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Detailing noob
27-04-2009, 10:55 PM
Post: #1
Detailing noob
Hi Guys

I stay in JHB and my poor car lives outside Sad. Hence it needs washing fairly regularly which it hasn't really been getting as it feels like a bit of a waste. It does need a good "detail" though. I have a few problems with it which I feel as long as I can sort them out then it's 100% clean I can hopefully keep it looking fairly good.

I will post a thread soon giving pics of the "problem areas".

Rory
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28-04-2009, 08:57 AM
Post: #2
RE: Detailing noob
Hi and welcome to the forum

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that it is a bit of a waste of time washing a car that lives outside as it just gets dirty again.

If anything, it is even more important that you wash it regularly to remove dust, industrial fallout, bird crap, tree sap etc.

If your car is well polished and waxed it will provide an excellent protection against the elements. In the UK most car owners do not have the luxury of a garage and their cars stand out 24/7. They have to ensure that their cars are well protected.
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28-04-2009, 09:05 AM
Post: #3
RE: Detailing noob
Hi Rory,

Welcome to the forum, as springbok says, its more important to keep the paintwork on your car protected, what the wax etc also does is help to cut down on the impact that the UV rays have on your car.

Get those pics up, there are many on the forum that are more than willing to assist in any way.

Don

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28-04-2009, 04:29 PM (This post was last modified: 28-04-2009 04:44 PM by Rory.)
Post: #4
RE: Detailing noob
Hey guys

Thanks for the welcome.

Pics is going to be a mission and I just sold my decentish camera so they would be cellphone pics. I'm going to post some descriptions here so hopefully guys that know the problems with recognise what I mean.

FYI my car is a "titanium silver" (dark grey) ford focus 1.6si (the hatchback). Rather an unrewarding colour to detail I reckon (black/red/blue seem much better).

I have a karcher 4.68 which I've used a few times for basically rinsing because the built in mixing thing doesn't seem to work very well. Thinking of maybe getting one of those lances where the shampoo goes on the lance itself, they seem to work much better.
I've heard a lot of comments about karchers being for lazy people etc etc but when I wash/rinse/wax the car and wash the mags and clean the inside of my car I'm always completely buggered, and it's going to get dirty anyway. So with something that's fairly easy at least I can do it often (like once a week hopefully)

Anyway, here goes in descending order of priority for me:

-Bird droppings
There are almost "silhouetes", like when you take a sticker off something and you can never get the last layer of glue to go away. Mostly notice this on the bonnet

-Dirty rims.
They are very dirty on the inside "sides" from brake dust. In fact it seems like they have a lot of marks that are now permanent.
On the outside the particular design has a lot of hard corners which are kinda hard to reach. Even with sponges etc it seems impossible to get everything out and the karcher doesn't help much either.

-Small "spots" on the paint (less than 1cm diameter)
These spots are only visible at a certain angle. They look a little lighter than the paint.
They are mainly on the bonnet/roof (or at least that's where they are noticeable)

-Trim
My car has dark grey plastic trim along the rear bumper, next to the foglights and a couple of other places. This stuff has faded within the first few months of having the car. Every time I've been to a car wash or something they've put some stuff on. I also bought some stuff but basically nothing seems to last very long here.

-Yellow spots/stripes
What the hell are these things? Either spots a few mm wide and maybe 1mm high or stripes around 1mm wide and 2cm long

-Glass
On the glass I can still see the area where the wipers wipe, how can I clean it enough that I can't see any line where the edge of the wiper is?

-Some scratches
These obviously aren't so grand but there are a few marks/chips on my car already so not much point in fixing the tiny scratches when there's big ones.


Also wanted to ask, I got some autoarmour or something when I got my car (2 years ago). Would something like that have completely worn away by now or would it still be one of the layers on the paint?
Oh, I should also add I've been using Meguiars nxt wash/wax and the pink "soft wash".
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28-04-2009, 07:01 PM
Post: #5
RE: Detailing noob
Hello Rory

Welcome to the forum -Lets see some pics!

