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Old 22-11-2010, 08:32 PM   #1
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DW Official Winter Detailing Guide


Right, so the original guide containing the PDF has been posted in Detailing Chat, and can be found here.

Anyway, for those who can't access the PDF file, or would prefer to read it on the forum, I have edited and resized all the images, and applied them to this thread. This thread will contain the entire article.


--------------------


Contents
Click the title to go to that subject


INTRODUCTION
Why the fuss?
Prevention is better than the cure!

LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF
General Welfare
Clothing
Hats & Gloves
Finally

DETAILING IN THE WINTER
Concerns & Issus
Washing Hints & Tips
Touchless Washing
Environmentally Friendly Washing
Watch Those Wheels

PROTECTION IS KEY
LSP Advice
Decontamination
Time To Protect
Wheels, Arches & Suspension
Underbody & Chassis

WINTER DETAILING PRODUCTS & STORAGE
What Do I Use
Storage

DE-ICING
Which Method
Aerosol De-Icers
Ice Scrapers
Water
Other Methods
So Then

CAR MAINTENANCE
Stay Safe
Essential Winter Checks
General Car Safety
Take Precautions
Winter Necessities

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS
Paste Waxes
Sealants
Under-Body Protection

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Enjoy,

Mat




Last edited by RandomlySet; 23-11-2010 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 22-11-2010, 08:33 PM   #2
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Introduction




INTRODUCTION

Why the fuss?


So, why all of the fuss about “winter detailing”? Every year like clockwork, detailers, enthusiasts and hobbyists all start to worry about how best to protect their car – but why? Well, we recognise that our car is one of the most expensive items we may purchase, and we take pride and joy in keeping up its appearance.

The harsh conditions that the winter weather brings can have a serious effect on our cars, both short term and long term. In the short term, we have to deal with frozen windows, frozen door shuts/seals, grit & salt on our paintwork. In the long run, the salt & grit used to keep us safer on the roads, has a negative impact on the cars chassis and other components, by causing rust. This can lead to costly repair bills, unsightly surface rust and even MOT failure. There’s also the long term effect of washing during the winter, in the form of swirl marks and random scratches.


Prevention is better than the cure!

We now know why we worry about the winter weather coming, but what can we do about it? Well, as the saying goes, prevention is better than the cure. I’m not going to claim there’s a miracle “must have” product that will 100% prevent rust, or prevent getting swirl marks in the paintwork. However, with the right knowledge we can take measures to delay the onset of rust and swirl marks, and treat them should they occur. So let us take a look at what we can do.

Last edited by RandomlySet; 22-11-2010 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 22-11-2010, 08:33 PM   #3
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Looking After Yourself

LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF

General Welfare


Before we start to take care of our car, we need to make sure we take care of ourselves. The last thing you want is an injury. So before starting any work on your car, assess the situation. Take into account the current weather conditions, and your working environment.

Keeping warm is essential when detailing in cold conditions. Cold muscle can be damaged very easily, which could mean an early end to your day, and even time off work. Before we begin, we need to make sure we’re wrapped up warm.


Clothing

Layering up is an easy way to keeping warm, however, it can restrict movement. The key is to wear light and flexible clothing that is also warm and water proof. Long underwear, typically called “Long Johns” or “Thermal Underwear” are great as a first layer. These are usually made from cotton, and blended with wool (usually Merino), some can be 100% wool. These are designed to keep you well insulated, and as warm as possible.

Your next layer should be a set of lightweight waterproofs. Ski clothing is ok for keeping you dry, even motorcycle clothing would be ok. I recommend anything made from Gore-Tex material. Whilst most waterproof clothing keeps you dry, it doesn’t allow your skin to breath, this is where Gore-Tex clothing has the edge. Not only do you stay dry, but your body is also able to breath, thus reducing sweating.

Cross section of Gore-Tex material

Image Source: Wikipedia



Hats & Gloves

Now we’re wrapped up warm, we need to think about parts of us that are exposed the most. That would be our hands and our head. You may have read reports saying that we lose 40%-75% of our body heat through our heads. There are other reports dismissing this as being a myth. Regardless of how true this is, it is a fact that any exposed part of our body will lose heat. So we need to keep as much of our body covered as we can.
Starting with the head, let’s talk about woolly hats. Don’t worry; you don’t have to look like the douche from N-Dubz to stay warm. I personally will wear any kind of “beanie” hat, and I like to make sure my ears are covered. These do offer protection for your head, but can hold dampness in. What you need in a “Thinsulate” hat (made by our friends at 3M), or a “Trapper Hat”.

