Car Care Tips
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOUR VEHICLE’S FINISH?
Regular washing should continue year-round, no matter the weather. But don’t stop there. Read on for additional tips on what to do.
Chips near windshield edges are harder to see, and more prone to spread as temperatures change. Repair small chips promptly, and improve your odds by keeping your distance from the vehicle ahead.
Snow and ice buildup:
Scrapers can scratch paint, window tint and mirrors. Use them only for window exteriors.
Clamp-on ski and surf board racks:
Can scratch and dent roofs if improperly installed.
Broken tire chains
Can damage fenders and wheel wells. Install per manufacturer instructions, drive at reduced speeds, don’t drive chained-up on dry roads, and remove broken chains immediately.
Christmas trees tied to roofs and trunks
Can scratch, scuff and dent. On reaching home, promptly remove ties, string or rope.
Hedges along driveways and roads will scratch
Vehicle finishes. Avoid them if possible, trim them back where you can.
Be careful using razor blades on old window stickers
And remember that commercial solvents can also damage paint. Use bug and tar removers specifically designed for automobiles.
Remove tree droppings as soon as possible.
Globs of pitch on paint and glass won’t yield to normal washing, but should come off easily if manufacturer-recommended cleaning agents are used while the pitch is fresh. (Never use scouring pads or razor blades.)
Fresh tar and oil are everywhere.
Avoid new paving if possible. If not, try to remove asphalt spatter while it’s fresh, using manufacturer-recommended cleaners. A detail shop may be needed to remove road striping paint, so try not to cross fresh-painted lines.
Spots on sun-heated vehicles
Are often caused by mineral deposits from drying water adhering to paint and glass. Avoid parking near sprinklers, and direct home sprinklers away from your car. Most spots can be rubbed out with paint-cleaning compound. Consult a detail shop, or we’ll show you how to do it yourself
Wash gas stains
From around the fuel filler door as quickly as possible.
Automotive trim is often affixed with plastic or metal clips that rust, and glue or tape that loses adhesiveness over time.
You’re likely to notice damage
To the driver’s side as soon as you get in or out; but check the passenger side now and then as well.
Don’t park at the unprotected end of a row, and seek spaces next to new and/or well–kept vehicles.
Enter your car between the lines
To give folks next to you room to open their doors without banging yours.
If kids are playing ball nearby
Seek street parking elsewhere, or risk returning to find dimples, marks or dents.
Merely brushing against a dirty car
Can mark the finish, so never lean against your car, rest grocery bags on hood or roof, or jostle keys against the metal while unlocking doors or trunk.
The world’s leading carmakers agree.
Problems that not even the best (that would be us :) car wash can solve:
CAUSE: Tree leaves sitting on vehicle surface.
EFFECT: Dead leaves discharge tannin. Tannin is a type of acidic dye and will stain vehicle paint.
CORRECTION: Remove leaves and try to wash vehicle as soon as possible. Don’t allow leaves to dry on the paint. If stains are already present, removing them will require the use of special cleaners.
CAUSE: Driving on freshly paved roads. Hot days can soften asphalt, drawing oils to the surface.
EFFECT: Tires sling tar and oils onto your vehicle. Once dry, they bond to the surface.
CORRECTION: Remove as soon as possible, bearing in mind that solvents designed to remove tar also remove wax and protectants.
CAUSE: Bird droppings contain acid, berries, and grit from the bird’s diet.
EFFECT: Acids penetrate and etch. Grit can cause scratching when being removed. Berries stain, causing permanent damage to painted surfaces.
CORRECTION: Timing is critical; remove immediately. Do not rub off. Soften droppings with a wet cloth or sponge, then carefully blot to remove.
FROM GROWTH – Mold & Algae
CAUSE: Prolonged exposure to low light and humid conditions, such as parking under trees in wintertime.
EFFECT: Mold and algae start to grow on the vehicle surface, most heavily in crevasses and corners.
CORRECTION: If exposure to these conditions can’t be avoided, the best way to control their effects is to wash your vehicle at least twice a month..
FROM SCRATCHES - On Painted Surfaces
CAUSE: Placing items like groceries, boxes, on top of, leaning against, painted surfaces.
EFFECT: However careful we try to be, such items can scratch the paint.
CORRECTION: Place items on the ground or in shopping carts to load/unload, not on roof, hood, trunk or against other painted surfaces.
CAUSE: Flying insects collecting on painted surfaces.
EFFECT: Bugs with hard shells can pit paint immediately; acids can etch into paint if not removed promptly. As temperature increases, effects are accelerated.
CORRECTION: Remove as soon as possible.
CAUSE: Brake dust bonding to the wheel surface.
EFFECT: Extreme heat from braking in normal driving can cause brake dust to accumulate on wheels and cause pitting.
CORRECTION: Frequent washing keeps brake dust from accumulating. Once pitting occurs, damage is permanent.
CAUSE: Bees discharge a yellow waxy substance that dries quickly.