To answer a few questions:

Bird Droppings-

If they are etched into the paint you are screwed... Usually wet sanding is required or a lot of effort by hand or the use of a proper machine polisher. I would not risk this unless you know what you are doing. I have never done it before so will let the other detailers help you out..

Dirty Rims-

This comes down to the product I feel. I can supply you our Rim cleaner which is a spray on then left for 10 minutes. Then spray off with the Karcher. Get hold of a thin brush or a brush for a babies bottle. They work well for small gaps.

Faded Plastic-

This is a simple fix. You can use my Deep Treatment Lotion for plastic which opens the pores of the plastic, rejuvenates and then reseals the plastic. You can also ask Freerider for his O new Car Dressing. I like it a lot and it works well but only lasts in between washes.

Yellow spots and Stripes-

Where? Can you be a lil more specific?

Glass-

What you are seeing there is silicone and wax. Between the wiper blades, road dirt and rain there is a build up of wax and silicone that forms on the windscreen. This is noticeable by running a wet cloth over the area and having the water cling to the area and yet run on others. Give my Silicone and Wax remover a try. I used it on a BMW this weekend and found it worked extremely well. Simply rub on and rub off.

Scratches-

I have a polishing cream (Cleaner, mettalic or gloss) and a variety of other products you can use... But I have not used all of them yet (Still experimenting with my new range) so I would suggest looking at the sponsorsed section for inspiration.

Auto Armor -

Its a swear word. Auto Armor uses a silicone spray that does more harm then good... It will probably have worn off by now but the damage is done... The car will need a good clay esp. around the wheels etc and you can use my Penetrating Paint Cleaner as a Lubricant. The cleanser works very well at removing silicone. You can also use the Silicone and Wax remover on the paint... But remember... You have to seal the paint again afterwards aka give it a polish and wax.

NXT wash-

Great stuff I love it.

Other than that there is more but thats the summarised version. IF you want to see some prices the link to my store is:

http://www.sosoil.co.za/shop-list.php?bid=2&cid=8

Mike
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28-04-2009, 08:14 PM
Post: #6
RE: Detailing noob
Hi Rory and welcome, I am sure you will enjoy your stay with us and find tons of usefull info on here Wink

As far as lighter cars go yes, the visual impact is not quite in par with darker colours post detail but the difference is most certainly noticeable Wink

Some silver inspiration for you Bluebiggrin
[Image: fresized_DSC00753.jpg]
[Image: fresized_DSC00772.jpg]
[Image: fresized_DSC00765.jpg]

I will try and answer some of your questions and provide some product recommendations along the way.

Rory Wrote:I have a karcher 4.68 which I've used a few times for basically rinsing because the built in mixing thing doesn't seem to work very well. Thinking of maybe getting one of those lances where the shampoo goes on the lance itself, they seem to work much better.
I've heard a lot of comments about karchers being for lazy people etc etc but when I wash/rinse/wax the car and wash the mags and clean the inside of my car I'm always completely buggered, and it's going to get dirty anyway. So with something that's fairly easy at least I can do it often (like once a week hopefully)

A pressure washer (PW) is definately a must have for keeping your cab clean and getting many hard to reach places (arches, engine bay nooks and crannies, etc). I wouldn't say it is for lazy people at all, they save tons of water compared to a regular hose pipe and also allow you far greater control of the spray with added cleaning power. Avoid spraying it too close to the paintwork as the high pressure can also damage the paint.


Rory Wrote:-Bird droppings
There are almost "silhouetes", like when you take a sticker off something and you can never get the last layer of glue to go away. Mostly notice this on the bonnet

The "silhouetes" you are seeing are either left over mineral deposits from the dried water or actual etchings caused by the same minerals. 9 times out of 10 they are usually etchings and more often than not the minor ones can be safely polished out. Once they have completely eaten through the clear coat however you are screwed and nothing short of a respray will fix it properly.

