7 tips to make your car last (and increase its resale value)

A new car begins to lose value the minute you drive it off the lot. But with these seven tips, you can limit trips to the mechanic and increase your vehicle's resale value.

7. Wash off brake dust

Ina Fassbender/Reuters/File
Visitors look at car wheel hubs during a press presentation prior to the Essen Motor Show in Essen last year. Keeping car rims clean takes minimal effort and helps a vehicle's potential resale value.

If you have beautiful alloy wheels, or even just “okay looking” alloy wheels, they contribute massively to your car’s aesthetic appeal and are usually worth at least a few hundred dollars as an option.

Every time you tap the brakes, a little bit of black dust is emitted and most of it lands on the alloys. You may have noticed the front wheels of city-dwelling cars looking especially dark from constant braking in stop-and-go traffic. The effect is magnified in the event of a panic stop, and if you slammed your brakes on the highway your wheels might look like they had been sneezed on by a dragon (assuming soot accompanies all that fire breathing). This is unsightly if left unchecked, but worse, it can stain permanently and reduce the marketability of a car when you’re ready to sell.

Enthusiasts might swear by rim-cleaning products to extract maximum shine, but if you're willing to do it often, all you need is a damp rag to remove most harmful brake dust.  Think of it like leaving food stuck in your teeth; unattractive in the short term and harmful if left for days.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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