Recently, we wrote a blog about maintaining the exterior of your auto during a snowy Winter (see below). But don’t forget the interior. Daily life takes a toll on your auto’s interior. From commuting, to snow and mud, to pets and kids, your car’s interior takes a beating.
Did you know that a maintained interior extends the life of your auto and increases the trade-in value? Those are two reasons to take the maintenance of the interior of your vehicle seriously. Team HiLo Auto put together a list of our top tips.
It is essential to follow a method when cleaning your auto's interior. For example, the first task should be to remove all of the trash from the interior.
Separate the trash from items that you want to keep. It is an excellent time to remove items from the vehicle that really should be stored in your home or garage. Complete this step before vacuuming the interior.
Now is the time to remove and clean your floor mats.
Do not place your floor mats back into your car until you ensure that they are completely dry. Remember, using floor mats is a top way to extend the life and value of the interior of your car.
Before wiping down surfaces, ensure that your auto has been thoroughly vacuumed.
This includes seats, flooring, trunk, side door panels, cup holders, etc. Vacuuming puts dust and dirt in the air, and you do not want that to stick to your newly wiped (and even wet) surfaces.
Vacuum first…dust and wipe down afterward.
Clean the upholstery and attack stains. There are many upholstery products on the market that are suitable. Or you can make your own.
Try two cups of warm water, one cup of white vinegar, and a few tablespoons of blue Dawn dish detergent. Mix and put in a spray bottle.
Spray stains and wait 15 minutes before wiping with a clean cloth. Let your upholstery dry before moving to Step #5.
Wipe down surfaces. Ensure that you clean surfaces before using a product such as an Armorall protectant wipe—an important note: products such as protectant wipes are not cleaners.
If you do not clean the surfaces first, you will have a dirty mess as the protectant mixes with the dirt on your dash, console, etc.
Clean and then protect.
Clean the windows, inside and out. This one is simple. You can use good old Windex or make your own. You can use the same recipe as above but cut the Dawn back to 2 or 3 drops.
Consider investing in tools to help you keep your auto clean. An item as simple as a travel mug may help prevent spills.
A seat cover will prevent muddy dog prints from covering your seats.
Of course, we always suggest floor mats. Some initial expense still saves future time and protects your investment.
On another note, while cleaning your car's interior, take the time to re-stock your emergency kit.
You can create a kit with a trip to any car parts store or auto department in a big box store. Or purchase a complete kit on-line. Remember, your Winter emergency kit should include a warm blanket and shovel (scroll down to see our earlier post on this).
If you would like additional tips from Team HiLo Auto, browse our bi-monthly blog posts below.
If you are looking for a quality used car in Maryland, be sure to browse our website. We have four Maryland locations to serve you, Cockeysville, Ellicott City, and two in Frederick. How can we help you?
Maryland has seen its share of snow this season, and more is in the forecast. Winter weather has a negative impact on both the exterior and interior of your automobile. Keep reading for winter weather maintenance tips from HiLo Auto.
After a big Maryland winter storm, we often receive questions about exterior car maintenance. Here are three tips from the team at HiLo Auto.
A question that we often receive is, “Should I wash my car after a snowstorm or just wait until Spring?”
In recent years, transportation departments have started pre-spraying Maryland roads with an anti-freeze chemical. While this does curtail freezing on our roadways, it is also a corrosive agent to our vehicles. So, you should plan to wash your car after each winter storm, once the slush is gone and the roads are dry.
There is just one caveat, skip the wash until temperatures are above 30F degrees. And, if using an automated car wash, do not skip the dry phase.
For car washing tips and products, scroll through our collection of blogs.
Another question that is often asked, after a Winter storm, is “How do I safely unfreeze my auto locks?”
Here is a great tip, and it uses something that you probably already own…hand sanitizer. Yes, the same hand sanitizer that you have been using during the COVID-19 crisis can unlock a frozen car lock.
Simply, coat your key in hand sanitizer. Now, gently insert the key into the lock. The alcohol in the hand sanitizer will thaw the ice and you should be able to unlock your car door.
Our third Q&A is about quickly removing snow from your vehicle. “I have an early morning commute to work. How can I quickly remove snow from my car?”
Here are a few tips from Team HiLo Auto for quickly removing snow from your vehicle after a snowstorm.
Do not wait for Spring to begin a post-storm maintenance routine. Pre-planning your routine will not only get you on the road after a winter storm, but it will also maintain the value of your auto.
Stay tuned…in our next blog, we will provide Team HiLo Auto tips for maintaining the interior of your auto.
Buying your first car is always a milestone that you may never forget. To keep your purchase a positive experience, ensure that you follow the HiLo Auto tips. If you are working towards your first Maryland driver’s license, keep reading. We provide a helpful link in this blog.
HiLo Auto locations, across Maryland, promote a First Time Buyers program, including special financing. But, before you purchase your first car, follow our tips.
Know the “Total Cost of Car Ownership.” It is not just the monthly loan payment expense but ensure that your current income will also cover automobile insurance and maintenance expenses.
This is the HiLo Auto #1 Tip. Know and understand the total cost of ownership for that special make and model of car, including insurance coverage.
Keep in mind that your first year of insurance coverage may be costly. You need to establish a good driving track record before expecting lower rates. Prior to car shopping, research your auto insurance options.
What is your budget? Before test driving prospective cars, know your budget. Once you know your budget, an auto salesperson can help fit a used car to your budget.
Understand the difference between wants and needs. You need an automobile to get you to work, school or just errands around town. You may want a Bose sound system.
As you review your budget, you will need to ensure that your first car fits your needs. Note that it may or may not include all of your wants.
How will you use your first car? Or how many miles will you drive weekly? It is important to pick a car that fits the number of miles that you will drive weekly.
If you are purchasing your first car to replace your use of public transportation to work, you may want to pick a late model used car.
Successfully completing a certified Driver Education Program course that includes 30 hours of classroom learning and six (6) hours of behind-the-wheel training is a requirement for all new Maryland drivers, regardless of age.
Across Maryland, most high school students are still part of virtual learning programs. Parents have now literally taken a front seat and are looking for resources to fit the requirements.
Thankfully, Maryland has now approved virtual courses for the 30 -hour classroom requirement.
If you are learning to drive as a teen or as an adult, you will find a list of certified Maryland driver education courses here: https://mva.maryland.gov/drivers/Pages/driver-education-schools.aspx
Our website sums up our unique First Time Buyers Program. Here’s a quote:
“Is your son or daughter borrowing your car to go to work or visit their friends?...
Here at Hi Lo Auto Sales we have partnered with our lenders to offer a First Time Buyers program, designed to get your son or daughter a car on their own, without you cosigning for them. That's right...WITHOUT you cosigning for them! Payments are set by our lenders and based on income. No established CREDIT NECCESSARY!!* We can even help them find reasonable insurance rates!”
Follow our tips for purchasing your first car, listed above. Once you know your budget and have a list of your needs and wants, schedule an appointment to work with one of our sales specialists. Of course, you will want to test drive cars that fit your needs. Scroll through our blogs to find tips on test driving and maintaining a used car.
If you have the goal to purchase your first car in 2021, the HiLo Auto Team is here to help.