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Wash And Wax Steps For A Newbie

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Hi all, I just bought the first luxury car of my life and want to take care of it. In the past I've bought whatever wax and whatever wash and taken care of business. But even then its rare. The cars I've owned in the past I've pretty much taken to auto washers and hand spray washers.

That being said, can someone list in order the recommended steps when washing and waxing and what kind of retail store wax is best? I hear Consumer Reports keeps rating Nu Finish over Meguiers. :unsure:

Unfortunately, I don't have much free time with work and a newborn at home but I could probably free up a couple hours for the whole shebang at a time.

Thanks a lot in advance.

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NuFinish is total crap, trust us on this one LOL.

Look around here in the detailing forum, there are a lot of good ideas out there.

Did you buy it new? Does it require any prepwork before waxing?

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Crap? No kidding, I'll have to berate my sources... ;)

Its a '97 and in excellent condition. Not a ding or dent on her BUT there is small paint chip on the driver's door (pea size) that seems to go pretty deep. Is there a risk of that chip "chipping" more and getting bigger?

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probably not, but you can get a touchup pen from www.autosharppen.com that will make it look a whole lot better.

Any swirl marks or anything like that in the paint when the light hits it?

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acf: Welcome :)

No more "whatever" wash and "whatever" wax for you, okay?! You have a LEXUS now!! :P

Of course I have to agree with SW03ES - check out the detailing forum.

I've already been converted - no more car washes for me, only going to do it myself from now on. In fact as soon as this hot Southern California sun sets, I'll be outside with my lamb's wool mitt, hose and buckets!! :)

*No one* will wash your car and care for it as well as the owner will, IMO.

I don't think chips can get bigger unless they're glass chips that get a lot of sun exposure.

To prevent future dings, park AWAY from everyone whenever you go somewhere. Just walk the extra distance when at all possible (you said you have a newborn).

Good luck! :cheers:

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Ok, thanks guys. Been perusing the forums and am still a little confused with all the products and steps I see people doing. Not that I want to do the least possible but simply regularily washing and waxing is a step up for me. :D So if I simply wash and dry with the correct materials then put on 1 coat of a good wax every month or so I should be in pretty good shape I assume.

No swirl marks but there are a few light scratches scattered about.

This is a pic of her. B)

post-9-1061157056.jpg

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ACF,

Welcome new Lexus owner. You're gonna love it! and you're gonna become somewhat obsessed with it looking as good as it can. LOL You will find the time to wash and wax and keep it looking sharp.

Lot's of good subjects on detailing in this forum. Knock yourself out! And you will find people most willing to help you by answering ANY question you have. There are some experts in here.

again welcome,

Mike

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Luckily the pearl white is one of the easiest Lexus colors to take care of. I'm sure it does have some swirls (most cars do) but you just can't see them as easily on the white. Basically, if you're happy with the way the car is now, and feel no real need to get rid of the scratches that are on there you can do this:

1. Wash the car with dawn dishwashing liquid, this gets rid of any old wax.

2. Clay the car, using the carwash as a lube, soap a panel, clay it, and rinse. Claying removes ground in dirt and will make the surface glass smooth.

3. Use some sort of scratch remover, 3m or Meguiars Swirl mark Remover to spot remove any larger scratches on the surface that bother you.

4. Polish with a high grade polish by hand. P21S polish, Poorboys Polish

5. Seal the car as opposed to waxing it. A Sealant will last a really long time, 6 months at least, whereas wax degrades quickly. I reccomend Poorboys EX sealant because its easy to use, foolproof, and it gives a great shine with great durability. Its also layerable so you can add more until you get it just like you like it.

Check out www.premiumautocare.com for the wash supplies and the clay, i reccomend the Clay Magic bar. And www.poorboysproducts.com for the Poorboys Polish and the Poorboys EX Sealant.

