how to detail a car

How to Detail a Car

A ‘detailed’ cleaning or restoration of a vehicle to get a better shine is known as car or automotive detailing. Also detailing help in the protection of the paint of the car and other parts that are exposed to UV rays and contaminants. Cleaning the car often feels like a chore but for car enthusiasts detailing is like car washing on steroids; clean perfection that goes better than showroom quality. Proper detailing is not only about making your car shiny and glossy but on the same hand about protection.

Components of Car detailing

how to detail a car
  • Cleaning the exterior: The very first step toward detailing is cleaning the vehicle thoroughly and to make sure that all debris, Road grime, dirt and other stuff are removed from the vehicle. For fewer scratches, while cleaning one can use microfiber towels, car wash soap, a wash mitt.
  • Protecting the exterior: as much it is important to clean the surface of the car, the same is to protect it after cleaning by either using car wax, paint sealants, or ceramics coating. Also other parts like tires are enhanced with tire dressing. Glass cleaner is used to clean automotive glass. Using a clay bar is usually the first step in protecting the paint.
  • Cleaning the interior: once you are done with the exterior detailing it comes to cleaning the interiors which involves vacuuming, removing contaminants from leather or plastic parts, and removing the trash.
  • Interior detailing: it majorly depends on the car owners as interior majorly varies from car to car, mostly one goes for wax and design specific materials that protect from the exposure.

It is recommended by car experts that one starts car detailing by cleaning the wheels first with wheel cleaner or tire brushes. Then you go for car exterior cleaning and protect it with products. And finally go for the interiors.

how to detail a car

There are these five golden rules before you start with detailing your car which should be kept in mind.

  1. Don’t wash the car in direct sunlight: the reason being is that most products don’t go well with hot surfaces or sun rays. Also heat speeds up the drying of soap and water.
  2. Avoid cross-contamination: by saying cross-contamination we meant is that don’t use the same materials for all washing activities like same towels, brushes, buckets, etc. because surely you dint want the contaminants moving from one location to another and particularly important for areas like rims, wheel wells.
  3. Always work your way from top to bottom: the reason being very obvious all the dirt should be washed out from the surface but wheels are exception as they are the dirtiest part of the vehicle.
  4. Lubrication must be used: One must use some kind of lubricant while touching the paint ,don’t just clean or wipe without lubrication and with dirty towels.
  5. Right supplies: the old yellow sponges must be left out ,they work as sandpaper on the car’s body instead use wash-mitt and microfibre towels which makes it easier to dry and also without scratches.

If one is opting for going to a professional detailer and get a thorough clean and detail without getting one’s hand dirty but surely it comes with heavy costing, and it doesn’t make much difference between doing it and paying for it. Usually the cost of detailing your car by professional depends on the size of your car and the extent of detailing one wants to their car. For an average-sized car it comes near about $75 to $150. For larger vehicles like SUVs this range comes between $125 to $250 for the same service.

Now comes detailing of your car at home for which you need to buy most of the items which nearly cost somewhere between $75-150. But the thing to keep in mind is that you would be able to reuse almost everything in the future. And if doe regularly or with proper intervals each time the process gets less intensive.

How to repair sun damages

When a car is constantly out in the hot sun then it causes its paint to fade or look lackluster and especially if your car is of dark color. The best way to fix this is by using a rubbing compound easily available at any auto parts store. Choose one that has a fine cut in order to get the best.

Make sure you do this process when temperature is high as you don’t want your rubbing compound to harden quickly while you are working with it and not in direct sunlight. Add a little rubbing compound to the buffer may be a teaspoon or two and spread this to the sun-damaged area evenly. Work in small sections of maybe an inch and buff completely before you move to the next section because they get very dry and making hard to work upon. After applying just wash your car with water and make sure that no spot was left and if you notice a spot, then again you can apply the buffer. Finally apply wax to your car to protect both the rubbing compound and your car.

how to detail a car

Removing of paint swirls

Swirls are super fine scratches you even can’t feel them with hands and that’s what makes them more difficult to invisible. Swirls are generally come into appearance because of mostly wiping your car with dry towels especially when it’s dirty but not only this, improper washing and drying techniques also play an important role. Swirls marks are mostly seen on flat surfaces like hood and trunk. And also most visible on dark color cars because the corner of swirls reflect light.

The best way to remove swirls is using a car polish, In fact many polishes are made for this purpose only like Meguiar’s Swirl X. if swirl marks are deep and heavy then the first one should apply cutting polish to remove heavy damage and then normal polish to restore full gloss.

Handling Minor scratches

how to detail a car

Scratches are the most annoying thing to deal with and without care they can damage your car with rusting or reducing car’s resale value. But most minor car scratches can be removed through a process called buffing. Buffing is removing a small layer of coating in order to be able to work on scratch and this is the protective layer which is typically the clear coat. We can use a 3M DIY fix kit, it features 3000 grit sandpaper, backup plate for a drill, 2 grades of foam polishing discs and 2 car polish grades and this is the same process professional use.

The best way to keep your car scratch free is to keep it washing regularly, this keeps the protective coating and paint intact. Hand washing is preferred here instead of car wash brushes as they leave scratches behind them and also clay bar or wax can be taken into consideration.

More Stories
2005 BMW M3 Track Car