NORTH PALM BEACH – Auto detailing guru Mike Phillips loves to talk about shiny cars.
“I have made a career out of showing people how to remove swirls,” chuckled Phillips, one of the foremost experts on auto detailing and paint restoration. “For 30 years I’ve been teaching people how to polish paint.”
Florida Fine Cars caught up with the Stuart resident at Cars & Coffee Palm Beach, where the YouTube sensation and host of Autogeek’s detailing how-to videos fielded questions about detailing, demonstrated polishing techniques and posed for pictures with fans.
Autogeek’s detailing tip segments have been featured on the My Classic Car TV show for five years. In recent years, Phillips has also been featured in tip segments on the TV shows Two Guys Garage with Willie B. and Kevin Byrd, Two Guys Garage with Bryan Fuller, Truck U with Bruno Massel and Matt Steele, and Motorhead Garage with Sam and Dave.
Phillips also hosted Autogeek’s What’s In The Garage? TV show which saw a successful two-season run on the FOX Sports Network.
“I take what I know and show people how to do something,” Phillips explained. “A lot of people think polishing paint starts with a buffer. It really starts with your brain.”
Detailing a car properly can be more challenging than it looks and learning how to get it right can take a little time, he explained. Car enthusiasts get a new toy and then realize they don’t know how to keep it looking sharp.
“I got this now. What do I do?” It’s a scenario that commonly plays out among new car owners everywhere, he noted.
What’s more, modern paints are more difficult to work by hand because they have changed since the 1980s and some car owners resist using rotary polishing tools because they don’t understand them, Phillips said.
They envision disaster when they think of using a rotary polishing tool.
“They think all tools are dangerous but a lot of the new tools are very safe,” he explained.
To prove it, he demonstrated the safety of a Griot’s Garage 6” random orbital by running it across his hand and then the hand of a spectator. The whirring polisher did little more than tickle, as a fan watched admiringly.
“He’s the expert,” the man gushed. “He is the authority when it comes to making sure the finish of a car is perfect!”
Phillips is the author of five how-to books on car and boat detailing. His books include:
- The Art of Detailing
- The Complete Guide to a Show Car Shine
- How to use the FLEX XC3401 VRG Dual Action Orbital Polisher
- How to use the RUPES BigFoot Paint Polishing System
- How to Detail Boats with Marine 31
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