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Make your car sparkle this spring

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published April 11, 2016

Mensal Guenter/Shutterstock

Around the same time metro Detroiters hang up their winter coats, many motorists will be searching for ways to remove the winter coating of dirt and salt off their vehicles.

Ryan Smiecinski, manager of Joe’s Auto Parts in Royal Oak, said there are numerous options when it comes to cleaning a vehicle’s exterior and interior, depending on how much time and effort the owner wants to employ.

When drivers want to clean their own vehicles, the basic approach to the exterior, Smiecinski said, is to wash the vehicle and its underbody down. Then the vehicle should be wiped down with a clay bar, a slab of clay-like material that removes remaining dirt and imperfections, he said. 

“It’s a lot of elbow grease involved with that, but it is the best way to give it a smooth surface,” he said. 

After the clay bar is used, the auto owner can apply a polish and wax — or an all-in-one polish and wax, Smiecinski said. Some people also apply a tire dressing to their tires.

“You clean them up first, and then make them shine (and) kind of condition the rubber as well,” he said.

For the interior, the owner may need to buy an assortment of cleaners to handle different surfaces inside the vehicle, such as glass, carpet, upholstery, vinyl and leather, Smiecinski added.

For auto owners who prefer to put the cleaning work in professional hands, auto detailers have various packages for precise, state-of-the-art refurbishments.

Matt Lifter, owner of Motor City Auto Spa in Royal Oak, said business this season is picking up, as his schedule already has a three-week waiting period for service. He said his company is working on starting a second location this summer to better accommodate the demand.

“We do interior, deep, thorough steam cleaning to remove dirt and salt from the winter,” he said. “We also offer exterior detailing, clay-barring, polishing and waxing the exterior. We also offer XPEL (paint) protection film or ceramic coating options. 

“If someone wants an undercarriage wash, to get the salt off the undercarriage, we do that as well.”

Lifter said the auto spa also has a variety of auto care packages ranging from express to car protection. He said the company also offers multiple-stage paint corrections.

“We can really refine the paint and try to bring it back to that showroom perfection,” he said.

Find out more about Motor City Auto Spa in Royal Oak by visiting or by calling (248) 288-6772. Learn more about Joe’s Auto Parts in Royal Oak by visiting or by calling  (248) 543-1006.