5 Ways You Can Make Your Car Look New Again

Jack Dreyer | Wednesday 30th March 2022 2:30pm

Man cleaning a car seat

Is your car looking a bit worse for wear? Be honest, when was the last time you cleaned out the footwells or gave the wheel arches a scrub?

We get it, life comes at you fast and cleaning the car isn’t always a priority. When you’ve owned a vehicle for a few years, it can be so easy to let that ‘new car’ feel slip away a bit.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, transforming your car back to its former showroom glory can be achieved in just 5 steps. Read on to find out how.

1. A breath of fresh air

Whether you’re spring cleaning your car or not, one of the most effective ways to spruce it up is by refreshing its air con and vents.

Over time, the air filters in your car can get dirty and the air con can stop working. Do your research and find out how to clean your car’s air conditioning system to enjoy a fresh, clean stream of cold air in the summer and effective windscreen demisting in the winter.

One of the best parts about a new car is, arguably, that ‘new car smell’ when it’s fresh off the forecourt. If you notice a bad smell or only a partial airflow, it is time to get your air con recharged.

If you’re not confident having a look at your air con and vents yourself, book in for a free air conditioning check with us! After all, air conditioning is part of your MOT.

2. Deep clean - inside and out!

Dusty windows and bugs on the windshield don’t really scream ‘New Car!’ do they? So get cleaning. Hold off on cleaning your tyres for now (we’ll cover those in our next point), but give everything else a good scrub inside and out.

Get yourself a decent car shampoo, polish, a sponge, a microfibre cloth, and some window cleaner — available from most petrol stations. Some drivers prefer to keep their car cleaning supplies in a bag or bucket in the boot to make things easier too.

Cleaning the interior of your car

Start with the interior. First, remove everything — even those coffee cups and the crumpled UK road map. Throw away the rubbish, remove the floor mats to shake them, and put the necessities to the side. Hoover the floors, the seats and even the cupholders if needs be. Then give the dash a good dust down and, if you have them, use some upholstery wipes to wipe down the steering wheel and any other leather areas.

Now would also be a good time to check the glove compartment and side panels for any litter or debris. Tax disks and receipts? Those can go! Anything cluttering the dash should also be thrown as this may obscure your vision and endanger you and your passengers.

Cleaning the exterior of your car

Begin by parking on a flat surface and make sure your hose reaches all the way around the car. Rinse the car and apply warm soapy water — starting from the roof down to the wheels.

If you can, change the pressure on your hosepipe to wash away the excess dirt and road dust that accumulates around the bottom of the vehicle, especially in those wheel arches. If proving stubborn, this is where the bristled brush and elbow grease comes in, though be careful not to damage the paintwork.

Make sure you give your number plates a wipe down as they should always be visible and gently wipe the windows and front and rear windscreens. The windscreen mirrors are often a sorry sight, so giving them a shine will work wonders for that new car look.

If you’re feeling extra fancy, you could apply some polish or car wax to the paintwork using a chamois cloth to really give a sheen. Lastly, give that bonnet a lift and sweep away any twigs or leaves that might have accumulated there for good measure.

After all of that, your car will be looking as good as new.

3. Tyre TLC

Aside from giving your tyres a clean, there are also a whole host of other ways you can be looking after your tyres.

For starters, regular tyre checks can prove vital to not only keeping your car feeling new but keeping it on the road altogether. Check the tyre pressure using an air pressure gauge at home or at a petrol station to make sure your tyres aren’t being subjected to excessive wear due to over or underinflation.

Tyre tread depth should also be checked often so that you know when to replace your tyres if necessary. Your car can hardly feel like new with no grip. New car tyres come with 8mm of tread depth, allowing for plenty of water displacement and short braking distances in wet weather. On the other hand, old tyres with tread depths of under 3mm don’t grip very well in wet weather.

Find out how to check your tyres easily at home here. If you’re not comfortable with checking your tyres yourself, just book in for a free tyre check at your local Kwik Fit.

4. Change those wipers

An often underrated piece of equipment on our cars, windscreen wipers rarely receive the attention they deserve. Responsible for keeping the driver vision unobstructed in wet weather, wipers really are an essential safety feature. So, driving around with damaged or corroded rubber wipers is not going to help your car feel like new.

Check the condition of your wipers, give them a clean and, if necessary, buy new wipers. You can find out how to know when your wipers need changing here.

5. Commit to a regular maintenance schedule

Keeping your car feeling new isn’t all about dusting and scrubbing, though. New cars haven’t done the mileage yet, they haven't encountered scrapes and bumps, and haven’t succumbed to wear and tear like a used car.

So, as much as cleaning can make your car look new, it’s the maintenance that helps it really feel like a fresh new vehicle.

Book your vehicle in for regular servicing: an Interim Service every 6 months and a Full or Major Service every year). Find out when your MOT test is and perform the necessary checks beforehand to give you the best chance of passing.

Lastly, follow up on any concerns you have. If your car’s handling feels off or you encounter an oil leak, book in for a free Wheel Alignment or Oil Filter Check and Change for damage control. It’s as easy as that.

Keep that car healthy!

And there you have it! If you’ve completed all the steps above, you should have a car that looks (and feels) brand new.

If you have any worries about the condition of your vehicle — its tyres, brakes, suspension or otherwise — get in touch with your local Kwik Fit centre who can advise you. While cosmetic things are an easy fix yourself, sometimes it’s better to let the experts handle the technical things.

Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.

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