PDA

View Full Version : Detailing Guide



91PinkCeli
11-04-2005, 12:12 AM
Here is the detailing guide I use courtesy of a member from my old home site. www.mx6.com If you want more info i can give you his sign in name.

Washing

Few things about washing, the biggest thing is probably identifying what you are trying to accomplish with the wash. The most common answer is "clean" but clean is a relative term.


*If your car is incredibly dirty and you are not in the mood to apply any waxes or polishes use a product like Meguiars Gold Class car wash or Meguiars 62. It will remove most/any dirt safely.

*If you car has all ready been waxed and you are simply maintaining that "just waxed" look then avoid using the two washes previously mentioned. Instead go out and buy Meguiars Hi-Tech Car Wash number 00 in the professional series. It will remove dirt and not touch the wax, really a great product.

*To avoid scratching your car during a wash make sure you have a CLEAN (meaning not left outside in pool of dirty wash water) 100% sheep skin wash mitt. Do not use anything other than sheep skin, it costs a little bit more but it is well worth it. This is one of the few things I go to Wal-Mart for.

Drying

People always ask about the best way to dry your car. Most people just use chamois but if you are an obsessed detailer you may not be satisfied with the job they do.

*After you have completely washed the car and rinsed all the suds away mist the car (if your hose has the capability) and then proceed to use a low pressure flow over the roof of the car. The water should "sheet" off and leave the car relatively dry.

*Water will be left behind, so clean up what remains with a micro fiber towel or the Absorber. The Absorber is a "super chamoi" that works pretty well. Just be careful not to get any dirt in it!

*If you are really anal you will go into the garage and pull out your old mans leaf blower and blow out every single nook and cranny on the car. This is what I do, you'd be surprised at how much water gets stuck in those.

*Follow up the leaf blower with a micro fiber towel (can be purchased at Wal-Mart but they are cheap ones, for the highest quality go to http://www.pakshack.com).

Scratch Removal

The first thing you need to do is identify the scratch. If it is a paint scratch and scratched all the way down the primer you are in trouble. If it is just a scratch in the clear it is fixable, but will take some effort and maybe the use of a power tool.

*As much as I love the Meguiars line, Scratch X is a hunk of junk, go buy the #9 in their professional series, it is a great product that can safety be applied by hand.

*You can also go to Sears and spend 50 bucks on a halogen lamp and work on the car at night. This allows you to see every little flaw in the paint, thus effectively eliminating them. I warn you now, though, if you try to remove them all at once you will go mad.

*If the scratch is deeper than the clear coat you may need to have a professional do it. This is way out of my league as it may require the use of a rotary buffer and/or a repaint.

*Keep in mind it is very important that you use the LEAST abrasive product possible to get the job done. Don't use Meguiars #83 without trying the #9 first. The abrasives in such products can damage your paint, and even though it may not show up immediately it will show up later. Be careful and make sure you rub the products in until they are virtually gone.

Clay Bar

A lot of people ask what the purpose of using a clay bar is. Simply enough, it is just to remove any contaminents from the paint. Even washing with the most potent car wash will not get these little contaminents out of your paint. When you wax the car, you are just sealing them in and damaging your paint.

*Clay bar the car after you wash, it is made for surface prep, meaning you are getting the surface ready for polishes, scratch removal and waxes. Think of it as starting with a new coat of paint.

*Some people like to use soap and water for lubricant, others like to use the product the clay bar came with. I personally use Meguiars Overspray Clay with #34 for lubricant. It works very nicely.

*Popular brands of clay are Mothers, Meguiars and Clay Magic. All will work fine.

*Just be sure that you have washed the car before your clay, if you are doing a total make over, this is where the majority of your time will be spent so don't forget it.

*When you wipe off the residue left behind by the clay (use a micro fiber towel) your surface should feel smooth as glass.

*You know that you have gotten the surface ready by when there is very little lubricant on the paint and the clay bar is gliding rather easily across the surface. If you run into rough spots, keep rubbing them with it until smooth.