Fleece Trapper Hat ____________ Thinsulate Snow Hat __________ Fur Trapper Hat

Image Source: www.woolyhats.com


A Thinsulate hat works similar to the Gore-Tex clothing. They are designed to let your body breath and let sweat escape, whilst at the same time keeping your head dry and warm. Make sure you get one big enough to pull over your ears. The “Trapper” hat uses fur or fleece to keep you warm. Like the Long Johns that use wool, these use other materials to keep heat in. They also have side “flaps” to cover your ears, and tie under your chin, very useful if it becomes very windy.

Now to protect your most important tools, your hands. You may already wear latex gloves when detailing, these are great for keeping your hands protected from chemicals, but don’t offer much in terms of warmth. What you need is a good quality pair of waterproof gloves. A highly recommended brand by detailers is SealSkinz. I would also suggest purchasing a pair of Thinsulate gloves to wear underneath. Combining the two together will give you the best of both worlds. Thinsulate will keep your hands nice and warm, whilst the SealSkinz gloves will do a great job of keeping you dry.

Thinsulate Thermal Gloves _ SealSkinz All Season Gloves

Image Source: Amazon ____ Image Source: Specialist Socks.co.uk


When washing the car, make sure the cuffs are a tight fit to your wrist to prevent water getting under the gloves (but not too tight to restrict circulation). If they’re not, it may be a worthwhile idea to wear some big long rubber gloves for the wash process (the type used for washing the pots). It’s also a good idea to make sure the water you are using to wash is nice and warm. Cold water will quickly draw heat away from your hands/wrists/arms.


Finally

One final part to remember is shoes and socks. Keep your feet dry. If you need to, carry an extra pair of socks if you’re detailing away from home. Also, make sure your shoes/boots/trainers are waterproof and provide plenty of grip. Remember, all that water you are using may turn into sheet ice.

Well, I think that just about covers everything on your own well-being. Just a few simple steps will keep you safe and warm. Oh, and a final thought, if you’re detailing away from home, make sure you take a nice warm flask of tea/coffee/Bovril/soup etc. Just to keep you warm on the inside.


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Old 22-11-2010, 08:35 PM   #4
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Detailing In The Winter

DETAILING IN THE WINTER

Concerns & Issus


What are the concerns and issues around detailing during the colder months? Well, if you’ve read the introduction, you will now understand why we want/need to detail, yet there’s always a panic as to what products we should use, what wash technique and what methods for applying LSPs. Hopefully this section will cover all of your concerns.


Washing Hints & Tips

Winter detailing is essentially the same as detailing any other time of the year. The only difference is the amount of dirt you will find on your car, and the type of dirt that is. What we need to do is take a little more time, and a little more caution when cleaning our cars. The usual process of rinse, foam, and two bucket method wash still apply, we just need to use a little more caution.

Snow Foam Bath __________________ Thorough Rinse ____________________ 2 Bucket Method Wash

Image Source: -Mat-


Ok, so for this part of the guide I will assume you are pretty adept when it comes to washing a car safely and using the “2 Bucket Method” (2BM).
To begin with, you need to give the car a thorough rinse down to remove any loose surface dirt, grime, grit and salt. For this, a pressure washer would be ideal or a garden hose on a fairly strong setting (not a jet stream, but more than a light spray). Remember to give the wheels and arches a very thorough rinse. This is where most of the salt and grime will be collected. Also try to get under the body and sills. You can purchase an under body lance attachment for this, or possibly use a garden sprinkler, and drive the car back and forth over it.

After giving the car a thorough rinse down, it’s time to begin the wash stage. However, we’re still not ready to touch the paintwork yet. The key to a good, safe winter wash is to touch the paint as little as possible. So the next stage is to give the car a through snow foam. I would suggest doing this twice. If this isn’t an option, then you can get a hosepipe attachment that does a similar job. Alternatively, you can give the car a pre-soak with some All Purpose Cleaner (APC), usually diluted to around 10:1 depending on the brand you use. After you have left the foam/APC to do its work, give the car another thorough rinse. We are now ready for the wash stage.

2 Bucket Method Wash _____________ Merino Lambswool Mitt _____________ Ultra Plush Drying Towel

Image Source: -Mat-


The most important stage of any winter detail is the wash stage. This is where swirls, scratches and other defects can be inflicted. The key here is to use a good quality car shampoo to help lift and lubricate the dirt, and also a good quality, clean, lambswool mitt. As said, this guide assumes you already know how to wash a car safely with the 2BM. Essentially what you need to remember, is to wash less in one “pass” than you normally would and visit the rinse bucket more often. So if you would usually wash half the roof, and then rinse the mitt, try just washing a quarter, and then rinsing.

