Archive for Car Maintenance – Page 2

How to Remove Water Spots

Few things are worse than going through the entire process of washing and detailing your car only to drive away with water spots scattered all over the finish—especially when they harden and won’t easily wipe away. Read More

What Makes Car Wash Soap So Effective?

There’s no denying it—no matter what kind of DIY car wash products you buy or how hard you try to re-create the car wash experience at home, you can never get that same colorful, foamy soap that’s at the drive-thru car wash. As a result, you can never quite get that same perfect shine at home, either.

So what is it about car wash soap that makes it so unique? The answer is more complicated than you might think.  Read More

What to Do When Your Car is Too Big for a Drive-Thru Wash

Automatic car washes are designed to handle a variety of vehicle makes, models, and sizes, but that doesn’t mean every single car is going to fit. Large suburbans and trucks, recreational vehicles, and cars with specialty aftermarket upgrades (like oversized tires, spoilers, or even large antennas) are often unable to attach to the automated system.

If you’re used to a quick and easy wash, this can be a disappointment. Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy a fast and professional car wash even if you don’t fit in the traditional drive-thru.  Read More

Auto Detailing When You Have Kids

We all know the benefits of having your car detailed: you get a showroom-perfect finish on both the inside and the outside. Gone are all the water spots and streaks on the exterior. The windows are clean on both sides. And the interior, which tends to get the most use, has nary a speck of dust to be seen. Read More

How to Tell When Your Car Needs to be Waxed

There are many reasons to regularly wax your car. It looks good, it repels water, and it increases your car value over time. It also protects your paint job and clear coat against environmental damages caused by UV rays, chemicals from the road, dirt/debris, bird droppings, tree sap, and mineral deposits in your local water source, just to name a few. In fact, if you never wax your car, you’ll eventually see the damages in the form of dulled paint and areas where the paint is peeling or chipping away. Read More

Prepping for a Summer Road Trip

Nothing says summer sun and lifelong memories quite like a road trip. As soon as the weather turns mild and school lets out, thousands of families hit the road for a long-distance vacation that’s equal parts relaxation and adventure. And it doesn’t matter if you’re headed directly to a special destination like a theme park or if you plan on seeing where the road takes you—the days ahead are going to be filled with lots of car time. Read More

After Car Detailing Care Guide

Admit it—your car has never looked so good. You just got a full detail done and couldn’t be happier with the way it looks both inside and out. The only trick now is to keep it looking perfect.

After the detail is done and you hit the road, the real work begins. This quick guide to keeping your car in tip-top shape will help you maintain that sparkling clean until it’s time for the next detail. Read More

Does Regular Detail Work Increase Car Value?

Buying a car is a big investment these days. With more high-tech and eco-friendly options hitting the market, people are putting out more money for their vehicles in hopes that they’ll be able to drive them for a longer period of time. In fact, the average American now holds onto their car for eighteen months longer than they did ten years ago—a reflection of higher car costs and better automotive durability. Read More

How Important is it to Dry Your Car after a Wash?

If you’ve ever run your car through an automatic car wash or drive-up wash stand, you’ll always find people who are taking the time to dry their vehicles by hand. And for good reason. This step, which might seem like a waste of time, is actually one of the most important ones in the car washing process. Read More

DIY Car Detailing for Beginners

Car detailing can be an overwhelming task if you’ve never done it before. Not only are cars are full of all kinds of mysterious nooks and crannies you don’t want to overlook, but there are so many different products on the market, it can be hard to know where to start.

Ideally, you should have a professional detail done at least twice a year. This will give your car a good foundation to start from, and ensure that any areas you overlook are tended to. From there, you can DIY your detailing once a month or so depending on your needs.

Car Detailing Essentials

For your first few detailing attempts, don’t go all out spending a fortune on specialty cleaners and detailing tools. You might not get as deep of a clean as a professional detailer, but you can get a feel for the process and what is involved. Most of the time, you can get away with some combination of the following:

  • Vacuum
  • Soft Brush
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Carpet Cleaner
  • All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Air Canister
  • Wheel Cleaner/Wheel Brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Paint Clay
  • Wax

You’ll also want to have traditional car wash supplies on hand, including things like buckets and soap. Although this list might seem overwhelming, you’ll probably find many of these items in your usual cleaning supplies.

Detailing the Interior

You don’t have to start on the inside of the car, but it tends to be easier to move from the inside-out when detailing. (This is especially true if you have kids or pets who leave lots of junk behind.)

  1. Start by doing a thorough inside clean with a vacuum.
  2. Use the air canister to clean out vents and clear dust away from the dashboard and console.
  3. Where possible, remove parts that are easily lifted out (including floor mats and cup holders) so they can be washed separately.
  4. Use any necessary cleaners for the dashboard and other surfaces. (Note: if you have leather interiors, you’ll want to use special care and products.)
  5. Wash the carpets.
  6. Clean the inside of the windows.
  7. Don’t forget to include the trunk and areas like the glovebox or seat pouches.

Detailing the Exterior

When you detail the outside of the car, it’s best to start with the wheels, as they tend to require the most work. These will probably be the most work, as you’ll need lots of scrubbing and elbow grease, but the results are almost always worth it. From there, you can work on the rest of the car from bottom to top.

  1. Apply a cleaner to loosen grit and grime from the wheels.
  2. Scrub the wheels using a toothbrush or other small implement.
  3. Wash and dry the entire car according to your usual custom.
  4. Use paint clay to remove any lingering spots on the car’s surface (click here for a quick and easy YouTube tutorial on using clay).
  5. Focus on all seams and areas where the car’s exterior meets the interior.
  6. Clean any plastic parts and/or moving parts like windshield wipers.
  7. Deep clean the windows.
  8. Deep clean the lights.
  9. Apply a final wax and/or sealant.

Don’t forget that the first few times you detail, it’s likely to take you some time to complete everything on this checklist. The good news is, the more often you detail your car, the easier it will be to maintain a perfect clean.