Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - Miller
I usually buy cars at around 5 years old and get rid after 3/4 years service.

Now I am not adverse to giving my cars a good wash when needed, however I feel some owners (usually the very young and very old) go overboard, washing and polishing every Sunday without fail and paying hundreds to get minor scratches and dents repaired.

Now obviously this approach make sense if the car in question is less than three years old and/or a prestige high value model as bodywork condition can have a significant effect on trade in value. However it seems to me once a mainstream model passes its third birthday when trade in time comes the dealer will look at his price guide and offer £X amount for it regardless of how many dings/dents/rust is present on it.

My Mondeo is a classic example. Almost eight years old, I would say in above average nick compared another example the same age but starting rust at both rear arches. Now I could pay £2-300 (or whatever) on getting the rust done but we all know it will be back within 18 months or so. Current part ex value about £500 if I was to trade it in as is...part ex value with rust sorted...£500 - I doubt the dealer would even bother getting out of his chair to give it the once over!

I know many on here take great pride in the appearance of their respective vehicles. But is all the sweat and financial cost worth it in the end?
Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - normd
at this end of the market the look of the bodywork is usually the difference between selling it quickly or not ie "there are plenty of £500 cars out there so I may as well buy a nice looking one all other things being equal."
Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - NowWheels
When I moved to England, I reckoned that this car-washing game must be a religious exercise because people did it on a sunday morning -- a time when (in those days) Irish people would be in church.

So I suspect that the merits of car-washing comes down to what religion-substitute you prefer.
Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - local yokel
I buy at the £500 end of the market - and only buy a car with really tidy bodywork. Too many dings and I start to wonder what else they didn't bother with.
Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - Oz
IMHO (decades in the coating industry), the main issue is to flush off any accumulated mud, or salt deposits, which can lead to corrosion and expensive repairs. Bird droppings can have a etching effect and should be got rid of.
And scratches which go right through to metal need touching in.

Otherwise, where these factors are absent, modern paint coatings don't really need to be coated with wax, or whatever.

Oz (as was)
Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - Roberson
If you don't plan on keeping it long, it's not worth bothering with, but for people like me who won?t be getting rid of their car, then it might make some sense.
Otherwise, where these factors are absent, modern paint coatings don't really
need to be coated with wax, or whatever.

True, cars can survive without it, as long as its metallic/has a lacquered finish, but its look incredibly drab!
Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - Stuartli
>>but its look incredibly drab!>>

..and when you wash it or it rains, the water won't flow off the bodywork quickly. A properly waxed vehicle also means dirt etc comes off much more easily when a vehicle is washed.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - madf
Having seen loads of dull paint on 10 year old non metallics or peeling laquer on 10 year old metallic painted cars.. all unwashed/unpolished/generally bodily unloved..

and realising that today's water based paints appear less durable.. then their solvent based forerunners...

anyone who believes modern paint sytems require no maintenance is sadly deluded imo.

Paint chips more easily and I am sure they will degrade with time and ultra violet light... unless cared for...

Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - nick
anyone who believes modern paint sytems require no maintenance is sadly
deluded imo.

Regular washing with a cheap wash/wax and an occasional clean with traffic film remover is all that is needed IMHO. Come and look at my 6 yr old Legacy for proof. Plenty of touched-in stone chips, mainly on the plastic bumpers, otherwise it looks as good as new. No fading (and it is a dark blue), no peeling.
Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - Civic8
You will most likely find, most cars over 5 years old will be a better seller with looked after paintwork than similar without,old rule of thumb was Body/chassis in great shape the mechanics can be sorted later.
What it looks like counts
Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - Doc
I know many on here take great pride in the appearance
of their respective vehicles. But is all the sweat and financial
cost worth it in the end?

To many people,driving a well-presented car is the same as going out with clean shoes, a freshly-ironed shirt, and a clean, smart suit.

Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - irv
it's a well known fact that a shiney car adds 5-10bhp!

but seriousley, i buy at the lower end of the market and run a car for as long as i can. I wash the car once a week and on the latest one have invested in some decent sealant (slightly better than wax nowadays).

buying a car is really something i don't like doing, so the idea is to make sure i don't have to buy one too often. that means regular servicing to take care of the inside and regular washing/protection to take car of the outside
Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - Cliff Pope
Rust starts and gets a serious hold on the underneath, in hidden sections, and in crevices.
So from a structural point of view it is a waste of time polishing say the roof or the doors - how many cars have you ever seen with a rust hole in the middle of the roof?
The time would be better spent underneath with a pressure washer.
I don't bother polishing my shoes either, but I do stick the sole back on if it shows signs of turning up. I'm not interested in their resale value - I'll try and keep them working as long as possible and then throw them away.
Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - irv
be careful with pressure washers if you're a bit pressure happy. they can knock paint off edges (like wheel arches etc).

i clean the wheel arches and use sealant on the painted parts there (as i have had rust there on a previous car). i do the rest to stop the paint deteriorating further.
Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - Navara Van man
For me the point of weekly vehicle washing is firstly simply that a clean car/ van presents a better imadge and secondly I can spot any stone chips and treat imediatly. Thirdly Regularly cleaning enables me to keep an eye on tyre wear. I have never waxed any of the vehicles I own.
Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - mss1tw
I wash mine every week or near enough. A bit sad I know, but of the £4500 I paid for it, £3000 was from a redundancy payout; I'll never get a 'bargain' like it again, so I want it to stay nice.

Also, I don't go out wearing dirty clothes, so why would I drive a scruffy car?
Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - Vansboy
I actually ENJOY detailing, a car - Mrs V's Mx5 gets waxed every weekend & the Omega, at least once a month.

I'm sad, I know, but I do actually find it theraputic!!

Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - stevegolf
me too you can not beat driving a nice shiny clean car and when walkinbg back in a car park to see the nice shine is a nice feeling.
I feel it also reflects upon the driver -a nice clean shiny well detailed car and the driver will be the same and more considerate in driving--after all we do not want our nice clean car damaged!
After all you ivest x £ and to neglect well!
A dealer told me once that a well detailed car will add a little to the trade in--sometimes saving them the valet costs.
Looking after bodywork - Worthwhile? - Blue {P}
If it's really immaculate then yes, a clean car will be worth a little more than a scruffy one, especially if it makes the difference between the dealer retailing the car themselves or sending it to auction...


Value my car