Car detailing, my way – an introduction

So recently I’ve been into car detailing as well – not exactly detailing as I’ve only learned on how to maintain one but not how to restore on to its former glory, but it’s a step towards the right direction. Efficiency has always been a part of me, so most of my works are in the ‘good enough’ category; some may raise eyebrows at this point because detailing is well, detailing so every aspect has to be top notch, right? Right?

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mah ride

So this is my first car, a Perodua Myvi second generation model with a 1.5 liter 3SZ-VE engine mated to a stick shifter. It’s in solid white, and she’s (she?) about a year plus old. She’s been given the coating treatment on day two, and I have been taking care of her exterior and interior looks ever since. My parents initially scoffed that the car would be clean for not more than half a year but she’s still as shiny as day one.

Now while I am certainly proud that a few friends do mention how clean my car is, I’m rather ashamed that my maintenance skills has not been put to the test yet since I had been given the opportunity to work from my own home for more than a year. Driven back and forth in KL’s traffic jams along with the lack of time would put a serious dent into my efforts in keeping her in tip-top shape.

To keep her tidy, there’s gotta be more than just car shampoo and water. I’m still a novice and I can’t really comment on what’s the best out there for the best price, but I stick to my ideology – speed and efficiency. So far, Optimum’s line of products fit the bill nicely as they emphasize cutting-edge technology, ease of use, and product amount in almost every aspect. Optimum Car Wax (or OCW for short) is their only, I repeat, only item in their range for protection in the form of wax and it’s a spray. Too good to be true but it’s so much easier to apply than the conventional apply-flash-buff waxes which you have to thoroughly work with. Optimum No Rinse so far is also a really versatile product which can be used for several purposes, yet it’s not an AIO product which I loathe.

For the shampoo it’s something you use almost all the time so a cheap-and-good solution would fit the bill. Enter Osren and their line of products, I use their Bubble and Wax often and I must say it is absolutely splendid for its price per wash and does its purpose really well – maybe it’s time to make a visit to the HQ in Jalan Ipoh to see what other goodies they have for sale!

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if you see beads, it’s a clear sign protection is still present

I have a fair share of using off-the-shelf products for miscellaneous tasks, such as a water-based tyre shine which I’ve found out, doubles brilliantly as a exterior plastic trim protectant. If it’s one thing I’ve learned throughout the journey, not all the specialized brands work well – the brands which detailers would shun such as Turtle Wax, Kit and the like works great too.

If you’re a budding person who just got a new ride, and would want to take care of it with a budget, here are my recommendations on the basic items you will need, and in brackets is what I’m using:

1. Car shampoo (Osren’s Bubble and Wax, or something that doesn’t strip wax)
2. Wax (Optimum Car Wax, Duragloss Aquawax, these are spray waxes)
3. APC/Degreaser (Optimum Power Clean, you can dilute it to different strengths for each purpose)
4. Wash Tool (Gold Plush Micro-Chenille Mitt, but your preferences may vary)
5. Detailing brush (a baking brush for yolks, it’s almost the same thing but make sure the bristles aren’t plastic)
6. Wheel brush (gardening brush)
7. Tyre shine (Tupps, affordable and serves more than one purpose)
8. Black plastic trim (again, Tupps)
9. Clear plastic and glass protectant (ONR in QD ratio)
10. Clay (Permaglass’ Wonder Clay, ONR in QD ratio as lube)
11. Interior (ONR in wash ratio for cleaning, and QD ratio for protection)

Remember, a minimum weekly wash is the way to keep your car clean!