In the interim you can try a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and distilled water. The vinegar will dissolve any left over mineral deposits (if they are surface bound) whilst not harming the paint. Take a microfiber cloth and dip it in the solution, wring it out and place it over the affected area for a few minutes. Once complete give the treated areas a wipe with a clean damp cloth dipped in plain water and re-apply your LSP (last step product) to provide protection from the elements.

Rory Wrote:-Dirty rims.
They are very dirty on the inside "sides" from brake dust. In fact it seems like they have a lot of marks that are now permanent.
On the outside the particular design has a lot of hard corners which are kinda hard to reach. Even with sponges etc it seems impossible to get everything out and the karcher doesn't help much either.

Our go to products for mag wheels is the Sonax Extreme Rim Cleaner, it never ceases to amaze me how well it manages to clean even the harshest brake deposits whilst being completely safe (ph neutral) for all types of wheels.

I have 2 reviews/comparisons I did some time ago, you can find them here and here. You will find that after a 5 to 10 min soak (once the liquid turns purple) that pressure washing removes the majority of the gunk without the need for agitation.

I would also recommend you get yourself some decent detail brushes from Don's (freerider on this forum) store (http://www.poor-boys.co.za). He stocks our detail brushes that are great for getting into all the tight spots. Another must have would be the Motoquip wheel brush, it is basically a Meguiars clone and Makro stocks them for around R60 or so Wink

Rory Wrote:-Small "spots" on the paint (less than 1cm diameter)
These spots are only visible at a certain angle. They look a little lighter than the paint.
They are mainly on the bonnet/roof (or at least that's where they are noticeable)

Difficult to tell without seeing them but it could be acid etchings from bird droppings, bug remains or acid rain/industrial contamination. You can try some detailing clay but I have my reservations as to whether or not this will do anything based on your description of the problem 'spots'

Rory Wrote:-Trim
My car has dark grey plastic trim along the rear bumper, next to the foglights and a couple of other places. This stuff has faded within the first few months of having the car. Every time I've been to a car wash or something they've put some stuff on. I also bought some stuff but basically nothing seems to last very long here.

We exclusively use 303 Aerospace Protectant. Apart from restoring a factory sheen to exterior plastics it also provides UV protection and lasts fairly well. If you look at some of our posts in the show and shine section you will see the kind of finish it provides Wink

You can read more about it in this thread

Rory Wrote:-Yellow spots/stripes
What the hell are these things? Either spots a few mm wide and maybe 1mm high or stripes around 1mm wide and 2cm long

Only thing similar to that we have seen is from some kinds of trees. If you can scrape them off with your fingernail and they become powdery then it's most likely that. Once again a good wash with some proper auto detergent along with a claying should see all these spots removed.

Rory Wrote:-Glass
On the glass I can still see the area where the wipers wipe, how can I clean it enough that I can't see any line where the edge of the wiper is?

Glass polish is about your best bet in this regard, the lines are actually scoring in the glass from the wiper blades and would need to be polished out. I have yet to find a conventional paint polish and pad combo that makes any significant difference to these marks.

Rory Wrote:-Some scratches
These obviously aren't so grand but there are a few marks/chips on my car already so not much point in fixing the tiny scratches when there's big ones.

A good polishing will help remove most of the smaller defects whilst improving the appearance of the more severe ones. Overall you will be amazed at the difference an afternoons work can make to the appearance Wink

Rory Wrote:Also wanted to ask, I got some autoarmour or something when I got my car (2 years ago). Would something like that have completely worn away by now or would it still be one of the layers on the paint?

More than likely all gone, there is no 'never wax again' product in my opinion that provides anywhere near a years worth of protection to the paintwork.

Rory Wrote:Oh, I should also add I've been using Meguiars nxt wash/wax and the pink "soft wash".

