Sunday, June 23, 2013

What's the best way to wash your car?

Folks are always asking me how I have kept my cars so clean and shiny and I usually tell them its hard work, but today I thought it was time to share a few of my car cleaning tips that should help you keep your ride clean and looking good!

There are more car cleaning products on the market today than ever and I know you are most likely overwhelmed anytime you try to find the best stuff to use on your car or truck (even if it’s not a show piece).  I have been told all of my life that you should never use normal dish soap to clean your car that it is too harsh and will damage your paint and/or strip all of the wax on your car off.  Well, I’m not sure if that is true or not, but I have always used a soap specifically designed for cars.  The products I use when I hand wash my car are not the highest priced stuff in the store, but I do use ones that give you lots of soapy suds.  Always make sure you let your car cool and try to wash it in the shade if possible. 
The best way to wash your car is to use two different wash mitts (I never use any type of sponge……it can trap dirt or grime to easy).  Use one mitt to clean the car from the top down and wash it in sections, that way you can wash a section and then quickly rinse it off (not letting the soap dry).  Use the second mitt to wash the lower section of your car and the tires and wheels.  This second mitt will always be the one that removed most of the road grit and grime from the lower sections.  You never want to use this one on the main areas of your car like the hood or top.  Don’t even put the second mitt in the bucket until you are finished washing the upper sections of the car.  Some folks even use a second bucket for this mitt.  Make sure you rinse the car off completely with lots of water to remove any soap.

2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta………Photo courtesy of Road and Track
Here is another tip that adds a little time but is worth the effort.  I use one of the synthetic chamois cloths similar to the ones the Olympic athletes used to dry off with after getting out of the pool events.  This allows you to safely dry the car and remove all of the water that has beaded up on the paint……water spots look awful and collect more dirt.  Then all you have left to do is put some shine on your tires and you are ready for the local cruise-in!!
I hope these simple tips will help you keep your ride clean……….stay tuned for another blog soon that will guide you how to wax your car and give it that show shine!!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

That First Car

There is one experience that ranks right up there with all the big ones (First Kiss, First Child, First Job, or First Home), it’s not the most important one, but your first car is one you will always remember.  For most folks it’s that first taste of freedom or independence, driving your own car down the road!  You are finally captain of the ship and you are the one charting the journey (even if it is just driving to school or to the grocery store for your mom).  Your first car may have been a clunker or a hunk of junk, it may have been a hand me down from an older brother or sister, but at least you did not have to bum a ride with your buddies or have your mom or dad drop you off.  It never failed that as soon as word got out that you had your own ride, your cool factor increased by at least 25%.  Sometimes it would even score you a date with a girl or guy that was out of your league just because of your ride.  There are so many topics to discuss about your first ride, but I thought I would share my first car with you guys.
My first car was a 1979 Volkswagen Scirocco and it may have not been much to brag about, but one thing was for sure……it was mine!  I remember so many fond memories in this car and I should because I drove it for 9 LONG years!  I purchased this car with help from my dad in the summer of 1986 and we only paid $2200 for it.  I’m surprised looking back at just how many modifications I did to it because back in 1987, we didn’t know how to do all the cool tricks the kids do today.  We never considered lowering the car, putting a cold air intake on it, adding performance mufflers, installing cams, etc.  There also were not as many performance companies selling stuff back then.  Now days you can modify or “hot rod” anything!!
(My old 1979 Scirocco after a few modifications, and yes that is my cat “Sammy”)
Here is a list of the few mods I did; added a front chin spoiler with fog lamps, tinted the windows, changed the tires/wheels, and added a stereo and woofers/amps in the trunk!  If you knew me back in the late 80’s then you know that I had more money in my stereo system than the car was worth (how many of you can relate to that??).  Sometimes I wonder if this car is still running or if it has been retired…….who knows, one of these days I may try to find it and restore it.  Just think of the things I could do to it now. 
I've had many cars and even a truck sense my first car, but nothing will replace the memories of that first ride.  It never fails that at a car show or cruise-in you will hear the conversation turn to "What was you first ride"?  It's amazing to hear the kind of cars and trucks folks drove, but you can hear the passion in their voice as they tell the stories that take them back to those days gone by!!  Maybe you are one of the lucky ones who was able to locate and buy back your first car.......well, if you are enjoy it and don't let go this time around.