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We’ve all seen those brand new cars rolling out of the showroom with an immaculate shine and finish. And we’ve all dreamed of our car looking like that too. Well, with the help of this guide it can!
This car care guide has been designed to help you make the most of your car. To advise you on how and when to clean and polish it - both inside and out - and which products to use where.
But it’s more than just a cleaning guide. It provides information about the regular checks you should make to keep your car in tip top condition.
Looking after the paintwork on your car is the key to keeping that showroom shine. To make the most of your paintwork it is important to wash and polish your car regularly. Try to wash it once a fortnight and polish at least once a month.
Use a good quality shampoo such as Simoniz Wash and Wax in a bucket of warm water to lift dirt from the surface. Then rinse thoroughly with warm water to remove the foam and dirt. Don't be tempted to use washing up liquid - it is designed to remove grease and will remove the wax protection on your car, turning the paintwork dull and exposing it to the effects of corrosion and weathering.
Dry the car with a chamois leather paying particular attention to the windows to prevent smearing.
Simoniz Bug Shifter is ideal for removing insects before washing. Spray a little over the surface and then wash with shampoo.
Start from the top of the car and work your way down- the water draining down the sides of the car will soften heavier dirt around the bottom of the car.
After washing the car and before polishing, inspect the paintwork carefully. If it appears dull it may be necessary to use a colour restorer first before polishing. The bonnet and roof are the most susceptible to fading as they are most exposed to heat ant the sun's UV rays.
Otherwise use a good polish to bring out the shine. Simoniz provides a range of five polishes to choose from:- Max Wax, Diamond Wax, Original Wax. All are designed for use on modern paint finishes including pearlescents, metallics and two pack paint systems.
Simoniz Max Wax is quick and easy to use producing an excellent shine even in direct sunlight. It is the superfast way to a mirror like shine.
Diamond Wax provides a high degree of protection. Its polymer sealants react with each other to form a tough protective barrier between paintwork and the elements providing a longer lasting, high gloss shine.
Original Wax has a high proportion of true wax and no abrasives making it ideal for new or older, classic cars with delicate paintwork. It is silicone free and contains carnauba wax, the hardest natural wax known to man. Layers of wax build up each time you use it, to provide protection.
Original Wax was the first product to be produced by Simoniz nearly 100 years ago and has remained largely unchanged ever since.
NB: Always use a different sponge or a brush for the wheels and the wheel arches - there is a lot of extra solid dirt around the wheels that you don't want to spread to other parts of the car as it may scratch the paintwork.
Dirty upholstery and carpets can make a car look and feel older than it really is. A proper clean, other than just a quick vacuum, can make all the difference.
Products such as Simoniz Upholstery Cleaner are ideal for the job and will remove dirt, coffee, chocolate and tobacco stains, as well as foot scuffs from door panels. It can be used on all types of upholstery including velour, cloth or vinyl surfaces.
If you have the luxury of leather upholstery it is important to treat it regularly with a specialist leather product to prevent it from cracking and fading. Simoniz Leather Care has a neutral pH balance plus added lanolin and wax to provide extra protection and keep leather supple.
Don't forget the parcel shelf and the carpet in the boot.
Dri-Clean is quick to use without making seats wet.
Your vision from the car is obviously important - smeared or grubby windows can lead to poor visibility, particularly at night.
Use a glass cleaner, such as Simoniz Glass Cleaner, which has been specially formulated for use on cars. Glass cleaner cuts through fly squash and road dirt which would otherwise cause dazzle and glare from car headlights. It also removes tobacco film from the inside of the window.
Use the glass cleaner inside and out and don't forget the rear view mirror, door mirrors and headlights! Simoniz Glass Cleaner has no abrasives so is also suitable for use on heated rear windscreens.
To keep you window clean ensure that you screen wash bottle is topped up using a proper screen wash - again avoid using washing up liquid. Holts Screenwash also has an antifreeze property so it can be used in temperatures as low as -15°C (when concentrated). And remember that some cars have a separate screenwash bottle for the rear window and this, too, will need checking.
A little goes a long way. Use glass cleaner sparingly and wipe off immediately with absorbent kitchen towels to avoid smearing.
Spray some glass onto a cloth and clean the wiper blades as well - to prevent dirt being spread across the windscreen the next time you use them.
For immediate cleaning of glass windows, wherever you are - why not try Holts Screenies glass wipes. Available in either Exterior or Interior formulations, Holts Screenies help to maximise all-round vision, remove traffic film/grime or interior glass grime and prevent smearing. Keep Holts Screenies in your glovebox, - you never know when you'll need them!
Bumpers And Plastic Trim
Dashboards can easily become dull and dusty if they are not cleaned regularly and yet it is easy to maintain that 'as new' look whether you prefer a polished or matt finish.
Use a specialist product such as Simoniz Dashboard Shine to restore the gleam to all your interior plastic and trim. It is available in three fragrances and its anti-static properties prevent the build up of dust.
Simoniz Matt Dashboard Cleaner also cleans all interior plastic and trim, leaving an anti-static matt finish.
Use Simoniz Cockpit Cleaner on steering wheels, pedals and mats - it is silicone free and non-slip.
To add the finishing touches to the outside of your car, pay attention to the bumpers, spoilers and wheels.
Dull and faded bumpers spoil the overall appearance of a car. Simoniz Back to Black, the best known car care product in the UK, will restore the 'as new' look. This clear spray is suitable for all colours of exterior plastic trim, not just bumpers, and can also be used on tyres. If you need to cover up scuffs and scratches use a colour enriched product like Bumper Black.
Wheels get subjected to road dirt and brake dust in a way that no other part of the car experiences. As such they are bound to need a specialist cleaner.
Use a product such as Simoniz Wheel Cleaner, a powerful foaming product which cuts through road grime, grease and brake dust to transform wheels in seconds. It is suitable for all wheel types, including steel, alloy and magnesium as well as plastic wheel trims.
Simoniz Back to Black Tyreshine brings the shine back to your tyre walls with just one quick spray, leaving tyres shiny as new.
Apply Back to Black to the aerial - it will act as a lubricant, making it easier to collapse.
Regular services are obviously important to ensure the smooth running of your engine. But you can do a lot to help yourself.
By taking a few minutes to run the regular checks listed below you will be able to detect any problems before needing an expensive repair.
- Check oil level
- Check Brake Fluid
- Check screen wash level
- Check tyre pressure and tread depth (don't forget the spare)
- Check radiator coolant level.
- Oil locks and hinges
And a few other general tips for peace of mind and trouble free motoring are:
- Never let the petrol get too low - particles that collect at the bottom of the tank can damage the engine over a period of time. Regular use of Redex Petrol Treatment , Redex Diesel Treatment or Redex Petrol Injector treatment will prevent deposits clogging the injectors and valves of your car, thus maintaining maximum efficiency for it's engine.
- Carry a spare set of bulbs. If a lights blows you can replace it easily.
- Ensure your engine has enough Holts Anti-Freeze all year round - it does more than just stop freezing. It has a rust prohibitor to protect the inside of your engine against corrosion and also acts as a summer coolant. Holts Anti-Freeze meets the requirements of BS6580:1992.
- Brake fluid should be changed at a maximum of 18 month intervals.
- Always carry a can of Holts Tyreweld in the boot of your car. This temporary tyre repair product can help get you home in the event of a puncture, without the need to change the wheel.