New car - how to keep that way? - nickd01
After saving for a while, I've finally purchased my newest car ever! Nothing exciting, but a '52 Focus 1.6LX in a metallic blue. Only 7k miles so as far as I'm concerned it's new!

Anyway, how do I keep it looking nice and new? What polishes, treatments and lotions does it need? Aside from the regular oil changes what tips do you have so I can try and keep the car looking as it does now?

The only thing I have at the moment is an old bottle of "Mer" polish. Geeze, I don't even know where it came from!

Any help appreciated...

Nick
New car - how to keep that way? - Ivor E Tower
Keep it clean - wash it once a fortnight max, once a week if you can manage it. Use plain water or special car shampoo only, NOT washing-up liquid unless you will immediately polish it.
Polish it once per year only, with a decent polish eg Mer or Autoglym or Simoniz, Turtle wax etc.
Keep it out of the sun! Don't park it under trees or other things that drop deposits on the paintwork. Keep a packet of babywipes in the car so bird poo can be wiped off as soon as you spot it. Park it under a carport at night, or in a well-wentilated garage (especially if putting the car away wet after rain.

Anyone else got anything to ad, what have I missed?
New car - how to keep that way? - OldPeculiar
Some of my own additions:

Make sure you hose off the the underneath and wheel arches etc to get rid of mud/road salt.

Follow the service schedule in the Haynes maunel (it recommends an oil change every 5,000 miles as well as the normal servicing) - particularly if you do a lot of short journeys.

Make sure you check the fluids and tyre pressures every week.

Get some of those door edging strips if you park anywhere near a wall or carry people who don't pay attention when opening doors (I speak from experience here!)
New car - how to keep that way? - Burnout2
Additionally - don't use automatic carwashes (the brushes scratch the lacquer topcoat and dull the finish over time), and try to rinse the car with a jetspray prior to washing - this removes loose dirt which you'll otherwise be rubbing into the paintwork. This, again, can create a 'swirl' effect of tiny scratches which shows up particularly badly on dark paint finishes.

I'd recommend Autoglym body conditioner to wash, and their Super Resin Polish applied every few months - you'll know it's time when the rain stops beading nicely on the paintwork. If the paintwork's properly protected this way, you can get away with washing less often (which, let's face it, is a good thing!)

Check regularly for fresh stonechips on the front wings / bonnet and touch-up. I don't think corrosive cleaners are a great idea for alloys - far better to use ordinary bodywork conditioner, a soft-bristled brush and some elbow-grease to remove brake-dust. Waxing the alloys in the same way as the bodywork works surprisingly well in repelling dirt thereafter.





New car - how to keep that way? - billy25
if only all cars were treated this way!!

billy.
New car - how to keep that way? - mark999
Park right at the back of supermarket car parks or better still never use them.
If your car doesnt have side protection strips consider having them fitted.
New car - how to keep that way? - joe
If you have kids, get a rear seat cover fitted!

Make a boot floor cover from an offcut of carpet.

Remove all the ashtrays and cig lighter in case anyone is minded to smoke uninvited.



New car - how to keep that way? - Manatee
I used washing up liquid for years - until someone who knew told me they actually use salt to help thicken it! So even if you were going to polish right away you might still be putting salty water into seams etc.

Yes, the cars did go rusty - but they all did, then.
New car - how to keep that way? - Andrew-T
I don't think there's any reason to be afraid of rainwater. SWMBO's Clio lives outdoors, and almost the only washing it gets is when I wipe it dry after it has rained (have to use a bucket of water now and then on the lower half). Definitely stay away from the carwash, and hose under the wheel arches, preferably with the wheels off and the hubs etc. covered up.

Two or three times a year a bout of Autoglym polish and glass cleaner (not the screen), and maybe Bumper Care if the black bits look tired.
New car - how to keep that way? - Leon on Derv
When you park in tight multi-storey car parks never feel guilty about taking up two spaces. It will stop others from clobbering your pride and joy when they carelessly open their doors.

Besides - you are paying for at least two spaces anyway!

Buy a decent steering lock - no point having shiny paintwork and retaining that "new car smell" if some looser can be gone in sixty seconds with it!

Leon
New car - how to keep that way? - DL
Yes....but you will get a ticket for bad parking!

--
groups.msn.com/honestjohn - Pictures say a thousand words.....
New car - how to keep that way? - T-Bod
I find you can't go wrong with Autoglym products.Also try to garage the car if you live near the sea as salt water isn't known for helping your paintwork.(Mind you i did say that to my missus and she still fills our garage up with junk!!!!!)
New car - how to keep that way? - Vansboy
Check out the hints n tips on here,

www.meguiars.co.uk

As in previous 'which polish' posts, this is fast becoming the product choice for previous Autoglym & Mer enthusiasts.

It REALLY is a quality product!

