As mentionied in the photographic post below, we had a Club day yesterday, with Drew taking us through the do’s and dont’s on proper paint car and maintenance, as well as a little bit of DIY rectification work as well. To cut a long story short, good quality products and proper techniques will allow you to care for your Saab’s paintwork without too much trouble.
Drew is a rock-doctor and hole-digger from 9 to 5. The rest of the time he divides between sourcing bargain parts on Ebay and fixing up his fleet of Saabs to a remarkably high standard. He’s mechanically gifted, but his true talent lies in body repair, painting and finishing. He knows his stuff, so you can take the following to the bank.
Unfortunately I didn’t snap off any pictures during the session. Ben, perhaps you could email me some to add to this post?
Anyway, here are Drew’s tips, slightly embellished for posterity. They cover washing your car, polishing for regular maintenance, polishing for defect repair and machine-polishing for defect repair:
Paintwork Maintenance & Rectification
A Few Handy Tips
- never use an automatic carwash – they severely abrade paintwork. The brushes frequently get clogged up with junk and consequently are whipping the junk accross your paint at high speed. A recipe for paintwork disaster. Jetwashes are OK.
- never let bird excrement dry on the paint surface, as it will cause etching of the paint film. Clean it off with water as soon as you see it, then hunt the bird down and kill it (OK, I added that bit).
- use a good quality detergent wash – eg. ‘wash & wax’
- do not use household detergents – they remove wax and accelerate oxidation
- use a good quality soft sponge – eg. Oates Sudshine. Replace it frequently as they can clog up with grit etc.
- do not use a nylon brush, as they have a tendency to scratch (the car wash principal)
- change washing water frequently to avoid concentration of contaminants
- rinse sponge frequently to avoid concentration of contaminants
- do not wash your vehicle in direct sunlight – ensure the paint is cool before washing.
- start washing from the top down – ie. cleanest to dirtiest.
- don’t wash wheels with the same sponge due to presence of metallic particles, etc
- do not allow soap or water to evaporate on your paint, as residue may cause etching of the paint film.
- wash and rinse small sections
- rinse with hose from top down
- final rinse from top down with slow water stream to reduce water beading – makes drying much faster. A hint here, take the spray nozzle off the end of your hose. Just have the full hose opening letting through a fat, gentle stream of water. The water will go on thick, but it’ll come off thick too with little beading and less to dry off.
- dry with a good quality chamois – eg. Oates Enka-Fill
- only use chamois to dry exterior paint – not wheels, underbonnet or internal surfaces.