There is nothing like the fresh feel of a new car, but it doesn’t last. When it’s a custom Defender, the urge to keep your vehicle looking new is only magnified. Here, we look at ways you can keep your Defender looking fresh and keep that new car feel for longer.
Why is maintaining your Defender so important?
The Land Rover Defender is a vehicle that many consider iconic. Produced for over six decades, the Defender had the world’s longest run of any vehicle in history. After two million units, they ceased production in 2016. The popular demand behind the new 2020 Land Rover Defender model helps show the unmistakable and enduring legacy of the vehicle.
With this legacy in mind, the Defender is, unsurprisingly, a highly sought-after vehicle. In accordance with this trend there’s been a tendency to customize Defenders. These factors and more have helped further increase the value of a custom Defender.
The motivations to keep your Defender looking new are many. Read on for instructions on just how to do this.
Start with the inside
Don’t overlook your Defender’s interiors, and when you clean, be sure to start from the inside out. There is a logic to this. If you wash the outside of your car first, when you do the inside, all the interior dust and dirt will then make its way onto the exterior, diminishing the results of your labors.
A good way to start is to vacuum and spot-shampoo the carpet. A rug-cleaning spray should generally do the trick.
If your Defender has cloth seats, vacuum them with an upholstery attachment. Vacuuming is important here as small pieces of dirt can act like tiny knives that will eventually make the seats look ratty and unkempt. After doing this, you can then get to any stains using a spray on fabric protector.
If your vehicle has vinyl upholstery, you can use the same cleaning product as you would the dash so long as it is safe for plastic and rubber surfaces. An unsuitable cleaning spray will leave a streaky and greasy finish, impacting the look of your interiors.
Wax your vehicle
Your Defender is built for outdoor use, so it’s likely to experience wear and tear. This might be the result of scratches from driving off-road, or roof marks from transporting your kayak. When this happens, you’ll need to get out the wax.
The first tip with waxing is to do it in the shade. If you do this in the sun, you run the risk of the wax drying quickly and/or water spotting.
Before waxing, hose the Defender down completely and wash with an acid-free cleaner. Use a rag, rather than nylon or paper products which can leave scratches. Thoroughly rinse off the soap with water. Finish the process by applying wax to the frame of the vehicle according to the manufacturer’s directions. Ideally, wax should be applied every three months.
Avoid letting dust settle for too long on your Defender
Defenders are outdoor vehicles, specially designed for rugged conditions. This makes keeping dirt and dust off of your vehicle impossible. However, you can mitigate the risks of compromising your vehicle’s look.
Dirt can dull your paint job. Additionally, when anything is left for too long on your vehicle, they can cake on, meaning that when they come off, they may take paint with them.
For cars you drive every day, it is recommended that you wash them once a week. If you live in an especially dusty area, then twice a week is the recommended amount to keep your car looking new.
Avoid parking in the sun
All manner of cars are available these days, each with their own quirks, qualities, and faults. One thing that seems universal between vehicles is the fact that they are all prone to sun damage.
As a Defender driver, it’s natural that you would enjoy the sun alongside the great outdoors. Unfortunately, it can also be incredibly damaging, and especially unforgiving to your paint job.
The sun can discolor your paint, or worse, make it bubble and peel. It is equally unfriendly to vinyl and leather, leading to decolorization, drying, and cracking. Parking your Defender in the shade helps, as do seat covers.
Don’t forget about the finer details
Your Defender is comprised of many different parts and components, and from an aesthetic perspective each is just as important as the next. If you want your Defender looking brand new, it’s imperative to give areas like these some attention:
- Exterior rubber
- Door handles
After soaking them, wash them with soapy water with a flannel rag, rinse and ensure they are squeaky clean and suitably shiny.
Use an air freshener
Your sense of smell is one of your most important senses. The scents you detect from your nose are directly related to memory and emotion. It’s for this reason that you might want to invest in an air freshener for your Defender if you want to keep the feeling of a brand-new vehicle.
The Land Rover Defender has an unmatched legacy and historical importance. If you want to keep your Defender feeling brand new, then focusing on interior maintenance, regular cleaning, avoiding sun, and investing in an air freshener will help keep your vehicle in top shape.