You will also need to keep an eye on your rinse water. Whether or not you use grit guards, the water will become dirtier, quicker. So don’t be scared of changing the water for fresh water every now and then.

Finally onto drying the paintwork. Using an open ended hose, try to “sheet” off as much water as possible. This will ensure that you will have to touch the car less in order to dry it. When you do dry the car, use a super absorbent microfiber drying towel, and pat the car dry. Do not rub the car. Pat drying will soak up any water, without risking any damage caused by any possible remaining grit.


Touchless Washing

During the winter months, my personal wash method is to wash the car as little as possible – well, at least the paintwork anyway. Providing your car has a good coat of wax/sealant, there is nothing wrong with letting dirt sit on the paintwork. My own personal winter wash method includes a rinse down possibly every 1-2 weeks, followed by a wash using the process above, every 3rd week or so.

Snow Foam Bath

Image Source: -Mat-


As we know at this time of the year the days are shorter, and we have less light to work with. This is often why people are unable to wash their car after work. So a quick pressure wash down, followed by a foam/APC coating, and another rinse, it usually enough to keep the dirt at bay. After you have given your car a touchless wash, remember to rinse well with an open ended host to sheet off as much water as possible.


Environmentally Friendly Washing

No you don’t have to wear tie-die, make love beads, and say “peace” to everyone to use this method. Environmentally Friendly Washing (or EFW for short) is a quick way of washing your car. It also uses fewer chemicals, less water and is lighter on the pocket, so it’s an all-round winner. The only tools you will need are; a bottle of ONR (Optimum No Rinse), 1 Bucket (Grit Guard optional), a wash sponge or microfibre, a microfibre to dry with, and about 5L of water. As an additional extra, some people make up a bottle of ONR solution in a spray bottle.

As this topic doesn’t seem to be covered as much, we’ll spend a bit of time looking into how exactly you wash using ONR. Now I’m no expert on EFW, and I have never used ONR, so here’s some information provide from Detailing World member Lowiepete (Steve).

The biggest hurdle to overcome with winter s ONR is salt, and this is where the biggest judgement calls need to be made. ONR is really designed for the balmy hills of California, rather than for use on UK roads. Nevertheless, it is possible to adapt it successfully for winter washing here.
The biggest "leap of faith" is in believing in the technology that this product brings. How can such a thin liquid hold all the muck in suspension and not inflict swirls? As many will testify, it just does! So, the next stage is to put the product on the car and allow time for it to do its work. A small garden spray bottle with ONR diluted at between 30 and 40 to 1 is your starting point.

Spray one panel at a time and leave it to dwell. The way to test it is to apply another spray - if there is dirt movement, and then it's ready. As stated, the biggest judgement call is salt - don't try and beat the laws of physics, you will need sufficient water to completely dilute it to a "scratch-free" liquid. Using just 1 capful of ONR in a half-filled bucket of warm water, initially drop the mixture from a few inches above, using a reasonably filled grouting sponge over as wide an area of the panel as you can, again leaving a few moments before the sponge touches the paint. Then, as gently as you can, wipe the paintwork to rid it of the salt. When the sponge goes back in the bucket, give it a good agitation to free out the muck. It will fall safely to the bottom. It's a case of not being in a rush. Replenishing the half-bucket is another judgement call only you can make. I'd _not_ cut the corner and use full buckets, especially with heavy salting!

In position and ready to start ________ After 1 pass ______________________ The roof completed

Image Source: Lowiepete


In the summer, you'd normally attempt to dry the panel, before going to the next. Remember, ONR is "no rinse" and attempting to dry the car at this stage is not necessary and there's an increased risk of marring. However, if you're intending to apply some QD protection, then the next stage is to spray ONR from the garden sprayer once more and then gently wipe the panel dry with a microfibre cloth, turning the cloth regularly. With ONR, I'd recommend folding the cloth into 4 and then always use the folded side as the leading edge. At no time is there any rubbing involved! The paint will be ready for a QD.


Many thanks to Steve for providing that information. Remember, during the winter months your car will collect a whole lot more dirt. So keep an eye on your wash sponge/MF and rinse it well. This method also allows for those “quick washes” after work when you don’t have the time to get the Pressure Washer out.


Watch Those Wheels

Ok, so we’ve covered the bodywork, but what about your wheels? For most car enthusiasts a nice set of alloys really makes the car stand out from the crowd. Even at the best of times, we have to contend with tar, brake dust and industrial fallout damaging our wheels. With the onset of bad weather, we also have the added presence of grit and salt to make matters worse. This can speed up the corroding process of the alloys!

