Whether you are on your way to pick up the kids from school or riding your way to the gates of Valhalla, we all want our vehicles to look as good as possible. This isn’t just some sort of style statement, your car should maintained just for the sake of extending its lifespan. However you can’t always prevent your car from going through the wringer if Mother Nature steps in. With the help of uncaring drivers, local pollution/debris in the air, and possibly some angry marauders, it’s easy to tarnish that wonderful shine that attracted you to your car in the first place. While your car will inevitably get older, that does not mean it has to look worn out. To help combat the potential damage to your vehicle, here are 3 easy ways to keep your car looking brand new and help extend the life of it while you’re at it.
Washing Your Car With Little to No Water-
Believe it or not, the less water you use when washing your car, the better. This is why hand washes tend to be better for your vehicle than automated ones. When you hose a car down, it’s technically still dirty and when you use a sponge and water to get the dirt loose, you are scratching the paint. Here is the trick to washing your car without wasting water:
- Break down the dirt. There are sprays and soaps available made specifically to break the dirt into particles away from your car. Completely waterless car-wash products claim to have advanced wetting agents and emulsifiers to soften and remove dirt and grime
- Don’t use any old rag. Make sure to use a cloth with microfibers. This is similar to the ones found in TV screen cleaning kits that actually lift dirt & grime instead of just scrubbing.
- When drying your car, opt for clean, used T-shirts or other cotton clothing rather than throwaway paper towels.
- Use a brush and special tire-cleaning solution to clean your wheels thoroughly and completely.
- Don’t bother with a hose either a single cup to a single bucket of water is more than enough to help you.
- You should also regularly clean your car once a week or once every two weeks to prevent dirt and grime from really sticking to your car the way plaque sticks to your teeth.
Quick (Temporary) Fix for a Chip in the Windshield –
You can’t fix long cracks. So it’s critical that you fill chips before they turn into cracks. Basically, any chip that goes into the surface of the glass perpendicular to the surface or at a shallow angle can be repaired. That includes cone-shaped chips, leaf-shaped chips or almost any chip that hasn’t flaked a big piece of glass off onto the road.
- Windshield crack repair kits can be found in the auto parts department of many mass merchandisers like Kmart, Sears and Wal-Mart, as well as more traditional auto parts stores like Pep Boys and AutoZone.
- Start with an absolutely dry windshield that’s somewhere near room temperature.
- Most kits come with an adhesive patch, apply this to be centered on the chip.
- The included syringe in the kit it meant to connected to the patch, and use the adhesive inside to fill the chip
- Remove everything and use a thin razor to shave off the excess then buff it down to blend seamlessly.
Quick Touch Up for Scratches –
From rude drivers to debris getting kicked up to your car, scratches are among the most common annoyances for vehicle owners. Luckily they are easier to fix than you think. Avoid “life hack” solutions such as nail polish as any more than a temporary measure:
- Somewhere in your car there should be a factory code for the paint it uses. Your dealer might be able to sell you a DIY touch up kit for about $10-$25 or you can find them online.
- Clean the panel with a solvent and a cloth to dry it off
- Carefully apply to the damaged area (usually the kits are like pens) and try to minimize overlapping with the rest of paint
- Let the paint settle overnight, then wet sand the excess with 600-1000 grit wet sandpaper slowly
- Use compound to move the gloss back into the affected area
- Repeat until the affected spot is restored
While these tips won’t do everything to protect your vehicle, those cracks and scratches will now be taken care of and your car will soon be clean enough to eat off of.* Your car, new or used, will now be shiny and chrome as you ride eternal. If you have a quick fix or auto body maintenance/cleaning solution that you’d love to share, comment below and let us know!
*Endurance does not endorse nor recommend eating off of your vehicle, no matter how clean it may be. Automobiles should only be used for their intended purpose and should not be used as dinnerware.