It's Time to Spring Clean Your Car
I'm not sure about you, but something I need to make time to do this year is to take a look at the underside of my car.
We don't really see this part of the car, so the effects of winter on it remain unseen to many. Here's what you can do to give your car a proper spring cleaning this year.
Wash it, duh
This one is a no-brainer; rain can only do so much. On a nice, sunny afternoon take the time to fill up a bucket with soap and water to give your car a good wash.
When it comes to the actual washing of your car, having the right tools and products is important. Be sure to buy a quality car wash shampoo, invest in some good car wash mitts (microfiber is best), have two good buckets on hand to mix the shampoo with water (one for washing and one for rinsing your mitt), and get some microfiber drying towels.
Fact: Properly washing your car is important if you want to preserve the finish; improper washing can damage and dull it.
How to wash it right
It's all about the technique here. One basic principle you should remember here is to work from the top of your car to the bottom when washing and rinsing, doing your tires last. This will ensure that you're not moving dirt and grime around the car, but rather moving it down and letting gravity help you get the job done.
When you begin washing your car, first rinse the vehicle first to loosen and remove dirt and grime. Then you can begin washing with your soap and water mixture (mixed per the directions on the shampoo bottle). Thoroughly wet your mitt and wring it out over the car, then wash in small sections, rinsing your mitt frequently. Repeat until you've washed your whole car, then rinse again before gently drying your car.
You'll also want to wash your car in the shade to help prevent the wash from drying on your car before you can rinse it off. Preferably, it won't be a windy day, as the wind can cause dirt and grime to stick to your newly washed car after all the hard work you just did!
Now, for the underbelly
After you've washed your car, take a look at the underside. There's likely a good amount of rust under there. The harsh conditions of the winter, paired with the amount of rock salt we've encountered this year, can be to blame for this.
Undercoating is a method that completely covers the underside of your vehicle to prevent rust from spreading. With Undercoating in a Can, you can even apply it right over the rust that has already formed. Its wax based formula fully encapsulates the rust, depriving it of the oxygen needed for the rust to continue to spread. Undercoating in a Can dries pliable, allowing it to bend and move with the substrate, but it will not crack to allow oxygen back in.
Before you get to undercoating, you're going to want to clean the underside of your vehicle. A good washing is important to remove any oil, dirt, and grime that will get trapped beneath the undercoating and can cause issues down the line. Doing so will ensure proper adhesion of the coating.
To do this, you have a few options. You can just rinse it off, but using a strong degreaser, such as Purple Power, will remove all the buildup from the winter. Use of a pressure washer or even a coin operated car wash can help with this step. If you do have rust already forming, make sure you remove any of the loose stuff. You might need the help of a scraper or even a wire brush. Then, your car is ready for undercoating.