Now, if you really want to get down and dirty and get the car 100% better than new looking its probably going to require investment of $200 or so into an orbital polisher and some pads. With the right abrasive and the polisher you can remove damn near all of the imperfections in the paint. Your color hides them well though.

You do all this every 6 months, and the car will look great for years to come. Its really not hard. Wash with a good sheepskin mitt, and dry with good Microfiber towels.

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Thanks all and especially to SW03ES. A few questions about your task list.

1) After I wash the car, immediately begin to clay? So don't dry at all?

2) Will the scratch remover work on the rear bumper? I've got some compression scratches on the top and what looks like a small but slightly deeper impact scratch on the back. I thought I heard that the only way to fix a plastic bumper was to repaint? :unsure:

3) So you recommend doing those steps every 6 months and just wash at needed intervals in between? I assume not with Dawn after the initial wash?

4) Can any or all of those products be purchased in retail stores?

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Yep, go ahead and clay. No reason to dry because you'll be wetting and soaping the panels again.

As for the bumper, its worth a shot for sure, might not get them all out but it'll make it look better.

Pretty much the only thing you MIGHT be able to find in a store is the clay, and whatever wash you want to use. The rest you'll have to order online.

Most of the stuff you buy in the store isn't the greatest...

This is good stuff that doesn't really cost any more, and gets great results.

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Okey, so you recommend not waxing (ever?)

What's the difference between polishing and waxing?

And that Poor Boys link isn't working for me and I can't seem to google their site. Any idea?

Thanks. B)

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i dont think he meant to never wax the car because wax gives it a great look but in your case he said just put sealent on it because it lasts longer then wax.i use sealent then wax and it comes up great but i have black so its harder to take care of.white is very easy to take care of so it should be easy for you.hope that helps

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Sealants and waxes do the same thing, they protect the finish. Sealants just last a lot longer, and on the white you wont notice the difference.

Polishing smooths out the paint, adds oild.

I got the site address wrong for Poorboys, sorry. Its www.poorboysworld.com

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As far as the exterior is concerned... there is only one product to use.... it is called "Diamond Gloss." It is applied by a Ziebart store and makes your car look and last like no other product I have ever used. The shine and durability of the finish lasts and lasts.... it is especially nice on darker color vehicles that tend to get those swirl type marks.

Mark

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Is Diamond Gloss one of those "paint protection" systems that dealers put on the car? You said it was applied by a store?

Basically all they are is a sealant like the Poorboy's EX or many others. They're charging you an insane charge for something you can do yourself in 30 minutes.

A sealant isn't going to guard you against swirl marks because they're put in the paint by improper washing, drying, waxing. They're scratches and the only way to really remove them is with an abrasive cleaner. You can fill them in, but that doesn't last.

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I did a quick search for it and it proved what I was afraid of.

A lot of the claims that these people make are.....less than acurate. Be weary of claims like "never needs waxing", "new proprietary automotive technology" when they dont tell you what that is. All it is a Polymer Sealant like Poorboys EX, Klasse, Zaino, Blackfire, Platinum.

Complete chemical bath

Removal of contaminants

Polish to maximum shine

Hand apply Diamond Gloss

Machine spread product

Buff to maximum Gloss

Detail with micro fiber cloth

Remove windshield contaminants

Apply Aquapel Glass Treatment

Clean & dress wheels and tires

Thats the list of their "procedure" Well, you can do all of these things easily at home, I do this to my car every 3 months or so and it takes me 3 hours and costs me nothing.

These "paint protection systems" are pure profit.

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Ok, no Diamond Gloss, check. ;)

Bear with me but I'm still a little confused whether its safe to wash with a good car wash in between the polishing, sealing, and detailing. And will it degrade the effect of the products?

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No, it wont change the results. The polish and swirl remover steps are about the application. Those products are designed to do work on the paint, and then be washed off. Anything that would stay is an oil or filler, and you dont want those under the sealant anyway.

