Auto Detailing Tips and Tricks

Auto detailing tips and tricksIf you take pride in your ride, detailing is a must. However, you don’t necessarily have to spend hundreds of dollars every month having your car detailed by the pros. Really, professional detailers don’t use tools or gadgets that are any more state-of-the-art than anything you probably already have in the garage, or can easily purchase or rent. If you’re the DIY type, these auto detailing tips and tricks will help keep your car looking amazing.

In no particular order, here are eight of our favorite auto detailing tips and tricks (plus a few bonus ones) that will make your ride look, smell, and feel brand spanking new.

  • READ THE DIRECTIONS: This might seem obvious, but it never ceases to amaze us how many people don’t get the full cleaning or detailing effect from a product—or worse, use a product wrong and damage the paint or upholstery—because they didn’t read the directions. Every product is different, and taking a few minutes (or a few seconds in some cases) can mean the difference between a satisfying result and a huge letdown.
  • TWO-BUCKET METHOD: When washing by hand (which is always preferable and recommended) remember the two-bucket method: Fill up one bucket with plain rinse water and the other with soap and water. After every pass with your wash mitt or brush, dip it in the rinse bucket before dipping it back for more soapy water to help remove grit and dirt that can accidently be ground into the paint.
  • CLAY DETAILING BAR: The best kept secret of professional auto detailers and body shops is the detailing clay bar. There’s simply no more effective way to remove contaminants from the surface of your car. Here’s a pro tip: Tear a piece of clay into four sections and flatten each one into a small pancake, then rub it over the paint with a back-and-forth motion and knead and re-flatten the piece until it turns gray (at this point you can toss it and use a fresh piece until you get the glossy, glass-like finish).
    • Extra tip: Not sure if you really got rid of all the surface contaminants? There’s an easy way to check. Simply place your hand in a thin plastic grocery bag and run it over the surface of the paint. The bag will amplify any contaminants so you can feel them on your fingers and go back over the area with the detailing bar until it’s totally smooth.
  • MICROFIBER TOWEL CARE: Everyone knows that microfiber towels are the secret to a lint-free, scratch-free finish, but what you might not know is that microfiber towels need to be washed by themselves. Mixing them with regularly laundry and cotton towels can trap lint in the microfibers, essentially defeating the purpose of drying with a microfiber towel. Another tip: When washing these towels, use very little detergent and skip the fabric softener entirely since these can coat the fibers and ruin the towel’s detailing qualities.
  • WIPE WINDOWS IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS: A streak-free window is easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. The pros recommend cleaning your glass in two directions: Wipe the interior of the glass horizontally and wipe the exterior vertically. Why? Because you can easily identify where a streak is and take care of it without having to jump in and out of your vehicle hunting down the imperfection. If it’s a horizontal streak, you know it’s inside the windshield; if it’s vertical, you know it’s outside. Pretty neat, huh?
    • Another helpful window cleaning tip: Most people overlook the very tops of the windows since most people wipe down their side windows while they are rolled up. For a total wipe down, crack your windows slightly after they are clean and go over the top to get rid of that line of grime left over after most car washes.
  • STATIC ELECTRICITY FOR STUBBORN PET HAIR: Having trouble getting stubborn pet hair from your carpets? Not anymore, you don’t. Simply don a pair of latex gloves and vigorously rub your hands over the carpet. The static electricity generated by the latex gloves will help bring the pet hair up to the surface where you can easily remove it from the carpet by hand or with a brush or vacuum.
  • SLIDE UP THE SEATS: Another obvious tip that a lot of DIY detailers forget is to slide up the front seats when vacuuming the carpets. A lot of junk and debris can end up in the area underneath the driver and passenger seats, so make sure you vacuum the entire area.
  • THE NITTY GRITTY: The real art (and science) of auto detailing is paying extremely close attention to the trim lines and recessed areas that a quick once-over wipe down misses. For example, one of our favorite detailing ticks is to wrap a cleaning cloth around an old, worn screwdriver (make sure there are no sharp edges). Spray an all-purpose cleaner or detailing spray on the cloth and then move the top of the screwdriver along the trim lines to remove dirt and gunk.

Obviously, you care about how your car looks, so why not protect the paint job from the elements and keep it looking brand new for years to come? Auto Super Shield is the premier paint protection film installation shop serving Miami, Boca Raton, and all Southern Florida. Let us wrap your car in high-grade, ultra-premium paint protection film that will protect the factory finish from chips, scratches, fading, and other environmental hazards. Contact us online or call 561-367-0101 to learn more.

