Quick Tips for Detailing Your Vehicle Like a Pro

KVehicleeeping your car in tip-top condition means keeping the inside and outside looking great. Paying someone to detail your car for you isn’t always feasible. In this case, it’s best to learn how to do it on your own. The outcome of your detail may not be like a professional’s, but it can be very, very close. The products and tools needed to give your vehicle a proper wash and wax are readily available. This means anyone with the funds and the patience to do the work can get it done at a fraction of the cost. Let’s review some of the tips you need to keep in mind as you’re detailing your car.

Washing the Exterior
Regular car washes is a must to keep your paint job looking great. When you allow dirt, dead bugs, gunk, sap and bird droppings to stay on the car, it can harm the finish of your vehicle. When this happens, you’ll have unsightly blemishes to deal with. At this point, it’s going to be tougher to get the car into tip-top shape. These will require professional repairs, which can be costly.

You have the option of going through a quick drive-thru for a car wash, or you can do it yourself by hand. Be careful with the automated car washes because these are known to cause fine scratches or swirl marks on your finish. Hand washing is the best method for getting rid of contaminants on the surface of your vehicle. Make sure the paint surface isn’t too hot when you’re washing and waxing the car. This will cause it to dry faster, leaving smudges behind.

The tools you need for car washes include car-wash soap, hose with a spray nozzle, glass cleaner, drying towel, bug and tar remover, buckets and wash mitt.

Waxing and Polishing
Once you’ve washed your car, you need to protect the paint finish using a sealant or wax. Again, this should be applied when the car is cool to avoid the product drying too quickly. Make sure the cloths and pads you use are clean and non-abrasive, so it doesn’t scratch the paint. Most waxes are either liquid or a paste. Liquid versions are much easier to apply and still offer the same amount of protection. As a rule of thumb, you should begin on one side of the car first, then work your way to the other side. Use small circular motions when applying the wax.

Quick Touch-Up Jobs
If you notice that there’s crud building up days or a weeks after you’ve washed and waxed your car, you need to remove it quickly. Allowing bird droppings to sit on the paint will acidify the surface and cause defects to appear. At this point, only sanding and repainting would fix the trouble areas. Just use water and a towel to clean the areas in between car washes.

You can find products to wash your vehicle with from various online sellers. You can find great deals on these items from Groupon, which offers coupons from thousands of sellers. There are also coupons available at Journeys, where you can find a comfortable pair of shoes to wear during car wash days.

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