Welcome to the club! Looks like you live right around the block....figuratively speaking.Read the above (car washing) with great interest. Just purchased a 2007 Sky (Black) and the issue of auto car washing never occurred to me before purchase. The prior owner kept this car in the garage. I may or may not have access to a garage. How good are car covers? any recommended type/brand? Very few nicks in the paint. Is there something I should do initially to maintain the finish? Is there a recommended detailer in the Fairfax, Burke, Springfield, VA area? Recommended car washing materials to purchase? Thanks.
Welcome to the club! Looks like you live right around the block....figuratively speaking.
I keep it covered daily....but I have the option not to drive it in bad weather. Problem with a cover is you shouldn't cover a wet or dirty car, so if you must drive it on wet days you have to give up the cover on those days. And what do you do with a wet cover? On the flip side, if you live around any trees around here, they drop stuff ALL THE TIME...almost year round. So keeping it covered is a good idea to avoid that stuff.
It's very hard to manage a cover properly. It can be done. But gotta really think about.
I've had mine three years. 26K miles. Almost all in NOVA. The roads around here are like gravel pits. I've got hundreds of nics on my finish. I pretty much avoid the beltway construction zone.
Best advice. Keep it detailed. Since you need to do it almost daily, might as well do it yourself. Keep it waxed.
Get a California Duster. I use mine just about after every drive.I've had my Sky 3 weeks now and am following the advice given above.
A question I have is how do you get dust off of the car short of a complete wash job? I just came back from a nice drive and parked on concrete close to a gravel lot at a restaurant. Now it has dust on it visible from the seat. I washed it yesterday and don't really want to have to do it again today. It still looks shiny but I want to get the dust off without risk of scratching.
Helpful suggestions. Thanks.Here is an article I wrote for a local newspaper, thought I owuld share it with you.
I spend a great deal of time helping people with their car care needs.
The number one question I get asked is about how to properly wash a
car. Many people are going to automatic car washes these days because
it’s convenient and saves time. The reality is that the best procedure
and the way to ensure a great finish is to hand wash your car
yourself. Before I discuss the steps on hand washing, let’s take look
at the different automatic washes and how they affect your car. I have
had many people tell me their car looks great and all they do is run it
through a car wash once a week or so. I have also heard a number of
people tell me they had wheels damaged, antennas broken, outside
mirrors cracked, and paint swirled from automatic washes. To those
having good luck using automatic washes, eventually your luck will
end. Odds are that at some point your car will get damaged. The brush
car washes come in direct contact with your car’s finish. This is how
swirls occur in paint. The touch-less wash is better for your finish
and is the preferred method for cold weather washes when you can’t do
it yourself outside. The best solution is to make sure you properly
detail your car twice a year, getting a good quality paint sealant on
the finish. Hand wash whenever possible, and only use a touch-less
pressure wash in cold months. If you clay your car during every
complete detail, it will be easier to maintain during the cold months.
(See my web site for how to clay www.perfectautofinish.com)
When you hand wash always use car wash soap -- NEVER use dish detergent
or laundry soap. Work in the shade; the sun can cause water spots.
Use the two bucket method – one bucket for soap, one for rinsing. Use
chenille mitts or micro fiber mitts, don’t use sponges or towels.
Have some all-purpose cleaner on hand for the wheels and tires, Simple
Green or 409 work well. To start, rinse the car, getting it wet from
top to bottom. Starting at the top and working with the soapy water
solution and wash mitt, do a small section at a time, rinsing as you
go. Pay attention to problem areas that won’t come off with the soap,
like tar and overspray. Don’t worry about those areas now; come back
to them after the initial wash. Change water as often as necessary,
depending on how dirty your car is. When you take the mitt from the
soapy water to the finish, return it to the plain water bucket, that
way you won’t transfer contaminants back to your car. After you wash
the entire vehicle, rinse well. Before you get to the wheels and
tires, you should dry the car so water spots don’t occur. To dry, use
an electric leaf blower and a waffle weave micro fiber towel. Don’t
use terri towels or chamois because they can scratch the finish. The
electric leaf blower will get water out from behind emblems, trim,
molding and other areas where water can sit and hide. Next, spray some
all purpose cleaner on the tires and wheels. Use a wheel brush and
soapy water to clean tires, wheels and wheel wells. For stubborn brake
dust, use an alkaline cleaner (see my web site for more info) then
rinse well. Now go back and inspect the finish. If you see any
foreign contaminant on the finish, use a small piece of clay to remove
it. Spray some water based dressing on the tires, stay away from
solvent dressings. Make sure you move the car up a little to dress the
underside of the tire. Apply a coat of wax or paint sealant on
wheels. Keep in mind that it is extremely important to clay your car;
this procedure removes surface contaminants that do not come off during
the wash cycle. (for claying information see my web site) Drying your
car without removing these particles will create all sorts of problems
like swirls and scratches. If you follow these simple guidelines you
will keep your car looking its best.
Gary Kouba, Owner Perfect Auto Finish