Angie's List Report: Maintaining the Outside of Your Car

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Updated: 7/18/2013 9:24 pm

In this Angie's List report, the importance of maintaining the outside of your vehicle.

Driving around in a clean, shiny car feels good – especially on a warm summer day. Cleaning your car regularly also helps remove dirt, bugs, and other elements that threaten the appearance of your car.

Getting your car washed and waxed on a regular basis is one of the easiest ways to preserve its paint and keep it looking nice. Removing other environmental contaminants such as road salt, sap, tar and bugs in a timely manner also goes a long way to making your car’s paint and clear coat last longer.

Bill Kortepeter has his car professionally detailed regularly.

“It’s fairly important. And the reason why was I was raised to take care of my stuff. Secondly, and probably more importantly, I think it helps in the resale value of the car when you go to sell it or trade it in," Kortepeter said.

Angie’s List asked highly rated companies how frequently you should clean your car. Most experts recommend getting your car washed every other week, waxed with the change of each season, and professionally detailed every six months to a year.

“If you’re looking for a deep clean, a lot of consumers consider hiring a detailer to help bring their car back to their original life. If you’re hiring a detailer, it could be $100 or more depending on the type of package you pick,” said Angie's List founder Angie Hicks.

The fact is a detailer will pay attention to details that you might let go.

“We actually get into a lot of intricate areas that a basic car wash wouldn’t or maybe the average consumer wouldn’t. Down in in the wheels, door jambs. We also can clean leather, treat the leather, keep it supple from hardening which just a regular car wash wouldn’t do,” said auto detailer Roderick Darring.

“When hiring an auto detailer, you want to make sure you’ve got someone who is trustworthy, I mean let’s face it you’re giving them the keys to your car. Additionally, you want to know what kind of experience they have and also what kind of products they are going to be using because you want to be sure they are using products that are good for your car," Hicks added.

For those spending the money on the detail, they say it's always worth it.

“The quality of the service they provide. When the car comes back it’s always immaculate. It looks showroom new,” Kortepeter said.

Many auto detailing shops off pick-up and drop-off services as well as mobile detailing so your car never has to leave the driveway.

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