| Clay Bar
For reasons I can't entirely explain, in 2000 I got
interested in car wax. It started when I bought a new car (an Audi A6). I had owned my
previous car for about 18 months, and I hadn't hand washed it even once. I
had owned the car before that for 11 years, and I hadn't hand washed it for the
last four years I owned it. So when I bought a new car, I didn't plan to wash or
wax it very often. I wanted to find the
best wax that would require the least effort to put on and that would last the
longest. I tried one wax, and it was OK, but not great. I tried another wax, and
it looked better, but it didn't seem to last very long. Eventually I found, to my surprise,
that I was hand washing my car every week and waxing it after almost every wash. After I washed it I would try a
little bit of wax on one part of the car. Eventually I ended up with the car
divided into 12 test panels, testing several different waxes. Here's the
writeup on my original wax test.
Wax Notes. Since the original test back in 2000, I've tried numerous
new waxes. I've also tried lots of different waxing techniques, and I think some
work better than others. Here are my
on wax technique and waxes.
Of course, a person can't live on wax alone. Wax doesn't look its best
unless the rest of the car looks good.
With good surface preparation, a mediocre wax can look pretty good, and without
good surface preparation, an excellent wax can look terrible. The first step, of
course, is washing your car. Technique actually does
count, and some car wash products are better than others, too. The second step, in my book anyway, is
clay barring your
car, which removes all the surface imperfections that the shampoo can't get. The third step is
car, i.e., once you've removed all possible dirt and
contaminants, making the surface of the car smoother.
glass makes the whole car look shinier.
Tires. Some products look a lot better than others (and cause fewer
problems). Here are my notes on the
dressing and wheel cleaning products.
Leather Care. I've
found some leather care products that I like better than others.
Interior Cleaner. I'm
not as much of a fanatic about the interior of the car as the exterior. I guess
I like things to be shiny, and a shiny interior isn't always a good thing!
Nevertheless, here some