Top 5 "New Car Owner" Recommendations
If you’ve recently purchased – or are considering purchasing a new vehicle, there are a few things you may want to consider doing once you drive off the dealer lot. We’ve put together a Top 5 “New Car Owner” recommendation list so that your new car stays looking new.
1. Paint Protection Film (Clear Bra)
While some people like to build suspense by “saving the best for last”, I figured I’d start out with one of the most important things first. In Arizona, where rock chips are life, you should strongly consider PPF (paint protection film) before you go on any road trips or freeway drives.
Whether you track it, show it or drive it daily – paint protection film will help prevent damage from rocks, road debris and other blunt force hits. Combined with a self healing top coat and a 10 year warranty (in the case of Suntek Ultra and Xpel Ultimate) – it is the best way to make sure your finish is protected from the damage it faces everyday.
A quality repaint of just your front bumper can range between $650-1,000+ (ask me how I know!) Combine that with the fact you’ll be without your car for several days, your car will enter a body shop environment (where often times overspray and body shop dust can end up covering your car inside and out) and you will no longer have a factory paint job – having paint protection film applied from the very beginning really is a no brainer.
Over the last several years, PPF has become more durable and less visible, which allows you to enjoy the satisfaction of having your baby protected without having to compromise the look of your new car.
When hunting for a quality film installer – remember the Three R’s:
Research, Reviews and Referrals.
At the very least, be sure to find out the type of film they’re using , ask if they will be hand cutting or plot cutting the material (tight areas like bumpers are best cut by a plotter due to their intricacy) and how many years of experience the installer has.
After Suntek Clear Bra application to hood, bumper, side mirrors, headlights, front fenders and A-Pillars
2. Nano-Ceramic Paint Coating
When protecting your vehicle – the question is often asked – “What exactly am I protecting my vehicle from, it’s new!” The answer to this question comes in two parts; the first we covered above (protecting from rock chips and other blunt force hits), the second is environmental damage. Things such as UV rays (especially in Arizona), bird droppings, bug etchings and chemicals from cleaning will etch, stain and fade your paint, eventually causing it to fail.
Examples of Clear Coat Failure due to sun exposure and no paint protection
While in the past, the only solution was to regularly wax your paint, there are now better options available. Just like technology in vehicles has progressed, so has the technology to protect your vehicle. High-end Nano-Ceramic paint coatings (such as CQuartz Finest) can protect your vehicles paint for years, not months. Additionally, it will also make it glossier, allow it to stay cleaner longer and make washing it much easier with better results.
Like PPF, many “coatings” have hit the market in the past few years – and like PPF – I always encourage owners to follow the Three R’s prior to trusting your new ride with someone.
Things to consider when choosing a paint coating (and potentially a coating installer) include:
1. Reviews and history of the coating (has it been tried and tested or did it just come out last week?)
2. What the coating manufacturer says it will protect against? Remember, a nano-ceramic coating is meant to provide protection from environmental threats. Some companies list unrealistic promises (such as protection against things like screwdrivers, fire and comparable blunt force hit protection that clear bra provides). Ceramic coatings were not designed to protect from these types of things – but they can provide excellent protection from things that you will encounter, like the sun.
3. What is the history of the detailer you’re hiring to apply the coating? Just like the history of the product is important, the history of the company installing the product is equally (if not more so) important. Also keep in mind that a true detailer will make sure your paint is in excellent condition prior to any coating application. You don’t want to lock in a sub-par finish with a semi-permanent coating. Proper paint prep is the key prior to the installation of a coating.
After CQuartz Finest Nano-Ceramic protective paint coating
3. Window Tinting
We all know that a sweet tint job to your new ride can really make a huge difference in how it looks. However, there are three key practical functions achieved from window tinting aside from a super sleek look.
1. First and foremost, protection from UVA/UVB rays. In Arizona especially, skin cancer is a major concern. A quality tint will filter out over 99% of these at least help keep you safe while you’re stuck in your car during a hot July day. In my opinion, this is a must if you have children riding in the back seat. This won’t make rush hour any less agonizing to drive in, but it will help protect you from harmful UV rays.
2. Privacy. If you don’t like the idea of just anybody seeing what’s on the inside of your car when left unattended (phone, laptop, purse etc), then you’ll likely not want to leave your windows un-tinted and 100% transparent.
3. Last but not least, comfort! Tinting your windows will keep the inside of your vehicle much cooler and more comfortable. This isn’t just good for you, its also good for your electronics and interior upholstery such as leather seats.
4. Proper Exterior Maintenance
What does it mean exactly to “properly” maintain your vehicles exterior? Well, the most common type of damage we run into is usually from the owner actually trying to take care of their car. Quite the paradox isn’t it?