*Clay bars work great for bug and tar as well, just don't forget to cover up the spot with polish and wax, as clay bars remove wax as well.

Polishing

Most people think that it is the wax that makes your car shine, well it isn't. The wax helps out, but the magic happens with the polishes.

*Zaino is a great polish or glaze if you want to call it that. Anybody considering ordering it should do so without seconding guessing.

*Meguiars #7 is also a great polish; it goes on easily and comes off nicely as well. It is safe to apply by hand or by a dual action polisher.

*When you apply polishes, you want to get a very even layer to achieve a matte and even look. If you are doing it by hand, buy the Meguiars yellow foam pads, and if you are doing it by hand buy a Porter Cable (will discuss PC later).

Waxing

Everybody’s favorite step. Waxing is great because that means after you finish this, all you have to do is maintain your cars new look.

*There are many different waxes out there. In my experience you get what you pay for.

*Products like Turtle Wax and Zymol are not any good, at least the cleaner waxes aren't.

*Meguiars #26 works wonders, it is one of the easiest products to apply and remove. It really works well with the #7 as well. It also beads water like you would not believe.

*If you applied ANY polishes what so ever do not apply ANY cleaner waxes such as Zymol or Meguiars Gold Class. You will remove all the polish and you will want shoot yourself afterwards (trust me).

Maintaining

Maintaining is easy, but it can be tedious. Unless your car is a garage queen, products like the California car duster are useless.

*Buy a bottle of the following, Meguiars Quik Detailer, Meguiars Quik Wax and Meguiars #34 Final Inspection.

*Apply the detailer to areas that just have things like pollen on them and wipe clean with a micro fiber.

*Follow it with the quik wax to restore any shine that you may have lost, this product rocks.

*The #34 is for hardcore dirt and grime, if it gets too much for one spray and wipe to handle, WASH YOUR CAR. You will scratch it otherwise.

*Bird droppings, bugs & tar - I hate all three of these equally. If you get bird droppings on your car, remove it immediately. Spray it with #34 LIBERALLY and let it sit for a while. Then spray it off with the hose, follow up with a wash of the Meguiars 00. Be very careful with bird droppings, they are full of harmful acids and will eat your paint. They can also scratch your paint! For bugs and tar I like to use the Meguiars bug and tar remover wipes. A common misconception (partially their fault for calling them wipes) is that all you have to do is wipe it with the wipe and it will come right off. This is not true, you need to rub it in vigorously and then let it sit. After a minute or so try picking at it with your finger, it should come off. If not get out the quick detailer and try again. That should do it.

91PinkCeli
11-04-2005, 12:15 AM
Products
"What is the best wax?" and "What is the best method to apply?" are commonly asked. Here I will discuss what products I like for various jobs.

*Washing - Clay bar for a complete make over, Meguiars Gold Class for heavy dirt and grime, #00 for maintaining.

*Polishing - I prefer Meguiars #7 for my polish, I use #9 before it to remove any swirls and scratches, it works nicely. 3M also has nice products, so does Zaino. I'm not even going to get into exotics.

*Glass - Costco sells a product called Sprayway glass cleaner, it works very nicely even on those windows with spots that won't go away.

*Interior Dash & Trim - I love Meguiars Vinyl & Rubber protectant, spray it on a terry cloth and wipe it on the surface, it leaves it with a brilliant shine and a nice smell. Always vacuum your interior and avoid air fresheners, they are worthless!

*Carpet - Meguiars Heavy Duty Carpet Cleaner works amazing. I had a paint stain on my seats and it came right off my seats and carpet.

*Tires - I like to wash my tires with dawn soap on a terry towel and spray them with Meguiars #40 Vinyl and Rubber cleaner and conditioner. I then follow it up with Meguiars Hot Shine tire spray to give it that wet look.

*Wheel Wells - I like Simple Green on the wheel wells, all though a pressure washer is clearly the best way to go about cleaning them! Avoid using too hard of a blast though. Don't want to rip them apart!

