You shell out a lot of cash to buy a new car, not only in the way of loan payments (complete with interest), but also for registration, insurance, fuel, and of course maintenance. So it only makes sense to protect your investment so that it can continue to serve your transportation needs for many years to come and retain as much value as possible for eventual resale or trade-in. And part of the process includes regular cleaning and detailing. But you don’t necessarily have to spend a ton of money on upkeep. Here are a few budget-friendly tips for DIY detailers.
- Use the right products. You might wonder why you should spend the money on special soap for your car when you could simply use dish soap. The problem is, you can put a little money into it now or you could end up spending a lot more later. Dish soap may be cheap and mild, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for your car. It can actually leave behind a residue that dulls your finish, whereas the proper products will make your car look shiny and new. And over time, using the wrong products could cause more severe damage to the finishes on your car, leading to increased costs when you have to repair or replace damaged parts.
- Avoid pricy tools. It’s a good idea to use sponges and shammies to avoid scratching paint or other surfaces. And it pays to purchase the right products here. But there’s no need to overspend on pricy tools like a buffer, for example. Unless you know how to use it appropriately, you could end up doing more harm than good, and that can lead to much higher bills when you have to have your hood repainted, for example. When it comes to saving money with DIY detailing, knowing what you’re capable of and what is beyond your skill and knowledge could save you a lot.
- Be thorough. It’s not enough to vacuum your interior. You also need to blow out the ducts if you want to prevent dust from settling all over the car the next time you run the AC or heater. And you should definitely take the time to condition leather appropriately. This will help prevent staining and cracking and protect the surface to keep it looking clean and new. If you want to preserve the flawless finishes inside and out, an eye for detail is key.
- Clean frequently. One of the best ways to avoid pricy professional detailing is to keep your car from collecting dust and debris that can damage finishes in the first place. So washing your car frequently is a must. If you use your car quite a bit, a weekly wash may not be out of the question, and since you can do this on your own, there’s very little cost involved. But the longer you wait to wash, the more build-up you’ll have to contend with, potentially making the process more time consuming and even causing damage along the way.
- Hire a pro. There’s no need to pay for professional detailing on a monthly basis, but you might want to call up the pros atWord of Mouth Auto Detailing Service or another local service annually to perform the deep cleaning that you just can’t do on your own. Considering what it costs to repaint a car or replace upholstery, the price of annual detailing is relatively minor.