detail your ride

You are currently viewing Chevrolet.com (United States). Close this window to stay here or choose another country to see vehicles and services specific to your location.

Close

2021-06-23 | New Roads Magazine

It’s All in the Details

The sun is out and the weather is warm, so now is the time to make your Chevy shine again.

Car washing isn’t a simple sponge-and-bucket affair anymore. Master detailer Todd Cooperider, founder of ESOTERIC – Fine Auto Finishing in Columbus, Ohio, has shared with us which cleaning products, techniques, and tools to use to give your Camaro a better-than-showroom shine. Cooperider details hypercars for a living, but he’s also one of the club, having recently been the proud owner of a C7 Corvette ZR1.


According to Cooperider, the hottest thing in detailing today is ceramic coatings, which replace traditional wax and can last for years on your car’s surface instead of months. This hard-wearing hydrophobic coating serves as a protective layer and can also give your car’s paint renewed luster.

Many car owners today also opt for paint protection film (PPF). PPF requires professionals, such as Cooperider, to install, and should protect your paint from rock chips. Often called the “sacrificial layer,” PPF installations usually last for four or five years.


Polishing your paint, once a job for the pros alone, has become more accessible to the DIY detailer. Cooperider says a good polish comes down to two things: the right tools and the right technique. Look for a car polishing kit that comes with an orbital polisher, a selection of polishing pads in various sizes, and a good polishing compound. As for technique, watching instructional videos is important to learn about factors such as pad flatness, arm speed, pressure, and overlapping your passes.

This sounds almost too simple, but Cooperider says the most important tool on a detailer’s belt is a small LED flashlight. What your car’s paint looks like in the sun does not represent its actual condition; you’ll see a whole other car under an LED light. Before any detailing, pull your car into the garage and use a light to inspect for swirls, cracks, and other flaws. Also, hit the car with the light after detailing to check your work and eliminate smears and streaking.


Finally, let’s go over the basics of car washing. It might go without saying, but Cooperider reminds us that all detailing, including washing, should be done in the shade, not direct sunlight. That’s because direct sunlight can distort your view of paint, and the higher temps can cause many car cleaning products to be less effective. 

When doing a basic wash, use the two-bucket method: one bucket for soaping your applicator and one for rinsing it. And last, never dry your car with a bath towel. Use a high-quality microfiber towel and apply it with as little pressure as possible. Or get a vehicle dryer like the pros. Yes, you could use a leaf blower in a pinch, but a vehicle dryer filters out debris from the intake and warms the air, which dries the car more quickly.


If you decide to detail your own car this year, these tips should make the process easier and the outcome beautiful. Remember, clean cars are more fun to drive, too. 

STORY: MICHAEL DOUGLASS / PHOTOGRAPHY: CLINT DAVIS / LOCATION: ESOTERIC – FINE AUTO FINISHING / VIDEO: LUNAR NORTH / ILLUSTRATION: ADAM HAYES

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner's Manual for more information.

     

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • Does not detect people or items. Always check rear seat before exiting.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android (TM) 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Service varies with conditions and location. Requires active service plan and paid AT&T Data plan. See onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See your vehicle Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Sonic Sedan with 6-speed manual transmission 27/38; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34; Sonic Hatchback with 6-speed manual transmission 26/35; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34.

  • Certain features require a SiriusXM subscription and the Chevrolet Connected Access plan. See siriusxm.com and onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • Do not use summer-only tires in winter conditions, as it would adversely affect vehicle safety, performance and durability. Use only GM-approved tire and wheel combinations. Unapproved combinations may change the vehicle’s performance characteristics. For important tire and wheel information, go to my.chevrolet.com/learnAbout/chevrolettires or see your dealer.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android(TM) 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

     

  • Standard on Extended Cab and 2WD Crew Cab Short Box models.

  • Standard on 2WD Crew Cab Long Box and 4WD Crew Cab models.

  • Available on Extended Cab models

  • Available on Crew Cab models

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Equipment from independent suppliers is not covered by the GM New Vehicle Limited Warranty. GM is not responsible for the safety or quality of independent supplier alterations.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • The system wirelessly charges one mobile device. Some devices require an adaptor or back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for details.

  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Park Assist and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Requires AWD and 3.6L engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use Recovery Hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner's Manual.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

     

  •  

    Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use Recovery Hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner's Manual.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Go to my.chevrolet.com/learnAbout/bluetooth to find out which phones are compatible with the vehicle. Full Bluetooth feature functionality varies by device, model and software version.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android™ 5.0 or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam automatic high beams on/off, Following Distance Indicator.  Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • The system wirelessly charges one compatible mobile device. Some devices require an adaptor or back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for details.

  • EPA-estimated 259-mile EV range. Your actual range may vary based on several factors including temperature, terrain, and driving technique.

  • Available on select Apple and Android devices. Service availability, features and functionality vary by vehicle, device and the plan you are enrolled in. User terms apply. Device data connection required. See onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • Read your vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Always use safety belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information. 

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices. Map Coverage available in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Requires available 3.6L engine and Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow

  • Requires available 3.6L engine and Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow

  • Requires available 3.6L engine and Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Chevy Safety Assist: Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Following Distance Indicator and IntelliBeam. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android 5.0 or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android, Android Auto, Google, Google Play and other marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use safety belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information.  

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android 5.0 or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See your vehicle Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Standard on Extended Cab and 2WD Crew Cab Short Box models.

  • Standard on 2WD Crew Cab Long Box and 4WD Crew Cab models.

  • Available on Extended Cab models.

  • Available on Crew Cab models.

  • Equipment from independent suppliers is not covered by the GM New Vehicle Limited Warranty. GM is not responsible for the safety or quality of independent supplier alterations.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints.  Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint.  See the Owner's Manual for more information.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • Includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam, and Following Distance Indicator. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay, iPhone, Siri and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and a compatible AndroidTM smartphone. Data plan rates apply. You can check which smartphones are compatible at g.co/androidauto/requirements. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and a compatible Android™ smartphone. Data plan rates apply. You can check which smartphones are compatible at g.co/androidauto/requirements. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.