HOW TO: keep your car look­ing good

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

WE choose the colour of our car based on how it looks when we see it sitting in the show­room, but rarely do we think about how we’re go­ing to keep it look­ing good.

There it sits, per­fectly clean and shin­ing brightly, but how will it look af­ter a few months on the road af­ter it’s been rained on, pelted with hail, buried in snow, sprayed with dust and tar, cov­ered in dirt and grime and crashed into at the su­per­mar­ket.

The time to think about that is be­fore you buy it. Here are some tips:

Colours that con­tain a lot of pearl or are heavy in me­tal­lic flake can be very dif­fi­cult to match in the event of a fen­der-bender.

If you’ve got your heart set on such a colour buy a car that has been painted in a pre­mium qual­ity paint, like Gla­surit, Speis-Hecker or Stan­dox, as they have the most ac­cu­rate re­fin­ish­ing for­mu­las for match­ing the fac­tory colours.

Don’t buy black, un­less you like wash­ing your car. Black cars are very hard to keep clean, whereas sil­ver, white and cham­pagne stand up well and don’t re­quire as much work to keep clean.

Don’t get sucked into buy­ing a paint pro­tec­tion prod­uct the dealer tells you will keep your paint pris­tine for the life of the car, they don’t work and they’re a waste of money.

The only thing they do is line the pock­ets of the deal­ers and sales­peo­ple who sell it to you.

Do wash your car reg­u­larly us­ing fresh wa­ter only, and dry it with a chamois.

Don’t use soap or de­ter­gent when wash­ing your car, un­less it’s very dirty, and then use only a very small amount.

Avoid park­ing un­der trees or power lines. Trees will leave sap de­posits on your car, while birds love to perch on power lines and poop on your pride and joy.

If you do find de­posits on your car re­move them as soon as pos­si­ble. The longer you leave them the harder it will be to re­move them and the greater the chance of your paint be­ing dam­aged. Bird poo will eat into your paint if not re­moved.

Wax your car ev­ery six months with a good qual­ity car­nauba wax, one that is hard to ap­ply and hard to re­move. Cars left parked in the street will need to be waxed even more fre­quently to main­tain the shine.

Rub-a-dub-dub: Give your car a tub

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