How to Keep Your Car’s Exterior Looking New: Top Tips and Tricks

September 28th, 2023 by

2023 Dodge Challenger driving through the forest


Key Takeaways

  • Importance of regular washing and the right technique 
  • The role of waxing in shielding your car’s exterior.
  • Tips on avoiding damage from natural elements.
  • Benefits of using car covers and parking smartly.
  • Necessity of addressing scratches and dings promptly.

Every car owner cherishes that pristine look when its exterior shines brightly under the sun, reminiscent of the day it was first driven off the lot. However, daily use makes it easy for the exterior to lose its sheen. 

This article offers tips and tricks to help you maintain that new car look. Want the best in exterior care? Don’t miss out on our offers at Greenway Dodge.

Regular Washing is the Key

  • Frequency: For those living in urban areas or places with a lot of dust, washing your car at least once a week is ideal. In cleaner suburban areas, every other week should suffice.
  • Technique: Avoid using household detergents. Opt for car-specific shampoos. Use two buckets: one for soapy water and another for rinsing. Start from the top and work your way down. This prevents the transfer of dirt and debris from the lower parts of the car to the cleaner upper parts.

Wax On, Shine On

Waxing is not just about the glossy shine; it’s also about protection. A good-quality car wax forms a barrier between the car’s exterior and potential damage from UV rays, bird droppings, and other contaminants.

Wax your car every three months. This frequency ensures your vehicle is always protected and gleaming.

Dodge the Damaging Elements

  • Sun: Extended exposure to the sun can fade your car’s paint. Park in the shade or invest in a UV-protective car cover whenever possible.
  • Rain: Water spots can stain your car’s exterior. After a rainstorm or after washing, ensure you dry your vehicle correctly. Using a microfiber cloth can help avoid scratches during this process.

Protect with Car Covers and Smart Parking

  • Car Covers: Even if you park indoors, dust can settle on your car’s exterior. A breathable car cover helps prevent dust accumulation and minor dings from objects or people.
  • Smart Parking: Avoid parking under trees, as sap or bird droppings can harm the car’s paint. Similarly, avoid parking near other vehicles in crowded places to prevent dings and scratches.

Quick Action on Scratches and Dings

No matter how careful you are, minor scratches or dings are inevitable. Addressing these promptly can prevent them from worsening and affecting more significant areas. Investing in a good scratch removal kit or seeking professional help early on can make a big difference.

Consider Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Paint Protection Film is a thin layer of explicit material applied to a car’s exterior. It protects against chips, scratches, and contaminants like bug splatters and bird droppings.

Benefits: While it seems like an upfront investment, PPF can save you money in the long run. It reduces the need for touch-ups and repainting. Plus, it’s nearly invisible, ensuring your car’s exterior looks top-notch without compromising its original beauty.

Regularly Check and Clean the Undercarriage

With all the focus on the car’s body, many forget about the undercarriage. This part is susceptible to dirt, salt (especially in winter months), and other road residues.

How to Clean: Using a garden hose, spray the undercarriage of your car to remove dirt and grime. There are also specialized undercarriage cleaning solutions available that can offer a deeper clean and protect against rust.

Mind the Wheels and Tires

Your car’s wheels and tires encounter some of the toughest conditions. From mud to brake dust, they face a lot.

Cleaning Tips

  • Use a dedicated wheel cleaner, as general-purpose cleaners might not be as effective or could damage the wheel’s finish.
  • For tires, use a tire-cleaning solution to remove dirt and give them a dark, rich sheen.
  • Don’t forget to check tire pressure regularly. A well-maintained tire looks good, functions better, and lasts longer.

Use the Right Cleaning Tools

The difference between a beautifully maintained car’s exterior and one riddled with swirl marks often boils down to the cleaning tools.

Best Practices

  • Opt for a soft, natural-fiber washing mitt.
  • Avoid brushes unless they’re specifically made for car cleaning.
  • Always use a clean microfiber cloth for drying. These are gentle and minimize the risk of scratching.
  • Use specialized pads to ensure an even finish when working on minor scratches.

Yearly Professional Detailing

While DIY maintenance is effective and essential, nothing beats the touch of a professional. A yearly visit to a professional detailing service can rejuvenate your car’s exterior, addressing minor issues and ensuring the paint remains in peak condition.


  • Deep cleaning of every nook and cranny.
  • Professional grade products that might not be readily available to the general public.
  • Expertise in handling tough stains or issues.

Embrace the Ceramic Coating Revolution

Ceramic coatings have emerged as a game-changer in car exterior protection in recent years. This liquid polymer bonds directly to the car’s paint, providing a protective top layer that’s tougher and more resistant than conventional wax or sealants.


  • Longevity: Unlike wax that needs reapplication every few months, a good ceramic coating can last years.
  • Protection: It offers superior protection against UV rays, reducing the risk of paint oxidation and fading.
  • Easy Cleaning: Dirt, grime, and other contaminants are less likely to stick to a ceramic-coated surface, making washing your car a breeze.
  • Enhanced Shine: Ceramic coatings bring a deep, glossy shine, amplifying the car’s natural color and vibrancy.



Maintaining your car’s exterior in its prime condition is not just about aesthetics. It’s about preserving its value, ensuring longevity, and taking pride in your vehicle. 

With these tips and tricks in your arsenal, you can keep your ride looking as splendid as it did on day one. 

And remember, for all your car needs, don’t forget to check out Greenway Dodge. Your car deserves the best.

Looking for expert advice or services to give your car the shine it deserves? Visit Greenway Dodge today and explore various options tailored to your vehicle.