Car Cleaning Tools & Accessories

There are a wide variety of tools and products available for detailing. Walk into an auto parts store, and there are endless brands of waxes, sealers, polishes, finish restorers, glazes, cleaners, etc. What follows are suggestions of the tools you will need for serious detailing, and a rundown on the types of products available. This information should help you decide which type to buy. DETAILING TOOLS There are a number of tools that you'll find necessary, and others just helpful. Detailing has come a long way from a bucket, dish washing soap, a sponge, an old bathroom towel, and a can of paste wax. In this section, we'll go over most of the many tools available to the detailer today. Buckets You’ll need two buckets rather than just one. One is for car wash solution, the other a rinse bucket. As you wash the car, you'll dip into the cleaning solution, wash an area, then rinse the wash mitt in the clear, clean water. This way, you do not carry dirty washing water — and the scratchy sand contained therein — to the surface of the paint. Wash Mitt Forget the sponge! Get a wash mitt. These come in wool or terrycloth. Each works equally well with the single exception that wool will carry more cleaning solution. The advantage of the mitt over a towel is its ability to hold lots of cleaning solution. Using lots of solution helps carry away the dirt with less chance of scratching the paint. The mitt is a very useful tool. To achieve professional detailing results, you need to use what the pros use - lambs-wool mitt, terrycloth mitt, regular sponge and a “bug sponge", which has polypropylene webbing around it for light scouring action. Sponges If you don't have a mitt, natural sponges are among the best items for washing cars. Although they cost more than synthetic sponges, they last much longer. The bigger the sponge, the better, because it will hold more soap and water and thereby allow you to cover more area before returning to the wash bucket. One sponge you'll need is a "bug sponge." This is a small sponge, about the size of a kitchen sponge. Around it is wrapped plastic netting. This slightly abrasive (but non-scratchy) material will quickly wash away even the driest dead bug. Whatever you do, don't use the type of kitchen sponge which has a rough pad on one side. It is too easy...

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How to Hand Wash your Car like a Professional

Many professional detailers will work from the inside out to allow time for the carpet to dry as they polish and wax the car. But we’re going to work from the outside in, on the surface most people care about—the paint surface. But in order to accurately evaluate the the paint, you must wash it thoroughly. I visited both Eagle One and Meguiar’s, who both bent over backwards to help me in any way possible. What follows is a combination of instructions direct from the folks who are some of the best in the business. For a proper, professional hand wash, you need the proper equipment: mitts instead of rags, at least two buckets, and car wash liquid. You’ll also need bug and tar remover, a good hose with high pressure nozzle, and your chamois. The dual bucket above has one receptacle for rinsing, one for sudsing. The tray, which holds the products, fits inside when empty, all closing up into one neat container. PREPARATION The first step is to assemble your washing kit. These are: A non-detergent car wash liquid, specially formulated for this task. Two buckets with minimum 5 gal. capacity A washing mitt (a second is preferred if the car is really dirty) A natural or man-made chamois (you may need more than one) A spray bottle of water for spot rinsing Bug & Tar Remover (Turtle Wax has a good one) Hose & spray nozzle An assortment of short, soft bristle brushes for exterior vinyl, trim work and spoke wheels Wheel cleaner specific to your wheels. Dishwashing soaps are formulated to remove food fats and grease, and will strip wax from your paint. Do not use them. There are several products on the shelf that are designed as washing aids containing no soap or detergent. WASH TECHNIQUE Do not wash your car in the sun if possible, and early morning or late afternoon is best if you have a choice. Most likely you have hard water with a high mineral content (unless it is filtered or softened). With this type of water, it is important that it does not dry on the paint, where it will leave a hard water mineral deposit. Pre-Rinse You may only need to pre-rinse the car if it is really dirty. If there is only a light film of road grime, then the extra step of pre-rinsing may not be necessary. Pre-rinsing the car serves two purposes: it gets heavy...

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High-Side and Low-Side Drivers

Computers using low-side drivers may be able to monitor the circuit for proper operation. When the relay coil is not energized, the sense circuit should see a high (12 V) volt. When the relay is turned on, the voltage should go low (0 V)
Usually the computer will control an actuator by the use of low-side drivers. These drivers will complete the path to ground through an FET transistor to control the output device. Hie computer may monitor the voltage on this circuit to determine if the actuator operates when commanded. Monitoring of the system can be done either by measuring voltage on the circuit or by measuring the current draw of the circuit. FIGURE. Computers using low-side drivers may be able to monitor the circuit for proper operation. When the relay coil is not energized, the sense circuit should see a high (12 V) volt. When the relay is turned on, the voltage should go low (0 V). Many newer vehicles are now using high-side drivers, which control the output device by varying the positive (12-volt) side. High-side drivers consist of a Metal Oxide Field Effect Transistor (MOSFET) that is controlled by a bipolar transistor. The bipolar transistor is controlled by the microprocessor. The advantage of the high-side driver is that it can provide quick-response self-diagnostics for shorts, opens, and thermal conditions. It also reduces vehicle wiring. High-side driver diagnostic capabilities include the ability to determine a short circuit or open circuit condition. Hie high-side driver will take the place of a fuse in the event of a short circuit condition. When it senses a high-current condition, it will turn off the power flow and then store a DTC in memory. The driver will automatically reset once the short circuit condition is removed. In addition, the high-side driver monitors its temperature. Hie driver reports the junction temperature to the microprocessor. If a slow acting resistive short occurs in the circuit, the temperature will begin to climb. Once the temperature reaches 300°F (150°C) the driver will turn off and set a DTC. The high-side driver is also capable of detecting an open circuit, even if the system is turned off. This is done by reading a feedback voltage to the microprocessor when the driver is off. A 5-volt, 50 мА current is fed through the circuit, which also has a resistor wired in parallel. Low voltage (less than 2.25 volts) will indicate a normal circuit. If the voltage is high (above 2.25 volts), a high resistance or open circuit is detected. If the open circuit is detected, a DTC is set.

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