Keep It Clean Inside and Out
One of the biggest keys to keeping your older vehicle looking like new is to make sure it stays clean both inside and out. This means regularly washing and waxing the exterior and also fully detailing the interior. Shampooing the carpets and cleaning and treating the seats, dashboard and other interior elements should help to prevent stains and damage. Furthermore, keeping your vehicle clean can also help ensure the interior smells nice in addition to looking good.
Repair Any Exterior Damage
Small dents, cracks and chips in the paint may not seem like that big of a problem at first. Unfortunately, these minor cosmetic issues could potentially turn into a much more serious problem if left unchecked. If you don’t make sure to touch up the paint job or repair any minor cosmetic damage, it could potentially allow rust and corrosion to begin to eat away at the paint and the body. Luckily, most minor cosmetic damage can be repaired fairly easily, and by doing so, you should be able to ensure that the exterior is free from rust and other issues.
Focus on Routine Maintenance
Everyone knows about the importance of regularly changing your oil, but there is a lot more that goes into keeping an old car running well than simply getting an oil change. Making sure your tires are properly inflated and having them balanced and rotated can help to prevent numerous potential issues. Similarly, you will also want to keep the wheel bearings properly greased and maintained and also ensure that your brake pads, drums and rotors are in good condition.
In most cases, it is best to simply take your care into your favorite repair shop at least once a year to undergo a full inspection and perform any necessary maintenance tasks. Being diligent about maintenance will not only help ensure your car continues to run smoothly, but it can also potentially prevent more serious issues that could otherwise set you back some serious cash.
Remember to Flush Your Fluids
Oil is far from the only important fluid in your vehicle. Brake fluid, transmission fluid, engine coolant and differential oil are all things that you’ll also need to think about occasionally. Flushing these fluids is a good way to ensure that the fluid is clean and free from debris, which can help to prevent damage and problems from arising. Therefore, it is important to follow your manufacturer’s recommendations and make sure to change or flush all of the vehicle’s fluids as needed.
Watch Out for the Damaging Effects of Sunlight
Nothing can harm the interior or exterior of a vehicle quicker than sunlight. If you constantly leave your car parked directly in the sun, the result can be that the sun’s UV rays will start to make the exterior paint begin to dull, fade and discolor. Similarly, sunlight can also wreak havoc on the interior of your vehicle. UV rays can easily begin to damage the dashboard or cause your carpets and seats to fade or discolor. Therefore, it is always best to park the vehicle indoors whenever possible, or at the very least, attempt to park it somewhere shady if you do need to leave it outside. As well, you should also consider using a sunshade to help shield the interior of your vehicle from harmful UV rays whenever you do have to park it in the sun.
A Little Upgrade Can Go a Long Way
If the exterior of your car is beginning to look old and faded, taking it in for a new paint job is a quick and easy way to instantly spruce up its appearance and make it look newer. Of course, there are also even easier steps you can take to improve the look of your car’s interior. Spending a few bucks on a new steering wheel cover or using a dashboard cover or seat covers can help to hide damage and make the interior feel shiny and new no matter how old the car actually is.
No matter what you do, there is no way to ever fully prevent damage to your vehicle or mechanical issues from arising. However, by being diligent and making sure to follow these simple steps, you should at least give yourself a better chance of keeping your older car around for years to come. As long as you make sure to focus on routine maintenance and keep your car clean and well-cared for, there is absolutely no reason why your older car can’t continue to look and perform like new.