VB
New car - how to keep that way? - Marc
Get some mats. Rubber ones
New car - how to keep that way? - THe Growler
Interesting, just got a new car myself and been pondering the same question. How to keep that new car smell and appearance.

The interior is very important.

Mine came supplied FOC with simple cloth seat covers. Get some if you can, so that nobody ever touches the actual seat material. Of course if you want to show off that fancy leather then you have to be prepared for creases which fill with dirt and have to be cleaned. Be careful with leather cleaner. Some will pull off the colour if you aren't careful.

Hopefully nobody smokes in cars any more so we don't need to cover that, do we? I refuse to allow anyone to eat in my car (take-out noodles stink like hell, plus grease stains, Doritos leave fragments everywhere etc), nor drink either (spillage). Nor will I carry any kind of hot food to take home.

A careful search of this site may help you find some interesting tips on floor mats.

I have a Black and Decker Car vacuum which I use regularly. I have bought a rubber mat for the trunk (did trunk mats get a mention or only floor mats?). A cheap nylon sports holdall holds the toolkit, the warning triangle and the bits and bobs which stay in the back.

I never use an air freshener of any kind. Beirut Nights seems somehow to impregnate itself everywhere and never goes away.

Stains (there shouldn't be any if all this is followed) are instantly dealt with. There is some wonderful stuff called Lift-Off, made by Motsenblocker of the US, which is a 3-pack formulated for different kinds of stains. In particular the one for getting felt pen off leather is a godsend. If you can't find it locally get a friend in the US to FeDeX you some. It's the best I've ever come across.

Don't have loose stuff rattling around which may cause marks (I'm thinking of cellphones parked in dashboard trays etc. If you have a coin tidy (Maybe not in UK but needed here for the tolls) line it with cling film so the coins don't mark the inside of it.

Armor-All is good for the inside but never ever use the shiny stuff. For the tires foaming aerosol tire cleaner and a stiff brush will do the job. Personally I avoid that tire shine (It's only glycerine anyway) which IMO looks nasty. I prefer the look of the natural rubber.

One of those curved toilet brushes is ideal for cleaning wheels, arches etc.

Under the hood keep everything clean (I get a steam engine wash every year or so and no my car does not have a steam engine before any wag points that out). Nothing sets of a nicely kept car like an immaculate engine bay, again IMO.

With your new car you have a good start. The challenege is maintaining the motivation to keep it up. My technique, born out of laziness and a short attention span plus wondering what time is beer o'clock, is to do part of the car every few days on a rotating basis. That way it always looks good and I don't have to give up a whole morning playing catch-up. That may not work with your filthy climate, I don't know.

If you've got kids all the above good advice may go to hell in a hand-basket of course......


New car - how to keep that way? - THe Growler
Forgot one, getting those white polish marks off vinyl trim, "Back to Black" is good. Also I use an old toothbrush to go round washer nozzles, door locks, other edges where dried polish gets lodged. Actually that's two.


New car - how to keep that way? - Cliff Pope
Autoglym
Pressure wash underneath regularly
Garage
Never turn the engine off unless it has fully warmed up
Change oil at least as often as recommended
Fix little things, chips, etc asap - don't put them off or you will get used to them and then forget.
Never park under trees
Never drive up kerbs
New car - how to keep that way? - ajit
Autoglym - just got my one year old Honda the full treatment. Autoglym are piloting a car car programme - for 70 pounds - 1 complete valet + 2 polishes + 2 interior valet + 16 quick wshes over 1 year. Cheaper than buying all the products !
New car - how to keep that way? - L'escargot
If you keep the car in a garage, buy a dehumidifier so that if you garage the car when it is wet it will dry out quickly.
--
L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
New car - how to keep that way? - Vansboy
& if it is in a garage, don't start the engine to drive it out, to clean it.

PUSH IT!! The engine wear in those first few seconds is considerable, plus it won't do the catalytic convertor much good, either.

VB
New car - how to keep that way? - 007
Treat yourself to a video produced by Autoglym (obtainable by ordering from any of their Stockists) entitled "How to keep your car in showroom condition". It will cost you a fiver.
New car - how to keep that way? - L'escargot
& if it is in a garage, don't start the engine
to drive it out, to clean it.
PUSH IT!! The engine wear in those first few seconds
is considerable, plus it won't do the catalytic convertor much good,
either.
VB


And when you do drive it out, drive it out in the opposite direction to which you drove it in!
--
L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
New car - how to keep that way? - Ian (Cape Town)
Oh, and take it for a spin round the block - burn that water of the brake discs, and let the airflow clean out the water from the cracks...
New car - how to keep that way? - Andrew-T
Vansboy - neither will the slope down to the road, which a lot of owners suffer from.
New car - how to keep that way? - L'escargot
Vansboy - neither will the slope down to the road, which
a lot of owners suffer from.


I have a slope up to the road. Is this good, and why? (Genuine question)
--
L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
 

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