How to Wash a Car | Car Wash Frequency | John Eagle Acura

How to Wash a Car

Washing your car not only keeps the exterior shining bright, but helps to prevent damage as well. If properly done, car washes protect the exterior paint and control imperfections you can’t see, such as tiny scratches. John Eagle Acura wants to be sure that your brand-new Acura stays in pristine condition for many years to come, which is why we have created this car washing guide. Learn how to wash a car below!

Soapy sponge on a car

Set Up Ahead of Time

Does your car need a quick wash or the full package? Usually, new or recently waxed and polished cars need just a wash and wax. If your vehicle has been exposed to the elements for a few months without being washed, it’ll likely need a more extensive work to eliminate dirt, debris, road salt, or anything else you have encountered on your Spring commutes.

Rinse and Wash

Before you start washing, rinse your car to remove loose dirt and debris. Use car washing mitts and drying cloths to clean your car’s surface more thoroughly. After the body of the car has been washed, clean the windows with an ammonia-free solution that’s designed to be used on cars. Once that step is complete, switch over to a low-strength, acid-free pH balanced aluminum wheel cleaner to get the wheels and tires gleaming.

Remove Bumps and Apply Compound

A clay bar is perfect if you are looking to gently buff away tree sap and other contaminants attached to your car’s surface. You may also want to apply a compound with a dual-action polisher to smooth tiny scratches beneath the surface. Keep in mind that you generally will need  2 – 4 coats of the compound to do this effectively.

Apply Polish When Necessary

Dual-action polishers are your best choice, as the oils in the polish will give your car a sleek, glossy look. Apply polish using a soft towel or an orbital buffer. Orbital buffers are faster but you will not have as much control as you would if you applied the polish with a towel. Also, if debris comes between the pad and your car while it’s in motion, it could lead to scratches. If you decide to use an orbital buffer, do so cautiously.

Wax Your Car

Did you know that car wax protects the paint from UV rays and helps it retain its sheen? Carnauba and polymer are the two most common types of car wax. Polymer wax is typically the more expensive option, but the advantage is that it doesn’t haze and doesn’t need to set for long periods of time.

Polishing a Car
Hand-Drying a car

How Often to Wash a Car

How often you should wash your car can vary depending on your driving habits. If you are simply running errands, you will not need to wash your car as often as someone who goes off-roading every weekend. If you’re traveling from Spring to Sugarland for work, for example, aim to wash your car every two weeks and wax it every six months. If you plan to take the road less traveled and hit a few off-road trails, it’s best to wash your car immediately following your adventure.

How to Wash a Car: Tips

  • Cleaning Supplies: Instead of hand soap, dishwashing soap, or household glass cleaner, use products that are specifically created to protect your car’s paint. Use a natural sponge or wool mitt to wash.
  • Washing: Lather up your car with soap and clean the sponge with fresh water as you wash the car body, windows, tires, and wheels.
  • Drying: If you air-dry your car, you may notice swirl marks once all of the water has evaporated. Use a chamois or terry towel to hand-dry the surface and prevent swirl marks.

Get More Car Care Tips from John Eagle Acura!

Do you have additional questions about how to wash a car properly? John Eagle Acura in Houston is happy to assist! We want to help you keep your vehicle as beautiful as it was the day it left the dealership. You can also learn more about OEM vs. aftermarket parts, how long an oil change takes, how long brakes last, or the AcuraLink appContact us today for more information.

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