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Tips to Make Your Used Car Look Shiny and New

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Just because your car has some miles on it, doesn’t mean it can’t look shiny and new. By putting some effort in the care and upkeep of your car’s exterior and interior appearance, you can add to its value.

“Give your vehicle a thorough cleaning with car wash detergent and water. Alloy wheels should be scrubbed thoroughly to remove road film and grime,” recommend the experts at “Use a stiff-bristled brush and a good nonabrasive detergent or wheel cleaner. If you use the latter, look for one that is safe for all wheels because strong cleaners can eat away the protective coating on some of them. Once everything is dry, apply a tire dressing to give your rubber a new-car look.”

After your exterior is thoroughly clean, do a close inspection of the paint job—look for imperfections, scratches, and nicks, advise the experts who recommend using a wax to shine up an in-tact paint job or a product that both protects and polishes if the paint is lackluster. Seek professional assistance for scratch and dent fixes.

If your car’s windshield has been marred by an airborne rock, it’s imperative to have the glass fixed or replaced. A clean, clear windshield will do wonders for a vehicle’s look.

After you have created a beautiful exterior, work on getting the interior to match.

“When cleaning the car, look at the results through the eye of a potential buyer. Remove all your personal clutter from the glove box and other storage spaces, and empty any ashtrays. Check under the seats for lost toys, trash, and wayward French fries,” advise the experts at

In addition to de-cluttering, be sure to give the inside a washing with appropriate fabric and surface cleaners and pay attention to odor-removal.

“Getting rid of odors can be a challenge. First get all the interior fabrics clean with pet spot cleaner or another odor-fighting product. Don’t forget to wipe down the overhead fabric, or headliner. Be sure to clean inside the trunk and spare-tire well,” advise the experts. “To remove stale odors from the ventilation ducts try spraying odor eliminator into the system’s air intake, which is usually at the base of the windshield. Then run the air conditioner at full blast for at least 10 minutes.”

If you keep your car well-groomed and maintained, it will garner favorable attention.

News Source: Consumer Reports