You probably don’t think about under the hood when you imagine cleaning your car, but some experts believe clearing away dirt and debris on your car’s engine and other components can prolong the overall life of your vehicle. To make the most of your car’s engine and exterior, use these tips to care for its interior components, and then follow guidelines for covering the car and learning how to take care of your car cover when you aren’t driving.
How To Clean Your Car Engine
Choose a warm day with low humidity to clean your car’s engine, as it makes the drying process easier. When you’re sure the engine is cool, remove and scrub plastic covers by themselves and remove the battery’s negative terminal to protect the electrical parts of your engine. Use plastic bags to cover electrical wires, the engine control unit, and any other electrical components. Finally, you can start the cleaning process.
First, spray any degreaser on the engine compartment, ensuring you cover the entire space. If your engine is very dirty, you’ll need to scrub, especially around the valve cover and other smaller areas. Use a small, synthetic brush and apply more degreaser as you need to. When you’re done scrubbing, use a hose to rinse away the degreaser, making your way from the back of the engine to the front. Finally, allow the engine to dry, and then replace any components you removed. Repeating this process annually may prolong the life of your vehicle.
Protecting Your Entire Vehicle
Protecting your vehicle’s exterior is just as important as protecting its engine if you want to extend its life. If you aren’t already using a car cover, the time to begin is now. Covering your car protects it from damaging weather, such as ice and hail, bird droppings and tree sap that can damage the paint or damaging UV rays that may fade both the paint and your seats or dashboard.
Of course, you may be asking yourself, “do car covers damage car paint?” The short answer is that it can if you aren’t careful. However, as long as you choose a cover that fits correctly and is meant to work in all types of weather, it will protect your vehicle the way you want it to.
You’ll need to clean the cover periodically to ensure it keeps doing its job. Typically, this means using a commercial washing machine on cold water, washing with mild soap, and using the delicate cycle. However, it is most important to wash your cover according the manufacturer’s instructions. Always be sure to avoid hot water, fabric softeners, and dryers, and never use a domestic washing machine.
When choosing a car cover, consider your options. Will your vehicle be inside a garage or parked in the driveway? This helps to determine which kind of cover you need. You’ll also need to consider weather in your area, how often you drive the car, and more. Most car enthusiasts recommend choosing a custom cover to best protect your vehicle. Start by researching the best indoor and outdoor car covers and tailoring your findings to your specific needs.