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Old 9th June 2015, 12:25   #16
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Default Re: Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny

A practical guide.

My 2 cents here:

1. At home and office, I have covered car park. Elsewhere, I ensure to park my car under shade and in a road with less traffic, even if I have to walk few additional meters.

2. Cleaning is mandatory every 10 days - both exterior and interior. I do not employ anyone to clean my car.

3. I always carry a bottle of water in my boot and whenever I find bird droppings, I immediately wash it. Never allow bird droppings to stay longer on your car. It will eat into body the paint.

4. No eatables in my car. Fortunately, my teenage boys co-operate!

5. I use the services of a detailer approximately every year or every 10,000 KMS whichever is early. Maybe I need to increase the frequency now.
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Old 9th June 2015, 12:33   #17
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Default Re: Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
• Have your car detailed inside out by a professional once in 6 / 9 / 12 months (depending on the usage). Some of my cars are detailed every 6 months, others once a year. Periodic detailing will significantly contribute to keeping your car shiny, and it'll also remove / conceal scratches to a great extent. Additionally, get the synthetic paint sealant (protection) that all reputable detailers offer.
Does professional detailing involve using rubbing compound? How frequently can rubbing compound be used as each time it removes a micro layer of paint?
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Old 9th June 2015, 12:44   #18
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Default Re: Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny

This is what i do:

- Avoid washing as much as possible, instead try to keep the car clean by parking in cleaner spots. My office does not have covered parking, so i used to occupy strategic spots without trees, but having max hours of shade, yes i used to come early just for this lol

- Keep the glass area, mirrors and lights clean during the interim

- When i wash, only a proper wet wash. Even wet mop is not done and if it has to be done, use few mugs of water that can be sprinkled on the car and use a dripping wet cloth to first wipe off and then dry again with wet cloth only

- Dry thoroughly, ensure you dry off all the nooks corners, door frames, bonnet and hood area etc

- Proper underbody wash every 3 months or so during summer months and every month during rains

- Tyres and rims are cleaned thoroughly during under body wash

- Washing is limited to self or 3M (they are worth it). Only underbody at local service stations

- Apply a protective wax coat like Mcguire tech wax every month or so

- All of the above has helped me avoid detailing for couple of years at the least and keep the paint shining and swirl free

7+ year car for proof below, just before she was sold. Just washed and no wax coat for almost 2 months, last detailed about 3 years back at the time when this picture was taken.

Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny-image.jpg

Last edited by Jaggu : 9th June 2015 at 12:50.
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Old 9th June 2015, 12:51   #19
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Default Re: Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny

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Nothing else to say really. Thanks!

On a serious note, keep a Jopasu duster, a quick detailer, a glass cleaner, & two sets of microfibers handy at all times, preferably in the car.

That way, getting rid of dirt, bird poo on paint, grime on glass becomes really easy!
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Old 9th June 2015, 13:45   #20
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Default Re: Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny

An informative read that will benefit many who don't have the inclination or time to go through the longer thread. A few top tips that I follow are:
  • After the car is detailed or waxed completely, I use a Black & Decker pressure washer to hose down the exterior of the car. This makes sure all the dust and grime glides off the surface and a gentle wipe is all that's needed to get the surface clean. Doing this ensures the wax stays on the surface for a longer time and drastically brings down the time needed to clean.
  • Use three microfiber towels - one for the body, second for the interiors and third for the wheels never interchanging them.

Last edited by gpa : 9th June 2015 at 13:47.
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Old 9th June 2015, 13:51   #21
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Default Re: Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny

Very useful thread for the enthusiast.

I like my car to be clean and neat and I have been following the below tips in our now sold Tata Indigo in its 8 years of service with us. The Indigo has received several accolades for its appearance.
I find maintaining the all black interiors in my Alto really painful compared to beige interiors in our Ertiga. Every tiny spec of dust is so clearly visible.

My simple car care tips to keep the car clean and shiny.

Parking tips:
  1. Try to park where you can see your car easily/often.
  2. Try to park in shade when ever possible.
  3. Use window sun shades when parked in hot sun.
  4. Dust car, at least the glass area before driving off after parking in a dusty environment.
  5. After parking, walk around the car and check for possibility of getting scrapped/splash from puddle etc.
  6. Before driving off, walk around the car to check obstacles like parked two wheeler, rocks etc.
  7. Park car with the front end pointing towards the road so that it will be easier to drive off.
  8. Always close ORVMs when parked. Possibility of getting hit/people leaning on car with ORVM as support.

