9 Tips on Car Detailing
Do you want to learn more about car detailing? If your answer is yes, this article will tell you how to really care for your car. Before we dive into the 9 tips, let’s first look at how car detailing is different from car maintenance.
Car Detailing: This involves the thorough cleaning, restoration and finishing of a motor vehicle’s interior and exterior to achieve a show-quality appearance, but does not typically include corrective action (removing dents, etc.).
Car Maintenance: This is the act of inspecting and/or replacing various wear and tear parts. It also includes a car service to check and replace important fluids. Regular maintenance is very important as it helps to ensure the safety, reliability and longevity of car, amongst other things.
Now it’s time for the tips! Keep your car happy inside and out with these nine car detailing and car cleaning tips.
1. Combat interior and carpet dust and dirt with compressed air and stiff scrub brushes.
This is a simple and effective way to get rid of loose (and not so loose) bits and particles that collect and build up inside your car. Make use of an air compressor to blow out all the dirt on your car’s floor so that it can be easily vacuumed. Stiff brushes can be used to loosen dirt stuck on the upholstery or carpets. For leather seats, use a conditioner containing aloe.
2. Keep that new-car smell by cleaning the ductwork.
Proper ventilation is important. That’s why it helps to remove dust and dirt from your heating and air conditioning ductwork (behind the vent grilles) with air from a compressor. Important: Also check if you have a cabin air filter that needs cleaning or changing. This is fairly simple to do.
3. Don’t use tyre cleaners that are acid-based.
For many, car wheels are part of the important features of a car. So, if you’re not a professional, stay away from damaging acid solutions. You don’t want your alloy wheels to oxidise and pit or hurt painted or coated wheels. Also good to know: Degreasers are fine, detergents are not (these can damage car paint). Pro tip: clean your wheels and tyres before you clean your car’s body.
4. Washing your car by hand is still the best.
If you’re a true car enthusiast, you’ll know that washing your car by hand is an opportunity to familiarise yourself with your car and experience its shape, while carefully inspecting its surfaces. Just don’t use dishwashing products, because it can damage or strip wax coatings that help protect your car. Your safest bet is to ask a professional for a reliable car wash solution. Once you’re done, dry your car (optionally with a rubber-blade squeegee) to make sure you get any dirt and minerals left behind by evaporated water.
5. Clean paint is brighter and shinier.
Often a wash is not enough. Some contaminants (e.g. pollutants and bird droppings) have the ability to actually penetrate – through coatings or wax – into the underlying colour. To check if this has happened, use a clean, dry hand to feel for rough areas on the surface. Paint cleaner (a liquid) is one option, but the safest and easiest method to remove contaminants involves rubbing a small block of paint-cleaning clay that’s lubricated with liquid wax cleaner (don’t use the clay if it’s dirty or if it’s been dropped – it can pick up particles that can scratch your car).
6. For that extra shine, smooth out paint by polishing.
You can use a polish with or without wax (wax protects but doesn’t smooth). Pros use rotating polishing machines. To be safe, rather use oscillating buffers.
7. Add that extra protection with wax.
A new car’s coat protects it against elements, but unfortunately it wears off. Wax can help. It will of course also wear off, but at least it absorbs small scratches and stains before they get to the paint. There are paste and liquid wax products; it just comes down to preference (ask an expert if you’re not sure which one to use). Bonus tip: pros opt for two coats of wax to cover areas they might have missed.
8. For best results, remember to wax every season.
You can touch up here and there, but it’s not a substitute for a proper wax job. To protect cars that spend the majority of time outdoors, set a reminder to wax your car every season. You won’t regret it.
9. Make the glass shine and remember: it’s all about the details.
As you’ve probably noticed, clean glass adds that final “wow” touch. For obvious reasons, all glass should be left for last. Also, don’t use a product containing ammonia, but know that you can’t go wrong with a microfibre cloth. You’ll want to get to the top edges as well, so roll down your windows. If you want to go the extra mile, wax your windows to avoid water stains.
Source: Popular Mechanics