In order to make your car more comfortable to be in and keep it looking good, one of the main things you can do is to focus on keeping the interior of the vehicle in good condition.
Although most passers-by will be more interested in the exterior look of your car, any passengers will be much more impressed with a car that has an interior that is like new. The issue is that the inside of your vehicle is susceptible to damage and wear and can easily fall into disrepair if you don’t keep up with interior maintenance.
Looking after the inside of your car doesn’t have to be hard work, though. Here’s a list of some of the top things you can do to ensure that your car’s interior looks pristine. You can also find more about car maintenance on Car Adviser to help you look after other aspects of your vehicle.
One of the easiest things you can do to ensure that your car’s interior looks good is to maintain a consistent vacuuming routine. Ideally, it would be best if you were vacuuming the inside of your car at least once a week.
This is because a lot of debris can build up in your car. Even if you don’t eat in your car, things like mud from shoes, hair, and even skin particles can start to spread and give your car an old and unkempt look.
For better dexterity when vacuuming a car, it’s best to get a portable vacuum so that you can quickly get into the hard-to-reach places, such as between the seats and into crevices such as cup holders.
To minimise the number of crumbs and waste in your car, one of the best things you can do is avoid eating and drinking in your car as much as possible. This is because food can be one of the biggest causes of mess inside a car.
Not only can certain foods lead to many crumbs, but greasy or saucy food can also stain things like the seats and carpets. Plus, there is also the potential of items being spilt, which can result in a big mess and can really impact how your car’s interior looks.
If you do eat in your car, you must clean up immediately. You should focus on discarding any packaging, wiping all the surfaces within the car, and even vacuuming around the seat. If left unclean, waste from food can cause sticky stains and may even make the car start to stink.
The sun is one of the most significant factors that can make your car’s interior look aged and worn. Harsh UV rays and hot air can wear out the colour of your seats and trimmings, making things look dull and beaten.
To help prevent the number of UV rays and sunlight from penetrating your car’s interior, it can be a good idea to install a window film. These films work similar to sunglasses and tint your car windows to help stop as much sunlight from getting through. To prevent air bubbles from appearing between the film and the windows, ensure that they’re fitted by a professional. A professional will also ensure that the film still transmits the legally required amount of light through, as having a window that is too dark is a crime.
Another way to prevent the sun from damaging your interiors is to park in the shade when you can. If you have a garage, use it often to keep the car out of sunlight. If you don’t, you can also use a car cover to create a barrier between the sun and your car’s interior.
To make your cabin look as good as new, one quick and easy thing you can do is get a new set of floor mats for both the passager and driver side. A worn-out floor mat with holes is unsightly and is one of the main things that make a car look aged.
Not only do poor-condition floor mats look bad, but they can also be a safety issue. This is because a well worn-floor mat could slip position and not grip the floor underneath as well as it once did. If a floormat moves position on the driver’s side, it can easily end up caught underneath one of the pedals, which can be very dangerous.
Floor mats aren’t too expensive, and it can be much less effort to replace one with a new one than trying to clean and repair the ones you already have.
Although not a visual problem, an issue with your aircon can make your car’s interior far less comfortable. This is because if your aircon’s filter has debris caught in it or is not operating well, it can make your car smell bad.
For example, if your aircon has a leak and lets water in, it can make the interior smell damp. Plus, if you have any food stains within your cabin, a lack of aircon can mean the stench doesn’t dissipate.
Get a mechanic to service your aircon and ensure that all the components are properly clean. This will make it perform better and may also improve the smell of your car. In addition, a clogged-up aircon can be unhealthy, as those inside the vehicle will breathe in whatever is caught in the filter.
Another way to improve the smell of your car is to use air fresheners. When doing so, make sure not to go overboard, as this can make your car smell sickly and overly sweet, depending on the fragrance you use.