*Wheels - Meguiars has a product called Hot Rims hella cool Care, it works very nicely. After I spray this on and wash it off (wait about 30 seconds) I like to take dawn soap and a terry towel and really get in there and clean the rest out by hand.

*Engine - Meguiars Extra is best for the engine. It is a degreaser and will not corrode your metal (Simple Green has a tendency to do this). Simply spray it on a cool engine and rinse it off. Repeat as necessary, scrub any tough spots with a tooth brush.

*Exterior Trim - Mothers Back-To-Black has served me well, I like to use it on the weather stripping and what not. It is easier to use than Meguiars Trim Detailer and is much more forgiving if you don't remove it all.

*Head Lights & Tail Lights - Meguiars Plastx is a great plastic cleaner designed specifically for things like this. Very easy to use and really does make the plastic clear (only works on smudges and what not on the outside, obviously).

Products to Avoid

*Harms-It-All aka Armor All, this stuff is just full of silicones waiting to shine for a moment and then crack the hell out of your dash a year from now. If you are using it STOP. Stop using it on everything! You will regret it later.

*I have not had good luck with Eagle 1 products, some people have but I do not recommend them. Do not be fooled by the cool packaging or pictures on the cover, your car will not look like that.

*Zymol - The cleaner wax is junk, I don't know about the rest of the series, never tried it, never will.

*Turtle Wax - Has gone down the drain in the last few years, don't bother with them.

Tools

*I love my Porter Cable, I bought it at http://www.properautocare.com, it is listed as "The Ultimate Detailing Machine" and it really is just that. It is the best car care investment I've ever made. If you buy one make sure you get at least two yellow pads, an extra white pad or two and one black/grey pad. Don't get the cheaper one, the velcro plate that comes with the more expensive one is unsurpassed and makes using the product a breeze.

*Tooth brush and soft bristle paint brush are very handy for getting in tight places and getting products like Mothers Back-To-Black in tight places

*Meguiars Yellow Foam Applicators - For the person who has to do things by hand. These are the best pads, to clean them just wash them in the wash and ring them out and let them sit until dry.

*California Wiper Blade - Some people like this well I think differently. I hate it, if you get a spec of dirt in-between the car and the blade kiss your hard work good bye.

Sean
11-04-2005, 03:44 AM
Did you ask his permission to cross post?

ocb_dave_ocb
11-04-2005, 04:01 AM
Did you ask his permission to cross post?
:stupid: :owned:

91PinkCeli
11-04-2005, 05:53 AM
Well he got it from another person as well but i can ask if you like. I did change it a bit. Just thought i was helping out

blck87gtconv
11-06-2005, 10:48 AM
Well he got it from another person as well but i can ask if you like. I did change it a bit. Just thought i was helping out
If it's on a public site with no "do not post this elsewhere or otherwise copy this information" disclaimer, there's no reason not to post it.

It's definitely not perfect, but it's not too bad for the detailing n00b.

AznKlique
11-07-2005, 04:30 AM
thanks PinkCeli, this definitely does help. Oh well if he copied it, he didnt take credit for it so :givafuck:

MoralWarfare
11-07-2005, 11:18 AM
Most of the information is accurate, but I have a few problems with it. Just one for now:

NEVER use dawn or any other dish soap on your car. It IS bad for your paint as the makeup of the soap is too harsh for automotive paint. It begins eating away at your paint because it strips more than just your wax and polish away. If you want to remove all of the wax on your car, claybar it right after you wash the car.

Galcobar
11-07-2005, 11:17 PM
Or use a proper paint cleaner, which will do the same depth of chemical cleaning as dish detergent without stripping the oils from the paint that keep it from cracking and peeling.

Wash -- dirt laying on top of the paint
Clay -- dirt bonded to the paint
Cleaner -- stains bonded into the paint
Polish -- smooth clearcoat, restore oils (think supermild wetsand and paint conditioner)
Wax -- protection for all the work you've done.

