Your vehicle is an investment, not only because you use it for daily commutes, but it’s a reflection of who you are as a motorist. The condition it’s in speaks volumes of your capacity for responsibility.
If you’ve owned it for more than 10 years, it may have had scratches on the surface and it lacks the shine it once had when you first bought it. It’s possible to turn your car’s condition around so it looks as though you bought it recently. Here’s a guide to help you bring the shine back:
1. Freshen it up with a good wash
Bathing your vehicle does more than remove stains and other impurities. Regular washing is a responsibility you can’t afford to skip if you’re going off-road most of the time. Mud and other debris may harden on the surface of the body, and not scrubbing it down will increase the effort required to remove such debris once they solidify.
A good rule is to wash your car every two weeks or more, depending on how often you drive and where you’re driving. Before you get started, however, make sure to choose a proper shampoo.
Don’t just pick the first brand you see on the shelves of an auto shop. Consider factors such as pH balance. Ideally, you will want a pH-neutral shampoo that is less acidic but still effective in removing loose dirt.
Along with choosing a good shampoo, you should also be equipped with a sponge or mitt. Opt for one that’s made out of gentler material that won’t scratch the paint job. Microfiber cloths and mitts work great to this effect. In any case, you might find it more helpful to get someone else to wash your car if you lack the time and energy to go the extra mile.
2. Invest in car detailing
You also can’t keep washing your car forever, so you need to protect it from the elements and preserve its appearance up until the very end. The best way to do that is through car detailing. This typically involves more than just a good scrub down. The process uses additional steps, tools, and materials to patch up scratches and add a layer of protection against the elements.
Through car detailing, you don’t only remove dirt, grime, and hardened mud, you also freshen up the exterior using special waxes. You have the option to use regular sealants that prevent debris from attaching itself to the surface.
However, there are also other options to consider, such as ceramic auto coating. This material is specifically formulated to protect the exterior not just from particles, but also extreme UV rays that could degrade the body.
Car detailing isn’t a simple process as you will need special resources to do the job. It also takes skill and experience to make sure that the wax is thoroughly applied. A single mistake could ruin the entire finish, so you might as well hire a professional detailing service near where you live to do a perfect job.
3. Give it a fresh coat of paint
At most, the paint job on your car’s exterior could last up to 15 years granting you’ve kept it in good condition throughout this period. Beyond that, it’s either the paint will begin to chip away or fade, which makes your car look outdated.
With this in mind, you might need to repaint your vehicle. Whether you’re going for a new color palette or sticking with the current one, replacing the paint job is a sure way to freshen up your car in a way that basic washing and detailing can’t.
You just need to ensure that you’re following the right process. The job itself is delicate and there won’t be any do-overs once you’re through. Before you apply any paint on the exterior, wash the exterior thoroughly and sand the surface. You should also remove rust and other impurities to achieve a smoother surface.
After that phase, cover up any gaps and cracks then proceed to priming. Let the primer cure and sand the surface once more before spraying the paint. You may need to go over the surface three times and let it dry for more than 30 minutes. You can then sand the body once more to prepare for the last layer of paint. Finish it up with a good buff and apply a ceramic coating for a nice finish. Click here to learn if this is ideal for your needs.
4. Give it a few upgrades
Your car should look new from the inside and out, so it won’t hurt to install a few important modifications. Even vintage vehicles can benefit from the latest tech so long as it isn’t overdone. You will want to preserve your vehicle’s timeless appearance all while ensuring that it gives optimal comfort, performance, and convenience.
If you’re shopping around for upgrades to add to your vehicle, start with a good set of all-terrain and all-weather tires and rims which can improve handling even on rough terrain. Air filters and shock absorbers are also worth your time and money as they can help reduce gas mileage.
Generally, you will want mods that help enhance the driving experience. With this in mind, steer clear of enhancements that not many people appreciate. Things like fenders and a custom exhaust system not only reduce performance but could come off as unnecessary to some buyers if you’re planning to sell it in the future. These can also take a toll on your vehicle’s resale value.
When it comes to technology, you might want to install a GPS system as well as an on-board computer. Besides streaming your Spotify playlist, having a PC in your vehicle adds new functionalities. You can use the program to track your engine’s condition, mileage, and temperature so you will know the right time to get your vehicle serviced.
Like many things, your vehicle will undergo a process of wear and tear that will degrade its appearance and performance. However, that shouldn’t give you a reason to buy a new vehicle every 10 years. Use these tips to preserve the timelessness of your vehicle.