Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Car Washing - More Harm Than Good?

It can seem like a never ending task, but why should you keep your car clean?

Although I hate to say it at the start of September but it won't be long until Gritters will be a common sight on the roads again. Road salt can accelerate rust forming on your vehicle's bodywork and chassis. Applying an under body sealer can help to protect the underside of the car but this needs to be done in the summer time when you can ensure the vehicle is dry. This is a service we offer and highly recommend to driver's of older vehicles.

Brake dust on alloy wheels can also speed up corrosion on Alloy Wheels. This not only looks unsightly but you may notice your tyres deflate for no reason. We refurbish corroded alloy wheels by chemical stripping, hand sanding and painting inside and out to remove all corrosion and kerb damage which restores the wheels to showroom condition.

We covered industrial fallout and bird poo in our blog post "It Came From The Sky" Click Here to read it!

The maximum fine for incorrectly displaying or obscuring a number plate is £1000. A hefty fine for a dirty plate & i
n Belarus & Romania it is apparently illegal to drive a dirty car!  

Dirt covering lights can reduce their visibility and effectiveness which potentially could result in an accident. If you are involved in an accident call us and our experienced team can guide you through the process of making an insurance claim. Click here to read our blog about what to do in the event of an accident.

And finally remember that unfortunately people judge you on your car. A well looked after car is as important to the professional look of a salesman or business as a smart uniform or a quality business card.

Every vehicle that leaves our workshop is returned to the customer cleaned inside & out as part of our standard service. 

Ok, so that covers why, the question now is how?

There are four main options; An automatic car wash, a hand car wash, a valeter/detailer & DIY.

Automatic Car Washes
Quick, Cheap, & Convenient but with a history of horror stories. Notorious for causing swirl marks in paint by dragging dirty brushes across the bodywork and snapping aerials off the vehicles of forgetful motorists. Although fully insured proving where damage has been caused is a tricky process and takes time and effort. 

Hand Car Washes
Quick, Cheap & popping up all over the country. The quality of the work done seems to vary wildly and although there are some good companies hand washing cars there are some pretty terrible ones too. We see a few common problems. Scratches caused by dirty drying blades or ageing paint lifted by high power jet washes. Tyres & wiper blades perishing prematurely & plastic trims discoloured due to use of extremely strong chemicals. Alloy wheels pitted, marked & loss of gloss level due to use of strong acid cleaners. The other issue with hand car washes is lack of regulation with some operating with no vehicle insurance which would leave a customer footing the bill for any damage. We have even seen one vehicle at our Clayton road workshop that was crashed into the back of a valet bay by a worker causing extensive damage to the front end and requiring a replacement bonnet, bumper and head lights.  

Valeter / Detailer
Detailing is becoming more and more popular and the favoured choice of the discerning car owner. The most expensive way of getting your car cleaned but a good detailer will offer a wide range of services and go much more in depth than a car wash and the results will be much more impressive. Often they will offer a mobile service to your home or workplace. As with the hand car washes there has been a rapid rise in the number of companies providing this service so naturally there are some people jumping on the bandwagon rather than offering quality work however as they don't do as much volume as a hand car wash the substandard companies tend to fail. When looking for a detailer ask local car enthusiasts and clubs about their reputation. 

With the availability of cheap jet washes and a mind numbing range of products many people are choosing to clean their cars themselves. The key to this is choosing the right products and tools for the job and doing your homework. As a rule household products should not be used on the car and we have seen and heard about people using brillo pads to remove bird droppings (and severely scratching the paint!) and using Fairy Liquid instead of car shampoo. (It should be noted that Fairy Liquid perishes rubbers and should not be used on a car in any circumstances!) There are thousands of how to videos, product reviews, specialist websites and forums online all about car cleaning and with some research you will find a system that suits your needs.