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How do I keep the shine intact?

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by Quattravant, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Quattravant
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    Quattravant New Member

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    [Jun 19, 2007]
    I have a 3 month old A6 in phantom black with a pretty good paint finish, except for one or two very faint swirl marks - courtesy of a dealer pre-sale prep wash. I do like to polish/wax my car periodically and although I enjoy it, I wouldn’t say it was my favourite pastime, simply because I have other interests and it takes up a lot of time if done properly. So I’m looking for a compromise somewhere between full-on detailing and a simple ½ hr AG-SRP or turtle wax treatment. Having read through many threads on this forum I have come up with what I think is a sensible compromise as follows:

    Meguiars gold class shampoo
    [+ Clay if necessary every 6 months]
    Deep crystal polish step 2
    Deep crystal carnauba wax step 3
    (All using lambswool/waffle/microfibre/terry etc where appropriate but no power tools).

    I used this treatment at the weekend for the first time (minus the clay as I didn’t think it would be necessary at this stage) and I’m moderately pleased with the results, but I have a few questions:-

    • Is this routine (and these products) appropriate or can anyone suggest a better/easier one?
    • Is this stuff (Megs step 1 & 2) quite hard to polish off by hand? I thought so by comparison to the AG-SRP I’ve used in the past as it seemed greasier (not impossibly so but noticeably)
    • There is still some tree sap (or similar) residue in places - should I have used a clay bar or is it too early in the car’s life for this and should I therefore have just concentrated on a more vigorous approach with the polish stage?
    • Will a weekly shampoo undo all the good work I’ve done, or if not, how often should I repeat the polish/wax routine?

    Thanks in advance.
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  3. icenutter
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    icenutter Member

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    [Jun 19, 2007]
    If you want longevity you can't get much better than Collite 476. It sill beads like a, er beady thing, after 3 months. It looks good over the top of a layer of SRP and Meguiars number 7.

    Some people clay as soon as they get a car to get rid of whatever the factory and dealer put on the paint.

    A wash with a decent car wash won't impact the finish much - it will be one more thing wearing it away though.
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  4. WX51TXR
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    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

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    [Jun 19, 2007]
    Is this routine (and these products) appropriate or can anyone suggest a better/easier one?

    The proposed routine is okay, generally speaking most cars need claying and a light polish every 6-12 months or so, but protection should be added more frequently, say every 2-3 months. Washing is best done every 1-2 weeks using a gentle shampoo that doesn't strip the protective coatings.

    Is this stuff (Megs step 1 & 2) quite hard to polish off by hand? I thought so by comparison to the AG-SRP I’ve used in the past as it seemed greasier (not impossibly so but noticeably)

    The Megs system is okay, but you could do a lot better for not a lot more, and given you already have some defects in the paint, how about this for a routine - clay every 6 months and then glaze with Menzerna Finishing Touch Glaze to hide any minor defects (this product really does hide minor defects very well), then seal with Blackfire All Finish Paint Protection. Therafter, you could either add a fresh coat of the latter product every 6-8 weeks after a careful wash, or switch to Blackfire's Ivory Carnauba Paste Wax applied at the same interval for even more wetness and gloss. The benefits of the Blackfire range are terrific ease of use, and a superior finish to what you are achieving now.

    There is still some tree sap (or similar) residue in places - should I have used a clay bar or is it too early in the car’s life for this and should I therefore have just concentrated on a more vigorous approach with the polish stage?

    Scrubbing harder when polishing is not the best way to go to remove bonded surface contaminants, and can actually do more harm than good. It is quite usual for brand new cars to need claying, so it's certainly not to early to do this, and claying is by far the best way to remove tree sap deposits safely and effectively.

    Will a weekly shampoo undo all the good work I’ve done, or if not, how often should I repeat the polish/wax routine?

    As long as you use a gentle shampoo (for example, any of those in our store are fine) then weekly washing is recommended, and won't strip the level of protection on the car. Remember: a weekly wash, bi-monthly top up of the protection, six monthly clay and polish is a good routine that will enable you to stay on top of the finish on the car without putting in too many hours.

    :)
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  5. Quattravant
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    Quattravant New Member

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    [Jun 20, 2007]
    That's a really useful reply - thanks. I'll try your recommendation.

    One other thing - should I use the same treatment/products on my wife's A3 (9 month's old, brilliant red non-metallic) ?
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  6. Quattravant
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    Quattravant New Member

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    [Jun 21, 2007]
    Any thoughts on this last question?
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  7. WX51TXR
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    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

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    [Jun 21, 2007]
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