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Thread: Ask AutoLavish! Answers to your car care questions...

  1. #31
    Club Member 4 cam tbird's Avatar
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    I have a spot on the alacantra (synthetic suede stuff) on the seat of my Lightning. Do you have any recommendations for a cleaner/cleaning method for that material?
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    Forum Member YLWFVR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden View Post
    If for a garden hose, they work pretty well. Be advised that it's not a foam lance, though. I have the Gilmour Foammaster and it works well.

    Ok, looks like the same one as the one at Autogeek, same price and all.

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    Club Member Golden's Avatar
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    Yeah, I like it. I use a lot more soap than normal, though. I've found Meguiar's NXT Shampoo foams really well with it. I can only find that at Meijer....not sure why. Again, it's nothing like a foam lance, but works great for a pre-soak to loosen dirt/grime. Also keeps the paint very well lubricated if you wash panel by panel.
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    Hey guys, I wanted to give Marc a hand in answering some of these questions.


    Quote Originally Posted by Marc@AutoLavish View Post
    We've all been there before either from long road trips, or driving in the boony's at night. The first step is to make sure you have an adequate layer of your favorite wax/sealant on your car as a sacrificial barrier.
    The real problem with bugs isn't so much their tough exoskeleton, but their acidic nature that can etch your paint. If you get to them soon enough, you should be able to wash them off. If they've really dried and gotten baked on (99% of the time is the case), lightly spray a bug & tar remover product (body solvent, goo-gone, gasoline, alcohol, etc can also work) either directly on to the guts, or onto a spare microfiber towel and gentle wipe away, or flush away with a stream of water from the hose or pressure washer. I'd always recommend using the lightest product first - so if you can wash them off without using chemicals: that's preferred. A bottle of bug and tar remover can easily be found at your local auto parts store and is worth the few dollar investment for something that works extremely quickly and efficiently.
    Make sure to re-wax the affected area as the acid nature of bugs will strip wax, as will any chemical strong enough to remove them.
    Hope this helps and happy driving
    ... and never use a brush or scrubbing sponge to try to get them off, or you will have to polish the section afterward to get rid of the scratches. So keep that in mind when getting impatient waiting for the bug remover to work



    Quote Originally Posted by Overboost View Post
    The glass almost looks like it has some pitting on it, or "sparkles" in the sunlight. I don't know if that's a result of gravel peppering the windshield or what, but it's annoying. I'll give the 105/orange pad a try on the PC and see how it works.

    Also, this is probably a stupid question, but what's the taping for on the joints exactly? I've just done it and never fully understood why.
    Like Marc said, these are caused by debris hitting the windshield at high speeds, basically rock chips in the glass. There are dedicated glass polishes on the market (Diamondite, Zaino Z12, others), and glass polishing pads designed to be used on a Dual Action. We have tried them all on all types of glass, and the bottom line is they work but not very good. If the scratches are light, water etching, etc, the polishing helps a lot. If the scratches are deeper, nothing will get them out. Using M105 instead of glass polish works just about the same. Use the hardest foam pad you have, yellow if you have it, or a dedicated glass pad on medium to high speed. German cars like Audi and BMWs have softer glass in our experience. American cars tend to have much harder glass.

    The tape is applied not only to the trim, but to the gap between trim and paint. This helps keep polish out of the crevice, quickening cleanup after polishing.



    Quote Originally Posted by moneypit View Post
    How about some interior tips? such as getting leather seats that have been in the sun and neglected for years, IE hard as a rock
    We use 2 different brands for leather. Leatherique has a great working penetrating oil that would be the best bet for your leather woes. It is designed to soak into the grain and loosen soil deep inside while it delivers oils to the leather. We will get into how exactly to use it in another thread, but it is quite easy. It is the best product we have used for restoring leather's supple feel. It is also fairly easy to find.

    The second brand is Leather Masters, and this stuff is complicated. There are literally 20 bottles of different cleaners and conditioner for all types of leathers. We do not recommend this to the DIY.