Keep those wheels clean

Image Source: -Mat-


With that in mind, make sure you wash your wheels at least once a week. Even if you don’t wash the car itself, it only takes 5 minutes. Just do your best to get as much brake dust, grit and salt off the wheels. If you have protected your wheels before the winter period, this should be an easy maintenance job.

Whilst cleaning the wheels, it’s important to check the arches, brakes and suspension. Some arches can be prone to rust, and if grit and salt gets trapped between the arch and plastic lining, this may speed up the process. The same applies for the suspension, brakes and steering mechanism. With this in mind, it would be a good idea to try and rinse these areas thoroughly at least once a month. If needs be, jack up the car slightly, just enough to get under the arch.

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Old 22-11-2010, 08:35 PM   #5
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Protection Is Key

PROTECTION IS KEY

LSP Advice


Last step product. Ok, so we’re not strictly talking about wax and sealants in this section, but more so about protection in general. Protection for the paintwork, undercarriage, wheels, arches, etc. Protection is vital to keeping our cars looking its best, keeping the rust at bay, and also making maintenance washes much easier.

Before the winter weather sets in, it’s highly recommended that you have a good detailing session on your car (or pay a professional to do it for you). We’ll assume that you are going to protect the car yourself for the purpose of this article.


Decontamination

Your usual wash/detail method should be sufficient for a winter detail, but as with the washing maintenance, you may need to alter/tweak a few aspects. Firstly you need to ensure the car has been thoroughly cleaned (including the wheels). The next step would be to ensure all surface contaminants have been removed. Again, your usual process should suffice, but just as a quick reference, here’s a guide of what should be done.

De-tarring in action ________________ Clay process ______________________ Clay after decontamination

Image Source: -Mat-


First up is the wash process, following the guide above should see you through that. Once you have completed your wash routine, it’s time to fully decontaminate the car. The next stage is usually to remove any tar and bug deposits, followed by a thorough rinse. Once this has been done, you can go ahead and clay the car, before one final rinse and dried.

Now all clean and dry, it would be worthwhile at this stage to cleanse the paintwork. There are a couple of options available at this stage; a full machine correction, a light correction with a finishing pad (by hand or machine), or a paint cleansing option. At the very minimum I would recommend that you cleanse the paint with something like Dodo Juice Lime Prime or Swissvax Cleaner Fluid.


Time To Protect

Now the paintwork is perfectly clean, it’s time to apply your chosen wax and/or sealant. The key to applying a wax during this time of year is to allow a bit longer than usual for the wax to cure. Also, apply it thinner than you may normally apply it. I would also suggest applying 2 or 3 layers to ensure even coverage.

I would like to take a quote from a post by Gordon (AKA, Caledonia) in which he gives advice for applying wax in cold conditions.

“Temperature is only one fact. It is more to do with humidity and mainly dew point. This is when microscopic particles of water form on horizontal panels on your car. Roof, bonnet and boot if you have one. As you already know wax due to its oily nature will not adhere to water. So this is when you get premature failure of the wax layer. It can also affect sealants too. Dependant on there make up.” – Caledonia, Detailing World, 19/10/10

So, with that in mind, try to wax indoors. However, this isn’t an option to everyone, so if you do need to apply wax/sealant, then try to do so around mid-day which is likely to be the warmest part of any day during the winter.


Wheels, Arches & Suspension

It’s not only our paintwork that needs protecting in the winter, but also are wheels, and other vital parts. As with protecting the paintwork, preparation is key. So just like the paintwork, you will need to thoroughly clean your wheels, arches and even your brakes & suspension. Using the advice above, you should get these parts as clean as you can. If needs be, spend a day just on this area of the car, and even take the wheels of if required.

There are plenty of choices on the market for wheels sealants to protect from brake dust, salt, grit and tar. My personally preference is Poorboys Wheel Sealant; however, OptiSeal is also a good choice for wheels. Your arches and suspension can be waxed with the same stuff you use on your paintwork.


Underbody & Chassis

Now on to the hard to “reach” parts of the car. The cars underbody and chassis that it is built around is quite possibly the most vital part of your car. The entire underside of the car is exposed to the elements more than any other area. And with the amount of steal and unprotected paint there is, rust is inevitable. Any corrosion caused here could lead to expensive MOT repairs and maybe even the end of your pride and joy.

Some professional detailers or garages will offer an underbody protection service. However, if you fancy taking on the challenge yourself, then take care. You will need to get the car off the ground so you can get access underneath. A hydraulic lift would be ideal, failing that get your car onto some ramps or axle stands. Ensure that the car is on a flat, level surface before lifting off the ground.

