How should I look after my car?
At Full Blown Kustoms when we have a motor vehicle delivered for either repair work or a tidy up, we ensure that before it leaves the job is complete by washing and cleaning it. It is important to us that the vehicle is presented to the customer at its best.
We live in a harsh climate with temperatures varying from -5ﹾ on a winter night to highs of 45ﹾ days in summer. To assist in the care of your vehicle there are a few things that can be done by the owner to maintain the paint and over all appearance. Washing your vehicle regularly helps to keep it clean. Further protect the vehicle’s exterior surfaces by applying some polish occasionally.
A major cause of paintwork deterioration is road grime. Dirt, mud, tar and calcification are just some of the things we expose our vehicles to every time we drive on the road.
There is quite a large range of motor vehicle washing additives available at automotive retail outlets. These products are designed to help remove road grime and other impurities that cover a vehicle from general road use.
Many of these products are concentrated, and it is advisable to read the instructions carefully. Do not overuse the product when washing. Be careful when you select washing agents as some of them have ingredients or additives that will remove stubborn dirt but could also harm your paint. Normal kitchen detergents could be used when cleaning your motor vehicle. These detergents are usually safe for your vehicle’s paint. After drying your vehicle, if you notice the paint is starting to look washed out, dull or your hand doesn’t glide over the surface, then it is a good indication that it is time for a polish.
Not all brands are compatible with others when using washing and waxing products. If you have washed and waxed your vehicle, then wash it again two weeks later with another brand of auto cleaner, it may remove the wax coating you have applied to protect it. It is a good practice to use one “brand” of product for washing and for waxing (polishing) for the life of the vehicle.
As well as protecting your vehicle’s surface protect yourself. When washing and waxing your vehicle try to do it in the shade. This is actually recommended by most car care products! If no shade is available, then clean your vehicle either very early in the morning or later in the evening when the heat of the day has eased.
Streaking can occur due to a number of reasons. Cleaning or waxing a vehicle in direct sunlight is a major culprit. High mineral or calcium levels in the water of Central Australia may also be at fault.
Applying wax to your vehicle is a task that is best done in sections, a panel at a time. Following the manufacturer’s directions should assist you in correct application with minimal fuss ensuring a completed job that leaves a gloss shine. When caring for your vehicle we have found that using microfibre cloths for washing, drying and waxing is the best method. Use separate cloths for washing, drying and polishing. When polishing or waxing remember to apply the wax in circular motions.
Should you start to notice a colour build up on your application cloth it is nothing to get disturbed about as this colour usually denotes effective removal of perished paint.
Most natural waxes settle into any fine scratches on your vehicles surface and blend with the paint colour. This makes them harder to see. A good practice is to use multiple cloths when waxing your vehicle and ensure all the clothes are washed and dried before reusing them. Some auto shops have these cloths in large bundles or packets at very reasonable prices.
The interior of your vehicle is just as important as the outside. When cleaning dashboards, instrument panels, consoles and fixtures you could use your car washing agent as well. After you have finished, wipe all these areas down with clean warm water to remove any residue and help protect your car’s surfaces.
It is extremely important to note that all silicone-based products could create issues on your vehicle’s surfaces both inside and out. Silicone is a protective layer and when used on the vehicle’s surfaces, it covers the paint with a very fine coating almost as a clear coat does. Silicone is hard to remove, and normal washing does not get it off your vehicle. That may sound strange because it is designed to help maintain the vehicle’s condition. If you get a deep scratch, bad dent or are involved in an incident with another vehicle, there is usually the need to have your vehicle repaired by a panel beater. Silicone on the outside surface creates serious issues when trying to repair a vehicle. No paint will stick to a surface that has been treated with silicone. A small dent or scratch which should be relatively inexpensive to remove, could quite easily become very expensive all because silicone needs to be removed. This will ensure good paint adhesion and an even colour for the whole area.
The use of silicone-based products inside your vehicle on the dashboard, steering wheel, seats, and other fixtures presents other issues. Have you ever noticed a film build-up on the inside of your windscreen? Especially if your car is in the sun or heat for extended periods. It is sometimes very hard to clean off and is back before you know it. The items covered by the silicone “cleaner” cannot breathe and so the silicone starts to sweat and evaporate. This adheres to the inside of the windscreen and requiring on-going cleaning.
Most people purchase a vehicle for several years and a little owner maintenance will keep it looking great and last a lot longer. As hard as it may be sometimes to spend an afternoon washing and polishing your car, it will give you great satisfaction knowing your vehicle is not only looking its best but improving your potential return when it comes to selling it. A well-maintained car stands out from the rest.