I am not a fan of the NXT wash but the Soft Wash Gel is a really nice product. Chemical Guys Maxi Suds and Citrus Wash n Gloss are what I would recommend, they are available once again from Don's store (Poor-Boys) Wink

Hope that has managed to answer some of your questions. You can also look through some of the docs & links I have posted on our website here Wink

David : 083 642 2118
www.mobileimage.co.za

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28-04-2009, 08:18 PM
Post: #7
RE: Detailing noob
Hey Rory... Welcome!

Where in jhb are u?
Have an overtime leave day owed to me, maybe I could assist?

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28-04-2009, 09:32 PM (This post was last modified: 28-04-2009 09:33 PM by Rory.)
Post: #8
RE: Detailing noob
Fading:
Check the edges
[Image: 28042009004.jpg]

Bird poo "silhouette", it seems "raised" so I don't think it's burnt thru clearcoat etc.
[Image: 28042009003.jpg]

Dirt in corners
[Image: 28042009f.jpg]
Thanks Liqui-Moly and Carn... Lots of stuff to read etc.

Will post a reply now, just need to find all the bits and pieces to reply to...
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28-04-2009, 09:35 PM
Post: #9
RE: Detailing noob
(28-04-2009 09:32 PM)Rory Wrote:  Fading:
Check the edges
[Image: 28042009004.jpg]

Bird poo "silhouette", it seems "raised" so I don't think it's burnt thru clearcoat etc.
[Image: 28042009003.jpg]

Dirt in corners
[Image: 28042009f.jpg]

Your bumpers seem like the perfect candidate for some 303 Bluebiggrin

Unfortunately the bird poo "silhouette" you refer to appears to be etching. Some polish may help improve it's appearance but the grainy dull look it has leads me to believe it may be too deep to completely remove Uhoh2

Some Sonax and a few brushes combined with your PW should sort the wheels out in a flash Str8pimp

David : 083 642 2118
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28-04-2009, 09:47 PM
Post: #10
RE: Detailing noob
As far as your wheels are concerned neither of the above have mentioned that after CLEANING your wheels you need to WAX them to provide a really good protection against brake dust and sundry gunk building up again.

It's all very well wacking on wheel cleaners to disolve the dirt but they will be back in a flash if you don't provide a barrier against future contamination.

Don sells very good dedicated wheel wax. I use Smartwax Rimwax and swear by it. I use NO wheel cleaners of any type. I wash them with normal car shampoo.
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28-04-2009, 09:48 PM
Post: #11
RE: Detailing noob
Bird Droppings-
Posted a pic. There's no way I'm sanding anything, will screw it up completely probably. Will try the vinegar thing.

Rims-
I do actually have a brush. I should use it Tongue It's not perfect for getting into the corners as it's based on a round wire but the bristles do help. I think it's the cheap one from makro.
I have some stuff that you're supposed to spray on and then wash off but it hardly worked at all. Normal shampoo had more of an effect. Checked now, it's "Rally magshine", waste of money if you ask me. I hope the products recommended here are a LOT better...

Spots-
Tried taking a pic with phone but you can't see them at all.

Yellow spots-
Yes they are crumbly etc. I washed my car this weekend so can't take a pic. They come off easily with a nail. Seems to me that nothing is better than a fingernail and some elbow grease...

Auto armour-
I'm not sure if it was auto armour but It was something like that. Either way I guess it's long gone.

Wanted to ask about claying, I've read quite a few things about it but still don't quite "get" it. What exactly is it meant to remove and why can't that be removed by other stuff?

I was looking at getting the maxi suds and citrus wash. Maxi suds seems to be recommended for the pressure washer to get nice foam. Need to get the karcher "foam" lance as well though.

If I wash the car with something that removes the protection etc then what if I miss a spot when I'm waxing it?
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28-04-2009, 09:58 PM
Post: #12
RE: Detailing noob
Wax twice Bluebiggrin
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28-04-2009, 10:08 PM
Post: #13
RE: Detailing noob
(28-04-2009 08:18 PM)onyx Wrote:  Hey Rory... Welcome!

