Looks are Everything!
We completed a ‘Summer Special’ for a young car owner last week, and he was asking for basic tips to maintain as much value in his older vehicle as possible.
In real estate the watch word is ‘location location location’. For cars and trucks, it has to be ‘appearance’. People are visual creatures. The average person purchasing your vehicle ‘after’ you is going to be primarily attracted to how it appears, and do perhaps a safety mechanical check following that. If it is sporting tired and faded paint, they are going to presume you took similar care to the running gear as you did to the curb appeal!
We enjoy hot sun in central Alberta. Sheltered parking is at a premium, and the sun deteriorates your paint, plus any rubberized trim. The first step is to wash your car often to remove grime and pollution. Use a soft cotton mitt, bucket and car wash cleaner, and do it out of the direct sunlight. Don’t use SOS pads or rough brushes to clean road tar or bugs off – instead use auto detailing clay bar. This will take care of tree sap as well. Afterwards, take the time to dry your vehicle instead of letting it ‘drip dry’. Minerals can be left behind on the paint if you rely on the evaporation method. Don’t skip waxing the paint, which is the best way to keep it looking new. It protects against roadside pollutants as well as protects from the sun’s UV. Waxing will eliminate any grime remaining on your car after a quick wash. Pay special attention to your car or truck hood. The heat from the engine is murder on that paint, and it needs all the help you can give it. Your head lights are a highly visible feature on any car, and they get pitted from grit and also brittle. Consider after-market replacements. It’s not unusual to find online product that matches your make/model for about 20% of the OEM cost. Failing replacement, check out auto protection film kits to protect your lights before they qualify for a pension!