Welcome back to Autobytel and Meguiar’s new video series on proper car care. Last time, Mike Pennington, a car care product expert at Meguiar’s, explained how to choose a proper washing product for your car’s finish, and how to wash your car properly. After drying the car properly, it’s time to evaluate and repair your car’s finish, which is the second step in the five step process of proper car care. From a few feet away, your paint and clear coat might look pretty good. But the truth is, lots of tiny contaminant particles will be stuck to or embedded in your car’s clear coat. This can be true even if your car is pretty new. The way to check for such surface pollutants is to feel very gently for a rough surface. Even if you can’t see them very well, these particles prevent your clear coat from having a glossy and reflective shine. Other problems, such as swirl marks and oxidation, have a similar effect, although swirl marks are damage to the clear coat itself. A clay bar is a product that glides over the car’s surface, removing embedded contaminants as it goes. A compound removes damage at the clear coat level. Both of these types of products are needed for the cleaning step of proper car care.