Whether your ride is the late model Charger or a classic Tercel one thing is certain: you want to keep it looking as shiny and new as it did the day it rolled off the lot. Luckily for you there are a number of things you can do and a plethora of products out there to keep your car looking good.
Any car owner knows that the sun and run-of-the-mill grime from the environment are the primary factors in degrading your vehicle’s appearance. So it makes sense that the simplest and best way to protect your car is by moving it into shelter away from harmful UV rays and environmental pollutants. Not only will doing so protect your paint but it will add years to the life of your headlights and rubberized trim (those black, rubber gaskets around your windows for example).
Another simple and quick way to protect your car is ridiculously obvious: wash your car and do it often. Whether it’s bug hits or acid rain removing the grit is great first step to keeping your car looking good. Using a soft cotton mitt or microfiber cloth, a bucket and automotive cleaning product get to work on the car and be sure to do it out of direct sunlight. Tough deposits like splattered bugs or road tar should be removed without the use of abrasive cleaners or sponges which have a tendency to scratch your car and promote rusting and oxidation. Instead, consider using an auto detailing clay bar which is a safe way to remove damaging materials without leaving a trace. Be sure to dry your car thoroughly when you’re finished as you don’t want to ruin all of your hard work by leaving your car looking like it came out of your mom’s dishwasher.
Waxing is a tried and true method of shielding your ride from the elements. Wax protects the paint against roadside pollutants while also combating UV radiation. This also keeps dirt and grit from adhering to your car thereby protecting your paint-job from pitting. Without adequate protection any particles sticking to your car’s exterior will eventually damage the paint.
A final approach which involves a little more expense and time is to use install or have installed a paint protection film on your exterior. Whether you choose a thin, DIY product like Rvinyl’s Rshield to protect from bugs and UV or a thicker film like 3M’s VentureShield to prevent damage from rock hits or the occasional rampaging bull you are doing a lot to insure your paint-job will go the distance.
You can maintain your vehicle’s appearance by following the tips above. In car care as with everything else an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and simply washing your care regularly will dramatically lengthen the life of your ride.