For All Car Lovers - Keeping Your Car Clean
Advice for the young at heart
Soon we will be older
When we gonna make it work?
Ö..Tears for Fears, 1989.
All of us think sometimes like this in our sub conscious mind. All car lovers, drawn us all here in this great forum. We have cars. We plan to buy cars. We like to keep it in pristine condition as long as possible. All starts with big plan and with big anticipation. ButÖ
Somewhere down the line most of us give up for various reasons. But theyíre only reasoning to console our soul and ego. We spend our hard earn money to get our choice but after sometime, we quietly ignore her look and lusture. Again for various reasons. And possibly, for all practical purposes.
Ok, let me not get too philosophical. You bought a car. You just love it. You want to get the best out of it and please admit itÖWhen others look at your car, you expect admiration!
A right feeling, I also admit. But what have you done or what you do to expect that?
Very few ladies and loads of gentlemen of the forum, take care of your car. Here goes an old manís view of taking care of your loved one.
Iíll try to put my views in order. Within that you may find few points are not really needed to keep your car in that stunning look. Please use your own discretion to accept or reject those points.
All the new generation cars come with basic (code name 2K) paint. It could be different brand names but end result is the same. This paint process comes with an extra step in between, known as Ďclear coatí. This gives you that yummy wet look.
According to me there are three categories of owners. Extremely lucky type, somehow lucky type and god can only help type . Little elaboration needed here.
Extremely lucky type: Owners having paint shades as metallic grey/brown , gold, silverÖ
Somehow lucky type: Owners having paint shades as white. Beige, greyÖ..
God can only help type: Owners having paint shades as dark metallic colours, red, deep blue, maroon,Öand the worst of the lot, BLACK!!
So, given the basic categories here I start step by step of cleaning a car.
Washing: Donít pour buckets of water on your car. Itís of no use and a serious offence when it comes to water conservation. Actually speaking, you donít need more than two (ok, letís make it three) buckets of water to clean your car on a normal day (Iíll talk about abnormal day little later).
Use separate cloth for body and wheels. Those yellow/brown shade cloth which we get on every traffic signal is useless. Instead, buy that other cloth (mostly blue). Dip that in boiling water with detergent to get rid of unwanted starch and lint. In this process the cloth will become softer also.
Soak the cloth in water (donít squeeze) and wipe the body with light pressure. Follow the same process for the entire body. By this time your bucketsí water must have changed into dark and mucky. Fill up your bucket again. Wash the hell out of that cloth and start wiping the body dry. A good soft cloth should remove all water marks from the body. Every portion of the body should be done one at a time followed by washing the cloth again in that bucket water.
Few points to remember:
1.Donít keep your car under the sun while washing.
2.Pour water only on your windshield to loosen the dust and hard particles.
3. Bangalore boys, donít use borewell water. Itís the fastest way to make your paint fade and allow corrosion to start.
4. Use black and white newspaper to clean the glass area.
5. Remove road tar spots with diesel soaked cloth.
6. Alloys (coated with brake padís dust) should be washed with detergent and toohbrush. You can also use Ďarmor allí wheel cleaner for this. Trust me, this one works like magic.
Plastic trims: Use STPíS ĎSON OF A GUNí . This is mainly for the SANTRO/ELANTRA/GETZ/IKON and etc users. Iím sure all of you must be tired of seeing those vertical grey/white marks there. This is due to grainy texture that Hyundai/Ford loves. ĎSON OF A GUNí actually creates a coat of oily film and prevents dust and water to settle down.
Leather care: Try to use air conditioner as much as possible. Body acid is the main culprit here. For steering wheel leather (attention, especially Palio users because of their choice of leather) use a little quantity of good leather protection liquid (e.g. ARMOR ALL LEATHER CARE). Upholstery also should go for the same treatment. This may work out a little expensive but remember that youíve paid through your nose for that leather upholstery.
Fabric care: Vacuum cleaner/ 3M scotch guard and lots of care and attention for not to make it dirty. Itís nice to have chaat and munchies with your girlfriend or wife but try to avoid doing that inside the car. Iím sure you can do it especially when we donít have any drive in theatre here.
On the road: There are characters on the road whoíre are willing to stand straight till such time you find your parking slot next to them. Moment youíre through with your parking, theyíll will find your car is the only one to lean on. They leave behind their fingerprints and their palm prints. Often they use your bumper to rest their shoe to tie lace. Theyíll keep their bags and what have theyÖon top of the bonnet or roof, depending on their height and your carsí. So you come back only to find your car is giving you that dirty look, smeared, smudged with oil and sweat marks Add to that youíll have a coat of dust from the road and traffic. Extremely lucky types and somehow lucky types are little better of here. So, what do you do? Do nothing and I repeat nothing. Any step to wipe the dust or to clean those marks will lead to greater damage to your paint finish. All you can do is to curse them and drive out. Clean them next morning while thinking about them. Your additional/residual anger will be converted into a physical energy. Only to help you to clean your car better.
Waxing. Sunday special: The toughest part. Great exercise to workout your muscles. Great recipe to burn calories.
If your car has not gone through a proper rubbing and polish for a long time, I suggest visit a professional car care center. Post this when you get back that wet look itís only a matter of maintaining that. Extremely lucky types and somehow lucky types are little better of here again. For a regular polish use something which has swirl remover. Most of the imported stuffs work wonder but the problem is you donít get them on a regular basis. The best Iíve used so far was PENZOIL BLUE CORAL. It was a regular import then but just not available now. For clean wax, you pick up anything from the market. Best according to me is TURTLE WAX PLATINUM SERIES. Most available brand in the market is FORMULA 1 from USA and you get Chinese fake of the same. Fake one comes with a sun behind the Carnuba tree motif. Back of the can also displays a flying US flag where as the original one has a flat flag graphic.
