all those billboards, rest areas, and gas stations. While we may enjoy our vehicles, to bugs they are moving metal death bullets. Taking out hundreds of bugs at any given moment. These dead bugs can ruin your paint and thus, ruin the value of your car.
The longer you allow these bug guts to stay on your vehicle the chances of paint damage increases. Acids within the bugs actually eat away at the paint. Dirt and mud also act as abrasives to your car paint. If you put the hot florida sun into the mix, those bugs and dirt literally bake on your car.
What can you do in the meantime to get those bugs off your car?
1. If you decide to wash your car, don’t use rough abrasive pads or cloths to get them off. The abrasive will be much worse than the actual dead bug.
2. Wash sooner than later. The fresher the dead bugs are (yuck!) the easier they are to remove from your vehicle.
3. Get your car waxed often. This will make it easier for those dead bugs to slide right off. If you don’t have time, have a professional auto detailing company wax your car for you.
Tip 5: Safety
Night driving can be dangerous. The lack of visibility coupled with a poor eyesight can really be a hazard to both the driver and other drivers on the road. It is important then to have our car lights turned on after darkness to alert other drivers of our presence on the road. Yet, over time, our headlights may begin to have a slight tinge to them. Headlights may turn yellow or foggy reducing the visibility of the car on the road. This hazardous reality is easily fixed by professionals. There are also many DIY products on the market for those incapable of having the service completed by a professional.
Tip 6: Selling
Many wonder why it is important to get their engines cleaned or scratches removed. A simple answer is that it looks better. A car that looks well maintained, is an easy car to sell. A good car detailing will do wonders for pictures and potential buyers. A dirty car typically represents a car owner that did not care for the car. Many people believe that if a car owner cannot take the time to simply clean the car before selling it, how likely was it that the cars mechanical parts were well taken care of. A clean engine, clean car paint, and clean interior all showcase the car in its best condition leaving a memorable presentation on potential buyers and increasing the value of the car.