Lets start with some basics on keeping your cars finish looking good.
CARE INSTRUCTIONS FOR YOUR AUTOMOBILE PAINT:
We recommend that you follow these simple precautions in the first few months of your new finish’s life:
In the first 90 days…
* Do not wax or polish the vehicle, this will allow the finish to dry and harden completely.
(Do not use silicone-containing waxes or polishes)
In the first 30 days… and beyond
* Do not use a commercial car wash, Stiff brushes or sponges could mar the finish and damage the surface.
Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and very mild “CAR WASH” solution using a soft cloth or sponge
(Do not use dish soap or other harsh chemicals)
* Wash vehicle in the shade – never in the sun.
* Avoid parking under trees or near factories, Sap, Bird droppings & Industrial fallout can mar or spot the freshly painted surface.
When I wax my car I also put a coat of wax on the headlamps & tail lamps, this helps keep them fresh looking and helps prevent bugs and other debris from sticking to the lenses.
When washing your vehicle always get it wet before any scrubbing is done to help loosen any dirt and I personally wash from the top down.
Try not to skimp on your supplies, buy good quality products.
Visit Mequiars for tips and product information.
Tar, Bug & General Gunk removal:
There are a multitude of different products available for Tar & Bug removal but a product I have used in the past you may already have around the house is a waterless hand cleaner such as “GoJo” , (WITHOUT PUMICE!)
Just smear some on the tar or bugs and let it sit for a minute or two and wipe off with a soft cloth.
General Car washing tips:
I have been in this Industry for many years starting my career at the bottom as many do I have come to realize many of the things I take for granted and feel are only common sense others never even thought about, keep in mind everyone does things a little different and the following are my own personal thoughts on the subject.
(1) Always wash your car in the shade.
(2) Rinse your wash bucket and wash MIT or sponge before each wash.
(3) Get your car wet before you start washing, wetting your car down before washing serves two purposes, it cools your cars surface on hot days and it helps loosen the soil on your cars surface.
(4) Work from the top down using an overlapping motion, typically the lightest soil will be on the upper sections of the vehicle.
By working your way down the vehicle the lighter soil will be rinsed to the lower sections and also help loosen the soil on the lower section of your car by exposing to even more rinse time.
(5) Keep it wet!
Keep an eye on your car during the wash, if you see an area drying during the wash give it a quick rinse to avoid drying and spotting the finish.
(6) Keep your wash MIT or sponge clean by dipping it frequently in the wash bucket, as you wash your car all the dirt that is on the surface sticks to the wash MIT or sponge and if not rinsed out can prematurely mar your cars surface.
(7) Washing your wheels.
Some wash their wheels first, some wash their wheels last.
I usually wash my wheels first using a dedicated brush or wash MIT, if using a strong wheel cleaner keep the surrounding area wet so the wheel cleaner does not stain the painted surface of the car.