Unfortunately, things such as automatic car washes, improperly trained employees at hand washes or even owners who take the DIY route but haven’t learned the correct way to wash their car, do often times cause harm to their vehicles finish.
Paint scratches or "swirls" left from poor washing and maintenance
Brushes, harsh chemicals, hard water and poor technique all attribute to a vehicle becoming more “aged” in appearance as well as causing irreversible damage in extreme cases (such as stained wheels or paint and eventually thinned out or failing clear coat). Doing hand washes with proper technique and quality produces really does make a night and day difference as to how your vehicle will look down the road. While the paint swirls in the above photo were repairable - it is still better to prevent them as much as possible from the beginning.
A Side by Side Before and After photo after removing paint swirls / defects
Quality towels, mitts and soap help keep your finish looking new
Our doors, phone and email are always open to those wanting to learn how to best care for their car. While the full details on how to do this will require an article all of it’s own (which I will post soon), know that “clean” doesn’t always mean, “correct.” If you don’t believe me, next time you take a shower use some steel wool! You’ll be clean, but you won’t be very comfortable!
One on One Maintenance Wash lesson with owner of this new 2017 ZL1 Camaro
after receiving CQuartz Finest and Suntek Paint Protection Film
Car Maintenance Workshop - Summer of 2016
5. The Right Car Care Provider
Before you bought your new car, you likely did some sort of research on it. While some of us take pre-purchase research to a different extreme than others, the point still stands that simply because your car came with wheels, an engine and a steering wheel – you never believed all cars were created equal (I think most of us remember the Daewoo!)
The same holds true for a professional Detailer. Just because Bob has a bucket, and a sponge and a flyer that says “Detailer”…. it doesn’t mean he is in fact qualified to touch your car.
Things to consider:
1. Are they licensed (yes, detailers are required to have a business license).
2. Are they insured (accidents do happen and chances are the guy charging $75 on craigslist can’t afford to fix your new Mercedes if something were to happen.)
3. Are they experienced? Once again we go back to the 3 R’s (no not reading, writing and arithmetic) - reviews, research and referrals.
I tell all of my potential clients that I can speak highly of myself all day (ok that sounds a little egotistical but just go with me here!) However, you’re more likely to trust the feedback of several people who have a completely unbiased opinion and have paid their hard earned money for a company’s service. We not only welcome, but also encourage questions from anyone who walks through our door. This not only gives piece of mind to anyone willing to trust us with their car – it also greatly increases the likelihood that an individual will be able to enjoy the work we performed on their car for a longer period of time.
I hope that these Top 5 New Car Owner Recommendations helped and hopefully sparked a bit of thought as to some things to consider for your vehicle. I’ve always loved the quote “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Basically, it’s a lot easier to take care of something from the beginning rather than neglect it and have to fix it later on down the road.
If you enjoyed this – please share it with a fellow car lover in your life and feel free to contact us or comment with any feedback or questions you may have.
Owner - Windows and Wheels Auto Detailing
There are details…and then there are DETAILS. This beauty came to us from an owner in Gilbert,Arizona. After setting up a time to take a look at the car and the condition as well as get an idea of what all the owner wanted to have done…we came to the conclusion that this owner wanted well…everything.
On the list of services for this baby would be:
Full nose paint protection film aka “clear bra” (front clip, full hood, full fenders, mirrors and behind those fat rear wheels)
Full paint correction (removal of all swirls, scratches and paint defects)
CQuartz Finest paint coating (with 2 year warranty of course)
Full interior detail with CQuartz Fabric and CQuartz Leather coating application
CQuartz Dlux on exterior plastic
Full wheels pulled detail (wheels removed, decontaminated, coated front and back, wheel calipers coated and wheel wells detailed)
“DODGE” badging taken off of the back
This was lining up for one great detail…so, let the games begin
The FIRST THING we came across was pretty disturbing on a brand new Hellcat. Tons of glue behind the paper plates, this was fun to clean up.
Yup yup…gotta love that! Next up was to chemically decontaminate the paint of all bonded iron particles (rail dust, brake dust, fallout etc) All the purple you see is the chemical reacting to the iron particulates, safely dissolving them off of the paint.
Then of course, she was given a nice foam bath
Lastly we finished the decontamination process by clay barring the entire exterior – just incase anything was missed. In our case we use a decontaminate block (or sponge).
Next up, she was pulled into the garage where Dani and I would split up to tackle two tasks at once. I would begin working on removing these monster matte wheels to get them prepped for CQuartz Finest coating while she was busy doing an interior cleaning to prep for CQuartz Leather and CQuartz Fabric coatings.