Once the underside is accessible, clean off any surface rust and dirt that you can see. There is no point protecting a dirty chassis. A wire brush would be handy to remove any surface rust, whilst a strong mix of APC and/or degreaser can be used to remove and dirt and grime. Once everything is clean to your liking, thoroughly dry everything. Then it’s time to apply your protection of choice.

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Old 22-11-2010, 08:36 PM   #6
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Winter Detailing Products & Storage

WINTER DETAILING PRODUCTS & STORAGE

What Do I Use


When it comes to product choice, there is no right or wrong answer. Most of the time it is down to personal preference. However, when picking what wax/sealant you wish to use/purchase, it would be wise to consider ease of application, curing times and durability. For a winter protection, you would want something that goes on quick and easy, and will see out the winter months. I will list a selection of products at the end of this article that have been recommended by professional and enthusiastic detailers alike.


Storage

Again, there seems to be confusion every year as to how we should store our products in the colder months. The general consensus amongst detailers is to bring as much as possible into the house and keep it warm. However, with a few precautions, you should be fine with storing them in your shed/garage as usual.

If you’re using a traditional garden type shed for your storage area, then ensure that it is well insulated. You can either insulate the entire shed, or place your products in a box, and wrap your microfibers etc around them to keep them warm. The same would apply if you use a garage and the temperature gets cold in there.

Having emailed several manufacturers regarding product storage, the general feedback given was to not let products freeze; however, if they do freeze then usually they are fine once thawed. Here are a couple of quotes from the many emails I received.

“I did an experiment last winter by freezing a bottle of RG Clearmist Detailer (left it in for about 3 days!) and its performed perfectly.
In general terms, waxes should be kept cold but not freeze, so I suggest bringing them inside if it’s a shed/very cold garage – and from a potential theft viewpoint, best to have the pricier stuff safer indoors. I can’t be specific on other stuff, but a general rule of thumb is that freezing is not a good idea but cold shouldn’t affect most products.” – Mark Wibberley @ More Than Polish


----------

“Our water based products (NanoWax, Premium Textile & Leather, Shampoo) should not freeze in any case, they are very likely damaged if they do.
The solvent based products (basically the rest of all products) should be stored in an environment that is as temperature-stable as possible. If temps drop below 0°C it won’t damage them and they won’t freeze but large temperature differences can make the products unstable (in general, the water based ones as well).” – Florian Kessler @ Nano Surface Solutions


----------

“There is a simple rule of thumb. If it’s a water based product, ie you can dilute it with water, like a shampoo, polish or water based cleaner wax/AIO then you are going to get it freezing at 0 degrees. Waxes and other solvent based products will have much more impressive freezing points.” – Dom Colbeck @ Dodo Juice

So, with that in mind, it’s a good idea to protect any water based products. Whether you bring them indoors, or wrap them up warm in your usual storage area is your choice. From personal experience, I have seen Meguiars Next Generation Shampoo “split” and I left it next to the radiator for a few days until it mixed back together.

Another cause for concern is pressure washers. Some brands of pressure
washers suffer from cracked water pumps. This is usually due to water being left in the machine, and then freezing. When water freezes it expands, which will put strain on the pump, hence the cracking. So before putting aware your pressure washer, ensure you have fully drained all the water from it, the same applies to your hose pipe, the last thing you want is a frozen hose, which may also split. Finally, before putting the pressure washer away, wrap it up in an old blanket or carpet/rug – again, this will help keep the cold out, and protect the pump.

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Old 22-11-2010, 08:36 PM   #7
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De-Icing

DE-ICING

Which Method


There are several options when it comes to de-icing your car in the morning. From switching on the heaters, and letting the engine do the work to using aerosol de-icers. Let’s take a look at the options available, and which will suit you the best.

Ice Scraper with Squeegee _____________ Jug of Water ____ Aerosol De-Icer

Image Source: Halfords


Aerosol De-Icers

Ok, so every year there are numerous threads about the best way to de-ice the car. One subject that always crops up is de-icers and we are always told that these are bad for our paintwork – but why? No-one ever seems to give a good reason as to why we shouldn’t use de-icers.

Well, let us take a look at the main ingredients of a typical de-icer; butane (<1%), ethanol (10-30%), propan-2-ol (10-30%), ethanediol (5-10%). As you can see, the two main ingredients are propan-2-ol and ethanol. The main ingredient that should stand out is propan-2-ol, otherwise known as isopropyl alcohol, or “IPA”. Yes, the exact same product we use to strip wax and polish residue from a car. Combine that with ethanol, another type of alcohol, and you have a great product for stripping wax.

