After a winter of snow, slush and salt your car, truck or SUV needs a good in-depth vehicle wash and wax, doesn’t it. Nothing beats a thorough professional wash, wax and detailing in either AutoColor shop – Middleton WI and Madison WI.
Driving a clean, shining vehicle is a real “feel good” moment, right? In addition to improving your mood, a cleaning and wax-protecting your vehicle improves its resale value and protects it paint. Faded and dingy paint knocks as much as 20% off the value of a trade in according to auto industry experts. Take steps to protect your vehicle’s paint and clearcoat is an easy way to guard your investment. At today’s vehicle prices it’s a small price to pay for a good return when it’s trade-in time, isn’t it?
Keeping cars, trucks and SUVs clean is something you can do in your driveway or at a nearby carwash. Neither of these options compare to a professional wash and wax, but done right they’re steps in the right direction. To keep you ride looking good on a regular basis, consider:
- Self-service car wash – there are many car wash locations in the area where you do the work and the company provides the resources.
- Mini-automatic car washes – mechanical systems wash, rinse, apply basic wax and dry vehicles.
- Do-it-yourself In The Driveway – this the most common way drivers keep their vehicles clean, but it takes a commitment and has its drawbacks.
Selecting Your Vehicle Wash And Wax And Detailing Site
A variety of drive-through automatic car washes are available around the Madison area. Some are very basic bays attached to a gas station while others are more sophisticated.
The headline sites feature a “touchless” or “touch-free” process. That means nothing comes in contact with your vehicles paint. Sprayed on soap, wax and water go on in stages and high-volume fans dry the surface. Noting harsh touches the surface so the risk of cosmetic damage is kept at a minimum.
No system is perfect but keep these features in mind:
- Touch-free– no brushes or rough surfaces contact your vehicle’s paint. High-pressure water blasts dirt away.
- Value for time– relatively inexpensive and come with additional features like under body wash, waxes and tire/wheel cleaning. Consider how much your time is worth?
- Conserve Water– Laws dictate using recycled water in many locations. That’s both good and bad. Some people consider using recycled water is washing their car in “dirty water.”
- Ideal in winters– the threats to your car’s paint job peak with layers of road salt and winter debris.
Are there disadvantages to these quick-wash systems? Consider:
- Appling chemical additives– chemical soaps and rinses for brushless wash systems are considered harsher than in some other options. They must be able to dissolve dirt without scrubbing. Do they wear away the protective outer layers of auto body paint? Some opinions say they do.
- An Incomplete wash– sprays and films don’t reach all the dirt and grime. You may have to touch up those spots by hand anyway. Overall, the finish is “better” but residue may cloud the overall surface after a while.
- Less than complete drying– even dried by powerful blowers the surface isn’t completely dry. In addition, water forced into nooks and cracks has to be touched up by hand.
When You Wash Your Vehicle At Home
Chances are you’ve washed you vehicle at home more than once, so you know the frustration of water spots and streaks. If this is still your first choice for a vehicle wash and wax – some drivers make it a family project and kids love it! – professional car detailers suggest:
- Avoid washing a hot vehicle – if you can avoid it, never wash a vehicle after it’s been driven for a long period of sitting in the sun for a long time. Heat causes soap and water to dry too fast, leaving spots and steaks.
- Work in sections – wash small sections at a time so you can give complete attention to rinse and dry tasks and avoid spots.
- Use plenty of water – homeowners often skimp on rinse water trying to get the job done quickly. Use enough to insure and thorough rinse.
- Pay attention to ‘soap’ – not just any “soap” will do. Never use dish washing liquid of any kind. These detergents remove protective waxes and clearcoat finishes that protect your car’s paint.
- Dry the whole vehicle – never allow the vehicle to air dry.
- Protect surfaces – regularly apply quality wax.
- Pay attention to stains – birds, bugs, berries and hot tar are among the threats to auto paint.
Keeping simple things like these in mind is the difference between a lasting shine and potential paint damage. Well worth paying attention, don’t you think?
Focus On Trim During Vehicle Wash And Wax
Chrome-plated, polished aluminum, stainless steel and anodized trim needs regular attention as well. Stains are the No. 1 complaint and most come from water spots. Spots left from hap-hazard wash and rinse are easy to deal with. Dirty water splashed on from the road or falling from the sky is not.
Protecting you chrome and polished trim is easier than restoring it. It just takes a commitment and time.
Seasonal road grime is the No.1 cause of corrosion everywhere on your vehicle. On most modern vehicles chromed parts are bumpers and wheels. Both are directly in contact with road debris and spray. Once your brightwork gets tarnished, corroded or fogged, it’s best to call upon trained professionals to restore it. It takes special, pH-balanced cleaning agents and buffing tools. If chrome gets pitted or scratched making new again is expensive and difficult. Again, making the effort to protect it makes more sense than bringing it back to showroom shine, doesn’t it?
Vehicle detailing pros have specialized tools and training to keep trim materials looking sharp. You probably don’t need complete detailing more than once, maybe twice a year, but protecting your vehicle’s value makes sense. Cars, SUVs and trucks lose value fast enough in today’s economy without accelerating the process, right?
Protecting and restoring vehicle paint and clearcoat is an AutoColor specialty. We employ the latest technology and products to provide cost-effective solutions.
Call or stop into one of our local shops: in Middleton on Parmenter Road; on Madison’s East Side on Stoughton Road near Buckeye to schedule an appointment. Make AutoColor your choice professional interior and exterior detailing and your next vehicle wash and wax in the Madison WI area.
Contact Middleton/West AutoColor
Contact Madison/East AutoColor
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