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The value of maintaining a clean vehicle

Repairs may be more costly depending on the make and model

Do clean vehicles last longer than ones that are constantly dirty, muddied, or covered in winter residue?

Pose that question to a dozen different mechanics and you’re likely to get a dozen different answers. However, common sense would dictate that if you care enough about the internal and external cleanliness of your car then you’re probably conscientious enough to have regular preventative maintenance done on your vehicle.

There may not be any concrete proof, but it’s something you might want to consider before making what could be one of the most expensive purchases of your life.

“I say a clean car is always a happy car,” Vinnie Klimkosz, owner of the two area locations of Vinnie’s Mr. FixIt. “Winter can be extremely harsh on all your vehicle’s major systems, so having them inspected each spring is a smart idea.”

With vehicle prices at an all-time high, it’s important to have a strategy to protect and care for your investment.

That includes both the interior and the exterior, which require different strategies to prolong the aesthetic of your vehicle. Klimkosz said there are a variety of options and services available for those who prefer to hire professionals.

“In our line of work we’re mainly focused on repairs and don’t do cleaning,” said Klimkosz. “We don’t discriminate when it comes to people bringing their cars in. I don’t care if they’re clean or dirty, but taking care of your paint finish and having a proper interior and exterior cleaning on a regular basis definitely makes your vehicle last longer. There are a lot of professional places in town that can do an excellent job with interior and exterior detailing.”

For DIY types, regular washing of your car, truck, or SUV is part of the ritual of ownership. That could mean investing in a variety of brand name or after market products designed to protect the external finish of your vehicle. As for which product is best, Klimkosz said there’s no right answer.

“A good quality car wash and wax is what I recommend. There are lots of different versions sold at the store and all work fairly good. The real wax, the kind that you wax in and buff out, offers the best protection. It’s pretty expensive for a lot of people and it can be time consuming. For someone who wants something a quick and easy wash and wax is more than adequate.”

Klimkosz suggests that people washing their vehicles manually should remember to spray and clean the inside of the wheel wells to remove salt, sand, and seasonal debris that can accumulate and lead to rust formation.

As for those who prefer the convenience of a car wash regardless of the season, Klimkosz said that not all automated systems are created equal.

“I find the touchless car washes that are newer seem to be the best,” he said. “They use pressure washers and the pressure is higher than the old ones. Some of the touch washes aren’t bad either. If you have loose body components and certain things that might get damaged you may want to stay away from those. There are pros and cons. Some of the touchless ones may not get the tough dirt and mud off. A touch-style with a soft brush may be a better choice.”

Ultimately, Klimkosz suggests there’s nothing better than doing it by hand.

“If you really want a nice touch, buy a wash bucket, a brush, and a hand towel. Doing it yourself is always a nice, rewarding feeling.”

For full automotive service and advice, visit Vinnie’s Mr. FixIt online. Or drop by either of their two Guelph locations: 30 Hayes Avenue, or 41 Woodlawn Road West.