When we think of loving our cars this isn’t the image that comes to mind for most people. We think of amazing memories we have had in our vehicle’s. This begs the Question: How do I show my car some lovin? First place to start if give your car a though cleaning. Break out the car wash buckets, soap, wash brushes, and mitts. When we are washing off dirt and grime off the exterior of our cars, we are often amazed with how a good washing will clean them up good.
There are many good car washsoaps out on the market you can use. We wash cars daily at the shop so we buy ours in bulk. It is hard to find a wrong way to go with car wash soap. Make sure you have the proper size bucket and either a good wash brush or wash mitt. Most Auto Part stores will have a car wash kit they offer which will have most of your car wash needs covered. There are many cleaners available are for specialized applications when it comes to cleaning parts of your car. Pay attention to which cleaner you are using and where you are using it.
There are many different types of where cleaners on the market. They are what you would use to remove brake dust that has made your shiny rims turn an ugly dark color. Rims are made from different materials. When selecting a clean it needs to match with your car/trucks rim material. If you select the wrong time it can damage the finish on your rim. Your primary wheel cleaner choices are for, Chrome Wheels, Aluminum/Alloy Wheels, Mag Wheels, and Steel Rims. If you are unsure of the material of your rims, I would suggest getting an All-Wheel cleaner so it will be safe for the material your rims are made from. That way you can safely clean your rims and provide that brilliance you are looking for.
Don’t forget the underneath (chassis), suspension, steering components or the wheel wells. These areas can trap dirt and road grime and can cause future problems with the car. For example, it can lead to the premature rusting to some of your car’s components. That dirt can work its way in to bushings as well can cause premature failure. One of the most expensive bushings to replace on your car are found in the control arms. We see many cars that come in control arm bushing issues. The cars that have premature failure issues are the ones that are coated in mud and rust. A rinse off while washing your car can help prolong the life of many components under the car.
We can’t forget the inside of the car for a good cleaning to show your poor sweet car some love. Don’t forget to check those under seat spots, between the seat and the center console when you are vacuuming. I see that spot between the seat and center console as scratching your car behind the ears. Mine shakes its back right tire like my dog does his leg when I scratch him behind the ears. On most cars you can lift the floor mats up and out of them to vacuum underneath or to wash the floor mats off if they are rubber/vinyl. We will cover carpet cleaning later in this post.
There are many different types of interior cleaners out there. Pick up your favorite. I like the wipes they are quick and easy to use. Make sure your close them up when you are done so they do not dry out. After you wipe down your dash and other interior surfaces don’t stop there. Get a good glass cleaner and clean off the inside of your windshield. It’s amazing how a clean interior windshield will reduce glare. If your vents are blowing out an interesting aroma you can get an air duct spray cleaner. One other culprit could be your cabin air filter. It filters the air coming thru the vents in your car.
To properly clean your seats, you must identify the material the seats are made from. If they are cloth seats most carpet shampoos for your car will work just fine. You can clean both surfaces with one cleaner. I was just cleaning carpets and seats in an older van. The cleaner I used on both came with a little brush on top of the container. If the stain you are trying to clean/remove is a particularly bad you may want to get a stiff bristled brush and roll up your sleeves and apply good ol’ fashioned elbow grease to the problem.
If your seats are made from Vinyl or Leather then you will use a different type of cleaner on your seats. You will want something safe to use on them. There are products you can use on both seat types. The mothers product on the left is one that has been used on my pontoon boats for the last few years with good success. It cleans dog prints, spilled drinks, and fishing mess well from the seats and leaves them soft and re-vitalized. If you don’t clean these seat materials with the proper product you run a risk of drying out the seal material that will lead to fading and cracking. By cleaning your seats with the proper products, you can keep them clean, soft, and in great condition. If you notice your seats are drying out and starting to crack treat them sooner than later.
To top of the cleaning of your car put your favorite smelling car freshener in your car. For many years I worked at an automotive parts store and would hear of customer love hate relationship with air fresheners. What most people don’t realize is you are not supposed to just take the tree out of the bag. If you do it’s an overwhelming smell. Flip the package over and read the back. Cut the bag at the V you see in the picture. Each week you will pull more and more out of the bag. By following these simple instructions your air fresher will last longer and not punch you square in your sense of smell.
Now that your car was given a royal cleanup for Valentines what’s next? You could get that nagging repair fixed but where the fun in that? Make that improvement you have been putting off for far too long now. New interior lighting kit, car stereo upgrade, remote starter switch, and many more ways to trick out your ride. If you want to talk about any upgrades you want to have performed on your car give us a call at Douglas Auto.