Getting Your Car ‘Show-Ready’: Some Tips from 360 Fabrication

Car show season is fast approaching and collectors, hobbyists, enthusiasts and gearheads across the province are getting their rides ready for the show circuit.

Whether you’re entering a car in the show or just checking out the local flavors, there’s a certain atmosphere at these events that unites people of all ages around these beautiful machines.

If you’re entering a car in a show, making sure it’s in pristine condition shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. Whether you drive a Ferrari or a Honda, showing off your passion doesn’t have to be impossible. These quick tips will help your car stun the show and draw some additional attention.

Getting Your Car Show-Ready: Some Tips from 360 Fabrication
Getting Your Car ‘Show-Ready’: Some Tips from 360 Fabrication


* As is true with waxing, washing should be performed in the shade if all possible, as well. A hot surface causes both wash and rinse water to evaporate much too quickly, causing spotting and streaking.

* Always use soap that’s specifically made for car washing. Dishwashing detergent is not the way to go, as it’s much too strong and contains no surface conditioners or natural oils that aid in rinsing the dirt and grit off your car’s surface without scratching the finish.

* For anything other than a fresh new finish, a good going over with a clay bar is the perfect next step after a thorough wash job. Created to lift the particulate debris and contaminants that washing can’t, clay bars remove embedded grains of metal, tree sap, airborne environmental deposits, and paint overspray from your car’s finish by grabbing onto them and lifting them off a vehicle’s painted surface. This is the preferable way to refresh a finish, rather than buffing with compound, and in many cases just as successful.

* Always use the supplied lubricant with a clay bar product. When used as directed there is no negative polishing effect on the surface, while the bar is grabbing the contaminants. As the bar becomes soiled, just pull, stretch and fold it to expose a fresh surface, and never reuse a clay bar that’s been dropped on the ground.

* Always use a dedicated sponge or wash mitt for your tires, and never use them on your car’s finish.

* After cleaning your tires, let them dry completely (at least 30 minutes) before applying a dressing. It’s also a good idea to use applicators that are made specifically for this type of job–it makes a rather messy chore that much easier.

* Never use household detergents, abrasives, or petroleum distillates on vinyl interior components- a mild soap (like Ivory) and warm water works well. Always follow with a clean water rinse, using a sponge or a wet cloth. An automotive specific cleaner/dressing is the way to go.

* Mildew bacteria can be killed and cleaned by using a medium/soft brush and a 4 to 1 mixture of water and ammonia; then rinse with cool water.

* The final bit of detailing in the process should be the interior glass. For best results use an automotive glass cleaner versus a household ammonia-based one. Household glass cleaner is not formulated to remove vinyl fog etc. like the automotive version has been.