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Professional machine polishing?

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by Palgrave, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. Palgrave
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    Palgrave New Member

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    [Sep 4, 2013]
    Hi,

    My Audi TT is black and although I have worked hard on polishing it (including claying - what a great product!!!), but there are still some surface scratches and swirls that I haven't managed to remove, and I am worried about removing the top laquer if I cut too much. I have been told that they should probably machine polish out without damage.

    My question is really how much should I expect to pay for a machine polish to get it close to the original factory finish, and is there ever the risk of going through the laquer? Any recommendations in the Warrington or Manchester area would be welcome.

    Sorry - these are complete newcomer's questions, but advice would be appreciated. If I got it done, I would aim to stay on top of the finish with regular polishing and waxing.

    Thank you :)
    #1
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  3. dualmono21
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    dualmono21 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 4, 2013]
    anyone doing this professionally should have a paint gauge , and by using it properly they should be able to determine if any panels are going to be susceptible to rub through and advise accordingly

    price really does depend on what they are actually doing
    #2
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  4. Palgrave
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    Palgrave New Member

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    [Sep 4, 2013]
    Thanks, that's useful to know. I guess I was just looking for an indication of what I might need to pay - the car has been clayed and polished, so it would be more a case of polishing out swirls and light superficial marks. Some panels are fine, but the bonnet is the worst bit.
    #3
  5. Walts2782
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    Walts2782 Member

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    [Sep 4, 2013]
    #4
  6. Palgrave
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    Palgrave New Member

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    [Sep 4, 2013]
    That looks pretty awesome ... bet it costs a bit, and that was without the machine polish! Just shows what can be done though :)
    #5
  7. Walts2782
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    Walts2782 Member

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    [Sep 4, 2013]
    Yeah, think I have a little OCD when it comes to my car.
    Once I get a few bits sorted mines going here:
    http://m.autoshinespecialistvaletin...w.autoshinespecialistvaleting.co.uk/index.htm

    Tony knows his stuff and if your on Facebook take a look at some of his recent cars done, they are something else. Heard a lot about n8s work also it's just I'm all the way over in humberside on the east coast.

    good luck getting sorted
    #6
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  8. Palgrave
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    Palgrave New Member

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    [Sep 4, 2013]
    Thank you ... absoutely nothing wrong with being a bit of a perfectionist and having an eye for detail. Remember, it's only OCD if you can't control it and it serves no real purpose. I suppose in car terms that would only really mean polishing an already clean and polished car ;) Hmm, might be a few people like that, but if it makes you happy then who cares!!!

    I love focusing in on things and getting them just right, and my car is one way of satisfying that need!!! - my husband just doesn't get it (yes, I'm a girl), but he does let me clean his car for him :yahoo:

    PS Autoshine looks amazing and one of their trainees isn't far from me ... might give him a call about the paint correction side of things!
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
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  9. russwuss
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    russwuss Active Member

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    It's nice to see a girl/woman taking an interest in detailing! My ex girlfriend would clean the windows on the car (because I always made a mess of it apparently....) and that's it!

    I'd recommend having a look at the detailing world forum, there's loads of places on there - with pictures of work they've done previously - warning though... It can become obsessive. I've probably got £300 worth of cleaning products in the shed (including a machine polisher) if you feel confident enough I'd give it a go yourself.

    I went for the DA Polisher and Menzerna polishes from Car Care Products | Detailing Products | UK - Clean Your Car - I think was about £130 and honestly the results were outstanding - be prepared to lose 2 days the first time it's done... But it's defiantly worth it.

    [​IMG]
    Untitled by russwuss, on Flickr

    ^ that's a pic of the first time I washed, clayed, washed, machine polished (cut then refine) and finally waxed. Wasn't a swirl in sight :)

    You can also be lazy.. And buy Poorboys BlackHole, which contains fillers to hide imperfections in the paintwork them wax over the top, but it will only hide them for 1 - 2 months max depending on the weather :) can be applied by hand though...
    #8
  10. Palgrave
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    Palgrave New Member

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    Thanks, russwuss, that's great info and advice! Your car looks amazing!

    Cars for my husband are just workhorses to get from A to B. Fortunately or unfortunately, I grew up with a rather obsessive dad in terms of cars, so both my brother and I are quite enthusiastic about cars (although brother likes someone else to clean them!).

    Unfortunately I can't get my car in the garage as it's too wide, so it has to sit outside. But the beading after the last time I clayed and polished it was pretty impressive! I think I could cope with all the panels except the bonnet in terms of cutting and polishing. I'm not sure I've the confidence yet to use a machine though, as I've heard you can 'burn' the paint if you do it wrong. The bonnet is the worst in terms of swirls, light scratches and stone chips (too much time spent on the motorway, so maybe I could get a pro to do just that for starters. I can't really afford\justify the £100s that it would probably cost, even though the finished product is amazing.

    I like the idea of the Porboys Blackhole ... will also look at the Detailing Forum :)
    #9
  11. Giosabcsl
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    Giosabcsl Active Member

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    Hi Palgrave,

    Nice to see the opposite sex appreciating there car. :happy:

    Just to start off commenting and pointing you in the right direction. Lets start with clay: Generally when one clays depending on the clay that is used one can inflict what they call marring especially on a black car, thou in some cases can be removed by hand but the prefered option is to use a Machine Polisher. Which I am surprised there is no mention of that yet.

