This sounds basic, but when you own a vehicle, it is important to make time to maintain its upkeep.
We all know it’s important to take your car or caravan into a garage if there is a fault with the running of the vehicle, but often we forget about the physical appearance. Vehicles can age quickly if not properly maintained and cared for, so don’t let your care of the paint, glass, trim and wheels fall to the wayside.
We have all seen how vehicles can rust over time, especially if neglected. Emissions released into the environment can eat away at paint and metal, whether wet or dry. Other factors, such a temperature, road dirt, bird droppings and tree sap can seek to permanently damage your vehicle.
- My first tip would be to wash your vehicle in the shade if possible. Many of us are quick to whip out the sponge and bucket on a sunny day, but you will have noticed that the vehicle had dried before you’ve even finished, leaving soapy streaks everywhere – not what you are looking for!
- Some say you should begin from the top and work down, making sure you regularly clean your sponge to prevent the spread of dirt and contaminants. Also, the lower part of the car is generally the dirtiest, so it’s a good idea to leave this until last.
- You will need a fresh, constant source of water, a set of clean sponges and car washing soap. Do NOT use a substitute for this, such as washing up liquid. You don’t want to damage the paint with the harsh chemicals contained in soaps such as this. Car washing soap is specifically designed not to damage the paint, which is the last thing you want!
- The best way to begin is to wash the vehicle using only water. This will clear away any grime and dirt that’s loose. Then go over it again using new water with the car soap mixed in. Make sure you take care with this, as aggressive movements will be abrasive and are more likely to cause damage than anything else.
- Be sure to wash your sponge regularly to prevent the build up and spread of dirt.
- When you have done a final rinse of clean water, dry the vehicle with a soft towel or chamois cloth, making sure to soak up all excess water.
- Afterwards, choose a good wax which will protect your paint and reduce the appearance of smaller scratches and abrasions. It will also enhance the colour of your vehicle and add shine. It is recommended you wax your vehicle three or four times a year. Wax with a foam pad in circular motions, then wipe off when the wax turns ‘hazy’. Give your gleaming vehicle a final check to remove any residual wax build up and you are good to go!
Regular washing will prolong the value and appearance of your car and can also help you notice any problems while they can be easily repaired.