4 Essential Steps to Exterior Auto Detailing For Your Vehicle
Do you own a vehicle that you’ve relied on for years? The next time you take that favorite car out for a wash, consider giving it a touch of TLC with some overdue exterior detailing. I’ve detailed four essential steps you need to know for a basic exterior detailing of your car. Although basic, you can use these to cover every angle of your vehicle, from your sliding doors to chrome or plastic bumpers.
Exterior Auto Detailing #1: Wash & Drying
Start with removing the loose debris and dirt from the surface of your vehicle. Don’t stop at the doors or the hood. Be sure to include the bumpers, hubcaps, wheel wells, and all the other corners. Here’s a quick tip if you don’t have time for the rest: to keep that newly minted clean look, use a quick detailer in between your regular car washings. It makes the biggest difference!
Washing and drying should be done once a week.
Exterior Auto Detailing #2: Claybar
This is no fancy technique: you use an actual clay bar to remove all dirt and contaminates from your vehicle’s paint surface. In return, this leaves the paint job with a silken sheen and looking as fresh as if it was just painted. A clay bar has the capability to remove any item sticking out of the paint job (including those nasty tar bits that hit your car on the freeway). Use this on every part of your car, from the doors to the bumpers.
Add this into your car care regimen no more than once every three to six months.
Exterior Auto Detailing #3: Full Body Polish
You don’t have a Rolls Royce to roll the streets in style: sometimes, all it takes is a car fresh out of a full body polish job. Often misunderstood by car owners, this is where you actually work in the polish to break down abrasives rather than a simple wax. The secret is in the polish application. Don’t listen to what the bottle tells you: do not let it sit after you apply, but work that polish in and buff till you get that sheen you’re looking for. Any product that states you can just apply, let the product sit, and then rub off, is telling a lie. Car body polish works with oils, and a simple application of this product is just a coat of oil to hide existing blemishes.
This should only be done once or twice a year.
Exterior Auto Detailing #4: Wax and/or Sealant
Protect your paint and add a layer of shine and that “wetness” look with a wax and/or a sealant. This is often referred to as the Last Step Product in a car detailing job. Wax is easy to use, but lacks reliable durability. Sealant, on the other hand, is very durable, but you need a squeaky clean surface in order for it to bond correctly to the paint. You can apply this to all surfaces including the doors and bumpers of your car.
Use the wax and/or sealant every two to six months.
This is another awesome post courtesy of Quan Thach
Here is another great post from Quan: Truck and Jeep Maintenance