32 votes
Accepted

Do I really need to wash the outside of my car?

tl;dr: How much did you pay for that shirt? How often do you wash it? Why would you bother? Shirts just get dirty anyway. Can't you get another shirt? Are there any benefits of washing the ...
Bob Cross's user avatar
  • 24.4k
23 votes

Do I really need to wash the outside of my car?

The reason many people wash their car every week is to keep it looking nice and from the good old days of bad paint and no rust protection. These days, paints are significantly better and stand up ...
RemarkLima's user avatar
11 votes

To remove this type of "hard, metallicish" sticker?

Try a heat gun (NOT a hair drier - they're not hot enough). If you damage the paintwork - unlikely - then your plan B was to take it to a body shop instead anyway.
PeteCon's user avatar
  • 8,702
10 votes

Do solvent/gel-based tire dressings have a tangible impact on tire life and performance?

According to Michelin, don't use petroleum based tire cleaning products The general belief system that all tire cleaners or dressing are bad seems to be founded in Urban Legend. Water soluable tire ...
DucatiKiller's user avatar
  • 32.9k
9 votes

To remove this type of "hard, metallicish" sticker?

Razor + two chemical Cocktail - it worked! Success - I experimented a lot and fortunately the result was another "mechanics.SE save". 1. Whisky You're about to take a razor blade to a car, ...
Fattie's user avatar
  • 371
8 votes
Accepted

Do solvent/gel-based tire dressings have a tangible impact on tire life and performance?

Probably not, but... There is no concrete evidence that tire shines do indeed effect the longevity of tires significantly. There have been reports of the possibility of petroleum based tire shines ...
anonymous2's user avatar
  • 5,225
7 votes

Do I really need to wash the outside of my car?

I work from home, so my car stays in the garage for long periods of time. It doesn't get much mud or salt spray, and after it's washed, it looks pretty fresh for a month or two. It's often 6-months ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes

How important is it to clay before polishing and waxing?

tl dr: It isn't necessary, but it improves the quality of the polish/wax job. "Claying" (otherwise known as using a clay bar or detailing clay), is a means by which to remove contaminates from the ...
Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2's user avatar
7 votes

Cleaning and Shining Black, Under Hood Rubber and Plastic Parts

If your climate is anything like where I'm based, the picture shown is a part that is dirty mainly due to fine dust. I would advise against using any sort of chemical product without removing that ...
Zaid's user avatar
  • 39.1k
6 votes
Accepted

Safely washing engine bay of Ford Focus

My view on cleaning engines is that they are probably designed to get wet. At least wet in reasonable ways – rain while the hood is open, splashes from puddles, water that makes it through the ...
dlu's user avatar
  • 14.5k
6 votes
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Cut and Polish: Looking for help on how to do my car

tl;dr: if you are new to cut and polishes, I would recommend starting with mild cleaner wax by hand. From looking at your pictures, you don't have major paint damage. More importantly, I don't think ...
Bob Cross's user avatar
  • 24.4k
5 votes
Accepted

To remove this type of "hard, metallicish" sticker?

If you do try a sticker goo remover fluid you might need to paint it onto the edge (it might not permeate the sticker surface) and wait, then pull a bit, paint a bit more, pull, paint... long process ...
Caius Jard's user avatar
  • 1,145
4 votes

Do I really need to wash the outside of my car?

I assume that if you ask "Are there any benefits of washing the outside of my car?" you are not referring to the obvious cosmetic benefits. So I assume that the overall question is essentially summed ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
4 votes

Do I really need to wash the outside of my car?

Apart from the obvious benefit that a clean car looks nicer, washing your car will also remove all sorts of stuff that, on the long run, will harm its exterior: Salt attracts moisture, which speeds up ...
user149408's user avatar
4 votes

Do I really need to wash the outside of my car?

