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Dear Start My Car,
I hope that everyone is healthy and is observing the “Lockdown” per the requirement. It is not easy, but I am grateful, when I look at what is happening around the world, that the SA Government has acted swiftly and decisively.
Start My Car deliveries will continue as soon as we are cleared to do so. But that doesn’t mean that we are not busy. On the contrary. We are using this time to add additional product s and functionality to the site. We are also taking orders, which we will push out the minute we get the go-ahead. Please have a look at the site and let me have your feedback.
I have included a fun article below about April’s Fool being cancelled this year. Hope you enjoy.In the meantime, I won’t wish you “Safe driving” but I will wish you safety and health for you and your families.
We are into the second week of lockdown, and many of us probably find ourselves with some extra time on our hands and a mild to severe case of cabin fever. If there was ever a great time to give your car a proper valet, it would be now.
Not the usual wet brush with some car shampoo followed by a rinse and chamois. We talking about the ultimate home car valet, which leaves a glazed finish that slicks off water and makes it hard for dirt to stick. Have a look at the list below (which is adapted from https://www.carmag.co.za/technical-blog/car-care-home-valet). Even if you don't follow all of the advice , there are a number of tips worth noting.
Read on for the five steps to a concours look:
1. Washing is an important first step, because you have to remove the loose contaminants from the surface. It must not be done haphazardly, and the following pointers should be kept in mind.
• Rinse the entire vehicle first. This will help to cool the surface and rinse away loose debris.
• Start at the top and work down.
• Do not use household detergents, because they will strip wax and burn the paint. Rather use a good pH-balanced car shampoo. Start My Car sell Shield, Holts and Waxco car shampoos to suit every budget.
• Don't wash in direct sunlight or when the paintwork is hot to the touch. The soap will leave marks that are not easy to remove. In addition, on older cars the oils in the paint will rise to the top and be stripped off.
• Use one bucket for the wash solution and another for the rinsing cloth.
• The final rinse should be done with a stream of water, not a spray.
• Always remember to dry the door jambs.
2. Preparing the surface follows next. This entails removing contaminants and other defects that washing alone cannot achieve.
• A number of specialist products are available to help remove contaminants. One of them is a stick made up of special clay, not unlike modelling clay, called a clay bar. If it is rubbed over a painted surface, it will pick up any dirt particles, even if they are embedded in the surface. Click here to see our clay bar cleaning kit
• Don't use compounds that are excessively abrasive.
• Desirable paint qualities, such as gloss, clarity, and durability, will only show up if the paint is perfectly clean.
3. Polishing is the next task.
The aim here is to produce a brilliant high gloss, and for the best results you should use a pure polish, rather than a product sold as a wax/polish.
• Dullness is mostly caused by oxidation of the outer paint layer, so that regular polishing is the best way to maintain a high gloss. It is especially effective on the darker colours.Have a look at our colour specific range of colour match waxes from Holts.
• Polish also nourishes and conditions the paint, and creates the ultimate wet-look show-car shine.
4. Applying a protective wax to preserve the shine is vital.
Note that many polishes also contain some wax, so that this step is only necessary if you want the ultimate protection.
• Use only a good quality wax that offers ultra-violet protection as well as resistance against alkaline and acidic deposits. Click here to see our Waxco platinum clear coat wax.Waxing should slow down oxidation, and prevent bonding of contaminants.
• Applying a second or third coat of wax will provide even more protection, but there is no further benefit after the third coat.
5. Maintaining a good surface condition helps to prolong shine.
• You should frequently remove contaminants before they can etch or bond onto the surface. Bird droppings are very destructive, and should be removed as soon as possible.
• Needless to say, you don't have to go through the above procedure every time you wash the car.
The frequency will depend on the paint's condition, the nature of the defects, the quality of products used, how much time you have to spend on the car, and how important the car's appearance is to you. A nearly-new car will only need a wash and wax, but an older car usually needs the full treatment.
In next weeks article, we take an in depth look at the different components of your vehicle, and what to use and not to use to clean them.
In the meantime, stay safe!
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