Clean interior tips:
  1. Never roll down windows unless its a pleasant pollution free outside environment.
  2. Always wipe/dust car before putting on the car cover.
  3. Wipe car with microfiber cloth/duster every time you before driving off for the day.
  4. Request passengers to keep car clean. Avoid keeping waste papers/wrappers on top of the dashboard.
  5. I keep the old toll tickets/waste papers in the driver side door pocket and dispose them safely when possible.
  6. Use a good car freshener.
  7. Keep a clean cloth in driver door pocket to clean unexpected spills/stains inside cabin.
  8. Dust the floor mats when its dirty.

Washing tips:
  1. Wash car with abundant water or follow two bucket method. Wipe with dry/slightly moist soft cloth after washing to get a clean dry water mark free surface.
  2. Wash car in local car wash at least once in 3/6 months to get rid of under body muck.
  3. Get a professional wash (3M) at least once in 6/12 months.

Driving tips:
  1. Drive carefully over pot holes/puddles/muck.
  2. Give way to reckless drivers and bikers.

For me, the above are the simplest ways to take care of your car. I follow a simple quote, "a clean car is a healthy car". Hope this helps.

Last edited by Torino : 9th June 2015 at 13:55. Reason: spelling
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Old 9th June 2015, 13:54   #22
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Default Re: Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny

The guide is extremely useful.
Now what remains is to follow the guide especially in the Delhi summer.
Even without that, it would be extremely praiseworthy if one keeps up with the motivation and effort over the long term.
Overall, it is as it is for dummies, but dummies will hardly keep up.
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Old 9th June 2015, 14:06   #23
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Smile Re: Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny

Thanks a ton GTO for short and to the point tips.

Normally I do have a look every day when browsing the forum for the thread which is the detailing bible just to read who has recommended which product and which are the new products I am getting aware of. This used to confuse me to hell.

Earlier my car used to get washed daily, which I stopped and started washing it once a week with a car shampoo which had wash n wax. Strictly used a Jopasu duster for the daily cleaning of dust/dirt. But nowadays the Jopasu duster has lost the dirt picking abilities, hence have asked the daily car washer to remove the dust/dirt using a Microfibre cloth. The car has stayed neat and clean - inside & outside.
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Old 9th June 2015, 15:01   #24
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Default Re: Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny

Quote:
Originally Posted by droolingvoyager View Post
I mean when we travel as a family together there is bound to be a mess. Clean it and carry on.
True, but I prefer not to. Food goes bad, it smells and also attracts pests (cockroaches, rats) to your car.

If unavoidable, just be sure to clean it up 100% before locking the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyBoi View Post
Meguiar's All Purpose Cleaner is a product only for Professionals. It comes in a concentrate form, if it is not diluted in appropriate proportions, it will stain/bleach plastic trim and fabric seats. It must be used while wearing gloves/face mask and other protective clothing, which I guess most people will not be having with them.
Thanks for the correction man! Removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by ambivalent_98 View Post
One more thing is when in the city roll up your windows.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
One thing that I follow for the interiors is 100% use of AC.
I don't believe in this. When the weather is nice, I'll roll the windows down and enjoy the breeze / engine noise.

WRT clean interiors, what am I paying detailers for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sourav9385 View Post
Nothing else to say really. Thanks!
Thank you . Now that's a compliment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
But nowadays the Jopasu duster has lost the dirt picking abilities, hence have asked the daily car washer to remove the dust/dirt using a Microfibre cloth.
Order a new one buddy? Amazon will have it at your door in 24 - 48 hours.
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Old 9th June 2015, 15:15   #25
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Default Re: Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny

With the amount of dust problems we Mumbaikar's face, I guess each and everyone should have two Jopasu dusters. One for the car and one for the house.

I guess our mom/wife would appreciate it too
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Old 9th June 2015, 15:31   #26
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Default Re: Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny

I am of the strong opinion that people who keep their houses and their surroundings clean generally tend to keep their appliances and their cars also clean.

With that out of the way, I find this guide to be useful and certainly helping me to click on the buy button on some websites.

One advice sought: I prefer to keep my Corolla (and all cars clean) but it is a constant and ultimately losing battle to do it personally.

Exterior dents/fading are usually taken care of by paint, rubbing, polishing on maybe a 5-6 month basis (based on which pieces need paint). Daily care is of course the old way of paying to have the car cleaned every morning which is at best second rate. This is supplemented by monthly thorough clean up on my own which can take 2 hours and leaves me increasingly exhausted as I age. There is a lot of difference between now and when both me and the car were younger (bought in Mar 2007).

For interiors, even after 8 years, they look relatively clean, but I am now not happy with the smudges and black marks which to be honest need a professional solution.

So this weekend, I plan to go to Stanley and see if new leather seats will bring some freshness. That takes care of the seats. About the plastic parts (dash, door, etc), Stanley also promises to do a clean up job on the plastics.

