Summer is the perfect time to hit the open road, put the windows down and take in the beautiful Irish landscape. Whether you’re planning a staycation or just doing your usual day-to-day driving, there’s great pride in having your car looking its best.
We all do the standard process of hoovering the seats and floor, along with hosing down the body, but did you know about these handy tips that’ll make your pride and joy really make it sparkle?
Wax over polish
Aviva’s Motor Underwriting Manager, Michael Bannon, recommends wax over polish to make your car shine. Yes, car polish helps get rid of surface scratches, swirls, dirt and other small imperfections. Sounds ideal right? But polish does this by removing a very fine layer of the paint work, so the appearance of scratches is lessened. Unless you know what you’re doing, polish can provide you with less than desirable results.
Car wax on the other hand is a product that will protect and enhance your car's paint job. The best time to wax your car is after cleaning it to make it really shine. Wax smooths out the painted surface by filling swirls and scratches with a protective coating. It also protects your car from all sorts of contaminants from UV ray damage from the sun. Did we mention it’s also very quick to apply!
So, while polishing and waxing complement each other, we recommend you let the experts in your local valet centre look after the polishing while you keep your car looking its best by applying a regular coat of wax.
If you want the most effective way to clean your car windows, use a sponge (with distilled water if possible) and a microfiber towel. A microfiber towel is a must have to get those pretty, streak free windows!
Tip: what most people can forget about when cleaning the windows is the wiper blades. Simply use some cleaner to break up the dirt on the wipers and wipe them dry.
Once you’ve hosed down and cleaned all your wheels, dry them with microfiber towel or terry cloth (make sure not to use the same towel or cloth on your car’s body/windows after drying your wheels, as this could lead to scratching your car’s body paint).
Once they’re looking good, protect them with proper products that help keep them looking like new. They’ll need a high-quality wax or glaze. Note: this is not the same as car body wax! Wheel specific wax will keep the surface shining as well as protect against future corrosion.
A good quality product will provide your wheels with a UV blocker that prevents cracking as well as repelling dust and staining. These products are easy to apply – you will usually need to leave on for 20 minutes and then wipe off any excess from surface so it’s dry.
There are many places in a car that feel next to impossible to clean. Air vents and buttons are some of these pesky places that tend to collect dirt. To sort this problem out, use a large crafts/paint brush or cotton tips to get into those hard to reach places. Note: do this before you do any hoovering. Brush out all the dirt and hoover it up along with the rest of the car.
So, this step won’t make your car sparkle, but it will definitely add to the overall condition and feel of your car. It’s important to change your cabin filter once a year. Not only will this improve the air flow and quality of air in your car (this is especially important if anyone in your family has hay fever), but it will keep odours at bay too. You can easily change the filter yourself, just check your manufacturer’s manual if you aren’t sure where it’s located in your car.
Note: A good test to check whether your cabin filter needs to be changed or not is to shine a flashlight behind it – if the light doesn’t come through, you need a new filter.
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