So I detail cars...

Dmantis10

Dmantis10

Audioholic
Spray on wax doesn't last or protect as well as real wax IMO. Real carnauba lasts considerably longer and can be reapplied. The spray on I use only for touch up in between waxings.

If the car is garaged, clay only needs to happen maybe once a year. If it sits outside, maybe two depending on where you are and what it gets parked near. I always follow that up with a mild polish (depending on the condition of the paint) and then a good wax.
Correct. I wax my truck a few times a year but after every wash a spray wax to keep it nice and to the touch. Spray wax seems to keep the wax feeling fresh and dirt just rolls off. My truck stays amazingly clean by keeping up with it .
I only clay when it needs it. I have no intervals.
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
I find the residue comes off easily with a final wash. I use a Meguiars Wash n Wax regularly, and wax when I have time, which generally happens a couple times a year at most.

If the car is really dirty, I will wash twice and then wax, washing a third time after the clay and then microfiber drying to prevent water spotting.

I'd prefer to not have to budget for new clear coat so I have not tried abrasive polishing. But what I said above, and some Meguiars Back to Black did wonders for my Dads old truck thats been sitting outside for years and was covered in pollen residue/mold - thought it was going to need repainting!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/4GgbhprStJNK4yFK9 (linky won't inserty for some reason)
You might not be seeing it, but claying, especially clay mits and towels, will marr the paint. Eventually those marks will build up over time and dull the paint. You shouldn't be afraid of abrasive polishes, mild ones will remove the love marks from washing and improve the gloss beyond what a wax/sealant car do (waxes and sealants temporarily fill the marks, but eventually fade away).

SheepStar
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
Spray on wax doesn't last or protect as well as real wax IMO. Real carnauba lasts considerably longer and can be reapplied. The spray on I use only for touch up in between waxings.

If the car is garaged, clay only needs to happen maybe once a year. If it sits outside, maybe two depending on where you are and what it gets parked near. I always follow that up with a mild polish (depending on the condition of the paint) and then a good wax.
There is a lot of spray on sealants nowadays that can put down honest protection, some up to a year. They're not super common or in all the big chain stores, but they are literally spray on wipe off in application. If you haven;t used Sonax Brilliant Shine Detailer, you should it a go, the water behaviors is nuts. Also, their Polymer Net Shield is very similar, spray on to applicator, apply to paint, wait 30 seconds, wipe off. It will last a solid 6 months with really good dirt repelling properties.

SheepStar
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
I use Sonax wheel cleaner. Stuff is great but not cheap. For the spray on I actually just tried Jay Leno's Radiance and it seems pretty decent so far, but only one week so we'll see.
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
I use Sonax wheel cleaner. Stuff is great but not cheap. For the spray on I actually just tried Jay Leno's Radiance and it seems pretty decent so far, but only one week so we'll see.
Meguiars Ultimate Quick Detailer is also quite good for a spray on product. Lasts a couple washes or so, but it's so easy to re-apply that you could do it every week and get lots of protection from one bottle.

Sonax's wheel cleaner is the bees knees, but it costs an arm and a leg. I'm still contemplating on buying a 100% strong yet safe wheel cleaner, but the costs would be very high for the 5L jug. I don't charge a ton for my details, and if I used that plus some other high cost products regularly (like Iron X), I would need to double my fees to keep the profit at the end of the day. Megs wheel brightener is safe enough when used properly, and most stuff will come out with a strong APC solution so I'm using that for my current cleaning regiment.

SheepStar
 
P

pewternhrata

Senior Audioholic
Cleaner wax maybe twice a year. I know some say to ignore it like the plague but I've had great luck with it. Granted, one is a NHRA trans am I've never had the pleasure of protecting a 'high end' end car and finish. I fully understand not wanting to 'touch' the finish but for a daily driver that sees all elements, imho you have to.
 

Attachments

Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
Here is the first detail in the new space!

This is my parents 2018 Rav4 Hybrid, which has 6300 kms on the clock, and was recently waxed around the 2500-3000km mark. Basically what I'm trying to say is, the car was super clean, and needed barely any work to make look good. Nonetheless, it received the 2BM wash with foaming, a wheel clean, engine bay clean, and a polish using Autoglym SRP followed by a coat of Autoglym HD wax. On to the pics!

