After the fifth year, your family car starts showing signs of wear and tear. Instead of shining as it once did, its exterior turns into a dull, oxidized surface full of scratches.
As a car lover, you’ll have a hard time accepting this turn of events. You’ll want your car to regain that new-car-shine it had when it left the showroom. But how? Here’s what to do.
Wash and Dry the Paintwork
Start by washing off all the dirt from the surface of your car. However, avoid using regular soaps, detergents, or dish-washing liquids. Likewise, steer clear of kitchen sponges, washcloths, and old towels.
Although they’re readily available, these household products strips off the wax and then both damage and scratch the paint. So in their place, use car wash soaps. And for drying, opt for car wash mitts and microfiber towels.
The car surface is now clean but not necessarily free of contaminants. To find an affected area, run your hand over the paintwork. And look for any bumpy or grainy spots, a tell-tale sign of contamination. If you find any, remove them using a combination of detailing clay and car wash soap.
Repair Surface Scratches
With the dirt and contaminants out of the way, now examine the car paint for water-spot etches, fine scratches, and swirl marks. Then remove them using an over-the-counter scratch remover polish.
But be warned. It won’t be easy, especially if you choose to rub out the paint damage by hand, not by machine. Remember, modern cars come with tough clear coat finishes. Older models with their softer coats, however, pose no problem.
Polish the Repaired Surface
Despite your best efforts to repair surface scratches, a few always remain. And here’s where polishing the repaired surface comes in. It not only removes any leftover swirl marks, but also begins the process of restoring the shine.
So pick out excellent car polish. And apply it either by hand or by machine. Once you’re finished, the paintwork will have a glossy finish.
Seal the Polish
Although the polished paint looks glossy and perfect, it won’t remain so for long if you fail to seal it. So pick a high-quality acrylic sealant and apply it using a microfiber cloth. But avoid applying a thick layer of polish, hoping to achieve a better shine.
Besides being harder to work on, the layer is also harder to wipe off once you’re finished. Worse still, it wastes the expensive sealant.
Wax the Polish to a Shine
With the sealant applied, now move to the final step as far as the car exterior is concerned – waxing with a foam or microfiber applicator. The wax adds depth and brings out the color of the paint. And as it reflects light, it turns dark-colored surfaces into mirrors for that perfect shine.
Touch Up the Tires
The last step is also the most overlooked – touching up the tires. Remember, a perfectly waxed car still looks drab if it has dirty, dull tires. Fortunately, getting your tires to shine again is easy if you have a tire shine, some elbow grease, and time on your hands. A lot of tire shine spray brands have spray-on let-dry versions, which is perfect for the time-conscious, and for topping up on the go. You don’t need any special applicators or even a microfibre.
The tricky bit is knowing how to pick the best tire shine. For this, read as many online reviews as you can. Only then can you pick the product best suited for your needs.
Getting your family car to absolutely shine is not hard if you know and follow the right steps in the right order. For instance, removing the dirt, contaminants, and scratches always precede polishing, sealing, and waxing. Touching up the tires always comes last.