Bring on the Crowds and the Classic Cars
For months you’ve been planning and now it is time to get ready for that first car show of the season. Where do you start? You’re in luck!
Every year, the Car Care Council designates April as National Car Care Month, part of the Be Car Care Aware Campaign, a national program that educates consumers on the benefits of regular vehicle maintenance and repair. So not only is now the time, the time is now to offer up a little friendly advice on how to get your collector and classic car show-ready.
Time to Get Up Close
After months of winter slumber, your car is in need of a good spring cleaning. You want your car looking its best at the next car show. You want it to shine. Hiring a professional detailer is one way. To assess the true condition of your car, the best way is to do it yourself. Are you ready to get up close and personal with your car?
Something Shady Going On
To start off, find a shady spot in which to work. Washing or waxing a car in the heat is a bad idea. Let your car cool down before starting any cleaning routine. Hot surfaces cause soap and water to evaporate, leaving water spots and streaks. No point in making more work for yourself right from the start.
Getting it All Together
Sometimes being a little obsessive compulsive is a good thing. Getting together all of the products and materials you need before starting your marathon cleaning job is the way to go. It will eliminate having to run around looking for stuff and save you time in the long run. Make sure you have ample cleaning rags so you’ll have enough to use for each phase of the detailing process.
Make that Engine Shine!
Nothing shouts “look at me” better than a bright shiny engine. Make cleaning your engine the first item on your checklist. Cleaning the engine first will eliminate any grime and grit that might scratch your paint. Cover the fenders with towels to avoid getting harsh chemicals on them.
No Mix Zone
Remember the term “cross contamination.” Repeat it to yourself like a mantra. The point we are trying to make is that bits of dirt and chemicals can get on sponges during washing and damage your paint. A good way to avoid “cross contamination” is the “two bucket” method. Have one bucket with soapy water to wash from and another with clean water to rinse the sponge or mitt in between washings.
Wax On, Wax Off
You’ve finished washing and drying your car so now you can move on to the polishing phase. If you are new at DIY detailing, you may be tempted to reach for a power tool to help you with polishing the wax off. Stop and take a moment, first. Know the difference between a dual action buffer and a polisher. The first will give you a dazzling shine and the other will sand the paint right off your car. When in doubt consult a professional. Check out www.Autopia.org, which is an online forum dedicated to auto detailing and car care. You can always use the tried and true “Karate Kid” method - wax on, wax off. It builds muscles.
The Naked Truth about Streaking
The somewhat tedious glass cleaning stage is next. It seems no matter what you do, you cannot get streaks out. Here’s a tip – wipe the glass in a vertical direction on one side and in a horizontal direction on the other. It will help you determine which side has the streak. Unfortunately it will not help you eradicate them. Patient wiping is all we can offer you here.
Before you start cleaning your tires and rims, beware. Some of the chemicals that you will be using are highly toxic and spraying them on your tires will also get them on brake calipers, rotors and suspension parts. If any of these parts are warm the chemicals can vaporize and you may be breathing in the fumes. Remember, safety first, shine second.
A Labor of Love
It’s not called “detailing” for nothing. To classic car enthusiasts, cleaning their car is not a chore but a labor of love. After a day-long marathon of detailing your car, it is possible that you may have missed something. Don’t forget to give your car a thorough once over before calling it a day.
Laminate that Thing!
Clean the car, register for the show, load the trailer … Would you like help remembering everything you need to do for your next car show? Classic Auto can help. We’ve put together a comprehensive Ultimate Car Show Checklist to assist you in making your next car show an awesome experience. Print one out here and laminate that thing! You can always use an erasable Sharpie to fill it out.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
As we say, it’s a labor of love keeping your classic car in tip top shape. One thing you won’t have to stress over is insurance. Classic Auto Insurance will help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at www.classicins.com and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.