Tips

Clean These 5 Spots Before Selling Your Car | Autoblog Details

Selling a used car can be a daunting task. Buying one is even scarier. These 5 spots at minimum are critical to a quick sale and enticing the buyer to make a full price offer. Find out where they are and how to clean them on this episode of Autoblog Details.

Watch all of our Autoblog Details videos for more tips on car cleaning and maintenance by professional detailer Larry Kosilla. While you’re at it, check out Larry’s other video series on how to diagnose, fix, and modify cars, Autoblog Wrenched!

[00:00:00] Selling a used car can be a daunting task. Buying one is even scarier. These five spots at minimum are critical to a quick sale and enticing the buyer to make a full price offer. Find out where they are and how to clean them on this episode of Auto Blog Details. Floor mats can take a lot of abuse and can indicate how much wear and tear maybe on the other areas of the car. In short, it’s like a barometer for how well the car has been maintained. The solution is pretty simple, buy new replacement mats.

[00:00:30] If new mats are out of the budget, be sure to vacuum, fabric clean, and scrub the carpet at minimum. Once the mats are a bit cleaner, you can create the illusion of new mats by wiping the mat with a scrub brush in opposite directions called carpet lines. Remember, perception is everything when selling a used car. Inevitably a new buyer will lift the hood and look at the engine. Having a gunk-covered, dusty engine is a real turn-off.

[00:01:00] Lightly wiping down the plastic components with a damp towel can make a world of difference. Likewise, vacuum out any leaves or sticks that may be stuck in the hood jambs. Compressed air can be wildly helpful in these spots. Once clean, add a water-based tire dressing to the black plastic for a deep, rich look, but be sure to lightly wipe down the shine with a dry cloth afterwards. Heavy shine attracts dust, and you don’t wanna look too eager with a dripping wet engine. Subtlety is key here.

[00:01:30] As the seller, you’ve been in and out of your car a thousand times. A perspective buyer, however, has never sat in your particular car before, so think about the first time you sat in your car. How did it feel? How did it smell, and how did it look? Clearly turning back the clock is not possible, but focusing your attention to the driver’s side door, seat bolster, center console, door handle, and steering wheel are all places the driver must notice every time they get in the car.

[00:02:00] So if you’re gonna spend any time getting into the nitty-gritty details and fine touches, train your eye to see everything you would touch when you get in and drive away, because the potential new owner is gonna notice them on the test drive. Having a terrible smell can and will prevent the sale of a used car. In fact, cars have been considered totaled by insurance companies because of this devastating or uninhabitable odor. First, open all the doors of your car and remove any and all personal items.

[00:02:30] If there is an odor, try to locate the source of the smell and scrub and vacuum the surrounding areas. Next, consider removing and replacing your vehicle’s cabin filter. Adding flavorful scents to mask the smell will only create an even weirder smell, and raise the red flag to your potential buyer. If you absolutely must use a scent, stick to the fresh or the carpet cleaner-type smells. Pink bubblegum or fruity apple spice is not gonna cut it. I’m sure it goes without saying, but the first impression of any car is the outside, or in other words, the paint and the wheels.

[00:03:00] Having flawless paint can increase the value of your car by five to even 10%, but spending hours compounding and polishing to then sell it may not be feasible. But at the very minimum, wash and wax your paint. This will give even the worst of paint conditions a pretty face. Likewise, wheels or rims can cost as much as entire vehicles in some cases, so the importance of having them immaculate weighs heavily on the minds of buyers in today’s market.

[00:03:30] Spend the time cleaning the inside and the outside of the wheels and those knuckle-busting tight spots. Trust me, it’s worth the effort. I’ll leave you with two of my super-nerd tricks when I perform a pre-purchase inspection for my clients, or if I’m on the other side of the transaction and we’re preparing for sale. Number one, make sure the detail is done as close to the time of the potential buyer’s inspection, thereby avoiding any dust build-up or quick drives to the store that may spoil your hard work. Number two, do not show the car in the same spot you just used for washing it. The ground is wet, soap buckets and vacuums surrounding the car, this is not a good look.

[00:04:00] As a buyer I wanna get the sense a car has always been super-clean. If you found this video helpful, please share and keep up with all the latest detail videos by liking or subscribing to the Auto Blog page. I’m Larry Casilla from AmmoNYC.com, thanks for watching.

