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Keeping a car pristine

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Cooper, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Cooper

    Cooper

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    I bought a new (to me) car over the weekend, and even though it's very modest (Honda Civic), I'm absolutely thrilled to have something new and clean.

    I have never been one of those people that manages to keep his car spotless, but I'd like to try to develop good habits. I'm not sure if I want to take it to the level of not parking under trees, etc., but I'd like to treat this one better than past autos.

    Thanks!
     
  2. roger123

    roger123

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    I go over mine once or twice a year with clay bar and a good wax. Keeps the paint looking good.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012

  3. nathanours

    nathanours Texan

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    Well my car is 16 years old, and I've had people think that it was brand new. There is a car wash near me where I don't actually wash it, but go to use their free vacuums (I do wash my beater car there).

    As far as interior products, I am a big fan of maguires (sp?) products, and I'd avoid armourall as I've heard it is alcohol based and can dry interior parts out. I use the maguires utlimate dash/plastic spray stuff, and the leather treatment.

    For the exterior, you'll need a good orbital polisher, a clay bar, and some good wax, along with lots of microfiber/terrycloth rags. I like mothers polish and wax. Keeping a wax coat on your paint makes it look better much longer, and hides swirl marks and tiny imperfections.

    Make sure to spray underneath your car in the winter to get the salt out of there.

    Hope this helps.

    If you click on the pic it'll get bigger.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  4. Henry Kane

    Henry Kane Reverend

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    I'm pretty picky when it comes to taking care of things (house, car, etc.) and it's not really that tough to get into the habit. My general rule is to maintain things as I go.

    As far as keeping the car neat, I never leave anything behind when I get home. I take trash, empty cups, mail, etc. in with me every time.

    I keep a roll of paper towels, a dust wipe, and a plastic grocery bag in the car, always. A nice subtle air freshener (I can't handle loud obnoxious scents) makes a big difference too. I shake the mats out every week or so. All in all, it never loses the nice, clean, well-kept feel, and with minimal effort.

    The outside isn't as easy. We can only control so much. The weather, dust, puddles, etc. are going to catch up, but just do a nice wash before it gets too bad, and it's not so daunting. I always park as far from other cars as possible to avoid door dings or bumps etc.

    Not much too it really. Congrats on your new ride! :)
     
  5. SC Tiger

    SC Tiger Big, educated kitty cat!

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    Congrats on the new car. I just bought a Civic in September myself.

    Try to keep it washed and a coat of wax on the outside.

    Also, keep the inside vacuumed as the dirt can cause the carpeting to be damaged (especially in a sandy environment).

    I got a set of floor mats from Honda (it came with the wrong ones) for mine. They protect most of the carpet. The rear mat is actually a 1-piece mat that stretches across the entire car.

    Something I try to do on my cars is to keep the "little stuff" fixed (broken switches, minor trim coming off, etc). If I keep that stuff repaired then it seems to be easier to make myself vacuum and clean the car and maintain it better. It's the same principle as why a fire department washes their trucks every three or four days. The cleaner you keep you equipment, the better overall care you will take of it.

    I also clean all my cr#p out of it when I get home, instead of letting it accumulate.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  6. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    1st, make sure it is mechanically sound. Replace things like shocks and tires when they are worn. Worn / leaking shocks/struts allows for your frame to get beat to hell if you drive on lumpy roads.

    Get it detailed inside/out 4x a year.

    Put a few small plastic bags in the glove box/etc, and at the end of the day/week clean out all the garbage. Better yet, eat like a "normal" person. Eat a table with utensils, and clear the table when you're done (hey, I don't do that, but it sounds snobbish enough :)), try to not eat in the car. Don't smoke in the car - unless it's after sex, where then it's not only acceptable, it may be a requirement.

    Keep the wipers decent (won't leave marks on the glass), and if your budget allows, fix dings/scrapes/dents when they occur.

    - G
     
  7. JohnBT

    JohnBT NRA Benefactor

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    I've parked on the street under trees for 40 years. Here's what I do.

    - No smoking or eating anything crunchy, greasy or covered in chili.

    - I keep Invisible Glass in the car to remove bird droppings. I hit the $2 for 5 min. magic wand car wash from time to time, especially during tree sap season.

    - Once a year I hand wash it. Maybe. My theory is that too much rubbing scratches the paint.

