Car Care Tips: Protecting your Exterior

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We frequently get questions from customers about how to maintain the look and value of their new, or freshly detailed vehicles. Here are a few tips that we at 5 Star use to keep our own cars looking clean, and shiny!

1) Wash your car frequently

What do bugs, tree sap, bird poop, and surface contamination from the roadways have in common? They all contain substances that can permanently damage and dull your car’s finish. When you frequently wash your car you reduce the contact time with these substances, and thus increase the longevity of the paint.

2) Frequently apply waxes and protectants

Even if the car is cleaned frequently the paint will be exposed to the sun and the elements. One way of protecting your car from these elements is to put on a layer of protection. We recommend a good polymer wax. This type of wax adheres to the paint, and will stay on longer than some other types of wax. In fact “paint protection” packages are usually nothing more than a very high grade polymer wax. The waxing schedule we recommend is a high end polymer paste wax every 3 months, and a lighter polymer spray wax every couple of weeks. If your paint is not smooth to the touch you may have surface contamination, and may want to remove it prior to waxing, as this contamination could contain substances that will degrade your finish.

3) Keep your headlights clear

The headlights on a car often change from new to cloudy and scratched over time. This will age the look of the car. It can also become a safety hazard as the lens covers dull or diffuse the light meant to help you see or be seen. There are a couple of ways to restore your headlights. The first involves adding an acrylic covering to fill in small cracks to make the surface smooth and clear. Another way is to polish out imperfections using progressively smaller grit until the surface is completely smooth and shiny. We prefer the polishing method, because it is a more complete fix, and it lasts longer. In addition acrylic coating will start to peel off, and it makes it difficult to restore headlights in the future.

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