How to Buff a Car

Learning how to buff a car will keep yours looking as clean as the day you bought it. Buffing the car will also help to protect it from harsh weather and other harmful substances, such as tree sap, tar and salt.

It is important to remember that there are certain times that are better than others to buff your car. Fall and spring are the best seasons for buffing because you'll be able to comfortably work outside and have the best weather for auto paint protection.

Before you buff, the first thing you should do is wash the car. Using a hose, rinse the car off to remove any dirt or surface stains. Then fill a bucket with warm, soapy water and dip a soft rag in it. Scrub each panel of the car with the rag, making sure to cover the entire surface of the vehicle. When you're done, rinse the car with the hose again and let it air dry.

Once the car is completely dry, inspect the paint for any left-over stains or residue. Most of the time, tar or paint from the road will be left on the surface and will not come off with just soap and water. If there are tar stains on your car, you'll need to purchase a solution made for removing grease and wax. You'll be able to find this at any garage or auto parts store. Removing road paint is slightly more difficult and may require assistance from a body shop employee.

When the paint is completely clean, you are ready to buff your car. If parts of your paint job look faded or dull, you'll need to purchase a rubbing compound designed for clear coat paint jobs. This compound can be applied with an electric buffer or by hand, using another clean rag. If you use an electric buffer, don't set it any higher than 800 rpm (or medium speed). At this speed, you will be able to avoid destroying the paint job. Make sure you buff the car inside a garage, because the sun will leave streaks on the paint even after the compound is removed.

Finally, you'll need paste wax. Using another cloth, apply the wax one panel at a time and be sure to steer clear of trim areas. Once you're done, take your good-as-new car out for a drive!

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