Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Should I Wash My Car After it Rains?

Q. It just rained or snowed so why do I need to wash my car?

A.  Washing your car after a rain is one of the most critical times to wash your vehicle, according to the International Carwash Association.  Pollutants, such as sulfuric and nitric acids from automobile, truck, and factory exhaust become trapped in rain drops or snow flakes (commonly referred to as acid rain).  After the water evaporates, it leaves a film of acid.  Add sunlight to this mixture and the acid can become so strong that it will eat through your car's finish.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Do I Really Need to Wax My Car?

PopMech's auto experts discuss why it's still important to keep a coat of wax on your car and how often you need to do it.

August 20, 2013

Do I really need to wax my car?

The answer is: Probably. Waxing has always made cars extra shiny. That's still the case today, but both modern paint jobs and wax formulations have improved a lot in recent years. Paint used to be just that—paint. A new car got a layer of primer and a few coats of colored lacquer, and that was it. Wax not only gave the paint a good gloss, it was also the only line of defense against scratches.

Beginning in the 1980s, manufacturers started adding a layer of clear coat, which seals the paint and adds to the shine of the car. The clear coat also takes the environmental abuse. Things like ultraviolet light, ozone, exhaust, salt, dirt, rain, bug guts, and bird poop build up tiny scratches and oxidation on the clear coat's surface. As the paint ages, that damage causes the surface to get hazy and the shine to subside, but there's generally no damage to the color layer below. Not waxing will leave the car looking dull and the clear coat vulnerable to accelerated wear. If you don't particularly care how the car looks, you can be lazy and never wax it—just keeping the car washed will leave it looking reasonably nice (use a gentle soap made for cars—no detergents). Waxing provides a sacrificial layer on top of the clear coat so that when you remove dirt and such you're not directly rubbing the paint.

Things have changed substantially since dads spent Sunday afternoons rubbing carnauba wax onto lacquer car paint. Now even that classic formulation has additives that make it easier to wax on and wax off. New synthetic formulas are even simpler to apply and offer longer-lasting protection, and spray-on waxes can be applied with almost no effort at all. Plus, you don't need to wax that often. Even if you obsess over your paint, four coats of wax a year are plenty, and you can use spray-on wax to maintain the shine. We like to wax the car at least twice a year, once before winter and once in the spring.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Winterizing Your Car's Exterior

Providing additional protection for your vehicle in the wintertime is vital to maintaining the paint especially, but also the wheels and glass. Snow and ice, and the scraping it takes to remove them, can be as rough on your vehicle as they are on you. This article will walk you through a few products and procedures that will give your vehicle just what it needs to weather the winter storm.

The Paint:

Two words: road salt. Salt used to de-ice the roads can also de-paint your vehicle if you’re not careful. A quality wax or sealant combined with correct maintenance will get your paint finish through the chilly months.
Your best bet for winter paint protection is a paint sealant because they tend to last longer and require less frequent reapplications. If your only concern is durability, Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze offers the best long-term protection. Its acrylic-based formula is like body armor for your car and it lasts up to a year. The finish is not as dramatic as that of a wax, but if the sun peaks out one day, you can use a carnauba topper like Pinnacle Souverän Carnauba Wax to amp up the shine.
If you prefer a balance of durability and gloss, use Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0. Once cured, Wolfgang Deep Gloss will provide 4-5 months of paint protection and an attractive, high gloss finish. It's beauty and substance rolled into one easy-to-use product.
The Forum Favorite Kit gives you both the acrylic protection of Klasse and the carnuaba shine of Souveran. Start with All-In-One to clean the paint, seal it with Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze, and then top off the paint with Pinnacle Souveran. The Klasse twins will absolutely protect the paint from snow and ice, and the Souveran wax makes it easy to maintain a nice shine.
We’ve heard great things about the durability of Collinite Insulator Wax #845; 5-6 months on average. It has a nice gloss and an amazing water-beading effect. Multiple layers is the key to durable protection all winter long.
Duragloss Total Performance Polish (TPP) #105 is another long-lasting synthetic sealant that stands up well to the elements all year round. Layer this over Duragloss Polish Bonding Agent (PBA) #601 for the maximum benefits.
The ultimate way to protect your paint through the winter months is with a coating. Detailer's Paint Coating is one of the more popular choices. This particular product is comprised of nano-glass ceramic particles and state-of-the-art cross-linking polymers. As soon as these nano-glass ceramic particles make contact with your paint, they begin to fill in light swirls, pits, and pores to make the surface perfectly smooth, preventing dirt, water, oil and anything else from adhering. Detailer’s Paint Coating is resistant to alkaline cleaners, degreasers and harsh detergents, making it a great choice for winter paint protection. Application is simple, straightforward and the protection lasts up to two years.
Winter washing can be a challenge, but you don’t want to leave road salt on your vehicle. DP Rinseless Wash & Gloss is a unique car wash that does not require rinsing, or even running water. All you need is 2 gallons of water, a clean wash mitt, and a microfiber drying towel. DP Four-In-One cleans the paint with plenty of lubricants and it does not need to be rinsed, which makes it perfect for use inside a garage (preferably with a space heater!). And, DP Rinseless Wash & Gloss keeps your paint protection intact.

