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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since this is starting to get asked a lot now that spring has sprung I'm going to post my advice in a seperate thread.
Here it is:
I'm probably pretty anal about this since I used to be a detailer but, here is how I handle my cars.
Wash car, use clay bar, wash car again and proceed to the next step.
I have a porter cable auto polisher:
LINK
And I use Lake Country foam pads.
LINK
Or you can get a complete kit.
LINK
Wash the car first. Also, it's a good idea to always clay bar the car first to remove any embedded dirt, fallout, rail dust, etc from the paint.
I'll hit the car first with some 3M Finesse-It on a polishing pad or a cutting pad if there is any lot rash or alot of the plastic adhesive on the car. This does a fine job of removing scratches, swirls, and any wax on the car. This preps the surface VERY well for wax to bond to the paint.
After I hit it with the 3M stuff I'll carefully go over the car with my hand and a good microfiber cloth from 3M looking for any rail dust or other contaminents on the paint. If there are any I clay bar the surface with a mothers clay bar and meguiars quick detailer until the contaminents are lifted. I'll then go over that surface again with the 3M Finesse-It to remove any scratches.
I then put on a softer polishing pad and use Klasse All-In-One Polish all over the car. I then use microfiber cloth to remove any excess polish from the paint. It could be helpful to use a 50% isopropyl alcohol- 50% distilled water solution to clean any residues from the body after this step. (Thanks Brian)
Finally, I apply Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze by hand to the entire car with a microfiber pad and removing it with a microfiber cloth. I'll re-apply a week later to ensure uniform coverage and a good barrier.
I do this procedure on the car every 6 months starting with the 3M Finesse it to strip away the old wax and get down to bare paint.
With this setup you'll only have to wash the car after a bad rainstorm or if a lot of dirt has built up on the car. If there is a light coat of dust on the car you can safely use a california car duster to remove it. Anything more than that I use Meguiars quick detailer and either a very soft towel or microfiber cloth to wipe it down with. If you do things carefully and properly you will not swirl your car at all and can go for months without washing it if you live somewhere that has long periods without rain. Yes, you can even use the Meguiars to clean your rims. It does a good job of removing brake dust and is not acidic so it will not harm polished or clearcoated rims.
If I have to wash the car I use the two bucket method. I use Meguiars Gold Class car wash soap. I have two soft wash mits, one in each bucket plus a bug remover sponge in one of them. I designate one bucket to the lower half of the car plus the front and the other bucket to the upper half.
Typically the bottom half of the car gets dirtier that the upper half which means that grit can get trapped in the mitt. By having two buckets with a mitt dedicated to each you don't have to worry about swirling the upper surfaces and if you do a good job rinsing the lower half mitt after each panel you won't swirl the lower half. You can add a third bucket with just rinse water of you like.
Drying is done with microfiber towels and cloths. Make sure to also dry the door jambs, sills, and seals. Any good tire glaze will do for the tires and black trim. I apply them with a cloth pad.
And if you really want to keep the car dust free invest in a Noah Car Cover and put it on the car where you work and when it's in the garage if you have a dust prone garage.
Follow this and you'll have a shiny new car year round.
Did I mention I'm anal about detailing?


Modified by iThread at 2:21 PM 9-26-2007
 

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Re: How to detail your car (freezermink)

Seems like you are polishing and removing wax with the DA before washing and clay barring??
I believe that I was told:
Wash
Dry
Clay bar
Strip/Polish
Wax
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: How to detail your car (dunhamjr)

Quote, originally posted by dunhamjr »
Seems like you are polishing and removing wax with the DA before washing and clay barring??
I believe that I was told:
Wash
Dry
Clay bar
Strip/Polish
Wax

Edited to include the wash first bit. I always assume that but, I can easily see someone overlooking it.
I do the claybar after removing the buildup (aka stripping) since in my expirence contaminents that need to be removed by clay bar that can be removed by Finesse it are easier to remove once you've stripped the old wax off.
It also gives your hand a better feel for where the contaminents are if you strip everything first.
 

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Re: How to detail your car (thread)

Here's the proper way to detail your car:
Drive to local detailer, park your car, hand-over the keys, come-back a few hours later!
 

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Re: How to detail your car (exS4)

Quote, originally posted by exS4 »
Here's the proper way to detail your car:
Drive to local detailer, park your car, hand-over the keys, come-back a few hours later!

Guess if you can afford to drop a few hun for a detail everytime the car needs it, more power to ya.
I for one cannot or rather will not. I would rather spend $150 to get all the product and tools to do my own details.
 

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Re: How to detail your car (thread)

Quote, originally posted by thread »

I do the claybar after removing the buildup (aka stripping) since in my expirence contaminents that need to be removed by clay bar that can be removed by Finesse it are easier to remove once you've stripped the old wax off.
It also gives your hand a better feel for where the contaminents are if you strip everything first.

Makes sense. I will give it a try for my next full detail.
 

