The Art Of Keeping Your Car Looking Beautiful

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We all know that obsessive person when it comes to keeping their car clean. They’re out there every weekend with a bucket and a hose, washing their car and making sure it looks like they just drove it off the lot. But what about those people that only wash their car once a year? Yea, they exist. So, here’s what to do in order to ensure that your car looks like the day you bought it for years to come.

1. Use an automated car wash, preferably without swirling brushes. 
Automated car washes are great for people who are either too busy, or too lazy to wash their car by hand. But be careful as to which automated car wash you decide to use. Swirling brushes get their name for a reason, the swirl around, and that’s exactly what they’ll do to your paint. Even if it isn’t completely noticeable to the naked eye, there’s a pretty big chance that you’ve added new swirl marks to your paintwork. Those brushes in car washes are seldom cleaned so the accumulated sand, grit and other debris is being swirled across your paintwork every time the brush passes over. Some car washes use synthetic brushes that are better at shedding dirt and debris, but it’ still not failsafe.

2. Avoid car washes that hand dry your car. 
If there are people hand drying your car after it’s passed through the car wash, it can be almost as bad as using a brushing car wash. Chances are the towels they are using haven’t been washed. Drying your car with a dirty towel simply swirls the grit from other cars around your paintwork.

3. Avoid high pressure “touchless” car wash. 
The name sounds great, if it doesn’t touch my car, then it can’t really mess up my paint job, right? Wrong again. If your car is exceptionally dirty, hitting it with high pressure water can push debris across your paintwork and still cause those awful swirl marks. Even if your car is clean, you aren’t safe. Most car washes use recycled water, and no matter how hard they try, or what they tell you, it isn’t possible to remove all the contaminants, so every squirt of high pressure water is effectively sand-blasting your paintwork. Another problem with these car washes is they may use a higher concentration of detergent which will quickly strip off the wax you so carefully applied (you do apply wax, don’t you?) And as if that isn’t bad enough, touchless car washes don’t even remove all the dirt from your car. Look closely and you’ll see a hazy film of grime remains on the surface after the wash. If you still decide to use a touchless self-serve car wash, always start the wash on high-pressure rinse and before you point it at your car, run it for at least 20 seconds against the wall to clear out any harsh chemicals left in the lines.

4. Remove bird droppings as soon as possible. 
Birds are simply the evilest creatures on the face of the planet when it comes to your car. It doesn’t matter how far away from a tree your park; a bird WILL find a way to poop on your car. When it does happen, it’s somehow proportionately close to the last time your washed your car. Bird dropping contain a high level of acid in each fun little spot, which can cause damage to the paint surface of your car. And here in Florida, the sun makes it even worse. Direct sunlight gives the acid a little kick, which can damage your car even more. Your best course of action against bird droppings is to was them off immediately. The longer you let the droppings sit on your car, the more time the acid has time to do its magic.

5. Don’t refuse to wash your car just because “it’s only going to get dirty again”. 
The longer you let dirty and grime sit on your car, the longer it has a chance of doing more damage to your paint job. So, just wash it already. Getting your car dirty again is just a fact of life, unless you live in some super clean safe space.

6. Leave some room behind that vehicle in front of you. 
In Florida, especially Orlando, we understand that tourists will fit a 15 passenger van into the smallest possible space you leave between your car in the vehicle in front of you, that’s just life. The closer you are to the car in front of you just makes you a punching bag for all the junk they’re slinging off the road. Every noise you hear hitting your car is damaging your paint job.

7. Stay far away from the interstate, freeway, construction sites, and industrial areas. 
Finding a parking space in Orlando can be impossible at time, but don’t be tempted to park anywhere near a i4, the toll roads, or in a heavy industrial or construction area. What appears to be tiny flecks in your paintwork is actually microscopic pieces of metal and other pollutants sent into the atmosphere from car and train brakes. They sit there unnoticed until they bloom as tiny rust dots all over your paintwork. Caught early, they can often be wiped off, but once they get established, you’ll need a clay bar or even an acid wash to get rid of them.

8. Don’t brake hard and often. 
This is another inevitable fact of living in Orlando, but braking creates dust, and doing it hard and often creates more dust that can settle on your cars paint. 9. Wax your car twice a year. Wax is a protective coating for your paintwork and over time it breaks down. Wax should be applied twice a year, usually before winter and before summer. Seeing as we live in Florida, that’s before summer, and well, before summer again. Make sure to use a well-known reputable brand, apply it in the shade and be sure to take your time.
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