When it comes to car detailing, everyone wants the greatest results with the least amount of effort. Fortunately, the best way to keep your car in great condition is simply regular maintenance. Make a habit of washing and vacuuming your car, and these two things make up 90% of necessary care. Read on for more specific tips.
For your car's exterior:
For your car's exterior:
- The paint of a brand new car will last about three years with no maintenance. It's recommended, however, that you don't wait that long before starting a maintenance program, or you will find yourself trying to make up for lost time, only to realize it is too late.
- The worst things for your car's finish are dirt and sun.
- Apply wax every 6-12 months for lasting paint; your paint can last forever if you are consistent with maintenance.
- Wash your car weekly.
- Don't give your car a spray down with the garden hose and let it air dry. This is more damaging than the dirt itself. Take the time to dry your car correctly; water spots can become a permanent fixture on your paint, chrome, or glass.
- Automatic car washes can be damaging to paint, so use with caution.
- Using the squeegee at the gas station does not count as washing your car.
- There is a difference between an "all-cloth" and "100% hand wash"- all-cloth generally refers to an automatic car wash that uses cloth brushes instead of nylon.
- It's always better to seek out a 100% hand wash service.
- Taking your car to a quality car wash is a great way to outsource your car washing duties. It's worth the time you'll save trying to wash it yourself, and certainly worth the better results if you are a beginner.
- Waxing a car serves two purposes: appearance and protection. Don't over-focus on one and forget the other.
- Avoid bringing any food and drink that could stain into your car if spilled-you will never have to worry about removing something that never gets there in the first place.
- The dyes in your clothes can actually rub off onto your car's interior- keep an eye out for this kind of damage. Blue jeans are the worst offenders.
- Remove dirt as soon as possible. The longer you leave it, the harder it becomes to remove.
- Vacuum the upholstery regularly and keep the leather clean.
- Leather conditioner will not turn inferior leather into superior leather, however if you choose to condition the leather, clean the leather before conditioning it.
- Though not a necessary tool of the trade, Armor-All will not crack your dashboard, despite reports to the contrary.