Sunday, May 20, 2012

Car care: how to wash your car properly

[Article copyright by Ewe Paik Leong]

A car that is driven daily should be washed at least once a week. The proper way to wash a car is probably one thing your father didn’t teach you. The procedures below will go a long way towards maintaining your car’s shine for a long time.

Depending on your time and investment, your complete wash kit can consist of a product for almost every part of your car’s anatomy or you can keep thing simple. The following items are most useful:
1. Plastic buckets
2. Car wash (sometimes called “car shampoo")
3. Rubber gloves
4. Stiff nylon brush (for wheels)
5. Chamois
6. Old towels
7. Bug and tar remover
8. Chrome and metal polish
9. Glass cleaner
10. Wheel cleaner
11. Tyre cleaner
12. Upholstery cleaner
13. Engine cleaner
14. Anti-mist spray
15. A cardbox box or plastic container to store all the above items.

First, make sure the car is cool. The finish should not be hot from operation or direct sunlight. The wheels should also be cool since they can be damaged by cold water from a garden hose.

Before washing, get rid of stubborn stains like bird droppings, tree sap and tar deposits by using a bug and tar remover specifically formulated for the task. The product is available from most car accessory shops. Never use any other cleaning agent.

Pour one cup of car wash (or the amount as per instructions on the label) into a bucket of water. Rinse the car thoroughly with a hose fitted with a spray nozzle. Allow the water to soak for five or ten minutes to loosen the dirt. In this way, the dirt won’t scratch the surface when you apply the sponge during washing.

Divide the car into sections, washing and rinsing each section at a time. Start with the roof and windows. Next, wash the bonnet, grille and front fenders. Proceed with the rear and door panels, bumpers and below. Do the tyres and wheels last, including the fender wells.

The washing should be done either with a sponge or soft towel instead of a piece of a rag (such as your discarded brief.) When washing the lower portions of the fenders, use a separate sponge (or towel). These areas are extra dirty and using a separate sponge will avoid scratching the surface.

When rinsing, remove the spray noozle from the hose and bring the hose nozzle close to the car’s surface. This technique floods the surface with a large flow of water, which slides off in large sheets, making drying faster. If you notioce your rinse does not produce those lovely little beads of water, it’s time for a wax to protect your car’s finish.

Use a high-quality chamois (or soft towel) to dry your car. Work fast and squeeze your chamois often. Then do it a second time. Make sure you open the doors, bonnet, boot and dry the inside wells to avoid drips.

Finally, I want to stress the following:
(1) Never use detergent, liquid soap or dish washing liquid to wash your car
(2) Never use hot water to wash your car
(3) Never wash your car under the hot sun as the water dries quickly, resulting in water spots
(4) Never dry a car by driving it around to shake off the water as streaks will form.


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