ON CAR CARE
Hi, I’m Adrian Schonborn, professional automotive detailer and owner of Pure Impressions Ltd, and welcome to my first Car Care column.
I’m excited about sharing advice with you on how to best care for and protect your vehicle. I was trained in Europe by some of the best detailers in the world and pride myself on being the best in New Zealand. We stock some of the top products available including the CorrosionX and A-Glaze range, and I wanted to kick things off by discussing paint protection and how best to get your paint looking better than new.
We have a wonderful culture in New Zealand of getting away in our classic cars. However, often we neglect to consider protection of our vehicle’s paintwork from all the dirt, dust, grime, tar and other nasties that attack it. The good news is, achieving long lasting deep, mirror-like shine is only a few steps away.
Firstly, it is very important to prepare your paintwork. This is what makes all the difference. Start by washing the car properly. I always have one bucket of A-Glaze car shampoo for the top half of the car, and one for the lower half and wheels, as the lower half is generally more prone to dirt and grime. Rinse first, use a wash mitt and work top to bottom with the shampoo and then rinse again. Dry the car with a microfiber towel or chamois.
The next step is decontamination. This removes all those small fragments of metal, tree sap, dirt and tar that get ingrained into your paintwork. These are not always obvious until this step is done and you see how much grime comes off! Use a clay bar for this and work it over the car’s paintwork – it feels like play dough and when it gets dirty remould it until you get a new clean portion. Most people are amazed at what has collected over time! Clay bars are not expensive – however if you accidentally drop it you must throw it away immediately as it will have collected dirt off the ground and may put fresh scratches on your car.
Next up is cutting and polishing the vehicle. Most people have seen rotary electric polishers, however I strongly recommend investing a little more in a dual action polisher. Rotary polishers can be very harmful if you are not experienced, as they are heavy to control and tend to burn the finish and bite on edges. Use a good quality polish. As you move over the car with the polisher there is no need to press hard – just move it around gently and it will do the work itself. Take time with each panel – it may take around four hours to do the whole car properly.
I then apply A-Glaze SMR to get rid of those really deep holograms and swirl marks for a perfect, mirror like finish. Apply this by hand with a microfiber applicator pad and buff off again with a microfiber cloth. After you have finished this step, wash and dry the car again to get rid of all the polish dust, including from around edges of doors, panels and lights. It is important that the vehicle is totally dust free and clean before the sealant is put on.
The sealant is the layer that protects your paint finish from getting all that same dirt, grime and scratching on it again. All you need is a microfiber applicator pad and A-Glaze sealant. It’s an incredible product and you use very little of it – it’s just like oil on the surface of the car. Apply to the car top to bottom, and if in any doubt go over again with a second layer. It should look like a haze over the paintwork once applied. It is very important to leave the sealant to settle now for at least four hours in a dust-free garage environment.
Finally, once the time has elapsed, you will need water in a clean spray mist container and microfiber cloths and buff the vehicle top to bottom, spraying mist onto the panels before buffing. The water activates the sealant and gives it that gloss that you want. Buff the car to a perfect shine, swapping cloths as they become too wet. Once you have finished, stand back and enjoy the stunning, deep shine of your vehicle’s paintwork which is now protected for 1-2 years, when you need only re-apply the sealant.
The best thing is that now that you are finished you can enjoy driving your car without worry – all you need to do when it gets dusty or dirty is to wash with A-Glaze shampoo or wipe the vehicle down with A-Glaze WaterFree Dry Wash. All the build-up, tar, bugs, dirt, will slide right off as the layer of sealant fully protects your vehicle’s paint. These products are designed not to strip the sealant off as they work.
I’m always happy to hear from you and answer any questions you may have, and I’m excited to share more Car Care tips with you next time!
BEFORE AND AFTER