Will You Get The Most For Your Car At Resale? Use This And You Will!

By David Bynon

Did you know that protecting your car, truck or SUV with a car cover can bring you 15% or more money at resale? According to my research on Kelly Blue Book, that's the average differential between vehicles in "good condition" versus those in "excellent condition." It needs to be considered by every new vehicle or collector car owner.

Choosing the right cover for your situation is essential. Do you garage your vehicle or park outside? Are you living in a dry or humid climate? What about harsh weather such as snow or heavy rain? These are all factors that will help you decide the best car cover to use. By this I'm referring to the material used to make it.

A premium custom-fit product starts at about $175. On very large automobiles they can cost as much as $500, so be sure to do your homework and get the right one the first time. You are well advised to investigate the type of fabric that works best for your situation.

When looking at your climate and use situation, you may be forced into a trade-off or two when it comes to the fabric. If you're not comfortable with the trade-off then you may need to consider one for indoors and another for outside. I mention this because waterproof car covers are not something most people want to hassle with if they have a garage. A good trade-off is to find a material that's breathable and light enough to use inside for dust protection and yet has the capability to protect in mild weather conditions outside.

If you are still shopping, the sheer range of fabrics can be a bit overwhelming. Let me assure you that all of the materials have a distinct purpose and their own benefits. Simply take the time to understand what each fabric can do and how it applies to your situation.

Let's discuss when you should and should not be covering you car. One mistake I often see people make is covering a dirty vehicle. If a car is just a bit dusty you might get a few swirl marks. No big deal. However, when the paintwork is really filthy it's going to start looking like someone took a stiff scrub brush to it.

Here's what saves the day for me. I use the California Car Duster. These things are fantastic and they last a long time, so it's a good investment. They make two types. Don't skimp and get the one with the wooden handle. It's much nicer than the plastic.

Here's what you do with the duster. Simply shake it out before each use and lightly dust off your automobile. If you're thinking it will slow you down, I promise it won't. It takes a minute or two at most. It's fast and easy, and it will keep you car clean so you don't need to wash it as often.

In case you are concerned about the duster scratching your vehicle, I can promise you that it won't. With twenty-five years of use I've never had a problem, even on my black cars. That's because the dust mop is saturated in paraffin wax at the factory. The paraffin makes the mop work like a dust magnet. It works!

Something else I've realized is that people don't know how to put a cover on a car. Nothing irritates me more than seeing people pull it off their vehicle with a quick jerk, smash it all up into a wadded mess, then heaving it into the rear of the car or in the trunk. It makes me cringe, and here's why.

These things are made using tons of fabric. If you fold it neatly all is well. However, if you wad it up into a ball, how will you find the front or the rear? What I see people doing is spinning and twirling it around to find the front edge. All the while the material is all over the paintwork making swirls and leaving scratches.

Here's a proper way to do it. Start by putting the cover on. Next remove it starting at the front. The easy way is to neatly flip the front edge up in the direction of the windshield. I recommend 12 to 18 inch folds. When you reach the middle of the roofline go to the rear of the vehicle and do the same thing. This will make a long, neatly folded run of fabric across your car. From the passenger side roll the cover up towards the driver's side. Avoid sliding the fabric by finishing from the driver's side.

To put it back on the automobile again, simply toss the bundle from the driver's side across while you hold the loose end. Next, unfold to the rear, then unfold to the front and secure the elastic. All that's required is a slight adjustment; never sliding or spinning to get it in place.

Need I really say "avoid windy conditions?" I guess I do, because I learned the lesson the hard way. I'm not talking about a light wind. That's not really an issue. I'm talking heavy winds. A sustained wind of 20 MPH or more can be a real disaster for your car. In these conditions your car is better off uncovered. Just think of the damage to your automobile's clear coat if sand or dirt gets under the cover while it's being whipped around by the wind.

There are some precautions you can take for light wind. In these cases I suggest using a wind control device to make sure the edges stay snug and secure. You'll need to follow the instructions for proper use. Each of the wind control mechanisms is a bit different.

As you might imagine, having a dirty cover is no different than having a dirty car, but how do you clean it? I can tell you this, unless you have an industrial size washer at home, you'll need to visit a coin operated laundry. Be sure to use the largest machine they have without a center agitator. You don't want to shred it and washer damage is not a warranty issue.

Here's a little trick an old timer taught me. It's easy, too. All you have to do is scrub it while it's on your car using a wash mitt and your car wash soap. Obviously you'll want to make sure your car is clean first. Wash the outside first then flip it to do the underside, and don't forget to rinse really well. Let it drip-dry for a bit then put it in the dryer on medium heat.

If you use one already, I hope what you have read has helped you to be a better car cover owner. If you don't use one yet, they are one of the few car accessories that will keep your car in pristine condition. You just have to remember to maintain it and use it properly.

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