For most of us, buying a new car every year is not an option, so our best hope is to wax, polish, degrease, remove scratches, cover the seats and do anything else possible to keep the one we have looking new as long as possible. Even if you don't lust after the latest and greatest the automotive industry has to offer when auto-show season hits, it's still in your best interest to keep your daily driver looking as good as possible with automotive care accessories to maintain resale value -- after all, the more cherry the ride, the better the price. So here are a few car care accessories we found to keep your ride looking good longer so you can get the most for it when you finally are ready to trade up to that hot new car.
By Vernon Heywood
Photo credit: Manufacturers
3M Headlight Lens Restoration System
If you have a car with plastic headlight covers, odds are you've notice some discoloring and that nighttime driving is a little more difficult than it used to be. The 3M Car Care Line now offers the 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System. For under $30 you get everything you need to revitalize your yellowed headlights and improve their intensity anywhere from 50 to 300 percent. All you need is a drill to power the buffing wheel, some elbow grease, and approximately 30 minutes to get those dingy, scratched up lenses shining like new.
Quixx High Performance Paint Scratch Remover
Eventually, something will scratch your car's paint. Whether that scratch comes from a shopping cart at the grocery store or swirl marks that have accumulated over time through polishing, there's hope. The Quixx High Performance Paint Scratch Remover ($19.95) says it will remove minor scuffs and scratches from all paint finishes. It does this by filling in the scratch with paint surrounding the blemish in a two-step process that first removes the scratch and then shines up the repaired surface.
Justice Brothers Heavy-Duty Engine Degreaser
You wax your car, treat the tires, and use a protectorant on the interior, but what about under the hood? Gunk gets sucked in through the grille, splashed up from the road and spilled onto your engine through routine maintenance. A grime-covered engine can mask leaks and cracking belts and hoses. For $19.95, Justice Brothers Heavy-Duty Engine Degreaser can clean up the mess and make maintaining your car easier. It can also be used on the transmission, suspension or any other dirty metal surface.
Adam's Complete Machine Essentials Kit
Running low on elbow grease can make waxing your car or truck a real chore. The Adam's Complete Machine Essentials Kit, priced at $379.95, addresses the problem by including a Porter Cable 7424 mechanical polisher. Adam's claims that this power tool is incapable of burning paint, making it easy for the weekend do-it-yourselfer to use without fear of damaging the finish. In addition to the polishes, pads and towels included to obtain a professional finish, a step-by-step instructional DVD is included to walk amateur detailers through the process.
Covercraft Canine Covers
You've spent the morning primping and preening your ride to concours d'elegance perfection, so for the afternoon you load up your best friend and head for the beach. But if your best friend happens to be a dog, you run the risk of damaging those show-quality seats. Covercraft now sells Canine Covers to protect those seats from doggy paws as well as provide a comfortable, breathable, quilted liner for your pet to sit on. Canine Covers retail for $108 and are available in 12 different colors with large looping straps for easy installation.