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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Detailing your Mazda: a Step-by-Step Process

So I've been told from fellow 6club members I need to put my process here on the internetz.

A little about me - I am a self taught detailer, what I have learned is from other detailers from other forums years ago, experimenting on my own vehicles, and practice, practice, practice. I do detail cars as extra income when I have time and I have a small, but continuous client base. Some people who read my how-to may not agree with some of my processes, and that's fine - there are 72 ways to skin a cat. I figured I'd just throw this up for people interested in getting better at detailing their Mazda.

**DISCLAIMER - I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE YOU MAY CAUSE TO A VEHICLE AFTER READING THIS HOW-TO**

(just have to put that there - because today's world is crazy)

SO today's victim is my 2012 Mazda 3s Touring Hatch. It has been a long winter and definitely needs to be detailed.

INTERIOR

Products Used:
-Woolite 'extra dark care'
-303 Aerospace protectant
-Invisible Glass
-Griot's Leather Care
-upholstery extractor (I use an old Hoover carpet shampooer with the auto attachment)
-tire brush
-soft tooth brush
-detail brush
-Micro Fiber towels



1) Take a plastic bag and remove all your stuff from the door cubbies, center console, trunk, and glove box. TRUST me, if you're going to detail your car right - just take everything out and go through it later!!

2) Vacuum the loose dirt off the carpet and seats and don't forget the trunk.

3) In a clean bucket mix a 6:1 ratio of the water/woolite. The thing I love about this is it can be used on cloth, leather, plastic - pretty much everything in the interior and it smells great

4) If the carpet has a lot of stains and wear - I suggest taking out the seats AND carpet and scrub those down with the woolite mixture. Or if your car is somewhat new - you just need to quickly wipe down the seats with the mixture and a micro fiber towel.

5) For ground in dirt - like the left foot rest spot in my 3, soaking the area with the woolite mixture, scrubbing with the tire brush and then sucking up the dirty water with the carpet extractor will do the trick!

before (the sun is kinda in the way)


after:


6) After the carpets and seats are clean, next wipe down all the plastic in the car with the woolite mixture and a clean micro fiber towel. Don't forget the cup holders, and where the seat belt pivot point (up near your head when your driving) IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS. Think of all the places you touch every day when in the car - and then clean them. Use the tooth brush and detailing brush for air vents and crevasses.

7) now every where you wiped down with the woolite mixture follow with another bucket and microfiber of just water.

8) Now that you have cleaned all the plastic and interior surfaces in the car, let's protect them. I LOVE 303 aerospace protectant - but it does take a little bit more time because after applying you need to "buff it." it lasts a really long time and is a TRUE UV protectant for your plastics.

9) Leather treatment - if you have leather seats this will obviously take a bit more time. I just got Griot's Leather Care - and I absolutely love it. Just like the rest of the interior you can clean the leather with the woolite mixture. After that I liberally apply the Griot's Leather Care and let it sit for about an hour or more - then with a clean micro fiber you "buff" out the leather. I do this on my leather wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter.

10) One of the last things you want to do on the interior is clean the windows. Make sure you spray the towel or micro fiber and not the window, you don't want over spray going on your nicely protected plastic and interior surfaces do you?

11) If you only have carpet floor mats, spend some quality time with them and scrub scrub scrub and then use the extractor to clean them up. I have the all weather floor mats, so I just wash them when I wash the exterior.

Final product:





A clean, fresh smelling interior that is also protected from UV light

ENGINE BAY:

This is pretty simple. If you have a newer car - the key here is to do it early and at least once a year - it's much easier to clean off dirt and grease when it's a little bit.

For my 3, which has 21k miles on it all I needed to do was spray a diluted Simple Green mixture all over the engine bay. I have a battery cover and kept the engine cover on to protect the COP. I used a wet RAG (don't waste a micro fiber here) also sprayed with simple green. I wiped everything down. I then just rinsed it and let it air dry before starting the car up.

SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER:

1) If your car has a lot more miles and it's never been cleaned - think about getting some heavy engine degreasers. be very careful to not get them on the windshield (TRUST ME) The citrus based degreasers work well too.

2) Make sure you cover important electrical parts like the ALT, and/or BATTERY and/or the COIL ON PLUGS. Learn from my mishaps: my 2004 Taurus (same engine as the v6 6's) had COP and I cleaned it once and needed to replace all the spark plugs and COP's - the car would studder and then my ENGINE light flashed. NO fun. Just be careful and smart and you'll be okay

3) Use LOW pressure when rinsing - slow and steady.

4) MAKE SURE THE ENGINE IS COLD!!!! I CAN'T STRESS THIS ENOUGH.

5) If you're going to dress up the engine after it's clean you can use any sort of tire shine just keep it away from the belt. I tend to just clean the engine bay - as the dressings tend to attract more dirt - which just means more for me to clean later.

6)Don't forget to clean the "hood jams" you know, the under side of the hood around the hood blanket that you may not even notice because you're looking at your engine?

finished product (I forgot to take a before pic)



EXTERIOR

Will finish sometime this week. The exterior is a lot longer process and LOTS more pictures *Edited 4/1/13*


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Last edited by BrassClef; 04-01-2013 at 10:41 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 07:51 AM
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I could be over thinking but did you mean 6:1 water to woolite, not vice versa? That'd be a lot of detergent. Just noting cause you know some people out there..

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Some car that has way too much money in MODs.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 08:15 AM
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THANK YOU.

About time you put one of these up. Too bad you did all this yesterday and it started raining and still is a little bit this afternoon :\

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 09:31 AM
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BTW: Stickied for your efforts!

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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added Engine Bay tonight. Will finish at some point


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 12:37 AM
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Nice, thanks for the engine bay tips! I'm about to begin painting some engine bay parts and knowing me, I probably would've fried every electrical component in there lol
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 09:01 AM
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Keep it up Mike! I've add a link to this page in my sig.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-16-2013, 11:40 AM
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Great article for newbies like me. Thanks for sharing your experience.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 04:58 PM
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That 303 Aerospace protectant is ok to use on your leather right? just not as a cleaner.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 11:47 AM
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great instructional!! out of curiosity what do you usually charge for this sort of detailing
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