Wheels being cleaned with wheel woolies to get the inner barrels. Note, this car has regenerative braking on both axles, so there is usually very little in the way of brake dust.
DSC_4738 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

Snow foam using regular wash soap, cause you know.... no real dirt to remove.
DSC_4746 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

This is after claying the doors on both sides and the tailgate, not much to speak of. There was some grit on the tops of the doors and parts of the roof, but that was mainly due to their previous home where the car sat under a tree.
DSC_4747 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

This was the only paint defect that needed removing, it's from a bike rack where the foam pad hit's the paint, except the foam rotted so they wrapped it with tape. Yeah, I need to have a chat with them about that one.
DSC_4755 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

Got about 90-95% of it out using a foamed wool pad and Meguiars Ultimate compound, followed by a white foam pad and Meguairs ultimate polish to remove the possible haze from the wool pad.
DSC_4758 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

Here is the Autoglym HD wax curing after going over the car with SRP and letting it cure for an hour, and them letting that breath for an hour. It's on a bit too thick, but this is the fault of the applicator that ships with the wax, I should have used on of my more open and soft foam ones.
DSC_4769 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

Whole car curing.
DSC_4770 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

Gloss after removing the HD wax. It had a bit of oil left behind, probably from the over application in spots. Either way, left to breath overnight.
DSC_4783 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

It's blue because it loves the planet.
DSC_4789 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

Wheels were just cleaned with a mild APC and then tire shined. They will get the full Monte come winter when they are swapped out and I have time to really give them the beans.
DSC_4797 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

For a hybrid, it has a nice aggressive front end.
DSC_4809 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

I do wish they opted for the LED headlight version.
DSC_4816 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

Interior was vacuumed, dash wiped with Meguiars Ultimate Quick Interior Detailer, Glass cleaned with Stoners Glass Cleaner, and door jambs wiped wit Meguiars Ultimate Quick Detailer.
DSC_4846 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

Megs Quick Interiror detailer is great, no grease, just a nice factory mint finish while still cleaning a lot of crap at the same time.
DSC_4847 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

Clean.
DSC_4854 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

Couple gloss shots from the front.
DSC_4859 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

I stood back, and zoomed more. Totally different look.
DSC_4864 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

I need a Circular polarizer.
DSC_4868 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

DSC_4873 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

Okay thats all for today. Don't worry, I already have another car lined up, and this one is in narsty shape.

SheepStar
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
Productive weekend, detailed a 2012 BMW X3, which had your typical BMW brake dust, and a lot of fallout. Photos below, car was given the 3BM wash, foam with Soap/APC mixture, clay and fallout remover. Polishing was done on a Porter Cable DA, with a combination of MF pads and Orange Lake Country CCS pads, using Meguairs M105, Heavy Cut Cleaner, and Ultimate Compound. Pre-wax was handled by Autoglym SRP, which was topped with Autoglym HD wax. Carpets and mats shampooed with generic extractor soap, dash and leather cleaned with APC, leather treated with Acura branded leather protectant (the stuff the dealer applies, works well).

DSC_7317 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

DSC_7321 by brianjosephson1, on Flickr

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SheepStar
 
Alex2507

Alex2507

Audioholic Slumlord
My cars look like your before pic's after I clean them. I'm going outside now to clean something small like my door panels. I feel like I am being shamed into not being a pig.
 
O

Out-Of-Phase

Audioholic Chief
Beautiful work.

I used to detail cars a long time ago for a car dealer when I was younger, however, not nearly at the level you're at.

Keep up the good work, eh?
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
Beautiful work.

I used to detail cars a long time ago for a car dealer when I was younger, however, not nearly at the level you're at.

Keep up the good work, eh?
Thanks!

They definitely don't detail like this at most retain locations. They do the same basic stuff, clay, polish etc, but they don't usually use bleeding liquid fall out removers, or foam guns. A lot of it can be replaced with just pre-spraying APC and then pressure washing off, but it's good to go through the steps. The products available now compared to the past is pretty intense, a lot of new ways of doing things compared to the old times.

SheepStar
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
I have had this truck over a year and it's 20 yrs old having lived out in the Florida sun in it's original skin. Previous owner/s apparently liked it. Has dealer service records dating to 2015, and is still pretty tight all around, with over 200k miles. Added complete sound deadening to the doors and interior walls and that's when I started to notice just how dead the surface of the paint was/is. Greasy fingerprints and dirt would not wash off. It really could use a cut/polish but I don't really have the time for it, and there is not too many people I trust to do it for me.

