Cleaning/Protecting - Basics Please!
I have an '05 A3 and being my newest car ever I'm wandering on the best way to keep it looking good and protect it. Most of the associated threads seem to have some serious detail in so I'm hoping someone can give me the real basics - i.e. how often to wash, apply polish, apply other protective products etc. What's the minimum you can get away with and what are some sensibly priced products? Do I need something special for wheel protection as well?
Thanks in advance for any help / advice.
I've always liked the Autoglym range of products for the basic cleaning and protection of my cars, only ever used Meguiars clay bar once for cleaning my Ibiza, but still used AG Super Resin Polish afterwards to get some wax back on the car. If your budget can run to a bit more, some of the products on www.polishedbliss.co.uk are top notch, and some like the Menzerna Full Acrylic Jacket last for over 6 months with little to no maintainance.
If you keep your car nicely waxed (I do my car with AG about 3 times a year, and water always beads nicely), then washing it isn't so critical as the wax gives you a layer of protection. In the summer, I try and wash the car every couple of weeks, probably once a month over the winter. I'd say that is probably about the minimum I'd be happy with, though I'm sure some will say even that is too little.
For the wheels, you can just used AG again, though personally I'll be going for Poorboys Wheel Sealant for the A3 when I pick it up, after hearing a few good things about it.
If you want some advice on products for your car and colour, Rich on Polished Bliss is very helpful and will quite happily suggest a range of products to use based on your washing habits, the only trouble is the stuff he sells isn't cheap
hope your getting on well with your new car.
first and most important thing no matter what product you use is ...
ALWAYS rinse the car off well before you start to wash it. Get rid of as much standing dirt as possible. I always use a pressure washer all over the car before making up the shampoo and using a mash mit.
My advice would be to get the following
>25L bucket and grit guard (this allows the muck and grit in the bucket to fall to the bottom and when you dunk your mit in it wont pick it back up again)*
>Megs wash mit (or similar)*
>Autoglym shampoo and conditioner (basically a good mild wash n wax)
>Sonus der wunder drying towels (safer than leather chamois)*
>Autoglym super resin polish
>Collinite 476s paste wax*
>foam wax applicator pads*
>Autoglym alloy wheel cleaner
>Autoglym tyre dressing
*available from www.cleanyourcar.co.uk
I would apply the super resin polish and then the collinite 476s ontop. this will give a brilliant finish and great durability of around 6 months (super resin will only last 1 month by itself)
Once that is applyed you will only need to rinse - wash - rinse every 1 - 2 weeks to maintain a brilliant finish.
DOnt use the super resin any more frequently as it is a cleaner wax and will take off the collinite layer.
Feel free to ask any questions.
Age 18: CRX MK2 | Age 20: Corrado VR6 | Age 21: Audi S3 (rip) | Age 23: Audi S3 | Age 25: BMW E46 M3