Love your car? Of course! It is typically the second biggest investment that each person makes behind housing. How do you keep it looking new as father time puts it to the test? Here’s a list of 5 things to do to keep your car in mint-condition. Brought to you by your friends at Drive & Shine

  1. Regular Car Washes (about every 4 days) and window cleaning

Regular washing helps keep your vehicles paint clean from bug guts, bird poop, brake dust, and other contaminants that can etch your paint which can lead to rust, paint chips, and etching of the finish. Regular washing also keeps your exterior windows clean for a safe field of view. Make sure to keep the inside windows clean as well! Make sure to use car-friendly window cleaner as some are not safe for using on vehicles.

  1. Contaminant removal (if necessary)

While regular car washing will help to keep your exterior free from contaminants, there are some things that the carwash will not be able to remove. Tar, brake dust, overspray, and hard water spots can cause permanent damage to your vehicle if not attended to. Run your hand along your clean vehicles side panels (behind the wheels and both bumpers is where it gets the worst) or use a light to see all of the contaminants on your paint. Contaminant removal clears up the clear’ coats surface to prepare for immediate waxing.

  1. Waxing

Waxing creates a barrier between your clear coat/paint and the elements. Depending on the quality, waxes can last anywhere from a few days up to years’ worth of protection after a single application. Running the back of your hand against the vehicle or pouring a bit of water onto the side of the vehicle are a couple of ways to check your level of protection. A well-protected vehicle will make your hand glide across the surface with ease and water will bead up and not dry up onto the paints finish. An under-protected vehicle will cause your hand to get “caught” on the paint and water will dry up onto the finish. Waxing protects your paint from damaging, helps resist the elements, helps cover up scratches (mostly minor), restores shine, scratch protection, and most importantly, keeps your car looking good.

  1. Conditioning

Notice all the plastic/vinyl/rubber/leather on/in your vehicle. Is it as glossy and smooth as it once was? If not, your vinyl/leather is likely drying out. This can lead to discoloration, cracks, tears, and permanent fading. Conditioning keeps the vinyl/leather moisturized to help maintain its condition. Purchasing sun shades and tint can also help keep your interior cooler and put less stress on the interior of the vehicle. Conditioning is usually the most over-looked aspect of car appearance.

  1. Carpet/interior cleaning

While regular vacuuming should help keep your car free of most stains accidents do happen. If a spill/accident happens make sure to tend to it A.S.A.P. this will give you the best chances of preventing the stain from setting and potentially becoming permanent. Vinyl mats are a must for winter time or any situations in which your shoes are wet.

These are 5 appearance tips to keep your car looking new. If you would like Drive & Shine to keep your car looking new, listed below is each of our full service locations. We provide car washes, oil changes, and detailing under one roof. Call or stop by today! No appointments necessary.


Drive & Shine Schererville    Drive & Shine South Bend     Drive & Shin Mishawaka
1350 US 41 North                   4340 Ironwood Drive            5406 N. Main Street
Schererville, IN 46375           South Bend, IN 46614             Mishawaka, IN 46545
Tel: (219) 865-7788                Tel: (574) 291-7788                 Tel: (574) 271-7788

Drive & Shine Elkhart            Drive & Shine Elkhart Exterior Only
2714 Cassopolis St.                400 N. Nappanee
Elkhart, IN 46514                   Elkhart, IN 46514
Tel: (574) 296-7788                Tel: (574) 389-7788