Tips To Wash Your Car

A thorough car wash at home can easily yield professional results without the expense of taking your car to be washed at a car wash or detailing service. The car wash tips included here will not only help achieve professional results performing your car wash at home but can also lead to a very satisfying job well done. This article will help you learn how to wash your car and achieve professional results at home!

The items needed to perform a car wash at home are:

  • Bucket for water and Car Wash Soap
  • Car Wash Mitt or Sponge
  • Towel or Absorber to dry the car
  • Shady Location
  • and Certainly not least.. A Dirty Car!

Optional items needed to perform a car wash at home are:

  • Second Bucket for water filled with fresh, clean, water
  • California Water Blade or other squeegee product
  • Wheel Detailing Brushes
  • Air Compressor with air nozzle

First, park the car in a shady location out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can affect the car wash as it will cause the soap and water to prematurely dry and leave spots on the paint.

If the wheels on the car are covered in dirt or brake dust, it is best to begin by scrubbing the wheels first. Please note however, that if you recently drove your car it is advisable to not wash the wheels if the brakes are hot as the heat will cause the soap or wheel cleaner to evaporate very quickly and cause spotting or in severe cases warp a brake rotor.

Rinse the wheels and tires with the hose. Using a sponge, rag, or wheel detailing brushes scrub away the dirt and grime that are covering the wheels. DO NOT use the same sponge or rag that you will use to wash the rest of the car. If you were to use the same sponge, you may pick up contaminates from the wheels and those contaminates could easily scratch the paint on the body of the car.

Once the wheels initial scrub is complete, the main car wash can begin. You start by rinsing the car, beginning at the top of the car and working your way down. Be sure to pay special attention to spots where dirt or debris may accumulate. A good tip here is to pull all of the windshield wipers away from the glass into the propped position prior to rinsing or soaping the car.

Fill one bucket with water and the Car Wash Soap ensuring that you follow the directions on the car wash soap container. If you have a second bucket available fill that with fresh, clean, water. This second bucket will be used to clean the sponge or rag as to not contaminate the soapy water with dirt or grime.

Using the Car Wash Mitt or Sponge wash the car from the top working your way down. When you are washing the car it is advisable to wash it in sections. First wash the roof, then wash the hood, the trunk, one set of doors, and then move to the other side. In between each section rinse the soap off. By doing washing the car in sections it ensures that the soap won’t dry on the car and will allow you to see if any dirt was missed. As you move through the sections try to keep the entire car wet. This will prevent spotting.

Some good tips for the soaping process are:

  • Don’t press too hard. By pressing hard you may inadvertently grind the dirt all over the paint and potentially scratch it.
  • Don’t ignore crevices. These are the places where dirt collects and are often missed by other car wash methods (i.e. gas station car wash machines)

Once the entire car has been scrubbed and rinsed, it is time to dry the car. The primary focus of drying the car is to dry the car before the air is allowed to dry it naturally. A naturally dried car is a spotted car!

A California Water Blade or similar squeegee product is great for this getting the water off the car very efficiently. You start by taking the blade and running it across the paint removing a large amount of the water from the cars surface. Then, using a chamois, Absorber, Microfiber Towel, or traditional towel you dry the remaining water from the car. If you have access to an air compressor and an air nozzle, it can be used to blow water out of tight crevices where a towel will not be able to reach. Be sure to open the hood, trunk, doors, to wipe out the jambs and other places where water has likely accumulated during the wash.

Now take a step back and look at your beautiful, clean, car!

 

How To Selling Used Car

When it comes to selling a used car the market is huge. Believe it or not, many people prefer the more economical route of buying a used car. However, selling used cars can be an art.

Below are the steps I have used to maximize the money I get when selling used cars

Clean the car!

Be sure to clean your car. Consult our series on car detailing to make it look its best. Wash and wax the outside of the car. The better the car looks, more valuable it will look. It also is an indicator as to how well you may have treated the car previously.

Don’t ignore the interior!

