5 car wash tips to make your car really shineBy Kijiji Autos
We’re happy to tell you it isn’t magic. The important first step to keeping that new-car look is to wash your car regularly. Doing this prevents dirt from building up, which can happen quickly in Canada’s temperamental climate.
There are five more tricks of the trade that will help you elevate your car cleaning game. Read on for the whole list:
1. Identifying the type of dirt
Not all dirt is created equally. Before you take sponge to paint, you’ll want to identify what specific types of grunge you’re dealing with. Road cars tend to get dirtiest up front, since that’s the part of the car splatting bugs or unintentionally running over other objects. On the other hand, vehicles that spend a lot of time off-road can build up thick, hard-to-remove mud very quickly.
2. The right hand-washing steps
Believe it or not, doing the washing yourself helps protect your car’s bodywork more. A clean surface also deflects dirt better, since it doesn’t have any other dirt to cling to.
First up when washing, you’ll want to soften the existing dirt as much as possible. For this, use a neutral cleaner. Once the dirt has loosened up, wipe it away from the car with a clean sponge—always start at the top and work your way down, rinsing the sponge often.
All done? Use a liberal amount of water (preferably purified) to remove any leftover shampoo from the bodywork. You don’t want any streaking!
While cleaning the exterior, don’t forget your windows. Use a dedicated automotive glass cleaner paired with a microfiber cloth for the best results. You’ll want to experiment with different motions to see which works best on your car. Your wipers shouldn’t be ignored either, especially after a rough winter: Use a cloth with hot, soapy water first, then wipe the blade with rubbing alcohol.
3. Polishing is practical
When the pros polish a car, they protect every unpainted plastic part or seal of the car with tape to avoid staining them. You don’t necessarily have to go that far: it really depends on how much time you want to invest.
The act of polishing itself can be done two ways: by hand, or an automatic polisher, which comes fitted with a soft rubber pad. No matter which method you choose, the first step is using an abrasive paste to remove any surface-level scratches. Next is the proper polishing, where you’ll apply a polishing was to all painted surfaces, with either the polisher or cotton wool. Shortly after, the polish will dry, after which you’ll have to remove it manually.
4. Cleaning your headlights is important, too
Nothing detracts from a freshly polished car like ageing plastic headlights. You’ve seen them: the slightly yellowed, slightly foggy look. Not only are they bad to look at, but they’re also bad to look at things with. A worn-out plastic headlight won’t be able to cast as much bright, clear light. But don’t worry—you won’t have to replace the entire headlight.
Just like paintwork, it’s possible to polish a dulled headlight. To really get one looking new again, use a coarse abrasive paste with a fine paste for the finish. Cool the surface often with a sponge and plenty of water.
There’s also a rather surprising alternative: toothpaste. Using a regular toothbrush, apply liberal toothpaste and scrub in small circles. Once you’ve covered the whole headlight, spray it down with water. Success!
5. Getting stuck-on tree sap off
Tree sap or other sticky bits require a straightforward solution. Use very hot water to break down the sap, and a sponge to (slowly) remove it. You may need to repeat the process multiple times to dissolve the sap.
Feeling like a car wash pro now? Next up, read our guide on car detailing to learn more advanced moves to make your car look even better. Though, if you have car problems beyond scraping off dirt, it might be time to start looking for a more reliable vehicle. Start the journey at Kijiji Autos.
Does your car need an oil change? Everything you need to know
Your car’s oil pulls double duty. Not only does it act as a lubricant for the mechanical parts of the car, but it also protects the engine. The oil prevents the build-up of small particles that form every time the car is started. In addition to the particles it collects, the engine oil goes...
Get your car ready for the winter
Winter tires, anti-freeze… prepare your vehicle now for the cold months ahead. Editor’s note: This article has been newly updated. Here are 10 tips to get your car ready for the rigours of our icy roads. 1. Install winter tires Designed to grip better on cold, snowy and icy roads, with better...
How to maintain your car's engine during the winter
If you want a safe and smooth driving experience during the harsh winter months, a well-maintained engine is essential. Fortunately, a little bit of effort goes a long way. Here are our top tips to help you keep your engine running smoothly through the snowy months. Your well-being remains our...
Why is my car shaking when I brake?
Whether you feel a slight tremor in the steering wheel when you’re braking, or your whole car starts shuddering when you press that brake pedal, this is not an issue to be taken lightly. Functioning brakes are essential to your safety while driving, and it’s important to resolve the issue as soon...
Getting your car ready for spring
As the weather shifts from winter's snow and chilly temperatures into a warmer season, it's time to go over your vehicle and do an auto check-up to get your car ready for spring. Editor’s note: This article has been newly updated. From the refreshing tradition of a Spring cleaning to more...
How to plan a classic Canadian road trip in your hybrid or electric car
From the Atlantic seaboard to the vast expanse of the Pacific ocean, the beauty of Canada's landscape has beckoned drivers to explore the country, inspiring some of the most epic road trips. If you want to add your name to the growing list of cross-country travelers, here's how you can prepare...
What are glow plugs and what do they do?
You might hear the term glow plug and immediately think that it's just a fancy name for ""spark plug"", and a mechanic is trying to make your car trouble sound worse than it is. But don't be misled: spark plugs and glow plugs (also spelled ""glowplugs"" or ""glow-plugs"") are actually different.
5 Apps that will make your car smarter
Not everyone drives cars with in-vehicle technologies like some of the newest models with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but that doesn't mean you can't add a little intelligence to your ride. Using your smartphone and some handpicked apps, you can drive around with in-car smarts that will rival...
What do my car’s safety features actually do?
With every passing year, safety systems in vehicles continue to become increasingly complex. New cars now come standard with a number of safety features that would have been considered premium add-ons only a few years prior. While some newly developed innovations are still optional—for the time...
5 simple things to check before your next winter road trip
Whether you're planning your family's next big winter road trip or simply want to prepare your car for winter driving, it's important to know what to look for. Make sure to check these five frequently overlooked elements to ensure that your car is ready to complete a winter journey safely. Your...