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Everything You Want To Know About Car Care!



Alright, alright... ?I admit, I'm as clueless as it gets when it comes to detailing.

This is my first brand new vehicle ever, and I want to keep it looking ?:eek:. ?When it comes to washing my car or truck, I usually take it to the local 7 (or is it 6) flags car wash, hose it down, brush it, hose that down, then dry. ?IMO, it comes out looking great.

But just recently I saw someones Indigo Blue rig with after Zaino pics; talk about mirror like :eek: :cool: :eek:. ?

So help fellow Av out, what do I need to know about detailing? ?clay ??? polish ??? buffing ??? ?I need to know it all, what is it for, why, how, tools to use...

**My final exam...post pics for grading (I want a BIG fat A+!)**
I suggest for the any one serious about detailing to go to Autopia carport and read up. Read the Details Details Details section. There are many tips there. Then visit the forum and read up on topics that may interest you. The search feature will prove helpful as well.

It is in my profile for easy reference. I am a moderator of the forums there.

The owner of the site has written an e-book you might want to think about getting as it will explain everything about detailing. There are many car nuts there but the site and forum mainly deal with detailing cars.

I hope this helps... but I did not want to go through everystep and fill up the chiefs server.

PS try not using the brushes at the carwash places as they will swirl up your paint big time.

PSS I am planning on writting something up for the Chief on the specifics of the AVy but We just had Mardi Gras and I need to get some work done. Hopefully I will have it done soon and submit it to the chief.
OK, I really, really, really screwed up. :-[ While drying my Av I grabbed the wrong towel. The one I used for drying is the same one I used to hand rub the carnuba wax I put on my Av :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

I now have white waxy streaks all over the gray cladding. Make things better, it's below 50 degrees out and just to add to the fun, quick detailer and a tooth brush did not take it off (when I attempted a small patch).

I'm going to have to do all the cladding as the wax is widespread (oh yea, and on the friggin glass too).

So I'm looking for ideas on who I can get this off. I'm thinking about dish washing detergent like dawn with a soft scrub brush. Also thinking about Simply Green undiluted with a firmer brush (but not so stiff to damage the finish).

Hey Chief - Simple Green works pretty good with a soft tooth brush. Just used it yesterday before I put on the 303 Protectant - which I highly recommend. Never realized that there were so many things on the Av to put 303 on until I after I got started!!! Plenty of rubber insulation and weatherstripping on the Av for which the 303 also works great on too!

Good Luck!
Hey Chief, I have used a product called Black Chrome by Turtle Wax to remove excess wax both on the AV cladding and the plastic trims on my Corvette. It works very well. Be sure to wipe off excess, otherwise, it will streaks when water or rain hits it. Good luck :)
Well a dawn wash would help remove light coatings of wax. ?Make sure you have a good dwell time and scrub but it will also strip any wax you had on the paint as well.

For the windows try NAPTHA, Lighter fluid on a rag. ?This should remove anything and is not that harmful to paint. But any window cleaner should do the trick.

For the cladding you may want to try a citrus based bug and tar remover. ?Spray it on and let it sit for a bit then wipe off with a damp rag.

All I know is when done you may want to rewash the truck and next time be more careful and get towels of different colors.
Saw a post that recommended peanut butter to remove wax.I haven't tried it & it sounds crazy.May be worth trying on a small area. :)
Peanut butter will remove wax due to the oils. It works but Kinda messy.

Tell us what you did Chief when done!
Wayne - Where did you get the 303? We were in the 70's up here yesterday and it would have have a great day to clean up the Av - now we're in the 20's and looking at snow.
Hi Tim,

I went in on a 50/50 deal with "frule" ( Fred Rule) who posts on the board. He found a web site that had a great sale on it for a whole gallon. We each thought that was a lot of 303 - so we split a gallon - which is still a lot of material. Fred only lives about 12 miles from my house - we met over the Fan Club board! Here is the site that I think was the one that Fred ordered from:


Fred - if you read this let us know if that is not the correct site.

I really like the stuff and the way it makes the cladding look. Hope it lasts for awhile because to put it on the whole truck including the top side of the bed covers and most of the weatherstripping and rubber seals took about an hour and a half. :rolleyes:
Thanks, Wayne - I'm glad to catch up to you tonight. I don't need a gallon either; guaranteed I'm more than 12 miles from anyone!
A gallon should last a few years. ?But the stuff is awesome on the interior parts as well.