2017 Car Shows in South Florida: Part 1

Car shows in south floridaWith 2016 in the rearview mirror and 2017 just getting started, we thought this would be a good time to write about some of the upcoming car shows we’re most looking forward to in the first half of the year. We’ll be back with part 2 in the summer, but before we look ahead to that here are some car shows you should be looking ahead to in the coming months.

Corvettes in Cityplace – February 4, 2017

The first Saturday in February, West Palm Beach’s premier shopping, dining, and entertainment destination will become West Palm Beach’s premier destinations for automotive enthusiasts when the Corvette Club of the Palm Beaches takes over Cityplace. The Corvettes in Cityplace show starts at 10 am. If you want to mingle with attendees, judges, and sponsors before the event, there is a pre-show gathering at the Blue Martini Lounge on Friday, February 3rd, at 5 pm.

3rd Annual NBPS Amazing Auto Rallye – February 5, 2017

24 hours after Corvettes in Cityplace, and just 30 miles south, the 3rd Annual Amazing Auto Rallye takes over Deerfield Beach. This is more of a “cannonball run” style event than your everyday, run-of-the-mill car show. Participants “race” along the beautiful roadways of northwest Broward and southwest Boca, competing against one another in fun challenges styled off the hit TV show “Amazing Race.” If you’re interested in participating in this novice, family-friendly half day auto rally, you can enter in one of three categories: Vintage/Classic, Sports/Exotic, and Everyday Rides.

29th Florida MOPAR Nationals Car Show – March 5, 2017

The first Sunday in March brings one of the biggest car shows of the year: The 29th Florida MOPAR Nationals presented by the Florida MOPAR Connection Car Club. Come out for fun, music, prizes, and of course the best MOPAR and AMC vehicles in South Florida. There will also be a swap meet at the car show where you can browse through oddities and collectibles and even pick up something unique for yourself or a loved one. If you would like to participate in the 2017 Florida MOPAR Nationals Car Show, be one of the first 200 attendees to pre-register and receive a goodie bag from the sponsors.

8th Annual Hospice Benefit Car & Truck Show – March 12, 2017

The Cars of Dreams Museum has an unparalleled collection of over 100 classic American vehicles—in fact, it may be the most diverse collection of vintage cars, muscle cars, and street rods in the world—but on the second Sunday in March it will host an even more diverse collection of makes and models as it hosts the 8th Annual Hospice Benefit Car & Truck Show. Proceeds from the show will benefit the Hospice of Palm Beach Country Foundation.

Visit FLACarShows.com for a full list of upcoming car shows in South Florida, including weekly and monthly recurring car events and car clubs in your area.

Have an exotic sports car or a restored American classic that you want to show off? Auto Super Shield can help you get your ride car show ready with our high-quality vinyl wraps, paint protection films, and luxury window tint. Whether you want to wow the crowd with a 3D snakeskin wrap or faux-chrome finish, we can help you transform the look of your ride with ease.

Learn more about our luxury car wraps and paint protection films by calling (561) 367-0101.

How Does Paint Protection Film Work?

How-Does-Paint-Protection-Film-WorkAn invisible barrier that protects and preserves your car’s paint job sure does sound like something out of a science-fiction novel, but it’s very much a real thing. Paint protection film has been around for decades, but only recently has it become popular with luxury car owners and automotive enthusiasts thanks to advancements in the technology, design, and performance of modern paint protection films. No wax or sealant, no matter how expensive, comes close to providing the protection of PPF—which begs the question, how does paint protection film work?

Brief History of Paint Protection Film

Before we talk about how paint protection film works, it might first be helpful to talk about what exactly paint protection film is and where it comes from. Believe it or not, PPF was originally developed and used by the military to protect helicopter blades. Eventually, this polyurethane film was used in the automotive industry. Paint protection films today are much thinner and far more flexible than the original version, which makes it easy to install PPF on exotic cars with lots of sexy curves.

Self-Healing Paint Protection Film

The biggest advancement in paint protection film has been self-healing technology. Without getting too technical or complicated, self-healing paint protection film is able to “absorb” chips, light scratches, and abrasions and heal itself. At elevated temperatures, the clear coat is soft enough to “flow” and fill in any damage caused by road debris, rogue shopping carts, etc. That’s why self-healing paint protection film is great for drivers in Florida since the weather always keeps the film’s self-healing capabilities active.

