A classic car is a beautiful way to capture a moment in history. Turn back the hands of time for your one-of-a-kind ride with the right classic car care regimen. Proper exterior maintenance adds years of enjoyment to your classic car or truck. Some classic car owners pay a professional to wash their invaluable ride. Others prefer the pleasure of cleaning their classic cars themselves. When you wash your own classic car, you become intimately familiar with every inch of your investment. Either way, keeping your vehicle well-maintained ensures your classic will be in top shape for years to come.
Use the right tools to wash your classic car. A classic car wash starts with plenty of water, a 5 gallon bucket and the proper cleaning products. Use a paint-safe microfiber or cotton washing mitt with car wash specially designed for classic cars. Choose a non-detergent, pH balanced car wash formula so you don’t strip off the wax. A gentle car wash is safe enough to use on all painted surfaces along with plastic, rubber and vinyl components.
Always dry your classic car. If you don’t dry your classic car, water spots form and cause mineral deposits to form on the paint. Use a paint safe drying towel, sheepskin chamois or cotton detailing cloths to dry your car’s surface for a smooth, flawless finish.
Inspect your classic car for stubborn grime. Often stubborn grime such as tree sap, bird droppings or bug residue remains after you wash the car. Use detailing clay to pull the grime off the surface of your car without scratching the paint. A lubricating spray is used to protect the paint, then the clay is applied to get rid of the grit. Special solvents are also used to get rid of stubborn contaminants.
Assess the condition of your paint. If your car’s surface still looks dull, you may need to get rid of old oxidized paint. Three ways to revamp your car’s paint are car cleaner, polish or rubbing compound. Polish is the first step as it removes the smallest amount of paint. Discuss using a cleaner or rubbing compound with a professional before trying it yourself.
Get your shine on with wax. Besides making your classic car shiny, classic car polish also protects the vehicle’s paint. Carnauba wax gives you a rich shine that lasts up to three months. Paint sealants are not quite as shiny but the protection lasts for up to six months.