I love pulling wheels because it gives the detail that finished look. While ALMOST all dirt and grime can be cleaned with wheels on…its just so much more complete by pulling them so that you can get to all this
he tire on both the front and back would be cleaned and the matte would also be carefully chemically decontaminated:
Brown tires are my nemesis…i hate brown tires:
Once completely cleaned both the front and back of the tire was dressed with CarPro’s PERL at 2:1 ratio…2 coats
Then the wheel faces were cleaned with Eraser, making sure the surface was completely free of anything that would hinder CQuartz Finest from bonding properly to the surface. Finally it was time to coat:
Ah yes, thats how they should look!
Dani in the mean time was working her magic on the inside;
Being that the seats were two different materials (part fabric part leather), she had to use the appropriate coating for each section. Its great having the interior coated while the car is NEW. It really helps to preserve the appearance and greatly reduces the risk of an accidental spill creating a bigger problem. Plus out in Arizona, having the extreme UV protection of the leather coating is always a smart thing to do. Not to mention clean up only requires a damp microfiber cloth.
I was back working on the wheel wells and calipers:
Day one was quite long, but we accomplished a lot.
The next day and a half we would be doing the paint correction and then applying Finest to the exterior…as well as doing an engine bay detail, sealing the door jambs and doing any final touch ups that were required.
White is a difficult color to capture defects on camera..but you can still see the scratches that were visible in direct light
Then of course…time for the star of the show, CQuartz Finest…to lock in that perfect paint and add some serious gloss and protection. First we had to do an Eraser wipe down…again, making sure there is no polishing oils of any sort left on the paint that could interfere with the coating bonding correctly:
Thanks everyone for taking the time to read…hope you enjoyed as always.
A couple of months back we had the pleasure of doing a full paint correction and apply the CQuartz Finest treatment to this beautiful black Hellcat. This would be the 6th Hellcat in Arizona receiving this treatment.Being a few months old, it already had some signs of wear, but we’ll get to that shortly. First up was the prep wash!For those who haven’t seen, this is the wash area of our new shop! Here is where we clean the tires, rims, wheel wells and all the other nasty stuff prior to pulling it into the garage. As always, spotless water making life easier when having to wash in full sun out in Gilbert, Arizona.Once pulled in, we clayed the paint to remove any remaining bonded contaminates. Then, Dani did her taping magic to protect all the plastic trim pieces on this baby. The red and black looked pretty cool.
Next it was time to inspect the paint under some high-powered LED lights. While the overhead lighting in our shop is great, it still falls well short of being able to spot the defects we’ll be going after.While this paint was metallic black, as usual black is quite easy to see defects on. Once we spotted our enemy, it was time to figure out our attack plan. This is where we go about doing a “test spot”…which lets us know what combo of pads, product, pressure and machine will best work for this specific car.
Once we’d cracked the code, it was time to get on the grind and make this beast look the way it should.The paint started showing its true colors …The metal flake really started to pop…Make no mistake, there is a LOT of paint to polish on these big boys. But, that doesn’t mean you forget about all the small areas..Ouch !A nice improvement! A little clean up needed around the badging, but the paint cleaned up nicely.Slowly but surely these….Turned into this,Paint selfie:
Once the paint had be polished to its glossiest state, it was time to do an Eraser wipe down, prepping the paint for CQuartz Finest. This step insures there is no polish residue, finger print oil or anything else that could interfere with Finest bonding to the paint.
Once prepped it was time to apply the most exclusive, best looking and best protecting paint coating available.
Id say thats glossing up nicely Not to be forgotten…the wheels too were prepped to receive Finest. This helps a lot with clean up of brake dust during maintenance washes.
Tires were dressed with Carpro’s PERL
Once two coats had been applied and allowed to cure…it was time for some beauty shots. Gloss like this doesn’t come from your over the counter wax or corner car wash….gloss like this comes from taking hours to pamper every inch…in prep, polish and protection. The end results say it all…Id say you could shave in thatThe owner of this car was none other than the 2010-2011 NCAA 125 lbs weight class wrestling championship (an ASU home town hero!) The license plate was very appropriate….when we asked him about it…he said it was a quote from one of his favorite movies, “Tombstone”.
Anyone who’s watched this movie would agree Val played the best Doc Holliday ever…just saying.
End of the day, we made the ugly paint “say when” and left this baby looking the way it should.
