New Year, New Plan!
Happy New Year! It's 2022 and that means it's time for New Year's Resolutions! And like many of us, we start off with the best of intentions with our goals on self-care or care in general- "I'm going to eat healthier, work out more, be more organized, clean my house once a week, clean out my car once a week, take better care of ________ ", Whatever the idealistic, optimistic resolution may be, we may start off strong for a week or two until life catches up to us and we quickly return to our standard practices. And let's face it, after the last two years we've had, we just want to feel normal and sometimes old practices feel comfortable and therefore normal.
Due to COVID and inflation, vehicles prices (used AND new) have SURGED like never before and will most likely be more of the same for most of 2022. (Check out this article here What to expect in the 2022 used car market (yahoo.com) )And if you've even glanced at prices for vehicles, you know that NOW is as important of a time as ever to keep your cars looking and running as good as possible to 1. Maintain your investment and 2. Help keep you in love with your vehicle to push off that incessant "itch" we get every few years it seems for a new toy, I mean, vehicle. 😉
But if you're like MANY of my customers who struggle with making time to maintain their vehicles, let me share with you some of my FAVORITE TIPS ON MAINTAINING YOUR VEHICLE that can help turn this RESOLUTION into a SOLUTION!
If you're like me and you have kids or pets, you know that the #1 problem with keeping your cars interior clean is the constant clutter and dirt they seem to accumulate. (I mean, where DOES it all come from?? They just seem to always have wrappers, juice boxes outlining where they sit and don't even get me started on the spit drawings on the back windows). So my first tip is :
Have somewhere for the trash to go (like this https://amzn.to/31eCLvI) Make one of your children responsible (or alternate so the one doesn't feel punished) for emptying it either every day or once a week and definitely empty and clean it out every time you clean your car's interior. And if you don't have kids- just remember to use it. A good habit to get into is to empty your car out every time you get home of papers and belongings that aren't kept in the car and empty your trash can out every few days or if it's close to being full (to avoid it overflowing on the floor). This will help control the clutter and is 90% of most people's problems.
And speaking of cleaning your cars interior out, if making time for vacuuming things up seems to be a mountain of a task to accomplish, consider purchasing a portable vacuum that plugs right into your cars cigarette lighter (like this https://amzn.to/3sP5u5C) I've always said it's easier to MAINTAIN than to RESTORE so having something like this stored in your vehicle makes it a lot easier to clean up spills and crumbs and keep your cars interior manageable so that way it doesn't get away from you.
Invest in weather mats for those spills you KNOW will come from either your muddy shoes or those never-ending coffee spills and to help make cleaning your vehicle out that much easier. Muddy mats? Rinse them off when you wash the car! Dirt and crumbs? Remove and shake out! Forget those cloth mats that came with your vehicle (actually PULL THEM OUT and don't double up your mats like so many of my customers do- it's not safe, recommended or functional because now you have 4 mats to clean vs 2) and instead replace with weather mats or weather tech mats that are edge to edge and clean up and maintainance will be SO much easier!
Here's some generic ones you can even pick up on Amazon if you don't want car specific ones- https://amzn.to/3FQ2Mk8) In fact here's a video I made on how to keep your weather mats looking like NEW!- How to keep your WeatherTech Mats Looking Like NEW! - YouTube
Keep microfibers in your glove compartment for those quick cleanups. I always have a small drying microfiber in my vehicle for those times I go through a non-touch car wash and want to dry my windows off and get those last few drops of water the blower doesn't get off (I also use a drying aid but that's for a future post). Then I always have a small glass towel to remove that pesky haze off of glass (it's also nice to clean my glasses and sunglasses off with) and then a microfiber dusting tool to quickly remove the dust off of my dash. Having three or four towels on hand doesn't take up much room but can come in handy when you need it most and helps keep your vehicle fresh and clean looking in between cleanings.
Here's my favorite microfibers to have on hand-
Drying towel- https://amzn.to/32PeeOk
Last but CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, consider having your vehicle ceramic coated. Now you might be thinking to yourself- "There it is. The pitch. She wants me to get some expensive coating put on my vehicle that I don't need". Now, bear with me for a second. Standard waxes on a vehicle last 2-4 months on average PLUS they are not typically very chemically resistant. That means if you go through a car wash (which is typically how most people wash their vehicles in the winter, let's face it) and use their high pH soaps, chances are that strong alkaline cleaner has STRIPPED your wax right off. So now your paint is not only unprotected but it's vulnerable to UV rays, bird droppings and isn't going to fight off dirt and therefore makes your car get dirty faster. Even synthetic sealants last maybe 4-6 months and need to be reapplied 2-3 times a year and can take a lot more time and energy than you may have to offer to apply. That's why I always tell customers, if you have a daily driver and struggle with making the time to wax or seal your cars paint, then consider a professionally applied MULTI-YEAR ceramic coating. When properly applied and maintained, most professional grade coatings can last 3-5 years and are designed to have :
- Chemical resistance to high pH soaps
- UV resistance
- Superior hydrophobics that help keep your vehicle cleaner LONGER as dirt and water blow right off
- Insane gloss and shine making your car look better than new
- Are easier to maintain as 99% of dirt can be rinsed off with high pressure water alone
- Less risk of scratching as you don't need as much pressure to remove dirt or to dry
- Becomes a sacrificial layer on top of your clear coat and helps preserve your clear coat LONGER.
It's an ACTUAL investment that pays off in the long run. (PLUS, most ceramic coatings can be added to your CarFax and actually help ADD value to your resale value. ) So maintaining your cars EXTERIOR can now be EASIER, your vehicle will look BETTER (better than new in fact if done properly) and will make maintaining your exterior even FUN. It's a WIN, WIN! (Plus it's a LOT more affordable than you think here at A2D!)
From your interior to your exterior, hopefully these tips can help you start off the New Year with determination to keep your second most expensive investment looking (and smelling) as good as new!... But just know if you ever need help with any of those areas or need help pushing the "reset" button essentially on your cars appearance, I'm always here to help as well. 😉
So here's to a New Year of health, progress and hopefully a return to "normalcy". It's been a heck of a year (or two) and know that I am grateful today and every day to be able to do what I love for a living to help people like you pursue your passion in life. Happy New Year, my friend. Let's make it the best one yet. ❤❤❤
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