Do use a special wheel cleaner for your tyres. *MCT photo
Do use a special wheel cleaner for your tyres. *MCT photo

Did you know that frequent washing is the single best thing you can do to maintain your vehicle’s finish and preserve its showroom lustre? 

Yet, washing your vehicle the wrong way can leave the paint in worse condition than when you started. 

Following are some dos and don’ts to help you keep your vehicle’s finish in top condition.


Don’t wait for your vehicle to get filthy before washing it. Dead bugs, bird droppings, tree sap and chemicals from the atmosphere all contain acids that can strip away wax and eventually eat into your car’s paint. If left too long, they can cause damage that requires sanding and repainting the area to correct. 

• Do wash your vehicle two to three times a month. This is particularly important in Bermuda because of the sea salt air and pollution. In between make sure to wash off any acidic debris immediately

• Don’t use household cleaning agents. Items like hand soap, dishwashing detergent or glass cleaner to wash your vehicle’s exterior as they can dull the finish. 

• Do use a dedicated car wash product. This will be milder and specifically designed for use on automotive paint. Apply the suds with a large, soft natural sponge moving it lengthwise across the hood and other body panels, not in circles as that can cause swirl marks. Rinse the sponge often using a separate bucket for rinse and sudsy wash water.

• Don’t use the same sponge to clean the wheels and tyres. They are the dirtiest parts of the vehicle with grease, brake dust and road debris. Also don’t continue to use a sponge or mitt that has been dropped on the ground. Any particles of dirt — even those you can’t see — could scratch the paint. 

• Do use a special wheel cleaner and brush for stubborn grime on the wheels. But make sure to use a product that’s appropriate for your type of wheels.

• Don’t wash your car when the body is hot. Especially immediately after driving it or after it has been parked in direct sunlight for a long time. The heat causes the soap and water to dry quickly, which can make the washing process harder and possibly dull the finish.

• Do rinse all surfaces thoroughly with water before you begin washing. It will not only help cool off the vehicle’s body, but also will remove loose dirt or other debris that could scratch the paint if caught under a sponge or towel. 

Once you begin, concentrate on one section at a time, washing and rinsing each area completely before moving on to the next one. This ensures that you have plenty of time to rinse before the soap dries. When rinsing, use a hose without a nozzle and let the water flow over the car from top to bottom. 

• Don’t let your vehicle air dry. When the water evaporates, it leaves the minerals on the paint, which create noticeable water spots. Not only are these unsightly, but if left on the finish for a long time, they could damage the paint.

• Do use a natural or synthetic chamois or soft terry towels to dry your vehicle. If you choose towels, make sure you have several on hand. It’s best to blot the water up instead of dragging the towel or chamois over the paint. One way to speed up the drying process is to use a soft-rubber squeegee or similar type of product to wipe most of the water off of the surface before you follow up with a chamois or towel.

Did you know that frequent washing is the single best thing you can do to maintain your vehicle’s finish and preserve its showroom lustre? Yet, washing your vehicle the wrong way can leave the paint in worse condition than when you started. Following are some dos and don’ts to help you keep your vehicle’s finish in top condition. 

Krishna King is the after parts sales manager at Bermuda Motors. For more information on automobile maintenance, contact Krishna King at Bermuda Motors: 292-0893 or KKing@bermudamotors.bm. Website: www.bermudamotors.bm