Self-healing paint protection film is also more resistant to staining and discoloration from road grime, chemicals, bird droppings, tree sap, and other everyday contaminants. And hopefully this never happens to you, but permanent marker and spray paint can be cleaned off this film without “burning” off the topcoat (which is what happens to some films when solvents and chemicals are used to remove stubborn stains).

Paint Protection Film Installation

As mentioned earlier, modern paint protection film is much thinner than the original version, which has made it easier for installers to achieve seamless results. This has led more drivers to cover the entirety of their vehicles in paint protection film, whereas before PPF was typically only applied to a few areas. A full-body PPF application will protect every inch of your car’s finish from every angle. Of course, you can also decide to install PPF to those areas that are more susceptible to damage. The most common application areas for PPF include:

  • Side mirrors
  • Front and rear bumpers
  • Fender panels
  • Door edges
  • Door handle cavity
  • Hood
  • Roof

If you live in South Florida and want to protect your car’s paint from scratches, chips, oxidation, and other hazards, contact the experts at Auto Super Shield. Our premium paint protection film and luxury car wrap products are second to none, and we take pride in our high-quality installations. Call 567-367-0101 to learn more about paint protection film for your luxury vehicle.

How Long Does it Take to Wrap a Car?

How-Long-Does-it-Take-to-Wrap-a-CarIf you want to change the look of your ride, you have two options: paint job or car wrap. The second option is by far the cheaper and faster option. We’ve already written about the cost of wrapping a car, so we thought we would spend a few minutes explaining how long it usually takes to get a car wrapped. Keep in mind that the exact length of time required to wrap your car can vary, so it’s best to ask for a timeframe in addition to estimated cost when getting a quote from a car wrap shop.

Here’s a sample timeframe of wrapping a car from start to finish. We’ve also included a few notes in places where it may take a little longer to complete a wrap installation depending on whether it’s a “standard” or “custom” vinyl wrap.

Design: 1-3 Days

Depending on the idea you have in mind, the initial consultation can take anywhere between one and three days. You can speed this up if you have a clear idea of what you want the finished vehicle wrap to look like. The more you know about what you want, the more easily designers can create it for you. The design and consultation phase may also take a little longer depending on the type of vehicle since all of your car’s curves and lines will need to be considered during this stage to make sure the wrap fits correctly and looks great.

Note: For basic color-change wraps and other straightforward wrap designs, the design consultation can be completed in a few hours or faster.

Printing, Laminating, and Trimming: 1-3 Days

This length of time primarily refers to custom wrap jobs, particularly intricate and one-of-a-kind designs. After the design is finalized and approved, allow for a few days to print, laminate, and trim the vinyl wrap. The installers may need to adjust the design slightly and run a few test prints to eliminate seams and ensure the right fit on your vehicle. The wrap may also require up to 24 hours to dry before going through a laminator. Laminating helps with durability, UV protection, scratch resistance, and prevents against tears while the vinyl is being stretched over the vehicle.

Installation: 1-2 Days

After the wrap is printed, laminated, and trimmed, you will be contacted and asked to bring your vehicle to the shop. After dropping off the keys, you can expect to be reunited with your car in one or two days. Smaller jobs, like partial vehicle wraps, can be done in a single afternoon. The thing to remember is this: A quality wrap job shouldn’t be rushed. It takes time to carefully place the vinyl on the vehicle, trim away the excess material without scratching the body, and doing all of the tedious things it takes to ensure a seamless finish (stretching, heating, trimming, etc.)

Rest Period: 1 Day

Due to the nature of the adhesive used in vinyl car wraps, there is usually a 24-hour “rest period” after the application. This allows the film to fully adhere to the vehicle and makes it easy to spot and fix any bubbles before they spread, grow, and get worse. During this rest period, it’s best not to drive the car as the elements may affect the vinyl before it can fully set.

If you’re wrapping a luxury vehicle, how long it takes isn’t nearly as important as how well it’s done. The best car wrap installers are those who take the time to achieve perfection—which is why Auto Super Shield is considered one of the premier luxury vehicle wrap shops in South Florida. We pay strict attention to every single detail for the best-looking finished product. To get a quote and timeframe estimate on wrapping your car, contact us online or call 561-367-0101.

