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Thread: First Time Swirl Removal

  1. #1
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    First Time Swirl Removal

    Hi guys

    after some advice on removing swirl marks from my brilliant red a3 , ive always washed my cars using proper methods by hand and have recently purchased a red a3 with the worst possible swirl marks . Ive given the car a couple of going overs since i got it and although it looks lovely and shiny once clean as soon as the sunlight hits it the horrors are revealed.

    ive never machine polished a car before and the more i read up on it the more i get bewildered !! the options are amazing and choosing the right method is a science i cant quite understand so hopefully someone will be able to offer some advice on how they would do it.

    firstly i was going to buy/borrow a da polishing machine ,i have all the shampoos, clays ,waxes etc but nothing for machining/swirl removal

    so basically need to know which products to buy and use that are 'noob' friendly and will get results . including what compound with which pad and which step etc

    im not sure how many steps are necessary but ideally i dont want to spend a small fortune as i only plan on doing this the once but i cant stand the swirls and need them gone

    any advice is most welcome

    cheers
    chris

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  3. #2
    scotty76's Avatar
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    I reckon Meguiars #105 and #205 with Chemical Guys Hexlogic white and orange pads will be effective and not too expensive. You are right there are so many choices but this, I reckon, will work for you. The Megs polishes can be made to have more bite by applying more pressure. Have a read of cloughy's thread where he just used these:

    My A3 Detail - Light Silver Met

  4. #3
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    appreciate the reply mate thanks ,ill have a read through that thread but from what you told me the meguiars stuff does seem a good place to start

  5. #4
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    All this stuff on depending, depends! SO it depends how severe the swirls are... visible in the sun light only or even in low light conditions?

    There are a number of things you could try:

    1. Meguiars Compound (harder to work with hand) and then polish and wax of choice on top of this.
    2. Meguiars Scratch X and then polish and wax.
    3. Poor Boys Black Hole Show Glaze and then use Dodo Juice Blue Velvet Pro (this is my preferred first step)

    The megs products are mostly available off the shelf in hellfrauds where as PB you may have to order...

    Since you have not used a machine polisher before... I would not recommend using one straight away on your pride and joy. I picked up a scrap bonnet for 99p off e-bay and practiced on that first... there are loads of good videos on youtube for polishing technique... the main errors first timers make are: burning the paint by keeping polisher in one place, polishing all over the place (uneven finish), using too much product, too little product, the wrong speed setting on the polisher, using a polisher on an unclean surface (not prepared well) and using the wrong type of application pad. So keep that in mind and I hope it helps.

    If the above advice fails then its time to bust out the Menzerna products (the serious stuff) and orange lake country cutting pads with a DA polisher. I would try the PB glaze first (it fills and masks swirls) but if they are still noticeable after PB and Dodo Juice then it needs compound and polish. Having failed compound then it needs a bit more cutting and there are some really good threads on here you can search for more advice.

  6. #5
    willowsdad's Avatar
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    Definitely get yourself a DA polisher and a few pads and polishes. I've had mine with the 3m combo from juicy for a while now and it's awesome. It takes a fair bit of practise to get the right finish, mainly cos of the rock hard paint, but it's well worth it. I've also got an extra pad that I use for sealing and it just make for an excellent finish. You can't really go wrong with a DA, so just look around and read some threads and reviews and decide what's right for you.

    A3 3.2 Quattro Sport

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    thanks again for the replies ,some very useful info must admit im a bit worried about using a da for the first time as i dont want to end up ruining anything ! i like the idea about practicing on a scrap piece first . i do think the swirls are bad but not un-recoverable just maybe not by hand? ,they just show up alot worse once its been cleaned and when its sunny they look awful. Will definitely try some of the non machine methods 1st and see if they help ,just requires too much elbow grease for my liking lol

  8. #7
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    You'd be hard pushed to ruin Audi paint with a DA. I was worried at first, and tried it out on my works transit. The paint was like butter compared to the A3 and I still didn't damage anything. Maybe instead of correcting the swirls, you could get a good glaze with fillers and then put a nice coat of wax over it. You'll still get a nice finish and the wax will help to keep it that way for a while.

    A3 3.2 Quattro Sport

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    agreed not to be worried about a da.Ive just finished using mine for the first time, and ended up going straight to the green pad with fast cut, and even that took some effort! Scratches gone thankfully.paint looks stunning and i havent even put the sealant and wax on yet.
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    thats good then mate ,i can imagine its satisfying to finally get rid of the swirls ! found a nice guide with some good pointers aswell . just need to get my hands on a da and im good to go .

    Polishing How To with Meguiar’s M105 / M205 – Detailed Image

  11. #10
    _G_
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    pb glaze is really easy to work with its childs-play... wipe on and wipe off.. i glazed the entire car in under 20 minutes... and i didnt miss a spot and it leaves no residue... the dodo juice wax is fairly easy too.. let us know how it goes... may be upload some before and after pics?

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    will do mate ,need the sun to come out for the before shots :D

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    I agree using a DA on Audi paint unless you really have no common sense you cannot cause any damage.

