Spring Car Care
We all know about spring cleaning for your house, but what about spring cleaning for your car? Paint, glass, wheels, trim, engine, interior, etc. all of it needs to be cleaned when spring rolls around. Once you've thoroughly spring cleaned your vehicle after the winter months, the rest is just maintenance!
Your Ultimate Spring Time Detail Guide
When you love your car as much as we do, you find yourself preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. For those that live up North, the winter months can be the worst. Not only is your car being subjected to extreme weather conditions, you also have to deal with the road salt, mud, ice, and snow being slung all over your paint. You can protect with layers of wax, waterless washes every few days, and a paint coating here or there, but try as you might, you just can't keep your paint clean for 3 months out of the year. Just when you think you can't stand it anymore, spring comes - and with it, a whole new detailing routine.
We all know about spring cleaning for your house, but what about spring cleaning for your car? Paint, glass, wheels, trim, engine, interior, etc. all of it needs to be cleaned when spring rolls around. Once you've thoroughly spring cleaned your vehicle after the winter months, the rest is just maintenance! Here's what we recommend starting with:
1. Wash Your Wheels and Tires
The best detailing practices tell you to start from the bottom up when washing your car, and that means tacking your wheels and tires first. Depending on how soiled they got during the winter months, a heavier strength cleaner may be necessary.
Here's the DP Dual Action Tire & Wheel Cleaner in action:
|DP Dual Action Tire & Wheel Cleaner will quickly and easily dissolve and loosen the baked on dirt and brake dust on your tires and wheels, making scrubbing them off easier than ever before!|
Wolfgang Tire & Wheel Cleaner is a gel formula that clings to both the tire and the wheel surface to penetrate below the surface. It loosens brake dust that has crept into tiny holes in the metal and into the pores of the rubber. A little agitation with a brush will allow Wolfgang to work even better.
If the wheels have brake dust that's caked-on, consider a more powerful wheel cleaner. Pinnacle Advanced Wheel Cleaner Concentrate is a professional grade wheel cleaner that forgoes caustic acids, butyl ethers, and other harsh detergents that do more harm than good. Pinnacle Advanced Wheel Cleaner Concentrate changes colors as it dissolves brake dust and the concentrated formula can be diluted up to 1:3 with water for maintenance cleaning.
Check out our full, "How to Detail Wheels & Tires" guide for more information on the proper cleaning of your tires and wheels!
2. Wash & Dry Your Car's Exterior
Even if you've been supplementing your usual dual bucket washing method with rinseless and waterless washes, a full car wash is in order now that it's warm out again.
Starting from the first shot, BLACKFIRE Foam Soap creates huge amounts of suds and foam, and in seconds your entire vehicle will be coated!
First, consider the type of washing medium you are using. As a rule of thumb, sponges and mitts that are plush or have a deep nap are better than flat weave towels or dense sponges. For example, a Natural Sea Sponge has numerous deep compartments where dirt and debris can accumulate. The natural fibers themselves will not scratch the paint and they will essentially pull contamination into the sponge's openings, away from the paint.
Micro-chenille wash mitts are another paint-safe option. Microfiber's combination of polyester and polyamide make it capable of scrubbing the paint without scratching or swirling. It traps dirt and grit within the fibers rather than leaving them on the surface of your vehicle. Be sure to rinse the mitt frequently to release these particles.
Check out our full, "How to Properly Wash & Dry Your Car" guide for more information on the proper washing of your vehicles!
Even if you're not planning on doing a full compound and polish this spring, decontaminating your paint with detailing clay or a detailing clay synthetic product is a good idea. You'll be able to remove embedded contaminates that will hinder the overall gloss and shine of your paint. Even if you don't think you see them, they're there and they need to be removed!
Using a synthetic clay wash mitt like the Speed Master Clay Mitt allows you to combine two steps into one - wash and decontaminate at the same time!
You can also use the Speed Master Clay Mitt with a dedicated clay lubricant for a more traditional decontamination.
Check out our full, "How to Use Auto Detailing Clay" guide for more information on claying with both traditional and advanced decontamination tools!
4. Perfect Your Paint
Remove every trace of winter by compounding and/or polishing your paint! Some of the quick washes you did during the winter may have resulted in some swirls and scratches and you may need to inspect your paint after washing. If need be, you'll have to polish and compound your paint back to perfection.There are so many combinations of product you can use, and each one is different for each situation. If you want something more "one step", check out the Pinancle Souveran Jeweling Wax - it will remove minor paint imperfections and also leave behind a "Souveran" worthy shine!
Mike Phillips used the Pinnacle Souveran Jeweling Wax on this 2014 Maserti GT Sport to fully correct the paint of swirls and light scratches, while also leaving behind a layer of protection that shines like none other.
5. Now Protect!
After all of that hard work washing and rinsing away the winter months, you have to protect your paint and make sure it's ready for the warmer weather! That means layering your favorite carnauba wax, synthetic paint sealant, or even a paint coating for ultimate protection.
|The simple 2 step application process of DP "Not Your Father's" SiO2 Paste Wax will prove to you that SiO2 protection does not have to mean a difficult application!|
To find out which product works best for you and your vehicle, check out this article by Mike Phillips: 3-Categories: Waxes, Paint Sealants and Coatings. Then head on over to the Autogeek How-To Car Care guide for more information on the perfect application technique!
6. Don't Skip the Interior!
The interior of your car or truck certainly takes a beating over the winter months. If you don't have some sort of floor mat protection, your carpet will simply soak up the snow and ice that gets tracked in. Then add on the heat that's always cranked up during the winter and your car can start to smell a little musty. But don't worry, freshening up your interior is easy!
BLACKFIRE Interior detailer can be used on all interior surfaces – including leather, vinyl, plastic, and even LCD navigation and television screens!
Check out our full, "Interior Cleaning and Conditioning How To's" guide for more information on interior cleaning!