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  • Welcome to the first episode of Drive Clean.

  • I'm Larry Kosilla from ammonyc.com, and I'm so stoked

  • to be here, talking about my two favorite things-- driving

  • cars, and of course, cleaning cars.

  • Over the course of my career, I've had the honor and the

  • privilege of maintaining some of the most priceless pieces

  • of automotive history.

  • I can't think of a cooler job.

  • Now, I would imagine most of you, if not all of you, have

  • that one special car, that car that means the world to you

  • for me, it's the Audi R8 Blackbird.

  • We're going to talk about the tips, the tricks, and the

  • methods that I used to properly maintain these

  • special cars.

  • So without further ado, welcome to the first episode

  • of Drive Clean, right here on the Drive network.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • Today I'm going to show you how to properly wash and

  • maintain your vehicle.

  • Now, we're going to go over a ton of information, so check

  • out ammonyc.com for a free downloadable .PDF of all the

  • stuff that we're going to cover.

  • If you're driving your car properly and you're beating

  • the heck out of it, it's going to get dirty.

  • There's going to be bugs in the front of it and there's

  • going to be grime all over it.

  • That's great, but washing your car properly is the key to

  • success here.

  • If you do it wrong, you could actually damage your paint.

  • So what we're going to do is we're going to walk around the

  • car and inspect everything prior to washing it.

  • So let's get started.

  • Before I begin, I always walk around the car and give the

  • vehicle a quick visual inspection.

  • I do this for a couple of reasons.

  • First, you want to find any dings, dents, and scratches

  • prior to rinsing and adding soap.

  • The water and soap will make it more difficult to see and

  • address any issues the vehicle may have.

  • To me, it's kind of like walking the racetrack prior to

  • actually racing.

  • It helps you plan your approach and avoid surprises.

  • Secondly, I always take notice of the heavy soiled areas,

  • such as the front bumper, the rear bumper, and the lower

  • rocker panels behind the wheels.

  • I want to gauge how much dirt, grease, and grime is present,

  • and adjust my methods accordingly.

  • Now the first thing you want to do is pull your car into

  • the shade, a cool area.

  • And the reason why you want to do that is because if the

  • paint gets too hot, your products are going to

  • evaporate before you get to actually use them.

  • They're used as lubrication, and if that dries out, it's

  • going to get water spots-- it's something you

  • don't want to do.

  • So make sure it's in a cool area.

  • Like, today, it's relatively cold outside, so we can stay

  • right here and there's not going to be any problem.

  • The first thing over here is the three bucket system.

  • I know most of you have heard about two bucket system--

  • that's where you have soap in the grit guard and fresh water

  • in a grit guard.

  • Now I know most of you heard about that.

  • The third bucket over here is specifically designated for

  • the wheels.

  • All the products, all the materials, everything that I

  • use for the wheels, is in that bucket, because you don't want

  • to confuse it and use it on the paint.

  • Alright, so the third bucket is full of the

  • wheel cleaning products.

  • Now inside here I have my dirty spoke wheel brush.

  • Now, I've done one or two cars with it and look

  • how dirty it gets.

  • This gets behind the wheel to agitate everything behind the

  • rim and pull it out.

  • Now here I have my fender wall brush.

  • That gets in behind the wheel into the fender and knocks all

  • the dirt down.

  • Now we get into the fun stuff.

  • I have my caliper brushes-- you can see

  • it gets used a lot.

  • So I get in there, and I agitate the caliper to bring

  • all the brake dust down.

  • And you got the round cone brush.

  • You can use that.

  • And this is my lug nut brush.

  • It gets into the lug nuts and agitates everything, again,

  • and brings it out, because sometimes you can't get your

  • finger into those tiny little holes.

  • I have my wash mitt.

  • Now, this wash mitt has been used two or three times on

  • wheels, and as you can see, it gets dirty pretty quick.

  • So unlike this one, which is a brand new wash mitt, this here

  • is going to get dirty much quicker, but it's OK.

  • So use this and get in there, put your hands inside the

  • mitt, and get to those areas you can't

  • reach with those brushes.

  • Moving over to here, we have the foam gun, one of my

  • favorite tools.

  • It's very cheap, it's about $50, $60, and you can keep up

  • with the big boys who have power washers.

  • This is a great tool.

  • You just hook it up to your hose right there-- boom,

  • perfect

  • One of the things you don't want to use is a sponge.

  • Now, the difference between a sponge and a

  • wash mitt is huge.

  • So, a sponge right here, when you're cleaning the dirt off

  • the top of your car, it actually doesn't penetrate or

  • go inside the sponge.

  • So what happens is if this is the surface of your paint,

  • you're scratching the heck out of it with these things, so

  • stay away from them.

  • These type of sponges right here or mitts are lambswool or

  • sheepskin and actually gets the dirt inside.

  • So when you're washing it and you pick up the dirt, it goes

  • inside, not to lay it down and scratch the paint.

  • So definitely, stick to these guys right here.

  • Another common mistake is the soaps that we use on the car.

  • Now, I find the cheaply, brightly colored $5 soap that

  • you find in auto parts store to be a little bit too

  • aggressive.

  • And of course, here we have dish soap.

  • If you're going to use dish soap, what it does is it

  • actually removes all the wax from the car.

  • It can be useful, but it's definitely not good if you

  • want to keep the wax on your car in place,

  • so be aware of that.