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Re: How to detail your car (thread)

ahh, one day I'll get a machine polisher...but for now..it's all about the elbow grease! and I think it's gonna be a while before I wax 3 cars in a day again..oy.
 

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Re: How to detail your car (exS4)

Quote, originally posted by exS4 »
Here's the proper way to detail your car:
Drive to local detailer, park your car, hand-over the keys, come-back a few hours later!

It doesn't have to be as difficult as thread describes it. Just go to properautocare.com and there are some very easy do it yourself kits. Especially for new cars. Some people just like to really get into it like thread and that's cool. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: How to detail your car (Mike Gordon)

I'm pretty obsessed with keeping my car clean. Sunday of every week is wash the car day. My question is, how are you going that long without washing it? Maybe it's because I live in southern AZ, but dust and dirt collects at such a quick rate. I've even washed my car, drove down to Circle K to get a bottle of water and a snack and came back and had dust just cover the whole hatch. Especially the rear window. Is there a way to get the dust to not stick to the car? The whole thing really has me
.
 

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How difficult is it to learn to use an auto polisher like the one listed above? I only ask because I have never used one before, and I am wondering what the learning curve like. I don't want to end up doing damage to the car's paint. In the past I have just done everything by hand, but now I think it would be cool to have a polisher to help along with the process.
 

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Re: (VWCorrado)

Quote, originally posted by VWCorrado »
How difficult is it to learn to use an auto polisher like the one listed above? I only ask because I have never used one before, and I am wondering what the learning curve like. I don't want to end up doing damage to the car's paint. In the past I have just done everything by hand, but now I think it would be cool to have a polisher to help along with the process.

Not. At all. It's basically dummy-proof. Now, don't go outside and try to prove me wrong.

... and no, I'm not calling you a dummy.

Anyhow, if you want truly substantial results that will last, the 7424 is pretty much a requirement. It's random-orbit, so it doesn't carry the risk of "burn" that typical rotary polishers (non-random orbit) carry. It breaks the compounds down alot better than any human hand can, and that's essential for even, consistent results.
That said, I find that the 3M products have too many fillers for me. I've used Meguiars #80 and #83 a few times now and cannot rave enough about the results. They're truly fantastic and aren't stuffed with fillers.
For those that don't what fillers are, they are basically additives in a compound that "fill" imperfections (micro-marring, swirls, etc). After a few washes (or if you apply a cleaner wax), the fillers are lifted and you're left with the same imperfections you had before. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
Edit: It appears Chris only uses the 3M FI-II, and since that's a cutting compound, the filler content really isn't applicable. I would imagine the Klasse polish he mentions is filler-free. I have faith that he's the detailer he says he is and that he demands nothing less from a product.

Anyhow, there is a whole host of exceptional products out there. I've been using the Meguiars's regimen mentioned above followed by Menzerna FMJ and have been simply astounded at the product life. My car parks outside during all weather conditions and is washed weekly, and after 2+ months, the FMJ is darn near as durable as the day it was applied.
Another perk is that the Meguiar's products and the FMJ are *very* easy to remove. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif


Modified by BRM10984 at 11:19 AM 4-19-2006
 

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Re: (BRM10984)

Quote, originally posted by BRM10984 »
Anyhow, if you want truly substantial results that will last, the 7424 is pretty much a requirement. It's random-orbit, so it doesn't carry the risk of "burn" that typical rotary polishers (non-random orbit) carry. It breaks the compounds down alot better than any human hand can, and that's essential for even, consistent results.

That is basically the reason I started looking at these. Thanks for the info.
 

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Re: How to detail your car (thread)

Quote, originally posted by thread »

I then put on a softer polishing pad and use Klasse All-In-One Polish all over the car. I then use microfiber cloth to remove any excess polish from the paint.

I figure I'll note here that it could be helpful to use a 50% isopropyl alcohol- 50% distilled water solution to clean any residues from the body after this step. Not only will it prepare an exceptional base for the sealant, but it will allow you to remove any "fillers" so that you may see the true finish you're working with. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: How to detail your car (Mike Gordon)

Full Molecular Jacket.
My apologies- I should have expanded on that a bit.

It's a polymer sealant, more or less. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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In case anyone is interested Amazon.com has both the 7424 and a kit available here and here.
Free shipping too http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif

Modified by VWCorrado at 12:57 PM 4-19-2006


Modified by VWCorrado at 2:53 PM 4-19-2006
 

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Re: (VWCorrado)

Quote, originally posted by VWCorrado »
In case anyone is interested Amazon.com has both the 7424 and a kit available here and here.
Free shipping too http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif

Modified by VWCorrado at 12:57 PM 4-19-2006

Modified by VWCorrado at 12:58 PM 4-19-2006

Unfortunately, because the item is coming through Autogeek, the shipping is $17. Also, the kit from topoftheline.com seems slightly different.




Modified by GTI 4 RD at 10:18 AM 4-19-2006
 
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