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Most financial advisors say that purchasing a car is the worst investment a person can make. That’s because cars depreciate as soon as you drive them off of the lot. Vehicles, which are often assessed on their appearance, are also continuously exposed to the elements and to other drivers.
While the money experts are correct, people still need cars for modern living. Because this is the case, your best option is to protect your investment by ensuring that it lasts as long as possible and is in great condition when you go to sell or trade it.
Here are some ideas to help you keep your vehicle in pristine condition for as long as possible.
Not everyone has a garage or a carport available to them, although these are great ways to protect a car from the elements. Regardless, even a garage only solves the problem of parking while you’re at home.
Obviously, being aware of the dents and dings that come with tight parking spaces is important. Some dents can even be so bad that they require professional repair services.
While other drivers can cause some of these problems, you can also get damage to your car from your surroundings in other ways, too! For example, parking under a tree invites sap, falling leaves and branches, and even the droppings of tree-dwelling animals. Parking on a busy street, especially one where construction is taking place nearby, increases the likeliness of airborne debris and stones.
Prevention is the first step to protecting your car’s exterior.
Automated car washes are convenient, but they’re not ideal. The water pressure and the chemicals used by many of these places can damage your car’s paint. They also leave water spots in their wake.
Roughly every two weeks, take the following steps to wash your car.
Always dry the car with a microfiber towel.
Waxing a car after every wash isn’t necessary. However, depending on the volatility of the seasons where you live, extreme direct sunlight and/or snow and ice can quickly deteriorate the exterior protection of your car. Waxing it can help to extend the life of your vehicle’s exterior.
Even if you’re in your car all the time, its interior doesn’t have to look (or smell) like it. Eating and drinking in your automobile inevitably means stray food particles and beverage stains will follow.
If you can’t avoid eating on the road, keep a paper towel handy to blot spills and regularly vacuum the interior. If a spill leads to a stain, foaming carpet cleaner can be used.
Even a few basic steps can help to preserve the long-term value of your vehicle, allowing you to use it well and sell it at a higher value down the road, if needed.