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Tips To Protect Your Vehicle's Finish

With the arrival spring, warmer weather is right around the corner. After a full winter of driving through snow, slush and salt, your vehicle’s appearance is probably suffering. Many of us like to wash our vehicle at home rather than use a carwash. If you fall under this category, the following tips might be helpful to you.

A lot of vehicle owners use a non-automotive product such dish detergent to wash their cars and many never wax their vehicles. Dish detergents contain harsh chemicals that, intended to cut through grease, will strip away the wax finish on your vehicle. Some are difficult to rinse off and will leave streaks in your vehicle’s finish. A formulated automotive wash product is recommended. These products are designed to gently lift the dirt and grime while protecting the finish.

Many people believe they do not have to wax their vehicle because it has a clear-coat finish. Unfortunately, this is not true. A clear-coat finish is only as thick as a piece of paper and can become damaged from the effects of sunlight, UV radiation, acid rain, salt, dirt and air pollution. Using a wax formulated for clear-coat finishes will help protect it from damage.

By washing and waxing your vehicle on a regular basis, you will not only help protect your car’s finish, but its value as well. According to the Kelley Blue Book, a clean, well maintained car can be worth up to 50 percent more than one that is in “fair” condition.

Some other tips to remember when washing your car include; use warm water, wash with a soft terrycloth towel or washing mitt, spray the car often with water, complete one section at a time and rinse repeatedly to prevent soap from drying on the paint, wash in a shady spot to prevent water spots and use a soft terrycloth towel or scratch-free fabric to dry the vehicle.

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