Nov. 21, 2010 Our Life

DIY for the guys.....Car Detailing

In an earlier post a few months back, I said that David was a car-detailing expert. I wasn’t kidding, David has been detailing cars even before he could drive and has turned it in to a hobby of sorts that he truly enjoys. He has developed time-tested techniques along with trying nearly every product available searching for the best products for the specific job. David even makes detailing product kits with instructions for people who he knows are serious about detailing. For the really ambitious, he will even invite them over to the house for a hands-on detailing lesson on their own car. Detailing means just what it says: focusing on and cleaning the tiny details of your car to take it from "clean" to "sparkling like new." Wouldn’t you like to drive a new car all the time? Besides improving appearance, detailing helps to preserve resale value of a car. And I have to add, that our cars have never been to the car wash. Taking your car to the car wash is an entirely different post, one that you probably won't want to read. 
 
We invited Jaison and his wife Nancy over a while ago to detail one of their new cars. A 2003 Dodge Viper GTS series #249.  
 
The images below show how poorly the car was maintained before Jaison bought it. The left image shows the lack of any wax or paint protection. The image on the left shows the mirco scratches left by the car wash.
For the average person, a good detailing should return the car to its original factory condition. This will also protect the car from the elements such as the sun and rain. It will also make it easier to keep clean. Show cars take detailing to the highest level by enhancing the car’s beauty and design. Detailing is just that–paying close attention to small details. Sure, it takes a lot more time and effort, but the results can be nothing short of eye popping. There is so much information that David could literally write a book on detailing. Below are a few products and tools just to peak your interest.  
 
Top image; microfiber towels available at Costco. 
Middle image; a selection of products by Zaino Brothers
Bottom image; very little product can do an entire car.
The products at Wal-Mart or in the average auto parts store are garbage. Consumer grade. Most of the best detailing products can be purchased online and surprisingly are not much more than the consumer grade products. The following brands are the best in the industry and recommend by many auto manufacturers including BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, and others. Lexol leather conditioner and Vinylex are great for interiors. Most every product from Zaino Brothers and Rightlook are excellent. And for the purist who prefers the warm luster of carnauba over the brilliance of polymer sealants, there is Zymol. Rightlook’s claybars are the best, and at 8-ounces you can hang on to them. Microfiber (MF) towels from Costco are the best for the money. Rightlook makes high-end heavy duty MF towels that are great, but expensive since they are made for pro detailers who use and wash them every day. And a good vacuum with a HEPA filter is a must.  
 
Top left; proper technique for using a clay bar. 
Top right; detailed cleaning of the wheels and tires. 
Bottom left; proper application of Vinylex. Apply with a sponge and wipe off immediately. 
Bottom right; Cleaning windows, special formula is one gallon of warm water, teaspoon of dish detergent and two tablespoons of white vinegar.
The interior of a newly detailed car should be clean, lustrous, dark and rich. Not shiny, wet or greasy.
The end product. One shiny car! Like brand new!
One happy owner!
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