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Car Care Articles


Buying a car is an investment, we spend a lot of money to buy a car and when we sell it we also would like to get the best price possible. The best way to get the best price for your car when you want to sell it is to protect it the right way. A simple fact that a well maintained car can fetch a few thousand Ringgit more than one that looks old and in poor condition. Simple weekly or monthly maintenance can go a long way to keeping your car looking as good as new. The used car dealer or the next person who buys your car naturally would want a car that looks new or in good condition and most of them will be willing to pay a bit more for it.

The first impression makes a big difference and also it creates a good impression for the owner regardless if they are selling the car or still using it. It is like wearing a nice clean shirt versus wearing an old dirty shirt, what kind of impression would you give another person?

Not every car wash shop or car polishing shop is good, just like not every restaurant that you eat at is good. Knowing a bit about car care goes a long way to getting the best value for your hard earned money.


Here are some simple tips and information about car care.


Headlight restoration with Toothpaste


  • Using toothpaste to restore headlights is only about 50% effective as it can remove some surface oxidation on the headlights but this requires a lot of time and effort to achieve. Once some of the oxidation has been removed with the toothpaste there is nothing to prevent or stop the oxidation forming again on the headlight since toothpaste is not a UV protectant. Usually after removing some oxidation from the headlight, it won’t take long before the oxidation is formed on the headlight again. In some cases it may be as soon as 3-4 weeks if the car is regularly parked under the sun.

  • Using rotary polishing machines to remove headlight oxidation works but often it will scratch the headlight. This may not be noticeable day time but when the headlight is switched on at night the scratches will become visible. The scratches cannot be removed! Beware!!


Polishing to remove oxidation stains


  • The common belief is that polishing will remove oxidation stains on the car body, this is true but the more often you polish the car the thinner the lacquer or clear coat becomes. The lacquer or clear coat is the protective layer between the car’s paint and the elements. If the lacquer or clear coat is worn down through regular polishing there is nothing to protect the paint from the sun’s UV rays, acid rain, bird droppings, tar, tree sap and etc.

  • Polishing should always be kept to a minimum and with any polishing job the protectant used is critical as this will help form a suitable protection for the car’s paint.

  • Always try to remove stains without resorting to polishing unless the stain is so heavily embedded onto the car’s paint.


Car shampoos


  • There are many car shampoos in the market and many are extremely cheap. Beware of any car shampoo that is not neutral or leans towards an alkaline base. Acidic shampoos will strip of the wax and slowly strip off the clear coat or lacquer. This is one of the reasons why many cars start to display faded paint work on the body even after just 1 year of ownership. Shampoos are designed to help remove surface dirt, road grime, bird droppings and dust. It is not supposed to strip the clear coat or lacquer.

  • Never use dish washing detergent to wash the car. Beware of car wash shops that use extremely bubbly shampoos, most of these are acidic and will over time gradually remove the lacquer on the car.

  • Once the lacquer or clear coat is gone, the car’s paint work will not shine anymore and there won’t be any protection for the car’s paint from the elements.


Microfiber cloth


  • When cleaning a car always microfiber cloth or wool wash mitt. The reason for this is that it won’t scratch the car’s paint and it will pick up the dirt and grime and push it in the cloth instead of staying on the surface and scratch the paint when the cloth is wiped on the car’s body.

  • Use multiple microfiber cloth to clean the car, specifically one for glass or windshield, one for the body (work from top down) and one for the wheels. This is to avoid contamination and reduces the risk of scratching the car.




  • Car wax comes in a large variety of types, there is the paste type that goes on when the car body is dry, the ones that can be applied when the car is wet and liquid wax. The concept of the wax is to create a protective layer between the car body and the elements while at the same time give it some shine. Wax is typically oil based and will attract dust. If the wax is good the dust will just sit on top and can easily be wiped off.


Glass Coating


  • Glass coatings are a new concept to car protection. It acts like a long term hard protection for the car’s paint. It helps to resist staining and repels water. There are many types of glass coating ranging from those that last 6 months to those that last several years. Do not be fooled about very long lasting glass coatings that some shops claims will last 5 years but are very expensive, in the typical tropical Asian weather the glass coating will only last about 1 year (due to thermal expansion and contraction which causes the hard glass coating to crack and peel off) and the customer is paying ahead for the cost of 5 years. The shops will request the customer to come back to the shop every year for a check up, during this check up the shop will top up and reapply the glass coating giving the perception that the glass coating can last 5 years!

  • Simple glass coatings that last about 6 months are the best since it is regularly applied the protection level is always at its best.


Windshield wipers


  • Do not lift your windshield wipers up when parking the car under the sun. Doing this will cause the wiper’s rubber blades to deform into a heavy curved shape which will result in inefficient water removal when the wipers are moving. Keeping the wipers down when parking under the sun will not cause it to stick to the windshield or deteriorate. The modern wiper blades are now tropicalized and can withstand the heat.


Protecting the car


  • Always try to park the car in a shaded area or in a covered area

  • Avoid washing your car under direct sunlight

  • Try to wash off bird droppings or tree sap before it dries

  • If the car is parked under the sun at home, buy a car cover and cover it whenever possible


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