How to Remove the Most Stubborn Car Paint Stains

Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Had old Ben driven a car, he might have added paint stains to his list of life’s certainties. Unless you keep your car locked away in the garage or wrapped in some kind of paint protection film, car paint stains are frustratingly unavoidable. What’s worse, some car paint stains can be extremely difficult to remove. But never fear, Auto Super Shield is here.

Learn tips for cleaning tree sap, bug splatters, water spots, and tape residue off your car so you can keep your ride looking fresh and dapper.

How to Remove Tree Sap

It’s important to remove tree How-to-Remove-the-Most-Stubborn-Car-Paint-Stains sap as quickly as possible, since leaving it alone will cause the sap to harden and turn black and become even harder to remove. After a while, tree sap can even etch through the paint’s clear coat, leading to staining or discoloring. However, tree sap doesn’t respond well to normal automotive soap solutions, so keep nail polish remover, mineral spirits, or tar remover in the garage or in the trunk of your car to get rid of tree sap as soon as you discover it.

  • Nail Polish Remover – Soak a cotton ball and dab at the tree sap until the residue lifts and wipes away; rinse the area with water afterwards.
  • Mineral Spirit – Dampen a soft cloth with mineral spirits, or turpentine, and wipe the tree sap away; wash the area with soap and water afterwards.
  • Tar Remover – Spray specially-formulated tar remover on the tree sap and wipe away with a damp cloth; follow directions on the bottle.

How to Remove Bug Splatters

Drive for any length of time and you’ll end up with bug splats on the front of your car. Bugs are impossible to avoid, and if you leave the dead ones on your car for too long they can harden and start to eat away at the paint job. Bug splatters can also be unattractive, which is the last thing you want people to think about your car (especially here in South Florida).

  • Spray a specially-formulated bug remover on the area with splatters and use a microfiber cloth or soft sponge to wipe away the residue
  • Wash the area with soap and water to remove any residue left over from the cleaning product and any remaining bug splatter residue
  • Apply car wax to the front of your car (wax makes it easier to remove bug splats and prevents bugs from hardening on the surface of the car)

How to Remove Water Spots

There are two kinds of water spots: Type I water spots (above surface mineral deposits) and Type II water spots (below surface water spot etchings). Because Type II water spots often require heavy buffing to remove, it’s important that you remove Type I water spots before they get worse.

  • Wash the car to remove loose contaminants (recommend going to a car wash since the water you used to wash your car at home may have mineral deposits that caused the spots)
  • Dry completely with a chamois or microfiber towel
  • Use surface clay bar on areas where water spots are visible (specialized abrasive clay bars loosen and remove deposits sitting on top of the paint and trap them without scratching the finish)
  • Detail with a paint cleaner to remove trace outlines where the water spots were previously

How to Remove Sticker Residue

Removing car stickers isn’t as easy as putting them on. The leftover adhesive residue can be hard to wash off, and you don’t want to scrape it off since doing so can cause scratches. Refer to this article for tips on how to remove car stickers without leaving any residue behind. Otherwise, here are some tips for removing the leftover glue residue after a botched sticker removal.

  • Use a hair dryer to heat up the adhesive and then try to rub the glue off the car using a dry finger or a detailing surface clay bar
    • Note: Don’t put the hair dryer at the highest temperature and don’t hold it too close to the car to avoid causing paint damage
  • Dampen a cloth with acetone-free solvent and scrub the residue away (be sure to wash the area with soap and water immediately afterwards)

Protect Your Car’s Paint Job from Everything

If you want to protect and preserve your car’s factory (or aftermarket) paint job, consider installing paint protection film. PPF is an invisible protective film that’s precisely cut to fit your car and protect against road debris, bugs, corrosion, and minor abrasions. Paint protection film also adds a gorgeous top coat to your vehicle that keeps your ride looking glossy and bossy.

For the best paint protection film in Miami, visit Auto Super Shield. Contact us online or call 561-367-0101 to learn more about our top-of-the-line paint protection film for luxury vehicles.

3M Window Tint vs. Others: Which Auto Window Tint Brand is Best?

