After a long hard winter, doesn’t your car deserve a little tender loving care?
WITH the end of a very long and hard winter in sight for most of us, more than a few cabinfevered vehicle nuts are aching for warm Saturday mornings in the driveway or home garage, eager to tackle the task of scraping the Canadian winter grime off the daily driver.
It’s time to trade road-salt white for a more factory-intended hue, and while many look at this chore as a necessary evil, it can actually pay off in reduced maintenance and repair costs and improved trade-in or resale value.
To prove the latter point, UK autocare product masters Autoglym sent their Canadian office’s brand manager, Dave Lambert, to Canadian Black Book (the leaders in auto market valuation) to complete a rejuvenation of a very tired 10-year-old Honda Civic. Before and after appraisals were completed by an authorized Honda dealership. With only a few hours of some tender loving care and a little elbow grease, the Civic’s value increased by almost 20 per cent, to $6,500.
Even if you’re not trading in the chariot for a newer ride, and even if you’re not a subscribing car nut, that time spent in the driveway can earn driven task. Many car owners have switched over to separate rims for snow-tire use, but a 12-month substance can put summer alloy wheels at risk if left to accumulate. That material is brake-lining dust.
This toner-black powder is corrosive and one of the top causes of alloywheel surface pitting and clear-coat peeling. By using a quality rim cleaning product and a soft bristled brush, it’s easy to remove these dark stains and extend the life of the rims and improve their appearance.
On the top side, Lambert said, polishing is the step that’s missed altogether, and this causes less-thanstellar finishes. Between wash and wax, polishing painted surfaces does the “donkey work” — as Lambert put it — of removing stubborn stains and repairing imperfections to rejuvenate the paint. It takes only a few years of sun radiation and weathering to cause perceptible colour depth changes between body panels, with horizontal sheets such as hoods and roofs taking the biggest hit.
Failing to complete the polishing means your wax application will seal in your paint scars and colour differences rather than eliminate them. There is a marked difference between polishes and waxes on your auto-parts store shelves and it’s worth reading up on their application processes and intended uses before applying them to your vehicle.
Heading into the passenger cabin, vacuuming carpets and seats is the most time-consuming part of the job, but one of the most important to get odours out, along with the grit and sand. When you consider that the inside of your vehicle is where you spend a great deal of your day, making it the focus of your spring cleaning can make the commute much more bearable.
Lambert advises dealing with spills and stains as soon as possible to avoid the marks setting into fabrics. It helps to have good lighting for this job and
This 10-year-old Honda Civic cleaned up nicely.