    John

    P.S. - A guy I worked with for 25 years actually rinsed his vehicle off daily before he put it in the garage.
     
  8. jtull7

    jtull7 Pistolero CLM

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    I wash my truck once a year, whether it needs it or not.
     
  9. elsolo

    elsolo

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    Keeping the car clean just makes it that much more enjoyable to use.

    Once you quit caring about keeping a car clean, keeping it maintained is not far behind. Clunks and rattles get ignored, next thing you know you are driving a filthy wreck that is no pleasure to operate.
     
  10. Flying-Dutchman

    Flying-Dutchman

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    Do not give large dogs rides in your car on a regular basis.

    The center arm rest was the only thing my dog damaged so I purchased a spare and installed it right before I sold my car.

    However it took three days of vacuuming and Woolite to get the interior clean and free from fur.

    This is with a dog blanket in the back seat.

    I kept my last car's exterior up with regular non-abrasive waxing for a few years until someone rear ended it.

    After that it was never the same as the paint did not match and it started to rust so it seemed pointless.

    Unfortunately a car is a consumption item you use up.
     
  11. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM

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    I was and wax my truck 2X a year...in the spring, and then in the fall before it get too cold. For being a 2005 in Maine it don't look too bad. Bad thing is I'm a pig inside the cab. I'll clean it out, vacuum, leather treatment for seats, wash the wondows, Armorall the dash....and in a couple days it looks more like a self propelled dumpster than a pick-up truck.

    Lots of luck keep yer ride clean...I've given up.:supergrin:
     
  12. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

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    I have a neighbor whose only activity is cleaning. His house, his yard, his car, everything. It's all he does.

    He washes his car about every 3 or 4 days. He waxes his car about once a week.

    he showed me places where he has actually worn right through the pain and primer to bare steel. Of course it's shiny from all the wiping and waxing, but still looks like crap.

    Don't overdo a good thing.
     
  13. tslex

    tslex

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    Ya know, you make a compelling point. My 8-y-o truck's up to 133K and I'm thinking maybe I need to start babying it like you do yours.



    (To be serious, I am pretty assiduous about maintenance, tires, mechanical qualities. But the exterior? Dings, dents and dust. It's a truck.)
     
  14. vart

    vart

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    My car is 13 months old and has 45k miles on it. I drive 150 miles a day to work, 5 days a week.

    I baby my car and wash it twice a week and keep it waxed and the oil changed. I also have touch up paint for chips and I go over the car once a month. It still is showing the miles...

    The best thing is to just not drive it...
     
  15. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Lucky Member

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    Don't let my wife drive your car...
     
  16. LASTRESORT20

    LASTRESORT20 LongTerm-Guy

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    `Cooper good for you Congrats.......always keep your stuff clean/lubed and looking good...and Ready! :)

    Wash my new Jeep Wrangler once a week (ya I get it dirty)....keep it lubed well with synthetic oil and wipe down "always" under the hood....take care of all your "things" and they will take care of you.
     
  17. Chowser

    Chowser

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    my rules, don't eat in the car. don't drink in the car.
    kids learned that they can't do anything but sit quietly in daddy's car.

    wax it every few months. especially before winter.

    i just bought an '09 bmw 328i xdrive for winter use. it was already cleaned and waxed from the dealership. i bought it saturday. on sunday, i washed it myself, waxed it, even put wheel wax on the wheels, then i hit it with a coat of opti-seal.

    it's ready for the cleveland winter.

    vacuum it out once a week minimum just to get anything that you've left behind. wash when it needs it. don't let bird crap sit on it. you sometimes can't help where you park, but if you can, park away from trees and buildings.
     
  18. VC-Racing

    VC-Racing General Flunky

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    My detail guy only uses Adams Polishes.
    I have a few friends who are frequent participants in car shows also swear by Adams polishes.....
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  19. DanaT

    DanaT Pharaoh

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    Ahhhh. Brake dust on German car wheels.

    I wax my wheels (I like 1Z hartglanz). Then use the armor all brake dust repellant. Helps quite a bit.

    Also what helps wheels. Winter tires/wheels. That saves summer wheels from the mag chloride in the winter. Also allows better traction all year.



    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
     
  20. 427

    427

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    This is what a well maintained and regularly hand washed and waxed 34 year old vehicle looks like. This is the original paint. Note the reflection and shine in the red.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012