We know you love adventuring in your custom Defender. With a vehicle designed to suit every navigational need, you can’t help but explore places. It could mean, however, that your car may not always be in tip-top shape, especially after off-road trips.
Cleaning your Defender the right way reduces the damaging effects that mud and other elements may have on your vehicle. Washing it regularly also ensures a longer lifespan and more off-road adventures. Here are six cleaning tips to always keep your custom Defender off-road-ready:
1. Wait for an Overcast Day
Do not wash your Defender (or any car) on a sunny day. The heat of the sun will dry your cleaning detergents quite quickly, making it difficult to wash them off.
If clouds aren’t coming anytime soon, however, wash your car under some shade or in your garage. UV rays can also be very damaging to your paint job, so don’t forget to protect its surface with some wax.
2. Use the Right Cleaning Products
Using the detergents you use to clean the bathroom is just not going to cut it when it comes to cleaning a Land Rover Defender. We strongly recommend using products that are made specifically for washing cars.
Invest in a decent combined ‘wash and wax’ cleaner to help you cut through the muck and restore the shine of your vehicle. Make sure you use two buckets, one containing the detergent mix and the other clean water. Wash your sponge with water every so often to remove the mud that could scratch the paint surface.
If your custom Defender has a metallic finish, you must spend extra time waxing and polishing your surface. It not only restores the gloss and shine of your vehicle but prevents dirt from sticking onto the surface a long while before it requires reapplication.
3. Soak it Before Washing
Defenders have a lot of crevices that mud can creep into and it will remain trapped in these crevices if not cleaned correctly. Because mud is a mixture of salt and moisture, it will create corrosion in places like the bulkhead and chassis. In simpler terms, it will create a chemical reaction that eats away at your vehicle.
The best way to prevent this is to power-wash the under-body components of your Defender after every off-road trip. Soaking your vehicle will allow the mud to soften and loosen its grip on areas that may be hard to reach. Soak your car as you would a clothing item with a stubborn stain and let it stand with warm water for at least one hour.
A soak will also reduce the amount of detergent you would usually use when washing the car straight away. You’re also lessening the chance of hard mud scratching your vehicle as a result of scrubbing.
4. Don’t Forget About the Interior
How your Defender looks on the inside is just as important as how it looks on the outside. You may make a conscious effort always to close your windows when driving through those muddy slopes, but dirt will still find a way to get into your car.
When you go on your off-road trips, you want it to be a pleasant experience, and this is only possible when your interior is spick and span. Make sure to remove all rubber carpets and components when doing power washes and vacuuming.
You can clean your leather seats with a specialized leather cleaner, or just a plain old damp cloth. Remember that wiping down both sides of your windows is essential to keeping those sun-catching blemishes away. And if you’re into it, finish it off with a subtle scent of some car air-freshener.
5. Always Clean the Engine
Most car owners only clean the engine once they plan on selling. Don’t be like most car owners. Washing your car engine regularly keeps it oil and dirt-free. And, the more you open it up, the more you’ll come to understand its compartments.
The engine is quite an intricate component of any car, so you must take extra care when cleaning it. Cover all fuses and wires with plastic before starting the washing process. It’s never a good idea to power wash an engine, so set your hose on its lowest pressure or use little bits of water at a time.
Avoid the use of detergent and degreaser as much as possible. If it is necessary, however, spray on small sections at a time. At this risk of damaging your engine, you may want to seek out a professional to show you how to clean it correctly.
6. Wash Your Defender Regularly
Washing your Defender regularly is also a prevention method. Do not allow dirt and mud to build up for weeks because it will only become more challenging to get the muck out.
How often you go off-road tripping should help you determine how often you should wash your car. We recommend weekly washes for all you die-hard adventurers. But ultimately you should always make sure to clean your Defender after every off-road trip.
It’s a lot more affordable to wash your car yourself. Studies show that gas station car-washes may be harmful to your vehicle. Save money and prolong your Defender’s life by learning how to clean it correctly.
Whether it’s in the rocky mountain slopes or everyday traffic, your Defender offers you an action-packed driving experience. Show some love in return by keeping it clean and shiny with the correct cleaning method.