    Quote Originally Posted by jspec View Post
    The leather seats in my f-150 look like crap. The last owner never even washed it in the 80k miles he had it. Is there anyway to bring back this damage or do I need a new seat bottom and steering wheel?



    Like mentioned above, get some Leatherique Penetrating Oil and their Pristine Clean and have at it. It will take a few applications. I had my Red Leather S2000 seats in my living room over a winter, and would hit them up with the penetrating oil every couple days to get them back to what I considered soft

    We will make a leather cleaning thread soon with much more detail. But for now here are some cliff notes on general non-perforated leather cleaning:
    - vacuum seats, pull at seams, use a soft brush attachment to get all loose stuff out.
    - first clean: use Pristine Clean, Lexol, Woolite-H2O mix (1:10 dilution) and clean the surface. Wipe product on, in, and wipe off with a dry clean towel.
    - apply leather conditioner like Lexol or Leatherique Oil by hand, but do not oversaturate. 2 light applications are better than one heavy one. Let the conditioned do its thing, give it some time. If possible, close up the vehicle and park it in the sun (but no direct sunlight on the seats while the oil is on) so the interior heats up and helps open the leather's pores more. Covering the oil infused seats with a black garbage bag (and them parking in direct sunlight) would help with very bad seats.
    - wipe product off. Prestine Clean works best for removing the Penetrating Oil as it is designed to do so. This will get messy. Take your time, and use many towels. Again, a few light applications of cleaner work better than one heavy one.
    - If so desired, and if the Leatherique is no enough for you apply some of your favorite leather conditioner as a last step process. I love Zaino Z10 Leather in a bottle. Even Lexol conditioner works good, just make sure to wipe and buff dry after application.

    Hope this helps!



    Quote Originally Posted by 4 cam tbird View Post
    I have a spot on the alacantra (synthetic suede stuff) on the seat of my Lightning. Do you have any recommendations for a cleaner/cleaning method for that material?
    Alcantara takes special cleaners. Some argue that since it is just microfiber, any all purpose cleaner should suffice. I would agree, but I'm not going to risk my $1800/each seats to save a couple bucks. Leather Masters has the best cleaners for leather, all types, including alcantara and suede. They also have the correct conditioners and protectants for these.

    Be sure to use the correct brush for the nap. Shoe stores sell great brushes for suede, and if you are like me, you might have one laying around in the house that has not been used in years

    As any cleaner, use it at the correct dilution. Heavier concentrations DO NOT MEAN MORE POWER. So if you do use an APC, keep it on the mild side.



    Quote Originally Posted by YLWFVR View Post
    Ok, looks like the same one as the one at Autogeek, same price and all.
    Yep, these are all generally the same thing. If you have a Karcher pressure washer, Karcher has a foam attachment that goes for $25. It foams much less than the gilmore or the Autogeek one, but for $25 you can't go wrong. We keep one as a backup. but rarely use it. The increased foam from the AutoGeek makes better pictures

  5. #35
    Club Member mikeg's Avatar
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    I'm hoping to get my car back from the paint shop pretty soon. It will have a fresh coat of base coat clear coat on it and I am wondering what type of things should I do or not do? Do I have to wait a certain period of time before I wash it or wax it? Do I want to store it inside, or let the sun get to it? Anything else I should do or avoid would be very helpful.
    "Call on God, but row away from the rocks" Hunter S. Thompson

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    I live in South Carolina where the sun and temperature is brutal on cars. What type of treatment / protection would be best for my tires. It only takes a year of normal use and they start to dry out and crack.

