Life-hacks are the millennial’s way of getting more things done faster. However, when it comes to auto detailing (more specifically, performance auto detailing), there are a few things we’ve picked up in our 30 years in the trade. So, make yourself a cup of Joe and enjoy reading our top 10 detailing hacks.
1. Brush Up Your Vents
Auto AC vents are often places that collect dust since they can’t be cleaned with the usual microfiber towel. We suggest getting a long-handled artist’s brush. Brushing the vents while vacuuming nearby will loosen and remove stubborn dirt and, better yet, stop it from landing on the carpet.
2. Deodorize The Interior
Did you know that antiperspirant was available for autos? No kidding – cans are available from companies like Wurth or Dakota Non-Smoke. Buy one and follow this three-step process:
- Close all the windows, and switch your AC on full with recirculate.
- Discharge contents of the can in the passenger foot well.
- Leave the vehicle running for 20 minutes.
Sometimes this process doesn’t completely eliminate unpleasant odors in that case, pop into Foreign Affairs Motorwerks and book a cabin filter service.
3. Graphite Door Locks
Nobody likes a sticky lock (especially in winter), especially if you have an older vehicle. Luckily there is an easy fix for this. Buy some graphite lock lubricant and puff a little into each lock barrel. Then stick the key in and give it a few twists. You can thank us later.
4. Leather Repair
We basically wrote the book on leather detailing, but what do you do about tears? Instead of spending $$$ on going to a vehicle upholsterer, you could pick up a patch kit from your local parts store. Of course, you wouldn’t really do this on your Aston, but it’s perfectly fine on your daily Lexus.
5. Silicone Spray for Door Seals
Luckily in Florida, we don’t have the winter issues faced by so many of our fellow citizens where doors can get frozen closed. That said, the constant warmth can destroy door rubbers long-term. A spritz from a silicone can will keep them supple for longer.
6. Window Edges
Even the most diligent detailer can be excused for forgetting to wipe the window edges. What sets a good detail apart from a great one is… the details? This 30-second job for Windex will put the cherry on the cake.
7. WD 4 Hinges
No, this isn’t an error. Ever experienced squeaky door hinges? This can range from mildly annoying to nails on the chalkboard. A good rule of thumb is, if it pivots, spritz it. Door hinges, trunk hinges, hood hinges, and glass hinges. You get the drift. We recommend WD40.
8. Clay Barring
This can be tricky to do at home if you aren’t skilled. At 70 mph, the smallest speck of dirt becomes a missile and can embed itself deep within your vehicle’s clear coat. The best way to get rid of these is by ‘plucking’ them out with a clay bar. To do this properly, a proper kit is essential, so if you are starting out, we recommend that you chat with us first.
9. Start Topside
If you forget everything else, remember always to start your interior detail at the top. There is no point in having a sparkling shampooed carpet just to drop all your dashboard and vent dirt on it. Begin with the headliner and end with the carpet. (Don’t forget the windshield and rearview mirrors in between.)
10. Finish With Glass
The ending is just as important as the beginning, and a lot of the products you use could put streaks into the inside of your windows. So always end a good interior detail by cleaning the inside of the windows. You may be surprised with the result.
The trick with life hacks is to find out what works for you. This is the same with car-hacks. Some of these you might already be doing. Others you might find unnecessary. Unless you try, you’ll never know. So go on. Experiment with confidence because at Foreign Affairs Motorwerks, we always have your back.