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A3 - help with polish / wax please

Ben H Jul 31, 2009

  1. Ben H

    Ben H On a journey...

    I've just acquired a used Sportback with very low miles (9k) from a main Audi dealer. The car is just under 3 years old and while it doesn't seem to have received much body care, it looks to be free of obvious swirl marks and scratches. I used to enjoy car detailing, but I've just done basic washing and waxing in recent years - the A3 is my first used car for some time, which means that most of my cleaning products date from about 2003-4!

    I spent a few hours inspecting and cleaning the car today. The main issues I could see were slight tar build-up around the arches and a generally rough feel to the paint (Garnet Red metallic). The dealer also appears to have prepared the bodywork with a very strong wax - more on that later.

    After a quick wash, I used Autoglym tar remover as required, rinsed, and then hand-applied Meguiars Deep Crystal Step 1 on most of the panels. This got rid of the tar, but didn't leave an especially smooth finish. I've read that I should probably use a clay bar, but I didn't have one to hand! I then proceed to apply Meguiars Deep Crystal Step 2 and finally Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection to most panels.

    The results are ok - but there's definitely still a slight roughness to the panels when felt by hand. However, even in good light, I can't see any obvious contamination, swirling or fine scratches.

    I was just wondering if the dealer's own wax could be a factor here? It looks like it's spotted over some of the window glass and almost feels like a tree sap!
  2. dubplate Dan

    dubplate Dan swirl buster

    you wont be able to see the contamination until you run a claybar over the car, and to sort the roughness out you will need to get the car done with a rotory to get it completely smooth again.
    the dealers own wax your describing is proberly a cheap spray wax(a quick fix to make it look the business for customers not in the know)so it looks good on the forecourt.
    i would suggest getting it fully detailed from scratch for peice of mind.

    ROLTYA3TURBO essex boy :)

    go over the whole car with a clay bar and some clay lube, you'll be surprised at what they remove!
    if the car still feels rough you might have to take it to a pro detailer and see whatthey recommend but try the cheaper clay bar option first :icon_thumright:
  4. slick-A3



    :(i have a black A3 i had a similar problem and i have brought a buffer, but i dont want to use it because there is apparently a special way to use it an i could end up with more swirls, i had not tried a clay bar but im am guna get one this weekend,loads of people recommend different polish and wax but 'ROLTYA3TURBO' is right best to try the cheaper option first what have you got to lose? then go for the pro, i will let you know how i get on with mine.:respekt:
  5. mac1403

    mac1403 Member

    What sort of buffer have you got? If you have random orbital polisher you won't cause any damage with it. If you email Polished Bliss and tell them what colour your car is they will advise you of the best polish/pad combination. I am by no means an experienced detailer but have achieved some excellent results.....just take your time and don't rush.
  6. WX51TXR

    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

    The roughness is almost certainly microscopic fallout, and thus inorganic in nature - see this link for details and some nice SEM images showing what is happening at the paint surface...


    Using a clay bar is the correct way to solve such problems, and if used in the right way, will leave the paint feeling perfectly smooth (this can be achieved without polishing - polishing addresses sub-surface imperfections, not bonded surface contaminants). Here is an overview of clay and the claying process...


    For novice use, a mild clay choice would be best, and the most economical and time proven product we sell in this respect is the Meguiars Quik Clay Kit, details here...


    Claying away a lot of surface roughness requires patience and care, but the results are well worth it. It is unlikely that the dealer wax is the cause of the roughness - even low quality trade waxes tend to leave a smooth finish. Of course, you could test this by using the glue and tar remover, as the solvent will remove all of the wax coating... if the paint still feels rough afterwards, you can be sure that fallout is the problem.


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