I'm also highly unappreciative of Mother's Back To Black. While it does turn faded plastic back to a dark colour, it's an addictive product. You have to reapply every couple of weeks to maintain the look, and if you don't, the B2B actually leaves your trim looking worse than before. I now have grey rubber around my hatch because of this, while my interior pieces that have never seen B2B are in perfect condition. Personally, I'd go with Meguiar's #40 or Black Magic dashboard protectant -- both have worked very well for me.

blck87gtconv
11-10-2005, 08:51 AM
Or use a proper paint cleaner, which will do the same depth of chemical cleaning as dish detergent without stripping the oils from the paint that keep it from cracking and peeling.

Wash -- dirt laying on top of the paint
Clay -- dirt bonded to the paint
Cleaner -- stains bonded into the paint
Polish -- smooth clearcoat, restore oils (think supermild wetsand and paint conditioner)
Wax -- protection for all the work you've done.

I'm also highly unappreciative of Mother's Back To Black. While it does turn faded plastic back to a dark colour, it's an addictive product. You have to reapply every couple of weeks to maintain the look, and if you don't, the B2B actually leaves your trim looking worse than before. I now have grey rubber around my hatch because of this, while my interior pieces that have never seen B2B are in perfect condition. Personally, I'd go with Meguiar's #40 or Black Magic dashboard protectant -- both have worked very well for me.
couple things.

The polish isn't an abraisive at all.. that's the paint cleaner that's like a supermild wetsand. the polish IS a conditioner, but it's primary function is to fill in tiny scratches to improve depth.

As far as back to black, it's a great product, but it's not a protectant. Think of it as a "paint cleaner'" for black surfaces. You need to use a layer of protectant on TOP of this stuff for it to really work. Just like if you strip your paint and don't wax it, it'll need stripping again really soon to keep it looking "new". Same story with Back to Black.

Galcobar
11-11-2005, 10:49 PM
Actually, polishes can contain abrasives, or not. Since moving on from the consumer lines to the professional lines, all the polishes I use now contain abrasives, albeit mild ones. Not as mild as some, but not enough to be considered harsh, never mind near what a compound does.

A polish with abrasives, as most professional polishes are, is a leveller, designed to smooth the clearcoat down to the level of a scratch (predicating these statements on not using a rotary buffer, which actually moves the paint around due to the heat it can generate).

I've never actually run into a paint cleaner that contained abrasives. Could you give a few examples?

On the B2B -- I tried the protectant overlay with 404 Aerospace Protectant and Black Magic protectants (two) at different times. Neither was able to maintain the appearance for more than a month.

Refyused
11-22-2005, 11:57 AM
If you guys really want a professional detail guide, I might be willing to sit down and go into detail about what I do every single weekday for 10 hours a day ;)

If not, that's fine too. The offer's open.. I won't go into detail about using an orbital buffer, because an inexperienced person can badly damage their paint trying to do it (swirls, burning).

And of course, everyone does it different. I'll only recommend products I've used and aprove of, and stuff like Turtle Wax, Dawn, spray on "quick" waxes/shines, and spray on "cleaners" or "shine perservers" is NOT recommended. All of them are either damaging to your paint, or don't last long enough to be worthwhile. If you want to detail your car RIGHT, don't go the cheapest route. Turtle Wax may look good for a couple weeks, but it goes away fast. Dawn... Why would you even THINK of using a DISH SOAP on your car? Just don't use it. Those spray on waxes/cleaners/shine preservers that require no washing are not good at all. The cleaners, sprayed on and then wiped off, will rub dirt and dust around on your paint and scratch it while "cleaning" it. Same with the spray on shine. It's WORTH the time spent to wash your car and detail it properly, avoiding any and all shortcuts.

Anyway, it's nearly 4 AM and I have to work tomorrow, perhaps I'll type up a guide in my "home alone being bored off my ass" time after work tomorrow. G'night all.

91PinkCeli
07-13-2006, 07:18 AM
i would like a detailing guide from a pro, but just keep in mind some people are limited on where they can buy products so maybe use more popular ones.

Morwan
07-13-2006, 03:55 PM
Here's the best (practical) guide I've ever read:

linky link (http://strongbad.surrealistic.net/entierguide.html)