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Diamond gloss is an exclusive product to the Ziebart Corporation. It is not a wax or silcon polish but a new proprietary technology. It seals the paint finish that it covers. It is warranted against acid rain, uv damage, bird droppings tree sap. It works like nothing I have ever seen. Go to the web site and check is out www.ziebart.com It is not a polymer like so many of the others on the market.... Steve....please do not speak of what you do not know...

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Is Meguiars clay bar basically the same as the Clay Magic bar? Also, I don't see Meguiar's Swirl Mark Remover on their site. They do have something called ScratchX. Same thing basically?

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Diamond gloss is an exclusive product to the Ziebart Corporation.   It is not a wax or silcon polish but a new proprietary technology.  It seals the paint finish that it covers.  It is warranted against acid rain, uv damage, bird droppings tree sap.  It works like nothing I have ever seen.  Go to the web site and check is out   www.ziebart.com     It is not a polymer like so many of the others on the market....   Steve....please do not speak of what you do not know...

I'm not speaking of what I do not know, I've been a hobbyist detailer for a long time. All those snake oil "never have to wax you can burn acid on the paint" deals are just that, snake oils. There are plenty of them out there, they tried to charge me $500 for it when I bought my Lexus. They can't do anything to your car you can't do with a bottle of Klasse and a microfiber towel. Notice they said "Not a wax or silicon polish" Right, my first guess is its a polymer. Like Klasse, Zaino, Blackfire, Poorboys... They're not "a wax or silicon polish" It never says the Diamond Gloss isn't a polymer. You put it on the car, its gone in 9 months tops. There's no way it can guard against swirl marks. Products like Klasse can, only because you build up such a layer of it that it scratches and not the paint.

The key word is "proprietary technology". I did go to the website...

If it works for you, thats great

Whats so different about it?

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Steve,

I pulled the MSDS sheet on the product. The chemical family is Polymetric Resin. You get an easy 12-14 months out of an application. The Ziebart dealer offers an annual renewal for a discounted price. It is the deepest richest shine I have ever seen. Imagine what else you could do with your time if you did'nt have to wax your car on the weekend!

Mark

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Polymetric Resin, polymer? ;)

I'll check it out...

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Okay guys.

I've been in contact with Mark who posted above, he owns a Ziebart franchise. He told me all about the process and the product. I went out and did some research on Diamond Gloss, and I was not at all impressed with what I found. Far more negative experiences then positive ones. I searched some detailing forum archives, found good information from professionals. Many feel that the product is simply a polymer sealant like I'd thought because it can be removed with Isopropyl Alchohol. Many had really bad experiences with some franchise locations damaging cars. Quite distressing indeed. Then there's the issue of price, it costs upwards of $400 for their entire deal, and a good independent detailer will do the exact same thing, and more for $150-$200.

I cannot reccomend Ziebart's system to our members. This is not to say Mark's franchise isn't a quality establishment, I found no info about his particular store that would say that, however on the whole I believe its far overpriced and far overhyped for what it is. If you want the full treatment with a good polymer sealant and you dont want to do it yourself, find a good private detailer. Save some money and be sure you get the job done right.

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If you REALLY want to learn and find what works for you, go to this website for all your detailing questions.

http://autopia.org

You will find answers to mots if not all questions related to detailing and products to use. Go to the top of the page and click on "LEARN".

Also, the website's owner has a wonderful book avalible to view online or download, Autopia Detailing guide.

Since I use a sealant (ZAINO), I had to prep the finish as best as possible as most sealants do not hide swirls. Washed, clayed, wash with Dawn then Z7. Polish the finish. After polishing, remove all oils from polish with Dawn or water/alcohol mix. Dry and apply Zaino Z6, then mixed up ZFX/Z5 and 3 coats were applied. In between coats, I spray Z6 to enhance the gloss. Once done with Z5, I switched to Z2 next day and completed the job.

Zaino produces a very glossy shine, wet looking. It will last for months on end and protects very well.

You can see how well on Autopia.org, member gallery and look for my Red SC430!

Regards,

Deanski

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