How about that spring clean? Part 2: Ex­te­rior

Horowhenua Chronicle - - YOUR SERVICE PROFESSIONALS -

The be­gin­ning of a new sea­son is al­ways ex­cit­ing, as peo­ple an­tic­i­pate the change in weather, daily rou­tine and new so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties that of­ten await them. So with spring start­ing to peer through the clouds, there is no bet­ter time to take a look at what win­ter has done to your ve­hi­cle’s paint­work. Without reg­u­lar clean­ing, con­di­tion­ing and treat­ment, your car’s shim­mer­ing ex­te­rior is prone to fading, crack­ing and peel­ing.

Wash­ing your car reg­u­larly will pre­vent pollen and dirt from em­bed­ding it­self in the clear coat. Grab a qual­ity bot­tle of car wash, rather than us­ing a liq­uid de­ter­gent which can dam­age the paint and strip away wax.

Make sure you use clean wa­ter and that your brushes, sponges and clothes are soft and clean. Avoid wash­ing in di­rect sun­light, as the ve­hi­cle can dry be­fore it has been washed, leav­ing wa­ter­marks on the paint­work. A soft brush can re­move light dirt, but an old tooth­brush may be re­quired to re­move stub­born dirt and lichen. The next step re­quires a bit of old school el­bow grease. Ap­ply a pol­ish­ing cream to the ve­hi­cle, us­ing a very soft pol­ish­ing disc, pad or if you’re equipped — an elec­tric pol­ish­ing tool. The pur­pose of this is to heat up the clear coat so it will be more evenly dis­trib­uted, thus fill­ing in any scratches and mak­ing it shine.

Mild rub­bing com­pounds can be used dur­ing this step but care should be taken, as too much pres­sure will cause swirl marks and ‘burn­ing’ of the clear coat. Ex­ces­sive pol­ish­ing has a ten­dency to dam­age or wear through the clear coat, so it’s not some­thing that we rec­om­mend do­ing of­ten.

A wax is like sun­screen for your car. It adds a layer of pro­tec­tion from UV rays to pre­vent fading, as well as any­thing that may land on the paint. It pre­serves your high gloss fin­ish and is avail­able in a car­nauba or poly­mer form. Both types of wax per­form the same, but a poly­mer wax won’t haze as it dries and can usu­ally be wiped off soon af­ter ap­ply­ing.

We rec­om­mend wax­ing your car about four times a year to en­sure the shell of your car re­mains cov­ered with a shiny pro­tec­tive shield. If you don’t have the time (or the en­ergy), then we rec­om­mend you book your car in with a pro­fes­sional at the end of spring and au­tumn to pro­tect it against the sum­mer’s harm­ful UV rays and the harsh el­e­ments of win­ter. A clean wind­screen and win­dows is not only im­por­tant to the over­all look of your car, but is also es­sen­tial for your safety. Grab an au­to­mo­tive glass cleaner and mi­crofi­bre cloth from your lo­cal re­tailer and get stuck in, and don’t for­get your mir­rors. While you’re there en­sure your wiper blades are in good con­di­tion and that your wind­screen washer fluid is kept at the rec­om­mended con­cen­tra­tion and the bot­tle is full.

While you’re pay­ing all this at­ten­tion to the body work and get­ting it gleam­ing, kneel down and take a brush to those wheels be­fore tip­ping out the wash wa­ter.

Baked on brake dust and tar splashes may take ex­tra prod­uct to shift, so a foam­ing cleaner to soften dirt and grime or a mild sol­vent to dis­solve tar may be re­quired.

Once the tyres are dry, some tyre dress­ing will en­hance the rub­ber and make those tyres shine like new!

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