When you have owned your cherished automobile for ten years and can no longer deny the wear and tear that time has inflicted on it, it is time to inspect the vehicle’s exterior.
This begs the question of whether it is better to perform the procedure at home or to visit a specialist.
In this case, the only appropriate response is, “it depends.” What you intend to do with the vehicle will determine the best action.
In this short guide, you will get an overview of refinishing the car’s exterior and the effects it can have.
More than just a simple wash
Refinishing the car’s exterior involves more than just a simple pass through the car wash.
It entails a great deal more. One must set aside a weekend to work on the car’s upkeep and repairs.
This time will be required to turn a sad and embarrassing candidate intended to be sold to get rid of the problem into a little gem that one will no longer want to part with.
Car exterior refinishing, what is the Objective?
The first thing that needs to be done before beginning the process of refinishing the car’s exterior is to answer this question.
Is the Objective to make the car look as pleasant as possible so it can be enjoyed once more? Or is the plan to increase its value so that it can be sold at a later date?
If the latter is the case, the car’s condition will determine whether or not it is worthwhile to undertake this project.
1. Optical flaws that can be fixed on the vehicle
The following flaws in a car can be remedied with the help of a trained professional who specializes in exterior optical preparation:
1. The tires are covered in moss, the paint, rims, and plastic parts are dirty, and the general condition of the vehicle is as follows
2. Damage to the paint includes dull paint, light scratches, and minor rust spots.
3. Other component damage includes dull headlights, fractured glass, split or broken taillights, twisted and dented bumpers, and cracked or split glass.
4. Damage to the body consists of dents caused by hail, dings caused by the seasons, and severe rust damage.
2. Washing brings it out
Those cars found in barns or used vehicles that have spent a long time parked on gravel waiting for a purchased one tend to accumulate dust.
This must be obliterated. If not, you never know what you might uncover.
The excellent news is that, ideally, remove the rims and rinse them individually in a water container. Aluminum rims are “hard to gnaw” when it comes to cleaning.
This way, it is possible to get an idea of how the car will look without limescale stains. In this instance, brake dust can also be removed with a brush with a more rigid texture. Polishing the aluminum rim is another step that needs to be completed. This will remove the lightest scratches.
You must first repair all damage on plastic bumpers, rearview mirrors, and crash barriers and ensure everything fits together correctly.
You must ensure everything fits back together correctly on plastic bumpers, rearview mirrors, and crash barriers.
If the bumpers are the source of the problem, disassembly of the entire vehicle is frequently the only viable option. The decision as to whether or not to repair the component can then be made.
If this is the case, it is recommended that you visit a scrapyard to acquire a replacement part for your vehicle.
3. Polish, but do it well
We want to highlight how not to polish before we go through how to polish properly. Never use an angle grinder on clearcoat!
Suppose you want to approach car clearcoat with a “the more, the better” mentality. In that case, you will most certainly cause severe damage that can only be remedied by purchasing an expensive professional, transparent coating.
As a beginner in car polishing, your hands are enough to achieve decent results. The following are needed:
– cotton cloth
– silicone cleaner
The machine can assist you as long as you intend to polish the vehicle’s hood, side surfaces, or roof. The case, fenders, wheel arches, and anything else with edges or borders receive a hand-polished finish.
Otherwise, the risk of polishing the clearcoat down to the primer coat is enormous.
Silicone cleansers should be used on a newly washed and dried car. Otherwise, they have the potential to cause new scratches while polishing the vehicle.
Now the entire car is polished by hand in the order 400 – 2500 – 3500.
Very important: After polishing, the clearcoat must be sealed immediately. Very quickly, you will be able. In that case, all the effort that was put in will have been for naught if it rains heavily.
Glossy paint is highly delicate, so immediately after final polishing, clean the car with a silicone cleaner (no water!) and wax it immediately.
Unpainted bumpers or radiator grilles will look new again. This cleaner goes very deeply into the surface and dissolves the plastic very subtly. Deep surface penetration is achieved by this cleaner.
Here the question always arises whether it is legal to polish opaque headlight covers.
There are different opinions. But to be honest, the few micrometers of plastic removed when polishing the covers have little impact on the overall brightness of the headlights. They are typically held in place by a couple of screws, making it easy to swap them out when necessary. Even the best polish will be useless if the wheel arches are badly rusted, and the car is trashed and virtually unsellable.
Refinishing the exterior of the car
This does mean that it needs to be varnished afterward.
However, when kneading, it must be kept in mind that it is only a “repair by the current market value.”Ground areas tend to rust again within a few months.
If rust is to be permanently removed, replacement of the affected part is inevitable.
Beware of rust accumulations on pillars and sill: hollow and tubular components rust from the inside out. Therefore, external treatment with putty is not very useful and hides the car’s current safety status.
Find yourself a practice item before you start on your vehicle.
The classified sections of newspapers are full of affordable vehicles. It is possible to purchase a fully functional automobile for barely thirty to fifty euros.
You will be able to put into practice, at your own pace, every method that the art of automotive preparation has to offer when you use this object.
Wouldn’t it be better to go to a specialist?
It is more advisable to make beginner’s mistakes on a cheap car than it is to damage your vehicle.
Even the most motivated layman will not be able to reach the level of a professional preparation workshop even after ten attempts at fixing the vehicle.
Therefore, if the car is to be sold, professional treatment is best, especially for vehicles of higher value.
With a car that has been professionally polished, free of stains and scratches, you will undoubtedly see an increase in value that more than makes up for the investment.
The only risk you run is falling in love with your own car to the point where you no longer want to sell it.