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Detailing Tips

Seasonal Detailing Tips
What Auto Manufacturers Say About Car Washing

Why should I have my car detailed Tips
  • Why should I have my car detailed?
    Detailing is probably one of the least understood, but most valuable services you can get for your vehicle. Your vehicle is your second best investment, which is very important to Speedy K’s as well. Regular detailing will protect and keep it looking new as long as you own it, and return value will be more profitable to you. If your vehicle has been neglected, detailing will restore a showroom look and feel. If you are selling or trading your vehicle, a detail will assure a quicker sale while increasing the value hundreds or even thousands of dollars.(Back to top)

  • My vehicle has a clear coat. Is waxing necessary?
    Absolutely!!! Today’s high-solid clear coat finishes are the result of new laws for paint solvents and emissions created by the EPA in 1983. The new paint systems are actually softer and less durable than the low-solid single stage finishes applied years ago. A wax or sealant acts as a superficial layer of protection for the vulnerable finish of your vehicle. You do not want to neglect your vehicle's finish by not having it treated regularly because this will result in paint fade, blemishes and other problems that will end up costing you more money to repair then the cost of having your vehicle detailed regularly. (Back to top)

  • I just bought a new car. How long should I wait before having wax applied?
    Today’s factory finishes are fully cured when they leave the factory. Despite what your dealer may have told you, it is safe and recommended to apply wax 21 days after you acquire your new vehicle. If your vehicle has been completely or partially refinished by a body shop, it is recommended to wait 30 days before applying wax or sealants.(Back to top)
  • How can I keep my vehicle looking good between washes?
    Frequent and proper washing is the most important preventive maintenance for your vehicle's appearance. No wax or sealant is effective enough to protect a vehicle from contaminants that remain on the surface for extended periods. (Back to top)
  • What is the best way to wash my vehicle and how often should I do it?
    When properly performed, hand washing is the safest and most thorough method of cleaning the exterior of your vehicle. It is recommended to wash your car every rainfall to remove contaminants that may have settled or about every 5-7 days if no rainfall has occurred.  You may need to wash more frequently depending upon construction or dusty conditions. Another key factor in detailing your vehicle is to make sure the vehicle is always washed and all bugs are removed after a long trip. If not removed, the bugs have acid that will eat into the vehicle’s finish. . (Back to top)
  • Is it safe to bring my vehicle to an automatic wash (e.g. Gas Stations)?
    Many automatic car washes, especially touchless washes, use harsh detergents and acid presoaks that can strip away wax or sealant and dry out the clear coat. The protective sealants and waxes used at automatic washes do not provide the protection they claim. They can actually harm painted surfaces, trim and glass, and may cause damage to mirrors and vehicle’s underside.  They can also scratch the vehicle’s finish and leave spots on the vehicle,  Spending $5-20.00 on an automatic car wash may eventually cost you a lot more time and money. Having your vehicle professionally cleaned by hand will ensure this does not happen and will only cost around $15-45.00 for a wash and sealant application by professionals that care about your vehicle’s finish.(See Damage Done By Automatic Car Washes) (Back to top)
  • How often should my vehicle be waxed?
    This depends on the product used to wax or seal the car, environmental conditions the car is exposed to, and the requirements of the owner. For vehicles driven daily, we recommend applying wax every 3-6 months. More frequent waxing is needed if your car is red, black or white, as these colors are more susceptible to acid rain and UV rays. ( See Manufacture's Views) (Back to top)
  • Should I have my leather interior cleaned?
    A fine leather interior, original or restored, represents a major investment worth protecting. Cleaning and “feeding” leather is essential to keeping it pliable, lustrous and healthy. In time, if leather is not maintained, it tends to become dry and brittle due to environmental pollution and exposure to direct sunlight. It is important to use a leather conditioner between cleanings to prevent “cracking”. It is recommended to be treated once a month
  • I am getting ready sell my car. What will a detail do for me?
    When it comes to selling your car, you never get a second chance to make a great first impression. The most important thing is to clean the car inside and out. A clean, shiny car gives the impression that you care about the car have maintained the condition of it. This will also increase your vehicle's sale price significantly. (Back to top)
  • Can I use dish soap to wash my car?
    Dish soaps work great on dishes, which is why they are called “dish soaps”. The truth is, many dishwashing soaps are not pH balanced and can actually strip the wax off the car & dull it!
  • What is the difference between a polish and a wax?
    A polish is designed to remove minor surface imperfections such as scratches, spotting and oxidation. Polishes work with abrasives and/or chemical cleaners to flatten or level, the surface. For example, a clear coat scratch can reflect light from its microscopic edges. That’s what makes it stand out from the surrounding area. A polish can smooth out, or level, the edges, reducing the amount of light the scratch reflects. In many cases, a polish can completely remove minor surface scratches and other imperfections.(Back to top)

