How to stop your car looking like crap

If your car is looking a little worse for wear, you’re not alone. Over time, cars tend to deteriorate and look less than their best. 

We’ve all seen this on the road. Cars that looked fantastic in the year 2000 look worse than dated in 2023. Rust, grime, muck, and failing exterior fittings all make them appear aged and past the point of no return. 

But does it have to be this way? We don’t think so. It turns out there are numerous ways for you to take care of your vehicle to make it look beautiful for years. It’s just a matter of maintaining it properly. 

But what should you do as a car fanatic? Well, you’re about to find out. We take a look at some of the most popular (and lesser-known) strategies for keeping your car clean, no matter what the road or weather throws at it. 


Getting your car professionally detailed every six months or so can be an excellent way to keep the little nooks and crannies clean and free from debris. Sweeping out all the folds and grooves helps the car maintain its appearance and ensures that it continues to look fantastic for years to come. 

Residues and dirt can be harmful to vehicles over time. Compounds they contain react with paint and finished metal, slowly damaging their appearance. 

Once you go to the detailer, they will improve your car and give it a showroom shine. They will clean all the most difficult-to-reach areas that you might miss at a regular car wash. 


Another way to keep your car in good condition is to keep your tires inflated and at the proper pressure. Allowing them to go down can make your car look sloppy and reduce fuel economy. 

If you have a pump with a gauge, you can check the pressure and compare it to the manufacturer’s specifications. It should match. If it doesn’t, add some extra pressure. Check all four wheels, ensuring they are evenly inflated. 


Another pro tip is to park your car in the shade whenever possible. Keeping it out of direct sunlight is an excellent way to protect the paint from the sun’s UV light. 

Modern paints are getting better at resisting UV. However, they can fade over time. Therefore, keep your car in a garage or park it in a carport, particularly in the summer.

As a side note, it is also worth parking your car inside for winter, too. Freezing weather can fatigue the vehicle’s rubber and perishable components over the years, causing them to chip and become more susceptible to mildew. 


It should go without saying that you should fix your vehicle’s scratches and dents as soon as you can. These make your car look neglected and often make you treat it differently. 

If you are worried about scratches and dents, take your car to the auto repair shop. Mechanics have all sorts of impressive ways of buffing them out and removing them. 


It’s also an excellent idea to clean your car’s interior regularly. Dirt and grime can build up quickly, making your vehicle look unkempt. Worse still, abrasion from dirt particles can destroy the fabrics, forcing you to replace them. 

To stop your car from looking moth-eaten, go to the valet. Alternatively, invest in an extension cable and vacuum the interior yourself. 


Another pro tip for stopping your car from looking like crap is to wax the paintwork regularly. Replaceable wax contains special additives that protect against dangerous UV light and chemical exposure. A thin coating is usually all you need to keep your vehicle looking its best, even in harsh climates. 

The great thing about wax is that you can apply it yourself. Most auto shops sell car wax you can use whenever you feel your vehicle could benefit from a little extra protection. 


You might also try adding a paint protection film also known as Clear Bra. These provide another protective layer to your vehicle and are ideal for people who can’t keep their vehicles inside or in the shade. 

Paint protection film can also add to your vehicle’s look. It leaves a unique finish so the paint continues to look the same as it did when you drove your car off the forecourt. 


Another strategy to stop your car from looking a little worse for wear is to wash it regularly, preferably every week. Giving it the once-over can be a fantastic way to remove any dirt and debris, and keep the paint in good condition. 

Pay particular attention to the wheels and wheel arches. These areas are the most prone to dirt buildup, discoloration, and scuffing. 

Once you wash your car, dry it immediately. While water won’t damage a modern vehicle, it can leave unpleasant spotting. 

When drying, use a microfiber cloth. Don’t use anything that might scratch the paintwork. 


You also want to use a professional car soap when trying to keep your vehicle in excellent condition. Don’t use household detergents as these are drying and can strip the vehicle of any wax layer you apply. Car washes should be gentle and kind. 

You can find auto washes in most autostores. Look for details on the packaging and try to find out whether they are suitable for your vehicle and paint type. 

If possible, apply the soap via a pressure washer foaming attachment. These help you build up a thick lather that gets into all the nooks and crannies, eliminating dirt rapidly. 


So, as we have seen, you can stop your car looking bad over time. However, it requires regular maintenance. Cars won’t always keep themselves looking spick and span, which is why they need constant work and support. Fortunately, the satisfaction is always worth it. 

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