    Thanks in advance

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeg View Post
    I'm hoping to get my car back from the paint shop pretty soon. It will have a fresh coat of base coat clear coat on it and I am wondering what type of things should I do or not do? Do I have to wait a certain period of time before I wash it or wax it? Do I want to store it inside, or let the sun get to it? Anything else I should do or avoid would be very helpful.
    Getting a car painted takes a lot of time, energy, planning, and money. It also gives you the chance to "do your car right this time around" so you'll want to make sure to take care of everything properly.
    When you first get your car back you're paint won't be fully cured yet - it'll still be going through chemical hardening / bonding and therefor will be softer than it will be once fully cured. During this time not only can you not wax your car, you'll want to be extra careful as your softer paint will be more susceptible to damage (rock chips, scratches, swirls).
    How long you have to wait to wax will depend on the paint system used, and anything the painters might have done to speed up curing time (many times they "bake" the paint, but whether they use infrared heat or a convection system can make a difference for example). Most times its recommended somewhere from 60-90 days. Hopefully you'll be keeping your car in the garage during this time, but whether you do or don't - I'd recommend you go straight to a thorough wash, clay, light polish THEN wax when it's time to finally add protection to the paint. There's likely to be stuff stuck in the surface from when your paint was still soft (need for claying) and if your car is anything like some of the ones I've seen - the paint shop might leave buffer trails aka "halograms" in the paint from when they block sanded the clear back down and and polished it.
    I'd recommend against leaving the car in the Sun to speed up the curing process. The sun will hit different parts of your paint in different ways - some more direct than others, so overall you won't really do much help - but you will be helping your plastic/rubber trim to age faster being bombarded by UV rays. IMHO, its not worth it because one way or another - you'll have to wait and the Sun just won't make that big of a difference for the paint compared to the additional hardships it'll cause for other parts of the car.

    My biggest recommendation is to invest in some good washing equipment (Grit Guards, towels, wash mits, etc) and practice good washing techniques (two bucket wash method / the least invasive method) as to help keep your car looking as new as possible for as long as possible.
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  8. #38
    Club Sponsor Marc@AutoLavish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSWANNABE View Post
    I live in South Carolina where the sun and temperature is brutal on cars. What type of treatment / protection would be best for my tires. It only takes a year of normal use and they start to dry out and crack.

    Thanks in advance
    HOT
    That's my biggest memory from being stationed in the South for 4 years (Fort Bragg, NC). The climate down South is another world and causes problems we often don't have to see (Sun damage as well as bugs as big as bats).
    I think the key will be to find a good tire dressing that not only works to look good, but also helps to protect your rubber. Many nasty silicone based dressings can turn tires brown and help them wear faster.
    I'd recommend off the top of my head 303 Aerospace protectant. It's a popular product of a variety of surfaces, most likely because of its outstanding UV ray protection. It should leave a nice black silky look on tires I'd guess as well.
    Outside of that, look for similar products either made to give rubber UV ray protection, or tires UV ray protection - I'm sure any of them will be better than nothing.
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  9. #39
    Club Sponsor Marc@AutoLavish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden View Post
    Yeah, I like it. I use a lot more soap than normal, though. I've found Meguiar's NXT Shampoo foams really well with it. I can only find that at Meijer....not sure why. Again, it's nothing like a foam lance, but works great for a pre-soak to loosen dirt/grime. Also keeps the paint very well lubricated if you wash panel by panel.
    Perfect review.
    +1 to everything he said.
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  10. #40
    Forum Member YLWFVR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc@AutoLavish View Post
    HOT
    That's my biggest memory from being stationed in the South for 4 years (Fort Bragg, NC). The climate down South is another world and causes problems we often don't have to see (Sun damage as well as bugs as big as bats).
    I think the key will be to find a good tire dressing that not only works to look good, but also helps to protect your rubber. Many nasty silicone based dressings can turn tires brown and help them wear faster.
    I'd recommend off the top of my head 303 Aerospace protectant. It's a popular product of a variety of surfaces, most likely because of its outstanding UV ray protection. It should leave a nice black silky look on tires I'd guess as well.
    Outside of that, look for similar products either made to give rubber UV ray protection, or tires UV ray protection - I'm sure any of them will be better than nothing.

    303 Rocks. I use it on my interior as well. Although hard to find, I did find some at the marine store on 14 Mile & Dequindre.

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