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Auto Restoration & Detailing Serving Tacoma, Puyallup, Seattle

"Auto Detailing & Restoration From Classic Reflections"

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Do you have a great question we can answer here?

What causes water spotting and how do I prevent it?

The major cause of water spotting is improper washing and drying of your vehicle. It is important to not let the soap dry on the vehicle as you wash it, do small sections at a time starting with the roof on down. Do not wash your car in direct sunlight. Thoroughly rinse vehicle, make sure to rinse all wash soap out of crevices. Use a good car wash, I recommend Meguiar's. Immediately dry your car after washing, do not air dry. I use a California water blade and a clean soft terry cloth towel. Remember, rain does not cause heavy water spotting. Heavy water spotting is caused by the chemicals in tap water that is left to air dry on glass.

I wax my car, but it still looks cloudy.

Wax does not clean or polish. Wax is used to seal and protect the vehicle's paint. Your vehicle should be properly cleaned and polished before waxing. Simple rule, wax is used to maintain the shine achieved by polishing.

How do I keep the shine on my car?


If your vehicle's paint is properly cleaned, polished, and waxed follow these simple rules. Do not use car washes. They use recycled water, harsh soaps, and brushes. They may clean your car, but also wear away at your wax that's protecting your shine. Always dry your car after washing. Use a good car soap that has wax in it. Use a final detailer product or wax as you dry product every other washing. Wax your car every 2-3 months. Polish your car every 6 months. Clay bar your car every 12 months to remove surface contaminants. Only use micro fiber towels when waxing or applying products to your car's paint. Use a different wash bucket and mitt on your wheels and tires to prevent gravel and dirt from your wheels and tires scratching your paint. Never wipe dust off your car with a dry towel, use an automotive duster.


How can scratches be removed?


Scratches on the surface of your vehicles pain can generally be removed by compound buffing or a orbital polisher. Scratches that have not broken through the surface of your vehicle's paint can be removed by color sanding. Usually the scuff marks are caused by something rubbing against your vehicles paint (i.e., car doors, walls, bicycles, shopping carts, etc.) leaving behind a scratch or paint transfer.


What is surface contaminants?


Surface contaminants is pollution fallout. Specifically, it is iron particles that embedd into your vehicles paint surface. Over time these particles begin to rust. On light colored vehicles these particles are visible from about 6" away. You can also feel them. Gently wipe your hand acrosse the trunk or roof of a clean vehicle. If surface contaminants are present the paint will feel gritty. Depending on how long these contaminants have been on your vehicle will determine the best removal process (i.e., clay bar or machine buffing).


What is oxidation?


When oxygen molecules attach to your vehicles paint it create oxidation. Oxidation causes your vehicle's paint to look cloudy, dull, or even chalky. If not taken care of oxidation can cause damage beyond repair. Oxidation can be removed by a machine cleaner compound.


What is overspray?


When an outside source of paint falls onto your vehicle it is referred to as overspray. Two ways of removal are either a solvent or clay bar depending on the type of overspray (water-based , oil-based).


Why is it important to remove road tar?


Road tar can easily be removed if done quickly and is a simple process. If the tar is left to completely dry and harden it becomes more difficult to remove. If you notice road tar on your vehicle have it removed quickly.


What is clear coat?


A clear coat is the top coat of a paint that contains no pigmentation or color. In a typical automotive paint surface, there is a primer coat which is what is sprayed on the metal or plastic body surface, a base coat, which contains the color and a clear coat. A clear coats purpose is to provide depth and gloss to the finish (known as DOI, or Distinction of Image in the industry) and to protect the base coat from the elements, including the harmful UV (Ultra-violet) rays of the sun.
Clear coats require special consideration. Because they are clear, scratches and swirls tend to become more prominent since the clear characteristic causes such defects to be magnified.
The protection provided by a clear coat will not prevent oxidation but it does help considerably. The clear coat itself can lose it's oils which makes it vulnerable to oxidation, causing the surface to dull.
Although clear coat protective properties make modern paint jobs last longer, they still have to be maintained with oils (applied as part of a polish job) and a protective wax. Unmaintained, a clear coat can disappear, leaving the base coat exposed to the elements that it was not designed for. If your clear coat is gone, a new paint job is required.