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Old 08-09-2007, 06:38 AM   #1
cageceo
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Red face Car Paint Maintenance, and cleaning.

The biggest Noticeable thing on your Car is the Paint, It can give Your vehicle that Custom look you want. If you done your homework and looked up the Paint you want, and saved cash For the perfect look. Then you Should do your homework in maintaining and Keep that new paint Clean and looking new for years to come.



Detailing 101.
There are tons of different products and methods out there, and ultimately you have to find out the right one for your paint and your car. What works wonders for one person might not work so great for another.

in my opinion Meguiars makes the best car detailing products. In this post i'll try to focus on the products for your car exterior.

The steps we will be covering are:
Wash
Clean
Polish
Wax

Sounds like a quick job, but it can take hours and hours to get show-room quality looking paint.

Tips:
  • Micro fiber and sheepskin Cloths or mitts, Do not Scratch you Paint. (These won't be scratches you can see just looking right at your car, but scratches that will show up in sunlight that look like little swirls).
  • start from the top down when Soaping, washing, or rinsing .
  • it is a good idea to try and wash your car in the shade if you have any (like starting early in the morning) because when the sun is out it will dry water very quickly and leave spots on your car, and most products do better in cooler temperatures , and it gives you more time to work on the products without worry of it drying.
  • USE YOUR WINDOWS TO LEAN YOUR WEIGHT ON AND TO PUT YOUR HANDS ON TO HOLD YOURSELF UP AND BALANCE YOURSELF. Try to avoid touching your paint all together, I found that the windows are a good substitute and can give you leverage for working on any part of the car. Plus, they are the last thing you will clean, so don't worry
  • You can use products that you perfer if you have a prefence, Mequiars is pretty good all around price and results are even better which i will be using to illustrate.
Meguiars Gold Class car wash. There are different more expensive car wash soaps from them, but this one does a great job and thereís really no need to go extreme, since the wash is just getting the preliminary dirt off of your car.




With the soap you want to make sure you get a micro fiber mitt or a sheepskin mitt What you want to do with the soap is put it in a nice CLEAN bucket (Again, the more crap that you pick up on your mitt, the better chance you get scratches). The bottle will tell you how much to use, but you can be generous with how much you use. When the soap is in the bucket, use your garden hose with an attachment and spray the water into the bucket to make suds with the soap. Before you start applying the soap to the car, you want to make sure that you give it a good soaking so that your car is nice and wet all over. Then just dip your mitt into the soap and get it all nice and soapy and run it over a section of your car. now is a good time to clean the rims with the product I mention.

Rims: This product worked wonders for me and I didn't even scrub with a brush. With a hard bristle brush your rims will be clean. Maybe not shiny, but there will be almost no dirt, it works great!



This will just clean them up and you will be spraying them and scrubbing them so better do it now Before your car has all that nice product on it :-D

If you have chrome rims or special rims that need a different product just follow the directions on the bottle that you buy. You will want to start from the top , down and only do a section at a time (you could get away with an entire side of the car. I usually break it into front, left, right, back, but you can do smaller sections if you want). If you finish a section of your car with the mitt and notice that it is brown or dirty, take the mitt away from the car and spray it with the highest pressure setting on your hose (again, away from the car) so that the dirt gets washed away and doesnít end up splashing back on your car.

The moral of the story is the less dirt touching your car the better. Once you soap up a side, make sure you rinse it off with your hose (I like the flat spray setting on most hose attachments, I wouldn't recommend a pressure washer because after so many washes it will start to weaken your paint) and rinse from the top down. There is no need to dry your car off just yet. Just make sure that when you are cleaning the other sections of your car, keep the previously cleaned sections nice and wet to avoid spots again. Then when you have finished with the entire car, get out your micro-fiber cloths. http://www.target.com/gp/detail.htm...asin=B000E48IUG

That link is an EXPENSIVE example. I've found ten packs at target for 5.99 before. You will need A LOT OF CLOTHS. I would recommend 40-50 cloths, but you can go a little less if you are not picky. you can reuse your cloths, and here some people will tell you different things, but here's my opinion: If the cloth is clean, use it. i.e. if thereís no visible dirt and no product wiped off on it, you can use it. I find the best thing to do is fold it in quarters when using it, because then you get a bunch of different sides to work on (you just keep folding it differently and flipping sides). Most of them are machine washable, but be cautious some Products like wax may Harm your Washer or dryer.

