Friday, September 23, 2016

How to Wax a Car

This Car Care Mania content is brought to you by Auto Craft Collision Repair, Tulsa, Oklahoma,

The right conditions for waxing
The temperature should be higher than 55 degrees and lower than 85 degrees to keep the wax from drying too much before you can spread it. For the same reason, you should do the job in a covered location, out of the sun. If you can’t get the vehicle into a garage or at least in some shade, then wax it early or late enough in the day that the temperature is cooler, and the sun isn’t high and hot.

Choosing the right car wax
All the best waxes use carnauba oil, pure and simple, so make sure this is the base oil in the wax you buy. These are available in spray, liquid and wax form. Your choice among these depends on what you prefer to work with, but tests have shown that spray waxes don’t last as long as the other types. In these instructions, we’ll assume you’ll be using either liquid or paste.

You’ll also need a microfiber cloth and waxing pads.

Let’s get started!
Put a poker-chip-sized dollup of wax on the pad and apply it in overlapping circles, over about a two by two foot area. The main thing is to spread it as thin as possible and work in small sections. Let the wax get nearly dry but not crusty (3-4 minutes), then polish it off with the microfiber cloth, again working in overlapping circles. Wipe nearly all the wax away, leaving only a thin, protective shine.

Use the microfiber cloth to clean up residues around edges, and you’re done! Unless you want to add a second coat, which is a great way to improve the protective shell and increase the life of the shine.

Need more tips on car care, collision repair info and driving safety?  Check out the Car Care Mania Youtube Channel.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

How Auto Body Shop Professionals Detail a Vehicle

Ever wondered how the body shop makes your car look better than it has for years? It’s not just body work expertise; it’s also because of the detailing crew. These guys have quite a few tricks up their sleeves, and we recently talked the pros at Auto Craft Collision Repair, Tulsa, out of their best-kept secrets, so we could share them with you.

Let’s start with the interior
  1. Remove the floor mats. Vacuum carpeted mats, and scrub rubber mats with detergent and a car-wash mitt and cleaning brush.
  2. Vacuum every part of the cabin and trunk interior, working from high to low.
  3. Use a spray-type, foam carpet and upholstery cleaner on stained parts of the floor, seats, etc. Use a dry towel to wipe and blot these areas clean, repeating the process as many times as needed. Then rub again with a dampened cloth and blot again with a dry towel to remove as much moisture as possible. 
  4. On leather or vinyl seats, apply leather cleaner and scrub with a leather brush, wiping away buildup with a microfiber cloth. Vinyl doesn’t need any further treatment, but you can finish up leather seats with a leather conditioner.
  5. If you have fabric upholstery, spray it with fabric shampoo in one-by-one foot areas. Let it set for three minutes in each section, then work it into the fabric with a clean, wet cloth, changing directions as you scrub. On dirtier areas, you may need to work the shampoo in with a small, stiff bristle brush. Rinse the brush often to keep it wet. Once it’s clean, use a wet vac to suck the dirt and water out of each area.
  6. Clean hard surfaces with a cloth and an all-purpose cleaner. Coat everything with interior dressing to bring out a like-new shine.
  7. Use a detailing brush on all grates, then spritz them with interior dressing.
  8. As you might expect, you should use glass cleaner on window interiors, wiping clean with a microfiber cloth. But beware: if you have add-on window tinting film, check the ingredients of your cleaner, and don’t use anything that contains vinegar or ammonia.
Detailing the Exterior
  1. Move the vehicle to a shady spot and, if the body is warm, let it cool down before you begin. We don’t want things to dry too quickly during this process, potentially leaving soap and water spots.
  2. Start with a good washing. Fill one wash bucket with soapy water and another bucket with plain water. Suds up small areas, scrubbing with a microfiber cloth (not a towel, which is more likely to push soil back into the paint finish), rinse the cloth in clean water, and rinse away the soap. Don’t let the soap dry anywhere as you work. When the soap is rinsed away, quickly dry each area with a towel or chamois. Don’t let it air dry, or you’ll get water spots.
  3. Apply a spray-type wheel cleaner to the wheels and tires. Let it soak in for 30 seconds, then scrub with a wheel brush. Avoid acid-based products, as they can damage wheel finishes. Spray on wheel dressing and either leave it for shiny gloss or quickly rub it with a towel for matte finish.
  4. Use a clay bar to clean the dulling, microscopic contaminants that washing doesn’t remove. As always, work in sections. Pour clean, soapy water over about a one-by-one foot section, and glide the clay bar firmly over the soap film. This film keeps the bar very slightly raised above the finish, but it pushes deep enough to remove contaminants. Turn the clay bar as it gets dirty, then rinse and dry each section.
  5. The final step is waxing, which you can learn about in another article on the Auto Craft blog.
Watch our video here: "How to Detail a Car Exterior."

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Car Insurance Terminology to Know if you Need Auto Body Work

Admittedly car insurance terminology is not what most people would call a fascinating subject, but it’s good information to have after a fender bender, so our friends at Auto Craft Collision Repair in Tulsa, Oklahoma shared some definitions that may come in handy sometime …

This is the amount that you have to pay toward repairs after an accident. Every policy has a deductible, sometimes as high as $1,000 or occasionally $1,500.

A premium is the monthly amount you pay your insurance company to insure your vehicle. Premium costs can be affected by age, driving record and type of vehicle. Paying a higher premium may lower your deductible.

Comprehensive Insurance
This policy pays for repairs in situations that don’t involve an actual collision, such as:

  1. Theft
  2. Fire
  3. Objects that fall on your vehicle
  4. Storm damage
  5. Deer hits
  6. Vandalism
  7. Flood
Collision Insurance
As the name indicates, this pays for damage incurred in a collision, whether with a vehicle or some other object.

Medical Payments
This coverage pays medical expenses for any passengers riding with you, regardless of who is at fault in the accident.

Property Damage/Bodily Injury Liability
This type of coverage funds your legal defense against anyone whose property you damage in a collision, and may also pay lost wages for anyone whose livelihood is threatened as a result of the accident.

Personal Injury Protection
This type of policy pays for medical expenses for anyone who is listed on your policy. It does for you what Medical Payments Coverage does for other passengers.

More questions? Check out Auto Craft's auto body shop blog.