WASH WITH CAREHow often you need to wash your car depends on where you live. “If you are in a dusty area, wash your car daily. Otherwise, wash your car two-three times a week with water and once a week with shampoo. If your locality has hard water, it can leave marks on your car. They are very hard to remove,” says Sajan Murali Puravangara, MD of a leading car care and detailing product brand in India.
AVOID DUST TO PROTECT YOUR PAINT
It’s crucial to keep the surface of your car dust-free if you want the paint to look shiny for years. “If dust settles on your car, there will be abrasion of the paint while washing. Dust can also lead to swirl marks. Ideally, you should remove the dust with a microfiber broom before washing,” Sajan explains.
WAXING: DIY OR PROFESSIONAL DETAILER?
Waxing the car yourself requires some serious elbow grease, so if you’re up for it, you could do it yourself once a month. “Waxing can be a cumbersome job that everyone may not like. You need to apply wax panel by panel and it needs to be perfect. You could do it yourself with a spray wax or wet wax if you have good knowledge of cars,” says Sajan.
KNOW YOUR WASH TOOLS
Invest in a good car shampoo that won’t only clean the exterior, but also leave it shiny. “Make sure to pick a shampoo that has a neutral pH level. One must also avoid leaving the car to dry under direct sunlight. It is always better to wipe off the excess water,” shares Aniruddha Mohite, an automotive enthusiast. Sajan advises that the three washcloths you require – a wet towel, a rinse cloth and a buff towel – need to be kept separate. “All of these need to be the right kind of microfibre that will save your paint, and keeping them separate will also avoid contamination,” he adds.
PROTECTIVE COATING FOR YOUR CAR PAINT
There are three coating materials available to protect your car paint — Teflon, ceramic and graphene. “Ceramic is more durable than Teflon, which is a thinner layer. Ceramic is a one-micron coating and the silica in it brings shine that actually makes it water-repellent. Thanks to technology, there’s also graphene coating, which is much more durable than ceramic because it is one of the hardest substances for a protective coating,” Sajan explains. The prices vary from ₹5,000 for Teflon coating to ₹25,000-plus for the high-end graphene coating, depending on the make and model of the car.
COVER YOUR CAR
It is important to cover your car if you must park it under direct sunlight. Where you park your car also matters, because you don’t want tree sap or bird droppings to ruin your car’s paint. Park your car away from other cars so there are no dents or scratches when someone else opens their door,” says Aniruddha. He, however, cautions that covering the car when it already has a film of dust on it may lead to scratch marks. So, clean the car first before covering it.
PROTECT YOUR CAR’S UNDERBODY
The underbody of your car is just as important and also requires care. Sajan shares, “The bottom of the car experiences a lot of rough treatment because of stone chips, bad roads, water and mud. This makes it more susceptible to rust. An underbody protection coating has anti-corrosive properties that prevent it from rusting. A rusted underbody can affect the resale value of your car, making it look older than it is.”