Take your cloths and dry off your car. You don't have to be picky in a drying method, just get all the water off and if you see and spots give it a quick spray with the hose and wipe it dry with a cloth. When you are all done drying the car, pull it into your garage. (the reason you pull it into the garage is because of the shade and hopefully because its a little cooler. The products will go on your paint better if it is not hot)

At this point you are ready to start babying your paint :-D It is a lot of hard work but definitely pays off in the end.


For the next step use the Mequiars Auto Detailing Clay Kit




With the kit you will get clay bars and some quick detailing spray. This part will probably take you the longest out of all the steps. What you will want to do is take out your clay bar and knead it in your hands while spraying the quick detailer on it. You want to keep the clay bar nice and wet as you are using it on your car. When the clay is nicely kneaded and moist, take the quick detailer and spray it on a section of your car. Then take your clay bar and work it into your paint. You can press hard with this stuff, but use your judgment. Thereís no reason to go Rambo on it, just give it a little force and rub up and down or in circles or side to side, it won't matter, essentially you are just picking up the little bits of dirt off the car that the soap couldn't get The clay bar will get almost all the dirt off your car (you'll be surprised how much dirt gets on the clay while you are working) when using the clay bar, you will see it start to turn brown from dirt, just re-kneed it until you get a clean spot on the clay and continue. remember to keep it moist with the quick detailer that comes with it. . Do a little section at a time (maybe a 1ft X 1ft section) and when you are done wipe it clean with a micro fiber cloth. The reason you want so many cloths is so you NEVER use a dirty cloth on a part of the car. The dirt from the cloth can scratch your paint. Now just go throughout your entire car doing this. If you are picky it could take well over an hour, but trust me it is worth it. After you finish a section run your fingers over the paint, or the back of your hand on it. It will feel like you just got a new paint job. It won't look like it yet, but it will feel like it.

To be continued !
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Last edited by cageceo; 08-10-2007 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 08-09-2007, 06:43 AM   #2
cageceo
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Red face part Two

Another cleaner option is called Scratch-X


With this product, you want to make sure that you use an applicator pad.




you will put a decent amount of scratch-x onto the applicator pad and then rub it into your paint. Again you want to pick a small section of your car to do this. Maybe a 3' x 1' section. You will rub with a good amount of force. You can use a circular motion for this application, but can also use side to side and back and forth motions. I feel the circular is a bit more effective though. After it has been applied and worked into the car, try not to let it dry. Take a clean micro fiber cloth and in circles wipe the scratch-x off the car. Make sure all the scratch-x residue is off, and switch to a clean cloth whenever you feel necessary. This will take a long time again, but will be WELL worth it if you have ANY tiny scratches in your car. This product truly begins to show its benefit after 2-3 applications. Trust Me :-D

Also, Feel free to use both the clay bar kit AND the scratch-x one after another. They both clean you paint, but also have different benefits, so if you have the time, use both. Use the clay bar and THEN the scratch x if you use both, you can use scratch X by itself w/o using the clay bar at all

The Scratch-x essentially takes off a MINISCULE (Extremely small) layer to get rid of the scratches. It is not bad for your paint and is also better than those other scratch products because all those do are fill in the scratches where scratch-x will permanently get rid of them (provided you wash your car properly)

The clay bar you can do once/twice a year depending on how much you drive and how often you wash your car. Scratch-x you can use to your discretion. If you have no more scratches there is no more point to the scratch x, so switch to this other paint -cleaner.




