Author: Wilhelm Mobile Detailing

Clean These 5 Spots Before Selling Your Car | Autoblog Details

Selling a used car can be a daunting task. Buying one is even scarier. These 5 spots at minimum are critical to a quick sale and enticing the buyer to make a full price offer. Find out where they are and how to clean them on this episode of Autoblog Details.

Watch all of our Autoblog Details videos for more tips on car cleaning and maintenance by professional detailer Larry Kosilla. While you’re at it, check out Larry’s other video series on how to diagnose, fix, and modify cars, Autoblog Wrenched!

[00:00:00] Selling a used car can be a daunting task. Buying one is even scarier. These five spots at minimum are critical to a quick sale and enticing the buyer to make a full price offer. Find out where they are and how to clean them on this episode of Auto Blog Details. Floor mats can take a lot of abuse and can indicate how much wear and tear maybe on the other areas of the car. In short, it’s like a barometer for how well the car has been maintained. The solution is pretty simple, buy new replacement mats.

[00:00:30] If new mats are out of the budget, be sure to vacuum, fabric clean, and scrub the carpet at minimum. Once the mats are a bit cleaner, you can create the illusion of new mats by wiping the mat with a scrub brush in opposite directions called carpet lines. Remember, perception is everything when selling a used car. Inevitably a new buyer will lift the hood and look at the engine. Having a gunk-covered, dusty engine is a real turn-off.

[00:01:00] Lightly wiping down the plastic components with a damp towel can make a world of difference. Likewise, vacuum out any leaves or sticks that may be stuck in the hood jambs. Compressed air can be wildly helpful in these spots. Once clean, add a water-based tire dressing to the black plastic for a deep, rich look, but be sure to lightly wipe down the shine with a dry cloth afterwards. Heavy shine attracts dust, and you don’t wanna look too eager with a dripping wet engine. Subtlety is key here.

[00:01:30] As the seller, you’ve been in and out of your car a thousand times. A perspective buyer, however, has never sat in your particular car before, so think about the first time you sat in your car. How did it feel? How did it smell, and how did it look? Clearly turning back the clock is not possible, but focusing your attention to the driver’s side door, seat bolster, center console, door handle, and steering wheel are all places the driver must notice every time they get in the car.

[00:02:00] So if you’re gonna spend any time getting into the nitty-gritty details and fine touches, train your eye to see everything you would touch when you get in and drive away, because the potential new owner is gonna notice them on the test drive. Having a terrible smell can and will prevent the sale of a used car. In fact, cars have been considered totaled by insurance companies because of this devastating or uninhabitable odor. First, open all the doors of your car and remove any and all personal items.

[00:02:30] If there is an odor, try to locate the source of the smell and scrub and vacuum the surrounding areas. Next, consider removing and replacing your vehicle’s cabin filter. Adding flavorful scents to mask the smell will only create an even weirder smell, and raise the red flag to your potential buyer. If you absolutely must use a scent, stick to the fresh or the carpet cleaner-type smells. Pink bubblegum or fruity apple spice is not gonna cut it. I’m sure it goes without saying, but the first impression of any car is the outside, or in other words, the paint and the wheels.

[00:03:00] Having flawless paint can increase the value of your car by five to even 10%, but spending hours compounding and polishing to then sell it may not be feasible. But at the very minimum, wash and wax your paint. This will give even the worst of paint conditions a pretty face. Likewise, wheels or rims can cost as much as entire vehicles in some cases, so the importance of having them immaculate weighs heavily on the minds of buyers in today’s market.

[00:03:30] Spend the time cleaning the inside and the outside of the wheels and those knuckle-busting tight spots. Trust me, it’s worth the effort. I’ll leave you with two of my super-nerd tricks when I perform a pre-purchase inspection for my clients, or if I’m on the other side of the transaction and we’re preparing for sale. Number one, make sure the detail is done as close to the time of the potential buyer’s inspection, thereby avoiding any dust build-up or quick drives to the store that may spoil your hard work. Number two, do not show the car in the same spot you just used for washing it. The ground is wet, soap buckets and vacuums surrounding the car, this is not a good look.

[00:04:00] As a buyer I wanna get the sense a car has always been super-clean. If you found this video helpful, please share and keep up with all the latest detail videos by liking or subscribing to the Auto Blog page. I’m Larry Casilla from AmmoNYC.com, thanks for watching.

How to wash a car

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No shade? No grit guard? Best to just donate a few dollars and wash the car yourself.

For the vast majority of car owners, care of their car’s finish amounts to little more than the occasional trip to the local drive-through car wash. True enthusiasts, however, see this as a sin of the highest order, as chemicals and methods designed to quickly strip a car of accumulated dirt and road grime aren’t necessarily designed to promote the longevity of a car’s paint finish. While modern car washes go to great lengths to ensure that damage to paint or vehicle doesn’t occur, a proper hand washing is a far gentler way to enhance your car’s appearance. It also ensures that minor issues such as paint chips, tree sap and bug strikes are dealt with before they become major expenses.

First, the car’s surface should be cool to the touch because washing a hot car can promote water spotting. Never wash a car immediately after it’s been driven, either, as cold water on hot surfaces (such as brake rotors) can cause uneven cooling and potential damage. Ensure that you have a shady spot to wash the car in, as direct sunlight can also promote water spotting and uneven drying. When in doubt, opt to wash your car in the morning or in the evening, before or after the sun is at its highest point in the sky.

