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A man cleaning the car

Keeping your car in excellent condition isn’t just for your aesthetic pleasure, it also helps your vehicle retain a better resale value. Think about it, when you go used car shopping you’ll usually steer away from vehicles with excessive wear and tear, a preventable trait if the owner bothered to take care of their vehicle. Whether you want to trade in your vehicle at a dealership or sell it on the private market, the condition of the exterior and interior are crucial variables to how much cash you can receive in return.

Here are 10 steps that will have your vehicle looking like it just rolled out of the showroom.

1. Wash Your Car

This one is obvious, but it needs to be mentioned. Washing your vehicle regularly helps maintain the color of the paint, as well as protects against toxins and dust that will slowly erode the exterior layers of your vehicle’s paint. We recommend using microfiber clothes to wash your car so as to avoid scratching. Use separate buckets for washing and rinsing so as to avoid swirling marks on the paint.

2. The Undercarriage Can’t Be Overlooked

If you drive over plenty of dirt roads or have to deal with consistent road salt in colder climates, the undercarriage of your vehicle could begin to corrode after extended exposure. It’s always a smart idea to occasionally take your vehicle to a car wash that offers undercarriage cleaning. You could even go an extra step and apply a protective coating to the undercarriage to prevent rust.

3. Wax On, Wax Off

Adding a layer of wax to your freshly washed vehicle is recommended every six to eight months to further preserve the sheen of the automotive paint.

4. Fix Scratches Immediately

Blemishes to your vehicle’s paint job, including scratches and dents, should be fixed ASAP. They could begin to rust if left unattended, resulting in greater body or structural damage.

5. Your Mirrors, Windows and Windshield Need Love Too!

These parts of your vehicle are more easily overlooked, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be tended to. Be sure to clean your windows, mirrors and windshields regularly.

6. Wheels and Tires Benefit From Regular Cleaning

If your vehicle sits on painted wheels, consult your owner’s manual for directions on how to properly clean them. Wheel coatings and finishes are often more easily scratched than the body of your vehicle, so be gentle when scrubbing them. Be sure to always check your tire pressure too.

7. Shield Your Vehicle From Adverse Weather Conditions

As we’ve noted in one of our previous blogs, extreme weather conditions can wreak havoc on the exterior of your vehicle. Hail, snow, wind and sun exposure can all damage the paint of your vehicles via scratches, dents or fading. If you have a garage, use it. If not, consider investing in a car cover and parking in the shade whenever possible.

8. Repetition Is Key

Try creating a cleaning and maintenance routine to ensure your vehicle is maintained consistently.

9. Don’t Overlook the Interior

You spend all of your time inside your vehicle, so trash and debris tend to accumulate. Be sure to clean surfaces in your vehicle as often as possible, and vacuum the carpets.

10. Use the Proper Cleaning Supplies

Make sure to use cleaning chemicals specifically designed for the surface you’re cleaning, otherwise you risk damaging said surface with chemicals that could possibly corrode it.

We hope you found these tips useful towards keeping your vehicle in excellent shape. No matter how clean you keep your vehicle, it will never be immune to collisions. Should an accident befall you, Jerry’s Collision Center will be here to help. We are convenient to Baltimore, Perry Hall, Towson and Parkville, Maryland!