How to Detail a Brand New Car

How to Detail a New Car

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With a few simple touches you can make your car look better than the day it was delivered.  Preserving that deep wet shine is a skill anyone can learn.  

But so many people make mistakes that result in scratches and faded paint.  Read on to learn how to detail a brand new car.

Here are things you can easily do…

  • Polish out fine scratches and swirls.
  • Remove tar and iron.
  • Learn how to wash it without scratching it.
  • Learn how to keep your wheels looking new.
  • Apply spray sealant after every wash.
  • Apply a ceramic coating.
  • Clean and protect external plastics.
  • Shine glass.
  • Protect and clean interior leather.

Just because a car is brand new or nearly new doesn’t mean it’s got perfect paint.  Look closely and you will almost definitely see plenty of scratches and swirls.  

You can cause a lot of damage to your car if you use some products the wrong way.  A friend of mine used a cheap clay bar from amazon on his car and scratched it a lot.  So please be careful and read all of this post.

How can brand new cars have scratches and swirls?

Usually a new car will have been washed a few times by your dealer.  And they will have taken shortcuts and introduced plenty of scratches.  They will wash it with an old brush that’s used to wash hundreds of other cars.  They will probably have let the car dry in the sun which will introduce water spots.

A dealer may have applied a glaze to hide scratches and make the paint pop in the showroom.  But it won’t take long for the glaze to get washed away.

New cars are usually delivered with a white plastic film to protect them.  Your car can get scratched while that’s being removed. 

Your new car may not have any wax or sealant on it.  So it’s a good idea to add your own.  This will increase the shine and make washing easier.

My top tip for all new cars is to learn the proper way to wash it.  Wash your car the wrong way and that new car shine will quickly fade.  Please read my post on how to wash a brand new car.

Products needed for detailing a new car.

Plush microfibre towels.  Microfibre washing mitts.  Decent car shampoo.  Buckets with grit guards.  Iron remover for your wheels.  A spray wax.  A detailer spray.  The list of minimum requirements isnt that long.  Learning the techniques is more important.

Quick wins for keeping your new car looking good.

1. Use a car shampoo that has some wax in it.

A product like Chemical Guys Glossworkz will add gloss as you wash.  You would think that car shampoo gets too diluted when you add a few cap fulls to a bucket of water. But Glossworkz is an effective product.

2. Dry your new car with a detail spray.

After you wash your car you should dry it with a plush microfibre drying towel.  Spray on some detailer spray like Meguiars Hybrid Ceramic Detailer Spray to boost shine.  You will also get some epic water beading with this product.  You can apply it to glass and plastic as well as paint and because it’s not a thick product is super easy to apply.

3. Apply a spray and rinse wax or sealant.

To get even more protection and shine you could use a spray wax after each wash.  Some of these like Turtle Wax’s Wax & Dry provide amazing gloss and slickness at an unbeatable price.  This product is applied on your car after you wash it and while it’s still wet.  Just spray on and rinse off.  Then dry your car as normal with a good microfibre drying towel.

4. Apply a Wax

You can of course apply a typical wax to a new car too.  There are a huge number of waxes to choose from.  Modern liquid waxes are so easy to apply you wont believe it.  Another Meguirs product like Hybrid Ceramic Liquid wax is is one of the best and it can be applied to all surfaces and lasts a long time.  You can keep it topped with the Meguiars detailer mentioned above.  Having a coat of wax on a car makes it easier to wash too.

5. Apply a Glaze

A product like Super Resin Polish from Autoglym will hide scratches and make paint pop.  It will give good protection too.  This is not a spray like the others mentioned above.  It’s a liquid product that you apply with an applicator sponge.  It’s very easy to buff off but it can get into panel gaps and leave wihe residue behind.  Super Resin Polish will fill in smaller scratches and add a lot of shine.

How to polish out swirls and scratches in a new car.

To get the best possible results you will need to polish your paint.  This is a bigger proposition than applying a simple sealant or wax.  You will need to use a machine polisher. I recommend a dual action machine (DA).

When you learn how to detail a brand new car.  You’ll want to get in to the most important part of detailing.  That’s removing swirls and scratches.

The results you can get are fantastic.  You can get your paint to look better than the day it was delivered.  

Unless you have very deep scratches then it’s probably best to use an all in one product like the fantastic Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Polish and Wax.  I have had unbelievable results with this product.  It’s probably the easiest polish to apply.  

Its very unlikely that you will need to use a heavy cutting compound on a new car.  You could do more harm than good.

With a regular two step paint correction process you could spend a whole day just compounding and polishing.  You would then need to use another product to remove the residue left behind before finally applying sealant and/or wax.  But with this all in one you can paint correct your car and apply wax in one go.  Magic.

Clay bars and new cars.

Before you polish your car you might need to use a clay bar to remove bonded contaminants.  If you are applying a spray wax or you probably don’t need to clay your car.

The reason for claying is to remove bonded contaminants that don’t come off when you wash your car.  These could come off when you are polishing or buffing and cause deep scratches.

Its very easy to scratch a new car with a clay bar.

You may not need to clay your new car.  You can check by rubbing your fingers over the paint after a wash.  If it feels rough to the touch you should clay it.  Make sure you use plenty of lubrication to avoid scratching.  

Detailing wheels

You probably need to regularly wash your wheels with an iron remover like Car Pro Iron-X.  It will dissolve iron brake dust stains and keep your wheels looking good.  

Don’t forget to wash your tires and wheel arches too.  You can use an All Purpose Cleaner to get the best results.  There are plenty of them on the market and most seem to be the same.

Apply a tire shine product to add that vital finishing touch.  You can apply most sealants or spray waxes to wheels too.

Detailing plastic trim

Plastic trim can fade and look stained really quickly in a new car. Use Chemical Guys VRP ( Vinyl Rubber Plastic) every now and then.  

TIP : If you get wax or polish stains on your plastic trim you can remove them with a pencil eraser.  

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