We recently wrote about keeping your car detailed, which inspired me to ask you folks about your choices in car detailing. Or car cleaning. Or the restoration of a vehicle's interior and exterior. Whatever we want to call it, let's just say it is the "stuff" we need to cosmetically restore our beloved machines.
What's my favorite product? I will choose my most recent purchase: the carpet extractor. Here's a fun (fun?) video on why this is a great tool to have to keep your car clean and fresh.
Detailing vehicles is an art and it takes allot of time in order to do it right. I've been happy with the Meguiar's line of products. They are easy to use and their website has various videos showing you how to use their many products.
The video included with this article showed cleaning of the interior of a vehicle. I honestly think there was allot of water used in this process especially on the seats and floors. The majority of vehicles today will have heated seats. So, if you introduce allot of water I'm sure it will affect the heating grid in the seat. I used to work for a automotive dealership and had a customer who left his sunroof opened during a rain storm. He obviously forgot it was open. In any event the heating grids of his heated seats shorted needing replacement. This could be a costly venture especially when you have to remove the set cover on the base of the seat to replace the heating grid. If you're replacing that at the dealership it will take several hours in order to complete the task. I think being very careful when cleaning seats is of utmost important. Any comments on this matter would be appreciated.
I think a great topic that Hagerty could do is to do a series of how to videos on the detailing process. Included could be outlining polishing technics in removing scratches and swirls and the products used in this process. Then, the next step would be the polishing or waxing of the vehicle, the type of pads used and the speed that your polisher should be at. There are various polishers on the market today that if used correctly can make your vehicle's paint stand out. If you're not familiar with the various polishers you could seriously damage the paint on your vehicle. Have you ever seen a vehicle from a distance and you see swirls all over the side's? That's probably from the misuse of a polisher wherein the user was using excessive pressure when doing their polishing.
The internet is full of videos (YouTube) showing various techniques of detaining cars. I've gotten to use a 2 bucket method when washing wherein I have 1 bucket with warm water and the other bucket with my soap solution. Both buckets should have grit guards in the bottom so that you are keeping the grit and sand off of your vehicle. The number 1 rule in washing your vehicle is: DO NOT USE DISH SOAP! The using of dish soap with remove the clear coating on your vehicle. And also never wash your vehicle in the sun. The sun will bake your soapy solution and/or cause water spots which will not be very appealing to you the owner. When I'm done washing my vehicle I always launder my wash mitts and chamois separately and I place them in a Zip Lock bag to keep them from getting any grit on them.
These are just some ideas and tips when I detail my vehicles. I live in Canada so we deal with allot of different weather situations as well as harsh winters which can take a toll on vehicles.
Hopefully, Hagerty can help us all out by producing some how to videos of proper detailing techniques including the interior ie seats (heated or not), clay baring, consoles, headliners etc.
Keep up the great work Hagerty. I really enjoy your information, articles, magazine and topics.
I have been a fond user of Meguiars products for many years and have always found them to be consistent and of good quality which allows quality results when the product is used as directed. I still regard Meguiars to be a top quality product at a sensible price without getting into the elitist stuff at insane prices. As SS has already said, detailing is all about a bit of common sense and being able to assess what actually needs doing....I always use a random orbit polisher. At this time with most classic cars that are at least 20 years old ceramics are not a good choice unless the paint is absolutely perfect....these are far more suited to modern paint finishes.....ceramics have become the latest catch phrase but are not entirely suited to all paint finishes,
Just a few words and they have beat all tests, “THE LAST COAT” of products. Meguiars used to be good, until they sold out. Now most of their stuff is what is found on Walmart shelves. Want the very best Ceramic Coat your ride. Yep over $1,000 to $1,500, once done, it’s DONE!
I can’t say one item as it takes a combination of items to get a perfect shine.
But if I had to pick one my favorite is the final coat which is Pete’s Black Pearl Wax from Chemical guys. It is a great product.
‘My go to polish is 3M machine polish and micro finish for dark paint.
Then I have a combination of products that depend on the paint and condition I am working on.
I use Gtechniq products on my C7 Corvette. I wanted my car to have that liquid look to the paint like you see in professional car photos. The car has a ceramic coating on top of the PPF, and it does have the liquid look. The car absolutely shimmers in the sun with its metallic paint. The most stunning Gtechniq product I have used is their C2V3 Liquid Crystal detailer. It's easy to use and adds gloss and protection to the PPF, but amazingly, when you lightly spray the detailer on a wet car panel after you've washed off the car wash, it acts as a drying aid and all the beaded water is picked up by a microfiber towel. No water remains on the panel, so no water streaks ever. Never used anything like it.
I have not waxed my Corvette in at least 30 years. Looks better than when I sold it 23 years earlier, before I purchased it back. One of the owners in that 23 year absence had it repainted with same color and clear coat. In the 7 years I have had it back, the only way I have cleaned it is pressure wash with plain water and dry with Fireman's Friend wiping cloth. It is stored inside, not a daily driver, no chemicals have been used at this point.