A vehicle represents a significant financial investment and many people view their cars as an extension of themselves so it’s only natural that regular car washing will be on the owner’s agenda. Automated car wash systems are the most popular as they get vehicles cleaner and require no effort on the part of the driver.
Automated car wash facilities are quick, inexpensive and convenient. They can also damage vehicles if appropriate precautions aren’t observed. Choose a car wash that utilizes cloth brushes or sponges to avoid damage to the vehicle’s exterior and it’s always a good idea to fold side mirrors in to prevent breakage.
Keeping a vehicle clean reduces degradation of the paint job and increases resale value. For individuals that prefer a personal touch and want to wash their vehicles by hand, there are some definite do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
Industry experts advise washing a vehicle every 1-3 weeks, depending upon vehicle usage, driving conditions and weather. Road salt is particularly bad for paint. For a clean car that retains its value, take heed to the following tips.
- Don’t go too long between washes. Road film, pollution, bird droppings, and dust and dirt all combine to weaken and degrade the integrity of the paint.
- Do assemble all the products needed before wetting down the vehicle. They should include a bucket, soft mitts or brushes, wax if desired, and a towel or chamois for drying.
- Don’t use household detergents or cleaners. Only use products specifically designed for vehicles.
- Do wash one section at a time. Start with tires and wheels and when they’re done, begin from the roof of the car and work down.
- Don’t wash a car in direct sunlight or if it’s been setting in the sun. Liquids dry quicker when the finish is hot, resulting in spots and streaks.
- Do wash the undercarriage in environments where mud is a problem or in climates where salt and chemicals are used on snow and ice.
- Don’t wear clothing with zippers, snaps and buttons that can scratch the finish.
- Do remove any jewelry, watches or belts that can cause scratches.
Follow all the instructions on the cleaning products used for optimal results and don’t scrub when drying the vehicle. Towels and chamois are designed to absorb and remove water, not scrub it off. An electric dryer can be a valuable tool in a car care regimen. A clean car is a vehicle that looks good and is able to retain more of its value over time.
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