How to Keep Your Car Looking Like New

We all love that feeling of driving a brand new car off the forecourt, with its shiny paintwork and spotless interior. But it doesn’t take long for wear and tear to start taking its toll. Follow this guide to keep your car looking pristine and turn back the clock on an older motor.

Wash Regularly

Washing your car frequently is key to maintaining that showroom shine. Aim to clean the exterior at least once a fortnight. Use a sponge and car shampoo to lift dirt gently away without scratching the bodywork. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a microfibre cloth to avoid water marks. Pay special attention to areas that dirt loves to stick – wheel arches, door shuts and around number plates.

Polish Paintwork

Polishing your paintwork every three months removes bonded contaminants like tar and sap. It also helps protect the clearcoat finish from sun damage. Use a dual-action polisher on flat panels and polish by hand on intricate areas. Finish by sealing and waxing for extra gloss and protection. Choosing the right car polish for your vehicle’s colour is important – filling polishes help hide scratches on darker cars while finer polishes give extra clarity on lighter paint.

Clean Wheels

Wheels take a real battering from brake dust and road grime. Keep on top of them by using a dedicated wheel cleaner at least fortnightly. Spray on and leave to dwell before agitating with a wheel brush. Rinse off and dry. For a really deep clean, remove the wheels and arches to tackle backplates and suspension components.

Treat Interior Plastics

Stop interior plastics fading and drying out by dressing them regularly. Wipe down with an interior cleaner then apply a protectant. This leaves a non-greasy satin finish that repels dust. Reapply every few weeks to keep your plastics looking factory fresh. Avoid silicone-based products that attract more dirt over time.

Shampoo Carpets

Footwell carpets take a real pounding and quickly look grubby. Give them a deep clean every six months to refresh their appearance. Use an upholstery attachment on your vacuum to lift surface dirt. Then use a carpet shampoo and scrub with a stiff brush. Allow to dry fully before vacuuming again to lift the nap. This will make carpets look fluffier and hide staining.

Machine Polish Interior

The interior is often forgotten but machine polishing works wonders here too. Use a fine polish and microfibre pad to buff away scratches and scuffs on hard surfaces. Plastics, leather, veneers, glass and metal trim all benefit from this treatment. It removes ingrained dirt and restores a uniform finish. Just be careful not to polish soft touch plastics as you may burn through the coating.

Car Detailing

For a complete inside and out restoration, consider a professional car detailing service. This involves a deep clean followed by multiple machine polishing stages and finishing with a ceramic coating for months of protection. While expensive, it takes car maintenance to new heights. Opt for an express “mini-detail” to target problem areas or a full show-car detail for immaculate results.

Prevention Is Better Than the Cure

The best way to keep your motor looking pristine is to prevent damage in the first place. Park carefully away from other cars to avoid dents. Use sun shades inside to stop dashboard cracks. And keep on top of basic maintenance to nip problems in the bud. Spending a little time each week will save hours of hard graft down the line. With regular TLC, your faithful car will keep on looking factory fresh for years to come

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