The car is now clean, but not protected. Protecting it means adding a sacrificial layer between the clear coat and the outside environment. Sort of like putting on a jacket when you go outside. To keep it consistent, let’s go back to the 1-page Master Guide. We will be working from the Protect side, going upwards.
Add AMMO MUD dressing to the black plastic with a foam applicator pad. Once you’re satisfied with the coverage, wipe it down with an old MF towel to prevent dust from sticking to it if you were to drive the car before it dries. As you get more comfortable with the cleaning and protecting process, you could have added this step immediately after the cleaning phase and then closed the hood, but for simplicity, we are doing it now. Please take notice of the recommend application frequencies. These are just suggestions. Feel free to shine it up as much as your heart desires.
Next, lets protect the wheels with AMMO GELÉE. This is a goopy product designed to protect your rims and make cleaning them in the future easier. On the master guide, you’ll see I mentioned adding Gelée every 2 to 3 months. This will vary based on how much you drive, how hard you drive, and of course the process in which you maintain the wheels. The cleaning process we went through earlier will not remove Gelée, but every few weeks of cleaning and heating up and cooling down will require it to be reapplied for maximum protection.As with any detailing process, make sure to have gloves on. Be sure to have your MF towel handy before starting this process. Scoop just a little into your palm, and then spread it around so that its evenly distributed on your fingers and palms. Then work your hands into the crevices of the rim until every area is covered. Do 2 wheels at a time and allow 3-4 minutes of dry time, afterwards remove the thick coating with a dry MF towel and repeat the process on the other side.So if you are asking yourself “Do I need to do this for every wash?”, the answer is no. I’m just showing the full version of basic methods and skills a beginner should be able to perform. In most cases, you will just be cleaning and drying with Hydrate. You may decide to add Gelée every few weeks, or use Mud to dress the engine. Or perhaps you do it every week, because you’re insane like me and find it relaxing. This I leave up to your judgment.
Once all the wheels are protected, I then add a layer of AMMO MUD dressing to the rubber and wheel-wells, if they are plastic. Mud is a medium shine product that does not sling. I prefer medium shine on my tires; if you want more shine, add more layers. Apply Mud to the applicator, squeeze the pad to even distribute it, and then massage the formula into the pores of the rubber in side-to-side motions and up and down. Keep in mind; if you cake on Mud and it doesn’t get rubbed in properly, especially around tire emblems, you may create a sling, so don’t just slop it on. You must message it in and give it 5 minutes to dry. Repeat this on all 4 tires. If your car has black plastic trim, then use the same pad and coat this area as you walk to the next rim. Super quick – Not an all day procedure.
Protecting the paint is the most talked about process on forums, podcast and videos. But I’m hoping that, by now, you see how much goes into the car, prior to ever thinking about protection.
Lets step back for a second. I think about protection in layers. Remember when we spoke about the jacket earlier? This is a North Face jacket with many layers. The first is your foundation, or the thick fleece. It protects your body underneath, and then over it you put a windbreaker. Thinner, yet strong against the outdoor elements. The combination of the 2 is very effective. That’s how I think about protecting the paint, especially focused on the driveway detailer or beginner.
Next, prime your applicator pad with AMMO REFLEX well. This is critical to smooth coverage and application. Prime the pad until you can see the visible sheen on the foam. Then apply the product in overlapping motions. You should be able to get 1 or 2 panels covered before you need to remove it. It’s ready when it looks almost “clear”, which takes typically 2 or 3 minutes. To remove it, use a clean, dry MF towel and gently wipe it away. If you see a spot that has dried quicker than expected, simply wipe the prime applicator across the spot and immediately wipe with a MF to release the dried material. Repeat this step on every painted surface. Once completed, allow 1 hour to cure, and then add another layer for insane reflection. This is your foundation coat. This only needs to be done every 6-8 months depending on how it maintained. Longer if maintain properly.
After the second layer cures, I then add my windbreaker, AMMO SKIN Sealant, on top of Reflex. This layer takes the beatings of repeatedly driving and washing. Apply it with a new applicator pad, similar to how you installed Reflex. However, unlike Reflex, do not allow SKIN to touch any black plastic trim. After 2-3 minutes, remove Skin with a MF towel. SKIN is very thick and strong, so be sure to rotate your MF towels as they become full.
Once done, the paint will be extremely shiny. If possible, pull it out in the sun and double check your work by changing the angle of your eye. Get down and look at the paint from a different angle in the sun. I’m 100% sure there is going to be a missed smudge somewhere. Once you see one, spray that area with AMMO SPIT spray wax and let it sit for a few seconds. Then gently massage the smudge with a MF towel to remove the left over product.
If you’re looking at the Master Guide, you may be asking yourself what AMMO CRÈME is and when you might use it. Crème is a carnauba wax, and the best way to describe it is with an analogy. This type of wax is organic, meaning it comes from the earth naturally. Brazilian wax comes from a tree in, you guessed it, Brazil. The wax grows on trees to protect the leaf from the intense sun at the equator. It gets processed with many other forms of solvents, oils, and other waxes until it reaches our cars, but the point I’m trying to make is that it has its limitations because it comes from organic material. That means it doesn’t last as long as sealants like Skin or coatings like Reflex. What it does have is an incredibly wet look that’s hard to deny. The other attribute is it incredibly easy to put on and remove. Here’s my analogy: think of Reflex as your underwear. It’s the protection that covers the body of the car. We then layer on top of that AMMO Skin. Think of this like your tuxedo. It looks great and protects Reflex. Crème, in this weird analogy, is the flower in your lapel. It’s really pretty and draws your eye to it, but doesn’t last very long. But who cares? That’s not its purpose. If you understand what Crème is designed to do, then you will have a great appreciation for the layering process and the shine and protection it creates.
Lastly, if you car has leather seats, use AMMO MOUSSE to protect them from sun exposure and constant wear and tear. Apply Mousse to a new foam applicator and spread the product into the pores of the leather, plastic or vinyl. Let it sit for 2 minutes, then buff off with a dry MF towel for a matte finish. If you notice any discolorations, reapply for even coverage. Re-apply every few months based on sun exposure and driving frequency.