Car care for tyres starts with your routine maintenance. The same owner’s manual that states when fluid maintenance is due has a recommendation for tire rotations as well. It’s key to getting the full tread life out of each tire until its time to change them.
But tire manufacturers recommend replacing your tires every six years, regardless of tread depth. There’s even a ‘best before’ date molded into the sidewall. But your tires can become dangerous well before those six years are up, and before your tread is worn off, and it’s due to drying out and cracking.
UV rays affect everything, organic like your skin which results in a tan or sunburn, as well as inorganic like your tires. UV rays cause the rubber compound in your tires to ‘dry out’. They become hardened and brittle, forming cracks in the sidewalls and between the tread blocks. Once cracks reach the inner cords, you’re at risk of a blowout.
First things first. Minimize your exposure to UV light whenever possible. If you can park under cover or inside a garage, it can help extend the life of your tires. If you’re expecting to store your car long-term outdoors, invest in a professional-grade car cover to reduce the effect of UV rays on not just your tires but your paint and interior also.
But you can protect your tires from drying out or worsening by applying high-quality, long-lasting tire shine. Not only does it restore the deep black look of a brand new tire, but it slows the progression of UV damage.
A clean exterior is one thing, and it’s a great source of pride. But you spend all your travel time between the doors, don’t you? A messy, unkempt interior can be downright unpleasant. These tips will help you restore your interior’s comfort and cleanliness, plus keep it in good shape for top dollar when it’s time to sell.
Cleaning the Upholstery
Your seats don’t need a lot of care on a regular basis – unless you’re a parent, that is. For dry messes like cheerios, muffin crumbs, or McD’s chips, a simple vacuum can whip them back into shape quickly.
When spills happen, it’s a different story. Sop up the spill with either a cloth or paper towels as soon as it’s feasible. Anything other than water will require deeper cleaning. That might mean renting an extractor or carpet cleaner, especially if it’s milk or any fat-based liquid.
If you don’t necessarily love the idea of cleaning your seats, you can make your car care easier by installing seat covers. Then when a spill or mess happens, you can remove the seat cover and toss it in the laundry instead.
Leather Cleaning and Conditioning
If you’re posh and have a leather interior, you don’t have to worry about spills so much. They wipe up easily. But you DO have to be concerned about weathering and cracking.
About once a year – maybe more if you identify yourself as ‘particular’ – apply leather conditioner to all areas of the seating surfaces. It works wonders on leather steering wheels and shift knobs also. It cleans stuck-on grime from the leather and restores moisture to the surface to prevent weathering.
Can we add: professional restauration kits for cracks and excesive wear of leather.
By far, the filthiest part of every vehicle’s interior is the floor. It takes the brunt of muddy boots, snowy shoes, and gravity pulls every other mess its way too. Since almost all cars have a carpeted floor that retains debris, it looks like it’s been trashed after no time at all.
Good old-fashioned vacuuming is the ticket for dirty carpets first. A narrow tip on the vacuum hose will give the best suction for effective cleaning. It might be necessary to have your carpets shampooed every six months to a year also.
It’s a great idea to protect your carpets with floor mats if you don’t have any from the factory. It simplifies your cleaning and all but eliminates heel wear on your car’s carpeted floor.
If you’ve ever had a car with a cracked dashboard or seen one that’s split, it’s nearly always due to being exposed to the sun’s UV rays without protection. And let’s be honest, there’s not much you can do to prevent the sun from beating down on your interior vinyl when it’s parked outdoors.
It’s possible to hold off the sun’s damage for much longer, though, by treating your interior vinyl. Wipe off dust and dirt that can retain the heat from the sun. If you use a product that restores luster to vinyl and plastic, it can also help repel UV rays much like sunscreen does for your skin.