Today more than ever before, people are keeping their cars for a longer periods of time. As consumers we tend to look for quality and longevity in the products we buy. Many of our customers ask us for ideas on how to keep their “investment” looking as close to showroom appearance as possible.
Try to wash your vehicle in the shade to avoid spotting. You should use a car wash soap/shampoo to get rid of the dirt. Cars are like people, we have to use soap to break up and loosen the dirt to be able to wash it off our skin. Purchase a wash mitt, it helps to distribute the soap and water as you wash and remove film. Many of the car wash soaps currently sold at auto parts stores do work well. Car Wash Soaps work by removing the dirt without stripping the car of any wax. Some examples of recommended soaps are: Meguiars Car Wash, Mothers Car Wash, Turtle Wax Car Wash, etc.
If you have a chamois to dry off your car, that is great. If you don’t have one, try “The Absorber”. It is an imitation that may work better, seems to last longer and stay softer than a genuine chamois. Remember to place “The Absorber” back into its tube for the next usage. If you ever drop your chamois or wash mitt, take the time to rinse it, the grit on the ground will scratch your car – just like “sandpaper”. As for car washes: Look for modern “hand wash type”. If the car wash has “dangling type mop” or “brushes” that run over your car, they will scratch your car, these dangling things still have dirt & grime from the previous car that was run thru.
Wax is a paint protector. It helps your car’s paint to hold up against the environment. We really don’t recommend that you wax your car in excess. If you wax your car two to three times per year is more than enough. A wax on a car is a protectant; It helps keep bugs and things from sticking to the paint. Today you can buy a good “synthetic” wax that lasts and doesn’t leave white residue. Not all waxes are the same, “easy on”, “easy off” with “no white residue” is the best case scenario. Follow directions, apply in the shade and you can’t miss. If your car was recently painted , you should wait 30 days for the paint to be thoroughly cured. I recommend waxing just prior to rainy season. Stay away from bird droppings(trees). Bird droppings can be acidic and will cause damage to a freshly painted as well as an origin al paint finish vehicle. Wash off bird droppings as soon as you can to prevent damage. (eggs are the same – wash off ASAP if this happens).
We recommend a light polish like Maguire’s: Swirl Remover 2.0, to remove surface scuffs and scratches. It has a light abrasive that gently removes a small amount of the clear coat of the paint surface. When polishing, follow directions and keep in mind that you are working the area to polish out the scratches or scuffs not “cover them”. We don’t recommend rubbing compound for it is too harsh of an abrasive and will dull the surface. If you try this, you might find yourself putting in scratches instead of removing them. A brand new car comes to you shiny and new, as time passes the simple act of washing the car “puts in swirl marks”. The fact is that on a white car, silver car, etc. you simply can’t see them. A black car is the one that requires the most care in washing and keeping clean. Special care in using the right towel (use a microfiber towel). With time, wash after wash, a black car will have swirls – there will be a point were “polishing” the car by a professional will be needed to remove them. After having a car professionally polished, the swirl process starts all over again. All cars have these, but black shows the most and is the most delicate – because you can’t see them.
To clean your chrome wheels, alloy wheels, Maguire’s makes good wheel cleaners. Yes, that brownish looking stuff on your wheels or hub caps is brake dust that has accumulated. Follow the directions. If you still have whitewall tires, try an S.O.S. pad. Your whitewalls will be white again! Water down with the hose while you scrub. “Westly’s Bleche Wite” also works well. Lots of tire dressings, use what you like, but don’t use on interior panels or your dash.
Leather seats require a dressing/conditioner to keep soft and supple. The best thing we know of is called “Lexol Leather Conditioner” . Lexol has 2 products, one is a cleaner the other is a dressing – get them both, for they work well. Be sure to follow directions. Lexol Leather Cleaner gently removes dirt and grime in preparation for the conditioner.