CAR CARE: The gift of time
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One of the benefits of the summer break, aside from family and Christmas, is having time up your sleeve.
Time to go to the beach, time to read that book, time to do those odd jobs around the house and (probably more importantly) time to spend ensuring that your treasured vehicle is not only sparklingly clean but also ready for the year ahead.
Thanks to Jake Smit from Dura-Seal, here are some tips and tricks to proactively care for your vehicle.
A vigilant rust (and other nasties) spot review
Virtually nothing destroys a vehicle more viciously than rust. Left undetected it slowly eats away at your pride and joy from within, so catch it quick and deal with it. A slow and methodical search of the entire vehicle is required. If it’s structural, seek professional assistance but if on top of the paintwork (often seen as brown or multicolour spots) there are non-invasive spray-on liquids which will easily remove the rust stain and leave the paint intact.
Wheel and tyre cleaning
As with your shoes, wheels and tyres take a pounding throughout the year and are subject to a raft of contaminants, from gravel, tar and grit to brake dust and who knows what. To get those expensive alloys back to pristine condition will take a small headed brush (to get into those nooks and crannies), some elbow grease and ideally a wheel cleaning product that’s gentle yet powerful - some contaminants are stubborn.
But don’t forget the tyres either. Small stones, nails, and similar contaminants can be embedded between the ridges of your tyres. Undetected, they can score or worse, puncture your them. While you’re there, a tyre cleaner really makes a difference to the overall appearance too.
Lift that bonnet and give it some steam
There’s a common misconception that steam cleaning an engine can damage it. On the contrary, doing this can prolong the life of your engine and keep you and your passengers safe. Steam effectively removes all that gunk, grime, and mud from your engine and engine bay, allowing it to function properly.
See and be seen
Dirty windshields and faulty wipers can affect your vision, especially at night or in stormy weather. Cleaning windshields should of course be done often, however, with a little extra
time up your sleeve you can really go to town. Grab a microfibre cloth and some glass cleaner and get right into those outer edges that may cause blindspots. Buff the glass to remove dirt and then use the towel’s dry side to finish the job.
Top tip for streaks: if you do your final wipe on the outside of the glass in an up-and-down motion and the inside the car side-to-side you know what side the streak is. While you’re there, think about adding a water repellent to the outside glass and change the wipers too.
How are your headlights?
Cloudy headlights can affect your night-time vision and visibility to other drivers, so if they’re not bright and crystal clear, take a moment to remove any grime and contaminants.
With the exterior under control, time to take a look on the inside. Stains on your car upholstery brought about by messy families or the odd mishap with fast food lessen the beauty of your interior and can often smell and we all know that the longer the stain sits on your upholstery, the harder it is to remove. Now is the time to get rid of anything unsightly but also prepare for the year ahead.
Firstly, break out the vacuum and really get into those often overlooked areas. You never know, just like the back of the couch, you may find some treasure there. Fabric and carpet cleaners are available to remove stubborn stains (including sunscreen) and once followed up with an upholstery and dashboard protective coating, you can enjoy your ice cold slurpee with confidence.
And for those with leather seats, give them a once over with a cleaner and then use a leather protector to prevent them from drying and cracking prematurely, it’s way cheaper than replacing them.
Fresh as a daisy
Here’s an auto preventive maintenance for your precious possession – sanitising the air vents with steam. Doing so can prolong the life of car filters and keep the interior air clean and smelling fresh; it can also get rid of airborne germs and bacteria that can affect your health and well-being.
These are just some preventive car cleaning tips which by performing them on your vehicle can keep it beautiful and safe for years to come - and a far better use of your time than watching reruns of Shorty!