Light is very important right from cleaning your vehicle till the completion of detailing. However we should not clean our vehicle under direct (midday) sun and while apply detailing products. If you have no option but to clean and detail your vehicle in open space, best time is morning and in the evening.
Look at this wheel. This car was parked in a closed space with limited lighting. It does not look very dirty.
Now I took another photo with flash and see the difference. There are quite lot of dirt.
Alloy wheel, Tire and tire wall are having lot of dirt.
So it is important to do the cleaning and detailing activities under proper lighting conditions.
In general, don’t use pressure washer. Water would seep into electricals and engine. Don’t wash your vehicle during mid / hot sun. Soap solution would dry very soon before the removal. Also not in the dark it would be hard to locate the dirt.
Don’t apply too much wax. Apply just a thin layer of wax. Don’t apply wax when the temperature is very low. Removal can be difficult. Unlike other products, you should let the wax dry on your vehicle’s surface so that the removal is very easy.
Meguiar’s Ultimate compound is a great abrasive. It is used to remove scratches from your car / bike’s paint.It is still clear coat safe. I have recently used it on my bike and the results were great. My bike was not properly maintained for the last 9 years. Hence it has quite lot of scratches, swirl marks, oxidation etc. Application was done through hand (manual).
After the application of Ultimate compound most scratches are gone. There are some deep scratches still there which hope will be removed after few more application of this amazing product.
Clay application is one of the most important part of detailing. Clay decontaminates your vehicle so that it gets its original gloss. Unfortunately Clay is super expensive. This is true atleast if you are not in US or UK.
I have a cheap clay alternate solution to counter this. It is modelling Clay. Modelling clay is available in toy or stationery stores. You can buy a pack for around Rs 50 which is less than 1 US $. Proper Clay from Meguiar’s or other brand costs upwards of Rs: 3000 or more.
That is a lot especially when you drop a clay on the floor, you have to through it to a dust bin.
This one is made in Thailand. There are around 8 modelling clays in this pack.
I taken the blue one and tested it on my bike.
I have made the clay flat and I have misted Meguiar’s quick detailer on vehicle’s surface. You can use clay on glass, paint and even wheels.
Look how dirty the the disk brake components.
Clay just picked up quite lot of contaminants from the Disc area.
Caution: Don’t use clay lube on Disk space brake area. I just used it on places where you can see the bolt that holds wheel and the disc.
I have kneaded the clay again and used it for the wheels. If the clay gets lot of dirt, it is time to throw it out.
Step 1 is to wash the car / bike
Step 2 is to Clay (to remove contaminants) and remove scratches.
Step 3 is to polish.
Step 4 is to wax.
Step 5 is maintain the shine.