Wheels & Tires:

Buff the haze away with microfiber. A quality microfiber towel, like the Cobra Indigo Polishing Cloth, will buff your paint to a stunning shine as you remove the wax residue.Protect your vehicle’s wheels just like the paint. Use Detailer's Wheel Glaze, a protective wax for your wheels. It prevents brake dust adhesion, which is a problem year-round, and it repels snow and ice. It does require regular reapplications to maintain a high level of protection but the results are well worth the effort. Another great option is Detailer's Wheel Coating. This product is a nano-based ceramic glass coating that provides the best protection possible for your wheels. Like Detailer's Wheel Glaze, it will keep the wheels clean and protected, but it will last noticeably longer. Application is simple and straightforward.
Tire protection is two-fold. For starters, the rubber needs to be kept supple in freezing temperatures to prevent cracking. Pinnacle Black Onyx Tire Gel looks great but most importantly; it hydrates the rubber to keep it flexible.
Secondly, make sure your tires are properly inflated. The air inside tires shrinks in cold temperatures. If they become under-inflated, the tread will not make enough contact with the road to maneuver on icy asphalt. Accutire’s Professional Metal Digital Tire Gauge measures psi from 5 to 99 in half pound increments.

Windshield and wipers:

Wurth Windshield Wash Additive is an antifreeze and cleaner that will keep your windshield clean and frost-free. Simply add it to your windshield washer fluid according to the directions. The additive protects against freezing down to -22°F and overspray will not affect paint, plastic, or rubber.
Everyone in snow-prone areas needs a quality ice scraper. The Ice Master Ice Scraper removes all kinds of frost, snow and ice from the windshield and windows with four blade configurations.
If scraping doesn't appeal to you (we understand!) 1Z Einszett De-Icer Spray is a quick solution to an icy windshield. 1Z Einszett De-Icer Spray penetrates and speeds up the removal of light snow, ice, and frost. It does the hard work for you, so you can easily push the frosty remnants off the glass.


If your vehicle is covered in snow, you’re garage floor soon will be. The Park Smart Heavy Duty Clean Park Garage Mat has a raised, removable lip around its edges to hold liquid until you have the opportunity to squeegee it out of the garage. The mat also catches oil to prevent stained concrete.
If you travel during the winter, you must have a Battery Tender battery charger! A Battery Tender battery charger keeps your car battery fresh over long periods of inactivity, saving you the cost of battery replacement. The Battery Tender Plus is our most popular model.

Cover it up!

If you have to park outside during the winter months, consider a car cover. The Block It 400 Evolution cover is heavy duty protection against moisture and impact. If you want considerable protection in a lighter weight cover, the WeatherShield HP cover is manageable enough for everyday use and it offers great protection against the elements.

Interior Protection

WeatherTech Floorliners offer durable, full coverage protection for your vehicle's carpet. These mats hold moisture, like snow and mud, and cover more area than traditional floor mats.

De-Icing Your Vehicle

The MINI IceDozer is a compact, heavy duty ice scraper. Once winter sets in, arm yourself with the best ice scrapers and snow movers. Choose from the MINI IceDozer Ice Scraper or the SNOBRuM Snow Removal Tool. Each tool is made for heavy duty ice and snow removal and they're safe on automotive surfaces.
Ice scraping is easier when you use 1Z Einszett De-Icer Spray. It penetrates snow, ice, and frost so it can be easily scraped away.
Clean your windshield and prevent re-icing with 1Z Einszett Anti-Frost Washer Fluid. It works down to -20°F!
(from: http://www.autogeek.net/winter-car-care.html)

Monday, October 14, 2013

In the details

The never-ending battle to keep your car clean

Read more: http://www.europeancarweb.com/features/0512ec_detail_car/#ixzz2hjuBNRqx

european car,

203 Mobile Detailing's Tips On Car Care

1) When washing your car, Do not use old rags, shirts, socks, dish towels, or any other kind of towel. These will all leave swirl marks in your paint as they do not trap dirt particles deep in the fibers keeping them away from your vehicles finish. Instead it keeps the sand particles on the top of the fibers where they scratch your paint with every wipe. Use a microfiber towel or wash mitt as to not leave scratches and swirls.

