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PostSubject: What to look for when done detailing your car    Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:47 pm

What to look for when detailing your car

The following are the key areas which help make that all important "first impression" when someone is checking out your car. First they will take in the visual effect of the overall shine and finish of the paint on the body, next they usually look at the tires and wheels, and then they will go all around the interior and dashboard, followed by an under the hood and inside the trunk inspection.

There are some simple mistakes which people make are when they detail their own cars, because we tend to overlook the finer points. This could be exactly why the process is called auto "detailing." The areas you need to watch for are inside the door jambs and the door edges all around, including hatches, sliding doors, and around rear entry doors and windows. Next would be the undercarriage, and wheel wells, then the carpet on the floor and the mats, lastly the little hidden nooks and crannies of the interior, like the ash tray, the glove box, and any console storage compartments.

Is there a secret to getting that paint to really shine?

You can go to extremes and do things like polishing the surface with compounds using motorized polishing pads, but the easier path is reached by using a simple tool called Clay! Yes that is right, it is based on just plain old simple clay. Don't get me wrong, it is not exactly the same type of clay we messed with as children, this is really high technology stuff. The purpose of this clay is to get right down onto the paint surface and remove all the tiny bits of debris that our car collects over time. So it turns out that clay is one of the simplest auto detailing secrets we can use to obtain a super finish on your car's paint!

Turtle Wax makes a nifty "all in one" super paint finish cleaning kit which is called the "ICE Clay Kit." This kit can be found at many car parts stores, on-line, or at some superstores which have large automotive departments. You can also go for just the clay and it's matching lubricant from a company called "Pinnacle Wax." This company offers an auto paint detailing clay which removes embedded impurities including dirt and old wax. This creates a very clean starting point for buffing, polishing and or simply waxing the car. When this multiple step process is done properly the paint surface can look like it did when you first saw her on the showroom floor. This is a professional level activity, but the average Do It Yourself car person can easily learn this simple process.

Finally getting started!

There are some basic preparations required before you can even use this clay, and it's required lubricant to deep clean the finish on your car. First off you need to have the car washed, rinsed, and dried really well. You can do a deep preliminary cleaning at the coin operated car wash, which helps get the bulk of the dirt and road grime off the car before you even start the real process of detailing your car or truck. Don't forget to spray down the floor mats by laying them on the concrete in the coin op wash and pressure spraying them thoroughly, followed by a good rinse. Also plan to use the vacuum system to clean the interior and in the trunk if required. Even if you run it through the coin operated or automatic car wash, it would not hurt to wash it once more by hand using a car wash soap which removes old wax as well. This is an important preparation step for deep cleaning the paint on your car.

Time to really get the crud out

Now it is time to start the clay based crud removal process on your paint. After you allow the car to dry very thoroughly, you take the putty like clay, and with it's lubricant, you apply it to small areas at a time. When working with the clay you simply press the clay onto the surface and then pull away the crud. The clay is then rolled by hand until new fresh clay is exposed and repeat the process. One manufacturer suggests you do areas of around two square feet at a time. At this pace you would be working on this process for about 2 hours on an average sized car. The clay is reusable, and can last for multiple uses, and has no shelf life if you keep it moist with the lubricant.

Going deep inside

Cleaning the interior can be done with mild soap, and a shine restorer car interior cleaning products. Wash the leather and plastic with a small cloth wet with a dilute soap solution and rinse with a second towel and dry with a third. Lastly apply the shine material of your choice. Don't forget to use a q-tip in the edges of the dash and your air vents. Next wash the windows inside and out using paper towels with a non streaking glass cleaner. Vacuum carpets really well, and dab in some carpet freshener powder to make the car smell nice and clean inside. Make sure the spare tire is in good condition, and check for the jack and any other tools that came with the car.

Tires and wheels

As for deep cleaning the tires I typically go for the completely low tech approach of using an old school steel wool pad with grease removing soap. This is dunked into warm water, and with some elbow grease, I will scrub the tires until all the discolouration and dirt are easily rinsed away. Once the tires are are dry, I apply a polymer based protector like "Meguire's Hot Shine" tire dressing spray. The wheels need special care, and you don't want to scratch the clear coat finish on most modern wheels. Abrasives are a poor choice on alloy wheels. So you need to use either a spray on rinse off style wheel cleaner, or you can use some car wash soap in warm water and more elbow grease.