Where in jhb are u?
Have an overtime leave day owed to me, maybe I could assist?

Hey Onyx

Thanks for the offer but I wouldn't want to take up your time like that. Also I'm not taking any leave anytime soon...
(I'm in norwood btw)
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28-04-2009, 10:14 PM
Post: #14
RE: Detailing noob
Springbok is indeed a wise old man Bluebiggrin

A dedicated rim wax (Smartwax Rimwax is our choice as per Springboks recommendation) is a good choice Wink

Drop me a pm with your postal address and I'll get a sample of the Sonax Extreme Rim Cleaner off to you. Alternatively if you attend the Meet n Greet I can bring it around Wink

Avoid using your fingernails to remove the spots Rory, a good wash should remove some of them and the remainder can be removed by claying. As far as claying goes I recommend you read TOGWT's in depth overview here.

In a nutshell it is an abrasive 'putty' (much like prestik in texture) that pulls bonded contaminants from the surface of the paint. Where normal polishing uses a 'grinding' type of action to level the clear coat, detailing clay pulls small sharp contaminants OUT of the paint. These contaminants can be anything from industrial fallout to small metal fillings and brake dust that get embedded into the paint. It's one step I recommend you try and guarentee you will be impressed with the results Wink

Maxi Suds and Citrus Wash n Gloss (CWG) shouldn't strip any wax/sealant protection you have on the car prividing you stick to the recommended dilution ratio's. CWG can be used in stronger concentrations to remove any protection if required Wink

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28-04-2009, 10:26 PM
Post: #15
RE: Detailing noob
Ok, so it's like pulling thorns out of your hand using prestik? Tongue

I think rims strategy would be:
Sonax cleaner - maybe take them off the car completely and wash the inside really well as well.
Repeat this a few times and use the brush etc.
Smartwax rimwax - apply to the entire thing, twice...

Paint:
Wash with maxisuds/cwg and try do this once a week
Will try the vinegar

Trim:
Should I use the "deep treatment lotion" to try restore them a bit then use the 303 to keep it protected?


Don't want to spend a ton on products all at once so maybe next month or something will get some wax/polish and use a higher concentration of cwg then wax.

The glass I'm not really worried about for now. It's kinda case of the more clean things are the more you notice the imperfections.

Think I'll try attend the meet/greet. Will probably have the dirtiest car there Tongue
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28-04-2009, 11:15 PM
Post: #16
RE: Detailing noob
(28-04-2009 10:14 PM)Carn Wrote:  Springbok is indeed a wise old man Bluebiggrin

Hey, not so much of the "old"!! Nono

Wise is ok Rofl
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29-04-2009, 06:06 AM
Post: #17
RE: Detailing noob
'Older' then Bluebiggrin

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29-04-2009, 07:11 AM
Post: #18
RE: Detailing noob
Sounds Good Rory.

Fully agreed with what the others have said... Although technically you will only need the Plastic lotion. You can add Carns product to it though. I dont think its needed though.

Just had a thought but you could use our Intensive Paint Cleaner for the tree sap (Assuming its that) and to degrease the paint either during or before claying as a lubricant... I used this combo on a Porsche last weekend and got really impressive results.

Thats also on our online store. Have fun with the car!

Mike
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29-04-2009, 10:50 AM
Post: #19
RE: Detailing noob
(28-04-2009 10:08 PM)Rory Wrote:  
(28-04-2009 08:18 PM)onyx Wrote:  Hey Rory... Welcome!

Where in jhb are u?
Have an overtime leave day owed to me, maybe I could assist?

Hey Onyx

Thanks for the offer but I wouldn't want to take up your time like that. Also I'm not taking any leave anytime soon...
(I'm in norwood btw)

Dude... I'm in Norwood too!!! Bluebiggrin
I'm on Grant Avenue...

I've got an Arsenal of goodies and would love to help out!

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29-04-2009, 01:04 PM
Post: #20
RE: Detailing noob
Oh cool. I'm 2 blocks down from grant...
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