A wax or sealant is designed to enhance and protect a previously polished surface. This protection is necessary to keep airborne pollutants, road film and other contaminants from sticking to the surface, causing potentially long term damage. Some single-step products combine the cut of a polish with the shine and protection of a wax. They work great when speed is important, but are not as effective as a two-step polish/wax process. (Back to top)

  • It just rained. Didn’t that clean the contaminants off of my car?

One of the most critical times to wash your car is immediately after a rainfall. As rain falls, it collects pollutants from the air, a concept commonly referred to as “acid rain”. Even after a light rainfall, rainwater and pollutants fall on your car. The water eventually evaporates, leaving a thin layer of pollutants that can damage your car's finish. The longer you leave these pollutants on your car, the more damage they will inflict on your car's finish. Snow and sleet can also result in some damaging effects and are often compounded by chemicals in road salt. (Back to top)

TO PREVENT WINTER DAMAGE IT IS RECOMMENDED TO WASH YOUR VEHICLE as frequent as possible in heavy snow belt areas to remove road salt and to help prevent rust from occurring.

Washing your car in cold weather is a great way to stop serious paint and rust problems before they start. To use the winter months as an excuse not to wash your car is to invite trouble. (Back to top)

We would like to remind you that a well-kept vehicle could be worth twice as much at trade-in time as its neglected counterpart. Keeping it clean is an important part of that process no matter what season it is. The appearance is important not only to you but to your clients or other companys as well. (Back to top)

Seasonal Detailing Tips


  • Sand and gravel from street sanding causes rock chips, especially on the vehicle’s front and windshield.  Rock chips on the windshield near the outside edges are hard to see from the inside of the vehicle, but are especially prone to cracking, since stress on the glass is highest near the window seals.  Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you to avoid rocks being thrown by the vehicle’s tires.
  • Use care in removing snow and ice from your vehicle’s finish.  Ice is abrasive and can scratch your finish.  Remember that ice scrapers are designed to remove ice and snow from your windows.  They can scratch paint surfaces, window tint and rear view mirrors.
  • Be careful to clean rain guards in the winter because they become brittle and may crack.
  • During the winter make sure not to attach trees to the roof of your vehicle.  This will only lead to denting and scratches on your vehicle’s finish.  Make sure to use a pickup truck so this does not occur. (Back to top)


  • Rock chips are still a problem until the roads have been completely swept.  At the end of the snow season, make sure you have all rock chips touched up to avoid rust spots. Have chips in the glass repaired if possible, or replace your damaged windshield.
  • Trees are growing again, and in the process generate lots of sap!  As with all types of stains, make sure you do not park under pine trees.  Your vehicle could be covered in tree sap within a matter of hours. Sometimes parking your vehicle in the shade just doesn’t pay off. (Back to top)


  • Summer is construction season.  Fresh tar and oil are everywhere.  Avoid driving on new asphalt if possible.  It is difficult to avoid all road tar, but if it gets on your vehicle, make sure you have it removed by a professional; if you use the wrong chemical to remove it, such as gasoline, WD-40, or Kerosene, your vehicle’s finish can fade!. Summer is also painting season.  Overspray from outdoor painting projects is a common hazard.  Avoid parking downwind from areas where paint is being sprayed. If over spray does get on your vehicle, make sure you contact our staff at Speedy K’s ASAP to have it removed before it sets into the vehicle’s finish. (Back to top)
  • You know those small, circular white spots you see on your finish in the summer?  Those are water spots, and are most commonly caused by automatic car washing systems and (acid rain) evaporating in the sun on your vehicle’s hot surface.  As the water dries, it leaves behind mineral deposits that begin to etch paint and glass surfaces immediately.  Consult Speedy K’s detailing specialists for more information.