Camping to Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Amarillo is east of Albuquerque 285 miles or 4 hours away on I40. I know the festival is over for this year but if your planing on camping for next year, you should plan now and book your reservations now before they are all filled up. Amarillo can be your last leg of your trip to Albuquerque and can be the perfect time to get your Coach or Camper washed. This time of the year we get 2 to 3 weeks out on our schedule, So even if you don’t know witch RV park your staying at you should book now.  You will get a conformation and 3 day before your schedule you will get a reminder by then you can add what RV park your staying at. This way you can secure your wash slot now before all the slots are gone.  If you’re looking at staying in Amarillo I have provided a map with all the RV parks in the Amarllo Area:

 


 

 

If you’re like me when staying in another town, you like to eat at some local restaurants that the locals eat. I have listed them here for you on this map:

 

 

Tips for driving through car wash

Automatic/drive-through car washes are more popular than ever because they save time and hassle. And in winter, they also save you from the ordeal of trying to keep your car clean in freezing weather.

Automatic car washes can also be safer for your car’s finish than washing your car yourself because do-it-yourselfers sometimes don’t use enough water to safely remove dirt; or they wash the car in direct sunlight — which can burn spots in the paint. Or they use the wrong type of soap — such as dishwashing detergent, which removes protective wax and leaves a chalky residue on the finish. Or any one of several common mistakes can end up doing more harm than good.

Keeping your car clean and the finish looking good can also mean higher resale value when it comes time to get a new car. All else being equal, a car with faded paint and a dingy overall look sells for 10-20 percent less than an otherwise identical vehicle that just looks nicer.

So how often should you have your vehicle washed? That depends on how quickly it gets dirty — and how dirty it gets. For some cars, once a month or so is sufficient — especially if the car is lightly used and kept in a garage.

But some cars will need a bath more often — especially those that are parked outdoors where they’re exposed to bird droppings, tree sap and so on, or driven in areas with very long/severe winters, where the roads are salted when it snows.

Here are a few important things to keep in mind when it comes to automatic car washes:

Be sure it’s “brushless”

Some older car washes still use abrasive brushes (instead of cloth), which can leave small scratches in a car’s finish.

On older cars with so-called “single stage” paint jobs, light scratches could usually be buffed out; but all modern cars use a “base/clear” system with a thin, transparent layer of clear coat on top of the underlying color coat to provide the shine. Once the thin clear coat is damaged, often the only way to restore the shine is to repaint the damaged area.

Another safe bet is “touchless” car washes that use only high-pressure water jets and detergents to clean the car — without physically touching it at all. There is virtually no chance of your vehicle suffering any cosmetic damage this way.

Some areas have “self-service” coin-operated hand washes, which are great for spraying away heavy dirt buildup. You’ll usually need to bring your own bucket, wash cloth/sponge and dry towels, though.

Watch out for the after-wash wipe-down

Most drive-through washes use a strong jet of heated air to force excess water off after the car goes through the wash. Many full-service car washes will then have you drive the car (or drive it for you, in some cases) away from the wash area to be hand-wiped by attendants. This is usually OK — provided the attendants are using fresh, clean (and soft) towels to do so.

Be alert on busy days, when lots of other cars have gone ahead of you. If you see the attendants using obviously dirty old rags to wipe the car down, you should say “thanks, but no thanks” — and drive away wet. Dirt and other abrasives in the rags can scratch the finish just like sandpaper.

Simply driving away from the wash and letting air flow over the car to dry any remaining water won’t hurt anything — and is the best guarantee of a no-damage experience. Any lingering streaks can easily be cleaned up at home yourself using readily available spray cleaners designed for just this purpose. (Honda Pro Spray Cleaner & Polish is excellent for this; it also provides UV protection and easily and safely cleans off bugs, tar and road grime, etc. without water.)

Hold off on the extras

A “works” car wash can cost twice as much as the basic wash, but you may not be getting twice the wash for your money. Undercarriage rustproofing, for example, is of dubious value. Effective rustproofing is applied to brand-new metal, in order to seal it from contact with external corrosives such as road salt.

Most new cars are extensively rustproofed at the factory during the assembly process; further “treatment” is superfluous — and a money-waster.

On the other hand, if the wash offers an undercarriage bath, it may be worth the additional cost. Jets of water sprayed directly underneath the car can break loose accumulated crud that would be difficult (and unpleasant) to try to remove yourself using a garden hose.

It’s also important that underbody drainage holes not be obstructed by mud and other buildup; accumulated moisture can accelerate rust or (in the case of the air conditioning system) lead to the formation of mold in the system. The undercarriage bath should help keep those drain holes clear.

Think twice about spray-on wax

This typically adds at least a couple bucks to the cost of the wash and while it doesn’t hurt anything, it’s no substitute for hand-applied polish/wax. Spray-on “wax” may provide a short-term gloss enhancement, but doesn’t protect against UV sun damage the way hand-applied wax does.

Ditto the cost of having an attendant spray Armor All (or a similar protectant) on your tires to make them shiny. The cost for this extra can be equivalent to the cost of buying an entire bottle of the stuff on your own.

