DO-IT-YOURSELF

How To Series from Ming Auto Beauty Winnipeg

Here at Ming, we understand that many people like to do it themselves so we've created straight forward do-it-yourself instructions on how to maintain your car. We've talked to our in-house auto detailing experts for advice on how to give tips on the most popular concerns. If you have any questions about your car maintenance, you can always consult with any one of our experienced auto detailing experts. We will help you find the best solution for your vehicle.

If you are finding your vehicle is in need of professional maintenance - give us a call here at Ming, and we would be happy to get your vehicle back to prime condition.

To reach the St. James location, call 204-786-7681 or email them here.

To reach the Stapleton location, call 204-661-3900 or email them here.

 How to Safely Remove Road Tar From Your Car

Tar is soluble with mild cleaning solvents such as mineral spirits, Varsol, or turpentine. Do not use paint thinners as they may damage the paint. To be certain that the product you are using is safe, try testing it on a hidden painted area like under the hood or trunk lid first. 
 
After washing the vehicle, dry the excess water, and using a spray bottle in a ventilated area or outside, mist the area affected with tar. Allow it to soak and dissolve for 2 to 5 minutes. With a soft cloth or wash mitt gently rub the area carefully not to scratch the paint. The tar will appear on your cloth showing that it is coming off. This step may need to be repeated two or three times until the tar is completely removed. Finally wash again using liquid soap, (preferably car was soap), to remove the residue. 
 
When solvents are used on automotive surfaces waxes and sealants will be removed as well. Unless the vehicle has been treated with the Ming Mirror Paint Treatment you will need to reapply polish to the areas that have been solvent washed. 
 
If the amount of tar is excessive then it may be necessary to have it professionally processed. The experts at Ming Auto Beauty Centres are trained at all types of disaster repairs and may even be able to suggest if making a claim is worth while. Contact the St. James or Stapleton locations to talk with our experts first.


How to Clean a Spill In Your Car

Almost any type of spill or mess can be cleaned if it is dealt with right away. Our centres have had paint, urine, feces, blood, fish, pickle juice, milk, gasoline, and even worse types of messes that we have cleaned successfully. It is most important to act fast. The quantity is a factor as well. Large volumes that soak deeply into car upholstery, seats or rugs will probably need to be dealt with professionally; however, small spills can be cleaned using household supplies. 

Start with an absorbent cloth such as hand or bath towels. Immediately scrub as much as the spill as possible with the towel, turning it to absorb as much as possible. Mix a solution of non-bleach household cleaner or dishwashing liquid with water and spray the area liberally. Brush vigorously with a soft brush until a soap foam appears and then towel some more. Change scrubbing direction and repeat until you feel you have removed the foreign material. Using a wet/dry vacuum or shampoo extractor will work even better if you have one. Use it to soak up the mixture after scrubbing. Then at the end, towel dry. Allow for complete air drying and use a fan if possible, to prevent mildew.

Big spills, flooded vehicles, and major disasters will probably need to be dealt with professionally. The experts at Ming Auto Beauty Centres are trained at all types of disaster repairs and may even be able to assist with making an insurance claim. Talk to the experts at Ming first to find out the course of action for your situation. Contact the St. James location here and Stapleton here.

 

Additional Resources

[From Our Blog] Why Get Your Car Detailed?


 How to Hand Wax Your Car

For those without a great deal of experience, we recommend using over the counter consumer products. They are developed to give the best results with the least effort and skill. Professional or industrial grade products are usually developed to accompany experienced applicator skills and equipment. 
 
Common types of products:

    Rubbing compounds – quite abrasive, used for removing scuff and small paint flaws
    Polishing compounds – less abrasive, for removing heavy oxidation, light paint flaws
    Cleaner/waxes – minimum abrasiveness, general purpose wax
    Pure wax – no abrasives, for fine polishing
    Sealants – see “How to apply sealants”.

Which product is best?
We will assume that you will be using a general purpose cleaner/ wax product. They are available as liquids and paste. Both are good options however paste waxes require more effort to apply. Which over the counter product to use is personal preference as different products may work best depending on vehicle colour, paint, conditions, and how it is applied. Read the labels and select a quality product -one that you will think will be suitable for you. Try experimenting to find what works best and lasts longest for you and your particular vehicle.
 
In addition to following manufacturers directions, here are some general tips:

    Work in the shade or indoors with moderate air temperature and definitely not in any rain or mist
    Use a soft sponge, applicator pad, or cloth to apply the wax. Wet the applicator slightly and wring it dry
    Using small circular motions, rub a small amount of wax just enough to get even coverage. Using a “heavy layer” will not help
    Stay half an inch or so away from vinyl components, rough or porous surfaces, rubber, cloth, vents, etc. If wax dries on these components it is very hard to remove
    Leave the same distance from seams, mouldings, and between panels. Wax build-up in these areas look obvious when the wax dries and is a lot of work to remove

It is easier to be careful when applying the wax than to work at removing it in unwanted areas later. Wait until the wax has dried to a haze before removing it but not too long. We recommend around 15 minutes or less as ideal. This may vary depending on the temperature of the air.
 
Use a micro fibre cloth available at automotive supply retailers or a very soft flannel cotton cloth to polish the wax off once it has dried. Continue turning the cloth and don’t allow any debris. If you drop the cloth shake it out well and check it over so you don’t scratch the paint surface. Don't forget to clean glass, chrome, wheels and jambs after waxing the paint.
 
How Often Should You Wax Your Vehicle?

