Wear and tear is an inevitable part of owning a car. Items that we’d define as ‘aged’ typically have heavy signs of use that can manifest themselves as scratches, scuffs or even dents.
Ensuring you reduce this rate of degradation is key in the upkeep of your treasured car. For a non-vehicular object, you can opt to use it less to prolong its lifespan. But with cars, being as expensive as they are here, it is illogical to suffer the steep depreciation and not yield any benefits of car ownership.
How can you still use your vehicle, and not have the interior exhibit signs of heavy use just a few years into ownership?
4) Parking under shelter
Where possible, consider parking your car away from direct sunlight. By doing so, you are minimising the amount of UV light that you subject your car’s interior to. Whilst plastics are generally highly resistant against decomposition by microorganisms, they can still become brittle as a result of photodegradation, a process where UV rays break the polymer bonds in the material itself.
Parking in the shade also means reducing cabin temperatures. With the copious use of glue throughout a modern car’s interior, keeping temperatures down can also prolong the lifespan of these adhesives, as they are not subject to persistent thermal degradation!
3) Using quality solar film
(Photo Credit: Eight Blogger)
Another good way to combat the harsh sunlight that we face year-round in Singapore is to install quality window tint. Opt for name brand products with proper certification for the best results.
In general, solar films keep the heat and UV rays out of the car by using special compounds that are sandwiched between the film layers.
You’ll not only remain cooler on your drives but also minimise the chances of skin cancer if you’re driving for extended durations. As the cabin is kept cooler, you may also find marginal improvements in fuel economy, as the car needs to work less laboriously to keep the cabin at a comfortable temperature!
Do note that tint darkness is not indicative of its efficacy, and some window tints have also been known to interfere with the sensitivity of your IU to various car park gantries.
2) Keeping your interior clean
An often overlooked aspect of preserving your car’s pristine condition is its cleanliness. The build-up of sludge and bodily fluids on the fabrics of your seat and steering wheel can visually age your vehicle, and even damage the fabrics themselves long-term.
Save from wrapping your steering wheel and seats in protective covers, there’s realistically not much you can do on this front.
What you can do though, is ensure that your car is kept as free of clutter as possible. Loose items in your glovebox and door bins can scuff up the materials in these areas as you trundle along the road. Also, residue from organic materials can lead to mould growth, which can also damage your carpets.
Pay some extra attention to cleaning out your cabin the next time you wash your car. There are many products that have been designed to work with the materials in your cabin, allowing you to safely deep clean your interior without the risk of causing further harm.
You can always find a detailer from our list of trusted vendors if you’d prefer to leave this to the experts instead!
1) Storing items in the boot or floor
Out of convenience, you may have opted to place any bulky object that you may have on your hand on the rear passenger seats, as this area of the car is, and for obvious reasons, much more easily accessible than the boot of your vehicle.
If whatever you opt to carry is lightweight and compact, there’s no reason why the rear bench isn’t a suitable place to store the item. However, bulkier items can subject the foam of the rear bench to unnecessary wear and tear. It can also stretch or puncture the fabric, resulting in the need for costly repairs.
If you need to carry heavy items, put it where the automakers have designated - the boot. At the very least, if it’s ease-of-access that you’re concerned about, place said objects in the footwells instead!
Bonus - Wrap Up Your Interior With Layers Of ‘Sacrificial’ Protection
If you’re bent on ensuring your interior is best preserved, you can opt to keep as much of it under wraps. Some owners opt to keep the factory delivery protection films on their vehicles.
Oversized t-shirts make for a good makeshift front seat backrest cover - you can then pair it with a car seat cushion pad to also offer some protection to the seat base. Aftermarket carpets can save your OE carpets from abuse, and steering wheels can be wrapped up in a cover too!
Keeping Your Interior Minty Fresh
As you spend the vast majority of your car ownership experience in the cabin, it only makes sense to keep it in as best of a condition as possible.
A clean and minty fresh interior will greatly elevate your day-to-day experience, increasing its usability and even its resale value when it comes time to sell your vehicle.
There’s no exact science in preserving the condition of your interior. Your car usage and driving habits will differ, so the products and approach you use may also vary from user to user.
There are many products on sale today that promise to refresh and protect worn plastics, so perhaps that’s a good starting point if you are new to the world of car cleaning and detailing.
But if you do not know where to start, as mentioned above, you can always reach out to one of our trusted detailing partners!
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