Auto-Maintenance: Car Washing dos and dont’s

All vehicle owners admit, car washing is an essential part of car maintenance.  Although there are a million car-wash-service shops around, vehicle owners sometimes find themselves washing their own cars.  It may be because of necessity (the nearest car wash is a mile away), or because they find car-washing a relaxing task.  Besides, if one of the kids wants to borrow the car, this could be a good barter agreement.

Here are a few tips on how to wash your car:

Let’s start with what you should not do to your car.

  1. Do not wait for your car to get a crusty before you start considering washing it down.  Dirt and other chemicals form bugs, droppings, and the pollution all have acids that can damage your car’s paint eventually.  If you let the dirt stand far too long, you might even need to have your vehicle sanded and repainted.
  2. Do not use what you can find inside the house as a cleaning solution for your car.  You car paint is sensitive and may react adversely to soap, dishwashing liquid and glass cleaners.  You will just strip off the protective wax on the paint if you use these products.
  3. Do not wash your car when the body is still hot from driving or from direct sunlight. It’s more likely that you leave spots on the car’s body since the heat will dry up the soap and water faster than you can rinse and wipe the vehicle down.
  4. Do not leave circular marks by moving your cleaning sponge in a circle. Move your sponge lengthwise.
  5. Do not use a sponge that dropped to the floor unless you have already rinsed the sponge thoroughly.  The sponge may have picked up small debris from the floor and this could cause scratches on your car.
  6. Do not let the car dry out by itself, or drive it around to shake the water off. You will have a car with water marks, which makes it look too much like an unprofessional job.

And now for what you should do:

  1. Do wash dead bugs and all these types of dirt off your car immediately.  However, you can just wash that one area and then just do weekly car washes on your car to keep the finish longer.
  2. Do wash your car after acid rain; you do not have to thoroughly clean it, just rinse the rain water off with water and it will be fine.
  3. Do use the appropriate cleaning solution or shampoo for your car.  These products are mild enough to use on automobile paint.
  4. Do use a large and soft natural sponge to apply the shampoo to your car’s body.  This will assure you that no abrasions will be left on your car’s body paint.
  5. Do use a car wax after washing to protect the car’s paint.
  6. Do use a separate sponge to clean the wheels and tires. These parts can have deposits of abrasive dirt such as sand that can cause scratches to the vehicle’s body if the same sponge is used.
  7. Do use a lint-free rag and chamois to dry your car. Blot the water dry instead of dragging the rag or cloth across.

See: Gas credit card

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