| Along with the beautiful curves of
the newer (as well as older) Porsches, comes some vulnerability to damage from the
elements, and the need for some extra attention to maintenance to ensure that your car
stays beautiful. You have probably read other items on how to keep your Porsche in top
shape, so this article will just be a brief review, and will cover some new developments
in car care.
Washing the car is the first basic step. It is
best to work in the shade, or at least not in the middle of a sunny day in direct
sunlight. The paint should not be uncomfortably hot to the touch. To wash the car, use
lots of water in a large, clean bucket, along with just a capful of so of good quality
carwash liquid (unless the car is really dirtythen you will need to use a bit more
I start with the wheels, using a Wheel Wooley (Pep
Boys). This is a nice-sized little wheel cleaner, that will fit through the opening of
most Porsche wheels, allowing you to clean most of the inside of each wheel without taking
them off or getting under the car. Also, the Wheel Wooley doesnt have the twisted
wire center of most wheel brushes, so it wont scratch your wheels. Scrub each wheel
gently with carwash solution, and rinse. If the wheels are very dirty, or it has been too
long since you cleaned them, you may need to use some wheel cleaner. Just be careful to
choose one that is gentle, and is compatible with the finish on your wheels. Some popular
wheel cleaners contain acids to help clean your wheels!
Next, wash the car with the carwash suds, using a good quality
wash mitt or small all-cotton terry towel. After washing it, rinse off the car with cool
water. If the car is a convertible, you may not want to wash the top every time you wash
the car. Washing is hard on a convertible top, and may not be necessary unless the top is
To dry the car, I use a couple of new products that work very
well. First, I squeegee most of the water off the car using a California Water
Blade, (Costco has them) and then blot/wipe off the remainder with a dimpled
synthetic chamois (Griots Garage, http://www.griotsgarage.com/index.jsp). I
have never been a fan of chamois, but this is a different product. It really soaks up the
water and doesnt leave little droplets of water on the paint the way a cotton towel
does, and there is no lint. Also, it doesnt seem to pull the wax off the paint like
a traditional chamois. These two items do an excellent job of drying the car, and they do
it very quickly. If you do use cotton towels, and you have a convertible, you know by now
not to use towels on the topit leaves a tremendous amount of lint.
While we are on the topic of lint, the best thing Ive
found to remove lint is the lint brush available at Wal-Mart. It is a
double-sided, unidirectional brush, a bit like the hook component of Velcro.
You just brush any visible lint spot on the top, and the lint sticks to the brush. To
clean the brush, simply wipe it on a cloth or your hand in the opposite direction.
Dry the wheels with cotton towels. This is not a good place to
use your expensive synthetic chamois, because it will quickly become stained.
The next step is to protect the paint with a good coat of wax.
If the paint has minor scratches, or it has dulled a bit, you may want to apply a glaze
first. My favorite is 3M Imperial Hand Glaze. It goes on without a lot of rubbing,
prepares the paint for waxing, and fills in minor scratches. I put it on with a small
cotton towel, and then wipe it off with the same, changing the towels frequently. I
dont use an electric buffer on my Porsche. IMHO, it is too easy to damage the paint
with a buffer, and they tend to spatter product residue all over the car.
When it comes to wax, I like One Grand Blitz wax best. It goes
on very easily with a cotton-covered sponge wax applicator. Follow by buffing it of f with
cotton towels. For the glazing and waxing, use a back-and-forth motion, following the way
air flows over the car. That way, if you induce any tiny scratches with a piece of grit
caught in your towel, it will be less obvious.
Give the wheels a good coat of wax also, and wipe the tires
with a thin application of your favorite tire protectant (mine is Vinylex) to restore that
like-new look. Follow the tire protectant with a wipe-down to remove any excess.
For detailing the interior, and cleaning the glass, my new
favorite product is microfiber towels (Costco again). They are incredibly soft, leave no
lint, and pick up dust like a magnet. To clean the interior glass, Porsche Interior Glass
Cleaner (very imaginative name) is excellent.
For exterior glass, the best cleaner I have ever used is
homemade, using the recipe from Consumers Reports: to an empty gallon jug, add 1
pint of rubbing alcohol, ½ cup of sudsy household ammonia, and 1 teaspoon dish soap. Fill
the remainder of the jug with water, and you have a lifetime supply of excellent glass
cleaner for pennies.
When using glass cleaner, vinyl/rubber
protectant, or any
other spray product, I dont recommend spraying them on the car. Spray them on your
cleaning cloth or applicator, and then use them on the car. The manufacturers
directions usually instruct you to spray the product directly on the carits
easy and it uses more product, but it gets in places where you dont want it.
Happy detailing, and enjoy your Porsche!