Whilst this may not be the end of the world, as we have discussed above, a good coat of protection will help prevent any rust and make cleaning easier. However, as these are solvents, continuous exposure to the cars paintwork may lead to damage in terms of etching. This is due to the high acidity ratings of these chemicals. If you feel you do need to use an aerosol de-icer, my suggestion is to thoroughly rinse off any remaining product after use. That is much easier said than done when it's freezing temperatures outside and you have to get to work or do the school run, so let’s see what other options we have to us.


Ice Scrapers

After aerosol de-icers, traditional plastic ice scrapers are possibly the second most common way to remove ice from your cars windows and headlights. Whilst there is pretty much zero chance of these stripping any wax, they still have their downsides.

Firstly, on a positive note, these offer a quick and effective way of removing frost, snow and ice from the windows and headlights. They are cheap, and one should last you an entire winter, so they are very cost effective.

On the flip side, ice scrapers do mean you have to go to the effort of manually removing the frost and ice from your car. There’s also a chance of inflicting scratches into your windows, and particularly on soft plastic headlights. If you feel the need to use an ice scraper, do so with caution, and ensure you do not drag the scraper over the paintwork. Whether or not you use one, it is always handy to keep one of these in your car for emergencies.


Water

A very common de-icing method amongst detailers is the use of water. This has the same effect as using an aerosol de-icer, in that it melts the snow and ice on your car. But what do we use? Hot water? Cold water? Luke warm water?

I would like to say common sense dictates to avoid using boiling water; however, some people are daft enough to pour this straight onto a frozen window. So I would like to take the opportunity to advise you not to use boiling water to defrost a car window

Cold water straight from the tap is sufficient for de-icing your car windows. So much so, that this is all I have used for years. You may be wondering why cold water and not luke warm water? Well the answer is simple, hot water freezes quicker than cold water due to the Mpmeba effect. What you also need to think is that any water is warmer than ice, so it’ll be enough to melt the frozen ice (water) on your car.

After rinsing your windows and lights with water, use the squeegee on your ice scraper to remove any standing water (or your wipers for the windscreen). This will prevent any possible re-freezing of any water left on the windows.


Other Methods


The above three methods are usually the most common. There are, however, other methods to defrosting your car in the morning. One other method is to simply start the car over and whack on the heaters. Now this is a handy way of getting your car interior nice and toasty, however, it requires un-necessary use of fuel, and will take quite a while.

Another method is to put a sheet/towel/card over your windscreen at night to prevent frost. Now whilst this is effective, what about your side windows/lights etc? You also have to peel off the covering as it will no doubt stick itself to your lovely paintwork, so not exactly a desired method amongst detailers.


So Then

So we’ve looked at the most common de-icing methods. Which you choose to use is your choice. My personal advice would be to use cold water. This de-ices the windows, and won’t strip any wax protection. You could also have the engine running whilst doing this, so by the time you have finished, the heaters will be up to temperature, without excessive use of the engine.

Last edited by RandomlySet; 22-11-2010 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 22-11-2010, 08:37 PM   #8
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Car Maintenance

CAR MAINTENANCE

Stay Safe


Whilst driving safe sounds like something we should be doing regardless of weather, time of the year etc, it is easy to forget how a change in conditions can affect your driving. Remember, during the winter months keep a bigger gap from the car in front. This gives you a greater field of vision, and allows more time for braking in sudden emergencies. Also, keep an eye on vital aspects of your car. Brakes, tyres, wiper blades are all very important during these harsh months.


Essential Winter Checks


The colder weather that comes with the winter months puts a lot of strain and demand on your car, particularly on the engine and tyres. Before the weather becomes too severe, it is advisable to check your cars vital fluids and tyres. Most modern day cars have a dedicated coolant tank for your radiator, check that this is topped up with the recommended fluid, and to the appropriate levels (check you cars handbook for information.

Other things to check include your wiper blades and washer fluid levels. A smeared windscreen is the last thing you want when visibility is bad enough. Smears are usually caused by worn wipers, so get these checked, and replaced if needs be. Remember to check the washer fluid level. Windscreens get dirtier, quicker in the winter months, and the last thing you want to do is run out of any cleaning fluid.

Checking tyre tread depth ___________ Check those wiper blades ___________ Keep your oil topped up

Image Source: About.com


Finally, check your tyres. These are the only four things that keep your car on the road! Check the tread depth, and also the pressures (consult your manual for pressure ratings). The legal minimum limit for tyre tread depth is 1.6mm, this isn’t much at all. In fact, studies suggest that anything below 3mm sufficiently reduces grip and stopping distance.


General Car Safety

Whilst this may not be “winter specific”, it’s always a good idea to check other things on your car before winter sets in. Check your oil levels, this will help your engine run smoother and last longer, it gives you the opportunity to diagnose any potential problems before things get worse. It is also a good idea to check your brakes. It’s all well and good having tyres that meet requirements, and to grip in corners, but what about slowing down, and stopping? If you’re unsure how to check these, your local garage will usually give you a free inspection.


