By Pete Solis Collision
Many people think that because their car is new they don’t need to do anything to it right away. Not true! You just paid a lot of money for that car and if you want to keep it looking new, just like anything else, you have to take care of it!
Proper car care is important whether your car is brand new or ten years old. The steps are the same, although you may have to spend a little more time on an older car that requires removal of defects like oxidation, swirl or scratches.
As far as new cars, they are not invulnerable to the harsh environment, and clear-coat is not the shield that protects your car, it’s just clear paint and it needs to be protected. With this thought in mind, the following are effective steps to treating your new “baby” right… from the start.
The time to start proper car care is when you drive home from the dealer and pull into the driveway. Get out your wash buckets, car wash shampoo, wash mitt and microfiber drying towels and give your new car a proper bath.
Step 1 – Washing Your New Car
Wash – Thoroughly wash your car to remove loose dirt and grime.
The first thing you need to know is that the car washing procedure is the number one cause of swirl marks! Don’t worry, this can be avoided by using high a quality car wash shampoo, wash mitt and microfiber drying towels. Using two buckets – one for your car wash solution and the other for rinsing your mitt is also very helpful when it comes to avoiding swirl.
Step 2 – Claying Your New Car
Clean – Clean your paint with detailing clay to remove bonded surface contamination that is stuck to the paint and is not removed with normal washing.
Most new car owners think that a new car does not need to be clayed. This is not necessarily true! Contamination doesn’t care if your car is old or new. Even though your car is new it has been subjected to many types environments. Your car started at the factory, sat on a lot waiting for transport via ship, train or truck or a combination of transports, then it may have sat on the lot waiting to be bought for who knows how long. During this time, who knows what was floating around the air on the long journey between the factory and your driveway?
Claying your car with a detail clay is not a substitute for polishing your paint, it is a process to be done prior to the polishing process to remove surface contaminants that make your paint rough. When your paint is rough, dirt and grime tend to stick and build up creating even more problems. The simple task of claying will remove the contamination and prepare your car for the polishing and protecting steps.
Step 3 – Polishing Your New Car
Polish – Remove defects in your paint, staining and enhance overall shine.
More than likely if your car is new you won’t need to remove defects unless your car has been on the lot for a while and been stricken with that dreaded swirl from poor washing procedures by the dealership. If your paint is free of defects you will still want to use a pre-wax cleaner to enhance the shine and prepare your paint for paint protectant. This product can be safely and easily applied by either hand or machine.
Step 4 – Protecting Your New Car
Protect – Protect the paint surface from harsh environmental elements and prevent premature aging with a car wax, paint protectant or paint sealant.
Many new car owners look at the clearcoat as a protective layer that shields their car against harm. This is simply not true. The clearcoat is a tough clear paint that is there to protect your color coat and add depth in shine. It is not a super high-tech protectant, it is just clear paint and needs to be protected just like the older single stage paints.
Car waxes, paint protectants and paint sealants all fall into the same “paint protection category”. Although some do a better job than others, they all protect against and help prevent premature deterioration caused by the onset of oxidation. With modern technology, a car wax would be “old school” and be less protective than the more advanced paint sealants.
Step 5 – Maintaining Your New Car
Maintain – Maintain your paint with normal washing and quick detailing in between washing.
Quick detailers are also known as waterless wash and are commonly used by detailers and car enthusiasts to put the finishing touch on a freshly detailed vehicle. Quick detailers quickly and easily remove fresh water spots, streaks, dust and other light contamination. It is also a good idea to keep one with you for those dreaded bird bombs for a quick cleanup to avoid permanent damage.
Quick Detail Sprays are a special formulation that evaporate quickly to prevent further spotting, lubricate to prevent scratching and contain gloss enhancers to refresh your just waxed shine. For the car enthusiast, a quick detailer is more than just a convenient time saver, it is a necessity when it comes to keeping your finish looking great.
So, there you have it. Effective steps, if done properly, that will keep your car shiny and new for a long time to come. A final thought. If you don’t have access to a garage or car port, consider purchasing a fitted car cover to shield your new car from the elements.
Pete Solis Collision Center is El Paso’s Auto Body Shop! With over 47 years of experience behind us, we are the top choice for bodywork, paint, and more. We are the home to ICAR certified professional body shop technicians, as well as quality Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes. Pete Solis Collision Center is located at 1434 Lomaland Dr. in El Paso, Texas. Give us a call today at (915) 599-8666. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.