Next, you’ll need some very specific equipment for a proper washing, including a bucket with a grit guard insert, a wash mitt (preferably made of sheepskin or microfiber), a hose of sufficient length to reach the entire vehicle, a nozzle with variable spray patterns,  a dedicated wheel brush (or brushes, depending upon your wheel type), the wheel cleaner of your choice, the car wash soap of your choice and a synthetic chamois or a few waffle-weave cotton drying towels. When it comes to car wash soap, always use a product specifically formulated for this purpose, as dish detergents contain surfactants and other chemicals capable of stripping wax out of the paint’s surface. The same holds true with a wheel cleaner, which needs to be strong enough to lift accumulated brake dust, yet gentle enough not to etch a wheel’s surface. If you have expensive aftermarket wheels on your vehicle, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for care.

Once the equipment is assembled, start with the wheels and tires, following the recommendations on the wheel cleaner itself. Most advise users to wet the wheels with water first, spray on the cleaner and then scrub with an appropriate brush before rinsing the wheel (and brush) with plenty of water. Most wheel cleaners are mildly acidic, so the use of eye protection while scrubbing wheels is recommended; also, never use the car wash bucket to clean wheels, as brake dust itself can etch paint. It should go without saying that the wheel brush should never be used to clean the car’s painted surfaces, even after it’s been flushed with water.

When the wheels are clean, give the tires a quick scrubbing to remove surface dirt. Car wash soap can be used here, but be sure to use a separate bucket to avoid getting dirt and grit in the primary car washing bucket. Repeat the process for all four wheels and tires, making sure to flush each wheel and tire with plenty of water when done scrubbing.

Next, rinse the car wash bucket to remove any dust or dirt before inserting the grit guard tray (which keeps the wash mitt away from any sediment that settles to the bottom of the bucket) and adding the recommended amount of car wash solution. Rinse the wash mitt with clean water, then place it atop the grit guard and add the recommended amount of water to the bucket. With the nozzle set on an appropriate spray pattern (such as a vertical fan), rinse the car from top to bottom. In general, avoid directing high-pressure water at door and window seals, blinkers and trim, as getting water past these items can create problems down the line.

Starting with the roof and greenhouse (or windows, in non-carspeak), wash one segment of the car at a time; depending upon the size of the car, half the roof and greenhouse is likely as much as you can cover before the soap solution begins to dry on the car. Rinse the area washed, making sure the next area to be soaped up is still wet, then repeat this process using comparably sized segments of the car until the entire vehicle has been soaped and rinsed.

Now, remove the nozzle from the hose and flood the car with a steady stream of water. If your finish is in good health, doing so will cause much of the accumulated water droplets to rinse way, leaving the surface with minimal water to be dried. Shut off the water at the tap (or at the hose if you have an adapter with an on/off setting) and grab your drying towel (or towels). Starting with the roof, dry the top of the vehicle followed immediately by the glass (to avoid water spotting), then the vertical surfaces (which shed water quickly), then the horizontal surfaces. If a synthetic (or natural) chamois is used, be sure to squeeze it out when it becomes saturated; while the same holds true with a cotton drying towel, you’ll likely need more than one cotton drying towel to finish the average-sized vehicle.

Once the paint has been dried, move on to the wheels and tires. Using a separate synthetic chamois (or cotton towels), dry the wheels and tires, then follow up with the tire preservative of your choice. Now, examine the car’s finish for anything you may have missed during the wash process. If you skipped a panel, spray it with water, scrub it up, rinse it off and towel it dry. If you have bug strikes, tar or tree sap on the paint, break out the appropriate cleaner and take care of the affected areas, following up with a quick coat of wax on any panels treated with these heavy-duty cleaners.

A weekly hand washing will go a long way towards preserving the finish of your car, preventing expensive paint repair (or worse, a more expensive repaint) down the line. Consider the hour or so that a proper washing takes to be an investment in your car’s future, not to mention a good excuse to spend quality time with the object of your four-wheel affections.

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Cold Weather Detailing?

People ask if we detail in cold weather?

  • Well sort of, between 32 to 40 degrees its very marginal for the performance of most of the products we use. Bellow 40 we are limited to only the interior.
  • 40 to 50 degrees seems to let most products work, but not always at their best. Smearing, streaking, long dry times are the most common problems.
  • 50 degrees seems to be the turning point. Everything seems to work fairly good and the streaking, smearing, long dry times are greatly reduced. 
  • 60 degrees is when it gets back to normal. Products work like they are supposed to and I’m comfortable.
  • In case you haven’t guessed, If it’s 43 degrees and blowing 30 miles an hour, I don’t have much interest in going anywhere. 
  • I do heat some of my chemicals up that helps them work better and because my hands are in the bucks of the chemicals I don’t freeze.
  • It also gets dark quicker and I bring lights out to light up the area that I am working in too.

 

Limited detailing slots left till 2018

All of our detailing slots are now full thru Christmas. We have reserved some slots for bad weather, so that if a scheduled detail is on a day of bad weather we can move them to the reserved slot.

However, these slots may not be used and may be open right before Christmas.  If your interested in these slots then go to book online and select the latest date your willing to have your detail done and in the description write “will take any soon open slot.”

As of this post, there are a limited number of detail slots left for the last week of this year. Book now to save your space and don’t get left out.