Dealers….good ole' dealers. This detail was done right after the huge restore we had to do on a NEW C7. This car was brand new but had the misfortune of sitting on the lot a few months.They love us….The owner contacted us and told us about his swirl infestation lol - he wanted his new car to actually LOOK new and also wanted some hardcore protection to go along with it. He came in, we checked it out and well yeah, it did need help. We thought a ride in this condition would be the perfect situation to use Adapt. We could use 1 step to get great results which saves us time, saves him money and still leaves a great job in the end. We performed a test spot and got roughly 85-90% correction with a very glossy finish. We showed the owner and said if he'd like better than that, we could surely deliver, but if not then this is what we'd be looking at. He was very content with it and decided to go that route. A few days before the detail he had a dent popped out of that trunk and for whatever reason they decided to go over it with rubbing compound…so that area you see in the first pic….WAS where we had done our test spot oddly enough….they kinda undid it lol. Whatcha gonna do? So first thing was first, prep. We were going to skip the wheels and tires since we'd just be pulling them later on, no sense in cleaning them on the car when its WAY easier off the car. There she was, awaiting her bath. The color was BEAUTIFUL. Hard to believe it was a Buick…nice design and…Brembo brakes? Yeah this aint your daddys Buick lol. Prep being done…Dani spraying Iron X to help break down bonded contaminates on the paint:
Car was washed with Iron-X soap as well - which is quickly becoming our new favorite prep wash. Then a prep towel was used to take care of any contaminates left…the car was pulled into the garage and…bam!
Now as i said, this was going to be a 1-step polish, and Adapt came through like a champ. Its earning a permanent place on our shelf for sure. Not perfect but, pretty damn nice:
Not baaaad at all.
This was consistent with the transformation we were able to get through out the car. A very nice combo of great correction and glossy finish.
But as I mentioned, there was more work to be done…these big wheels had to get pulled, cleaned, polished and Opti-Coated.
As Dani would say "Grossness" lol
So wheel faces and barrels were cleaned. Tires were all scrubbed clean on both sides…just cause if you're gonna pull the wheels - you have to clean the tire on both sides…you just DO.
Now the process was, i pull em and clean em - then Dani would take and polish them, coat them and dress the tires (both sides of the tires of course). While she did that, i'd clean the wheel well area, dress the plastic with Opti-Bond and prep the calipers for coating as well.
The first night we were able to get one wheel done, the other 3 were saved for the next day. Dani workin' the wheel in the cold:
Applying Opti-Coat Pro/ That night we also managed to get CQuartz Finest applied to the paint…it looked amazing on this ride.
Here was Dani, still bundled in our freezing 50something degree weather out here at night (yes i know you mid-west folks want to hang us for that statement!) doing a final wipe on the paint after removing the 2nd coat of Finest:
Smaller details were also completed such as plastic trim, door jambs etc: and the small things really make a difference. This is why i LOVE using spotless water, it makes cleaning into grilles and vents like this SO much easier…and it really gives a very finished look to the vehicle in the end: Remember…BUICK! Yeah you know you like it…Now here is a very cool note to end it all. The owner came back 2 weeks later for his follow up wash…when he pulled up…we noticed a TON of white dots all over his passenger front quarter panel and door. One word…sprinklers. The owner told us he had his sprinklers set to go on only when he wasn't home, but had come home for something in an off hour and BAM…white chickenpox! They were heavy too, he ran his hand over it lightly and you could hear them. They had been on for around 24 hours. We were a bit concerned but figured we'd wash the car and deal with the spots afterwards if need be. After washing and drying….well, there was no need to go after the spots. They released 100% just from washing. NOTHING visibly left and NO drag during drying or touching the paint. This is one of the huge plus's of Finest - we'd heard other detailers say they experienced the same thing, but it was great to see it in person.
Fun detail, first official "wheels off" detail (other than our own rides lol). We have a 370z with us right now that will be receiving the same treatment tomorrow/Saturday.
Thanks guys for reading.
Time to catch up on some write ups! Been very busy lately but wanted to post this one. Was a fun car to detail. This was our 3rd Tesla I believe (3rd or 4th). This time we were working with white - and AGAIN, they drove quite a long ways for us to work on their new baby.
The owners were very cool and had decided to just go on ahead and buy a car they wanted NOW rather than save up and get one later - I say they chose wisely.
We talked with the owner and settled on going with a full CQuartz Package - Finest on paint and wheels, Dlux on hard plastic and FlyBy30 on glass.Now while this was not our typical HUGE turn around, there was definitely some areas that needed extra attention - and sometimes that can be more difficult to spot than just going at the whole car with a full correction approach. The majority of the vehicle just needed a light polish to clean and gloss it up - but there were some defects that tried to hide:
Windows & Wheels
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