Putting on the finishing touches.

I prefer to use liquid car polishes for their ease of use, and the "ICE polish" from Turtle Wax can be applied in sun or shade! For best results you may want to polish the car a few times over as this will add lustre to the finish and your reward will be a super deep shine on your ride! Once your car's finish is looking good, keep the car out of harms way by parking it under cover if at all possible.

Most of the tools which could be required:

Clean wash bucket
Clean wash mitt
Good quality car wash soap
Pack of microfibre towels
Clay based finish cleaning kit
Good quality car polish
Strong vacuum for floors and mats
Q-tips
Old toothbrush
Medium sized soft scrub brush
4-5 soft towels
Streak free window cleaner
Paper towels

This is a very basic process listing for getting your car to look like new without spending a lot of cash, there will be those of you who have a different view so lets hear them.

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ventorafred
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PostSubject: Re: What to look for when done detailing your car    Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:03 pm

Glad you mentioned the glass cleaner
So many cars Ive gone to view have all the polish -
blacked up tyres
and 'oh lordy' streaked over windows
Just kill the look for me
I am a James May of polishing and cleaning
sad chap as I am

Mer is a excellent polish which mixed in with your bucket of water
provides a decent long lasting protection.

Oh and dont forget to blast the wheel arches and under the body and any dirt catching areas
when the weather picks up, god knows how many hundreds of tons of salt n grit
have hit the roads this year.
will make merry with your tin!
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Vulgalour
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PostSubject: Re: What to look for when done detailing your car    Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:40 pm

Fairly comprehensive guide there. The best two ingredients for getting a car nice and clean are definitely time and effort, there's no lazy quick way to get an excellent finish. However, if we're going to go the proper Bangernomics route, let me show you what I get up to.

You can buy all sorts of fancy expensive car treatments and cleaners and some of them are actually very good value - I rate Autoglym quite highly - but sometimes, it's the old fashioned and cheap cleaners that are the best. Take my Princess, for example, when I got her the cabin was lovely and shiny, if musty, but I wasn't convinced it was clean because everything felt shiny and sticky at the same time.

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Decades of dirt and silicone cockpit shine in alternating layers, no real cleaning. This is fairly common on older cars with vinyl interiors in my experience. Cloth interiors get grubby because they only get vacuumed at best when you're at our end of the scale with cars and any real dirt just gets rubbed in and never shampood out. So, how to tackle that grime above?

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Good old Stardrops. It's been around since the dawn of time, it's dirt cheap and you can use it neat or watered down however you fancy. Best of all, when you've done cleaning the car it can be used to clean other things. It's not as abrasive or strongly scented as Fairy Liquid and it's more competent than bargain basement shops own brand stuff. It is the happy medium. You'll also want a pound shop plastic bristled nail brush, nothing more abrasive than that. Get the Stardrops in hot water and get scrubbing.
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Not nice, but it does work.
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You end up with a bucket that looks like this. Ew.
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To finish off, now that the vinyl feels nice and springy and smells better, not to mention having lifted all that horrible grease out of the grain, you want to just dress it and prevent more dirt getting in there. This is the best balance of cost and effectiveness in my experience. Smells great too. Give the vinyls a wipe over weekly and you'll find you can do the whole interior in a matter of minutes without having to do that deep clean with the Stardrops again.
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Good as new.
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stereosound
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PostSubject: Re: What to look for when done detailing your car    Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:35 pm

Great tip there Vulgerlour Thumb

When I got the Merc the interior was filthy,I drove with it like that for a while planning to hire a rug doctor to rectify 20 years of human grime but it just wasnt practical with the poor weather we were having :Cry2:

I was taking the car to show my folks and wanted to create a good impression so using the low tech approach and having heard about Stardrops we cleaned the carpets,door panels,dash and seats with a diluted solution using dishcloth's and plenty of elbow grease Sleep

Very hard work and tedious but they came up a treat

I will now always have a bottle of Stardrops in my detailing kit

Brilliant just brilliant cheers

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PostSubject: Re: What to look for when done detailing your car    Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:23 am

To pick up on the claying thing, it really does make all the difference. However, you don't actually need to use clay. Someone on detailing world suggested blu-tac as an alternative. I tried on my deeply filthy Audi and jt worked. I did my wife's car with it a couple of weeks ago and it came out spotless.

