Five tips on exterior car care

Bob Rupani Updated: June 03, 2020, 08:57 AM IST

The Corona lockdown has resulted in many dirty cars. Here are five tips on how to clean the exterior of a really filthy car and get it looking good again.

1) Blow The Dust Away

In case the car is covered with dust - do not wipe it. The dust particles and grit could be abrasive and can scratch the paint if rubbed. So it's best to blow away the dust. In a workshop compressed air reduced to less than 30 psi can be used, but what do you do if you don't have an air compressor? Simple, utilize the duster we use to clean our homes. Yes, take a duster cloth and just whack the body with it to remove the dust. With the dust blown away, the car is ready to be washed.

2) Shampoo and Soak

While the dusting will have gotten rid of the loose dust, it's now time to tackle the muck still stuck to the surface, especially the more harmful bird droppings. Bird droppings are acidic and as they harden in the sun they are difficult to remove. Scraping them out is not advisable as it could damage the paint. So it's best to use a car shampoo or washing detergent to give the vehicle a good shampoo. Preferably do this in the shade and let the car soak in the shampoo for a while. This will soften the bird droppings and also loosen all the other muck stuck to the car. After the shampoo wash the vehicle with water and in case any bird droppings still remain, place a damp cloth over the spot again and repeat this process until everything has gone.

3) Dry with a Soft Cloth

After the shampoo and soak, dry the car with a soft cloth. Using a microfiber cloth or towel is a good idea as they are extremely absorbent and can absorb seven times their weight in water! Microfiber products are also positively charged, and as a result they attract negatively charged dirt and grease too.

4) Apply Cleaner On the Paint

While the shampoo and wash will clean the car, the paint may continue to look dull. To restore the shine in the paint one should first polish the vehicle by applying a car paint cleaner. Nowadays you get paint cleaners with wax in them too. But I still prefer using something that is purely a cleaner followed by wax. A car cleaner or polish, has some abrasive qualities and completely cleans the paint and also removes oxidation, contaminants, and grease and dirt and also residues of any earlier wax. A pre wax cleaner reaches the undamaged paint underneath and prepares it for waxing.

5) Apply Wax On the Paint

Now that the paint is clean, waxing it will protect the freshly revealed layer or coat of paint. A good wax will not only safeguard the paint but also endow it with gloss and shine. In fact, waxing a car regularly, also prevents the paint from fading and oxidation, both of which are common in a sunny country like ours. A nice coat of wax, two or even three times a year, should keep the paint shining like new.

Also see,

Five Tips on Car Interior Car Care


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