Updated: Sep 16, 2021
Keeping your vehicle on a good maintenance car detailing schedule is key to keeping your car clean and maintaining the investment you put into it! With that being said just cleaning your vehicle is not enough, without using the proper methods you can unknowingly leave swirls, marring, and even minor scratches in your vehicles clear coat and paint, which can lead to the increase of imperfections in your paint which in turn will decrease the value of your vehicle and can only be fixed with a costly Car Paint Correction process to remove the imperfections. To avoid this try following this very simple step-by-step guide to giving your vehicle the maintenance car detail it deserves! Follow the steps listed out below to ensure your vehicle stays looking brand new for years to come. With the right Maintenance Car Detailing schedule cars that are 5 to 10 to even 15 years old can retain their value and look really really good! Check out this older Lexus Sedan that we maintain on a regular basis, The interior looks brand new!
When doing a maintenance car detail on your vehicle using the right inexpensive equipment and products is a must! When doing a maintenance car detail on your vehicle, you are not preforming a full detail so there is no need for unnecessary and expensive equipment, just the basics will do perfectly.
Products & Equipment I recommend:
- 2 basic 5 gallon buckets
- PH Neutral Car Wash Soap (P&S Pearl Auto Shampoo)
- Wheel Cleaning Product (P&S Brake Buster)
- 2 Microfiber Wash Mitts
- Wheel Brush
- A Microfiber Drying Towel
- A Simple Degreaser (Simply Green)
- Glass Cleaner (Invisible Glass)
- A Pack of General Purpose Microfiber Towels (Kirkland Signature Microfiber Pack)
- Simple Vacuum Cleaner (Shop Vac)
*We are in no way paid or sponsored by these companies, we just highly recommend using them based on our experience in the detailing industry!*
Steps to Completing a Maintenance Car Detail to your Vehicle
Wheels - When starting any cleaning process on your car I recommend starting with the dirtiest. Take one of your 5 gallon buckets and fill it up with water, Rinse your wheels off and spray Wheeler Cleaner generously on the surface, Then with one of your Microfiber Wash Mitts and a Wheel brush clean the Wheel Face, Wheel Barrel, and Tire Face and then rinse off the Wheel Cleaner!
Pre-Rinse Wash - After successfully cleaning the Wheels and Tires we move on to the Pre-Rinse. When rinsing your vehicle you want to remove as much loose dirt and contaminants as possible to aid in the actual washing process. From top to bottom rinse the vehicle
Wash - After Pre-Rinsing the vehicle we move on to the Washing Step. Using the Two Bucket Method take you Wash Mitt and dump it into the Wash Bucket Containing your PH Neutral Car Wash soap, and start washing your vehicle from top to bottom in either horizontal or vertical motions (Never circular). After Every 2 panels or so Rinse your Wash Mitt off in the Rinse Bucket and then put it back into the Wash bucket to continue washing your vehicle!
Drying - After the entire vehicle has been thoroughly washed you will want to rinse off the excess Soap and begin drying your vehicle. I recommend using a drying aid such as (Optimum No-Rinse - Diluted 1/64) to lubricate the surface more to help reduce the chances of scratching your vehicle! After Drying your Vehicles paint grab an extra all purpose Microfiber Towel and dry the wheels ensuring no water spots get left behind.
Quick Vacuum - Get your handy Shop Vac or any other small portable vacuum and vacuum the carpets, floor mats, seats, and anywhere else you see fit! This step should be one of the easiest as your vehicle has probably already been fully detailed and just needs a quick pick up of loose dirt and debris.
Quick Interior Dust/Wipe - Depending on how dirty your vehicle has became you can either quickly dust the interior surfaces including the dashboard, console, gear shifter, seats, door panels, and steering wheel or give it a quick wipe down with a APC (All Purpose Cleaner) or Simply Green Diluted 1/4 in a spray bottle. When wiping the interior surfaces use a wet towel first to clean the surface and go back over it with a dry towel to buff out the remaining product.
A recommendation from me on a good schedule would be to do a Maintenance Car Detail every 2 weeks to ensure your vehicle stays clean and items such as bird droppings, dust, bugs, and other contaminates don't stay on your paint long enough to etch into the clear coat causing damage. Every 3-4 months depending on how well you take care of your vehicle in between this period is when I would recommend getting a full mobile detailing service that deeps cleans your vehicle in all the cracks and crevices that the maintenance detail does not cover! Also through the full detailing service you will get a fresh coat of wax and interior protectant to keep your vehicle protected and looking new for years to come! One of the most important reasons to continue maintaining your vehicle after a full detail is to prevent etchings and permanent damage to your clear coat. When bugs, or bird droppings especially land on your vehicle acid from the guts or the droppings end up baking on your clear coat layer in the sun causing a permanent bug splatter. These are vary difficult to remove from a vehicle especially if they have been their for a while, even with paint correction it is difficult and sometime undoable.
Of course taking time out of your busy week and schedule to maintain a vehicle might not work for you all of the time. If you are in a bind and need your cleaned but do not have the time we offer a service called a Care Package that gets the job done with as little as a day heads up and a 30 second online booking process! If you are looking for tips or tricks or even looking for us to give you a hand with your maintenance details, give us a call!