When it comes to external trim, I've tried just about every potion known to man but these days I use boiled linseed oil which costs about 3 in b&q. You just wipe it on your trim, remove any excess and leave it to dry. It lasts for ages too. I'm told peanut hutter, ground nut oil and veggie oil also work.

I'll post up some pics later to demonstrate.
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PostSubject: Re: What to look for when done detailing your car    Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:44 pm

keithyboy wrote:
To pick up on the claying thing, it really does make all the difference. However, you don't actually need to use clay. Someone on detailing world suggested blu-tac as an alternative. I tried on my deeply filthy Audi and jt worked. I did my wife's car with it a couple of weeks ago and it came out spotless.

When it comes to external trim, I've tried just about every potion known to man but these days I use boiled linseed oil which costs about 3 in b&q. You just wipe it on your trim, remove any excess and leave it to dry. It lasts for ages too. I'm told peanut hutter, ground nut oil and veggie oil also work.

I'll post up some pics later to demonstrate.

I take it this is fro the black plastics?
Heard but never tried wd40 or vasalene works well too. I'm an autoglem man though and through but the c5 is lucky to get washed did 6k between washes recently, hoover or clean inside hahaha cant see that happening any time soon lol

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PostSubject: Re: What to look for when done detailing your car    Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:00 pm

i used the rug doctor on a couple of second hand recaro seats last year and all i can say is i felt sick with the colour of the water afterwards, i am a clean freak... i use poorboys ssr3 and 2 after a clay bar session on my rotary polisher on a spong pad then i buff off, then by hand i add autoglym deep gloss shine (2 coats) buffed off with the rotary and the waxed 2 coats buffed off by hand, black trim i use value peanut butter (it really does work) tyres i use autoglym tyre dressing, windows i use autoglum glass polish the cream as you get a better finish. leather i use zymol leather cleaner then use a conditioner which works wonders. interior plastics i just use a damp microfiber unless theer is anything pressing then i use a diluted 5 to 1 apc and a small nail brush.

Wheels i use a apc 50/50 spray on, leave then use a wheel microber to work it in and a detailing brush, then hose off then if still dirty then do it again.

underbonnet... i normally just use apc on a brush and then a spray bottle to rinse it off, microfiber to dry it then a vynal and rubber car spray to keep it looking tip top :-)

will try and find some pics

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PostSubject: Re: What to look for when done detailing your car    Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:17 am

Um...This is "Bangernomics" right? I havn't strayed onto some "Pimping Your Ride to Concourse Standards" site?

OK takes all sorts, broad church, etc.

I usually take the carpets out on first purchase and trample them in the bath, with washing powder. An unbelievable amount of filth comes out, and I'm sometimes quite surprised to find the carpet wasn't originally brown.

I hang it to drip/air dry, for a long time. While its out I can do a better rust prevention treatment, with motor oil/kerosene, spraying into the inside of the sills, etc.

With my current car, here in Taiwan, where humidity is very high in the rainy season, the carpet went mouldy and I took it out again. I don't think I'll bother putting it back.

I also removed the plastic liner in the load area. This had become very brittle with age and was just going to get smashed if I left it in place. Painted metal is tougher, and being able to see it reduces the chance of hidden corrosion developing.

I know its important to some people, but, for me, a car is for use, not display, and one of the main advantages of running a banger is that I don't have to worry about this cosmetic stuff.

What to look for when done detailing your car? - Um.....holes?
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PostSubject: Re: What to look for when done detailing your car    Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:29 pm

edlithgow wrote:
Um...This is "Bangernomics" right? I havn't strayed onto some "Pimping Your Ride to Concourse Standards" site?

OK takes all sorts, broad church, etc.

I usually take the carpets out on first purchase and trample them in the bath, with washing powder. An unbelievable amount of filth comes out, and I'm sometimes quite surprised to find the carpet wasn't originally brown.