  • So what I do is I use a product that's a very, very

  • safe to the exterior of the paint, and then I also use a

  • very specific wheel soap.

  • So, I have one soap for the wheel and one

  • soap for the paint.

  • We're going to do that right now.

  • So I've added three or four squirts of wheel soap to my

  • designated wheel bucket.

  • Then I fill it 3/4 full with hose water.

  • Now I'll heavily rinse down the wheels and wheel wells to

  • knock off most of the loose dirt.

  • This tool here is called the spoke wheel brush.

  • It gently cleans the backside of the rim without having to

  • remove the wheel.

  • Next, I use a long bristled brush to clean the calipers

  • and release any dirt from the hard to reach areas.

  • The reason why I have so much water in my bucket is to help

  • rinse the heavy dirt and brake dust from all my

  • rim cleaning tools.

  • Think about it-- even after only one wheel, the soap water

  • will turn black from brake dust.

  • This is exactly why I never use the same wheel bucket or

  • wheel tools on the paint.

  • This black water is filled with tiny brake dust particles

  • that are sharp and jagged and will totally scratch your

  • paint if you used during the wash process.

  • On most rims, the majority of the cleaning is done with my

  • hand inside a wash mitt.

  • I use it to reach between and behind the spokes.

  • This step should occupy the majority of your time during

  • the wheel cleaning process.

  • Next, I always follow up with my lug nut brush to get into

  • the cracks my fingers just can't get into.

  • Then, I scrub the fender walls to flush the mud

  • and dry dirt out.

  • If the rims are totally trashed, what I might do is

  • use a little bit of rim cleaner just to get me some

  • extra cleaning power.

  • But in this case the rims aren't that bad.

  • So we're going to skip it, save some time and save some

  • products, and move on to the next step.

  • The tire sidewalls must be quickly scrubbed to release

  • embedded road grime and to have a fresh start.

  • But before I move to the next wheel, it's vital to rinse all

  • the soap and rim cleaner off before it dries and sticks to

  • the rim once again.

  • Think of it this way-- you always start a wheel with a

  • rinse and end a wheel with a rinse before moving

  • on to the next one.

  • I only rinse down the paint after all four wheels have

  • been cleaned.

  • This insures water does not sit on the paint any longer

  • than is absolutely necessary.

  • This is how water spots can occur.

  • It's also important to rinse down the paint in a cool,

  • shaded area or out of direct sunlight.

  • Work from top to bottom, and give the undercarriage a quick

  • rinse while you're down there.

  • Now, I'm foaming the paint with a tool that can be used

  • with any regular garden hose.

  • I'm doing this to continue removing loose dirt in

  • preparation for my wash mitt foam gun technique.

  • At first, I allow the foam to grab the dirt and pull it away

  • from the surface of the clear coat before I ever use the

  • wash mitt

  • Now if the car has been completely foamed, I use a

  • clean wash mitt and the two bucket method to safely remove

  • any remaining dirt.

  • This technique is the safest and least aggressive way to

  • remove dirt from the surface of your paint.

  • The technique is pretty simple.

  • You shoot the foam gun into the wash mitt as it glides

  • over the surface of the paint.

  • The foam is providing lubrication between the clear

  • coat and the wash mitt and drastically reduces fine

  • scratches that commonly occur during the wash process.

  • After every few strokes, I rinse the wash mitt in clean

  • water to release dirt that is trapped in the mitt's fiber.

  • Then, repeat the process until the entire surface is cleaned.

  • Much the same as the wheels, I start the paint washing

  • process with a rinse, and end the paint washing

  • process with a rinse.

  • Notice that the hose is set on wide shot or shower mode.

  • There's no need to use a hard stream of water here because

  • all the dirt should be gone by now.

  • The way I see it is paint is like skin.

  • It has pores like skin, it breathes like skin, and it

  • needs to be maintained, just like skin.

  • Most people know that washing your car improperly can cause

  • scratches, but what I've discovered is that drying your

  • car improperly can be just as bad.

  • When I'm drying a car, I like to use a much different and

  • safer method I call hydrating your paint.

  • The process is actually pretty simple.

  • For this, I use a clean, damp microfiber towel folded into

  • fours with two quick squirts of Hydrate.

  • This liquid works with the surface water to add a layer

  • of lubrication in between the clear coat and the microfiber

  • towel, making it 10 times safer than

  • conventional drying tools.

  • For example, it's not uncommon to miss a small section of

  • dust and dirt during the wash process.

  • It happens all the time.

  • But if this does happen, the microfiber towel will be there

  • to safely pick up the dirt without causing scratches.

  • This trick alone will save your paint from the common

  • wash and dry swirls that slowly ruin your shine.

  • There's nothing worse than driving away from a car wash

  • and seeing water pour your mirrors, your lights, your

  • wheels, and your rear bumper.

  • It causes water spots and drip marks and

  • it's just super annoying.

  • So if you have access to compressed air it can be

  • really helpful, but you need to remember a

  • few important points.

  • First, always check the air pressure before

  • using it on your car.

  • Secondly, dial the pressure at the tank for the lowest

  • effective rate to avoid paint and badge removal.

  • Lastly, hold the gun about eight inches away and slowly

  • move in as more pressure is needed.

  • This way you will avoid any dangers of

  • using compressed air.