If you really love your car, avoid those cheap, quickie car washes. A DIY car detail, if done correctly, can achieve the best results. To keep your Adelaide cars clean and shiny, follow our easy car detailing tips.
Evaluate the condition
Check your car, inside and outside, to see where cleaning is necessary. A new car, or one that has been waxed, needs a quick wash. For a car with a neglected exterior, clean first, then polish.
Read the label
Before using any product, it’s important to peruse the label. Soap or wax application may vary from vehicle-to-vehicle and brand-to-brand. For instance, an acidic product, like chrome wheel cleaner, can ruin aluminium wheels. Invest in quality microfiber cloths. And wash your cleaning mitts and towels after every use.
Wash the body
This removes loose contaminants like mud and dirt from your vehicle’s exterior. Only use a car washing soap, not a dish cleaner or liquid detergent. Substandard products can strip away wax or damage the paint. Rinse the car first to get rid of large pieces of dirt, which can scratch your car while washing. Use clean mitts to scrub.
Prepare the surface
After washing, you might see swirls, scratches and rust in your paint. Run your hands over the surface to feel for rigid contaminants like tree sap and overspray. Use a clay bar for further cleaning. This removes wax and other contaminants from the surface and restores smoothness to the paint.
To remove etches and scrapes that are beneath the surface, use an ultimate compound like Meguiar’s. Just apply the cleaner using an applicator pad or a dual-action polisher, then wipe away. For deep scratches, only a paint touch-up can resolve the issue.
Polish for extra gloss
This task is optional. It’s like applying cream/lotion on your skin. You can apply polish by hand or with a dual-action polisher. Conditioning oils add maximum gloss and colour depth prior to waxing.
Wax to protect
Wax on your car is like sunscreen on your skin. Waxing adds a protective layer that blocks UV rays, prevents fading and preserves the high gloss finish. It’s available in a polymer or carnauba form. The polymer is slightly expensive but is easy to apply and performs better.
Maintain a shine
Once the hard work of washing, polishing and waxing is over, it’s time to maintain your car’s appearance. Put a clean microfiber cloth and a spray detailer in your trunk. Such products facilitate the quick removal of grime, overspray and bird droppings. If your car is somewhat clean, finish off with a 1-step cleaner wax.
Wash the windows
Avoid using household glass cleaners, especially Windex, as they contain ammonia which might damage your car’s window tint. For better results, use an auto window cleaner. Wipe down two times to remove the cleaner.
Wash the wheels
Only use a product that’s suitable for your wheels. An acid-free, aluminium wheel cleaner is perfect for universal use.
With the right equipment and some elbow grease, your car will be as good as new.