Regular Member
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by HRP

  1. You've received excellent advice here. The most important is that 90+% of the final appearance is the prep you do before applying the protectant (wax, sealant, etc). Each of us has our own favourite line of products. And those of us who share the trials and tribulations of owning and keeping up a black car sympathize with you. As a confirmed Zaino Zealot, I'd suggest a visit to Since you park out doors, Zaino is generally conceded to provide the most durable protection via their Z-2 PRO with ZFX. (also check out the detailing forums on; many of the contributors are professional detail folks and many of the tips there are priceless. They also have product reviews and ratings which can help you to match your needs.) Final comments: each geographical area seems to have its own unique detailing needs. See what the other detailers (professional and fanatic) in San Diego recommend. And stay away from those "car wash" places. If you watch, you'll find that they use the same towels, sponges, etc on the whole car with infrequent changes. That causes swirls, scratches, and blemishes which are magnified on a black surface.
  2. Check out Sal just came out with Z-PC Fusion Dual Action Paint Cleaner Swirl Remover He also introduced Z-2 PRO (sealant) right before Christmas and Z-8, Grande Finale Spray Seal within the past 2 or 3 months. I suspect Z-8 is possibly what you are seeking.
  3. While everyone's sense of smell differs, many like the new car leather scent of Zaino's "Leather In A bottle". I've been accused of having a new car by friends after using it to treat my interior leather. I have also seen rare posts from people who dislike the scent.
  4. Please remember, Zaino is a sealant, not a wax. It affords a great deal more and longer protection, but on a really clean surface (and preparation is at least 90% of the end result), the initial result from a one step will be a very similar appearance, particularly on a lighter colored car. But the protection will not last nearly as long. I use Z 2 and quick detail frequently with Z 6 (until my current supply runs out and I get the new Z 2 PRO and Z 8) . My Silver LS430 looks great, but my red Reatta and Black Excalibur look outstanding after being Zaino'd. And you shouldn't have to Dawn and clay more than once or twice a year max if the car receives reasonable cleaning and care and/or is garaged.
  5. Recently had my '02 LS430 in for the 40k servicing. I reported some excessive brake noise had developed which in other cars I've owned was a shim lubrication fix. When I picked up the car, the dealership had replaced both front rotors, pads (in other words a complete front end brake job) under warranty. I was in a hurry, but could never find out exactly what the problem was. Is there a service bulletin I've missed, or is anyone aware of front brake problems on a 2002 LS430? I haven't heard of any or seen any similar posts on this or other websites.or on service advisiories.
  6. Suggest using Zaino's leather products. Z 9 is a great cleaner and Z 10 (leather in a bottle) gives a great matted durable protective finish, and your car will smell like leather also.
  7. Excellent Chioce. Have run Michelin Pilot Sport A/S on our last 2 cars. Currently have 40+k on the set on our 02 LS430. And have Michelin tires on our other cars. Plan to keep within the Michelin family when time comes for replacements. BTW, paid $600 for the Pilot Sports. Have a local dealer who will match the best price on the net (mounted, new valve stems, & balanced) which happend to be The Tire Rack (.com).
  8. My 2002 LS430 came with 16" rims. We insisted on Michelin Pilot Sport A/W tires to which the Lexus dealer agreed, "you buy 'em and we'll pay for them", and I got to keep the original Yokohomas (Tire Rack price of around 150 each was matched by a local tire dealer including installation, stems, balancing) The A/W's have a little more road noise than the Yokohammas, but have a wear rating of 400 compared with the 100 for the Yokohammas. Currently with 35k on the tires, there's lots of tread left. We have run Michelins trouble free for years on all our cars since having quality problems with other "premium" brands.
  9. Are you doing anything now to treat your seats? There are several cleaners and treatments available. Check out this link for a discussion. I prefer Leather in a Bottle by Zaino which is mentioned prominently in the above thread.
