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Appearance matters

With the rising price of gasoline and food, not to mention a difficult job market, the last thing many people are thinking about is buying a new vehicle.

  • salon of expensive car new luxury

With the rising price of gasoline and food, not to mention a difficult job market, the last thing many people are thinking about is buying a new vehicle.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to protect the value of your investment with proper vehicle maintenance, including up-keep of appearance.

Most of us know that proper performance maintenance, such as regular oil changes and tune-ups influence a vehicle’s long-term drivability.

But when it comes to determining its sale or trade-in value, appearance is as important as what’s under the hood. The condition of a car’s exterior and interior is a strong indication whether it has been well maintained and can significantly alter its worth.

Since many people are holding on to their cars longer, it’s becoming increasingly important to establish a routine regimen to maintain a car’s appearance.

Not only does it help it look better, but it also enhances the value when it does come time to sell or trade-in.

To keep your vehicle looking great and help protect its value, here are some worthwhile maintenance tips:

* Wash your car every other week. No matter the season, regular washing helps prevent bugs, tar, road grime and other damaging elements from eroding the finish and becoming a long-term fixture on the exterior. Do not use dish soap to wash the vehicle — dish soap dulls the finish and strips the car of shine. Instead, choose a car wash product with a clean rinsing formula that is safe for all finishes.

* Apply car wax as needed. Not only does waxing help restore colour and shine, it leaves behind a protective barrier to help prevent scratches, swirl marks and other imperfections that can permanently damage the vehicle’s paint and finish. Water will bead on a properly waxed surface. When beads do not form, it is time to apply another coat of wax. For best results, select a wax or polish that offers long lasting protection and durability.

* Pay attention to other exterior surfaces. In addition to the car’s finish, protecting and cleaning wheels, exterior plastics and molding will help keep your car looking like new. Use a wheel product to remove and help prevent buildup of brake dust and road grime, which can permanently adhere to wheels and rims. For plastic and rubber surfaces, use a product that will restore and protect the materials’ finish.

* Don’t forget the inside counts, too. It’s just as easy to notice areas of neglect on the interior of a vehicle. To prevent stains and permanent discoloration, clean interior surfaces, including carpeting, upholstery and inside door panels on a regular basis. Similar to car wax, interior products will leave behind protective barriers, making the surface easier to clean next time around and more difficult for stains to set in.

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