Defend Your Turf

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Defending the interior of your ride against the demons of depreciation can be a daunting task. You drive defensively, park precisely, and strictly enforce the rules of the interior (no food, no drinks, etc.) but what can you do about everyday wear and tear?

Regrettably, scuff marks, scratches, and discoloration on interior trim can degrade the resale value of your automobile significantly. Even more unfortunate – a certain amount of wear and tear is inevitable.

The primary question is: How can you defend your interior from the worst offenders (as they pertain to damage to the interior trim, cup holders, storage compartments, and door panel trim pockets of your vehicle)?

Secondarily, we will also take a look at what you can do about interior trim, cup holders, storage pockets, and door panel trim pockets once they have been scuffed or scratched.

Violent Offenders

These include dirty hands (grease, ink, oil, abrasive chemicals, or gasoline), dirty or rough shoes and boots, dirty clothes and jackets, tools and other sharp objects (including toys), crayons and markers.

Items in this category can mar interior trim, cup holders, storage compartments, and door panel trim (as well as carpet, seating surfaces, etc.) in an instant. These items should be avoided at all cost.

Place these types of items in the trunk or other exterior storage compartment. If they must be placed inside the passenger compartment, use heavy plastic in double layers to protect interior trim, cup holders, storage compartments, door panel trim pockets, carpet, and seating surfaces. Proceed with extreme caution. Petroleum based substances (grease, oil, gasoline) can damage the surfaces inside your vehicle and leave them looking scuffed and dull. Sharp tools, toys, and other abrasive objects can damage plastic, leather, vinyl, and painted (dyed) surfaces with the slightest touch. Ink, crayons, and markers can degrade trim and seep into fabric surfaces instantly.

Any of the possible scenarios associated with this group of violent offenders may result in a costly repair or a significant decrease in the resale value of your ride. Set rules (early) for what is allowed inside your vehicle and enforce them rigidly.

Repeat Offenders

Often, the worst enemy of interior trim, cup holders, storage compartments, and door panel trim pockets is repetition. The driver’s side trim, seating, and carpet are typically more worn than passenger areas due to usage.

The most frequent offenders of this category include denim (pants, shirts, and jackets), gloves, drink bottles and cups, hot or sweet liquids, and sweat (moisture).

Nothing wears quite as well as denim but (with repetition) it will scuff interior trim, cup holders, storage compartments, and door panel trim pockets. Remove denim coats and jackets before being seated in the vehicle and avoid wearing jeans during regular driving or on long trips.

Rough and/or heavy gloves will also damage interior surfaces over time. Either remove your gloves or see that they remain on the steering wheel.

Drink bottles and cups take a toll on cup holders after repeated usage. Over time, the hot and sticky liquids spilled from these bottles and cups can be extremely hard on cup holders and other interior trim as well.

Hey, workout warriors! Wipe that sweat off your arms and hands before driving away from the gym or track. That salty liquid can give interior trim, cup holders, storage pockets, and door panel pockets a scuffed or cloudy appearance.

Once interior surfaces are scuffed, scratched, or discolored, your repair options are virtually non-existent and usually involve replacing the plastic panel with new or salvage parts.

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