Depending on how often the vehicle is washed, and how it is washed, (see “How to wash your vehicle”), as well as the colour, and environmental conditions, the lack of shine will determine when it is time to apply wax again. Usually 2 to 4 times per year is an average. 

 How to Clean Your Car Tires

 Here’s the secret to getting tires really black and looking showroom clean.
 
Most importantly, buy some automotive degreaser concentrate at your local home hardware or automotive supply store. Mix a solution with water in a spray bottle according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. You might want to experiment with the concentration level and test your solution in an inconspicuous area, as some rims can be sensitive to strong solutions. 
 
If you are using a pressure washer:
Spray all tires liberally with the degreaser solution. Starting with the first wheel that received degreaser, spray each tire slowly, from about one to two feet away at a perpendicular angle, and continually move the spray around the wheel. Spray the inner part of the tire towards rim first and then the outer part of the tire towards the tread and finish with the rim. Remember, the pressure of wand must come in contact with the whole tire or when it dries, you will see dirty patches. Just rinsing will not clean them properly; the force of the water is needed to remove the dirt. When all wheels are done, move the car forward or back three feet and repeat the entire process. 
 
If you are using a hose:
The procedure is the same except instead of using the pressure of the water to do the cleaning; you will need to scrub the tire with a stiff nylon brush and rub the rims with a wash mitt or small towel. Then rinse with the hose water.  
 
Tire dressing:
Some people like the look of shiny tires and some prefer the dry black look. If you want to dress the tires, purchase a rubber or tire dressing from your automotive supply store. Warning, not all products are the same. Some are mostly alcohol or water and last about 20 minutes and some last for days. Generally, pay more and get a product that will last longer. 
 
After washing, wipe the excess water from the tires so the product will be applied right to the rubber and not diluted with the water. If your dressing comes in a spray bottle, carefully mist the tire not the rims. Better still, spray or apply on to your applicator pad or small sponge and wipe it evenly on the tire. Work right up to the tread and even over the edge. Drive the vehicle a few feet and go over the missed part on the bottom. Be sure to wipe any of the dressing from the rims with a damp towel or dust will stick. 


How to Hand Wash Your Car and Preserve the Shine
 
These tips and methods will help you do a great job washing your vehicle in the least amount of time while preserving the shine. Regular washing is good but also takes its toll on most car finishes. The biggest enemy of washing is the wiping and drying motion which often cause fine “wiping scratches” especially on dark colored vehicles. So the objective is to wash your vehicle frequently, without spending a lot of time, and to alleviate wiping marks that ruin your shine. 
 
You will need:

    A microfiber car wash mitt in good condition and clean
    Proper car wash soap
    One or two soft terry towels
    Synthetic chamois (shammy) (optional)

 
Firstly with the hose or pressure wand, spray the vehicle down with water to remove any dust and heavy dirt, and to wet the entire vehicle. Wet your wash mitt and apply some car wash soap to it or add car wash soap to a bucket of clean, preferably warm, water. Starting at the top and working around the vehicle and downwards, “hand agitate” the surface in a bumper-to-bumper rather than a circular motion. Do not wipe the lower areas or wheels yet.
 
If you drop your wash mitt or if something gets on it, rinse it out before proceeding. Rinse thoroughly before the surface dries. If you are in the hot sun you may want to do this process in sections. After rinsing, work on the lower areas such as bumpers, rocker panels and wheels. The reason for this is so that grit does not get on your mitt and get rubbed onto the paint. Rinse well and be sure to rinse your wash mitt well or better yet, throw it in the washing machine and dryer for the next time. 
 
If you decide to dry your car, using a chamois will be the gentlest method. Dampen it and continue to wring it out being careful not to get any grit or debris on it. Be sure to shake out the towel and wipe the glass first to soften the towel and to remove the initial sharp edges from the fabric. Again, wipe in a bumper-to-bumper motion working from the top down. Lastly, wipe the lower areas, wheels, and door jambs. Throw towels in the washer and dryer for next time. 



How To Clean Your Wheel Rims

Many of today’s wheels have alloy rims which can be difficult to clean compared to disc covers, especially if brake dust has accumulated over time and the wheels have not been cleaned regularly. Adding to the problem some wheels are sensitive to strong cleaning agents and streaking or marking can result. We recommend cleaning your vehicle and the wheels weekly. Any cleaning solution that you use should be tested first on a small area to be certain that there is no reaction. As well, always read the manufacturer's directions prior to application on any product that you use.
 
Materials:

    Degreaser concentrate
    Spray bottle
    Wash mitt or cloth
    Small soft scrub brush

 
Mist a strong solution of degreaser and water onto the wheels and let it soak for at least two minutes. Spray the wheels at close range, about 2 feet away, to remove the heavy dirt.
 
If the wheels come clean where you've washed them, then simply spray the wheels again, and starting with the first wheel, work your wash mitt or cloth into the nooks and spokes with your fingers. Use the small brush if it helps. Move the vehicle 3 feet and repeat to get at the other side of the wheels.
 
If the dirt is stubborn you may have to rub harder, or use a rougher cloth and work at removing the build up. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to do this, only elbow grease! Just keep at it and repeat the process as necessary.
 
There are products available for cleaning alloy rims, however our experience is that they are not any more effective than degreaser and they are a lot more expensive.
 
Wire or spoke wheels:
It’s an onerous, if not impossible, task to manually clean wire wheels. Try a commercially available wire wheel cleaner. If you are not getting desired results, then a visit to a Ming Auto Beauty location or another professional detailer will be in order.
 

Share by: