Buying a new car is exciting – and one of the best parts is that it is CLEAN and scratch- and dent-free

We can try as hard as we can to look after our cars, parking in spaces far from other cars, just so other car owners don’t open their doors into ours, or carefully remove every little mark as soon as it appears. But the truth is…. there are going to be little mishaps beyond our control.

Here are some basic tips from Imperial Auto that you can follow to keep your car looking as new and clean as possible:

1. Keep it clean

They say that if you want it to rain… wash your car! We often use that excuse when it comes to keeping our cars clean. “It’s just going to get dirty again” or “It’s going to rain and mess it up anyway”.

However, the longer all that muck and dirt sits on your paintwork, the more damage it can do, so cleaning it off, even if the car is likely to get dirty again, is good practice.

2. Be careful when using car washes

Automated car washes with swirling brushes are likely to add swirl marks to your paintwork. Those brushes in car washes can accumulate sand, grit and other debris which is then swirled across the paintwork every time the brush passes over it – which can cause unsightly damage.

If there are people hand drying your car after it has passed through the car wash, it can be almost as bad as using a brushing car wash because chances are the towels they are using haven’t been washed. Drying your car with a dirty towel simply swirls the grit from other cars around your paintwork. NOT COOL!

We don’t all have time to lovingly wash our own car, but if possible, get someone you trust to wash your car and ensure they use soft CLEAN cloths and the correct car washing detergents.

3. Watch out for birdie bombers

Birds must have an evil sense of humour, because no matter how far away from a tree you park, one of the little bombers will do a fly over and leave a deposit on your paintwork.

Bird droppings contain acid that can cause damage to the paint surface. It is even worse under direct sunlight. The best advice is to wash bird droppings off your car as soon as possible – the longer it sits there, the more damage it can do.

4. Don’t forget the inside

Keeping the inside of your car clean is just as important, if not more so than the outside. Clean up messes as soon as they happen. Wipe dust and grime off the dashboard, air vents and doors often and vacuum the upholstery.

5. Remove pet fur

Fido may like road trips, but his fur leaves a mess behind in your clean car. Don’t leave the fur on your seats for long periods… the longer it is there the harder it is to remove . And it can make your car smell like Fido. To collect that fur, blow up a balloon and rub it around in the car to create static electricity. The static will help lift it away.  Another option is to wipe the seats with a slightly damp cloth. Once you have removed the bulk of the fur give the seats a good vacuum.

6. Keep things organised

Things lying all over the car is a sure way to make it look messy.  Keep things organised by hanging a shoe holder on the back of the driver and passenger seats. This is a great way to store anything from kids’ toys, crayons and books, to sunglasses, water bottles and whatever else you usually have lying around in your car.

Following these practices will not only keep your car clean and more pleasant to drive but it will also go a long way towards retaining a high value for when you decide to trade your car in or sell it.

For more useful tips on keeping your car organised, visit: https://imperialauto.co.za/blogs and join the conversation on Facebook.