Car Care & Detailing
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|Yesterday, 08:45 AM||#1|
Why do silver cars tend to lose their lustre?
before anyone with a silver car takes this personally. Don't.
This is not about the cars that have been well maintained and meticulously cared for.
Your silver car may be as shiny and wet looking as a northern winter lake.
I am not talking about a person who works hard on his or her silver car.
I am speaking more about the offerings in car lots, private party sales, or copart and other auctions
when you are going to purchase your vehicle.
When I was looking for my zhp I found that there were twice as many silver cars being sold as were other colors.
Same for m3's (at my time of searching)
I noticed that silver cars do tend to either look more faded or have a harder time looking glossy.
After doing some research I found two common causes.
the first all white and very light color cars
begin losing luster as contaminates find their way on the surface.
Imagine a dirty mirror or a mirror after you get out of a steamy shower.
the reflective properties become altered. due to haze and contaminates that are just present in our atmosphere.
Proof to this is Meguiers new white wax a special formula wax specifically for
white and silver cars.
it has abrasives in it that you can feel with your fingers.
much more abrasive then normal waxes it even has an abrasive applicator that comes wit it abrasive on one side soft on the other.
Back in 1990 I had a 81 Audi 5000s
It was a white car that had been sitting for 4 years.
the paint was dull
my Boss suggested I wash the car with AJax and then compound and buff it.
and finally wax it with two coats of wax.
when I did the car had a liquid glossy shine. (one of the shiniest cars I have ever seen. to this date.)
I am not sure washing todays clear coats with Ajax would have the same results
but meguires white wax does suggest that
abrasive compounds are important to handling the shine on a white or silver car.
a second thing to take note of is this following.
When you have your car repaired at a body shop depending on the age
in order to match the silver it is important to reduce the amount of black and blue paint that is added to your paint mix formula
I mixed paint in a body shop for about a year.
and silver and reds were both very difficult to match.
silver was difficult because it was hard to determine how much blue and black had been lost due to UV rays.
My final thoughts on the silver car thing is that
in order to better get your silver car to shine ( if it isn't already shiny and wet looking)
is to flatten the paint a bit.
This can be accomplished three ways.
after removing contaminates via clay
you can either use a light compound on newer cars or a heavier compound on older cars
then glaze then wax with a product
or you can opt to glaze which will fill in scratches then wax to cover the glaze
both these processes will allow you to actually flatten the clear coat a little
filling in some of the orange peel.
The third process is the most aggressive and difficult to execute and should be left to a professional
this involves wetsanding the car with a fine wet sand paper like 1,500 or 2000
then finishing with 3000 and then buffing with a compound to remove the scratches from the sand paper
then using a fine machine polish to remove the scratches left from the compound (swirl marks)
then finally glazing or waxing. again this is best left to a professional.
I own a silver car. and it does have a shine but not what I would want and I plan on doing some claying and glazing first
and see how she looks
if I am not satisfied I may return with a light compound. and machine polish and then wax.
Of If I am feeling like devoting an entire weekend to this project I may attempt the wet sand process.
I will upload some before and after pictures .
Last edited by diverse; Yesterday at 08:47 AM. Reason: added two details
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|Yesterday, 10:15 AM||#4|
Join Date: Nov 2011
My Ride: Tiag M3
I did a major upgrade to my workshop lighting and noticed my paint could use a light correction.
Right after you posted this I was online looking for a detailer
|Yesterday, 07:27 PM||#5|
Clean Shine Protect Expert
Join Date: Mar 2005
My Ride: is clean & protected
That's some very good insight diverse. I actually had quite a few clients ask me this exact question and I believe the answer is mostly always the same... Silver/grey cars are simply more neglected than darker colored or even white cars. Reason being, silver cars hide EVERYTHING. Whether it's the swirl marks that are so easily noticeable in darker colors or the dirt and orange specs of contamination easily seen on white cars, silver just doesn't show much at all. Thus, people take much worse care, waiting longer to get washes, waiting longer to get it waxed and waiting VERY long (or forever) to polish it. This all results in the swirl marks and contamination adding up to completely diminish the luster and overall look of the vehicle.
In short, I have found that a proper decontamination with a clay bar, or a NanoSkin Autoscrub pad, and a thorough polishing (usually 2-stage) helps restore the paint and give it lots of gloss. Obviously waxes, sealants and/or paint coatings help to improve it a bit, but the regular decontamination and polishing is what keeps silver, like all other colors, in great shape and showing nice shine.
Ivan @ DI
|Yesterday, 08:03 PM||#6|
Thanks a lot Ivan.
I have a question when you say two stage do you mean polish and glaze?
I have never heard that term before.
Are you familiar with the 3m system?
I am really not comfortable using sponge pads
I like the wool pads much better.
I think the sponge pads burn when you are not careful and I don't buff enough to
looking at my car what would you recommend
I was going to just clay and wax and see how it looks afterwards.
it is a 2006
Last edited by diverse; Yesterday at 08:05 PM.
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