So far we have covered a few large scale tips to help preserve your car. While there are still many more steps that can be taken to keep your car in tip-top shape, let's cover a few smaller details that can sometimes be overlooked. As mentioned in our previous article regarding auto cleanliness, the following tips follow the same theme.
1. Preserve Door and Window Seals:
Reliable door and window seals are a must during the rainy season. Additionally, a poor seal can also lead to noisy wind whistles during driving. Maintaining door and window seals is an easily overlooked aspect of maintaining our cars. Luckily seals are easy to preserve. Wipe a rubber protectant (such as Armor-All) or silicone on the door and window weatherstripping. Avoid using oil based products such as WD-40 because oil can damage the rubber and worsen your problems. In particularly cold weather, well preserved weatherstripping can help prevent the likelihood of your door sticking to its rubber seal, a common cause of damage to the rubber.
2. Don't Let Bad Weatherstripping Worsen
If bad weatherstripping is leaking water into the interior of your car it is best to address the issue as soon as possible. Decided whether you can fix a small leak with a brush-on seam sealer or the stripping needs to be replaced. If there are loose sections in the door trim you can re-secure them with trim adhesive. Torn or worn sections of weatherstripping can be preserved with special calking and foam inserts found in automotive stores. If you decide to replace the stripping be sure to buy stripping that is shaped for the model of your car. For information on the proper weatherstripping profile consult your dealership, website, or local automotive store.
3. Maintain Your Leather
While leather seats are quite durable and require little maintenance throughout the years, they eventually collect dirt. When seats become dry and soiled they can begin to crack and tear, and if this problem is not addressed it can quickly lead to a slippery slope of deteriorating leather. Use a leather cleaner to remove dirt and stains. Then, apply a leather protectant formulated for leather car upholstery. Leather protectants and sealers can make cleaning easier in the future. Furthermore, applying a leather conditioner can help keep your leather soft.
4. Maintain Your Upholstry
If your seats are a fabric upholstery you can use the household upholstery cleaners. Use a clean cloth to wipe away foam and scrub the fabric. Applying a fabric protectant, such as Scotchguard, will make seats more resistant to dirt and stains and make them easier to clean in the long run. Be sure to test your product in an inconspicuous area to be sure it does not discolor your fabric.
5. Place A Towel and Plastic Under Baby Seats
Let's face it, if you have children chances are car upholstery and leather will get soiled. All manners of food and liquids can accumulate under baby seats and permanently stain upholstery. Furthermore, maintaining car seats may be the last thing on your mind at the end of the day. Luckily, this can be avoided by simply placing a sheet of heavy plastic (e.g. a garbage bag) and an absorbent towel under the seat first. Then when your children graduate from college you might consider removing the protective barrier to reveal a nice clean car seat.
Thanks for reading and check back shortly for more automotive insight!