BASKET  : CHECKOUT

ARCHIVES

Never mind that it’s Halloween…

October 31st, 2014

One of the last things a detailing enthusiast ever wants to see...

… the scariest thing we’re actually facing right now is the imminent spreading of salt on our roads. Despite the unusually warm weather we’ve recently been experiencing, it won’t be long now until overnight temperatures drop below freezing and local authority gritters make an appearance. Over the years we’ve posted a number of articles about the issues posed by road salt and the need for car care enthusiasts to protect their cars against it, so hopefully the message has sunk in and you’ve already completed your winter protection detail. If not, all is not lost; there’s still enough time to get it done (due to a recent family wedding in Cyprus we’ve not done our own cars yet; guess what we’re going to be doing over the next two weekends!). If you’d like a recap on why road salt is so bad for your car, please take a few minutes to read the following article…

IS YOUR CAR READY FOR WINTER?

The background information and maintenance advice presented in the above article remains valid today, but some of the product recommendations we made are now out of date (reflecting the evolution of the car care market in recent years). We posted a revised list of product recommendations around this time last year, which remain current and up to date, but another pair of the synthetic-based kits we stock also make ideal choices for winter protection, so what follows below is a guide to these, including an explanation of why we’ve chosen them, plus maintenance advice. Our aim is to enable you to quickly identify which of these kits is right for you and encourage you to make the time to get your car properly protected before the weather finally turns and the salt goes down. With a special offer running this weekend, now is the time to act!

Residue Removal – 60 Second Tip

March 28th, 2014

How To Detail A Brand New Car

November 25th, 2013

Taking delivery of a brand new car should be a magical experience. From the moment you settle on what make and model you want a sense of anticipation sets in, which then steadily grows as you work your way through the process of picking the options, negotiating the best possible deal and waiting patiently for it to be built. And when the delivery date finally comes around and you’re on your way to the dealership to collect it that sense of anticipation turns into child-like excitement; all you want to do is see it, touch it and smell it (which might sound odd, but if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to take delivery of a brand new car you’ll know exactly what I mean).

Unfortunately it’s at this point that the experience suddenly turns sour for some buyers. The sad reality is that vehicle presentation standards in the motor trade often fall well short of what we, as car care enthusiasts, typically expect. As a result it’s not unusual for many brand new cars to be handed over with a variety of bonded contaminants in situ, fresh swirl marks and fine scratches in the finish and product residue left on the trims and in the panel gaps. The second to last brand new car we took delivery of (a Fiat 500) was plagued by all three problems, along with an additional issue in that the off-white interior had obviously been wiped down with a dirty towel.

Surely this is an exception and not the rule? Unfortunately it isn’t. While the vast majority of new car handovers probably go smoothly and might well be magical experiences, the bottom line is that the vast majority of people aren’t car care enthusiasts and probably don’t notice such problems. However, we receive hundreds of enquiries each year from more discerning individuals (like you) who have noticed such issues and need our help to fix them, by way of us either offering remedial advice and product recommendations or booking the car in to be professionally detailed. Of course, prevention is better than cure, so the question is what can you do differently?

The answer is detail your brand new car yourself. There is nothing stopping you from doing so and most dealerships will oblige you if it means sealing the deal on a sale (our local Fiat dealer wouldn’t allow us to take delivery of our 500 without them valeting it fully first, but in hindsight we should have walked away and bought it elsewhere). All you need to do is ask the dealership to leave any plastic shipping wraps in place and not wash or valet the car in any way. This will not prevent them from doing their pre-delivery inspection (PDI) safety checks nor will it affect your warranty in any way. The dealership staff will think you are mad but don’t let this put you off!

Assuming you decide to follow the above advice some obvious questions arise, i.e. what exactly will I be facing and how should I go about tackling the work? The easiest way to guide you through the process is to present you with a real world example and as luck would have it I took delivery of a brand new Fiesta ST just a couple of weeks ago. Having done exactly as I advised above (i.e. I asked the dealership to leave the shipping wraps in place and not wash or valet the car in any way) I was able to record the detailing process I performed from start to finish. So, without further ado, here is an in-depth write up showing you how I detailed my brand new car…

Winter Protection Suggestions

September 19th, 2013

Is your car ready for winter?

The wonderful summer we’ve just enjoyed has done much to suppress our memories of last winter, which was one of the longest and coldest on record in the UK (up here in Aberdeenshire it started in November and persisted through until May!). However, with the evenings now drawing in and a noticeable chill in the air, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that winter is once again approaching. Indeed, snow is already being forecast for October and local authority gritters will undoubtedly be making an appearance on our roads soon. Several years ago we posted an in-depth article on our blog about road salt and the need for car care enthusiasts to protect their cars against it…

IS YOUR CAR READY FOR WINTER?

