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Car Care & Detailing
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:45 AM   #1
Bafffyyy
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Beginner to detailing/washing/waxing

Posted this in the car care sub forum, but didn't get many responses so posting it here, cheers!

Hi all,

Only took ownership of the car this last month, and only have now just come to realise that the PO didn't really take care of the bodywork, i.e. there's a lot of swirls and whatnot, and some light scratches. I just wanted some advice on what is the best way to take care of the scratches, as well as general cleaning tips.

From what I've researched:

For washing:
- 2 buckets for cleaning (one for mitt clean, one with soapy goodness)
- no sponges ideally, washmitts best
- drying towel or chamois (which is better?)
- rinse with hose once before using soap
- rinse again
- hand dry
- do wheels first

For swirls and scratches:
since I'm only starting out with the detailing/carcare stuff, I wanted to know if this would be the best method/products to begin with.

I'm intending to use primarily Autoglym products (local sponsor has it), but for now it'll be
- Autoglym Shampoo Conditioner Body Wash
- Autoglym Super Resin Polish (Is this a good product to use to fill in swirls/scratches?)
- Autoglym Aquawax (not the proper wax, but don't want to get too far invested just yet)

Any more tips and tricks? All advice will be greatly appreciated!

Cheers
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:09 AM   #2
tommy d
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Ok, here is my opinions on your post.

I do the wheels last, usually they are the dirtiest and you don't want to use dirty water on the rest of the car, unless you use a different bucket or new water.

I like a Chamois or equivalent vs a towel.

Also you might want to try a clay bar if it's the first time your waxing the vehicle.
Is your car a daily driver? Then a wax after wash is fine, no need to polish and wax.
Any cleaner wax will work fine. I prefer Mother's.
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:13 AM   #3
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Leaf blower makes a wonderful car drier as well. No towels or water spots, just blow it dry.
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy d View Post
Ok, here is my opinions on your post.

I do the wheels last, usually they are the dirtiest and you don't want to use dirty water on the rest of the car, unless you use a different bucket or new water.

I like a Chamois or equivalent vs a towel.

Also you might want to try a clay bar if it's the first time your waxing the vehicle.
Is your car a daily driver? Then a wax after wash is fine, no need to polish and wax.
Any cleaner wax will work fine. I prefer Mother's.
I have a couple of buckets to use so i can probably do that. The car isn't a daily at the moment, but there are swirls and some light scratches here and there. I'm considering picking up the Mother's scratch repairer or something, or the Autoglym Super Resin Polish. Yeah I'll look into picking up a chamois as well, cheers.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:13 PM   #5
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Bafffyyy,

Like you, I'm fairly new to detailing and have been doing a lot of research, acquiring detailing products, etc. In addition to this forum being very helpful, I've found innumerable good tips on the Detailed Image site; these detailing experts also contribute to the e46Fanatics forum (you may have read some of their posts already).

The following detailing guide from the folks at Detailed Image is very comprehensive, and can be used as a reference for whichever aspect of detailing you're wondering about at any given time:
http://www.detailedimage.com/guide/A...ilingGuide.pdf

I'm about to print a copy for myself to keep with my detailing supplies, and will likely be referring to it a lot this weekend as I do my first DIY full detail on my E46!

Happy detailing, mate!
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bafffyyy View Post
Posted this in the car care sub forum, but didn't get many responses so posting it here, cheers!

Hi all,

Only took ownership of the car this last month, and only have now just come to realise that the PO didn't really take care of the bodywork, i.e. there's a lot of swirls and whatnot, and some light scratches. I just wanted some advice on what is the best way to take care of the scratches, as well as general cleaning tips.

From what I've researched:

For washing:
- 2 buckets for cleaning (one for mitt clean, one with soapy goodness)
- no sponges ideally, washmitts best
- drying towel or chamois (which is better?)
- rinse with hose once before using soap
- rinse again
- hand dry
- do wheels first

For swirls and scratches:
since I'm only starting out with the detailing/carcare stuff, I wanted to know if this would be the best method/products to begin with.

