The most appealing part of a vehicle is the appearance. For the most part it helps if you have minimal body damage ie: dents, scrapes, dings, scratches etc. I usually recommend having major dents and body damage professionally repaired. It may cost more upfront but in the end it will retain the value and aesthetic demeanor of the vehicle over time.
1) A Good Wash
- Go to your local automotive store or and buy a wash bucket, microfiber wash mitt, a good car wash soap and a good medium grade clay bar. Most stores you can find these items in a kit or kits ranging from anywhere from $20-$50. You can also get this step done at your local detailing shop costing upwards of $250-$500, but if you are trying to keep costs down a DIY is the way to go!
- Use warm water and clay bar the vehicle first. you may have to repeat this step 2-3 times to get all the dirt and grime off that is not visible to the naked eye. Let’s say its like a facial cleanser for the surface of the body panels.
- Get your bucket use a generous amount of soap and add water. next rinse off the vehicle to make sure all contaminants are off. Give the vehicle a good scrub and rinse repeat 2-3 times depending on how dirty the vehicle is to begin with. dry off with a cowhide or micro fibre cloth or let it air dry under the sunlight.
2) Exterior Polish/Wax
For this step I recommend taking your vehicle to a professional as if you have not polished before you run into the risk of burning through the clear coat and paint thus costing even more money than what you set out to spend. Basically, what a good 2 step polish does for the vehicle is bring back that deep lustre and high gloss shine giving the vehicle a “like” brand new look again. You may also polish your head lights, tail lights and wax your windows for a great finished look. For the DIY you need a good multiple speed polisher, polishing pads, and a good 2- step polishing kit. These items can also be found at your local Automotive store or online detailing stores. For the do-it-yourselfers I will have another article available on the step by step on how to polish and wax.