Donít go overboard and put wax on plastic trims. Youíll spend triple amount of time to remove them. Be careful not to choke your windshield washers with wax. Youíll never know while polishing but find out no water spraying when you need it most. Regular waxing does not do anything wrong to your paint finish but protects. A freshly waxed paint surface will repeal water . US and other countries residing members can try 3Mís PERFECT-IT rubbing and wax. Iíve tried them once and theyíre outstanding.
Remove dried up wax from those curves and trim joints with toothpicks. Dried up wax looks ugly and sticks out like sore thumb.
Abnormal days wash: Like monsoon when all hell breaks loose. Wash inside the mudguard thoroughly. Wash running board (also known as door panel). Wash under the bumper which is not visible generally. Remove floor carpet if youíre in Bombay or some heavily raining place. Wash floor mats regularly. Take the car to a service station and wash under body. A rubber coating does help at the cost of spending 4000/- to 5000/-. Additional value of rubber treatment is itsí noise deadening quality. Not a must but it helps surely.
Rubber parts: Wiper blades should be cleaned with light shampoo. Not regularly but once in 15 days. This process will keep the blades soft and also prevents scratch marks on windshield. Tyres should be scrubbed with detergent (at least once a week) and use STPíS ĎSON OF A GUNí. This product is for rubber also. Apply it evenly with a cloth after spraying..Wait for half hour and wipe it with a dry cloth or cotton waste (what they use for polishing) to get that mat black finish. If you like your tyres to shine..Leave it as is after applying.
Under the bonnet: Service stations would probably use soap/diesel to scrub out the grime but never use their air hose properly to make it bone dry. Insist on that (if need be, pay extra to that washing guy). Diesel soaked rubber/plastic parts are potential threat to retire from their respective duties at odd hours.
Well, I think Iíve covered most of it. This write up is from my experience. There could be difference in opinion as we go along. But all Iíve covered here work for me and hopefully work for all of you also. As I mentioned before, use your judgement and take this note from there.
Falling in ĎGod can only help typeí category, I had no choice but to do what Iíve written here.
For taking care of your bike, ask v12. His bike always looks like just out of the showroom.
Looks like most of our cars too fall in God can only help categary.
We (I mean I) take proper care of the interior and make sure that is always clean.
As for the body, I never get a chance to wash or wax the car as the car is parked somewhere else and not in the building.
As for the body,
I plan to get it done from TPC3 after the monsoons.
Great advice sir! Having a black indica, i fall in even god cant help category. One question though, what to do about those small little scratches which lucky guys dont even see, but on black are even visible after compund rubbing and teflon coating. Should i go for full car retouch and polish?
Great article, and just in time, Rudra Sir! Was just planning to ask you what brand of wax to use.
Since you mentioned a professional car care centre, can you recommend one in Bangalore? Preferably near Indiranagar side, if possible? Thanks!
WoW thats a comprehnsive write up. Covered everything there is to know.
I had a few querys which i needed to clear regarding the topics you covered
My black car has tiny tiny white paint spots all over it, since painting was going on in the building just before the rains.I tried using my car wax on it but there isnt much help, the spots are not visible from far but when you go closer it looks like a dalmition. Since my carnabula wax didnt work i think i need something much stronger to make it come off but without affecting my black paint finish. I havent gotten a complete profession polising,etc job done on it yet as i am waiting for the rains to get over. I wonder if these white spots will ever come out since they seems to have really settled well as they have been on for move 3 months now, whats do you suggest i use to get rid of the same.
I have used the STP son of a gun a few years back but i hate my dash board shining and this sprays makes it shine alot. My car has a mix of hard and soft plastic so what do you suggest i should use so as to get the white lines in the groves of the plastic out which were formed due to dust and sunlight but without adding shine to the plastic?
tsk1979, I'm not for teflon or such coating. It's, according to me a complete waste of money. This is my personal view though.
Don't spray son of a gun directly on plastics. Apply it with a small cloth and wipe it off to get rid of that shiny look.
Also for the paint i wouldnt suggest Formula One. Its good. Definitely good. But in the end it a white paste. Leaves a white residue (powder) on crevices / gaps. Best would be to get a polish specifically made for a shade. Turtle Wax manufactures one. TW Color Magic. Gives a better shine than Formula One. Also Eagle One is good.
How abt some pics of the Amby going thru all this on Sunday.
You're right about FORMULA1. I've stopped using it.
Nicely written Rudra. Well, my car is has a Metallic dark Blue. So the category is....!
I dont know if its the same with everyone, but as I stay in a society it is difficult to guide the guy who washes the car everyday. Always I shoot tips at him and I get a reply "ha ha shaabjee". Still he makes his own negligence. It seems I gotto take up washing my car atleast every 15 days myself :D
This has been a long time coming Rudra! And worth the wait. It's too bad I'm not a stickler for keeping my vehicles this clean though. Need to learn that from you!
As there was some Pre Monsoon work going on in our building, most of our cars have cement spots on them which when you try to remove, scratch the body of the car.
The scratches are light and should go with a Polish but I don't want to take a chance with the Spot incase they mess up the car more.
Should we give the cars over to TPC3 or another Professional Car detailing centre to remove the Spots?
The Professional Car Care Centre
19, Shreejee Indl Estate,
Shubash Road, Jogeshwari (E),
Tel: 28323162, 55703781, 9821095545
try polishing with a mild rubbing compound.
Also check out http://www.tpc3carcare.com/
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