Monday, May 28, 2007

Detailing/Car Care FAQ

Pristine Auto Detailing is proud to give you even more tips and recommendations on which products to use, and also answers to questions that we get on a regular basis! So look around, and feel free to email us at if you have a question that is not covered here! Enjoy, and happy cleaning. Also, you will be able to purchase certain products I recommend through Amazon, and those products are listed below:

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Is professional detailing REALLY worth it?

The biased answer, yes. The unbiased answer, yes. A professional detailing can make your car look like it is right off the show-room floor. Pro's have a lot of skills and know-how that the weekend detailer does not really have. Also, most detailers are good at getting contaminants/scratches/swirls OUT of the paint, whereas a lot of commercial products are sold to CONCEAL the blemishes. If you are looking for someone to teach you, I am sure that a lot of local detailers will be willing to go over a few things which would enable you to do a better job yourself!

Does newspaper really work well as a window cleaner?

Yes, it actually does. I for one do not use it as my main "towel" though, as I tend to prefer microfiber cloths to do windows with. However, newspaper does work VERY well, and I strongly prefer it to a cotton towel because newspaper will not lint at all.

The last time I tried to do a full paint detail on my car, it took all weekend and I didn't even finish, what do I do now?!

In a forum I frequent, this question was asked, and I found it one that is very important to address. Yes, detailing does take a VERY long time, more time than most people even want to think about. With that being said, there is not a symptom of being "too meticulous" as was mentioned in the forum, being meticulous is what makes a good detailer. This was my reply to the user who asked the question:

"Youre not being too meticulous. In the world of detailing, I fail to see that there is such a symptom. With that being said, it does not sound like you're a pro, but moreso of a weekender who wants to enjoy a very clean car at the work of his own hands, which I applaud you for.However, once you detail your car a number of times (and maybe even some other people's), youll learn quicker, more efficient ways of doing things. So what Im trying to say is, as someone starting out and getting their feet wet in this endeavor, you're not alone. Just take your time, turn on some music, and enjoy the day, and your car."

Saturday, April 28, 2007

So many waxes, which one do I use?!

Again, this is strongly personal preference. I swear by Meguiar's and Mother's, but there is also Klasse, Zaino, Menzerna, Eagle One, heck, they even have DuPont now. So find one that works for you, and use it. In my detailing blog, youll learn how to use 4 different products that are Meguiars and Mothers. For swirl remover, I LOVE using Meguiar's Swirl Remover 2.0 in the Professional Series with the Porter Cable 7424, (From now on, that will be referred to as the PC 7424). Which you can buy at the top of the page!

With the variable speeds of the 7424, it takes some talent to actually mess up your paint. With that being said, it is still VERY possible, so you should try and leave any heavy swirl removal to a professional.

After the swirl remover, I like to try and follow that up with Meguiar's Show Car Glaze on most applications as it does well at concealing the remaining swirls that might have been left behind. This step is more or less take it or leave it, it is not imparative, but it is helpful, mainly on darker cars.

For the next step, I really like to follow up with Mother's Carnauba Wax. It is a good thick Carnauba (that smells good), and it will last approximately 3-6 months depending on weather and storage conditions.

Next, you have a choice of a few products. This is when you want to use a good synthetic sealant such as Meguiar's NXT, Mother's Reflections, etc. These "top-coats" as they're called, have microscopic particles that fill in between the other layers of wax, causing a much more permanent seal, which also increases the longevity of the waxes.

Do automatic car washes really hurt my paint?!

Absolutely. Automated car washes that you find in gas stations and other locations are not good for your paint at all. Yes, they WILL make your car look a LITTLE bit better. But the countless number of fine-line scratches and swirls are not worth the "Bargain Price" of 5.00 or whatever. For that price, go buy your own car wash Solution, and do it 20 times for the same price. The swirls are caused when the rotating brushes slap against the side of your car and drag themselves across it, over and over and over again. 95% of people do not even realize that these are bad for their cars, hence why they are all still in business, but they can actually be very detrimental for your car's finish.

So, how do I protect my seats?

If you have cloth seats, and there are not really any stains on them thus far, youll be surprised how far a good vacuum cleaning ON A REGULAR BASIS can make them look. Note the part in caps, that is very important. If you have leather seats, Meguiar's Gold Class Leather Conditioner works very well and also cleans the seats. There is also Lexol Leather Cleaner and Conditioner that works VERY well, and some swear by it like no other. Ive had no experience with it, so I cant give much more input. But you must vacuum beforehand or you may end up rubbing dirt into your seats thus making a stain.

Well, Windex didn't work, now what?

This all basically boils down to personal preference. I absolutely swear by Eagle 1 20/20 Window Cleaner. Some other people also swear by Stoner's Glass Cleaner. It leaves a streak free shine, but takes a little longer to "rub-in" than other cleaners. People also use water and newspaper, or diapers. Windex works well, but I find it to be streaky somtimes. Also, do not use the no-name cleaners that claim to be "streak and cloud free", they aren't. At all.

Bug Guts, do they come off, and how?

Well, believe it or not, but they actually make this product called *gasp* Bug and Tar Remover. And yes, it works. Sometimes you might have to actually put some elbow grease into it, but it WILL work. If you have bugs that exploded on your windshield, use a razor blade, and wet it down with water or glass cleaner, then use the blade and with UP-strokes, get it off. If you use down-strokes too, the guts will fall into the wiper blades, and smear (again) on your windshield as soon as you turn them on.

For the bugs that are on the front of your car, if the Bug and Tar Remover is not working well, you can also whip out your handy clay bar. I prefer to use the Clay Magic clay bar system which you can buy at just about any auto parts store. The main pile of guts are going to be on the front of your car, mirrors, and wind shield naturally. What the clay bar does is gentlys lifts out any contaminants that actually got stuck in the clear coat of your car before they had a chance to scratch anything. To use this, get out your clay, and spray the included "lube" onto the affected body panel, then with a little bit of force, rub in back and forth motions, and then switch directions to insure all the contaminants are out of the paint, then repeat and be amazed.

Does a clay bar really work?

Clay bars work wonders on cars that have been neglected over the years, and ones that are not routinely detailed. I prefer using a Clay Magic system, and it comes with the bar, a booklet, and the lube. When youre done washing your car, you spray the lube on, and then rub the bar over the wet area, and it takes off the top coat of clear coat, and wax and removes all the contaminants that are stuck in the paint that washing cannot and will not get out. Once your finished claying, wash your car once more to get all the excess clay off!

I briefly covered the "how" a clay bar works in the post above this one. But the condensed version is that it pulls the contaminants out of the clearcoat in which they are stuck in.