Detailing Cars...How Far Will You Go?!

spyderturbospyderturbo Member Posts: 31
I tend to be a "detail" freak when it comes to
maintaining my cars. I'm curious just how far
others go with their cars. For example, I wax my
windshield wipers, clean my engine off EVERY time I
wash my car (at least once per week), apply
leather treatment to my interior 3 times per month,
wax my wheels, etc.).

Please sound off!



  • pblevinepblevine Member Posts: 858
    Interesting topic....Don't know how far I will go. It depends on available time and working space.
  • fastdriverfastdriver Member Posts: 2,273

    Mmmmmm...... I have never "waxed" my windshield wipers. I have cleaned them with alcohol. What do you use on them? Zaino?

    Several times a year I do clean my engine, but it seems like my leases never last long enough for the engine to really get that dirty.

    My 300M is almost 11 months old and I have never put any leather treatment on them because I was having a problem with my heated seat and wanted to wait until Chrysler replaced it. Unfortunately, they replaced it with the new leather that Chrysler is putting in the 300's now and it doesn't match the rest of the interior! The new leather is real soft and supple and has a dull finish to it unlike the sheen that is on the original seats. The factory rep never admitted that he could feel and see the difference in the driver's seat cushion. He said that I could put some leather treatment on the seat to make it shine like the rest of the seats! Plus it's a little lighter shade of grey.

    As for the wheels, I wax them when I wax the car with Zaino. I have the aluminum wheels, so they really shine with the Z-2 and Z-6. I do wipe all the door jambs after I wash the car so that they look as good as the outside.

    I'm not quite a fanatic, but I do like to drive a clean car.

    Just my 2 cents!

  • binubinu Member Posts: 81
    a question ..!!

    what are the processes involved in 'cleaning' the engine ...?

  • ruking1ruking1 Member Posts: 19,826
    Actually z-2 and/or z-6 works on the WW blades. Alcohol is not recommended on ww blades for it hastens the rubber deterioration. To make the blades last a bit longer, a trick is to hit the blades with "scotch brite" pads. It removes a bit of the rubber, exposing newer fresher rubber. I went from 6 mo change cycle to a 12 mo or so cycle using this process (a daily driver that sits 24/7 outside. On an inside one it has gone from a 6 mo cycle to 3 yrs. Both are streak free)
  • slingoizedslingoized Member Posts: 4
    Please tell me what you use on the leather. I have a 1999 Nissan Maxima GLE & am afraid to use snything for fear of ruining it. Thanks.
  • spyderturbospyderturbo Member Posts: 31

    I've been using Lexol. It is available in most finer shoe stores and boot shops. It is advertised in Excellence (Porsche magazine). Some say it is the very best thing to use on leather. I bought mine for $4.75 (10 oz. bottle).


    I first shammy off my car and then use a 100% soft cotton bath towel to drive the inner parts of the doors, trunk, windshield, etc. Once the towel is damp from drying these areas off, I then wipe down the entire engine compartment. I've done this from day one (every time I wash the car, which is weekly) and the engine still looks like new (one year and 10,000 miles). It only takes a few minutes to do and keeps the car looking like new.

  • jbadamsjbadams Member Posts: 63
    I ArmorAll the engine plastic and rubber. It looks new after 4 1/2 years.

    As for waxing the wiper blades... the wiper blade manufacturers recommend alcohol wipes (they supply with the refills). I do wax the wiper arms however.

    I have found that the spray on tire cleaner works great in the wheel wells too. Makes them look nice and black. Easy to apply, just spray the foam in there, an forget it.

    I use a metal polish on the chrome tail pipe twice a year.

    When I rotate my tires, I ArmorAll the inside tires, and clean and wax the inside wheels.

  • avs007avs007 Member Posts: 100
    Alchol will dry out rubbers and vinyl, I don't know why anyone would recommend using it...

    As for Armorall, AVOID USING IT... It contains petroleum distillates, which also dry out and promote cracking on rubber and vinyl...

    For your tires, use something like No-Touch or Meguiars Rubber and Vinyl protectant, which do not contain petroleum distillates....
  • shinershiner Member Posts: 19
    But when I use No-Touch it flings off the tires and onto my paint. Its the Meguiars any better? Sal Zaino has a tire "polish" that's supposed to protect and stay on the tire. But it's $16 a bottle (I think).
  • avs007avs007 Member Posts: 100
    I don't have a flinging problem... Than again my car is black... Than again, I wash my car weekly, cause I love my car too much ;)

    I would recommend using Meguiars Rubber & Vinyl conditioner/protectant... It says you can use it on the tires, and you can buff it if you don't want the shiny look, or leave it for the shiny look... I heard many people use this if their cars are white, because it doesn't fling off the tire...

    Or you can try the Meguairs Tire Gel... I never used it before, but I hear it adheres to the tire better... Doesn't fling, and the shine lasts weeks, even through rain... I just heard application is a b!tch...
  • cdg19cdg19 Member Posts: 15
    What is the best protectant for the dash? My dash on my 96 grand cherokee seems to be fading. I don't like the shiny look at all, I just want it to look new. I've tried low gloss armorall but it's already gone.
  • chiaofen99chiaofen99 Member Posts: 7
    3M has really good dash protectant,too bad they
    are hard to find, they are gel like and doesn't
    shine and creates grease mess like armor all does,
    they are also less likely to "attract dust", go
    to your local auto store and ask them if they
    carries it.
  • cholliechollie Member Posts: 17
    I received a free trial offer of Meguiars Tire Gel (available at )and tried it on my Acura. The tires looked good after two weeks and still had a shine on them after two washings. On the third washing I decided to scrub the tires with my regular bristle brush and the tires seemed to have a real sticky substance stuck on them. It took a bit of time to remove the so called gel. Personally I'm going to stick to washing and scrubbing to keep the tires looking like new. We all want to have tires with that clean factory look but I don't know of any manufacturer that puts anything on tires prior to selling them.
  • troy6troy6 Member Posts: 1
    Usually with every wash I clean the gas tank under the car with some tire protectant. I shine up the exhaust pipes. I also do the tires and the chrome wheels. Usually I'll clean my engine with a toothbrush before any big car shows. I also clean the wheel wells with the tire protectant. I also shine up the underbody of the car, mainly under the sideskirts. I also hit the wipers with some Zaino and the whole black area there by the windshield with some Zaino. That's about all I do.
  • tonewheeltonewheel Member Posts: 47
    Check out the Zaino topic on this site. There you'll find the hardcore detailers who need to get a life!!
  • hargetharget Member Posts: 2
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    Check out the active and three archived topics on waxes and polishes. I highly recommend you consider using Zaino. People who haven't used it think it's hard, but everyone who uses it quickly realizes how much easier it is than any other wax they have ever used. It has no cleaners nor abrasives, goes on quickly, easily and comes off even easier. And the results are stunning and longer lasting than any off the shelf product that I know or have seen discussed here.

    Others seem to think it is expensive, but you use so little and it lasts so long because of that, it is really much less expensive than many other products.

    You can visit their web site at - there is a recent message in the Waxes and Polishes topic that lists some other excellent links about using Zaino.

    I started using it on my new car in April after reading those topics. You may, as some are, be put off by the somewhat elaborate preparation recommended, but try not to be - it's no big deal, and something you should do before using ANY wax product.

    Good luck, hope this helps.
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