If you frequently transport a pet, such as a dog, in your car, then that can lead to a massive amount of hair and other muck being discarded around your vehicle. Malting hair on your seats and on your floor can make a car look super dirty, and it can also be bad for any passengers with allergies. When travelling with a pet, be sure to cover your seats with a sheet. This will stop the bulk of the hair from getting caught in the seats.
Another thing you should do is brush your upholstery and seats soon after having an animal in your car, as this will be a great way to remove any excess hair. If you can help it, also try to ensure the pet is clean, as a dirty pet will easily transfer mud and dirt around the car. Plus, a wet animal can cause the interior to start to smell damp.
Try to limit how much you transport a pet, and when you do, make sure to cover your seats.
As stated before in a previous tip, heat can cause massive damage to your car’s interior, as it wears away at any leather and causes upholstery to fade. When in the hot summer months, one thing you can do to prolong your car’s interior quality is to keep the windows slightly open.
By doing this, you will be able to regulate the temperature within your car better and prevent it from getting stifling hot, which protects the interior better. Another bonus of doing this is that it stops that initial wave of heat from forming when you get back into your car, making it more comfortable to get into.
Of course, keeping your car windows wide open is a security risk that Car Adviser doesn’t recommend. Instead, it would be best if you only kept them slightly open. They shouldn’t be open more than an inch, and you should check to ensure you can’t reach through the gap.
The dashboard and steering wheel of your car is the most common touchpoints within your vehicle. This means that these areas are prone to become dirty and grimy due to the grease and oils from your hands.
To help make sure that they’re in good condition, you should regularly wipe them with a microfibre cloth to keep them clean and looking good. Doing this will also prevent any germs from growing, making your car a much safer place to be in.
To make your dashboard and steering wheel really pop, you can invest in a trim cleaner that will help keep your dashboard looking shiny. This product can also be used on your doors and will darken your trimmings so that they look better.
To protect your steering wheel from excessive wear and tear, you can also wear driving gloves which give you more grip and prevent you from spreading mess from your hands.
Although not a cosmetic issue, one thing that can impact how nice your interiors are is how the car smells. If a car is messy, it can smell like garbage, damp, and generally unpleasant.
To prevent a car from smelling, one of the first things you should do is to ensure that there are no stains or spills causing odour. Old food can especially smell foul, so it's a good idea to clean that.
If there's a persistent damp smell in your car, it may be a sign of a leak or an issue with your air conditioner. Ensure that your aircon is serviced, as debris that's been built up in the filter can cause a bad smell. Plus, having a working aircon can make it easier to get bad smells to dissipate and leave the car.
Another thing that can be done is to have air fresheners in the car. Do note that this will only mask the smell of any bad odours, so if your vehicle's interior has one, you need to elite the source before getting a fragrance for your car.
Your car's interior is just as important as the exterior and internal components. If left in bad condition, it can negatively affect the value of your vehicle, meaning that it will be worth less than it should when you come to sell it.
A good interior indicates to potential buyers that the car has been properly looked after, making it easier to get a sale and making them more likely to pay more than the market value for the vehicle.
It's said that the interior of a car can impact its value by 5-10%. This means that a £20,000 valued car with a poor quality interior will be valued at around £18,000 when compared to the same vehicle with an excellent interior.
To ensure that your car's interior is kept in good condition, it's a good idea to clean it regularly and keep up with the standard maintenance tasks consistently.
Some things should be done more often than others, but as a general rule of thumb, the more often you complete interior maintenance, the better the car will look.
It's advised that you give your car a light vacuum and dust down once a week, as this will help to prevent any surface-level mess from appearing.
When giving your car a deeper clean, which includes cleaning between the sheets and working on the dashboard and upholstery, it would be good to get into the habit of doing this every month.
That said, how messy you are will also influence how often you need to clean your car. If you avoid eating in your car and also don't have pets in your car, then you'll need to clean your car less often than someone who does both of these things regularly. By doing little tasks regularly, you'll avoid having to do massive deep cleans, which can make interior car maintenance feel less like a chore.