Professional Automotive Detailing 101: A Guide to Cleaning Exhaust Tips

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There’s a reason the word ‘detail’ is included in the title of a professional automotive detailer. When it comes to making vehicles look their best, there’s no detail too small or insignificant. However, it’s not uncommon for individuals to forget to detail a vehicle’s exhaust tips! Even though they may seem like a small part of the vehicle, sparkling exhaust tips can make all the difference in turning a good auto detailing job into a fantastic one.

If you’re interested in becoming a professional auto detailer, read on for a quick guide to cleaning exhaust tips.

Professional Automotive Detailing Supplies Needed for Cleaning Exhaust Tips

Every auto detailer will have their own unique process for cleaning exhaust tips. However, there are some staple supplies you should make sure you have in your kit in order to get the job done right. First off, you want to make sure that you have a bucket of water that is separate from the one you’re using to clean the car’s paint. You can use the same bucket as the one you use to clean the car’s wheels.

Many products that are used for detailing wheels are okay to use on exhaust tips. They are gentle enough to not cause any damage, but also well-suited to getting the job done. Most grads of an auto detailing course recommend having microfiber towels, a cleanser, metal polish, very fine steel wool, and wheel cleaning brushes on hand. Make sure you use a microfiber cloth that you’re no longer using to clean the body of the vehicle to ensure that it won’t scratch up the car’s paint job.

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Include a microfiber towel in your kit for detailing exhaust tips

Types of Exhaust Tips Students in Auto Detailing Courses May Know

There are three main types of exhaust tips you could encounter during your career. The first type of exhaust tips you’ll see are made of mild steel, which are the most basic and bare bones exhaust tips you’ll work on during your career. Because of their lack of flexibility, they are susceptible to getting damaged or cracked. Mild steel tips also rust quite easily, so they are not ideal for car owners who live in areas that get a lot of rain or snow.

The next step up is chrome plated mild steel exhaust tips, which are one of the more common types of tips found on modern cars. The chrome surface makes them much more durable as well as visually appealing. And finally, the most expensive and high-quality exhaust tips are stainless steel. They are said to last about four to five times longer than regular exhaust tips and look fantastic when well-maintained, especially after a good professional automotive detailing job.

Steps for Detailing Exhaust Tips After an Auto Detailing Course

While detailing exhaust tips is often overlooked, it’s a pretty simple task. Depending on how long it’s been since the exhaust tips were last cleaned or if they’ve ever been cleaned at all, you might have to adjust your approach. Cars that have been neglected will likely have a lot of black carbon buildup on the inner rim of the tips, which might require a little more elbow grease.

The first step to cleaning exhaust tips is to spray cleanser on the outside and inside of the tips. Just remember to be careful to not spray the cleanser too far into the exhaust or you could cause damage. Let the cleanser sit and loosen the grime for several minutes. Then, take the wheel brush and gently begin scrubbing the exhaust tips. Once you feel like you’ve made as much progress with the brush as possible, use a microfiber towel to wipe away any residual soap. If there is still noticeable carbon buildup, apply some metal polish to fine steel wool and scrub the areas that still have carbon buildup. After you’ve finished, use the clean side of the microfiber cloth to wipe away and buff the surface. You should be left with sparkling exhaust tips that look like new!

Do you want to enroll in auto detailing training in Cambridge?

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