Proper Car Care and car washing tips
|While regular do-it-yourself car washes may eliminate the build-up of debris it does not preserve the value of your vehicle unless you are a professional, who knows how to treat and protect every surface of the car without damaging. In fact, many people who decide to do a hand car wash at home have learned a hard and expensive lesson because of their choices.
The second choice for car care would be the commercial car wash. All commercial car washes can cause damage but it is agreed that the no-touch systems are indeed better than brush car washes. However, they too have their disadvantages and can damage your vehicle over time.
The last alternative and wisest is to take your vehicle to a true professional automobile detailer. Both Kelley Blue Book and Automotive Dealerships agree that the best car care comes from professional automotive detailing technicians. A professional restoration technician pampers your vehicle with gentle care. Finding a true professional is the key. Many may claim they are professionals but lack the skills, education, knowledge, chemicals, experience and equipment to really be considered a true professional. When seeking the services of a professional detailer ask questions, educate yourself and get references.
Your decision should be well thought out and meet your expectations. You need to ask yourself – Do I understand the importance vehicle appearance has on resale value? Do I want to get the most money out of my investment when I sell it? Do I want many years of enjoyable driving? Am I prepared to risk having to perform major repairs such as a new paint job, body work or other costly repairs because I am trying to save money now. Used car owners may believe that if the appearance of their vehicle is not in like showroom condition that detailing is a waste of money. They couldn’t be more wrong. Restoring and rejuvenating the appearance of a used vehicle benefits the owner at resale time. Educate yourself and protect your investment. Familiarize yourself with the different types of car care services and what the advantages or disadvantages are.
Hand Car Wash At Home
Hand-washing a vehicle is always the safest method but only if it is done right. University of Munich in association with Mercedes-Benz performed a study more than 10 years ago and found that a single home car wash using detergent, low pressure water volume and equipment used in the average home washing can leave scratches as deep as 1/10 of the paints total thickness – which is about 5000 th’s of an inch (about the thickness of a piece of paper). A recent study by the University of Texas confirms the findings and indicated that the scientific study showed that hand car washing produced so many scratches they could not be counted.
Before attempting to wash a car you should have professional training, understand the systematic procedures and be knowledgeable about the surfaces you are cleaning. If you lack these vital elements – take your car to a professional detailer. The benefits of auto detailing are plentiful. Do not try to save money because it will cost you money in the long run. The appearance and mechanical condition say it all when it comes time to sell it.
Many people believe that they are protecting their investment as best they can; when they get out their wash bucket, mitts, sponges, dish soap and garden hose. Not, true! Car washing may sound simple but it is a science. Proper care must be taken to protect the surface of your vehicle otherwise the paint will become scratched and damaged.
Professional detailers do not use over the counter, retail products – they use professional grade and OEM products which are designed for use with special equipment. Vehicles are composed of different materials – what may be okay for one is not always the case with another. Despite the claims – the majority of retail products and equipment do not perform well and are not suited to all vehicles. Do not wash a car with household cleaners like dishwashing detergent, hand soap, or laundry soap – they are not formulated for automobiles and can strip off protective coatings.
Buying the right equipment involves everything from wash buckets, mitts, high-pressure washers, sponges and clothes. To prevent damage, equipment should be high quality professional grade not retail equipment. Washing a vehicle with a garden hose doesn’t provide adequate removal of debris and can allow soap residue to remain on the vehicle. High-pressure washers use less water and provide a much cleaner result.
Washing and detailing a car properly is time consuming so be prepared. If you plan on performing a full detail you should allot yourself about 4-6 hours or possibly longer if you are inexperienced. The weather is another important key factor when washing your car. If it is hot and sunny; place the vehicle in a cool and shady area before starting to wash or wax.
Commercial Car Washes
Commercial car washes are more environmentally friendly – typical water usage from a home car wash uses about 148 gallons while a commercial car wash uses about only 35 gallons. Many commercial car washes collect and recycle the water. However, some facilities do not treat the water enough to remove some of the elements like salt which could cause rust damage to your vehicle.
They are quick and economical but could end up costing you money in the future.
No touch car washes are perhaps the safest of all commercial type car washes but they do not eliminate possible damage.
Automatic car washes can not provide the proper protection that your vehicle requires. A vehicle needs to be properly prepared before applying sealants, waxes and protective coatings – meaning that each surface needs to be decontaminated accordingly. Environmental elements such as: rail dust, road dust, brake dust, industrial fallout and acid rain; etch the surface of the paint allowing erosion and corrosion to set in.
Professional Detailing Services
There are a few types of detailing services available.
Express detailing services
Most of the true professional detailers or automotive reconditioning technicians will agree that express detailing services are not the same as “professional detailing services”. Some professional detailer’s do offer this service; but take the time to explain that while this service may enhance the appearance of the vehicle, it doesn’t provide complete protection to the various surfaces to care for your investment or restore the vehicle to that like new showroom condition.
Express detailing can be an economical solution for maintaining vehicles that have been fully detailed on a regular basis by a professional. With exception to the professional detailer’s who offer this service – most express detailing services are not designed, equipped or trained to handle heavy interior cleaning or extensive exterior care. An express detail is usually completed in under an hour in comparison to a full or complete detail which ranges between 4-6 hours, sometimes more.
Full Service Detailing & Professional Detailing Services
Anyone can call themselves a “professional automotive detailer” it doesn’t mean that they are. Here are some tips to help you recognize a true detailing professional from those that aren’t.
A true professional detailer or automotive reconditioning/restoration technician has:
Anyone who falls short of this should not be considered a professional detailer. Professional workmanship is the result of professional training! Lower prices mean that the workmanship or quality of products is poorer which will reflect on the vehicle’s value.
Benefits of professional detailing services :
The only disadvantage to professional detailing is the cost. However, if you are an intelligent consumer who is unwilling to jeopardize the value of your vehicle – investing in a skilled or true professional detailing technician is the only solution to complete protection for your vehicle. Saving money on car care is not possible – you can pay now or pay later.