|Mon, Apr-19-2010, 11:58:55 PM||#1|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Saint Louis
How to Detail Your Car like the Pro's
Website ( http://cars.about.com/od/adviceforow...odetailext.htm )
Note: Products names were listed in this Article.. These are not recommendations just a product that was used in the article. Please use any products you find useful to your needs.
Note: This will take 6-8 hours for the FULL Detail with the clay bar, Pre-Wax and Wax
Regular washing is important, but to keep your car looking good, you should detail and wax it regularly. Even if you've neglected your car's finish, making it look almost-new isn't really all that difficult. The folks at Mothers showed me how to use their products to bring that new-car shine back to my filthy Honda with impressive results.
What you will need:
What you'll need depends on the condition of your car's finish. If your car has been regularly washed and waxed, you will probably only need a few detailing products:
1. Microfiber towels (the more, the merrier!)
2. Black-trim treatment
3. Spray-on detailer
4. One-step polish/wax
5. Wax applicators or orbital polisher
If your car hasn't been waxed recently or has a neglected finish, you might need to call in the heavy artillery:
5. Clay bar
6. Mild polish or pre-wax cleaner
This may seem pretty obvious, but I'll say it anyway: Wash and dry the car thoroughly before starting your detail work. Washing the car gets off the "easy" dirt so that the cleaning products you'll be using later on can take care of the hard stuff.
Doorjambs tend to collect dirt, but they won't get cleaned during a normal wash. Before wiping down the doorjambs, spray them with a between-wash detail product such as Mothers Showtime Instant Detailer.
Unpainted trim and weather seals are usually made of rubber, vinyl or some other type of plastic, and will get brittle, stained and oxidized over time. We used a Mothers product called Back to Black on my car's black trim. Though it doesn't say so on the instructions, the Mothers staffers recommend wearing gloves when using Back to Black.
Back to Black before and after: Untreated trim on the left, treated trim on the right. Amazing, eh?
Clay is used to remove deep ground-in dirt and stains without damaging the car's finish. This is especially important on newer cars which use clear-coat paint. Mothers sells a clay kit that includes a clay bar, detailing spray (which is used as a lubricating agent for the clay), and wax (to seal that nice clean surface). After claying the car, the surface should feel noticeably smoother.
Claying is incredibly easy: Spray the area with detailer then slide the clay back and forth over the paint. The clay basically pulls up the dirt and shaves it off. Periodically flatten and fold the clay to expose a clean surface. There's one major caveat: Don't drop the clay! Dropping the clay renders it useless, as it will pick up dirt that can scratch the car. The detailer you'll be spraying on the car makes things slick, and I managed to drop a couple of bars -- good thing I was at Mothers headquarters, where they had plenty of extras! Consider spreading out a beach towel beneath the area you're working on.
Clay removes both dirt and wax, so you'll need to re-wax after claying. If your car's finish is in good shape, you can use a combined polish/wax product, but if the finish is in bad shape, a two-stage polish and wax process is better.
Polish smooths, clarifies, and cleans the surface of your car. Polishing will remove some small scratches, but it can also remove paint, so if you polish by hand, be careful to use light pressure. Using power tools to polish a car used to require finely-honed skill to avoid paint damage, but today there are electric orbital polishers that make the job easy and virtually foolproof. Mothers sells a kit called the Wax Attack, which includes the orbital polisher plus bottles of wax and polish. A less expensive alternative is Mothers Powerball 4 Paint, which attaches to a cordless drill.
Wax doesn't just make your car look nice -- it provides a coat that protects the paint underneath. Though many people swear by carnauba wax, which is made from the leaves of the Brazilian-grown carnauba palm, modern synthetic waxes work just as well and are more gentle on the elbows -- they require less effort to remove than carnauba wax. Also, synthetic wax can be used in direct sunlight if need be, which carnauba wax can't -- though waxing in the shade is always preferable.
Wax can be applied by hand, but an electric orbital polisher/waxer can save a lot of time and effort, and is a sensible investment for large cars and trucks. Apply the wax directly to the applicator, not the car, and work on one small area at a time. Be careful not to get wax on black plastic trim; it will stain. Allow it to dry. When the wax looks hazy, run a finger through it. If it breaks apart ahead of your finger, it's ready to come off. Buff the wax off gently with a microfiber or cotton towel. If using a power polisher, be sure to use a new pad.
You're almost done! Use a microfiber towel or a detail brush to clean out any wax that may have accumulated around trim pieces, emblems and badges.
Once that's done, give yourself a pat on the back! Your car is not only clean, but you've applied a protective barrier that will protect your car's finish. And doesn't the car look great? (Compare the picture above to the picture in step 1.)
You should continue to wash your car regularly as weather permits; re-wax in six to twelve months or when water no longer beads on the surface of the paint. For between-wash touch-ups, a detailing spray like Mothers Showtime will give your car that just-waxed look.
|Tue, Apr-20-2010, 12:11:04 AM||#2|
FC Bayern München
Join Date: Aug 2008
Good informative post
|Tue, Apr-20-2010, 05:38:15 AM||#3|
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Fremont, CA
very thorough! easy for beginners
i've been using mother's clay bar and detailing spray and have been very satisfied with my results
|car, detail, pro|