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Eight cleaning tips to add £ 1.4k to the value of your car

A shocking fourth driver almost never cleans their car – but washing your vehicle can add £ 1.4k to its value.

According to ‘Buy My Car’, a well-cleaned and maintained car can add up to 10% to the value of a vehicle.

To show this, the average used car price in the UK as of Q1 2021 was £ 14,100. This means that better maintenance of your car can add £ 1,410 in value on average.

Moneyshake has used its own expertise, along with RAC advice and insights from Klavs Simkus, founder and CEO of car inspection specialist CarExamer, to give us British the best tips for spring cleaning our engines.

When asked by 1,000 British drivers, Moneyshake found that 86 percent do not wash their car enough and one in four drivers almost never cleans their car.

Here is an overview of vehicle cleaning tips to keep your vehicle in great condition, based on key focus areas that range from RAC advice and range from bi-monthly jobs to annual check-ins.

1. Give your car seat cover a boost

Vinyl Seats: These are easy to keep from being regularly marked with a sponge and mild detergent.

Cloth seats: Using an all-purpose cleaner or carpet solution can help remove stains and ensure they don’t settle.

Leather seats: There are special leather cleaners to prevent dirt and stains, as well as protective sprays to prevent them in the first place.

2. Protect and maintain your car’s carpet

One preventive measure to avoid abrasion and wear and tear is to make sure you are using floor mats. Rubber waffle style versions are a very effective way of holding on to the mud and the inevitable mud you get into. It’s also a lot easier to hose down if you clean the car and replace it when it’s worn out, the carpet cleaner is carefully scrubbed into a carpet.

However, sometimes this is inevitable. In these scenarios, use a sponge, brush, and some elbow grease to work up a lather and remove stains as soon as you find them.

3. Make sure you clean the outside regularly (especially in winter).

Winter is one of the most important times to keep an eye on cleaning your exterior car. This dangerous mix of salt, ice, and slush that builds up is a quick path to corrosion.

The main areas to keep an eye on and double-check in the colder months are:

• The landing gear

• bumpers

• Inner walls of the wheel

“Probably the most important tip we can offer is to remember not to wash the vehicle when the weather is below freezing,” explains Simkus.

In the summer, try to wash your car in the shade whenever possible, as quick-drying car shampoo can leave streaks on the newly cleaned body that can be a nightmare once you get settled down.

4. A clean engine is an efficient engine

Once a year should do the trick with this one. There are many benefits to keeping your engine clean.

• It runs cooler and more efficiently

• It is easier to spot leaks or problems

• Routine inspections (e.g. V-belts, hoses) become easier and less dirty

Before you begin, you need to cover the more delicate components, such as: B. Electrical, manifold, and air intake – a plastic bag should do the trick here. From there, it’s easy to pull out a bristle brush and a grease-cutting detergent to make the surfaces sparkle before thoroughly rinsing them.

5. Give your car a wax and polish it twice a year

Ideally once before the summer heat and a second time before the winter months.

A common misconception is that wax and polish are interchangeable – here’s what you need to know about each:

• Polishing: For polishing scratches in the paintwork to correct existing defects.

• Wax: Used to create a protective layer that prevents damage to the exterior of the vehicle.

6. Get more life out of your air filters

It is important that you regularly check your air filters – all others clean if possible – and replace them when they are dirty and full of debris. The recommended replacement intervals are every 12,000 to 15,000 miles.

However, it is possible to keep the filter itself clean. Use a cleaning solution and remove all dirt from the filter. Then rinse it out. Then put it on a clean towel and let it dry completely. Tap out any loose residue and remove it with a vacuum cleaner.

7. Do not neglect door and window seals

A crucial part of a car’s weather resistance that is often neglected is the sealing around the doors and windows. Add these to your cleaning checklist by applying silicone or rubber protectants around the weatherstrip to keep it in tip-top shape.

Doing this on a regular basis with your regular laundry can not only stop mold from appearing but also reduce the chance of your car door getting stuck on the seal (usually in colder weather), which isn’t just annoying – it can also severely damage the rubber. Avoid oil-based products for this job (e.g. the tried and tested WD-40), as these can impair weather resistance.

8. Wash and protect the dashboard and displays

It is very important not to neglect the dashboard and gauges because, in addition to the need for the same DC as other interior elements, there is also a need to consider road safety. A damp cloth and a light touch while cleaning the car can help avoid this.

Protective sprays are available for the dashboard itself, which will keep the plastic in good condition, reduce the appearance of existing cracks and discolor, and protect against future scratches. It’s also worth using sunscreen behind the windshield on bright days to reduce the risk of fading and warping.


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