Minuteman

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Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

Do It Yourself Tips from a Full-Flegged, Down to the Bone, Mercedes-Benz Enthusiast

Reprinted With Permission - TriAngles Newsletter

The long hard winter is finally at an end, time to clean your Mercedes Benz. Between salt, sand and tar, your car has taken a beating.

I don't condone automatic car washes, especially ones with brushes. But after the winter your car needs to have its underbody cleaned. To avoid being hurt trying to do this, go to a Touchless Car Wash. Ask for the Underbody Wash. This will clean salt and sand from areas you didn't know existed. This is very important in the fight against rust, in fact doing this once a month during the winter, is the best way to protect your car.

Now, wash your car in the usual way (see past articles). You will probably notice a lot of tar on your car, caused by pothole filling. There are a lot of Tar Removers on the market, but most remove wax. If you plan on waxing your car, and you should, these are fine. But if not, take some liquid car soap on a cloth to remove it. Claying your car will also work. Once the tar is off, run your hand over the paint to determine if you need to clay the entire car.

Now that the car is clean, walk around and inspect every panel. What you are looking for are paint chips and rust. This is the time to take care of it. Not only are paint chips unsightly, they are where rust will start. Fixing them is easy. First go to Langka.com and buy their product.

Second get the proper color touch up paint from the dealer. Next pick one panel at a time and clean the chips with alcohol. This is important because paint won't stick to a contaminated surface. Now put a blob, yes a blob of paint on the chip. Wait about 60 to 90 minutes for the paint to dry. Now put some Langka on a rag and start rubbing. At first nothing will happen, but in a few seconds the blob will start to disappear.

When you see or feel that it is level - stop. Now your chip is gone. It may take a few tries to perfect the technique, but you will be amazed at the results. Before winning at Starfest 2004, the painted bumper on my SEC had about 20 chips, I used this process and no one could tell.

After using this you must wax the area because the alcohol removed it. Now is the time to wax the whole car. The sun, salt and automatic car washes have removed the wax you applied last fall.

Now, for the interior. You can probably grow potatoes in the foot wells. Carefully remove the floor mats and shake them, then beat them against a pole or some other object. Now vacuum the mats and put them a side. If your carpet or pedals have a lot of sand use a brush to loosen it. Now vacuum the carpets, and all the nooks and crannies. Now turn to your seats and beat the “tooshie” part with your fist. You will be amazed at the dirt that comes to the surface, then vacuum and repeat, until you don't see anymore sand.

If the rest of your interior is dusty take a damp rag and wipe it down. Now you need to protect and beautify it. Use a product called 303 available at boat dealers. This has an SPF of 40 and protects better than Armor All. Saturate a soft cloth and go over the whole interior one section at a time. Wait about 20 minutes and buff with another soft cloth. This will leave your interior protected and with a nice matte shine. For the wood, wipe off any heavy sand or dirt with a detailing brush. Then take a rag and spray window cleaner on it and wipe it down. Now take your car wax, and wax it. The wood in a modern Mercedes is clear coat just like your paint, this will give it the right shine and protection. Wash your windows, go over your door and trunk rubbers with 303 and you are done.

Now the birds are singing, your Mercedes is clean, it's Miller time!