2) When drying your car, use only a chamois or microfiber towel, regular bath towels and other towels will leave lint, and will scratch your paint leaving those dreaded swirl marks, scratches and spider web/holograms. We cant speak highly enough for microfiber towels, they are the softest lint free towels, and highly recommended for auto detailing. 203 Mobile Detailing uses microfiber wash mitts, micro fiber drying towels, micro fiber polishing towels, micro fiber window towels, and micro fiber interior cleaning towels. P.S- These can not be washed with your regular laundry, wash separate and do not use dryer sheets or fabric softener.

3) Do not use dish soap or any other household soap when washing your car. These soaps have harsh detergents in them for breaking down grease and these kind of detergents will also remove all remaining wax that you have on your paint. 
4) Eliminate damage that you can cause while washing your vehicle by taking off rings, watches, belts and long necklaces. 203 Mobile Detailing uses microfiber aprons while polishing and waxing your exterior as not to rub against your finish with our clothes.
5) Car covers, bike covers and front end bras are very bad. Dust, dirt, sand and grit will get under these covers and lay on the painted surface. The cover on top will move and cause a sanding-like motion against the paint. If your paint is properly waxed you will not need a cover. All you will need is a microfiber duster or microfiber towel to dust it off with no harm.

6) So many times we’ve heard new car owners tell us that they thought they didn’t have to wax or seal there paint because today's paint jobs are maintenance free. This couldn't be any farther from the truth. New cars come with a cheap layer of wax from the dealer that will last 30-60 days. At 203 Mobile Detailing we use orbital buffers (unless specified otherwise) to apply a high quality premium Carnauba Wax that will last 4-6 months (you know your in need of wax when water doesn't bead into little individual droplets but just runs off). In harsh weather environments such as wonderful New England it is essential to wax your vehicle 2-3 times per year. The 2 most vital times to wax your vehicle are in April and October. April because your coming out of the harsh winter that has eaten your protection (if you had any going into winter and if not it has had all the winter to contaminate your paint causing more serious problems and more time and money to fix it) and October because your going into winter and you most certainly need the protection throughout it.
7) When selling your vehicle, trading it in at a dealership, or returning a lease, It is a very wise decision to get it detailed first. Here is why, A detailed vehicle always sells faster and for more money. The $99-$219 you spend will bring you back nearly 3 times what it cost you. Just last month we seen a car not sell for 3 weeks at $2700, and after a $219 Platinum detail package it sold in under 4 days for $3500. For lease returns, the dealership will charge you for scuffs, scratches, oxidation, or just about any marks left on the exterior (and lets not forget about any dirt, scuffs, or stains left on the interior as well). These charges usually range from $500-$2000. A complete detail with spot compounding or wet sanding to remove the deep scratches before you return it will save you tons of cash. When trading in your vehicle, a clean detailed car will always be appraised in excellent or good shape instead of the general classification of fair or poor. These classifications are distinguished by the used car manager and are made by visual judgement only. A clean engine compartment, along with a mirror shine and an immaculate interior will get you that upper classification and save you hundreds over what you paid for a detail.

(from: http://www.203mobiledetailing.com/Car-Care-Tips.html)

How To Detail Your Car

Washing the car has been an American tradition for decades, but more and more of today's cars are getting the deluxe treatment known as auto detailing.

Auto Detailing: What is It?

More than simply washing the exterior of your car with soapy water and a rag, or swiping the interior with Armor All and a vacuum, detailing means just what it says: focusing on and cleaning the tiny details of your car to take it from "clean" to "sparkling like new."
You can find professional detailers in practically every neighborhood, but if you like taking the time to make your car looks its best, you can get the same results right in your very own driveway. All it takes is a bag of supplies and your time and attention. Some experts suggest you dedicate four to eight hours to the job to get it done right.

Tools of the Trade

Before beginning the detailing process, you'll need the necessary implements and cleaning products. Besides the normal car-washing tools (bucket, water, soap, sponges, car wax, chamois), you'll find that you need some more specialized tools when it gets down to the nitty gritty. While everyone develops their own tackle box of magic depending on their car and the level of detail they wish to achieve, here are a few suggestions to get you started:
  • Vacuum cleaner - should be for wet and dry surfaces and should have multiple attachments, preferably a couple for getting into tiny areas.
  • Variety of rags - include terry cloth towels and thin cotton rags for finer surfaces.
  • Various sizes of small brushes - try toothbrushes or paintbrushes.
  • Q-tips and cotton swabs.
  • Plastic spray bottles.
  • Canned air.
  • Upholstery cleaner.
  • Carpet stain cleaner.
  • All-purpose cleaner.
  • Surface protector (for vinyl and leather surfaces).

