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Car Washing Tips and Other Helpful Hints From Your Favorite Auto Body Shop - Valley Motor Center Autobody in Van Nuys, CA

Car Washing Tips and Other Helpful Hints

If your vehicle has been repaired recently, we would like to offer some helpful car washing tips that you might not have thought of.


Attempt to wash your vehicle in the shade.  Hand wash your vehicle with cool water containing a mild car wash soap and use a soft cloth, mitt, or sponge.  If available, use a second bucket containing clean water to rinse the dirt out of the cloth, mitt, or sponge each time before dipping it into the suds.  Thoroughly rinse your vehicle and then dry it with a wet chamois cloth or clean microfiber towel.  Be careful and try not to wipe your vehicle with a dry cloth as this can cause scratching.



We recommend not waxing your vehicle for at least the first three months after picking it up.  When you are ready to wax, always wash your vehicle before doing so.  Use a good quality, non-abrasive wax or polish formulated for clear coat finishes and apply according to the product’s instructions.  Do not use waxes or polishes that contain silicone.  Periodic waxing is an important step in properly maintaining your vehicle's finish.



Minor surface scratches can be buffed out of your vehicle's clear coat, but deep ones cannot.  Generally speaking, a scratch is too deep if you can “catch” your finger or thumbnail in the scratch when you drag your nail across it.  If this situation occurs, it may be possible to wet sand the scratched surface and then buff it.  Wet sanding is strictly for professionals.  Our professionals at Valley Motor Center can advise you on what can be buffed or wet sanded and what can’t.



If you're lucky enough to find the mess while it's still wet, use a damp cloth and wipe it off immediately.  However, when you find it, if it is dried and caked on, soak a paper towel with warm water and place it on the mess until it softens.  Then, wipe it clean with a damp cloth.  Bird droppings contain acids that will etch into painted surfaces if not dealt with quickly.  Be mindful of where you park.  Parking under trees or wires should be avoided, if possible.



Dish soaps or laundry detergents are not your best choices.  These soaps will damage your paint over time.  Try to use soap designated for use on car finishes.  Car wash soap can be purchased at just about any automotive parts store.



·       Do not set objects on your vehicle.  When objects are moved, even slightly, they can cause surface scratches.  And never, ever sit on your car!

·       Touch-up chips and deep scratches as soon as possible.  Left unattended, a chip or scratch down to the bare metal will begin to rust very quickly.  Quick action on your part will help prevent this from happening.

·       Avoid gravel roads and following large trucks.  Paint can chip fairly easily when hit with small stones, especially within the first 30 days after being painted.

·       Do not park under trees that are known to drop sap or near factories with heavy smoke fallout.  Tree sap and industrial fallout can spot and damage painted surfaces.

·       Do not spill gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, or windshield washer solvent on newly painted surfaces.  If you do, rinse with water immediately.

·       Do not scrape ice or snow from a newly painted surface.  Your snow scraper can act like a paint scraper if the finish is new.

·       Use common sense!  If you think some substance or action may be hard on the paint, it probably will.


If you have any questions on caring for your car just give us a call or visit our website at!  We are here to help you.  


Happy driving!


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