Carbon fiber has been used in the automotive industry for some time now, and for good reason. It’s durable, stronger than steel, and lightweight – perfect for car parts that require all these elements in one material. Most notably used in luxury vehicles, carbon fiber adds a touch of finesse with its sleek appearance. While it might sound intimidating to maintain, thankfully, caring for carbon fiber parts is not as delicate or complicated as the exotic cars that they’re used in.
Most carbon fiber parts and accessories have clear coat finishes that act as a protective layer and gives the car part a nice shine. This coat is not dissimilar to the clear coat of paint, so you can pretty much care for your carbon fiber parts the same way as you do for most painted surfaces. So for dads out there sporting cars with awesome carbon fiber parts, you might want to take a look at this:
Clean with good old soap and water
Cleaning carbon fiber parts is not as scary as you might think given the type of luxury cars these parts are known to be a part of. Keep it simple with the good old combination of soap (automotive clear coat-safe, if possible and available) and water. Make a habit of cleaning the carbon fiber part regularly along with the rest of your car to maintain its quality.
Apply a thin coat of polish.
Give the best care that you can for your car’s carbon fiber part by applying a thin coat of polish after cleaning to ensure that it stays glossy and, more importantly, scratch-free. First, make sure the part is not under direct sunlight before starting the polish application. Avoid using machines as they can be tricky to handle (unless you’re an expert in using them) and instead apply polish by hand. Use light pressure as you do this so as not to leave swirl marks on the clear coat of the carbon fiber part, which can be unsightly.
Let it dry.
After carefully applying a thin coat of polish to the carbon fiber part, leave it to dry – but avoid leaving it out under direct sunlight. The amount of time this takes depends on the temperature outside, and can range from 5 to 10 minutes.
Wipe the polish off.
Once the polish has completely dried, use a microfiber towel to wipe it off. Make sure to wipe the part down thoroughly before moving on to the next and final step: wax application.
Apply Carnauba wax.
The final step to care for your car’s carbon fiber parts is to apply carnauba wax. This wax will protect the part’s clear coat, enhance its shine, and help prevent yellowing, hazing, and discoloration. Applying wax also helps in preventing water spots from forming by causing water to fall off easier.
It’s fortunate that carbon fiber is a pretty durable material, and that caring for it is easy. Performing the steps above on a regular basis will help maintain the quality of the carbon fiber parts for much longer. Additionally, keep the part’s exposure to sunlight on a minimum, as UV rays can affect the clear coat on the material. Also, when the carbon fiber part is exposed to rain or water from washing, be sure to dry the parts up thoroughly to prevent water spots and stains from forming.