Car owners know that preventative maintenance is not only recommended but essential to its mechanical health. However, some forego appearance preservation for costly operational systems upkeep. But whether it’s new, old, or even vintage, you want your car to look its best—nothing is better than a shiny, spotless exterior or a squeaky-clean interior. And sooner or later, you’re going to want to trade up to a better or newer model. To ensure that your car is in tip-top shape aesthetically and that eventual resale values are maximized, drivers must also consider the benefits of consistent washing and detailing.

According to recommendations from Kelley Blue Book’s Execustive Editor, Charlie Vogelheim, “If a consumer puts a little time and care into their vehicle, depending on the make and model, there could be up to a $1,000 difference in the car’s value down the road.”

While age and total mileage are both aspects that cannot necessarily be controlled, maintaining a car’s exterior and interior can minimize depreciation and preserve its value. Mighty Auto Parts has come up with a list of 10 simple practices that can help protect the aesthetic appeal of your vehicle from the inside out, sure to please the professional and non-professional buyer alike.

  1. Wash on a regular basis. And wash again when driving conditions (mud, snow, sand) or other external factors (bug splatters, bird droppings) mandate additional cleaning.
  2. Apply protective wax several times a year. Waxing protects against scratches and the elements (UV rays, salt, exhaust, acid rain, ice, dirt, etc.) while locking in the natural oils of the exterior paint. Always verify that wax/cleaner products are appropriate for your car’s specific finish.
  3. Perform a thorough interior detailing at least twice a year. DIY can be effective; however, professional detailers have the equipment, products, and know-how to remove grime build up completely.
  4. Maintain that new car smell. Wet pets, spilled milk, workout sweat, rain infiltration, and many other factors can be prevented with diligence and protective towels or tarps. That musty A/C smell can be thwarted by switching the unit off several minutes before shutting off the engine, allowing the system time to dry out. And smoking within a vehicle should be avoided at all costs.
  5. Invest in seat covers and floor mats to repel stains, spills, smells, and burns. A small investment can maintain the quality of the interior and flooring for years to come.
  6. Park smart. Avoid parking close to other vehicles to prevent door dings. Park under shade when possible to protect against exterior and interior fading and cracking.
  7. Sometimes shade isn’t available when parking. Reflective sun panels not only prevent interior fading and cracking; they also keep the car cooler, making it more comfortable, while reducing the cooling load on the battery.
  8. Repair small dings or scratches as soon as possible with matching paint (available from automotive dealers and part stores). This will prevent rusting, or corrosion from occurring that may lead to more expensive repairs down the road.
  9. Avoid placing bumper stickers on your vehicle. Not only do these personal displays leave behind glue residue when removed, they also protect the covered area from elements the rest of the car has been subjected to, resulting in an uneven finish.
  10. Ensure that the undercarriage is clean. Provide a barrier between your car’s metal components and damaging elements (sand, salt, dust, grime) with a pre-treating oil solution or via frequent washing to remove rust- and corrosion-causing residues.

Austin Coop, automotive editor at Roadtrippers, stresses that car owners must think long-term to best maintain a car’s value.  This means maintaining both mechanics and aesthetics. Have your car serviced as recommended, and wash, wax, and detail on a regular basis to maintain internal and external quality as well. Mighty also suggests saving maintenance and other receipts (car washes, oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotations, etc.) to demonstrate long-term vehicle care which can often influence a vehicle’s value.

Mighty Auto Parts provides an extensive variety of exterior and interior detailing products to keep cars looking showroom new. Ensure your car’s value at resale via routine detailing service

Learn more about Mighty’s carwash and detailing product lineup today.