I washed it well and used some turtle wax fine polishing compound on the dirty areas and regular turtle paste wax on the rest. It was quite a lot of work by hand but it looks much better. I did get all the under white bits under the flares and the door openings and even the recesses the rear windows fit into. Still have some minor things to do, that will be easier to address without having to do the whole truck at one time, at least until I get around it once.



Up on the roof too. Waxing from a small ladder.


I do have a pin stripe eraser and a pinstripe process at my work in which to redo them so, that will be next, I am thinking. Still the top surfaces came out much improved too.


All in all, it feels like a much newer truck and it has a killer new sound system in it as well. Managed to replace interior trim fasteners that were missing with OEM parts so, it is a little tidier overall, via these small details.


This is one of my favorite vehicles of all times. Will get to the engine bay as well but it is surprisingly clean and almost entirely free of oil leaks or residue on the motor. Makes it much easier to maintain it forward.
 
nbk13nw

nbk13nw

Audioholic
I love Meguiars 105 and 205 products. Been using them for years and never failed to impress me.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
I would get Meguiars Ultimate compound, it's very effective by hand and will remove much more oxidization (that car has single stage paint). You'll want to invest in some proper polish applicators that you can wash and re-use.

https://www.autogeek.net/ccs-foam-hand-applicators.html

SheepStar
I knew auto detailing had evolved from the days where I actually cared about a car's finish but, I really didn't consider the need for this initial improvement. Here in FL., drought restrictions relegates car washing to the car wash facilities so it's not as convenient as it used to be. I know there is more conservative methods but, in a state with a foundation of sand, it's dicey to do without plenty of water, initially at least. Even cleaning the glass one should be mindful of what that dusty film actually is.

After working on this for a whole day, I have done a little research into products. My day, we used products from PPG (Ditzler) from our paint supplier. But now there is seemingly too many options so, I appreciate the recommendation.

The higher sides of the cab around the rear side windows must get most of the direct sun, wind and contaminant contact because the finish is micro-scratched and does not quite shine like the rest of it. I thought of getting a DA to clean it up a bit without resulting in wet (I have wet paper from 320 to 3000) sanding. That always seems to lead to a larger can of worms than can be addressed in a day or 3.

Still, in the future, I think I would like to use a DA for the simple reason that I would perhaps not procrastinate the job as much.
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
I love Meguiars 105 and 205 products. Been using them for years and never failed to impress me.
M105 is a bit of a dusty bitch, but it cuts like the dickends. M205 should be named polish of the year, until the world dies. Good amounts of cut, great usability, and leaves a perfect finish.

SheepStar
 
nbk13nw

nbk13nw

Audioholic
M105 is a bit of a dusty bitch, but it cuts like the dickends. M205 should be named polish of the year, until the world dies. Good amounts of cut, great usability, and leaves a perfect finish.

SheepStar
Absolutely a little dusty with the M105. I just spritz it a little at times and it calms down a bit. Lol
 
Sheep

Sheep

Audioholic Warlord
I knew auto detailing had evolved from the days where I actually cared about a car's finish but, I really didn't consider the need for this initial improvement. Here in FL., drought restrictions relegates car washing to the car wash facilities so it's not as convenient as it used to be. I know there is more conservative methods but, in a state with a foundation of sand, it's dicey to do without plenty of water, initially at least. Even cleaning the glass one should be mindful of what that dusty film actually is.

After working on this for a whole day, I have done a little research into products. My day, we used products from PPG (Ditzler) from our paint supplier. But now there is seemingly too many options so, I appreciate the recommendation.

The higher sides of the cab around the rear side windows must get most of the direct sun, wind and contaminant contact because the finish is micro-scratched and does not quite shine like the rest of it. I thought of getting a DA to clean it up a bit without resulting in wet (I have wet paper from 320 to 3000) sanding. That always seems to lead to a larger can of worms than can be addressed in a day or 3.

Still, in the future, I think I would like to use a DA for the simple reason that I would perhaps not procrastinate the job as much.
You should invest in waterless wash. You could do that, clay, and polish would using the hose at all. Just use a wash facility before hand if there is any real dirt. Or, park outside in a hurricane, that might remove the big stuff.

DA is nice because it does the work for you, but you still need the compounds and pads to go with it. YOur technique will determine how well the DA works, and Ultimate compound is very forgiving and easy to use. It doesn't dry out, it doesn't need to break down (abrasives stay small, and can be worked faster/harder to achieve greater cut), and it is cheap and easy to get your hands on.

SheepStar
 

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