I'm intending to use primarily Autoglym products (local sponsor has it), but for now it'll be
- Autoglym Shampoo Conditioner Body Wash
- Autoglym Super Resin Polish (Is this a good product to use to fill in swirls/scratches?)
- Autoglym Aquawax (not the proper wax, but don't want to get too far invested just yet)

Any more tips and tricks? All advice will be greatly appreciated!

Cheers
I think your overall process sounds well planned out, except I would add a decontamination step via clay bar after washing and before polishing. I'm not experienced with the Autoglym polishes so I'm really not sure what kind of results you can expect from them, but as I said without going into too much detail, your process sounds like it will greatly improve the paint.

If you need help putting together a polishing and/or general maintenance list of items please don't hesitate to PM or post here and I'd be more than happy to help. Usually you can do a noticeable but minor improvement by hand and some light polishes/waxes, but to get really good results and also learn more about improving the paint, you're looking at machine polishing.

Ivan @ DI
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlokE46 View Post
Bafffyyy,

Like you, I'm fairly new to detailing and have been doing a lot of research, acquiring detailing products, etc. In addition to this forum being very helpful, I've found innumerable good tips on the Detailed Image site; these detailing experts also contribute to the e46Fanatics forum (you may have read some of their posts already).

The following detailing guide from the folks at Detailed Image is very comprehensive, and can be used as a reference for whichever aspect of detailing you're wondering about at any given time:
http://www.detailedimage.com/guide/A...ilingGuide.pdf

I'm about to print a copy for myself to keep with my detailing supplies, and will likely be referring to it a lot this weekend as I do my first DIY full detail on my E46!

Happy detailing, mate!
Thanks for that link/pdf. Definitely gonna put that onto my iPad to view later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg@DetailedImage.com View Post
I think your overall process sounds well planned out, except I would add a decontamination step via clay bar after washing and before polishing. I'm not experienced with the Autoglym polishes so I'm really not sure what kind of results you can expect from them, but as I said without going into too much detail, your process sounds like it will greatly improve the paint.

If you need help putting together a polishing and/or general maintenance list of items please don't hesitate to PM or post here and I'd be more than happy to help. Usually you can do a noticeable but minor improvement by hand and some light polishes/waxes, but to get really good results and also learn more about improving the paint, you're looking at machine polishing.

Ivan @ DI
Thanks for the reassurance, Ivan. At the moment, I'm going to leave the polishing out at the moment, as I'm cleaning the car today, and won't have the polish till next week. I'll look to buy a claybar as well, and hopefully do all that in 2 weeks time.

There's a lot of little stone chips that I have around the car, and some gashes here and there; do you have any advice for these? Would Dr. Colorchip be a possible solution? I'm in Australia, so some of the products are a bit more difficult to find.

I'd like to ultimately go into machine polishing as well, but baby steps I think would be a good idea for me. Thanks a lot for all your advice!
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Old 04-26-2014, 03:14 AM   #8
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Well I just finished the wash and then wax just then. Took around two hours, but I was also washing another car as well. Overall I'm pretty happy with the result.



At one point I wasn't sure if I was applying the Aqua Wax properly, and did a few more layers on a few areas. It turned out pretty well. The surface is slippery to the touch for the most part. My friend actually has some left over clay + Meguire's Wax, so I might look into taking those off him.

@Ivan, for claybarring, after application of lubricant, you just glide the clay over it right? There's no need to apply any pressure, and it should pick up most, if not all contaminants on the surface etc.

But overall, pretty happy. Will see into more complex procedures later I think. Thanks all!
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:32 PM   #9
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Yes and yes to Dr. Colorchip and claybar with no pressure . We like Dr. Colorchip more than oem or other touchup options as it works well and is easy to use. As for the clay bar, yes just use a good amount of lube (surface always VERY wet) and lightly glide the bar along. This should eliminate or at least minimize any marring in the paint, while still removing contamination.

Results look good!
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:14 AM   #10
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Figured I'd give this a little update - Just received my shipment of Autoglym Super Resin Polish and Autoglym Extra Gloss Protect. Haven't gotten a claybar kit yet, but will probably see how my friend's Meguiar's clay kit is, and take that off him. Will still be trying out the polish and sealant this weekend though. Hopefully it'll turn out well. Will update!
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