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What Are Some Of The Steps Involved In Detailing A Car Properly?

Aug 18, 2007
Modern automotive finishes are relatively thin and normally range from 4 to 6 mils in overall thickness, including anti-corrosion coatings. The actual color coat on a vehicle is characteristically the thinnest coating. The exterior paint layer is a clear coat and it is thermo set. This clear finish is only 2 mils thick, and is comparable to the thickness of a piece of paper. The bumper and other soft parts of modern vehicles are made of plastic which is coated with a paint that has been modified to take the impact from road debris such as flying rocks.

Before detailing a car you will want to do an appropriate paint evaluation which must be preceded by thoroughly washing the vehicle and drying it completely. You must use a bug and tar remover to get rid of any unwanted stains that may have been resistant to the washing. After this conduct a thorough evaluation of the paint finish. This will determine the best care treatment.

When evaluating the paint finish, pay careful attention to any swirl marks present on the finish. The reduction of swirl marks will lead to your best results in revealing the vehicle's shine and beauty. Always study the paint condition while in bright light. Swirl marks will appear in bright light even on light colored cars, using this technique.

Use the palm of your hand to assess the smoothness of the finish. If the finish feels rough to your touch, this means that contaminants have bonded to the finish. Also take note that surface stains, black marks, or water-run marks can appear to be under the paint and this will show up as a result of surface contaminants.

A variety of vehicles will have several different finishes all on the same vehicle.
Hand use of the swirl removable works best. Where there are softer coatings, such as the lower body panels and bumper areas, start with the less aggressive removals or compounds. You want to just cut into the swirl and nothing more. The harder the paint, the harder the cleaning agent can be used.

Clay bars work well with dark vehicles that have not been detailed properly.
Once you have washed the vehicle, use a one step liquid wax to apply to the exterior paint. This will give you the additional lubrication necessary for the clay bar cleaning process.

Clay bars are combined with a liquid spray lubricant. This will prevent the clay from sticking where the spray lubricant thins out. Using the clay bar will safely remove all surface contaminants.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about car detailing as well as car wax at http://www.waxyourauto.com
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