Today’s blog post comes from David who is a ‘car fanatic’. Do check his credentials below. Honestly, I wished I had checked this out before today! I could have saved thousands! I am guilty as charged, If you read my post about my driving experience you’d know I am a scaredy cat with driving so I am not confident with looking under the hood either.
There is so much more to just washing your car and keeping it clean inside and out. Properly cleaning and maintaining your car will make it last longer and improve its mileage. You end up saving on repairs or even replacing your car.
You may think that simply taking it to the car wash is enough. However, you also need to make sure that the engines are functioning well, the fluids are clean and enough, and a lot more. These are all crucial factors in improving the lifespan of your car.
10 Easy Cleaning Tips
A clean car is reflective of your personality. Simply driving it is not enough, you must keep it clean to prevent molds, mildew, dust, and pests from infesting your car. It is recommended that you give your car a full car wash on a weekly basis.
Tip # 1
Use separate microfiber cloths for drying your car and wiping off dust. Likewise, use separate sponges for shampooing your car’s body and for the wheels.
Tip # 2
Check the labels of cleaning products and make sure that it won’t damage your car. For example, avoid using a chrome wheel cleaner which is too acidic for aluminum wheels. On the other hand, avoid using detergent to clean your car as it will cause abrasions. Use an appropriate car shampoo.
Tip # 3
Rinse your car thoroughly before shampooing. This helps remove surface dirt and dust, so they won’t spread when you shampoo your car. After drying your car, use a clay bar to remove bonded surface contaminants. One part of distilled white vinegar diluted in water works very well in removing water spots on your car. If your car has scratches, use a compound to erase the scratches.
Tip # 4
Wax your car after cleaning it. Car wax is like sunscreen; it helps protect your car’s paint from fading. It also prevents water spots from forming when it rains. There are two kinds of car wax which are both good for your car – carnauba wax and polymer. Polymer wax is more expensive and can be wiped off immediately after application.
Tip # 5
Make sure you have a one-step cleaner wax for cleaning emergencies. If your car’s exterior is dusty or got drenched by rain, cleaner wax is great for cleaning and keeping it shiny.
Tip # 6
Clean the interiors by vacuuming even the air vents and hard to reach places. Wipe the dashboard with a leather cleaner or even olive oil to keep it shiny. If you have leather seats, you may use a magic eraser to remove sticky mess or a toothbrush with diluted dish soap to scrub off stains. Air out the floor mats and shake off the dust, preferably once or twice a week.
Tip # 7
Prevent cloudy headlights by using toothpaste and water to wipe your headlights.
Tip # 8
Keep your car smelling fresh and clean by using a car air purifier or ionizer. You can also go the natural way by keeping a jar of baking soda with a few drops of essential oil.
Tip # 9
Remove trash before leaving the car. It would be best if you have a small trash bin or plastic bag to keep trash. You don’t want pests and insects to dwell in your car.
Tip # 10
Use a glass cleaner that is made especially for cars. Avoid Windex and other household glass cleaners because they damage the car tint.
Maintenance Tips to Make your Car More Efficient
Now that you have learned about how to clean your car properly, you also need to know how to maintain it. Maintaining a car is not just a man’s job or a mechanic’s job. Your car needs to be properly maintained in order for you to use it without having major problems. You don’t always need to be a damsel in distress when it comes to maintaining cars. It is best to know how to check for signs and prevent damage.
Check the engine oil
If you don’t know how to do this, ask a friend or a mechanic to demonstrate how to read an oil dipstick accurately. Check if the oil is too dark, too sticky, and has a stench. Oil changes should be done every 3000 to 3500 miles along with the filter replacement.
Check the tire pressure
Frequency: Daily or before driving
Use an accurate tire pressure gauge and measure tire pressure before using your car. Under-inflation and over-inflation both cause your tires to wear out or burst easily. Also, check if your tires are uneven or have bulges. Tire alignment also needs to be checked during your regular service maintenance.
Check the fluids (Great tip for maintaining your car, people)
Check your car’s brake fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield washer. If you don’t know where they are, ask a friend or a mechanic to demonstrate to you how to check them.
After reading all those tips, you may think that “Hey, I didn’t know there was a lot more to just bringing it to the car wash!” Yes, it seems like a lot to take in, but don’t worry you’ll get used to it. Besides, you’ll feel like an expert when you don’t need to bring your car to the mechanic whenever you feel or smell something different.
Yes, it seems like a lot to take in, but don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. Besides, you’ll feel like an expert when you don’t need to bring your car to the mechanic whenever you feel or smell something different.
Your car will take you places. Your car is like your baby. I’m sure you’ll give yourself a pat on the back when your car is not only spic-and-span inside out but runs really well.
Got some tips and feedback for us? Please don’t hesitate to share!
Guest Author Bio
David Walker, the founder of CarUnderstanding, is a passionate car enthusiast and traveler. He shares great automotive experiences and tips in his blog. If you like to know more about cars and tips, don’t hesitate to visit his blog.