Car Care Tips to Protect Your Used Car From the Elements
The hot and humid South Florida weather is no joke, and it takes an unforgivable toll on not only a car’s exterior but its interior as well. While car owners won’t be able to reduce car damage inflicted by the elements entirely, several things can be done to minimize the possibility of damage. The following tips may seem like no-brainers, but they’re minimum effort type of activities that will go a long way in protecting a car.
Washing a car on a regular basis is the most important thing that can be done to ensure the longevity of the car’s exterior. To avoid making this a frustrating process, car owners should make sure not to park the car in direct sunlight before washing it. The beaming sun will dry the car exterior too quickly and leave water stains, thwarting all progress and forcing them to start again. A shaded area will help keep the entire car wet and avoid any future water spots.
Before doing anything else, the vehicle should be hosed down and rinsed of any dirt that may have accumulated on the exterior. Next, using a gentle car shampoo and a soft-bristle brush or sponge, the car exterior should be lightly scrubbed to remove any leftover residue. Finally, the car should be rinsed clean of soap and dried thoroughly (preferably by hand). Washing and rinsing, section by section, will help avoid the soap drying on the car. Microfiber cloths are often recommended for drying because of their absorbency – and they reduce the likelihood of remaining moisture that can turn into water spots on the car’s paint.
Waxing a car frequently helps minimize any damage that can happen to a car’s paint, just like car washing. The more often cars are waxed, the more likely it is that the coat of paint repels dirt and debris. In the long run, the less debris that sticks to a car’s paint coat, the less likely long-term damage can happen to the exterior. Here’s a Pro-Tip: Wax every six months with a good Carnauba wax and use a Carnauba quick spray wax after each washing. It may seem like a lot but a large car can be spray waxed in less than 10 minutes.
Watch out for Debris
This tip may feel super obvious, but continuously monitoring a car for any debris can help in maintaining the exterior free and clear of damage. Owners should be conscious of where they park. Parking under a tree for the shade sounds like a great idea for the shade protection. However, bird droppings and tree sap can be very damaging to the paint on a car.
Seek Shady Parking
Okay, so we just spoke about avoiding tree shade for the purpose of protecting the car’s paint. The shady parking business is where it gets a little challenging. In an ideal world, there would be a parking garage for every single car, but that’s not the case. Car owners should avoid parking in direct sunlight whenever possible. Paint expands when exposed to extreme temperatures, causing it to fade. While it may not be a big deal for the car to sit in the sun one day, it’s a different story when it’s roasting in the sun day after day.
Cover it up
If there is no shady parking available, a great alternative is a car cover. Fitted covers fit the vehicle like a glove and protect the paint from sun damage and debris. A windshield sun shade also works wonders to protect the interior of the car, especially the dashboard that tends to absorb direct sunlight through the untinted windshield and can fall apart after a few years.
Although these tips may appear to be a bit simple, they do go a long way in extending the life of the exterior of your car. Keep used vehicles shiny like new by continuously protecting them from the elements; you’ll be thankful down the road.
Do you have any additional tips on how to protect a car from the elements? Share them with us on Driver’s Auto Mart social media!