Car Detailing is an extensive process of cleaning, restoring and protecting your vehicle. It involves various processes including paint enhancement, ceramic coating and protection.
Quick Tip: Always work indoors, or at least out of direct sunlight, to prevent the soap and water from drying too quickly on surfaces. Also, it is best to spray the wheels and tires first to avoid water spots.
The exterior of a vehicle requires a thorough clean that goes far beyond the quick wash and rinse offered at drive-thru car washes. This is a multi-step process that includes decontamination, hand washing, and the use of various products and techniques to give the vehicle a beautiful finish.
The first step in the process is a thorough pre-soak to soften any heavy contamination that may be present on the paint surface and around the wheel wells and undercarriage. Next, a gentle hand wash removes road grime and contaminants. The process also includes using a degreaser to clean the wheels and body panels. Lastly, the paint should be protected with a wax or sealant to preserve it and enhance its appearance.
Once the paint is blemish-free, the glass and trim can be protected as well. Some detailers like to use paste or liquid waxes and others prefer to utilize a ceramic sealant for extended durability and remarkable hydrophobic properties.
The interior of your vehicle is as important to detail as the exterior. It’s what you spend most of your time looking at while driving, and a dirty interior makes for an unpleasant drive.
Vacuum the cabin floor and seats to remove loose dirt and debris. Clean the air vents and dash using a safe cleaner that won’t damage plastic or vinyl, such as Turtle Wax Spray & Wipe. Leather or cloth seats are cleaned thoroughly, stains removed and odors eliminated. Glass is treated with a non-ammonia glass cleaner to leave it sparkling.
A full auto detailing includes decontamination, which ensures that your car’s surfaces are smooth and free of bound contaminants, such as tree sap, tar and iron fallout, that a regular car wash can’t remove. It also helps protect your car wax, paint sealant, leather protector and vinyl coatings. Lastly, your trunk hinges are lubricated with silicone to prevent them from squeaking, and all the windows are dressed with a slick silicone spray or dry Teflon so they glide smoothly.
We often take our cars’ brakes for granted. After all, they simply get us from one place to another. When a deer pops out in front of you, though, you’ll really appreciate those brakes.
When you press the brake pedal, a pump in the engine bay generates hydraulic pressure that’s transmitted to each wheel via the brake lines. That force causes clamping devices, known as calipers, to squeeze a pair of brake pads against spinning metal discs called rotors attached to each wheel. The resulting friction and heat bring the wheels – and your car – to a stop.
Brake pads wear down over time due to the stress of bringing your vehicle to stops. It’s a good idea to have them replaced in pairs so that they remain evenly thick and offer consistent braking performance. You can inspect the pads yourself by removing a wheel and using a tool like a Vernier caliper or brake pad measuring gauge to see the level of remaining thickness.
The tires are often the dirtiest part of a vehicle, picking up asphalt grime, road salt, caustic brake dust and other contaminants. They should be thoroughly cleaned prior to shining them, especially if the tire has been subjected to a hardcore mud-slinging adventure.
The most common materials in modern automobile tires are rubber, steel and textiles. The steel acts as a structural skeleton while the fabric (polyester, rayon or nylon) provides reinforcement and strength. The rubber, fillers and steel together make up around 30 percent of the tire.
When the tire is assembled, it is called a green tire because it doesn’t have any markings or traction patterns on it. Then, it is run through a curing machine which functions something like a waffle iron, molding in all of the markings and traction patterns. It also treats the tire with high heat, a process known as vulcanization. When this is done, it’s finished and ready to be sold.