05-01-2012, 03:58 PM
Dodge Ram Forum Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Barrie - CANADA
Vehicle: 2012 1500
Trim Level: Sport
Engine: 2009-20?? 345ci (5.7L) Hemi V8 390hp 407lb/ft
Rep Power: 0
Wash your truck by hand with a good automotive soap. Dry it in the shade with a soft bathroom towel. It is better when it is damp. Go over everything twice. Don't let the truck dry until you dry it or you will get water spots.
Drive through car washes are great in the winter to keep the salt off but make sure you don't use the wax and coating options they provide. They go on before the vehicle is clean and trap in dirt. You will usually only notice this on a black vehicle.
If the water spots are really bad try a clay bar and then a good hand wax. I don't use electric buffers.
Here is my guide to always having a perfect looking black vehicle. (I am now on my third one)
Approximate time (1-2 hours)
1. Find a shady area to wash
2. Rinse the roof of the truck with cool water (never hot)
3. Using an automotive soap start washing the roof with a terry cloth or soft sponge, making sure that the areas that you are cleaning are always wet ahead of time.
4. Rinse the all of the soap off of the roof of the truck
5. Rinse the windows top half (bottom of window line and up) of the cab and wash as stated above. Then rinse.
6. Get a new clean bucket and terry cloth or sponge
7. Repeat the above working your way from the top down and make sure you keep all of the areas you have washed wet. If it dries you will get water spots.
8. Get a new terry cloth or sponge for the wheels and tires and clean them with the same soap as you used for everything else. NEVER USE THIS FOR ANYTHING BUT WHEELS AND TIRES, this is your new wheel/tire cloth.
9. Make sure everything stays wet
10. Using a bath towel start on the roof and start drying working your way down to the bottom (not wheels and tires), go over it very quickly, this is the first coat of drying. You will have to ring out the towel a few times as you go.
11. Go over the entire truck a second time with the damp towel. This is the final coat. It does not have to be perfectly dry but should be drying within 20 seconds of your wipe.
a) Light reflects in straight lines. Wash and dry in straight lines from front to back, leave the circles for crop mysteries.
b) Depending on how dirty your truck is will depend on how often you will have to change buckets and terry cloths or sponges. The minimum you need is 2. If you use dirty to wash you will scratch the surface with dirt particles and only be spreading around dirty water.
With another dedicated wheel/tire towel dry your wheels and tires.
Clean your tires with your favourite tire cleaner. Make sure they are dry before you drive away or you will spray tire cleaner up the side of your truck.
The above is what should be done weekly or as needed.
Waxing (do this once every month or 2) (Approximate Time - 2-4 hours)
I use Turtle Wax colour match (Black). I have tried Mothers, McGuiers(sp?) and many other products but I find this works the best on black. (hint - wear gloves or you will have black nails and hands)
1. Wash like above
2. Keep vehicle in a cool dust free area. I usually use my garage and have a garden hose running (sprinkler or trickle) to keep the floor damp and the dust down.
3. Have a lot of light, some that you can move to different angles so that you can see everything and make sure you haven't missed anything.
4. With a new terry cloth apply a small amount of wax to the cloth and start on the roof working your way down. You can apply using circles here. You will probably use 2-4 terry cloths for this.
5. Starting at the first place you applied the wax (the roof) start buffing using a micro fibre cloth and rubbing in straight lines from front to back until buffed to your shiny desire. Work your way around the entire vehicle in the order you applied the wax.
6. Once finished I find a terry cloth works well to get any missed spots or hard to buff areas. Let the cloth do the work. You should be buffing a lot but not hard.
7. Walk around the truck looking from different angles to see if you missed any areas.
8. Drink a beer and just stare at you awesome job.
There are a lot of different ways to wax and clean your vehicle. This is what I find works best for black. Some things you can get away with on other colours (colors for my American friends) you wont be able to with black.
If you some how manage to destroy or damage yourself or your vehicle in anyway I take no responsibility for it. I am only posting what I do. It is your vehicle and you should clean it to your own digression.
Last edited by CanDan; 05-01-2012 at 04:06 PM.