How Do I Keep my Car Body Looking New and Fresh?

Question

Dear Editor,

I own a 2012 Toyota Landcruiser Prado Jeep. It is taken to car wash once in a while, but on every environmental day,  it is washed at home. My concern is that its colour does not seem to be looking as bright as it was when I bought it brand new. I am sure you people know everything about solving car problems.

And I enjoy reading your Auto Clinic advice. But I wonder if you could also give motorists a guide about how to maintain the body of our valued vehicles, especially how to make the body paints last longer.

Florence Ekpenyong(Mrs)

florence-t-expenyong@yahoo.com

Answer

Dear  Mrs Ekpenyong,

I am glad to know that you are concerned about your car’s body and, I guess, interior.

I will begin like this. What many do not realize is that a car is an important member of the family. So as you care for your wives, husbands and children, so should you about the car. God forbid, if one of you falls sick at night and needs to be rushed to the hospital, in a nation like Nigeria, where there is no proper, timely and effective emergency service (ambulance, police and fire), a healthy car is always handy.

In essence, do not wait till your car gets ill before you maintain it. Show it love and care. And it will serve you longer. Aside servicing and checking of tyres and fluids, one major way of caring for your vehicle and making it last long is body care, I mean keeping it clean in and out. But, like Mrs Ekpenyong asked, there are proper procedures.

Don’t

There are dos and don’ts.  For instance, certain so-call car wash use soap detergent and hard sponge to ash your car body. Wrong, your car’s beautiful colour will soon begin to fade. The shining surface will begin to turn dull and drab. You don’t want that, do you?

Car Wash

If you can spare the time, you are actually your best car washer. Even if you can’t do it yourself, supervise or specify how it should be washed.

Rule 01: Do not wash your car in the sun. If have ever done so, you would relies that the water and soap you use dries faster on the car body, leaving stains, which you have to rewash again.

It is best to do your car wash on a cloudy day, early in the morning or afternoon, after the sun might have gone down. However, if you have to wash the car on a sunny day, do so under a shade.

Rule 02: Avoid washing your car body with plate washing soap or detergent for washing cloths. If you want to maintain your car colour, keep it shining like new, try using wash and wax solution, instead. I am sure there are made-in-Nigerian ones on sale at shops, car accessory shop or supermarket. A one-litre will wash your car 40 times. Imagine that.

And they are easy to use.

  • Pour solution into empty bucket.
  • Add water and wash wish the right sponge.
  • Rinse off with clean water before the solution dries, which is why you better off uner a shade and
  • Dry the car body with clean cloth or chamois leather.
  • Done, you will see your car’s original colour coming out, shining and sparkling under the sun. You may not achieve this at most car wash centers, as they do not use the right solution.

Interior Cleaning

I’ve observed car wash personnel working. All they do is clean your car  body, bring out the carpets, wash them, even use hard brush to scrub side walls of your tyres, which is damaging. What do you get? Your car physically looks clean in and out. But you have to suppress odor with air freshener. Some do not even bother.

Best thing to do is to, periodically, clean your car’s interior with vacuum cleaner, if you’ve got one, which you use to clean your rugs at home. Simply connect an extension lid to power socket, to which you connect the vacuum cleaner. Lid to vacuum cleaner might even be long enough, if you have an outside plug socket.

  • Start the vacuum cleaner
  • Remove the carpets
  • Use the brush head to clean the floor areas and the boot.
  • Replace the vacuum head brush with the pointed head; push it into to all hidden areas, under the seats, in the boot, inside the door panels cup holders, etc.
  • Afterwards, without any vacuum cleaning head, clean the fllor carpet again. You will be amazed how fresh and clean your car’s interior will be.

Of course, with wet clean hand towel, you need to wipe the car seats and dashboard areas.

That is it, all done. Repeat that periodically and wash your car looking bright and beautiful.

Pre-Wax Cleaners

This is another handy car body deep leaner, if you can lay your hand on one. What it does, when applied, I to remove all dirts and stains that yo8 missed, when  washing your car. It perfects the body. But in using pre-wax cleaner, like everything, endeavour to follow instructions.

How to use Pre-wax Cleaner

  • Do a mental division of your car body to panels.
  • With a damp cloth or applicator that the product comes with, apply the product to a section
  • Wait for few minutes, for the wax to dry.
  • Polish that section with a smooth cloth

Do so section-by-section

And, I bet you, you’ll give us a testimony.

Last Bits

But please note that do-it-yourself is good, but it is important to locate a professional car care centre, where you do general check up of your automobile, including general servicing, greasing, body checks, etc. Do this once a year. It might sound a lot of bother. At the long run, you will reap the benefit of not having to incur unnecessary and expensive spending on repair.

Dear motorists and readers, this is where we shall draw the cotton of this week’s edition of Auto Clinic, as it comes to you only on Motoring World International, Africa’s only complete motoring magazine.

Next week, wash out for another eye-opening edition.

Meanwhile, don’t forget, keep sending in yours mails for explanations about any intractable motoring problems you experience to: autoclinic@motoringworldng.com or simply paste it under Auto Clinic’s comment box.

Until next week, please be safety conscious.

AUTOMAN

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