- Park in the Shade – A garage always offers the best place to park your car, but when a garage isn’t available you can minimize damage from UV sunlight and heat by parking in the shade. If there isn’t any shade available of if you are getting too many bird droppings from parking under the tree, invest in a car shade to maximize your protection. This will also keep your car cooler.
- Clean the Interior – Regularly wipe down the interior every time you wash your car. Dirt particles, spilled liquids such as soda pop , and abrasive liquids can be corrosive and cause damage. You can clean using a mild detergent and water. You should also vacuum each time. You should wipe the dust from the lenses ofthe dash gauges. Don’t apply too much pressure or it will scratch them.
- Use Floor Mats – Floor mats can protect your vehicle’s carpeting especially during the winter when there is slush, salt, and even mud. The waffle style mats don’t slip and they are easy to vacuum and wash off.
Preserve Your Door and Window Seals
First clean with soap and water, then use a rubber protectant like Armor All ® or a silicone based product on the weather stripping on the windows and doors to keep them conditioned and stop them from drying out. You should never use a product that is oil based such as WD-40®, which can damage your rubber.
If your weather stripping is allowing water to leak into the interior it’s time to have it replaced or repaired. Most small leaks can be fixed with brush on seam sealer. Repair torn section with a special rubber caulking that can be purchased at most auto parts stores.
Stop Leather from Drying and Cracking
Leather interiors are rich and durable if they are maintained properly, but when neglected they quickly become cracked and unappealing. Leather becomes soiled over time. You should use a leather cleaner to remove dirt and the follow that with a leather protectant that will resist stains, and keep your leather soft and supple. It will also make it easier to clean in the future.
Caring for Upholstery
If you have an upholstered interior any home upholstery cleaner or car upholstery cleaner can be used. You won’t need much as you don’t want to actually soak the fabric. Apply then wipe off with a clean cloth. If the fabric has a nap use a brush to lift the texture back up.
Applying a fabric protector such as Scotchgard ™ will help the upholstery to resist dirt and reduce stains. It will also make it easier to clean the next time. Before you apply a fabric protector you should clean the fabric.
To reduce staining from children riding in baby seats take a towel and place it under the car seat or you can use a piece of heavy upholstery plastic. This will save on your seat becoming permanently damaged from food and/or liquid spills.