Irvine, Calif. - With gloomy weather and poor driving conditions in the rear view mirror, April is the perfect time to give your vehicle a thorough spring cleaning. To help maintain that new car shine through spring and summer, Meguiar's, the century-old leader in vehicle appearance care, presents the "Dirty Dozen" car care myths, and the real facts on how to keep your vehicle looking its best.
Myth 1: Dishwashing detergent is safe to use as car wash. Absolutely Not! With repeated use, dishwashing detergents remove everything from your paint finish including waxes, silicones and polymers. For best results, use a pH balanced car wash product, like Meguiar's Gold Class Car Wash, with conditioners specifically formulated to enhance the appearance and protection of automotive paint finishes.
Myth 2: Washing and cleaning are the same. While they sound similar, they are vastly different procedures. A car wash removes loose contaminants from your finish like dust, road grime, and fresh bird droppings. On the other hand, paint cleaners and clay bars such as ScratchXTM and Meguiar's Smooth Surface Clay Kit remove stubborn stains, blemishes and bonded contaminants like paint overspray and tree sap mist that won't flush off with washing.
Myth 3: If a car looks shiny, the cleaning process can be skipped. Not until you complete a thorough physical and visual evaluation of your paint finish can you determine that your car is clean. The surface should be as smooth as glass. If it isn't, you will feel bonded contaminants that can be easily removed with a clay bar...allowing easier application and wipe off of polishes and waxes with dazzling results.
Myth 4: Clay bars should only be used by professionals. If you have ever played with Silly Putty, you can use a clay bar. The bar will grab and gently remove all bonded contaminants, leaving the surface silky smooth.
Myth 5: Waxing can remove swirl marks. Swirl marks are scratches and the only way to remove a scratch from paint finish is to reduce the thickness of the paint down to the bottom of the scratch. Micro-fine, hairline scratches can often be removed by hand using a non-abrasive paint cleaner, or ScratchXTM. Moderate scratches may require use of a Meguiar's Dual Action Polisher, and deeper swirl marks caused by the improper use of rotary buffers and rubbing compounds may well require professional color sanding and buffing.
Myth 6: There is no difference between polishing and waxing. The sole purpose of polishing is to create a brilliant high gloss surface, and Meguiar's Deep Crystal Polish is a fast, easy way to create stunning show car shine. Polishing removes a microscopic layer of paint and creates a fresh, glistening surface, but does nothing to protect paint. Waxing a car protects the finish from the elements by coating it with waxes, polymers, resins and silicones. Meguiar's NXT Generation Tech Wax 2.0 provides superior protection with its blend of rich nutrients and tough polymers. Waxing will not make a dull surface shiny, but will protect your freshly polished paint.
Myth 7: Machine polishers damage the paint finish. Even novices can quickly master the use of a dual action polisher or orbital buffer without any risk of burning the paint finish, however rotary buffers, which operate at much higher RPM's, are best left to trained professionals.
Myth 8: Diapers, t-shirts and flannel make good cleaning cloths. Always use 100% cotton, terrycloth towels, like Meguiar's Soft Buff Terry Towel or premium microfiber towels, like the Meguiar's Supreme Shine Microfiber, to eliminate uncertainty and reduce the time and effort required for wipe downs.
Myth 9: Wax protection can be guaranteed to last up to 1 year. There is no integrity in guaranteeing the protective time because every car and every car owner is different, along with the environment in which the car is in.
Myth 10: Paste wax offers greater protection than liquid wax. There are now liquid and paste car waxes on the market that offer equal ease of use and performance qualities. Two examples are Meguiar's NXT Generation Tech Wax 2.0 Liquid and NXT Generation Tech Wax 2.0 Paste, both of which redefine quality and performance with their next generation water-repelling "hydrophobic polymer" technology.
Myth 11: Lighting a hood on fire, without damaging the paint finish, proves the protective qualities of a car wax. Regardless of whether or not the paint finish is protected with a coat of some magic formulation, it is unaffected by flaming alcohol. When you place your hand directly where the flame has been the moment the flame goes out, you will discover that the surface is barely warm. It is simply a demonstration of physics.
Myth 12: Once a car is waxed, regularly protecting the paint finish becomes unnecessary. The best long term protection for your vehicle is to remove contaminants with a mist and wipe product before they have time to bond to your paint's finish.
In recognition of April Car Care Month, Meguiar's customers that purchase $20 worth of Meguiar's automotive retail or marine products from April 1 - June 30, 2008, will receive a $5 rebate. This offer applies to products purchased from Meguiars.com or at retailers nationwide.