How to Detail a Second-hand Car
June 4, 2012
You may have bought your car for a knockout price, but are you sure it’s ready to take you on a road trip? Acquiring a second hand car is a smart investment for people who want to drive their own car but don’t have quite enough money for a brand-new model. Before you take out your used car for the first time, make sure to give it some thorough automobile detailing work first.
Look Before You Buy
A cardinal rule for second hand car shoppers is to determine if the vehicle they’re eyeing to purchase is still fully functional inside and out. If you’ve decided to buy a particular car, it has passed your initial inspection. However, you should still treat it to a little further cleaning once you have it in your garage.
Your trusted mobile detailer will assess the car’s exterior first, so you should do the same. Is the car clean and shiny? It may be necessary to give it a good long bath before you take it out for a drive. Use microfiber cloths, non-abrasive brushes, and gentle cleaning chemicals to wash the car’s exterior, including the grille, doorjambs, bumper, wheels, and tires.
Check for any scratches, dents or dings on the bodywork that the previous owner or car seller missed out on. It is likely that they have already fixed up most of the more noticeable scratches marring the finish, but it helps to scrutinize it further.
You can use some paintless dent removal products for this part of the job. Ask your automobile detailing professional for tips on which products to use so that you don’t add to the damage.
Finally, apply a generous coating of wax all over the paintwork to preserve the mirror-like shine and clean look for a long time. Don’t forget to apply dressing on the wheels and trim work as well to make them pop out and give your car a sharp look.
Clean It Inside
No vehicle is good enough to drive in until the interior has been vacuumed, shampooed, and conditioned properly. Automobile detailing professionals use different kinds of techniques to clean a car’s interior, but you can achieve nearly the same level of results by using the right kind of cleaning products.
Also, a little patience is needed to help you get at the tight spots of your car, such as the underside of car seats, the corners of the footwell, the air vents, and the small spaces between buttons
Cleaning your second hand car means really paying attention to every single component. You don’t know if the previous owner was a stickler for good car care, so you should give the car a good once-over before you use it. That way, your car will look and feel as if a professional mobile detailer actually worked on it.
Work from top to bottom so you don’t have to repeat the job when loose dirt falls to the already clean areas. You may want to use a special brush to knock off more of the trapped dust and hair fibers in the upholstery even after shampooing. If the second hand car seats are made of leather, make sure to use a conditioner and wax that’s specially-formulated to clean and protect without damaging the material.
Even if you didn’t actually have your mobile detailer work on your second hand car, you can still make it look good as new. All you need are a few simple cleaning tools and the right kind of cleaning products to work with.