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It's all in the Details - Part 1

Detailing VS Washing your car – Do it like a pro!

It’s no secret that maintaining your car’s engine is essential to protecting its reliability and value. Pickering’s Auto Service in Lakewood and Arvada have been telling you that for years. The same holds true for the rest of your vehicle. Keeping up on cleaning and repairs to the exterior of your vehicle will allow you to have an “ALMOST just like new” feeling and the pride of ownership that we all enjoy. 

Now don’t be mistaken. Pickering’s DOES NOT perform detailing on cars. Nor do they do paint or body work. But they ARE interested in helping you keep your car’s value as high as possible, and that is why this blog is being posted. You can scheduling appointments for mechanical work on their website.

Detailing differs from mere washing in that detailing offers a top-to-bottom cleaning using specialized tools and products specifically designed for your auto. A detailer may also perform light cosmetic procedures, but they do not perform paint or bodywork.

Detailing isn’t that tough, but it does take some time and knowledge.  The following are a few tips for detailing the exterior of your car:

Keep the outside washed and waxed
Don’t use a sponge to wash your car. Sponges trap grit that then can cause small scratches in the finish. It’s like washing your vehicle with sandpaper. Opt for a microfiber towel or mitt. And, do not use dish soap. Get an auto soap that will dissolve and clean away contaminants like brake dust, road salt, bird droppings and
tree sap.

Hand dry your car with a clean microfiber towel. DO NOT AIR DRY – this can cause spots.

Same goes for waxing and buffing. A micro fiber towel works best for application and buffing. Throw away all those old rags…you don’t need them and shouldn’t use them on your car. A good wax will help keep contaminants away from your clear coat in the future.

If your auto has plastic trim, use a protectant formulated specifically for plastics. 

Glam up those wheels
Use an acid-based product to clean and shine your wheels. The road grime - tar, dirt, and road chemicals – is tough to remove any other way.

Use a separate product to clean and protect your tires (which Pickering does sell, by the way), while giving them that new car, high-gloss shine.

Clean the windows
Some products on the market can do double duty. Various waxes can be used on both the car’s finish and its exterior glass to help repel water and contaminants.

Get in those “other” areas, too
The “inner” exterior needs cleaned, too. Door jams and trunk seal areas are prime grime catchers. Pop the hood and wipe around that, also (but keep water away from any electrical). Fender folds need a little extra T.L.C.

Light up the headlights
If your headlights have yellowed or been scratched and have a frosted look, see if you can clean them or look into having them professionally restored by Pickering’s Auto Service. You can start by cleaning them with soap or a product like Windex, then try an abrasive product like Bartender’s Friend or even toothpaste and baking soda mixed together to form a paste!

Brandon Pickering, General Manager of Pickering’s Auto Service says, “It doesn’t matter how clean and pretty your car looks on the outside, if it isn’t running well – that’s a problem. We’d like the chance to help you with any of the systems problems your car, truck or SUV might be experiencing, whether it’s electrical, exhaust, brakes, AC, etc. And yes, we even sell tires!”

Tune in next month for Part 2!

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