  • Falling leaves and pine needles can clog rain drains, causing water to back up into the passenger compartment & leave stains on vehicle finish if not removed
  • Remove bird droppings from finish immediately.  The substance is acidic and can damage paint.  The droppings can be very abrasive, so use care when removing them. The best way to remove bird droppings is to rinse the vehicle off with a hose, or, using light pressure, rinse it off with a pressure washer. (Back to top)

Here Are Some Things To Look Out For All Year Long…

  • Have your vehicle washed frequently.  Simply brushing up against a dirty car can mark the finish.  Also, with time, road oils and dirt cause paint deterioration when not washed off.
  • Don’t drag vacuum hoses, garden hoses, or gas hoses over the top of your vehicle.  This can cause scratches or scuffs on the edges of body panels.
  • Wash gas stains from around the fuel filler door as quickly as possible.
  • Avoid sitting on, standing on, or leaning against your vehicle.
  • Avoid setting grocery bags or other items on your vehicle.  This is perhaps the most common cause of surface scratches on the hood, roof or trunk.
  • Most “door dings” and dents happen in parking lots. Here’s how you can avoid them:
  • Park next to four-door cars.  Their doors are shorter than those on two-door models, so passengers are less likely to hit adjacent vehicles when opening their doors.
  • Park between compact cars.  The smaller the cars, the larger the space in between them.
  • Park next to a new vehicle.  New car owners are usually much more careful.
  • Don’t park next to rusted, dirty, or damaged vehicles.  These owners don’t care about their vehicle and probably don’t care about yours.
  • Avoid parking up front where the shopping cart returns are.
  • Don’t park at the unprotected end of a row.  Poor visibility at parking lot intersections leads to numerous accidents.
  • Avoid parking near poles so you won’t back or turn into a pole that you forgot was there.(Back to top)

What Auto Manufacturers Say About Car Washing

General Motors

“The best way to preserve your vehicle’s finish is to keep it clean by washing it often with lukewarm or cold water….  Don’t use cleaning agents that are petroleum based, or that contain acid or abrasives….  High pressure vehicle washes may cause water to enter your vehicle….  Don’t take your vehicle through an automatic vehicle wash that has silicon carbide tire cleaning brushes.” (Back to top)


“Make sure that the paintwork is not directly sprayed with a high pressure jet, as damage may result.  Wash all the paintwork using…ample quantities of water and a neutral shampoo….  We recommend not having the car washeed by [those] automatic washing plants which…employ very aggressive detergents.” (Back to top)


“Right from the start, you can wash your new BMW. Avoid automatic car washing systems. This will lead to paint sealant removal. When washing by hand,  always maintain an adequate distance between the spray source and the vehicle’s surface when using spray wands and high pressure washers.  Inadequate distance and excessive pressure can damage or weaken the finish, making it more susceptible to subsequent attack.  In addition moisture could penetrate to vehicle components, leading to long-term damage.” (Back to top)


“Clean the vehicle thoroughly using a mild soap…mixed with clean, lukewarm (never hot) water.  Do not use strong household soap, strong chemical detergents, gasoline or solvents.” Always use professional car wash soaps to ensure sealant protection. (Back to top)

Mercedes Benz

“Do not use hot water.  Use only a mild car wash detergent….  Thoroughly spray the car with a diffused jet of water.  Direct only a very weak spray towards the ventilation intake….  Make sure to dry your vehicle when finished to avoid water spots. (Back to top)


“Wash your vehicle regularly.  Always wash your vehicle in the shade using mild car wash soap, and rinse the panels completely with clear water….  Avoid using automatic car washes that use acidic solutions or harsh brushes that may damage the wheel’s protective finish & exterior paint finish” (Back to top)


“ Wash the vehicle frequently…rinse the vehicle with clear, cold water….  Do not wash your vehicle with hot water; do not use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, fuel, or strong detergents….  These can damage your vehicle’s protective coating and paint….  Tire brushes used in automatic car washes may damage the painted finish on your vehicle's surface, aluminum wheels or wheel covers.  (Back to top)




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