I tackle the exterior of the car in the following order:-

Engine bay -- described in detail on its own page


Wash car

Leather off

Apply polishes

Girl on carAfter you have cleaned the engine bay, as described on the engine page, then move on to the wheels. If you have alloy wheels you can use some alloy wheel cleaner, but be very careful, most alloy wheel cleaners are acid and I can tell you from experience that it stings like hell if you get some in your eye. Spray the alloy wheel cleaner onto the wheel and work into difficult areas with a brush (paint brushes work quite well for this job). Don't leave it on the wheel too long as it will mark the alloy. If you have spoked alloys you can use an old tooth brush to get into awkward areas. Then wash off the wheel, this will remove any caked on brake dust. If you have normal steel rims than there's nothing for it but to use hard graft and wash off the wheels with the wash and wax solution.

  Gleaming car If the car has tar over the body work then soak the areas with the tar remover solution. The tar comes off easier if you allow the solution to soak in for a while. The areas can then be rubbed over with a cloth. Then you can start to soap down the cars body. If the front of the car is covered in dead insects then use one of the bug removers that are available. Finally spray off the car with your jet wash and dry off the car using the chamois leather.

  Polish it up ! When the car is dry you can apply the polishes to the exterior. I always start off with the windows first. You can get two types of window polish, liquid spray and a normal polish. If you can get hold of the liquid polish I find it better as it doesn't leave a chalky residue when you remove it. Polish the windows both internal and externally and then move onto the body.

   Body polish is a matter of choice, find one you like and then stick with it. Apply the polish to the car with a clockwise circular movement, leave to dry, then remove with a counter clockwise movement. Yes karate kid was right !

Diablo   With the body done you can move onto the bumpers and other vinyl trim. Use plastic bumper conditioner on these and it will bring back the original colour (although only for a while, you'll have to keep re-cleaning it). Then you can do the tyres with the tyre dressing. You can either spray this over the tyre, or use a paint brush and paint it on. There is tyre black paint available to re-paint your tyres but I wouldn't recommend using this as if not done properly it can spoil a car. Then that's it, the outside of your car is finished.

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