How to Wash A Car

man washes car with power washer

Washing your car is one of the quickest and easiest ways to keep it looking as great as the day you bought it. Learning how to wash a car will also help you protect and extend the longevity of its paint, so grab a bucket and cloth and get ready to wash like the pros at McGrath Acura of Downtown Chicago!

Plan Ahead 

Before you begin, evaluate the current condition of your car. Have you recently driven through inclement Niles weather, or gone off-roading in Oak Park? The dirtier your car is, the more attention it will need, whereas a recently waxed and polished car may only need a quick wipe down.

Rinse & Wash 

Begin by grabbing a hose and rinsing down your car, removing any loose dirt or debris. A car washing mitt can help you get a closer clean. Lather up your car with soap and clean the sponge with fresh water as you wash the car body, windows, tires, and wheels. Don’t air-dry your car, as this can cause swirl marks. Use a chamois or terry towel to hand-dry the surface.

For the windows, use an ammonia-free solution designed for vehicles, and on the wheels and tires, try an acid-free pH balanced aluminum wheel cleaner. Not all soaps are created equal, so be sure to use products specifically made for cars. Check your owner’s manual for recommendations.

person washes car with sponge

Remove Bumps & Apply Compound

If your exterior has tree sap or other contaminants present, use a clay bar to gently buff the surface until they are removed. Tiny scratches can be smoothed away using a compound with a dual-action polisher, though be advised it may take 2-4 coats to get a true repair.

Apply Polish 

To achieve a sleek, glossy look, use a dual-action polisher. Use a soft towel to apply, or an orbital buffer if available. While orbital buffers are faster, they can scratch your car’s surface if you’re not careful, so only use if you feel confident.

Wax Your Car

Car wax isn’t all about your car’s appearance; it also protects the paint from UV rays while maintaining its sheen. Polymer wax is our choice of product because it doesn’t haze and sets quicker, though it is more expensive than carnauba wax.

How Often to Wash a Car

Depending on how often you drive or what kind of Oak Lawn terrain you’re regularly encountering, the frequency of your car washes may vary. A good rule of thumb is to wash your car once every two weeks and wax it once every six months, though if you experience more dirt, rain, or muddy roads, you should wash your car sooner.

Get More Car Care Tips from McGrath Acura of Downtown Chicago! 

Taking care of your new car in Chicago is important, which is why McGrath Acura of Downtown Chicago is here to provide you all the care tips and expert service needed to keep you rolling. We offer a variety of service specials to make your next maintenance appointment easy and affordable, so contact us today to get started!

More from McGrath Acura of Downtown Chicago

  • 2020 Acura TLX Specs

    The 2020 Acura TLX is sure to turn heads on the Oak Park roads. Its eye-catching good looks are just the start of what it has to offer. When it comes to performance, that is where the new TLX really shines. Learn more about the 2020 Acura TLX specs today with the team at McGrath Acura of Downtown Chicago. Once…

  • Acura RDX Accessories

    Although the Acura RDX is well-equipped with sophisticated, state-of-the-art features, you can further customize your ride with Acura RDX accessories. From floor mats to sunshades, Acura makes it easy to tailor your RDX to meet your needs. Browse our selection of RDX accessories or learn more about our genuine OEM parts if you’re vehicle is…

  • How Much is the Acura RDX?

    If you are in the market for a luxury crossover, you may have wondered, “How much is the Acura RDX?” McGrath Acura of Downtown Chicago has the latest pricing information by trim level, so you can find an Acura RDX for sale near Niles at a price you can afford. Learn more about the Acura RDX price today with…

  • Acura MDX Interior Dimensions

    If you are in the market for a sophisticated SUV with plenty of space for passengers and cargo, look no further than the Acura MDX. The Acura MDX interior dimensions reveal an SUV that is both luxurious and spacious, so you are sure to always enjoy your Oak Park commutes. Learn more about the Acura MDX…