AUTS3MvsOthers3M is one of the oldest window tint manufacturers, and over the past 50 years more drivers have installed 3M automotive window tint than any other brand. Since being issued the first patent for sun control window film in 1966, 3M has constantly been on the cutting-edge of window tint design, engineering, and technology. Today, 3M offers automotive window tint films that range in price and performance from basic privacy films to cutting-edge ceramic and nanotechnology films. Whether you want to ride in privacy, block heat, or reduce infrared and UV penetration inside your car, 3M offers a solution to meet your needs and budget.

3M’s line of automotive window tint films will enhance the comfort and appearance of your vehicle without a doubt, but how does 3M stack up against other leading window tint brands?

3M vs. LLumar

LLumar is a premium car window tint brand known for its line of non-metallized ceramic window tints that maximize heat and UV rejections without interfering with any radio frequency technology you rely on in your vehicle (keyless entry, radar detector, smartphones, GPS, etc.).

3M’s ceramic series also block up to 99% of ultraviolet light, but advanced ceramics in the film reject up to 59% of solar energy and 80% of infrared rays for added comfort and sun protection. LLumar and 3M’s ceramic window tint films are available in a wide variety of shades from light to dark, and both are backed by a limited lifetime warranty when installed by authorized professionals.

3M vs. PhotoSync

PhotoSync, by Prestige Film Technologies, is a high-quality, cutting-edge automotive window tint film that features an advanced nanotechnology coating that adjusts its solar energy rejecting properties based on solar intensity. In other words, PhotoSync will automatically increase Total Solar Energy Rejection (TSER) as solar intensity increases.

3M’s Crystalline window tint also features a nanotechnology coating (200 layers of optical film to be exact) that helps it reject more heat than even some darker films. If you want to keep the inside of your car cool, Crystalline or PhotoSync will cut down the heat without darkening your windows—although you can certainly get the sleek, dark look if you prefer.

3M vs. Solar Gard

Solar Gard is not as widely known as 3M, but the performance characteristics are similar. Solar Gard’s line of high-performance window tint films take advantage of metalized and nano-ceramic technologies to provide a cooler and more comfortable driving experience. Solar Gard also offers less expensive non-reflective dyed film, but the heat control and UV reduction capabilities of the higher-end High Performance (HP) and Ultra Performance (UP) window tint films are worth the extra cost.

Solar Gard’s basic non-reflective window tint films come with 5-7 year warranties, whereas all of 3M’s products are backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

3M vs. SunTek

SunTek is often considered to be 3M’s most direct competitor in terms of window film capabilities, performance, and technology. Specifically, the only real competitor to 3M’s Crystalline series is CarbonXP (or CXP) window film by SunTek. CXP protects against over 99% of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and also features signal enabling technology to prevent interference with radios, navigations systems, cell phones, GPS units, etc. And like 3M’s Crystalline window tint film, CXP is backed by a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty that includes fading.

3M Automotive Window Tint Reviews

Like anything else, pay attention to what other people have to say about a particular brand when shopping around for car window tint. 3M is one of the best reviewed automotive tint manufacturers, which means more drivers are happy with 3M car window tint than most other brands out there. Here are some real reviews from drivers who love their 3M tinted windows:

  • “I love love love the windows on my car.”1
  • “The end product is amazing. The color consistency is amazing and the car looks so much better.”2
  • “My BMW looks even classier with the 15% tint on the front and rear windows.”3
  • “I’ve had many car windows tinted over the years and this seems to be by far the best I’ve had yet.”4

If you’re looking to get your car’s windows tinted, visit South Florida’s premium window tint installer: Auto Super Shield. We only carry the highest quality window tint film from the very best window tint brands, including 3M. Stop by our shop in Boca Raton or call (561) 367-0101 to get a quote on premium window tinting for your car.

1http://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-us/all-3m-products/~/3M-Crystalline-Automotive-Films?N=5002385+8709313+8709340+8710692+8711017+8711413+8721690+3292716668&rt=rud

2http://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-us/all-3m-products/~/3M-Color-Stable-Automotive-Window-Films?N=5002385+8709313+8709340+8710692+8711017+8711413+8721690+3292716665&rt=rud

3http://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-us/all-3m-products/~/3M-Color-Stable-Automotive-Window-Films?N=5002385+8709313+8709340+8710692+8711017+8711413+8721690+3292716665&rt=rud

4http://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-us/all-3m-products/~/3M-Automotive-Window-Films-Ceramic-Series?N=5002385+8709313+8709340+8710692+8711017+8711413+8721690+3292716659&rt=rud

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