  10. Howdy Chris, While I agree with most of what has been said, especially that the prep is 90+% of the appearance, I'm probably a heretic on the Lexus board. But one of the best lines of car care products not mentioned here is (located in New Jersey). They have just come out with a Z-2 PRO which is supposed to be nothing short of incredible. I am a Lexus, Excalibur, Reatta, and VW owner and a "Zaino Zealot" as well as a discussion member on and the Buick Reatta board. Please check out the discussions of sealants on autopia as well as Zaino is generally conceded to be the most durable of all the car protectants/sealants/waxes by most of us obcessive compulsive detailers including the Klasse advocates (on most car discussion boards). "Google it" and see. Waxes generally last only a short time (few days to weeks, depending on the temperature and polutants in the air and rain). Sealants last months; the new Z-2 PRO is touted as lasting at least 6 mos. I've had great luck with the "old" Z-2 and Z-5 and have been using them for 5 years, and they last 6+ mos on my cars. My Z-2 PRO is on order and I hope to use it within the next couple of weeks. Again, check out the autopia discussions and reviews, especially regarding the Zaino line of car care products. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Me, I'm a 64 year old retired physician here in North Carolina who likes to hear people ask me how I like my "new" car (after I've detailed it), even if it is my 14 year old Reatta Convertible or my 28 year old Excalibur Roadster. The 2002 LS430 always looks new, too. Happy Detailing, HRP
  11. Sttrongly suggest that you ask the expeerts on Get their opinion(s). Also read the Learn box at the top of the page. They have a lot of good solid info on your 1st detail.
  12. Believe it or not, all motor oils must be compatable and interchangable. This is because the government buys oils at bids. And so other than the different weights, any oil must be able to go into any government vehicle and mix with or replace what has been used. So yes, you can "go back".
  13. Drive them both and decide which one you like the best. This is the time of year when car lots are full and it is a buyer's market. The Caddy dealer will probably sell you a "protection plan"; but I'll bet you can cut the price on either if you're not in a mad rush to buy. I'd check for their pricing also. Yourmuse of the car is also important: highway, around town, sell it or trade it when it gets 60k, or keep it til it dies. All these, plus other personal preferences figure in. good luck
  14. Here in piedmont North Carolina, salt is a very minor issue, but while living in Syracuse, N.Y for 15 months while doing my internship, I found that using a hose type sprinkler frequently helped with the salt problem. Of course, you had to use it only on the least cold days, and draining it and putting it up after driving back and forth over it half a dozen time was a nuisance.
  15. While I'll pit Zaino against any other sealant or wax out there for both appearance and durability, I still suggest you research and/or even ask your question on the interact discussion boards of a professional detailing site. You obviously plan on spending hours and lots of effort in your detail. This degree of investment deserves research easily obtained sitting at your computer. The climate in Jacksonville, Florida, as well as the lovebugs and other problems unique to that area may require different product applications which are more familiar to detailers (novice, amateur, and professional) actually in the area. Each geographical area is different, but product failures seem to be more commonly reported from Florida. It would really be a shame and very discouraging to do the proper intensive preparation and then top it with less than the best sealant/wax for your "neck of the woods". I suggest that you post your question on (a site devoted primarily to automobile detailing for both the information and opinions). Time investment for that posting, essentially ziltch; potential for useful information, great. If you do, please share and let all of us know your decision and the results. My suggesting Autopia is not meant to disparage this board, but to obtain confirmation that what you are finding here is the straight skinny since Autopia is almost strictly aimed at detailing while this site is primarily for Lexus owners and covers a very wide range of topics. BTW, I traveled to Florida (Orlando) last May and prior to the trip did use Zaino Z-2 plus ZFX and topped it with carnuba on my silver 02 LS430. Having lived in Orange Park for a year while in the Navy, I wanted all the protection possible from those *&^%$#$%^&* lovebugs.
  16. To offer a respectful dissenting view from SWO3ES' above, if the surface is properly prepped, there should be no swirls. And if you have a garaged show car, I'd definitely carnuba over a sealant. Remember, each of us has our preferences and favorites. The important thing is for you to achieve the look you like and make your own judgements. SWO3ES and I, along with plenty of others, will try to present you with useful information, hopefully backed up with appropriate and accurate references to support our views. Plus, I'll bet you can find someone on one of these discussion groups who lives very near you and would be glad to supply you with enough product to do your car. BTW, Eckler's Corvette in Titusville, Fla. (just outside of Orlando) stocks Zaino products. If you choose Zaino, be sure to get the new Z-2 PRO. Re: appearance & durability of waxes and sealants, suggest you check this link: even though the author is a Klasse advocate. But this article was written before the new Z-2 PRO was introduced. Here is the current Klasse vs Zaino thread (from today): Happy detailing!!