Take Precautions

So, what can we do to try to make our lives easier? Well, the first easy thing it to leave your wiper blades up, and off the windscreen for the night. This will prevent the blades freezing to the window, and help them last longer in turn. It’s also wise to allow extra time for your journey, keep up-to-date with traffic news by turning on your local radio station. One other tip is to assume all other drivers are idiots. Therefore you will be ready to expect anything. Not every driver on the road may be as confident as you are, so give them time and space. Don’t rush anyone, and keep your distance from the vehicle in front.


Winter Necessities


Not exactly car maintenance, but a bit of general advice next. At some point during the winter you may need to visit out of town friends/family, or take an extra-long journey. You never know what might happen once on the open roads. Now I’m not going to say make sure you have a pair of skies with you, and a knowledge of how to build a shelter using nothing other than snow and a plastic fork, but there are a few things you should have with you at all times.

A few things to carry in your car at all times during the colder months should be, a blanket, a torch (wind up one are great as no chance of batteries running out), a mobile phone (and a car charger if you have one) and your information for your breakdown company. Should the worse happen whilst on the road, at least you have a blanket to keep you warm and a phone to contact someone for help. It might also be worthwhile to carry a hot flask of water, and a pot of tea/coffee to keep you toasty and warm whilst you wait for help to arrive.

Last edited by RandomlySet; 22-11-2010 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 22-11-2010, 08:37 PM   #9
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Recommended Products

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

PASTE WAXES

Collinite 476s



“Without doubt Collinite 476 is the most durable car wax we have come across. It doesn't smell great but once you see just how good the results are and how easy to apply you will forgive it that. Buffing of is also childs play and the results look absolutely stunning. It adds depth to solid colours whilst not muting the flake on metallics.

Super Double coat paste wax #476 is a Carnauba based wax packaged in a tin that looks like it belongs in the 50's. Don't let that fool you though this is one of the finest waxes on the market. It is a true paste wax and contains absolutely no cleaners so by applying multiple thin layers you leave a finish which is more durable than not just any wax, but just about any sealant on the market.

Infact Collinite #476 is so durable that the manufacture claims one application will last a full 12 months come rain, snow and sun! This is the it's true forte. Somehow Collinite has managed to manufacture a wax so extremely durable it becomes the ideal choice all year round protection. All this makes Super DoubleCoat #476s a very popular choice for winter, throwing off the worst weather with ease.” – Source (text & image): Clean Your Car



FinishKare 1000p


“Developed from a West German process called Synthesis FinishKare 1000P is a blend of advanced pure synthetic materials.

The result is a paste wax characterized by melting temps. of 250+ degrees, extreme hardness, extreme slickness, high gloss, and intensive wear without the quality fluctuations found in natural waxes.

FinishKare 1000P delivers heavy duty resistance to UV, hard water, acid rain, bug spatter, tree sap etc while creating a customer appearance. Excellent for use on all automotive paint, gel coat and metal surfaces including critical aircraft surfaces.” – Source (text & image): Clean Your Car



Meguiars #16 Paste Wax


“Meguiars never produce anything that is less than ordinary and #16 Paste Wax follows that tradition. Using an exotic blend of waxes, this is a pure wax that contains no cleaners or abrasives.

Suitable for all paint finishes including clear coats. It leaves a really wet glossy coat, with absolutely insane beading!

As with all waxes, apply thin coats a panel at a time.” – Source (text & image): Clean Your Car



Collinite Insulator Wax (845)


“Collinite Insulator Wax (845) is a heavy duty liquid wax that was originally designed for industrial use, but its usage and performance characteristics also make it ideal for automotive use in situations where ease of use and durability are paramount, such as fleet maintenance for example. Like other Collinite products, it is very easy to apply and contains no cleaners or abrasives of any kind, meaning that it can be easily layered. If you are looking for a highly durable, time saving car wax then Collinite Insulator Wax (845) ticks all the right boxes.” – Source (text & image): Polished Bliss


SEALANTS

Zaino Z-8



Z-8 Grand Finale Spray Seal utilizes twenty-five new ingredients to bring you the highest level of shine, the deepest depths of gloss, the slickest feel, and the most protection available in any detail spray, period. But keep in mind, Z-8 isn't for everyone, and it hasn't been designed for everyday use. It's for those special occasions and extreme instances when you need extra performance from the Zaino Show Car Polish System.

