Whether you love your vintage ride or just need to hang on to an old vehicle for a few more years, a little TLC can help it look new again. Beyond the obvious task of cleaning out the trash, there are other things you can do to put life back into an old car.
Preserve Your Exterior
To keep that paint job nice, wash your car. Serious auto aficionados wash their cars every two weeks, minimum. You may not need to do it that often, but you should get out the soapy bucket at least once a month.
Use a polishing compound to remove imperfections. You can buff out scratches, stains, oxidation, and surface blemishes. A good polishing compound leaves your paint job lustrous and shiny with no swirl marks.
Utilize A Chemical Wash
You should never use a household cleaner on your car. You may damage your paint if you do. Likewise, leave the scrubbing sponges in the kitchen. Microfiber or terry cloths are best for cleaning your car.
The three-bucket system works best for car washing. One bucket should have warm water with your chemical wash mixed in. The second bucket should have plain water for rinsing your wash rag. The third bucket, also filled with warm water and your cleaning solution, is for your tires and wheels.
Finish With a Wax
For the final touch to the exterior of your ride, give it a nice waxing. You don’t need to do this every time you wash it. Waxing quarterly is a good plan. A good car wax, such as Turtle Wax, preserves your car’s clear coat. And that clear coat protects your paint job from corrosive elements.
Clean the Interior
With a quality upholstery cleaner, wash your sun visors and headliner. Spray them with the cleaner and let them sit for the recommended time on the product. Then give them a gentle scrub with a soft-bristled brush.
You can use the same upholstery cleaner to clean the seats and the seat belts. Vacuum the seats first, to remove loose debris. If you’ve had a pet in the car, use a lint brush or pet hair remover on the seats.
Brighten Windows and Mirrors
Use a household glass cleaner in a spray bottle to clean the windows and mirrors. Wipe away the cleaner with a rubber squeegee, if you have one. If not, crumpled newspaper works great and leaves no lint or residue behind.
Vacuum Floor Mats
After a good vacuuming, use a carpet cleaner to remove stains and dirt from your floor mats. If they are too filthy to really clean up nicely, just replace them. The beauty of floor mats is that it’s easy to put in new ones and they immediately improve the look of your ride.
Vacuum the Trunk
The trunk needs regular vacuuming and carpet cleaning, too. Wipe down the sides with a vinyl cleaner, if applicable. Trunk liners can also be replaced if necessary.
There are myriads of products on the market to make your car look new again. Search for your favorites today.