When it comes to car maintenance, most of us tend to go all out. From maintaining engines and car mechanics to a string of insurance and warranty programs – there’s seemingly nothing a car lover will not do.
Yet even the most avid automobile fan tends to forget a few things. Surprisingly, what does not feature in our ritualistic car servicing are its most prominent elements – the car doors and bodywork.
The neglected car door
We tend to overlook the door that, ironically, is the part of a car we use the most! As the entry and exit point to a vehicle, it’s crucial to care for door panels and the technology inside them.
Located around the edges of car doors are the inconspicuous but vital door seals. They help to protect your car from the elements – wind, rain, or sand. The seals prevent moisture build-up through the gaps into the car cabin. Should the rubber lining deteriorate or suffer damages, it can impact the atmosphere inside the car. The air quality inside will mimic conditions outside – from humid and hot to windy and freezing.
Protect your car’s weatherstripping
There are several ways to give your car doors the TLC they deserve and prevent long-term damage. Here are a few pointers to take care of a vehicle’s weatherstripping.
Wash the weatherstripping
To ensure they stay clean, wash the rubber strips regularly. The best way to do this is to dip a sponge or cloth in warm, soapy water and gently clean any dirt around the lining.
Reattach loose linings
Check for any loose linings since secure weather stripping is critical to keep moisture out of the car cabin. If you come across loose linings, it’s easy to reattach them yourself with a weatherstrip tube available with most manufacturers.
Cover the rubber with silicone to preserve its sponginess and protect it from soaring temperatures in the summer. During winter, silicone helps to stop the car’s weatherstripping from freezing.
How to fix car door problems
A lost or damaged car key
Avoid attempting to pry the car door open. In most cases, speaking to your dealership for a replacement key is the ideal solution. What’s even better is arranging for one beforehand as a backup option. If a replacement key is not an option, call for the help of an emergency car locksmith.
Do not try and open frozen windows. You could find yourself with a stuck, half-open window or seriously damaged window gears from repeatedly pressing the window controls. Use warm water or a kettle to thaw the ice.
Jammed car lock
Similarly, if you find yourself with a jammed car lock because of cold weather, try numerous ways to thaw the ice first. Avoid using too much force since car keys are fragile. Use things available at home: hairdryers, de-icers, warm water, lighters, marches, or greasing the key in Vaseline before inserting it into the lock.
Tips on caring for car bodywork
Regular, careful maintenance is essential to keep car bodywork in excellent condition for years to come. The bodywork is the most prominent element of a vehicle, and any car lover worth their salt should keep it in top shape.
Cleaning at the right time
Washing the car in conditions that are too hot could reduce the effectiveness of the cleaning products. It is best to wait for the vehicle to cool down after a long journey or choose a colder time in the day before cleaning it.
While washing your car, use a gentle cloth, sponge, or brush along with a mild detergent. Washing once a week is ideal.
Waxing your car
Waxing your car once or twice a year works wonders to keep it in excellent condition. It protects the paint from varying weather conditions while keeping the car’s body nice and shiny.
Apply a rust-proof agent on your car and its under-chassis to prevent rust build-up. It is especially important for people who live in humid areas where cars are more susceptible to rust.
Touching up dents and chips
Painting over scratches and minor dents in your car’s bodywork can protect it from rust. Ideally, a professional paint job at a garage is the way to go. Those looking for a DIY option can choose a paint that is the closet colour match and paint over the damage.