Chicago Auto Show Blog

The 10 Expert Car Care Tips Everyone Should Know

Posted by: Jennifer Morand

Last Saturday, hosts of the Drive Chicago radio program on WLS-AM spoke with Fred Joseph, Research and Development Director from Turtle Wax, to get the scoop on car care. We’ve recapped everything you need to know, from the best time of year to wax your car to the main reason behind why you shouldn’t take your ride to a quick service car wash. 
Q: What are the top three things people should be doing to maintain the appearance of their car?
A: The car exterior should be washed with a quality car wash shampoo. After washing, protect the paint finish with regular waxing. Also, stains such as bird droppings and bugs should be removed as soon as possible to prevent harm to paint.
Q: What are the best times of year to wax your car?
A: Cars should typically be waxed before the stormy fall weather hits and in early spring, after harsh winter weather. 
Q: What is the best tip for keeping your car looking new?
A: Adopt a regular maintenance routine to catch and remedy issues before they grow to be bigger, more expensive repair problems.
Q: Let’s talk road salt. During winters, what are the best solutions for dealing with road salt, both on the exterior and inside the vehicle?  
A: For auto exteriors, wash the car at least every two weeks to remove salt buildup. For auto interiors, regular cleaning of carpets and floor mats using a product, such as Power Out! Carpet & Mats Heavy Duty Cleaner, will remove salt stains and dirt before it damages and stains the carpet fibers. 
Q: What new product are you most excited about?
A: I’m most excited about Turtle Wax Quick & Easy Exterior 1 Waterless Wash & Wax. This waterless wash product gives you the freedom to clean your car anywhere, especially if you don’t have access to water, a hose or a driveway. The product saves water and conveniently washes and waxes in one easy step.
Q: I park my car on the street here in Chicago and now it is covered with all sorts of stuff. First, what’s the best way to get it clean and, secondly, how can I best protect it going forward?
A: The first step would be to wash the car with a product like Turtle Wax M.A.X.-Power Car Wash that allows you to adjust the cleaning power by increasing the amount of wash used. It will give the exterior of the car a deep clean and strip away built up grime, bugs and stains.  
Secondly, after washing the exterior, you should inspect the paint for any remaining stains such as road tar or tree sap and remove these with a product like our Turtle Wax Bug & Tar Remover. Follow up by waxing with a quality wax such as our Express Shine Carnauba Spray Wax or Carnauba Liquid Wax to protect the finish.
Q: For someone who keeps their car in a garage, how often do they have to apply wax to protect the finish?
A: The general rule for a maintenance routine is to wax at least every three or four months. This can vary with the conditions that the car is exposed to when driving (construction, storms, salt exposure, etc.). 
Q: I understand how to clean and protect my paint and exterior, but what do I need to know about cleaning and protecting the interior of the vehicle?
A: Your regular maintenance routine for the interior of the car should focus on the high-traffic areas. High-traffic areas include: the driver’s seat, steering wheel and floor mats followed by any area of the car regularly used by kids or pets. First you should vacuum up any loose dirt, food, etc. and then clean away any remaining dirt or stains using our Power Out! line of aerosol carpet and upholstery cleaners. These cleaners gently remove tough stains and dirt while neutralizing any food and smoke odors with its exclusive Odor-X technology.
Q: How about leather? Is there something special I need to do to keep it looking new?
A: Yes, leather surfaces require specific care to not only stay clean but to also remain soft and flexible. Turtle Wax Power Out! Leather Cleaner & Conditioner will gently lift away everyday stains while conditioning the leather to keep it soft and flexible while also protecting it from the sun’s U.V. rays.
Q: I hear that the quick service car washes are bad for my car. Why are they so bad?
A: The washes themselves are not necessarily bad. The biggest worry with using quick service car washes is the cars that go through before you. All the dirt from the previous car remains on the brushes. All that dirt ends up on your car and can result in dirt being rubbed into your paint which can cause scratches and other imperfections. This can be a bigger issue in poorly maintained wash locations.
My best advice is to avoid quick washes showing signs that they’re not well maintained. Check inside the wash/gas station to see if they are using high quality chemical products such as Turtle Wax professional products. Also, look at the equipment in the wash bay to observe if it is clean and well maintained. You can also try to observe cars going through the wash to see if they come out clean and dry with no obvious damage. 
If you want to catch the full interview with Fred Joseph, click here. Do you have any car care tips to share? Comment below or tweet @DriveChicago or @TurtleWax using #DriveChicago and #CarCareTips. 
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