The background information and maintenance advice presented in the above article remains as equally valid today, but some of the product recommendations we made are now out of date (reflecting the speed at which the car care market has evolved in recent years). Therefore, what follows below is a revised set of winter protection recommendations, including an explanation of why we’ve chosen each system, plus product usage tips and maintenance advice. Our aim is to enable you to quickly identify which system is right for you and encourage you to make the time to get your car protected before the weather turns and the salt goes down. Now is the time to act!

Questions of the month (November ’11)

November 29th, 2011

Questions of the month (November '11) - Word Cloud

Following on from Rich’s timely blog about the importance of winter preparation, this next batch of frequently asked questions will focus on other aspects of detailing that become more prominent during the winter months. As always, if you have any additional questions please feel free to fire away below and we’ll do our best to help.

Questions of the month (October ’11)

October 28th, 2011

Questions of the month (October '11) - Word Cloud

Continuing our series of blogs focusing on frequently asked questions, we’re going to present two e-mail enquiries concerning the wash process; specifically about the role of pre-wash foaming and shampoo choice. We receive a lot of enquiries about these topics, so hopefully what follows will be useful. However, as always, if you have any remaining questions please feel free to fire away below and we’ll do our best to help.

The problem with road salt…

October 3rd, 2011

Road salt accelerates metal corrosion processes, which is bad news for cars.

…is that it accelerates metal corrosion processes, which is bad news for cars. Add in the wider environmental damage it causes, particularly to waterways and man-made structures, and it becomes clear that its widespread use as a road de-icer during the winter months is controversial to say the least. Last autumn, we posted an article about road salt and the need for car care enthusiasts to protect their cars against it. Despite the unusually good weather we are currently experiencing, it won’t be long now until the nights draw in, temperatures drop and the gritting lorries make an appearance. With this in mind, we thought it would be useful to revive last year’s article and refresh your memory about the importance of proper winter preparation. So, without further ado…

…IS YOUR CAR READY FOR WINTER?

Questions of the month (September ’11)

September 22nd, 2011

Questions of the month (September '11) - Word Cloud

Continuing our series of blogs focusing on frequently asked questions, we’re going to present two e-mail enquiries about machine polishing issues; specifically machine choice and pad choice. We receive a lot of enquiries about these topics, so hopefully what follows will be useful. However, as always, if you have any remaining questions please feel free to fire away below and we’ll do our best to help.

Questions of the month (August ’11)

August 22nd, 2011

Questions of the month (August '11) - Word Cloud

Continuing our series of blogs focusing on frequently asked questions, we’re going to present two e-mail enquiries that highlight two of the more basic aspects of detailing that are sometimes not fully understood, or overlooked, perhaps due to their apparent simplicity. Hopefully our responses to the questions posed will make perfect sense, but as always, if you have any questions please feel free to fire away below and we’ll do our best to help.

Questions of the month (July ’11)

July 20th, 2011

Questions of the month (July '11) - Word Cloud

This is the first of a new series of blogs we’re going to post looking at questions we’re commonly asked here at PB HQ. This month, we’ve chosen two fairly substantial e-mail enquiries with strongly recurring themes: (i) “I’m new to proper detailing, what should I be doing?”, and; (ii) “I’m just about to take delivery of a new car, how should I detail it?”. Hopefully our responses to the questions posed will make perfect sense, but as always, if you have any questions please feel free to fire away below and we’ll do our best to help.

John’s thoughts on protection…

June 2nd, 2011

John's freshly detailed Lotus Elise, protected with Werkstat Acrylic products

So far, I’ve blogged on washing, decontamination and polishing, so this article is, with just a hint of predictability, going to focus on paint protection and last stage products (or LSPs for short).

When deciding which LSP to select, due to the chiefly subjective nature of the subject, I think it’s best to consider which properties in a finish are of highest importance. Some products will maximise flake pop, others reflectivity, some the depth of shine and colour richness (also known as jetting). Obviously factors such as durability are objective and will play a more easily quantifiable part in the process. If you know what you’re looking for in a finish, it makes product selection much easier – remembering that, at the moment, there is no truly perfect LSP.

John’s thoughts on polishing…

February 28th, 2011

John's thoughts on polishing... probably the most complex car care subject of all.

In the third installment of my blog, I’ll look at my training regarding polishing and offer my thoughts on this massive topic. This could be lengthy…

The initial points that Rich and I discussed were basic, but possibly much overlooked: what exactly is car paint and, crucially, how much paint depth do cars typically have? I was aware that total depth is usually pretty thin, but only when you have a laboratory reference shim in your hand do you realise that 100 microns is not a lot. For reference, a typical sheet of paper is around 70 microns thick.

Paint defects generally comprise any damage that has broken the top layer of paint (usually termed the clearcoat) and damage such as stone chips and swirl marks are probably the most common. For the purposes of this blog, I’ll refer to any abrasive product as a polish and any non-abrasive product as a glaze in the following discussion.