How to Avoid Car Damage the Simple Way

Filed under Information Centre

“Wear and tear” is a common label that some car sellers use to describe damage to vehicles.

With these SIMPLE techniques, you won’t have to.

We take a look at

  • Paint
  • Interior scratches
  • Engine
  • Headlights
  • Inside of windscreens

Take care of your paint the simple way

Have you seen that awful looking faded paint on some older cars? It looks like light-coloured peeling, especially on bonnets and roofs.

It’s the clear coat flaking off due to UV damage, made worse from other contaminants like dust and tree debris.

Here’s how to minimise and even prevent paint fade.

  • Try to park in the shade especially on hot, sunny days
  • Wash your car at least once a month
  • Apply a ceramic coating after washing (most are spray on, wipe off applications)
  • Use a car cover if you leaving your car outside for a long period of time

The Australian sun is harsh and your car’s paint knows it.

Avoid interior scratches the simple way

Most interior damage happens from transporting large, bulky or awkward items. For example, building supplies, furniture or even car parts.

When you brake or accelerate sharply or go a little too fast around a corner or even over a bump, those sharp edges on the thing you’re carrying can scratch the upholstery.

A sharp corner of a heavy washing machine, for example, won’t be kind if it bangs into your door trim.

There’s a simple solution.

Put some cushions, a sleeping bag or folded up towels and blankets around the item you’re carrying. Ideally, it’ll fit snug in and won’t move around too much.

If the cargo you’re carrying is dirty, put some garbage bags between it and the things you use to secure it.

The added bonus is that you’ll also protect the cargo you’re carrying.

Remember, it’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to spend a few minutes protecting your car’s interior than spending the time and money to get damage fixed.

Keep your engine clean and healthy the simple way

We’re talking about dust and grease here, not maintenance - leave that to the qualified professionals.

A dusty engine bay not only looks awful and can deter prospective buyers when you want to sell the car, but also results in a poor performing engine.

The simple fix is a few minutes (or a little longer if it’s really dirty) with a slightly damp rag. Some people use grease remover or even hand wipes from a supermarket.

The first time you clean up your engine, it might take a while but if you can give it a once over every few months, it’ll only take a few minutes.

A dirty engine can cause big problems.

Leaving your engine covered in dust can cause rust and the electronics even short out. Furthermore, if your air intake can become clogged, reducing performance or even allowing debris into the cylinders - not ideal.

Keep you headlights clear the simple way

This is similar to paint fade. It means the yellowish discolouration on older headlights and it’s again caused by the sun's UV rays.

If your headlights are new and clear at present and you often park in direct sun, headlight film is a great long-term solution.

This is clear plastic film that sticks to the exterior of headlights and protects them from UV rays. You’ll still have the same brightness and visibility as you would without them. Installation can easily be done at home, just make sure to wash your headlights before applying the film to avoid trapping dust.

If your headlights are already faded, they may take a bit of elbow grease. Headlight repair kits are available from places like SuperCheap Auto and Auto Barn.

Some people have found that a hard scrub with a polishing compound can also restore headlights.

Either way, the results are worth it. Faded headlights can dramatically reduce your vision at night - that goes for you as a driver and your visibility to other motorists.

The inside of your windscreen

Have you been driving at night and seen those blurry and hazy marks on your car’s windows, especially when looking at street lights or lights of other cars?

It’s likely grime build up on the inside of your windscreen. This comes from interior materials off-gassing, which is when they dry and seal when the car is new (this is also the cause of new car smell).

The grime can also come from eating in a car, temperature changes and regularly ferrying passengers or pets.

Give the inside of your windows a clean. The bottom of the windscreen can be tough to reach, but if you can manage, it likely won’t need another clean for several months.

At the end of the day

Avoiding damage is simple (and cheap) with these tips above. You’ll feel happier driving your car and your car will feel happier being driven. Also, a clean, well-kept car is much more attractive to buyers.

If your car is a little beyond repair or you’ve just lost interest, it’s time for an upgrade - that’s also simple.

Start with a quick quote from Positive and the team will ensure your best options are found.

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