Any suggestions as to whether someone can do it better in Delhi/NCR. I really want to get the black marks reduced or eliminated, and then take on from there. Also if possible roof and floor fabric cleaning.

Last edited by vasudeva : 9th June 2015 at 15:33.
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Old 9th June 2015, 15:34   #27
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Default Re: Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny

At the risk of this morphing into another thread worthy of detailingworld, here is my one 'top tip':

If washing the car at home, do the final rinsing with RO water. Makes a huge difference to the final feel, post drying.
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Old 9th June 2015, 15:35   #28
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Default Re: Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasudeva View Post

So this weekend, I plan to go to Stanley and see if new leather seats will bring some freshness. That takes care of the seats. About the plastic parts (dash, door, etc), Stanley also promises to do a clean up job on the plastics.

Any suggestions as to whether someone can do it better in Delhi/NCR. I really want to get the black marks reduced or eliminated, and then take on from there. Also if possible roof and floor fabric cleaning.
Before going to Stanley and spending a bomb on new leather seats why not visit 3M store and go for full interior restoration package?

It involves cleaning leather seats. I got my Altis seats done after 4 years and the difference was like night and day. Old seats had become shiny and beige was dark with black smudges. Car came back with leather that was more supple and not shiny. All beige interiors were scrubbed clean and it looked like it was a brand new car inside. Even beige carpets are shampoo washed.
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Old 9th June 2015, 15:47   #29
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Default Re: Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Before going to Stanley and spending a bomb on new leather seats why not visit 3M store and go for full interior restoration package?

It involves cleaning leather seats. I got my Altis seats done after 4 years and the difference was like night and day. Old seats had become shiny and beige was dark with black smudges. Car came back with leather that was more supple and not shiny. All beige interiors were scrubbed clean and it looked like it was a brand new car inside. Even beige carpets are shampoo washed.
Yes that is definitely a good solution and leather cost could be postponed or even avoided for 1-3 yrs. In Corolla H4, the OEM leather was not of top quality and of course there is the ageing problem of some torn/stretched leather, etc. But yes, 3M is worth a visit. The interior cleaning anyway has to be done and so the incremental cost is only of leather cleaning. If it works, I can hold off spending 50-60K on Stanley for 1-2 years.

In fact right now, my car is at the Uttam Toyota workshop getting painted.
5 pieces at 22,500 all inclusive. With complimentary polishing, the exteriors are taken care of till the next hit.

I am a bit confused. You talked of beige interiors which to me means leather on seats/doors. What about fabric (roof, floor) and plastic.

Anyone in Delhi/NCR can suggest a good 3M workshop that can take care of leather, fabric, and plastics. I stay in East Delhi so NOIDA, East/Central/South Delhi works for me. I am willing to pay for an A+ thorough treatment.

I asked this question in the Corolla ownership thread, but people missed it perhaps.

Last edited by vasudeva : 9th June 2015 at 15:50.
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Old 9th June 2015, 15:48   #30
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Default Re: Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny

A very interesting and a helpful thread. I do not intend to repeat and duplicate the points mentioned previously which will add no value to the thread. However, I would like to mention a few important points here :

Regular Water Service by a Professional - Considering the fact that nowadays the new generation Cars are serviced at extended intervals w.r.t. the extended oil change intervals, we forget to realize that our cars get a complete wash very seldom. Take your car to a known workshop for a complete wash (water service) by putting on the ramp at least once in 3 months. Also get a inside vacuuming done at this point to keep your car tidy

Do not wash your car everyday - In our household, it was a regular practice where the washer guy used to pour tonnes of water and give it a wipe. The stains of the water remain helping no cause but instead adds up to accumulation of rust at various micro areas over a longer period of time. A dry or a semi wet wipe on a day to day shall give you the same results and prevent your car from rusting in the long run. Attaching some photographs of the micro areas where the rusting occurs :

Lower part of the front fenders :
Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny-dsc04890-2.jpg

Door & Window channels :
Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny-dsc04891-2.jpg
Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny-dsc04892-2.jpg

Inner side of the Boot :
Simplified: The Idiot's Guide to keeping your car clean & shiny-dsc04896-2.jpg

Note : Not washing the car everyday does not mean you do not wash the Foot Mats everyday. This is a must

Clean the Windshield & Wiper Blades : Wash and Wipe the Windshield & the Wiper Blades regularly to avoid small dust particles to scratch the glass when the wipers at put into use

Keeping a Rubbing Compound Handy : Keep a Rubbing Compound handy for those odd scratches to be rubbed and removed as and when they occur. They are very inexpensive

Try not to smoke in your car : Smoking in your car will result in the fabric on the inside of the roof of your car to darken and blacken which looks messy/ stained over a period of time

The rest of the points as mentioned by the experts
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