Potential buyers will likely scour every inch of the car inside and out. A dirty interior will surely turn off most buyers. Vacuum the entire car including the carpet, seats, mats and doors. Wash out any stains that may be present. Take a towel with a quality interior cleaner and wipe down all of the hard surfaces inside the car being sure to not leave any streaks behind. Don’t ignore any cracks or crevices! Each extra little touch you add will make the car that much better. A better looking car usually sells for more and far more quickly, and time as they say, is money!

Check the Tire Pressure

Be sure to check the tire pressure on all of the tires including the spare. Make sure the air pressure is within spec of the vehicle’s recommendations.

Check the Features of the Car

Ensure that all the cars features are in good working order. Check that the air conditioner is operational, the radio functions, all speakers are intact, the alarm works properly, and any other features your car may have are functioning properly. If the car’s features are damaged, not functioning or are otherwise non-operational, it is wise to have them repaired. Features that do not work will certainly lower the amount for which you will be able to sell the car.

Replace windshield wipers

While not 100% necessary, I have found that if windshield wipers had not been recently replaced that when the car is held for sale that it is a good time to replace them. Potential buyers always seem to appreciate small touches such as that.

Check the Cars Vital Fluids

Engine oil, transmission fluid, windshield wiper fluid, radiator coolant, power steering fluid and brake fluid are all easily checked by lifting the hood and checking the dip stick. Add additional fluid if any of the cars vital fluids appear to be low. If you do not trust yourself to do this, a quality mechanic should be able to easily perform this for a nominal fee.

Gather the facts

Your vehicle, just like all vehicles, has a VIN number associated it. The VIN number will allow anyone to obtain the history of a vehicle. Purchasing that vehicle history report and sharing it with any potential buyers is a sign of honesty. This upfront honesty is sure to increase the credibility of both you and the quality of your vehicle.

Find Comparable Current Sales – Do your research!

Go online to a site such as Auto Trader and locate cars similar to yours that are up for sale. Use the information found looking at comparable vehicles to determine and support the selling price.

Price the Car

After locating comparable sales go to a site such as Kelley Blue Book to find out the estimated value of your vehicle. This will help you to determine if you have the car priced well or not. Note that even if you feel your car is in “excellent” condition, pricing your car too high might hinder potential buyers from making an offer.

Get the Cars Paper Work Together

Put together a packet of all of the vehicles current information. This will include the cars current registration and any other important documents. This will avoid a scramble when you have an interested party to gather all of the paperwork and ensures that you have all your ducks in a row. All potential buyers will appreciate this organization.

 

Tips To Buy Luxury Car

Entry Level Luxury Cars

This is where the luxury car experience starts. Cars in this range boast high levels of technology, comfort and driveability.

Chevrolet Cruze:

There’s no refuting that it’s a stunning looking car. And, about a year ago, Chevrolet gave the Cruze a mid-life facelift and rather than change the car visually, it tweaked the engine to be more powerful, refined and also fuel efficient. Power is now at a massive 164 bhp! It is a perfect highway cruiser and the interiors are also striking to look at. You also get a long list of equipments. Rear seat space is quite poor though.

Volkswagen Jetta:

This beautifully engineered car has styling that is quite understated. The cabin is hard-to-fault and if you pay attention to details you will notice that build quality is easily the best in class. The seats are spacious and comfort is brilliant. It lacks a bit in the equipment department and the steep price is a downer compared to the competitors.

Toyota Altis:

Quality and fit and finish are excellent. It’s also one of the best cars to own if you’re chauffer driven. The engine is under powered and it’s not the most exciting car to drive.

Hyundai Elantra:

The Hyundai Elantra is easily the best looking car in its class. You get a long list of equipments including cooled front seats, a spacious cabin and also a very competitive price tag. Also it’s easy to drive in traffic and decent on the highway too. Though it is a tad bouncy at high speeds.

Renault Fluence:

The Fluence was Renault’s first car in India and it has been improved a few months back. There is a slight bump in the power and much lesser turbo lag. Also, a few equipments have also been added.

