Car Care & Valeting
Car Care Technology
While traditional car care and valeting products remain popular, manufacturers have developed a raft of innovative technologies to help enhance their products and achieve the best possible finish. With consumers increasingly looking for DIY solutions that achieve similar results to those achieved by the professionals but at a fraction of the cost, there is a real opportunity for motor factors and garages to build new revenue streams and attract a wider range of consumers.
According to paint restoration specialists Farécla, the paint restoration sector offers real growth potential thanks to the strong performance of the second hand car market. Consumers are keen to purchase quality used cars that have been well maintained, and car owners now realise the importance of extending the life of their car’s bodywork in order to retain value and appeal. Where once they may have called in the professionals to achieve this, the current economic climate encourages them to do it themselves; buying the right range of products for a professional finish for under £45 is an appealing option for any car owner.
Over time, a car’s surface can suffer from bumps, scrapes and chemical damage. Renovating means bringing the surface back to its original showroom look. The G3 Formula range makes it easy to obtain professional results because it is based on an interlinked system of molecular level technologies.
Engineered Diminishing Abrasives (eDA’s) are unique to the G3 Formula and are present in the Scratch Remover and the Paint Renovator. The eDA particles break down consistently and reduce in size as you remove the scratch/scuff or restore fading, finally turning into a smooth polishing fluid. This significantly lowers the risk of over application and prevents damage to the bodywork – especially when used in conjunction with a G3 Formula Applicator Waffle Pad.
To support its retailers and to help consumers, Farécla has produced a comprehensive G3 Formula product guide and a range of ‘how to use’ videos that explain the technology behind the G3 Formula and show how to use each product.
G3 Formula Detox cleans and leaves the bodywork optimised for G3 Formula Scratch Remover or Renovator. These in-turn leave the surface ready for G3 Formula Super Resin Wax to adhere effectively and produce a professional finish and extend the life of a car’s bodywork.
Another DIY option within the valeting sector is home hand car washing. This is a particularly popular option in the UK, with British car owners washing their cars by hand more than 8 times a year* – more than any other country in Europe.
To improve the performance of their wheel cleaner, car care specialist Muc-Off now employs nano-technology. In the past, car cleaners have been formulated using “Micro Scale” materials which are approximately 1/80th the size of a human hair. Muc-Off Nano- Technology cleaner is formulated using “Nano Scale” materials which are approximately 1/80000th the diameter of a human hair.
This dramatic reduction in material scale allows the Muc-Off formula to penetrate far deeper into dirt, oil and grime gently breaking it down on a molecular level. The dirt is then rinsed away easily and safely with water, leaving behind corrosion inhibitors for future protection. A painted or metal surface may look smooth to the naked eye but under a microscope it’s full of peaks and troughs. Nano sized particles are able to fill these microscopic areas and bond to form a smooth protective layer that makes it harder for dirt to adhere to, making your next drive all the more protected.
Within the manufacturing process, Muc-Off products go through rigorous tests to uphold quality assurance. Formulas are tested in-house and researchers ensure all products are tested on different paint types and finishes, weather conditions and exposures to different types of dirt and chemicals.
While traditional chamois leather continues to be favoured by car enthusiasts, new microfibre technology is winning many converts, according to car care experts Kent. The arrival of microfibre has opened up many opportunities as it can be used not only for cleaning, but also for drying and polishing.
Genuine chamois leather is a natural, environmentally friendly product that excels at drying a surface and leaving it streak free. Microfibre can claim similar attributes, but with one big advantage: no ‘complicated’ care instructions. Once used, it is simply washed by hand or machine, without using bleach or fabric conditioner, causing the fibres to open up and release their dirt. Its green credentials come from the fact that it can be used for cleaning glass, chrome and paint finishes without the need for any detergents or cleaning fluids.
Each filament of microfibre is microscopic in size and when these fibres are woven into a yarn they create millions of fibres in wedge shapes. Due to its capillary action, this structure removes microscopic particles of dirt from a surface that would simply be pushed out of the way by conventional polishing cloths.
Lots of manufacturers are recognising microfibre’s potential, but some are cutting costs and corners to create a competitive price advantage. Microfibre cloth should be an 80:20 mix of polyester and polyamide. This mix produces a soft and pliable material which forms to the precise shape of the bodywork being cleaned or polished and removes dirt and grime without damaging paintwork. If the polyamide content falls too far below 20% it loses most of these properties.
Microfibre is lint free, and therefore leaves the surface free from any residue material, much like the natural properties of chamois leather. Drying your car is also faster and easier as a large microfibre towel can dry a typical car without having to be wrung out.