So you just got a new car and you want it to last. That new car smell, the pristine paint, and the spotless interior are all aspects that you want to enjoy for as long as possible. While the new car smell will fade over time, there are a few things that you can do regularly to ensure that your car stays looking great.

Wash it Regularly

Washing your car is one of the best things you can do to ensure that it lasts a long time. Washing your car protects your paint job and it also acts as something of a preventative measure.

Additionally, there are multiple car washes where you can also vacuum your car free of charge. Taking the time to quickly vacuum your car after you wash it is a great habit—you’ll feel happier driving around in a clean car and you’ll also be able to prevent damage from occurring in the interior.

Have it Detailed

Detailing your car every now and then has serious benefits. Detailing is more than just vacuuming your car, it usually involves a deep cleaning and a deep conditioning of your car’s carpet. This will get out any stains and any deeply packed dirt or grime, which extends the life of your car’s carpet. Detailing is also really important if you have a leather interior. Having your leather detailed will condition the leather so that it lasts longer and keeps its shine.

Protect the Paint

There are a variety of different precautions that you can take to prevent your car’s paint job from being damaged. First of all, try and store your car in a garage. Doing so prevents it from being exposed to sun, rain, snow, and ice—all things that can damage your car’s paint. You also should consider trying different protective films. You can get window tinting that prevents sunlight from damaging the interior of your car. Additionally, a special film can protect your car’s paint from UV rays and harsh weather damage.

Take it in for Maintenance

Doing proper maintenance on your vehicle is one of the most important ways that you can ensure your vehicle will keep working properly. It’s important to think about building your own car maintenance schedule. Having a designated time for doing different tasks related to your car’s maintenance will keep you accountable and help you not forget anything.

You should also learn the signs of wear and tear on your car. Know what your engine should sound like when it’s running well. Educate yourself on common car problems so that you can recognize them early on. The earlier you can get your car in for a check, the less you’ll pay and the better chance you have of solving the problem before real damage occurs.

Change the Oil Frequently

It’s essential that you change the oil frequently if you want your car to last longer. Changing the oil gives your car the proper lubrication to prevent the gears from grinding on each other. Oil changes also get rid of dirt and debris that builds up in your car’s engine and makes your engine work harder and run slower. When your car has old oil, the engine can get overheated more quickly and will eventually stop working. When you get oil changes frequently, sometimes even more often than the suggested mile amount on your car’s sticker, you’ll be able to prevent major damage on your car’s engine.

Update When Applicable

If you want your car to keep looking new, it’s important that you not only maintain it well but that you also add new features when needed. But while it’s good to add new features to your car, be careful with what you decide on. Adding a feature that is much newer than the car could actually draw attention to the car’s age rather than make it look newer. It’s important that you select upgrades that will improve the car’s function and will blend nicely with the car as it is. For example, if you have an older car that doesn’t have a back-up camera, there are different methods to install one. Adding this feature won’t necessarily look odd in an older car, but it will make your car more functional.

Use the Right Products

Using the right products is important in a lot of settings but it is especially important when it comes to caring for your car. You may initially think that hand washing your car at your home will give you the best shot at making sure the paint doesn’t get scratched and that the car is thoroughly clean. While hand washes can be incredibly effective, washing your car with the wrong products at home can actually be much worse than taking your car through a generic car wash. If you wash your car with dirty towels or with a sponge you’ve been using for a while, the dirt and grime built-up could actually result in a dirty finish at best and a scratched surface at worst.

Clean Bird Droppings Fast

Though it may not be the thing that immediately jumps to your mind, bird droppings can actually significantly damage your paint job. In fact, bird droppings left to sit for even a couple hours and definitely up to a couple days tends to be one of the worst things for your car. Left like this, the residue will actually start to eat away your paint; when you finally do clean it off, it will likely take paint with it. Keep a microfiber towel and some cleaning spray with you so that you can clean up messes quickly after they happen. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Keeping your car’s paint job looking good will also significantly increase your likelihood of selling it quickly and at a higher price.

When it comes to keeping your car looking like new, it can be difficult to know where to start. Trying some of these options can help you get off on the right foot. Then, consider looking at other information about your specific make, model, and trim to make a more personalized game plan.

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