    By hand your going to be very hard pushed to correct, in fact using Poor Boys black hole will simply fill the swirls to make them and then protect with your chosen wax or sealant. After a few maintenance washes the fillers will be removed and you will need to repeat the process.

    I also doubt that this will be something you will only do once, therefor although you might consider the DA an expensive piece of equipment over a long period of time it's well worth it and as has been mentioned as well as using it for correction you can use it to apply glazes, liquid waxes and sealants which can offer again much better application than by hand.

    A good all in one product that we have just had in is Car Pro Fixer. You only need a very small amount and it can be used initially for the cutting stage and then again for the refining stage.

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    thanks for your reply jen , just having a look on your website and think im going to order the kestrel DAS6 ,seems a good price and hopefully just what i need to get started .is there discount for forum members ?

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    Look on the juicy forum page mate. Jens doing an asn only deal where the das6 is only £75, but you have to order over the phone.

    A3 3.2 Quattro Sport

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    nice one mate will have a look now

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    Quote Originally Posted by shady_character19 View Post
    firstly i was going to buy/borrow a da polishing machine
    DA are the best for beginners, as for polish, I would go for something very light cutting like Meguiars machine glaze 3 if you're just starting out. The paint on Audis is quite thick compared to Jap crap and some others so you should be fine

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    Dont be scared of using a DA on your audi, like its been said already the paintwork is rock hard on audi's. Only downside is your gonna have to work a little harder to get them swirls out. I thought i'd do a little test on my bonnet with my machine polisher just to see what i was up against with the paint work on the audi. I've only had my A3 for about 6 weeks and the paintwork has been bugging the hell out of me as it's got the worst swirling i've ever seen, it's an 04 plate and has probably never seen a DA in it's life. Another month and i'll be do a full correction on her.

    Anyway, here's a little 50/50 shot of the bonnet, i'm very happy with the results and now i'm looking forward to getting cracking on the whole car.





    _G_ and shady_character19 like this.

  19. #18
    _G_
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    great work so what product did you use there in your 50/50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pot_Noodles View Post
    great work so what product did you use there in your 50/50
    3M fast cut plus, with megs red cutting pad

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    that came up great mate ! got my da now just waiting on some products now and nice weather

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    right ,thought id come back for a bit more advice as i dont seem to be achieving good results

    i got a da which ive tried using firstly with a hex logic blue pad and poorboys ssr 2.5 but that didnt seem to remove any swirls .

    next i moved onto a hexlogic orange pad along with meguirs #105 but much to my disgust this combo didnt work either ??

    thought it may be down to technique , but ive watched numerous videos on youtube and read info from various sites to get an idea of what to do and how to do it correctly.

    i do several passes on each section with varying pressure eventually using less pressure and lower speed but my efforts seem fruitless so far

    i know im only using a da but dont have the confidence to use a rotary machine .

    so can anyone suggest my next move ? maybe a yellow pad or a different polish maybe ?

    any advice would be great cheers

  23. #22
    willowsdad's Avatar
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    I used a 3m fast cut plus and green pad combo. Started off at speed 2 and worked the polish around for 3 or 4 passes to break it down until its almost clear. Then up the speed to 6, for several more passes. Then buff off and repeat if necessary. Once you've finished a panel ipa wipe over and check its clear enough for you. I needed a few goes until I was comfortable that it was working, and it's certainly not a fast process. And once you've used the heavy combo you'll need to refine the finish with a finer polish and pad to get perfect results.

    A3 3.2 Quattro Sport

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    thanks mate guess ill be trying that next then really thought the meguirs would work a treat but the paint really is rock hard . saw the results with the 3m stuff above and came out great

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    I see looking back on this thread that it was me that suggested the Megs combo. I have to hold my hand up and say that I am struggling to get the results I wanted out of this lot so I feel your pain! I tried Hex Logic Orange + 105 and still there are scratches and minor swirls. I just don't seem to have managed to get as much progress as cloughy did. I cannot believe how hard the Audi paint is given the cut level on the bottle of Megs #105! I did get some scratches out with the orange pad and 205 which is why I assumed the 105 would sort the rest out. I can only apologise, I believed this would work.

    My next move rather than buy yet more polishes and pads is going to be to get my local detailer (Detail My Car) to sort the swirls out and I will then use the DA for once/twice a year maintenance work.

    What's frustrating is I only have minor swirls, nothing serious to sort out. Ho Hum. Good luck with the 3M and let us know how it goes? It would be great to hear how it turns out one way or another so we can all learn.

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    no worries mate its all trial and error i guess i just didnt want to spend a fortune on bits and bobs when i could have gotten it done professionally somewhere . i am determined to do it though so will try the 3m stuff at some point and see how that goes .car did look nice and reflective after the polish but as soon as the sun hits the swirls come back

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    Yeah the Megs polishes do give a really shiny finish. It always cheers me up even if the swirls aren't gone.

  28. #27
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    The Hex Logic blue pad is for applying glazes/sealant not to be used with polishes, so thats why that combination wouldn't of worked.

    Definitely use either the green (light cut) or orange (medium cut) hex logic pads

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