If you're ready to take your paint to the next level and treat your eyes to the richest, most detailed paint they've ever seen, order a bottle of Z-8 Grand FinaleSpray Seal and prepare to be impressed.
Z-8 Grand Finale™ Spray Seal:
  • Leaves a high gloss, high shine, deep, rich, wet finish thanks to advanced optical-clarifying polymers
  • Leaves an ultra-slick finish that repels dust, dirt, environmental fallout and other stains
  • Locks in the improved looks and protection for weeks - not days
  • Contains anti-UV agents to protect your vehicle's finish against damaging sun rays
  • Is easy to use: wipe on, wipe off
  • Should be used in conjunction with the Zaino Show Car Polish System, including Z-2 PRO, Z-3 or Z-5
Source (text & image): Zaino Europe



Werkstat Acrylic Jett Trigger


“Werkstat Acrylic Jett Trigger extends the durability of the protective coat of polyethylene-acrylic nano-scale polymers laid down by Werkstat Prime Acrylic and builds an ever smoother, more uniformly reflective finish. Because it contains no cleaning agents whatsoever, Werkstat Acrylic Jett Trigger is well suited to being layered many times, as each fresh application will not strip or degrade the existing elastic sealing layer. As a result, Werkstat Acrylic Jett Trigger further improves resistance to environmental factors, such as heat, acid and ultraviolet radiation, and mechanical damage, such as wash-induced marring and scratching. In addition to its generous protective qualities, the resulting ultra-smooth coating ensures that low-angle incident light is brilliantly reflected to produce mirror-like images, while the high refractive index of the polymers allows high-angle light to refract into the finish and improve flake pop. In fact, the light transmittance of the coating laid down by Werkstat Acrylic Jett Trigger actually exceeds that of optical glass, thus ensuring that the beauty of your paint will stand out with unobstructed clarity. As the most durable product in the Werkstat line, Acrylic Jett Trigger is ideal for daily drivers that experience higher than average exposure to the elements, and for this reason is absolutely ideal for winter use too.” – Source (text & image): Polished Bliss


UNDER-BODY PROTECTION

Waxoyl



“Waxoyl Rust Proofing prolongs your vehicles life by protecting against rust and damp.
Features and Benefits:
  • Kills old rust
  • Prevents new rust
  • Spray inside doors, panels, box sections and other internal structures
  • Forms flexible, weather-proof skin
  • Doesn't crack, dry out or wash off
  • Use with Waxoyl High Pressure Sprayer” – Source (text & image): Halfords



Bilt Hamber Dynax Under Body


“Dynax UB is a high-performance anti-corrosion wax that provides exceptionally long lasting protection to steel surfaces. Dynax UB contains elastic polymers that create a tougher wax coating that is more resistant to abrasion than normal wax coatings - this property enables this wax to protect vehicle undersides for prolonged periods and unlike traditional bitumen underseals Dynax UB will not peel.

Dynax UB when dry, has the consistency and feel of soft rubber, but is intelligently formulated to expand and contract and as such, is perfect for use on cars which get put away in garages at the end of the day or are used all year long.

It dries to a tough matt black finish and is ideal for application to all unprotected road facing areas of the underside of the car or for areas which need to resist damage from grit/stones etc. In salt-spray trials (to ASTM B117 conditions) Dynax UB substantially outperforms competitive materials.

Dynax UB may be applied to another coating of UB, a wide range of painted/coated surfaces or to bare steel. It is not designed to be painted over.” – Source (text & image): Rubbish Boy’s Carnauba Wax Shop


Last edited by RandomlySet; 23-11-2010 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 22-11-2010, 08:38 PM   #10
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Acknowledgements

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Special thanks to:
  • Wikipedia
  • Woolyhats.co.uk
  • Amazon
  • Specialistsocks.co.uk
  • Halfords
  • About.com
For the use of their images.

I would also like to acknowledge the following for their use of images and product descriptions:
  • Clean Your Car
  • Halfords
  • Rubbish Boy’s Carnauba Wax Shop
  • Zaino Europe
  • Polished Bliss

And finally, an extra special thanks to the members of Detailing World. Without some of the posts on there this article would have not been possible. Also a shout to Gordon (Caledonia) for his post on applying wax which I have quoted in this article. A thank you to Steve (Lowiepete) for his input in how to wash using ONR during the winter months. And a thank you to all the manufacturers for their advice on product storage. Particularly to the following, as I have quoted your emails directly:
  • Mark Wibberley (More Than Polish)
  • Florian Kessler (Nano Surface Solutions)
  • Dom Colbeck (Dodo Juice)
  • And thank you to all the other manufacturers who replied
Thanks to you all….

Last edited by RandomlySet; 22-11-2010 at 10:06 PM.
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