Everyone enjoys a great-looking car, but many consumers are unaware of some everyday habits that can harm your paint finish. Keeping your car in shape helps to avoid costly damage down the line, which is why Meguiar’s wants car owners to know how to protect their cars. Meguiar’s reveals six common ways consumers neglect their cars, and easy routine changes to help prevent each. I am a longtime fan of Meguiar’s products and have been for years!
1. “Using Dishwashing Detergent to Clean the Exterior” – Most household detergents are formulated to strip everything off the surface, including the wax protection on your car. While this might be great for your dishes, your car is now defenseless against the elements. Meguiar’s suggests using a pH balanced car wash product, like their Gold Class Shampoo and Conditioner, which removes loose surface dirt and debris without damaging the car’s surface.
2. “Parking Under Trees” – Although it’s tempting to take advantage of parking in the shade, it’s actually one of the most damaging things you can do to your paint finish. The damage caused by items falling from above like tree sap and bird droppings, is actually greater than leaving your car in the sun, because sap and bird droppings, if not removed quickly enough, can permanently damage your paint finish.
3. “Neglecting Headlights” – Dull, hazy, and oxidized headlights are the first giveaway sign of a neglected car. Not only are they unattractive, they can also be a safety concern as they make it difficult to see the road ahead and avoid potential hazards. Meguiar’s makes a Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit, and Wal-Mart service centers actually do a good job with this for $20 or so.
4. “Leaving Spilled Food and Drinks” – Forgetting to clean up spills is not only unsightly, it can also lead to permanent stains and unpleasant odors in the interior of your car. Leave a few terrycloth towels in the trunk in case of emergencies. Cleaning up spilled food right away is key to getting the entire stain out.
5. “Using Just One Bucket” – By using just one bucket when washing, you end up transferring dirt back onto the car, which can create swirl marks and defeats the purpose of your wash. Meguiar’s suggests using two buckets: a plain water bucket for rinsing the wash mitt and a wash solution bucket for retrieving fresh suds to continue cleaning. Using a Grit Guard in each bucket also helps to trap loose dirt particles, preventing them from transferring back onto your car.
6. “Using Too Much Product on Your Vehicle” – When applying wax to protect the surface of your vehicle, a common mistake is to use too much product in one application. Not only is this wasteful of the product, but it also creates extra work when removing the product. To get the most out of your wax, use a single uniform thin layer of wax. If you are worried about coverage or protection during tough winter months, a second uniform, thin layer may be applied.