Purchasing a new car is a major financial investment. Keeping it clean is an easy and inexpensive way to protect its resale and trade-in value, says the non-profit Car Care Council.
"Many motorists procrastinate when it comes to cleaning their vehicles," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. "Whether you do it yourself or have it cleaned professionally, proactively keeping your car clean on the outside, and tidy on the inside, will pay big dividends when it comes to maintaining your vehicle's value over time."
The Car Care Council suggests five simple steps to keep a vehicle clean, helping protect it from the elements and preserve its value.
- Declutter - Start the cleaning process by removing excess clutter from inside the car as it can be distracting and hazardous, especially when debris finds its way near the gas and brake pedals. Don't forget to clear out items that have accumulated in the trunk as they can add extra weight and reduce fuel efficiency.
- Clean the Interior - The next step is to thoroughly clean the interior, wash the windows, and clean and install floor mats. Be sure to vacuum on a regular basis. A clean and orderly interior allows you spot issues in the cabin so you can get them repaired before they get worse.
- Wash the Exterior - Give your car a good wash from top to bottom using products specifically made for automobiles. Always clean the tires and wheels before washing the body, and don't use the same washing mitt or cloth for both.
- Wax Twice a Year - Waxing not only protects a vehicle's finish, but it also makes subsequent washing easier. Before proceeding, make sure there are no foreign particles on the paint. It is important to note that waxing should be done in the shade, not direct sunlight.
- Fix Chips - If you find minor paint damage, cover the paint chips as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. For a quick fix until you can get paint touchup supplies, dab a little clear nail polish on the scratch.
Source: Car Care Council