Wheel and tire cleaning is an exception; the heavy-duty cleaners used by the car wash do a great job of removing baked-on brake dust, etc., that can otherwise be a real chore to clean on your own, using over-the-counter cleaners, a hand brush and a hose. It’s especially important to keep aluminum alloy wheels clean; brake dust can eventually permanently stain them if it’s not regularly cleaned away.

Make sure your car’s OK before you leave

While many car washes will have a disclaimer posted that they are “not responsible for any damages that may occur” as a result of running your car through their wash, that doesn’t mean you should automatically absolve them of any damage their equipment or personnel may have caused.

If you notice something, ask to see the manager and point it out to him; whether “legally liable” or not, he may offer to fix the problem in the interest of customer relations. And even if he does not, you can still pursue the matter with a higher-up (such as the company headquarters, if the wash is a franchise, as many associated with big-name gas stations often are). If you have a cell phone with a camera, use it to take a photo of the damage in order to support your claim.

And it ought to go without saying that you should never leave your purse or other valuables in the car if you use a wash where an attendant will have access to the vehicle’s interior.

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5 FALL CAR CARE TIPS

The autumn season is approaching, and for most of the country, this means a kaleidoscope of changing tree colors and weather patterns; for everyone, it means some necessary fall car care.With winter just on the horizon, most customers may not feel the need to wash their cars in anticipation of the coming days of snow and salt.

As such, fall is the statistically the least popular season for carwashes, with only 18 percent of yearly sales happening, according to a survey from Statistic Brain.

However, automotive enthusiast and blogger Scott Huntington says that you should still convince your customers to get their cars washed and waxed and help them understand that a protective wax can shield their cars from the detrimental effects of fall debris like leaves, sap, mud, tar and bird droppings.

And, Huntington adds, after you have convinced them to keep washing and waxing their cars through the autumnal months, here are five fall car care tips to share with them:

  • Clear off any debris. Fall can be tough driving weather. It gets cold and dark early, and storms roll through often. Your customers need perfect visibility for these conditions, so advise them to brush off any leaves, mud, dirt, etc., when present.
  • Check the wipers. Make sure they can wipe water and grime away quickly and efficiently.
  • Have some cloths and anti-freeze solution nearby. The harsh weather of early winter can take a toll on customers’ cars faster than you can say “Jack Frost.” Customers should purchase — maybe from your carwash’s multi-profit centers — these materials in their cars to combat the weather.
  • Vacuum interior areas. The cold seasons can wreak havoc on car interior areas. Leaves and mud can litter your customers’ floor mats, and fingerprints can pile up on the dash. Customers should do themselves a favor and vacuum and wipe down the interior whenever possible.
  • Keep tabs on the important stuff. Brake pads, tires, the engine and other vital components of the car should be maintained regularly to keep the vehicle operating at optimal performance levels. Customers will need good brakes for slippery fall and winter roads and good tires to grip the road.

Read more about fall carwashing here.

5 FALL CAR CARE TIPS TO SHARE

car, fall, autumn, rain, fall weather, leaves, wet roads, driving

The autumn season is approaching, and for most of the country, this means a kaleidoscope of changing tree colors and weather patterns; for everyone, it means some necessary fall car care.

With winter just on the horizon, most customers may not feel the need to wash their cars in anticipation of the coming days of snow and salt.

As such, fall is the statistically the least popular season for carwashes, with only 18 percent of yearly sales happening, according to a survey from Statistic Brain.

However, automotive enthusiast and blogger Scott Huntington says that you should still convince your customers to get their cars washed and waxed and help them understand that a protective wax can shield their cars from the detrimental effects of fall debris like leaves, sap, mud, tar and bird droppings.

And, Huntington adds, after you have convinced them to keep washing and waxing their cars through the autumnal months, here are five fall car care tips to share with them:

  • Clear off any debris. Fall can be tough driving weather. It gets cold and dark early, and storms roll through often. Your customers need perfect visibility for these conditions, so advise them to brush off any leaves, mud, dirt, etc., when present.
  • Check the wipers. Make sure they can wipe water and grime away quickly and efficiently.
  • Have some cloths and anti-freeze solution nearby. The harsh weather of early winter can take a toll on customers’ cars faster than you can say “Jack Frost.” Customers should purchase — maybe from your carwash’s multi-profit centers — these materials in their cars to combat the weather.
  • Vacuum interior areas. The cold seasons can wreak havoc on car interior areas. Leaves and mud can litter your customers’ floor mats, and fingerprints can pile up on the dash. Customers should do themselves a favor and vacuum and wipe down the interior whenever possible.
  • Keep tabs on the important stuff. Brake pads, tires, the engine and other vital components of the car should be maintained regularly to keep the vehicle operating at optimal performance levels. Customers will need good brakes for slippery fall and winter roads and good tires to grip the road.

Read more about fall carwashing here.

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