Executive Level Luxury Cars

These cars typically start from the Rs. 20 lac bracket and come with loads of features and luxurious cabins. Ideal for people who like to be chauffer driven.

Toyota Camry:

It is better looking, better equipped and more comfortable too. The Camry’s forte is to offer the most relaxing driving experience and everything has been tuned to deliver just that. It’s slightly expensive and dull to drive but it is one of the most comfortable cars of its class.

Honda Accord:

What you get is a car that feels like a proper luxury saloon. The lounge like rear seats add to the limo-like feel. It is quite well equipped and in the city traffic it drives brilliantly. However, the soft suspension does make the car a bit pitchy on the highway and the lack of a diesel engine is an issue.

Skoda Superb:

The reason that the Superb is so appealing is that it feels a class higher. The performance is brilliant and has the tech and luxury of more expensive cars. There are no cheap bits on the car which makes a world of a difference.

Volkswagen Passat:

The Passat is VW’s flagship saloon in India. In typical German fashion the interiors are faultless and it is packed to the teeth like a space shuttle. And the car parks itself!! Although not competitively priced against rivals, the extra cash spent is well worth it.

Hyundai Sonata:

The Hyundai’s new Sonata is positively stunning. The equipment list is generous and the cabin is quite spacious and comfortable. Indians appreciate value for money and this car is exactly that.

Compact Level Luxury Car:

These cars demand a certain level of respect and authority. Drive anyone of these and you will definitely get heads turning.

Audi A4

Audi A4 got a facelift recently which brought subtle improvements to the car. The car is fresher, plusher and the 1.8 litre turbo petrol engine is silky smooth. It’s more spacious than its competitors and hence can be used as a chauffer driven car as well. It’s not as engaging to drive as some of its rivals though.

BMW 3-series

BMW has set the benchmark in its segment with the new 3-series. It delivers the best of all the worlds- it’s compact yet the most spacious in its class, it’s blisteringly quick and efficient too. It’s incredibly fun to drive. Though the engine could have been more refined and suspension a bit quieter but these are just minor niggles in an otherwise class leading package.

Mercedes C-Class

Traditional Mercedes strengths of comfort and build quality remain at the core of C-Class. It’s definitely the car that feels the most premium in its class

Volvo S60

Like all Volvos, this car is as safe as a battle tank and comes loaded with tech. The engines are most powerful in the segment and efficient. If you compare cars purely on specifications in this segment the Volvo comes out on top. However it’s a little cramped in the rear and just doesn’t have the appeal of the German trio.

Premium Level Luxury Cars

Big on size, presence, value and luxury!

Audi A6:

The new Audi A6 is almost everything luxury car buyers in India could ask for. It comes with a class leading diesel motor that is powerful and incredibly refined. Interior appointments could embarrass a luxury suite and a comfortable ride.

BMW 5 series:

The 5 series is BMW’s softer, more level headed take on luxury cars. The 530d comes loaded with power if you looking to drive the car yourself. In case it’s primarily chauffer driven 520d is an excellent choice.

Mercedes E-Class

It is Mercedes best seller and is a prefect blend of old world charm and modern tech. It is not the quietest cabin around but the features and options list has grown quite substantially. With the new look it is now appealing to the younger buyers as well.

Jaguar XF:

The XF isn’t the cheapest car in its segment but you get your money’s worth. The XF looks like a sports car stuck in a saloons body and the performance complements the striking design. Overall, it’s an accomplished alternative to the German trio.

Volvo S80:

The car is a bit long in the tooth which is evident from its understated design. The interiors are top-notch and safety levels are outstanding, but the cabin does feel outdated. Also ride and handling isn’t the best. It scores well on the rear seat comfort has one of the airiest cabins around.

Limousines Level Luxury Cars

These are the cars you want to be seen in. They are extremely expensive and there is no better way to tell the world you have arrived than one of these.

