Five ways to keep your car looking new

by Michelle Chin (mchin@sph.com.sg}
published on 23 February 2016

A well-maintained vehicle makes your ride more pleasant and comfortable. Here are some simple yet effective ways to keep your car’s exterior and interior looking good as new.

1. Keep that shine

A car with a thick layer of dust or grime can never look its best.

Mr Cobin Ng, the manager of Leco Auto said: “Wash your car at least once a week. If you can, do so once every two days. This helps to remove dirt, grime, mud, gravel and water marks. Frequent cleaning makes your job easier as less dirt is accumulated.

“Remove birds’ droppings as soon as you can before they solidify. These are acidic and may affect the paintwork.”

Instead of doing so once a year, send your car for grooming at least twice or thrice yearly. Or opt for car grooming packages at vehicle workshops.

Professional car cleaners are able to clean your vehicle thoroughly. They can even dismantle your car seats to access hard-to-reach nooks and crannies in your car’s interior.

2. Pick a good parking spot

Try to park your car in sheltered areas. This shields your car from sun, rain and birds’ droppings.

Mr Ng said: “Avoid exposing your vehicle to sunlight for prolonged periods. Over time, your vehicle will look less new than if it had been parked under shelter. The paintwork may not last as long, and may affect the seats and dashboard too.”

3. Invest in a Paint Protection System (PPS)

If you want a more aesthetically appealing car exterior, opt for a PPS. This protects the paint from minor scratches and gives a shinier finish.

Mr Ng said that some coatings have water-repelling functions which can prevent water marks from forming. 

 4. Keep the interior clean

Avoid consuming food and drinks in the car.

Mr Ng recommended placing a cushion between the child car seat and the car’s seat. This prevents marks or lines from forming on the seat that bears the pressure and weight of the child car seat.

Clean your car’s interior thoroughly once in a while. Remove all items and any trash before doing so.

Vacuum clean as many surfaces as you can reach – under all seats, the floorboards, around the foot pedals and the dashboard. Do not neglect nooks and crevices.

Scrub your car mats with a stiff-bristled brush and cleaning solution, and rinse them with water. Get rid of filth like soil, mud, gravel and even food residue.

Ensure that the mats are dried thoroughly before placing them in the vehicle. Otherwise, they will get mouldy.

5. Clean the car windows and mirrors

Do this without leaving streaks or spots of water marks. Spritz some glass cleaner on the surfaces and wipe them with a soft microfibre cloth. These cloths have finer fibres that can pick up dirt more effectively.

Absorb excess water with another piece of dry cloth. Go for lint-free cloths so that fibres are not deposited on the windows.

Do not forget to roll the window down halfway to reach the very top portion of it.