I hang it to drip/air dry, for a long time. While its out I can do a better rust prevention treatment, with motor oil/kerosene, spraying into the inside of the sills, etc.

With my current car, here in Taiwan, where humidity is very high in the rainy season, the carpet went mouldy and I took it out again. I don't think I'll bother putting it back.

I also removed the plastic liner in the load area. This had become very brittle with age and was just going to get smashed if I left it in place. Painted metal is tougher, and being able to see it reduces the chance of hidden corrosion developing.

I know its important to some people, but, for me, a car is for use, not display, and one of the main advantages of running a banger is that I don't have to worry about this cosmetic stuff.

What to look for when done detailing your car? - Um.....holes?

each to there own buddy, but i like my cars clean no matter if they cost me 100 or 2000, the last car i doubled my money when i sold it just because i looked after it and kept it clean and that was after 3 years so i could not be happier

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PostSubject: Re: What to look for when done detailing your car    Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:35 pm

Quote :
each to there own buddy, but i like my cars clean no matter if they cost me 100 or 2000, the last car i doubled my money when i sold it just because i looked after it and kept it clean and that was after 3 years so i could not be happier

Shake

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PostSubject: Re: What to look for when done detailing your car    Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:37 am

Admin wrote:
Very hard work and tedious

Two things I like to avoid.

I'd add "pointless" for cars with negligable market value. This obviously doesn't apply to many of the cars on here, but it does to mine, which are actually bangers. I never have any expectation or intention of selling them, especially here in Taiwan, where "face" considerations render cars over 10 years old virtually unsaleable.

Pointless, that is, unless I wanted to "make a good impression".

If anything, I usually want to make a bad impression.

How am I doing? Smile
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PostSubject: Re: What to look for when done detailing your car    Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:56 am

edlithgow wrote:
Admin wrote:
Very hard work and tedious

Two things I like to avoid.

I'd add "pointless" for cars with negligable market value. This obviously doesn't apply to many of the cars on here, but it does to mine, which are actually bangers. I never have any expectation or intention of selling them, especially here in Taiwan, where "face" considerations render cars over 10 years old virtually unsaleable.

Pointless, that is, unless I wanted to "make a good impression".

If anything, I usually want to make a bad impression.

How am I doing? Smile

I tend to agree with you

Genuine Banger + Detailing = waste of time and money!!

Genuine Banger = Buy cheap, run at minimal expense and effort then scrap it when it is no longer cost effective Very Happy

Of course there are cars which can be bought for banger money and are worth detailing or restoring but it kind of deviates away from the whole concept of bangernomics and shifts the car into the area of restoration. Having said that, I do like to keep the inside of my cars clean and tidy - mainly because that's the bit I see when I'm driving it!!
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PostSubject: Re: What to look for when done detailing your car    Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:52 pm

Just to add Bangernomics is different things to different people.

We added the detailing section because as somebody has already said even if you car is only worth 100 why not detail it?

It depends what you want from it?

A bottle of decent budget car shampoo wash mit and drying cloth can be bought from most supermarkets these days for next to nothing :Wky:

Wax yes you can buy an expensive tin or a cheap tin,I myself use Colonite 476 at 20 a tin and have had the same tin for 2 years and you cannot tell anything has been taken out of it you use so little so 20 wax over lets say 5 years is that expensive?

Every so often you get a "banger" that has lead a sheltered life and simply cheap because it has no value anymore but has plenty of life left in it and in my opinion if your banger has decent paint why not protect it ?

If anybody does not want to care for the appearance of their banger that's fine but this section is here to share tips of how to keep your detailing to a Bangernomics budget.

Not everybody who lives by Bangernomics wants their car to look like its been dragged out of a scrapyard I think the idea of Bangernomics is to prove you can buy and run a car for very little but still have a decent looking car :Wky:

Fixing,Welding,Painting,Servicing,Washing,Waxing your car is all part of Bangernomics to me Thumb

Its all about dropping off the car finance ladder and keeping away from main dealers but we should all still look after our cars Clap


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PostSubject: Re: What to look for when done detailing your car    Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:15 am

No matter how much I pay for a car I always like it to look good both inside and out but I don't realy spend anything on it to accomplish this so I stay within the bangernomics idea of not spending.
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