West Marine carries it and can be bought direct from 303.

Zaino Tire Dressing - probably has the highest amount of PDMS resins which is a good thing!!!
Black MAgic Semi Gloss Dashboard Protectant
Eagle 1 Concurs Satin tire protectant
Eagle 1 exterior Rubber/vinyl protectant
I couldn't get the link to work.Try www.campingworld.com or their phone is 1-877-872-6068.It's on sale for $43.97 + $1.00 shipping!I had to pay sales tax,too,but still totalled $48.97. It really is good stuff(the only thing I can't verify is durability).I wouldn't hesitate to buy a gallon.At first,I put it on too thickly.A little goes a long way.I added some water(50%) when I used it on the interior to cut the gloss a little.
303 and the like should last about 2-4 washings due to the shampoos kinda washing it off a bit each time.

As for rain it should last a good while.

303 should keep the cladding from ever fading and looking crappy.
Just picked my new AV up Saturday. I've read alot
of the posts regarding waxing and cleaning.

Could someone outline the first procedures they would perform on the exterior to protect the Av. Specifically, I'm looking for information separately on the care of the cladding and painted surfaces.

I want to start off right! Thanks for your help!

Jeff...trying to keep the wife from taking over the Av.
The best stuff for the cladding sounds like 303. Here is a thread all about it:
? What is 303?
? 303 Protectant Users

An overwhelming majority of us owners also swear by Zaino. You will find several threads on Zaino:
? Zaino...start to finish procedures
? Zaino is AWESOME!
? Ordering Zaino

That should give you some "light" reading. Certainly don't hesitate to ask any of the members in those threads for their recommendations/advice as everyone will certainly help you make wise and informed decisions on caring for your Av's finish.

Jamie (formerly jstrickl)
Hi Jeff

Glad to hear you have an AV

I would suggest doing a search on Zanio for the paint - wonderful stuff - I just did mine this weekend.

For the cladding do a search on 303... it works the best.

Once you have it looking nice - we can talk about mod's and mud :)

You might also want to consider using Lexol or similar on the leather (if you have it) to keep it properly conditioned.

Welcome to the board!

I'm going to send Sal an e-mail bout the cladding to see if he has or has in the works a cleaner/protectant for the cladding. :B: ;D (y)
Zaino will reco the tire dressing for thew cladding since it is about the same as 303.

For cleaning it just clean like you would paint and for stubborn spots use a tar and bug remover or simple green or some sort of cleaner.
silversport said:
I'm going to send Sal an e-mail bout the cladding to see if he has or has in the works a cleaner/protectant for the cladding. :B: ;D (y)

I asked the Meguiar's reps at the Truck Show Nats in Carlisle this weekend about cladding. They said GM has endorsed their product called Trim Detailer and even issued a Service Advisory to the dealers about this product. I picked up a bottle since 303 has not worked well for me on the cladding, streaking. I also picked up some of their spray cleaner, purple stuff. It is worth trying the trim detailer since it is a fraction of the cost of 303. I got it for $6.00 a bottle at the show. Good luck with new AV and cladding, try different things and what works for you stick with it.
The meguiar's stuf is a similar product as 303...PDMS protectant.....It does contain a bit less of the good stuff but overall is a good product for the $$$....

Good find....
Car Care Online has got it down and they share the info with the rest of the world. Sure they sell products (I'm not affiliated with them) and they're very good but they also offer the real deal when it comes to car care.

If you know of a better place to learn about car care please tell me. Until then, this one is it!


Here's an example of their info - this is about towels:

"They should be 100% cotton. Check any towels carefully as most towels contain polymer fibers that scratch like hundreds of hypodermic needles. Do not assume that the 100% cotton label on the towel is telling the truth. The only way to check is to actually set fire to a rolled up corner of the towel. If you get a clean flame like a candlewick then it is 100% cotton. If you see black smoke and melted fibers, then you got one of the non 100%, anxiously waiting to scratch your paint type of towels. One person checked 130 towels all marked 100% cotton and discovered that 12 actually were. I love truth in advertising."