Spring Cleaning: Detailing the Details (Part 3)

Jeep Wrangler Close Up

Ok…now that we have the interior and exterior of our cars detailed to an extent, it’s time to focus on a few details that really make that your car look awesome. Although these areas I’m about to mention aren’t often overlooked, there are some tricks that can make a huge difference in your detailing. Tires, wheels, and plastic trim are on the menu today.

More than anything, a detailer’s knowledge base is the trick to choosing the right products and approach to detailing. Knowing how certain ingredients work together and interact with the elements can vitally improve your detailing.

Tire Care

Every detailer can agree that no detail is complete until the tire has been treated. There are plenty of options for tire dressing: spray cans, creams, oils…etc. So what’s the key? There are a few things to consider actually, not just one.

Surfactants

If you want a tire treatment product to last, it cannot contain surfactants. Plain and simple. You see, surfactants are used to help multiple chemicals bond together to get the desired product. If the surfactants weren’t there, the ingredients would separate like oil and vinegar.  Got it, but the issue lies with what breaks down surfactants. If you have a tire treatment on your tire and drive away, any water on the tire is going to break down the surfactants and thus your tire treatment. Once this happens, you’re left without protection and it will likely sling up onto your car. Not good. So there’s the first thing to consider.

Actual Treatment

So far I’ve been saying tire “treatments”. But are you certain that your products are actually treating the tires or just lying on top of them? Many tire dressings don’t actually penetrate into the rubber to moisturize, condition, and treat the tire. You’ll want to find a tire dressing that does this. Improving the health of your tires is going to keep them looking new, longer. Other products that don’t penetrate,  just sit on the surface and make the tires look black. Improve the health and make sure your tires STAY black.

Wheel Protection

The wheels on a car are a huge important accent. It can be hard to keep them clean, especially if you live somewhere with inconsistent weather or do a ton of driving. Wheels are susceptible to break dust as well as road debris and grime. These contaminants can be such a pain when cleaning the wheels. That’s why we suggest using a sealant on the wheels.

Protection

The simple fact is that you can’t use a wax or polymers on wheels because they have low melting/flash temperatures. These temperatures are the key because the wheels get extremely hot (like 400 degrees Fahrenheit hot). Waxes and polymers have a threshold under 300 degrees. The product you’re looking for should be oil based. Oil has an extremely high flash point and can actually withstand the heat of the wheels. This oil based sealant is going to provide the layer of protection that is going to resist break dust build up and make them easy to clean.

Plastic Restoration

Restoring the plastic trim on your car is probably something you don’t do all that often. But by doing so from time to time will really make the accents and lines of the car really stand out. After the harsh weather of winter, the plastic can really lose some of its pop. So what’s the key here? Health.

Penetration

Soft plastic like the plastic you’ll find on bumpers, trim, and side mirrors is porous. Implementing a product that will penetrate those pores and rejuvenate the plastic is vital. Sure you could put any blackening agent on the plastic, but that’s only superficial and will quickly wear off with a car wash or rain storm. The key is finding a product that will bring the plastic back to life and make that treatment last.

Conclusion

Paying special attention to the accents of a car is crucial for making a detail look and feel complete. But there’s more to detailing than just knowing what and where to spend time while detailing. You have to know your products and how and why they work. Tire dressings should moisturize and should not contain surfactants. Wheel sealants should be oil based. Restoring plastic is more than just making it look black again. Ensure you’re looking at the ingredients to really step up your detailing.