Detailing the Interior of Your Car

Start with the interior, so you won't mess up the just-cleaned exterior while you're vacuuming and wiping out the inside of the car. While the order of steps isn't crucial, here's a sampling of the type of areas you should clean:
  • Carpets: Vacuum them thoroughly first, then remove any stains with stain remover and a brush. Let the carpets dry completely. For mild stains, dilute the solution with water in a spray bottle. Use as little moisture as possible to prevent mildew. Clean floor mats with a stiff brush and lay them outside to dry thoroughly.
  • Upholstery: Vacuum seats and then remove stains using the same process as you did for carpets. Let the seats dry completely with the car doors open.
  • Door jambs: Open the car door and wipe the metal and plastic parts with a soapy solution. Dry them thoroughly with a rag and then use your smaller tools (Q-tips or brushes) to remove any tougher stains and spots in the area.
  • Door interiors: Clean the non-cloth portions of your door interiors with a soapy solution. Concentrate on all the little cracks and crevices that collect dirt and grime. Dry the entire area with a thick cloth.
  • Windows: Use glass cleaner or soapy solution to really make the inside of your windows shine. Don't worry about the exterior at this point. Dry thoroughly, taking care to erase any streaks.
  • Steering wheel column: Use a soapy solution to remove dust and stains. Dry thoroughly, then apply a surface protectant to the entire surface.
  • Dashboard: Don't spray water or cleaning solution on your dashboard; instead, use your small-area tools and apply the cleaning solution to the tool itself, then carefully clean around knobs and buttons. Dry everything thoroughly.
  • Center console: Use your detailing tools to make sure every seam and indentation in the console is thoroughly cleaned and free of schmutz. Dry with a thick cloth.
Here are a few tips to make things easier:
  • Use a plastic knife covered with a thin cloth to get down into deeper crevices and dig out caked-on grime or dust.
  • Use canned air to blow dust and detritus from cracks or crevices that are hard to reach.
  • Remove pet hair easily from seats and carpeting by running masking or duct tape around your hand, sticky side out. Run your hand over all the cloth surfaces until they are free from hair.
  • Remove grease and ground-in dirt with a strong solution of detergent and water. Scrub hard with a stiff brush, then vacuum out with your wet vac.
  • Some experts argue that silicone-based protectants (like Armor All) are not ideal because of the glossy shine and greasy film they tend to leave on surfaces. You can also find protectants that have a matte finish, block UV rays, and are free of silicone.

Detailing the Exterior of Your Car

Start with your wheels. Many auto supply stores sell solutions made especially the rubber in your tires, but you can also use the soapy solution you'll use for the rest of the car. Keep in mind that many household detergents can have the undesirable effect of stripping off any existing wax on your car's surface, so it's better to find a car-washing solution without detergent (check your local auto supply store for various brands). Use a pressure hose to knock off stubborn mud and dirt, and use a stiff brush to get the metal parts of your tire sparkling clean.
Change the water and grab a few clean rags to wash the rest of your car's body. Give your car a basic, thorough wash with plenty of water and the soapy solution. Wash small areas at a time, starting with the roof, and try not to let the surfaces dry out on their own. You can keep spraying the cleaned portions with the hose until you're ready to do the drying yourself.
Take special care to change your dirty rag for a new one when it accumulates too much dirt or sand. You don't want to scratch the finish of your car with the grime on the rag.
Use smaller brushes and tools for areas that need more attention, like the rims around your headlights and tail lights, the indentations in door handles, and side mirrors. Make sure to keep rinsing everything with clean water.
Once the entire body of the car has been thoroughly cleaned, dry it off with a clean chamois or a cotton cloth. Use your tools to dry water lying in cracks or in window wells. Now is the time to wax your car if you desire. After waxing your car, you may find small areas of wax deposit or dust after it dries thoroughly. Clean these off with a small brush.
The last thing you want to do is make the outside of the windshield and each window free from streaks and drips. Newsprint works wonders for a streak-free shine and even works on mirrors.

While it may seem like a lot of work, it's a good idea to detail your car every few months. It will keep your car's surfaces and finishes healthy and protected, and will actually lengthen the life of your car. Plus, who doesn't love driving around in a fresh, spotless vehicle?