I wash my car before winter every year before it gets too cold. I give it a thorough detailing and then I apply 2 coats of hard wax to make sure I did a good job. This is my idea of giving the body ...
Ray's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
Accepted

How important is it to clay before polishing and waxing?

It would be silly to skip claying if the paint surface is heavy with contaminants and go to the compounding/polishing step; it would be like using makeup to cover blackheads - the right thing to do is ...
Zaid's user avatar
  • 39.1k
4 votes
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How to choose between mild and agressive clay "cut"?

The different "cuts" are like the coarseness of sandpaper – they describe how deeply the material scratches the surface. The more "aggressive" cuts remove material at a faster rate – this means that ...
dlu's user avatar
  • 14.5k
4 votes

What is causing discoloration around door latch

This is most likely wear on the paint due to opening the door. You have something in your hand and it hangs down. You unlatch the door via the handle and whatever is in your hand bangs against the car ...
Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2's user avatar
4 votes

Should I clearcoat my headlights after sanding and polishing them?

You can buy a non yellowing clear coat for plastics that will keep it from yellowing. Video describing how to do it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEJbKLZ7RmM Non Yellowing Clear coat paint https://...
apkisbossin's user avatar
4 votes

To remove this type of "hard, metallicish" sticker?

Irrespective of whether you use heat (as some have suggested) or a solvent (as others have suggested), the more you brutalise the edges and corners the more difficult the operation will become. A ...
Mark Morgan Lloyd's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Should I clearcoat my headlights after sanding and polishing them?

Headlights will yellow over time, almost like it's their purpose in life to do so. Once they do, you can treat them (as you have) or replace them. You will be sanding them again, when they turn yellow ...
tlhIngan's user avatar
  • 12.2k
3 votes
Accepted

How good are clay bar substitutes for "claying"?

I've used both clay bar and clay mitt (similar to the product you've posted). Advantages of clay mitt: if dropped, you can clean it off and use it rather than throw it away typically covers larger ...
Zaid's user avatar
  • 39.1k
2 votes

Do I really need to wash the outside of my car?

I have a 2004 Subaru Forester and have had it since it was about a year old. I can probably count the number of times I have washed it on one hand. They wash it when the oil gets changed at the shop ...
MattB's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes

Safely washing engine bay of Ford Focus

I went ahead and cleaned the engine, and so far (after a couple of hours driving around today), everything seems OK. Before applying degreaser and washing, I disconnected the negative battery terminal ...
J. Taylor's user avatar
  • 433
2 votes
Accepted

Removing "granny-mirrors"....?

It appears that the mirror is placed over the "closer than appears" warning. This would indicate that it's an aftermarket item. Your idea of using dental floss is a good one. The adhesives on these ...
fred_dot_u's user avatar
  • 4,465
2 votes
Accepted

Problem with clear coating headlights

I think where you went wrong is in how you coated it. It's been awhile since I saw the ChrisFix video, but was thinking the way you should be doing this is by after cleaning the lense with IPA (after ...
Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Is this chemical residue on the car surface? If so, how do I repair this?

Looks like someone left car wax on the plastic. There are some plastic restorer products out there that will polish it out. But since the detailer did it, have them make it right.
Spivonious's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Is partially claying okay?

If you only do part of the vehicle, how do you know you've gotten the part which is actually contaminated? If you clay a car, you want to do the whole thing. Claying removes the surface contaminants ...
Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2's user avatar
2 votes

What class of cleaning/detailing products do I use for artificial/imitation leather?

Artificial "leather" is a plastic-like material. I'd use a cleaner for plastic/rubber/vinyl and not an actual leather product. You might check the Owner's Manual and see if they recommend a ...
jwh20's user avatar
  • 12.1k
2 votes

Is is safe to wash your engine bay?

Perfectly safe - the engine bay is not sealed, so it gets sprayed with water every time you go through a deep puddle. Obviously don't immerse the electrical bits in water, but wiping them over will be ...
Nick C's user avatar
  • 28.7k

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