Again, do the clay bar before the scratch-x. But both don't have to be used on every wash. You will want to eventually switch to the regular paint cleaner.
Ok, so we've covered the basic wash and clean so far. I have been recommending Meguiars products but I hate to sound like a broken record and if you have a product that you like better or that you want to try, by all means try it. Some paint will LOOOVE one product and other paint will only get so/so benefits from it. Meguiars is all around pretty good for most paint so thatís another reason why I keep using it.

Ok, so onto the polish.


We are going to be polishing by hand to start out with. After some experience I would recommend going out and purchasing a polisher. You will get a MUCH better polish with an orbital polisher, but don't worry. you will still get a Nice clean finish by hand as long as you do things right.

Don't just jump to a polish after you wash your car. Its easy to be impatient (believe me, I was) and just itching to get that paint shiny and glossy. you have to make sure your paint is clean. Thatís why we go through the first two steps before polishing.

This is the polish I use




Now, with this it is recommended that you get a slightly different applicator




It is a little gentler and will apply the polish very well. You can use a regular applicator pad with this product if you want though. It won't be the difference between a good job and a shitty job, but you will be able to tell a slight difference.

It's going to be the same old story with this, put some polish on the applicator pad and start with a section of your car. You want this stuff to sit for just a little bit. Maybe a few minutes after you are done applying it to the paint. there is no need to work it in super hard, the polish will come when you buff it out with your micro fiber cloths. So to reiterate, apply the polish on an area and let it sit for about a minute. Take your micro fiber cloth and buff out the area that you applied the polish. Go in circles with your cloth and you can press somewhat hard if you want. The polish is also designed to reduce the look of scratches so you don't run the risk of scratching your paint with a little too much force. Don't go Conan the barbarian on it though.

Polish the rest of the car. If you so desire do it again, right after the first run through. at this step you can see the end of the tunnel so its hard for me to polish again, but if you want picture perfect don't skip the second run-through.

Wax

You're ALMOST DONE!!!!




I think this is the easiest step. Use a regular applicator pad and twist it around in the wax. Apply it to your car. Its hard to describe the amount that you want on your car. You will just get used to it by doing. the first time I applied wax it looked good. Then after it dried and I tried to buff it off I discovered it was WAY ! too much and was really hard to buff out. again this will be a learn-by-doing step, but don't get intimidated because you can't screw it up, its just that if it is too thick, it will be hard to buff out.

you will be waxing your entire car at one time. the wax is supposed to dry. hopefully your car is still in the shade or in your garage. Apply and even coat of wax to your entire car. don't worry if you get it on the trim and stuff it won't hurt it, and you can clean it off later. I have had times where I get wax on parts of the car and its a PAIN to get off, but it has always come off in the end. after you apply wax to the whole car, make sure it has dried and come back with a clean micro fiber cloth and buff off the wax. after a little while all the wax will be off, then you should wax again (especially if you havenít waxed in a while).

You don't have to wax your car every time you wash it. Maybe once a month or every 6 weeks depending on how anal you are about it.

Almost done now.
After the wax is off, go over your car with another set of eyes to see if you missed anything. There will definitely be a spot here and a spot there that you didn't wipe off or that has a smudge or two on it. your windows by this time will be all smudged up from you putting your weight on it so you don't have to touch your car with your hands. Just get a good glass cleaner for the way end and clean off your glass. I like stoners in the aerosol can:




Some of the glass cleaner will prob. get on your paint, so just keep a clean cloth handy to wipe it off.

Tires: Any tire shine is fine. The gel stuff will last the longest.

Congrats! your car is damn pretty.

Written By D_train
Edited By Alex (cageceo)

P.S. for pic's and orginal Text, please click on this link below
http://www.toyota-supra.info/forums/...ead.php?t=9224
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Good, better, best, never let it rest till you good becomes better, and your better becomes your best!

Last edited by cageceo; 09-02-2007 at 09:32 AM. Reason: removed Pic's
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