  17. I'm a Zaino Zealot. Suggest the new Z-2 PRO plus ZFX on a well prepped surface. The new Z-2 Pro is supposed to give at least 6 mos of protection; most waxes last only a few weeks. You can top Zaino (or Klasse) with Carnuba, which adds depth, especially to darker colors. Check out and hit interact for what the obcessive compulsive detailers use as well as their opinions on any of these products. There always seems to be a running debate between Zaino and Klasse advocates on that website.
  18. In the meantime, Honda and Chrysler present variable cylinder shutdown as a way to save gas. The savings? A couple of MPG. Chrysler will also introduce a 425 HP version of the 300. Yep, just what the public needs - more power (in a sedan) at the expense of fuel economy. They just don't get it, do they? ← Didn't GM try that in the Cadillac as a V-4-6-8 sometime back and it flopped?
  19. Without being smart about an example, why not heilium & such? ← Helium is a much smaller atom and much lighter than nitrogen. It will also diffuse faster becasue of it's lighter weight (atom size). This would lead to more rapid tire pressure loss; also helium isn't as inexpensive as nitrogen or compressed air... And, if you've ever breathed in helium, when you speak, your voice sounds like a cartoon character. Maybe your horn would sound weird also. (Ha Ha)
  20. We've always been partial to Michelin and have been stuck with other brands far too often, always with a bad experience. We insisted on Michelin A/S Pilot Sport tires for our new 2002 LS430. They do increase the road noise, but handle great and have nearly 35k on them with at least another 5 - 10 k left. The tires are rotated & balanced every 5k and the car is aligned every 5k also. I also run Michelin A/S Pilot Sports on my 91 Buick Reatta and Michelin MXV's on my 77 Excalibur. You might consider the new Michelin Hydro-edge, I will when I need new tires again. BTW, I was able to find a local Michelin distributor who would match the best price I could get on-line, mounted and balanced.
  21. I flush my brakes annually. The easiest (one person) way is to start by opening the bleeder furthest from the master cylinder; add fluid until what is coming out is clear and has no bubbles; repeat for the other 3 wheels. This takes longer than with the "special" kits, but works just as well.You can put a piece of plastic hose over the bleeder and let it drain into a bottle. Just don't touch the brake pedal while any bleeder is open. If water accumulates in your system, it can rust the master and slave cylinders. Do not use DOT 5; it doesn't absorb water.
  22. Remember air is about 78% Nitrogen anyway. And nitrogen is very slightly "lighter" than oxygen (atomic weight of 2 Nitrogen atoms is 28; it's 32 for 2 Oxygen atoms; both come as a 2 atom package Oxygen makes up about 21% of air (water vapour, Carbon Dioxide, rare gasses, etc make up the rest). And the lighter gas will diffuse slightly more rapidly out of your tires (most tires average a pound or so of pressure/mo). Unless you are driving under really, really weird conditions, stick with compressed air. I betcha it's a gimmick to keep you coming back to Costco; rotation may be free, but not balancing and alignment. Besides, Costco may not be that convenient to add air. You should check your pressure with the tires "cold", which means at least 3 hours or more after parking it in the shade. And yes, you can check the pressure with a regular gauge. Now wasn't that more than you really wanted to know?
  23. Many of these dealers also offer to sell you a warranty on the car. See if one is available, then read the fine print! Maybe he'll throw that into a negotiated deal.
  24. The decision to repair or replace should be based on how much you are willing to spend and how much of the installation you are able to do yourself. If you get the unit repaired, you'll have a working 13 year old radio/tape/cd changer. What's that worth to you? I'd opt for a new cd/mp3 receiver. Prices literally run from around 100 bucks and up. Check for an idea of what is available and difficulties in fit and wiring. I'm in the process of trying to choose one for my 91 Buick Reatta which takes a DIN and a half size (or some sort of adapter kit) as my radio, cd player, and tape player are all not working. And there weren't that many Reattas made. There are shops (check on-line) that rebuild and/or swap out these units.