Cleaners, Waxes & PolishesVehicle Washing
The car should be washed at regular intervals to remove dirt, dust, insects, and tar and other possibly damaging stains that can adhere to the paint and may cause damage. Proper exterior maintenance also helps in the resale value of the vehicle by maintaining its like-new appearance.
It is particularly important to frequently wash the car in the wintertime to prevent corrosion, when salt has been used on the roads.
There are many precautions and tips on washing, including the following:
When washing the car, do not expose it do direct sunlight.
Use lukewarm water to soften the dirt before you wash with a sponge, and plenty of water, to avoid scratching.
A detergent can be used to facilitate the softening of dirt and oil.
A water-soluble grease solvent may be used in cases of sticky dirt. However, use a washplace with a drainage separator.
Dry the car with a clean chamois and remember to clean the drain holes in the doors and rocker panels.
If equipped with a power radio antenna, it must be dried after washing.
Never clean the bumpers with gasoline or paint thinner, always use the same agent as used on the painted surfaces of the vehicle.
Tar spots can be removed with tar remover or kerosene after the car has been washed.
A stiff-bristle brush and lukewarm soapy water can be used to clean the wiper blades. Frequent cleaning improves visibility when using the wipers considerably.
Wash off the dirt from the underside (wheel housings, fenders, etc.).
In areas of high industrial fallout, more frequent washing is recommended.
During high pressure washing the spray nozzle must never be closer to the vehicle than 13 inches (30cm). Do not spray into the locks.
When washing or steam cleaning the engine, avoid spraying water or steam directly on the electrical components or near the distributor or ignition components. After cleaning the engine, the spark plug wells should be inspected for water and blown dry if necessary.
Special car washing detergent is the best to use. Liquid dishwashing detergent can remove wax and leave the car's paint unprotected and in addition some liquid detergents contains abrasives which can scratch the paint.
Bird droppings should be removed from the paintwork as soon as possible, otherwise the finish may be permanently stained.
When the car is driven immediately after being washed, apply the brakes several times in order to remove any moisture from the braking surfaces.
Engine cleaning agents should not be used when the engine is warm, a fire risk is present as most engine cleaning agents are highly flammable.
Automatic car washing is a simple and quick way to clean your car, but it is worth remembering that it is not as thorough as when you yourself clean the car. Keeping the underbody clean is vitally important, and some automatic washers do not contain equipment for washing the underside of the car.
When driving into an automatic was, make sure the following precautions have been taken:
Make sure all windows are up, and no objects that you do not want to get wet are exposed.
In some cases, rotating the side view mirrors in can help to avoid possible damage.
If your car is equipped with a power antenna, lower it. If your vehicle has a solid mounted, non-power antenna, it is best to remove it, but this is not always practical. Inspect the surroundings to reduce the risk of possible damage, and check to see if the antenna can be manually lowered.
Waxes & PolishesApplying Wax Or Polish
Most manufacturers do not recommend automatic car washing in the first six months due to the possibility of insufficient paint curing; a safe bet is to wait until after six months of ownership (when purchased new) to use an automatic car wash.
Before applying wax, the vehicle must be washed and thoroughly dried.
Waxing a vehicle can help to preserve the appearance of your vehicle. A wide range of polymer-based car waxes are available today. These waxes are easy to use and produce a long-lasting, high gloss finish that protects the body and paint against oxidation, road dirt, and fading.
Sometimes, waxing a neglected vehicle, or one that has sustained chemical or natural element damage (such as acid rain) require more than waxing, and a light-duty compound can be applied. For severely damaged surfaces, it is best to consult a professional to see what would be required to repair the damage.
Waxing procedures differ according to manufacturer, type, and ingredients, so it is best to consult the directions on the wax and/or polish purchased.