Auto Detailing 101 General discussion of auto cleaning and detailing. Learn tips and tricks to keep your Ford Ranger looking its best.

Detailing Tips From an Old Fart!!!

  #1  
Old 03-18-2019
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Detailing Tips From an Old Fart!!!

I admit to being around vehicles for a long time, bought my first new car in 1964. Back then there was nothing but hard wax to detail a car, and that was an all day hard job.
I/ve picked up a few tips that I've used over the years as new products and new vehicle materials were developed, and will pass along a few that will work.
If you have any type of pebbled rubber, plastic, or vinyl that has that hard to remove dirt imbedded in it,, like the rubber floor mats, or poly type bed liners, plastic door panels, ect, get a can of Dow Scrubbing Bubbles Foaming Bathroom Cleaner.
Spray it on and let it foam up a few minutes, hit it with a bristle brush, and wipe it off. Chances are 90% of the dirt n crud came off. If needed hit it with a second application.
The Bubbles will also take care of that "sticky crud" on the steering wheel. Spray it on, let it sit a few minutes, hit it with a small brush, like an old tooth brush, and it will come clean.
It will work equally well in cleaning out regular dirt from the wheel wells...spray it on, let it sit, hit it with a soft brush, and rinse it off.
Works great on tires and wheels, same procedure.
For those scuff marks left by your shoes on the sill plate, door panels, ect, try shooting some Bubbles on the area and hit it with a Mr Clean Magic Eraser. They will go away.
Bubbles is safe to use on any surface (xcept maybe cloth or leather) that you may run across...just think of all the different materials in a bathroom/kitchen, and its safe for all.
If you have any vinyl graphics on your vehicle, you do not want to wax it with any type of wax that has "carnuba" in it. Over a period of time the carnuba will dry out and discolor the vinyl.. If you are using one of the synthetic waxes, no problem. Regular carnuba wax, try to avoid the vinyl.
For a protectant, 303 Aerospace Protectant is probably the best product made. It was formulated to be used as a protectant for rubber and vinyl, ONLY. It's NOT a cleaner, but only a protectant, and does not contain any petroleum products at all. Won't give your tires a "high shine", more of a light gloss, but it's the best protectant out there. Also great for those vinyl graphics. I use it for every piece of rubber and vinyl on 3 vehicles and a motor home. I will NOT let any type of silicone come anywhere near any of my vehicles. Don't even own a can of it.
And, the dreaded discolored black exterior trim around the windows, like the black windshield trim and the black trim just below the side windows on the later models like my 2009.. If yours has some of those areas that look "crusty" you know their impossible to remove. Mothers Back To Black works to give it a gloss, but those crusty areas remain.
Try applying the Back to Black with a Mr. Clean Eraser Pad. Just a blop of Mothers on the pad and start scrubbing back n forth. May not remove all of the discoloration spots, but will remove the "Crusties". Will look 100% better. At one time I tried using very fine 00000 grade steel wool with the Mothers, but the Mr Clean pads work just as well and won't leave any scratched.
For those of you who are newbies to vehicles, and want to remove any type of emblems/trim held on by trim tape, don't pry it or pull it off. Get a heat gun (available at any Lowes/Home Depot in the paint dept, or use a hair blow dryer. Medium heat, start heating the emblem around one edge, As the tape heats up you can gently start to "peel" the emblem off. Heat gun/hair dryer works equally well in removing old vinyl graphics or decals. Just start at one edge and in a few seconds start to peel it off, directing the heat at the decal as you pull it off like your peeling a banana. Any residue will clean up with mineral spirits.
If you have any hard water spots on your windows, get a can of Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser. Its a non abrasive cleanser and will not hurt or scratch glass.. Wet the windshield, put some Bar Keepers on a wet sponge and make kind of a "paste" and go to it, scrubbing down the window. May have to do a second application, but will remove most if not all the water spots.
Hopes this helps a few of you. Not an expert by any means, but this is stuff I have found that works, and is not expensive at all. Aside from the 303 Protectant, can be found at any Wally World.
Grumpaw
 

Last edited by Grumpaw; 03-18-2019 at 11:13 AM.
  #2  
Old 03-18-2019
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Location: Longs, SC
Posts: 35
++1 on 303 protectant one of the best car care products I have ever used. And I have used many in my 40 plus years.

Agree on the heat gun to remove emblems and badges. After heating up if you need to pry them off just use a wooden shim. It won't scratch and is thin enough to get under things.

Have heard of using Barkeepers on glass but, haven't tried it yet.

I know there's a lot of opinions on wax and exterior cleaners but here's my favorites. I use a Porter Cable DA polisher (that is awesome). Wolfgangs swirl remover and an orange pad takes out most small scratches and clearcoat imperfections. After trying a lot of fu fu waxes I think Meguiers Ultimate paste wax dollar for dollar is very hard to beat. At $20 a tin (order online) does an exceptional job. Most professional detailers agree.
 
  #3  
Old 03-18-2019
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I also have a Porter Cable oribital, along with all the necessary pads, and cleaners, ect. Have always found it easier to run it over the car, truck, motor home than to try and clay bar an entire vehicle with a itty bitty piece of clay.
Used to use the can and liquid waxes, but in my old age, have turned to using Turtle Wax Ice. Synthetic liquid that goes on and comes off super easy, and dosen't leave any residue on rubber or trim.
Yeah, dosen't last as long, maybe a month, but it takes less than 1/2 hour to completly re-apply it and buff it out. My wifes Subi and my Subi are garaged, and get it every 3 months. Motor home, only when it really really really needs it.
I'm not lazy, but have 4 vehicles to maintain, one of em is 30 feet long and 9 feet high. Pain in the ****.
Grumpaw
 
  #4  
Old 03-18-2019
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Longs, SC
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I don't love doing clay bar as well but, there are times where there's no way around it. Just suck it up and do it when I feel it is needed. It took me some time and experimenting with the Porter Cable. Now I don't know how I lived without it having to maintain three vehicles. Waxes and methods all seem to be very subjective and I say use what you like using. Kinda like what's the best pizza lol. Like you I'm just stating what works for me.

Cheers!

Andrew
 
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