Summertime fun means drop-tops, winding coastline highways, and a cool breeze in your hair. But even though you might be on vacation this summer, don’t forget to take a few moments to show your car exactly how much it means to you. We’ve put together a list of 10 ways you can pamper your car, without having to spend hours in the garage or hundreds at your local auto parts store. Give back to your car this summer with these 10 pampering possibilities.

10. Clean and De-Clutter

While it’s always a good idea to have a few emergency items in the back of your vehicle, having too much junk in the trunk can be hard on your car, too. All those items you’re storing in the trunk, the door pockets, and beneath the seats jostle around as you drive, banging against trim and potentially causing damage. Remember those wrappers you carelessly discarded? Those aren’t helping much either.

Do your car a favor this summer and clean out all those unused items. Throw away trash that’s accumulated in the door pockets and center console. Remove objects you’ve just always forgotten to bring inside. Think about what you really want in your car and purchase a trunk organizer to keep it all handy and in one place. You may even end up finding personal belongings you’ve been looking for or forgotten about.

9. Soup Up Your Sound System

Most of us are listening to some kind of music as we drive, so why not take this summer and improve that experience? Upgrading your stereo doesn’t have to be an electrical nightmare either. There are simple things you can do to make the most of your daily commute. Singing lessons though? Well, that’s up to you.

Crutchfield offers an easy-to-follow 5-step plan for upgrading your sound system. If you’re not sure where to start and just want a bit more ba-boom ba-boom from your tweeters (a.k.a. speakers), this guide is incredibly useful. There are useful tips along the way and plenty of explanation so you can become a sound system expert with just a few scrolls of the mouse. Upgrading your sound system can be a great way to both improve your experience in the car and even increase its value for resale or trade-in at a later date.

8. Polish and Wax

Waxing your car should be part of the vehicle’s overall maintenance schedule, but we get it. Not everyone has the time, tools, or knowledge to figure out and achieve a satisfying waxing experience. However, your car’s paint will thank you if you take just a few minutes out of your summertime fun to throw a bit of wax its way. Take a look at this handy guide for waxing and we’re sure that after a few tries, you’ll be able to pull off a superior wax, no problem.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to take it to the next step, you can polish your vehicle’s paint as well. This is the ultimate pampering session for your car as the paint typically responds very well to most polishes. The best polishes will make a car look as if clear honey has been poured over the exterior surface, reflecting a glossy finish that will make your car look like it’s just rolled out of the paint booth. Pamper your car this summer with a polish and/or wax and you’ll be grateful you took the couple of hours to make your car look like new.

7. Plan Social Events at Night

Siestas aren’t just for people—let your car have the day off, too! One of the easiest and best ways to pamper your car during the summer is to keep it out of the harsh, harmful summer sun rays that will cook the paint as if it’s in a giant oven. To give your car a break, plan your social events at night, when the sun has gone down and the cool summer breezes flow.

There are a lot of fun and entertaining things you can do at night. In fact, you can go see a drive-in movie (just remember our first tip about cleaning out all that trash) or go bowling. Take the whole family along with you or stay home and enjoy one of these 20 ideas to make the most of your family fun night. As an additional perk, you’ll probably save a lot on gas, too.

6. Install Window Tint

Pamper the interior of your vehicle by installing window tint. Tinted film applies to the inside of your windows and sticks to the glass via a thin layer of adhesive. Having tinted windows will equalize the temperature inside your car but will also keep it warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer. In fact, window tint film is made to reduce the UV rays that enter through your windows, protecting you from the sun as well.

Before you install tint yourself or have it installed professionally, make sure you’re up-to-date on the tint laws in your state. There are often many different combinations of tint that are allowed. Percentages are a large factor in the laws. These percentages describe the amount of light that is allowed to come in through the tint. Typically, tint shaded around 30% is acceptable in most states because you can easily see through it while still enjoying the benefits of the UV ray-blocking film.

5. Engine Tune-Up

This might seem like a big project to tackle for some of you, but there are a handful of things you can do to your vehicle’s engine to tune it up for the summer. After all, when you have to do the same maintenance in multiple feet of snow, you’ll thank yourself for the time you took during the summer months to get it done and over with—and your car will, too. It might even be the difference between a running car and one that’s sitting forlornly in the garage.

Oil changes are the first tune-up process to come to mind; however, you can easily clean filters, top off fluids, replace cracked or dry hoses, and more. These are all key components to your engine running well. If you’re not sure about what maintenance needs done, check with your local mechanic. They can easily perform a diagnostic of what the car needs and even complete the tune-up for you as well.

4. Clean Your Garage and Park Inside

Pamper your car by cleaning up its room. That’s right, the one you’ve been taking over to store all your seasonal items, your tools, and anything else that won’t fit in the house. While it’s easy to see the garage as covered outdoor storage space, it’s best use is protecting your vehicle from the harsh outdoors. A covered vehicle will last much longer than one that’s left out in the elements all day, every day.

Take a weekend or two (depending on how big and cluttered your garage is) and make room for your car by cleaning out a space for it in the garage. This can be a good time to go through what’s in the garage as well, throwing out or donating what you don’t need. Before you park your car in the garage, check out what matting is available. Parking your car on special-made garage mats can make a huge difference in preserving your garage floor as well.

3. Bike to Work

We mentioned using your car only at night but there’s another way you can pamper your vehicle by keeping it out of the sun during the day. If you live close enough to work, simply hop on your bike and kill two (or more) birds with one stone. You can exercise and commute at the same time, while saving gas and preserving your car for that much longer.

It might be a lifestyle change you’re not used to but biking to work can go a long way in pampering your vehicle this summer. In fact, biking to work is something many people do every day. There are even national groups dedicated to biking to work, beyond the National Bike Month that typically falls in May.

2. New Tires and/or Wheels

If you’ve already got a killer sound system but want to add to the exterior look of your vehicle, check out what’s available for tires and wheels. Summer can be a great time to look for used snow tires for sale or even invest in a new set of all-seasons. Wheels can make or break the overall look of your vehicle and are a great way to personalize your car.

There are many guides out there when it comes to shopping for tires and wheels the right way. When looking for tires, make sure you know what size you need for your vehicle. Talk with your local tire shop if you’re not sure what tires are right for your car, and mention you’re looking for wheels as well if that’s the case. Buying the proper set of wheels is crucial to not only being able to install them but to the overall drivability of your car as well.

1. Miscellaneous Repairs

Like most objects that see use, vehicles wear out. Your leather seats crack, the plastic trim falls off, a headlight bulb goes out—these are just a few of the many things that can happen as a car ages. If you’re looking for some way to pamper your vehicle this summer, figure out how to fix what’s been bothering you about it since you first took ownership. Then you’ll both feel better about being in one another’s presence.

For example, filling in rusted out holes can be a great way to improve the exterior look of your vehicle. Painting on top of that might be a project for the next summer but that’s okay. In the meantime you could be repairing the headliner or installing new plastic trim pieces. There are endless possibilities.

Welcome to the Summer Spa

Pampering your car doesn’t have to take a lot of time, money, or effort. There are big and small things you can do to let your car know you don’t take it for granted. We hope this article helps you find ways to pamper your car this summer—because a happy car is a fun car to drive.

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