Buying a car is one of the most expensive purchases you will make. Many new owners have a sense of pride after making this purchase. They want to do everything to maintain that new car look.

In the beginning, many car owners will regularly wash their vehicles. However, the frequency tends to taper off. Read on to find out why you should continue keeping your car clean and why washing and waxing are about more than just cleanliness.

Prevent Contaminants From Sticking to the Vehicle

Washing your vehicle is not just about keeping it clean. You want to maintain the vehicle’s condition. Driving your car puts it at risk to come in contact with contaminants. These contaminants may include bugs, mud, dust, dirt, and salt.

Debris should not be allowed to just sit and build up; it can cause stains, rust, and corrosion. You are riding around with a layer of grit that is scratching your finish. For example, mud should not be allowed to sit on your vehicle. It will eventually destroy your paint job. Mud is made of clay, which has abrasive properties.

These abrasive properties will wear down your finish. If you are concerned about your paint job, then you must take steps to protect your car. Regular cleaning is one of these steps. You should wash your vehicle at least every two weeks.

Improve Safety

Keeping your vehicle clean is another way to stay safe. Your tires, mirrors, and windows should not contain anything that will hinder driving. Regularly washing these areas will prevent them from being dirty.

A dirty mirror may prevent you from clearly seeing the road. It is impossible to avoid hazards when you are unable to see. You should clean your mirrors and the inside of your windshield, too.

Washing and waxing is not just about cleanliness
Protect the Paint Job

You should consider a wax after washing your vehicle. Car wax can protect your paint job against scratches. When you wash a vehicle, a scrubbing motion is used to clean it. This motion causes the dirt to grind into your paint and leave behind scratches. Applying a layer of wax can prevent some of this damage.

This layer of wax allows the dirt to slide off the vehicle instead of grinding into the bodywork. A traditional wax formula contains a carnauba wax blend, natural oils, and beeswax, and it may include petroleum distillates. Carnauba is considered a hard wax and creates a glossy shine.

Beeswax comes from honeycombs, and it’s used in formulas for wax. It is durable and provides a protective layer. Linseed oil is one of the natural oils used in wax. It contains emollients that provide protection, luster, and shine to the surface of the bodywork. Natural oils help with maintaining your paint job and protecting against damage.

A petroleum distillate is a solvent and comes from crude oil. It is added to the wax to clean paint and makes the product easier to spread. Newer wax formulas are also on the market. They may include special resins and polymers. Resins are used as a shine enhancer, and polymers are used as a car wax hardener.

Applying car wax provides a thin protective layer to the clear coat of paint on the body. If you want to maintain the shine and protection, then you should reapply the wax every one to three months.

Improve Resale Value

Determining a resale value is one of the first steps when selling your vehicle. Certain factors are used to determine this value, and these factors include the body and paint condition, mileage, service records, and interior condition. Your vehicle’s paint job can hurt its value. It only takes a small scratch or a chip in the paint. The value also decreases if the paint is faded or shows signs of wear.

Regularly waxing can help with keeping your paint job looking fresh, and it protects your vehicle from contaminants. The vehicle’s body can get scratched from debris popping up off the road. You also have to consider the outdoor elements, including oxidation, salt, acid rain, and sunlight. They all can damage your paint.

You may have to pay for a new paint job if your plans to sell become hindered by your car’s poor paint condition. If you already have some scratches, then waxing may be able to fill out these spaces. Waxing will not get all of the scratches out, but it will make your vehicle look better.

Washing and waxing is not just about cleanliness
Maintain the Exterior Paint Finish

It takes different types of paint to achieve a good paint finish. This process can be complex. The car manufacturer wants the paint to properly bond to the metal surface of your vehicle. The finish also gives the exterior paint a glossy shine.

Maintaining the finish on your vehicle requires constant wiping. However, you must use the right products. First, it helps to know the type of finish on your vehicle. Most vehicles built since the mid-1990s have clear-coat paint finishes. Many detailing products are available on the market to accommodate clear-coat paint finishes.

These products can remove dirt below and above the surface. Specialized detailing products also remove imperfections and swirl marks and leave behind a glossy shine. The clear coat is the top layer of the finish. It provides a barrier between the paint and outside elements. The clear coat works by protecting the surface from UV radiation, which in turn prevents the paint from becoming dull.

Keep Engine Clean

Most car owners put emphasis on cleaning the interior and exterior of their vehicles. However, you may want to clean under the hood. A good wash can remove impurities away from the body and other car parts. Auto body shops also offer cleaning services for your engine.

Gunk can accumulate in this area from grease, dirt, and oil. However, it should not cause your engine to overheat. Maintaining a clean engine can help with pinpointing minor leaks. For example, a leaky valve-cover gasket can cause excess oil to accumulate around the engine. It is a repair you can catch early by just keeping this area clean.

Grease and oil also can increase the wear and tear of certain parts. These things may include plastic parts and rubber hoses. You can use a degreaser to clean the gunk off these items. Keeping the engine compartment clean allows for a well-maintained vehicle. It also extends the longevity of your engine.

Washing and waxing is not just about cleanliness
Avoid Rust

Scratches are a concern because they may lead to rust, and you want to avoid rust. This reaction can occur from a single scratch that gets through the paint. It exposes the metal underneath, which can get the rust started. The process of oxidation cannot be stopped once it starts.

The rate at which rust consumes your vehicle has to do with salt. Salt increases the rate that metal corrodes. Rust can become a costly repair. Salt can get on your vehicle from a number of things. If you live near the ocean, then you have to worry about salt.

If you live in a cold climate, salt may be used to remove snow from roads. This can get salt on your vehicle. A surface rust repair can be removed with sandpaper and paint. If the rust penetrates below the surface, then it can get expensive.

Rust can also damage your vehicle’s frame and make it unsafe to drive. However, you can prevent rust by washing off contaminants immediately.

Washing Methods

Car owners have options for keeping their vehicles clean. They no longer have to carry out the task alone. You can take your vehicle to a company that does hand-washings. Another option is going to an automatic car wash. If you want to wash your vehicle at home, then the right supplies are required.

You are going to need liquid soap for car washing plus car wax. It helps to find the proper products that work on your vehicle. Other items include a bucket, water hose and attachment, sponges, and dry towels. You should use a hose attachment that provides a strong spray.

Your car should be parked in a shady area. It is important to not dry your car out before the washing starts. Before applying soap, you want to rinse your vehicle from top to bottom. A hose with a strong spray will loosen dirt and debris off your vehicle. You also should not forget to spray your tires, undercarriage, and wheels.

The bucket should be filled with soapy water, and it should soak your sponge. Your sponge should be used to wash your car from top to bottom. It helps to scrub, but do not go overboard. You want to scrub only enough to loosen any debris. It’s always best to use a clean sponge when washing your vehicle.

If your sponge gets dirty, then you should switch it out for a clean one. This approach prevents damage and grime as well as scratches.

Washing and waxing your vehicle are not just about cleanliness; they’re also about maintaining it.

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