Top 5 Car Maintenance Mistakes
December 26, 2013
These days, getting your car clean after a long drive is as easy as 1-2-3. All you need to do is pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with your favorite detailer, and your car will be returned to you looking like it just rolled out of the showroom. When you leave the job to the professionals, you can keep away from car maintenance mistakes that so many car enthusiasts commit during their first attempts at do it yourself auto detailing.
But, there’s also a peculiar pleasure that you can only get after you’ve sweated and gotten yourself dirty with car detailing. Nothing beats the feeling of pride that comes with knowing that you achieved that high-gloss, squeaky-clean finish with your own two hands. It doesn’t matter if your professional detailer can do it better; you know that you can still do a pretty good job on your own with just a couple of basic cleaning tools and equipment. That means you can save money but still keep your car clean as whistle in between your detailing appointments.
Get your car tool kit organized
Before you rush headlong into cleaning your car at home, you should first make sure that you have everything you need to do the task. Too many newbies begin cleaning their vehicles only to realize that there’s not enough carnauba wax to do the entire car, or that they have purchased the wrong type of carpet shampoo.
It is best to familiarize yourself with your car’s components, from the type of paint used on the body to the material used on the car seats. This way, you can avoid making the most common car maintenance mistake: using incorrect cleaning products. If you’re not sure about which products to use, ask your detailer to help you out. He understands that sometimes it’s necessary for car owners to undertake the detailing job on your own. Plus if you don’t botch up the detailing, he won’t have to spend so much time and effort rectifying your errors at your next appointment.
Once you have identified the proper cleansers you can use for the different parts of your car, you should put them at near where you plan to start the detailing. It’s very important for you to keep everything within arm’s reach when you start the detailing job. This saves you time and makes you more efficient as you soap and brush and scrub away at your car.
A beginner’s guide to DIY detailing
Now that you’re really ready to have a go at your vehicle, take note of these five common car maintenance mistakes that car owners make:
- You wash your car in the sun. Picking a sunny spot to clean your car will help your car dry faster, right? Be that as it may, the sun’s harmful UV rays penetrate past freshly-applied car wax and conditioner, damaging the paint job and even the metal body. Leaving your car in the sun to speed up the drying process might also highlight the swirl marks and uneven strokes you made with your buffing towel.
- You store your car for the winter or vacation without preventive maintenance. Car owners going away on a holiday rarely think to prep their vehicles before putting them in storage. The truth is that your car requires just as much detailing before being stored as when you’re regularly using it.
- You don’t check your tires for baldness and pressure loss. Just thinking about poor, neglected tires can send the most zealous detailer into a frenzy. Your tires come in contact with all the rubbish that the road has to offer, so why do you exclude it from your regular DIY inspection and detailing? Under- or over-inflated tires make your car consume gas at a higher rate. Bald tires that have lost their treading provided dangerously low traction. And while you’re at it, you should consider rotating the front and rear tires every now and then to even the wear.
- You forget to replace the car fluids. Antifreeze, degreaser, brake fluid, and oils are just some of the fluids that keep your car humming smoothly on the tarmac. However, they are not meant to sit in your car for long periods of time without being replaced. Having these liquids at sufficient levels helps you keep your car in tiptop shape.
- You neglect to clean the windshield wipers, air vents, vinyl trimmings, and trunk. A truly clean car is one that has all its components in good working condition. The tiniest details can make or break the result you’re aiming for with your DIY detailing efforts. If you want to turn heads with your vehicle, you’re going to have to pay attention to its smallest components, inside and out. That means that you have to put a little elbow grease into the parts that you don’t normally notice, such as the air vents and the vinyl trimmings. Your car won’t look as good as you want it to unless every inch is thoroughly cleaned and detailed to perfection.