Audi A8

This luxury barge comes loaded to the teeth with features. It is currently the benchmark in its segment. It’s got reclining seats, a fantastic Bang & Olufsen sound system, cooled and heated seats with a massage function and the list goes on.

BMW 7-series:

BMW has made improvements in the places it was weak in and the most significant one is the eight speed gearbox. It has made the car very smooth. The cabin has also been worked upon as most car owners would want an equivalent of their lush office cabin even on their drive home.

Mercedes S-Class:

The S-Class is Merc’s flagship. Loaded with more features than you can dream of, it is more a limo than a saloon. It features a vastly superior cabin and levels of comfort only seen in Rolls Royce or Bentley.

Jaguar XJ

Jaguar makes fast and beautiful cars and the XJ is a testament to that. It is a mix of striking design, breathtaking performance and crafty engineering. It is extremely comfortable and is pretty well equipped as well. There’s a new top of the line Ultimate version as well, which comes with even more tech, like massaging bucket seats at the rear, a champagne chiller, two hi-res screens with wireless headphones and loads of other additions.

 

Understanding Car Leasing

Without having a huge amount of cash lying around waiting to be spent on a car, it would be easy to think that there is no way for you to drive the latest cars around, and be stuck driving older models. Typically if you want a car, you buy it, then after 5 years you want a newer model car, but you’re stuck with a car you may struggle to sell for anywhere close to what you paid. This is without considering the amount you’ve spent on repairs & maintenance of the car.

Many people dismiss leasing a car as something best used for short term purposes, as a way to show off your car without spending thousands on a regular basis. Maybe once this was true, but over the last few years leasing a car on a long term basis has become more viable an option than ever before.

Rather than buying a car and then selling it 2-3 years later with a loss in value, known as the depreciation, car leasing is based on the principle that you rent the car from the lease operator and your payments cover the loss in value between leasing the car and returning the car, plus a small amount of profit to the car leasing
company.

Based on this, ordinarily you might pay £20000 and sell the car for £14000 3 years later, with a loss of £7500 plus maintenance & repair costs. Leasing a car means you would be paying the £8750 over 3 years, or £2916 a year spread out in monthly installments of less than £250.

The loss in value of a car over a period of time is much more important when looking at a 2-3 year time period, typically this value is worked out as; roughly 25% of the cars value is lost in the first year, 13% for the second, 7% in the third, it follows this pattern of half the previous years depreciation. So while over a longer period of time leasing a car may not work out to be cheaper due to the much lower depreciation, leasing a car is usually done over a 2-3 year period. Selling a new car this regularly would lead to huge amounts of money being lost with the higher depreciation, but with leasing a car the depreciation is what you pay for, rather than the cost of the car.

It is in the best interest of the car leasing operator to keep the value of the car as high as possible for the duration of the lease. This is because at the end of the leasing period the car is returned to them, after all it is still their property. Because of this most car leasing operators will offer free maintenance for the car, plus the new car warranty that will likely cover the new car you are leasing. This can potentially save a large amount of money compared to buying a car outright and being responsible for its maintenance, or possibly not being covered by a new car warranty.

In a lot of cases it is true that buying the car outright, over a longer period of time, would have cost the same amount or less than leasing. However this means that to buy the car you need to be able to either have a pile of cash sitting around waiting to be spent, or be willing to stay with the same model car for a much longer period of time than if you were leasing. If you wanted to replace your car every 2-3 years with a new model, leasing a car is undoubtedly a cheaper option.

Leasing a car is not a simple case of paying a fee and doing as you please while the leasing operator foots the bill. Generally there are usually stipulations in the contract that going over an agreed mileage will lead to additional costs, or that maintenance costs beyond the general wear and tear of a car will not be paid for by the car leasing operator. This isn’t as bad as it sounds, details like that are agreed upon before starting the contract. If you were to buy the car up front, you would have a harder time selling a car that has a huge mileage on the clock for as much as without. The same goes for paying repair costs that are down to carelessness. Leasing is no different in this respect, – taking care of the car you are leasing means it will cost you less money overall.