Wednesday, December 9, 2009

some lessons to learn from car grooming...

shall compile some important lessons gained from own muscle grease...

1. change of microfibre cloth occasionally. How to know it's time to change? Compare a MF cloth brand new hanging on the shelf in Autobacs or Homefix, and yours. If the cloth is coarse and has lots of large particles stuck in between, better not risk creating swirl or scratch marks on the paintwork.

This also explains why you shouldn't use tissue to wipe off dirt...

of course, i always advocate not using sponge, especially used ones, on the paintwork. It's a big no-no.

2. rinse before shampoo. Some of us do it to our skin, hair, etc - same principle; get rid of the dirt before using soap. For cars, it prevents dirt from clogging up the microfibre cloth, making it more lasting.

There is a difference between 1st and 2nd/3rd bottle. The first strips wax.

3. claybar, polish, seal, wax. My major cleanup every 2-3 months involves all 4, or skip polishing in between. An excellent article by Meguiars is here.

my claybar: soft99 077 metallic ($19)
my polish: Autoglym Super Resin Polish, red label ($30)
my sealant: Autoglym Enhanced Gloss Protection, yellow label ($25)
my wax: Meguiars Ultimate Quik Wax ($19)
my cloth: Mr Clean Wax on/off cloth, pack of 3 ($3/pack)

The tools

most of these items, except the soft99 claybar, can be bought from Autobacs, Homefix or NTUC AMK. Costs about $100, which is about the cost of a single session of grooming by professionals. But this $100 can last you a year at least!

now to the technical side:

the claybar removes all the odd large particles that got stuck over time. Some say it also removes the sealant, and a non-waxing shampoo will remove previously coated wax. I believe in the latter but not really the former... but still use the claybar.

heard that polishing actually removes a layer of the clear coat, so i only do it when necessary. Such as paintwork getting dull, some stubborn spots like the ones caused by tyre gel.

a good sealant is self explanatory, it protects the raw layer of paint after polishing. So far, i'm finishing my bottle Autoglym gloss protection sealant, and will be moving on to Meguiars #21 Synthetic Sealant 2.0 next year.

to top all the hard work off, wax is required. In fact for lazy people, you can skip everything above BUT not wax. Singapore's weather is hot and wet and there are bird waste and tree sap, which will cause big problems with the paintwork if there's no wax to take the first blow from these elements.

there are various forms of wax available, from paste wax (longest lasting) to liquid wax (less lasting) to spray wax (least lasting). I converted from liquid to spray recently, because it's just too tiring after the polishing and sealing rounds. Although it wears off easily, i can easily respray on a weekly basis. It's so simple that i go around recommending friends to use them.

4. quick detailer. I'm still trying out this product. It claims itself as the missing link between washing and waxing.

5. foam vs silicon/gel tyre shine. I have not tried any foam based shine yet, only Meguiars Insane Tyre Shine (petroleum based) and Endurance Tyre Gel (silicon based). I prefer the petroleum based, because it didn't blacken my fender area. And the blackened parts can only be polished off. Beware...

other kinds of solutions i use

1 comment:

tagskie said...

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!