Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for that pristine shine and “like new” interior to fade. While it's unlikely that your car will still have the same glossy shine and sparkling wheels at 100,000 miles that it had when it was brand-new, there are still things you can do to keep it looking its best. While aesthetic work will make your car look new, keeping up with regular maintenance is essential for hitting six-figure digits on the odometer. To keep your car looking and feeling fit for years to come, follow these simple guidelines.
5 Ways to care for your car and make it look brand new
Do you remember how happy you felt leaving the dealership with your car looking and smelling so nice and clean?
1. Keep Up With Oil Changes
With newer engines these days and advanced car engine oils – namely synthetic oil – it's easier now than ever before to keep your car's engine running smoothly and lasting a long time. However, that doesn't mean you can just sit back, relax, and let the car take care of itself. Modern cars that run on synthetic oil can usually go about 5,000 to 7,500 miles in between oil changes. This is an improvement from cars that run on non-synthetic oil, which often need their oil changed between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Regardless of which type of engine oil your car uses, the oil needs to be replaced as directed by the manufacturer to keep it fresh. Engine oil accumulates sludge and particles over time, and it needs to be refreshed to avoid contaminating (and ruining) the engine.
2. Have The Car Serviced Regularly
Another important part of car maintenance is keeping up with routine service. In the world of car maintenance, there's a rule called "30-60-90." This refers to the 30,000 mile mark, 60,000 mile point, and 90,000 milestone. They are important mileage milestones because they signal specific maintenance services that your car needs. At 15,000 miles, your car will have the lightest inspection, as parts won't normally have suffered wear and tear yet. Reaching this number on the odometer means it's time to have the tires rotated and the alignment checked. Your mechanic will also check the brakes and cooling system. At 30,000 miles, you car has a slightly more comprehensive inspection. Now, you'll have all the work performed at 15,000 miles plus the air and fuel filters changed. The mechanic may also replace the brakes, as they tend to start wearing down at 30,000 miles. Your car may also have the spark plugs replaced, although it's not uncommon for them to last up to 45,000 or 60,000 miles. The 60,000 mile checkup comes next. Along with getting all the service your car had at 30,000 miles, your vehicle will now have the hoses, belts, and seals looked over to make sure they're not worn or cracked. The brakes and spark plugs may also be replaced at this point. When the car reaches 90,000 miles, it goes in for another comprehensive inspection. This time, the vehicle gets the coolant fluid changed. Other essential fluids like the transmission fluid might be checked and flushed to keep the car running smoothly. The battery and brakes will probably be evaluated at this point, too. For good measure, your mechanic may also clean the radiator and change the timing belt if it's never been replaced.
3. Maintain Tire Air Pressure
Another critical service to keep your car going strong is to maintain the air pressure in the tires. Driving with underinflated or overinflated tires can be dangerous, as it can affect the car's steering and handling, especially on wet and slippery roads. Keeping the tires properly inflated, rotated, and aligned ensures that they wear evenly, which prevents you from having to buy new tires sooner than you need to. Check your owner's manual or the tire manufacturer's instructions for proper care.
4. Wash The Car From Top To Bottom
When your car feels good, it wants to look good, too! Giving your car a thorough wash will extend its cosmetic longevity. Every day your car goes out, it's exposed to environmental toxins that can degrade the quality of its exterior paint. The sun, debris, and even rain can all harm the car and cause its paint to fade. To avoid having to repaint the car, you're best off applying a coat of wax at least once every six months. Wax acts as a sealant to keep toxins from reaching and destroying your car's paint. Along with washing the exterior, be sure to have the undercarriage cleaned after winter to get rid of snow and road salt. It's also a good idea to have the car go for an underbody wash if you've been driving through mud, as mud can cake onto the components.
5. Treat Your Car To Professional Service
While you can take some measures to keep your car looking pristine yourself, a professional can really give it a good shine. At a pro car care shop like Brisbane Euro Specialists, your vehicle will get the equivalent treatment of a day at the spa. This includes a full-service menu of repairs and maintenance along with aesthetic solutions that you might have been neglecting. This is a great time to address minor dents, scratches, and other signs of wear that might be causing your car to lose its glow. If you can't restore the paint to its original condition yourself, a professional detail center or body shop can apply a fresh coat of paint using a perfect color match. In addition to just getting your car touched up due to age, a body shop can make it look presentable again if you've been in a collision, if the side panels are damaged, if the wheels have been damaged or start to fade, and if the bumpers have gotten scuff marks from being tapped by other cars.
While having a sparkling, flawless car looks easy on TV, it takes a bit of work to make it that way in real life. Fortunately, unlike some aspects of car maintenance, you can keep your car looking and performing well by doing some work yourself. For the work that's beyond your scope of comfort, you can always bring the vehicle in to an expert mechanic or a professional auto center to have the aesthetic and mechanical attention that it deserves.