EFFECT: Bee pollen is acidic and adheres to the finish, making it difficult to remove.
CORRECTION: Remove as soon as possible by soaking. Do not use household cleaners or scrape the paint surface with a fingernail or sharp object.
CAUSE: Parking under trees during summertime, when sap emissions increase with rising temperatures.
EFFECT: Sap and other emissions may drop as globs, or as a thin blanket over the entire vehicle, adhering and hardening on the finish.
CORRECTION: Thin layers of sap easily wash off before drying. Removing globs of sap requires solvents, which also remove wax and protectants, so be careful, and bear in mind that fingernails or sharp objects will scratch paint. Once sap dries, permanent damage results.
CAUSE: Commercially sold cleaners containing dangerous acids.
EFFECT: By stripping a molecular layer from the metal surface, these cleaners can pit the wheel’s finish.
CORRECTION: Avoid using acid-based commercial wheel cleaners. Refer to owner’s manual for manufacturer recommendations or contact Kaady Car Wash Customer Service.
CAUSE: Hard water drying on paint, leaving mineral deposits.
EFFECT: Mineral deposits bond to paint, leaving white spots that can’t be removed with normal washing.
CORRECTION: Removal usually requires special polishes or clay bar, depending on the type of minerals in the water and how long it has stood on the paint. See owner’s manual for manufacturer recommendations or contact Kaady Car Wash Customer Service. Be alert to your surroundings when parking, keeping a distance from sprinklers or other areas where your vehicle may be sprayed with water
EFFECT: Paint whitens and becomes dull or hazy.
CORRECTION: In most cases the only satisfactory correction is repainting, although sometimes the finish can be brought back with polishing compounds; once the paint becomes oxidized, however, it turns porous, and susceptible to continued deterioration from ongoing oxidation.
Washman Shampoos and Cleaners: The Chemistry is Right
Some car washes, including self-described “touchless” facilities, use harsh detergents or dangerous acids. In fact, the so-called touchless process can remove road grime only by using these substances in conjunction with jet blasts of high-pressure water. This process can strip away a molecular layer from paint and wheels with each wash, and even etch the surface of glass.
That's why Washman uses only state-of-the-art equipment, that are non-acidic, non-corrosive, non-caustic shampoos and cleaning agents, which are manufacture to the highest standards. So dependable are these success-proven, scientifically formulated products that several top automakers use them in the pre-delivery preparation of their new cars, pickups and SUVs.
Going the extra mile to protect your car’s “showroom shine”:
Even with regular washing, in the absence of special protection, UV rays and airborne contaminants, as well as acids from leaf stains, tree sap, bug spatter and bird droppings can eat through the micro-thin top layer of factory-applied “clear coat” that gives new and well-maintained vehicles their showroom shine. To provide this special protection, Washman new Paint Guard™ with Carnauba Wax.
Hand Washing vs. Automatic Washing
Driveway car washing is widely considered a wholesome ritual for those who care about their cars. Yet it's one of the worst things you can do to your car's finish. First, rags and sponges used in the process inevitably become impregnated with tiny grit particles that scratch the paint and clear coat. And since garden hoses often fail to remove all soap film, soap residue can "bake" into the finish and eat into the paint for days afterward
University Studies Confirm Hand Washing Harms Vehicle Finishes…
A landmark study by the Technological University of Munich (Germany), in association with Mercedes-Benz, showed automatic car washing to be far superior to driveway washing for preserving automotive finishes. Subsequent tests by the University of Texas Construction Research Center confirmed these findings.
In the Mercedes-Benz tests, 25 washings were conducted on identical new-model sedans having pristine factory paint jobs. Before each washing, the test vehicles were coated with a mix of street dirt, under-fender accumulation, oily water and thawing-salt residue. The grit particles in the mixture were heavy enough to damage the toughest painted surface.
The hand-washings were performed by average car owners, unaware of the test's purpose, who were asked to get the cars as clean as possible, using the washing supplies of their choice (garden hose, bucket, sponges, towels, detergents, etc.).
The "sandpaper" effect of hand washing
For the tests, scientists used electron microscopes able to record the density and depth of abrasions down to 0.27 of 1,000th of a millimeter. After 25 hand washings, microphotography revealed a dense, crisscross pattern of scratches on the vehicle finish, penetrating as far as 10% into the paint thickness. Under high magnification, these scratches formed "sandpaper" patterns attributable to the action of tiny dirt particles trapped in the pores of the rags and sponges used.
A failure to perform under pressure
The tests also showed that typical household garden hoses were unable to generate sufficient water volume and hydraulic pressure to remove all detergent residue from the finish of the car.
A positive reflection on the automatic wash
The machine washes, also, were done under real-world conditions, unannounced beforehand, at a modern commercial car wash. After 25 trips through the automatic wash, microphotos of the vehicle's surface showed no sign of the tangle of deep scratches created by handwashing. In the Texas University tests, especially, machine wash "reflectiveness readings" (i.e., retention of the factory paint's original luster) were 300-700% higher than with hand washing