No matter what time of year it is, there is something that everyone has to maintain to keep up appearances and performance whether that be your home, your furnace, your boat, or your vehicle.
In this article, we’re going to focus on your vehicle.
What kind of condition is your vehicle in right now? Think about it. You might say,”It’s just been cleaned.” But is it really? How long has it been since you last looked under the hood? Did you know that a thorough detailing is recommended at least yearly?
It’s always best to see a trusted professional, but here’s a few tips to keep you running smooth for as long as you have your vehicle.
- Keep factory recommended maintenance up to date! Vehicles are designed to have periodic health check ups just like us and preventative maintenance is vital to long lasting vehicular health. And, remember that time is also a factor, not just the mileage! If you’ve only driven 1,000 miles over 6 months, check the oil anyway because viscosity and sludge creep in over time and exposure to the elements.
- Keep it clean! Cleanliness is next to godliness and that’s why it’s recommended that people bathe daily. Your car should at least see a little TLC once a week! Try to get it steam cleaned regularly as well to keep the engine and underbody clean.
- Use a good wax! There are plenty on the market to try out, but maybe check with a detail pro to find out what they’d recommend. If you don’t like the thought of such frequent detailed care, I will suggest going to a dealer or detailer for a professional sealant application. There are companies that put warranties on these treatments and cover both the exterior as well as the interior.
- Park in the shade when possible! UV rays from the sun can drain the color out of your factory paint finish over time.
- Don’t park under light poles whenever possible. They tend to have a bug zapper effect and the acids within the bugs can have a damaging effect on your paint as well. Especially when you park overnight and the morning sun has already started to re-fry the bug carcasses on your vehicle’s exterior. Trees are also going to fall into this category due to pollen and tree sap possibilities.
- Whenever possible, use a carport, garage, or car cover.
- Always use microfiber cloths for the exterior because they won’t swirl the paint or scratch it. Clean in small and manageable areas thoroughly before rinsing to ensure a flawless finish. There are even specialty cloths now available for cleaning windows specifically.
- Avoid using a brush when washing. Try to hand wash with a microfiber mit instead. Brushes have a tendency to collect dirt and scratch the finish and leave swirl marks.
- Pay attention to what’s going in! If the oil cap recommends synthetic motor oil, don’t use conventional! If your fuel lid says to use 93 octane gas or better, put in the premium. If you don’t follow these directions, you can void your warranty or worse yet, seize your engine.
- Check your air pressure regularly. Make it a habit to walk around your vehicle before starting it up each time to ensure no visible deflation. And, you should also check your spare periodically for loss of air pressure and possible dry rot from lack of use.
So, these are just a few of the suggestions I’ll make for keeping things in great condition. Remember, coming from someone who works at a dealership, your vehicle will never be worth more than it is right here, right now, today. But, there’s also no reason not to preserve it the best you can so that you retain it’s value to the maximum should you ever decide to part ways with it. Following these guidelines is a great step in that direction.
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