Your Complete Guide to Detailing – Part 3

Posted by on October 4, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Alright! We are through the first 2 parts of this complete detail series and ready to get into exterior detailing and paint correction! Without a doubt, the most time consuming part of any detail.

Have your hose, or pressure washer ready, before you do anything else. Make sure that the car you are about to detail and clean is cool. Always wash your car in the shade.

If you use a foam lance/cannon, foam the car first if you want to. Rinse off after 3 to 5 minutes while you are cleaning the wheels

Wheels first!

Degreasing wheels and tires should always be done before washing the car. You don’t want to have the paint clean and when you are rinsing the grime off the wheels/tires some of that dirt get back on the paint and scratch the paint as you dry the vehicle.
Get all your brushes and wheel/tire cleaners ready.
Put on your disposable or rubber gloves.
You are going to do one wheel at a time.
Rinse the wheel and tire and also the fender to dilute the wheel degreaser, in case you get some on the paint.
Spray the wheel well first with a 4:1 ratio of All Purpose Cleaner and let it dwell.

Now use your wheel specific degreaser

Spray your wheel, making sure that you cover the entire surface, including the inner barrel (this does not apply to every wheel type naturally). If your wheels are not too dirty, like in the picture, you can start cleaning them right away. If you have multi spoke wheels, make sure to clean the inside of the spokes as well. Use what ever type/shape/size of brushes you need, to make sure that you get the wheels 100% clean.


Try not to miss any spots. The last thing you want is to finish the car and notice that the wheels are not completely clean. As always, pay attention to the small details. If you are done with the wheel, rinse it off and turn you attention to the tire. Depending on the type of wheel cleaner you use, you maybe able to use the same product. If not, use the the same All Purpose Cleaner that you used for the wheel wells. Scrub the tires real well. Once done, take a wheel well brush

(aka as a brush with a long handle) and clean the wheel well. Rinse. Repeat if need to, until area is 100% clean. Do all the wheels in the same fashion.

At the end of the detail, dress your tires and wax or seal your wheel to show them off

Ok, Done! Next should be the engine compartment.

Rinse the whole front of the car first!

Again, this step is very important, because if any of the degreaser that you spray on the engine gets on the paint, you want to make sure that it is diluted immediately and doesn’t cause any damage to the paint.
Make sure that your engine is cool and do the detail in the shade!  Always cover all electrical parts!!!!

Open the hood and quickly rinse the engine down
Take your degreaser or all purpose cleaner and spray down the engine.

Don”t be shy, make sure to saturate the area well.
Let it soak for a few minutes – meanwhile, start using your brushes and clean and scrub everything as well as you can. Don’t forget to clean the inside of the hood.
Turn on your engine
Start rinsing your engine until all dirt is off
Let it run for 15-20 minutes
Turn off engine, and start it again. Turn off again.
Apply your dressing and let it completely dry.

It will dry fast as the engine is warm. If you use a quality dressing, you do not have to go back to wipe excess dressing off if you follow these steps. It dries perfectly even like in the below picture.

Thomas Dekany



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