Our cars are symbolic of our love of freedom. As an extension of our self-expression, our cars give us a special sense of pride when they present a deep, glossy, shiny look. Unfortunately, even if a car, like a work of art, expresses our values, it is not safeguarded in a secure environment; instead, it is consistently subjected to environmental insults like UV radiation from the sun, dirt from the dust on the roads, and smog from the city.
Nevertheless, despite the challenge faced by exposure to the elements, here are some secrets to keeping your car looking its best.
Five Tips to Protect the Beauty of Your Car
1. Avoid using cloths and cleaning detergents that could scratch your car.
2. Reduce your car’s exposure to harsh environments. For instance, when visiting the city, don’t park your car out on the street where it is exposed to sun, snow, or gusting winds, instead park it in an underground parking facility.
3. Wash your car to reduce the corrosive effect of dirt, grime, and environmental pollutants.
4. Polish your car with a good quality wax or highly recommended paint sealant.
5. Seriously consider regular auto detailing.
What Is Auto detailing?
Auto detailing is washing, cleaning, polishing, and washing your car’s interior and exterior to produce a showroom effect. It is most often used when selling a car or presenting it at a car show. However, it can also be use for personal satisfaction and for preserving a car’s beauty and resale value.
Auto detailing consists of two phases: exterior detailing and interior detailing.
After washing the body of the car, cleaning the windows, and wiping down the wheels, the painted surface should be polished to restore its natural color and shine. Then after polishing, the paint needs to be protected by waxing.
This can be broken into two more sections: cleaning the interior of the cabin and cleaning the interior of the engine.
Cleaning the cabin consists of using a vacuum and a steam cleaner to get rid of dust and dirt. This is followed by using a liquid cleaner to remove upholstery stains. Finally, hard surfaces like the dashboard and doors should be dusted and polished.
Cleaning the engine consists of using a high pressure washer and special degreasers.
Doing Your Own Auto Detailing
While, of course, you can always hire out the auto detailing work to a professional detailer, here are some guidelines on how to detail the exterior of your car.
You will basically divide the work into three tasks: washing, polishing, and waxing. Your purpose is to preserve the quality of your paint by removing dirt and grime, bird droppings and bugs, and road salt and tar.
Washing your car removes dust, dirt, and grime. After spraying down the car to remove dust, begin to wash from the top of the roof and down to the hood, trunk, and sides. This pattern allows the dirt to flow down to the ground rather than have it swirl across the body of the car. You want to get the soap and dirt off the car in the most efficient way. When washing, be mindful not to use harsh detergents and rough cloths as these can damage the paint.
Polishing your car makes it shine. Now that the car is washed and dried, you will polish it one part at a time. First dab the polish on to a towel, then apply gently to the car’s surface by rubbing in small, even circles.
Waxing not only makes your car shine but it also protects the paint from rust and oxygenation. Never use a rough cloth, only a soft one, preferably one made of cotton. Again, like polishing, you will apply the wax in sections and use small, even, circular movements. You can put on one or two coats. If applying two coats, let the first coat dry for about thirty minutes before applying the second coat.