Auto Affection: How to show your car you care

Our top tips to give some love to your motor this Valentine’s Day.

With Valetine’s Day approaching, it’s the most romantic time of the year and so it’s time to show the one you love that you care about them. No, we’re not talking about the significant human other in your world – we’re talking about your car instead.

Give it a wash

If you’re taking someone out for a dinner date, it’s no good you being dolled up to the nines in your finest threads and yet your choice of wheels is coated in a thick layer of road grime. Get the bucket and sponge out, and the jet-washer too, and rinse all the winter crud off the car’s bodywork, paying particular attention to its underside – in the wheel arches, under the sills and beneath the bumpers is where dirt can accumulate, and rust will begin. So, pay attention to the car’s, um, intimate areas.

Clean out the cabin

Same applies for the interior of the car as the exterior, even if the person you’re taking out for Valentine’s Day travels in your vehicle regularly. Going the extra mile and making the cabin as spotless as it can possibly be will be fully appreciated by your date, while it’ll help your car’s ambience no end. We’re not just talking about lifting out any loose rubbish and clutter, and then giving the floor mats a desultory once-over with a vacuum here, either – dust all the surfaces, wipe down the steering wheel and seats, hoover in the hardest-to-reach nooks and crannies of the cabin, and use specialist interior cleaning and finishing products to make your vehicle feel like it has just rolled out of a showroom, rather than the depths of a farmer’s field.

Treat it to new filters and oil

If you’re feeling flush, get all the car’s filters changed – air filter, cabin filter and so on – and buy it some new oil, of the correct grade, too. It’ll just make everything work to its absolute best if you do, making the whole vehicle feel revitalised.

Go big on the visuals

A level on from cleaning the body and vacuuming out the interior of the car, give it a proper detailing session. There are companies that will go to the utmost lengths, clay-barring the panels to remove all residuals and correcting paint problems, to make the vehicle’s exterior look like the car is new, rather than ten years old and having covered 150,000 hard kilometres. They’ll also go to town on the interior, as well as cleaning in bits of the car that you might not think to – like door seals and under the bonnet, for instance. If you want to show your car you really care this Valentine’s Day, get it a professional detailing session.

Gift it a top-end perfume and a fluffy duvet

Once you’ve got it looking tip-top inside and out, the simple addition of a carefully chosen air freshener for the cabin will ensure that your car feels special, every time you sit in the cabin. If it’s also a vehicle that you don’t use on a daily basis, but you’ve not got a garage to stash it away in when it’s not in use, then also buy your motor a top-quality car cover – it’ll protect the shiny paint from the rigours of tree sap, bird droppings and general rain-related muck spoiling its appearance while it’s parked.