If you are the type of person who is hands-on when it comes to auto care, then this article is perfect for you. By using the right products and knowing the step by step procedures, you will be able to keep your prized possession in great shape no matter the season.
Evaluate Your Car’s Condition
The first thing you need to do is assess the condition of your car to know how it must be cleaned. If your car is new or has a good coat of wax on it, it may just need a wash and wax. Meanwhile, if it has an average to the neglected exterior, it may also need to be cleaned and polished.
What’s on the Label?
Before using any car cleaning chemical, it is crucial to read the label as the application for wax, soap or detailer can vary from brand to brand and vehicle to vehicle.
For instance, a chrome wheel cleaner can’t be used on an aluminium wheel as its acidity can ruin it. It is also important to have premium microfiber fabric for your wheels, paint and windows.
Start the Car Wash
Ensure to use a car washing soap as a dish cleaner or a liquid detergent can damage the paint and strip away wax. After rinsing your car, use clean drying cloths and mitts.
Prepare the Surface
After drying your car, you will see swirls, scratches and oxidation in your paint. If you feel little bumps when running your hand over the surface, you have to go a step further with your car cleaning.
To remove the bonded contaminants, use a clay bar. This is designed to eliminate everything off the surface, including wax and will restore smoothness to the paint. Begin by kneading it into a flat wafer and use a detailer as a lubricant. Next, run it across the car surface.
To eliminate scratches and etching below the surface, use a compound. This can be applied by hand using a dual-action polisher or applicator pads and wiped away after application.
A compound paint cleaner has to be worked into the finish and sometimes, can require multiple applications. If there are deep scratches, only a paint touch-up can repair it.
Don’t Neglect Waxing
Wax serves as a sunscreen for your car by adding a layer of protection from UV rays to prevent fading. It comes in two types: polymer or carnauba.
Both of these perform the same, but the former won’t haze as it dries and can typically be wiped off soon after application. It is also costlier as it is easier to apply and is said to work better.
Don’t Forget the Windows
Household glass cleaners contain ammonia which can damage a car’s window tint. Hence, a car window cleaner must be used for best results.
Wash the Wheels
To restore the shimmer of your wheels, use only the product specifically formulated for its type. However, if you don’t know the wheel type you have, choose an acid-free pH balanced aluminium wheel cleaner as it is designed for use on all wheel types.