Maintaining your car's exterior is one way to maximize its value, and restoring it to a like-new appearance will go a long way when it does come time to sell. Wouldn't it be nice if your car could retain that brand new, showroom finish for as long as you owned the car? Unfortunately things happen that are out of your control, like wayward shopping carts, misguided bicycles and other scuffs and bumps from daily life. And like dimming eyesight, cloudy headlight lenses not only limit the lamps' effectiveness, but also detract from the car's appearance. These dings, scuffs and degrading appearance add up and become more noticeable as your car ages. Here's a look at some 3M Auto products that not only protect your car's finish, but also helps you restore that showroom luster.
Protect the paint
First impressions are lasting and the paint on your car is the first thing that everyone sees. Did you know that 90 percent of the cars on the road today do not have any type of additional paint protection beyond the clearcoat? This leaves your car's finish, especially the front bumper and front portion of the hood exposed to road debris like rocks, pebbles and sand. 3M has created a spray-on paint protection film called Paint Defender that any do-it-yourselfer can apply in the comfort of his or her own garage. The product sprays on as a liquid which dries into a clear film that lasts a year. It's easily removed by simply peeling it off, at which time a new coat can be applied.
3M's Paint Defender System is much more affordable a than the professionally applied automotive paint protection films which can cost anywhere from $500-$700 depending on where you live. The 3M Paint Defender System consists of three products, the spray film ($24.99), the application kit ($11.99), and the spray trigger ($7.99), all sold separately.
Maintain That Showroom Finish
While protecting your paint from road debris is important in preserving that new car look, so is the need to remove scratches and scuffs that develop over time. It is no wonder that consumers spend about $45 million dollars annually on scratch removers and rubbing compounds. Maintaining or improving your vehicle's appearance not only helps to protect the paint but can also increase the value when it comes time to sell. 3M offers a variety of Scratch Removal Kits with versions to suit various skill levels. These kits contain all the materials needed to remove light to medium scratches, scuffs and paint transfers, and will work on clearcoat or single-stage paint. Using a Scratch Removal Kit is a simple three step process that can take less than 30 minutes. The DIY kits range in price from $17.99-$24.99, which is a significant savings when compared to having it done professionally at anywhere from $50-$500.
Restore the Light
Protecting and preserving your car's paint is important in maintaining its value and near-showroom appearance, but another often overlooked item is your car's headlights. When lamps were made of glass, this wasn't much of an issue, but today's units are made of polycarbonate plastic. And, while plastic lenses can withstand impact, they're vulnerable to the effects of sunlight, which over time discolor and dull their surface. 3M has several headlight restoration packages that can improve and restore the clarity of the lenses in as little as 20-30 minutes. 3M's Headlight Restoration Kit stands out from other systems due to the company's decades of scientific research and development in abrasive technology. 3M's headlight restoration systems utilize up to four different types of abrasives, ranging from a 500 grit sanding disc to their unique 3000 grit Trizact abrasive. As you use this material, fresh, sharp abrasive particles are exposed. On plastic headlights, Trizact restores a surface to a clean and clear finish in a matter of minutes.
Clean, clear headlights improve a vehicle's appearance and the quality of light thrown out. It is also considerably less expensive to restore a set of headlights than it would be to replace them, with a potential savings of $150-$1,500 per unit. 3M Headlight Restoration Kits range in price from $18.99-$32.99 and are available in Drill and No Tools Required versions to accommodate different skill levels.
With simple easy-to-use products, do-it-yourselfers of all skill levels now have the ability to maximize a vehicle's value by maintaining its appearance.