Extending the life of your car (Part 3)

Welcome back to the third part of our extensive article regarding how to properly maintain your car. We start by mentioning how you can protect the carpeting.

This can be done by using floor mats, specifically those waffle-style rubber mats since these are the best against mud, slush and salt. Aside from being easy to clean, these mats will remain in place and they will not allow water to seep through.

These should be replaced as they wear through with similar ones or carpet-style mats.

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Whenever you are washing the vehicle, it is highly advisable that you take out all carpet or rubber floor mats and hose them down since by doing this it will get rid of the dirt particles. If you won’t wash them frequently, those dirt particles are going to build up and eventually lead to grinding holes in the mats. After washing them thoroughly, these mats should be left out in the sun to dry before putting them back in the car.

While you are cleaning the interior carpeting and floor mats, you probably will notice at one point a few resistant stains. For these you should apply foam rug cleaner with a wet brush or a sponge a few square feet at a time. After the area has dried, vacuum it once again.

For keeping the door and window seals in a good condition, it is recommended that you use rubber protectant. Avoid using WD-40 or other oil-based product because the oil will attack the rubber and cause damages. If you take care of the doors and windows sealing you will avoid having problems with the door sticking to the rubber seal during winter when it’s cold outside.

If rainwater is infiltrating inside the vehicle you might want to consider replacing the weatherstripping. Those small leaks can be dealt with by brush-on seam sealers, while trim adhesive should be used to secure loose areas. At auto shops you’ll find special caulking which can be used for repairing torn sections.

If your car has leather upholstery, you should use leather cleaner once in a while to get rid of stains and dirt. After doing so, it is best to use leather protectant formulated for pigmented or top-coated grain leather. By using these sorts of protectants you’ll be able to keep away stains and at the same time make the leather cleaning process easier in the future. For keeping your leather supple and in a good shape you should opt for one of those protectants that have conditioners in its composition.

You might want to know that those upholstery cleaners you use at home can be used for the upholstery of the car as well. However, you should use these sparingly in order to avoid fabric saturation. The foam should be wiped away with a clean cloth. For velour seats it’s advisable you brush the fibers in a gently manner so that you’ll avoid matting them and also to maintain the fabric’s original texture.

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