Your car is an extension of yourself as the driver. Some might say that the physical appearance of your car reflects your own personality and how you look after yourself.
A neat and spotless car is always a joy to behold; not only is it pleasing to the eyes, but it also enhances its market value. As car owners, we take pride in ensuring that our wheeled possession is at its best: clean, presentable, and free from blemishes.
The occasional scratch is inevitable, especially since we really can’t watch over our cars 24/7, but they’re still annoying for a car owner. More than spoiling the aesthetics, scratches can also expose the car’s metal body to rust and corrosion, which can significantly affect the resale value.
Philkotse.com has prepared some simple tips to minimize, if not avoid scratches on your pride and joy.
1. Hand wash and dry your car
Although it might be a little time-consuming, hand washing and drying your car might be a smarter idea instead of using an automatic car wash. Use a clean cotton or microfiber mitt in washing your car. Make sure that the products that you use, such as shampoo and wax, are specifically recommended and applicable to your car.
Whenever possible, go for pH balanced, non-detergent products that won’t let the wax strip off; these will prevent scratching since the lubrication and the conditioners found in these cleaning products will leave the car paint with a soft finish and shine.
Hand washing and drying might be a smarter idea than using an automated car wash
Drying the car properly is equally important to prevent water spots, which can leave an indelible mark on your car’s paint job. Use sheepskin chamois when drying your car, as other materials can cause minor paint scratches with the dirt residue they pick up.
By washing and drying on the car yourself using the right materials, you can minimize the risk of scratches, while at the same time performing an inspection of areas on your car in need of a touch-up.
2. Polish and wax periodically
Wax is an essential part of your car’s grooming; it adds a layer of protection on the body against potentially corrosive elements such as bird droppings, acid rain, tree sap, and salt.
With waxing, the car’s original clear coat is preserved. Polishing is equally important in eliminating scratches and making spots less noticeable. Together, they make sure that the car’s exterior is shielded while looking its best.
Polishing and waxing is an excellent tandem of making sure that the car’s exterior is protected and beautiful
3. Park smartly
When selecting a parking slot, especially in public spaces, you might want to be mindful of location due to security. This serves to protect not only your valuables inside the car but also to minimize the likelihood of it being damaged by external factors.
Avoid parking beside a vehicle that is not lined up correctly in its own slot. Also stay away from areas with high foot traffic, as passing pedestrians with bags or other bulky objects can indiscriminately hit your car as they make their way through.
Low-hanging trees and shrubs are also a no-no, lest some fruit or branch fall off and hit your car.
You might want to consider the location where you park your car, for security reasons
>>> Read more: Parallel parking tips: 7 easy steps with tutorial video
4. Use car cover
If you frequently park your car outdoors, this is worth considering. If leaving your car uncovered and exposed to the elements (and the public) scares you out of your wits, invest in a quality car cover to protect against debris, dust, heat, and rain.
If you want to take it to the next level, consider investing in a car umbrella. Or at the very least, have a car-sized tent handy.
Leaving your car uncovered and exposed to the environment and the public is pretty scary.
5. Hello, car seat covers
Even as we work hard to ensure that the exterior of the car is scratch-free, the interior also deserves our attention. Car seats are probably the most prone to damage since they are the ones that come into direct contact with the occupants, subjected to everything from spills, punctures, and scrapes.
Choosing the best set of the car seat cover, preferably leather or leatherette; not only does this help preserve the original upholstery, but it also enhances the interior aesthetics.
Take the extra mile to make sure that the exterior of the car is scratch-free
6. Invest in microfiber
Microfiber cloth is gentler on your car’s surfaces, apart from being able to better absorb moisture. This material is composed of tiny fibers (smaller in diameter than a single strand of silk) that have an incredible amount of surface area, where more dirt and liquid can bond to and be swept away from your car.
What’s more, the fibers are positively charged, which attracts the negatively-charged dirt and dust particles like a magnet; the only way they are released is when the material is washed or rinsed out.
Use the microfiber cloth to clean the car’s dashboard, door panels, and console. Wipe off fingerprints on the touchscreen LCD. You can even make the mirrors squeaky clean. If you’re looking for the best material that will effectively clean your car while taking care of its appearance, microfiber is an excellent choice.
>>> Click here to get more useful tips and advice for your car maintenance.