    With regards to using a machine polisher now I was in the same boat as you before I got into detailing and also had the fear of using it. If you are using a dual action polisher its almost stupid proof to say the least, it is almost impossible to burn through the paint. As it is designed for beginners and the head of the machine stops spinning and will just vibrate which in essence stops from any damage being caused from pressing too hard or going at a too sharp angle etc. The machine you probably reading about is a rotory which now is literally like a scalpel it will cut through quite easily but in the right hands can produce an amazing finish. The main difference between a rotary and a dual action is that the rotary can do the same job as the dual action but just gets it done a lot quicker. But for a weekend warrior like your self a dual action is perfectly suited as it will take time and Audi paint is generally very hard/thick paint so you dont have anything really to worry about. It will take longer to correct the paint but will produce some stunning results. Even thou the initial outlay cost will expensive to buy the machine pads products. It will cost easily over £300 to get your car done professionally. So for the sake of someone else doing it you could do it in stages as a dual action does tend to get very heavy after time.

    With poorboys blackhol the only downside is you are hidding the imperfections rather than correcting them. So as stated above the car will look good especially on a black car but after a few washes it will look like normal again. If this is something you prefer then fair enough. But honestly once your car has been corrected its easier to stay on top of it rather than trying to hide everything.

    Thats my input really.
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  12. Palgrave
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    Palgrave New Member

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    Excellent advice again - thanks Giosabcsl, and especially regarding the difference between the rotary and the dual action. This definitely gives me more confidence, and as you say, I could learn to do it myself rather than pay someone hundreds to do it (and which I really can't afford/justify).

    I will try and take a photo of the bonnet this evening, so see if I can highlight the sort of superficial scratch I'm talking about. I am embarrassed to say that I did this stupidly with a rag that wasn't clean ... what an idiot! It was only a light wipe a while back but it left quite a mark that a bit of tentative T-cutting did not eliminate, hence my worries about cutting through too much of the paint.

    BTW, it's good to see a more positive attitude to the girls enjoying their cars here and a bit less of the 'girls can't drive/are more interested in make-up and handbags' banter that you see a lot of on other sites. I know plenty of guys who are terrible drivers and don't care about their cars, but I never assume everyone's like that :rockwoot:
    #11
  13. Giosabcsl
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    Giosabcsl Active Member

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    The general rule of thumb is if you can feel it with your nail or finger. Then it cant be removed as machine polishing you essentially removing paint you cant correct paint that is not there, you can hide it so its not as noticeble but it still wont correct it. Unless you go into the likes of touching up then wet sanding then machine polishing which is a whole different ball game.

    For me regardless of a guy or girl if they share the same passion or feeling towards there car and rather than seeing it just as a means from A to B then they will always have my respect.

    Where about are you based?
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  14. Palgrave
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    Palgrave New Member

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    Thanks - I'm near Manchester, so plenty of potential choice for excellent detailers, but like you say, they are expensive. Any recommendations on a DA polisher?
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  15. russwuss
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    russwuss Active Member

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    Thanks for the nice comment on the car!

    No problem on the advice, it's nice to be able to give advice... Normally come on here to find out how to fix something that's broke.. So it's great it's the other way around for once!

    http://www.cleanyourcar.co.uk/polis...ion-polisher-menzerna-intro-kit/prod_721.html

    ^ that's the kit I have, as stated above Audi paint is known as hard paint - virtually indestructible.

    Kit comes with 3 pads - basically a cutting pad, polishing pad and buffing pad. The Final Finish polish included in the set would be great as a 2nd polish... However depending on the swirl marks on the car at the moment you may need a stronger cutting polish than Intensive Finish. For mine the paintwork was awful, so dull, swirls everywhere from local car wash places so I went for Fast Gloss - which really did cut the paint work back removing imperfections, using Final Finish afterward provided the gloss finish that was needed to make the car all shiny again.

    As said.. You could always buy the polish separate and try it by hand - polishes are less than £10 each, then a microfibres applicator is less than £5 then microfibre cloth to remove..It won't be as good as machine but certainly would make the car look better and defiantly cheaper :)
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  16. Palgrave
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    Palgrave New Member

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    Thanks again for the advice ... fortunately for my bank balance, the polisher is currently out of stock, but I have been put on the list to be notified for when it comes in. I might treat myself in the future.

    In the meantime, I have ordered some Poorboys Blackhole and also picked up some Meguiar's cutting compound and I will have a little try at manually removing the surface scratches on the bonnet. I have to admit that I was trying with some aged T-Cut before and found it scarily abrasive. I am patient though and will persevere carefully. I was going to take some pics of the surface scratches this evening but it started raining and now it's gone dark.

    However, my husband wants me to do his car sometime soon (which is in a bit of a sorry state), so maybe I'll do some before and after pics :)
    #15
  17. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    DA is a good bit of kit and is easy to use on Audi paint, you won't do any harm. I have a DAS6, it's good value and works well. I got a couple of more serious scratches out with Meguiars #105 polish and a Hexlogic Orange pad but that's quite a severe combo. That said it was still hard work on Audi paint!

    In terms of pro detailers prices rarely seem to be mentioned. My local detailer is Nick@Detail My Car who does list a price range albeit no use for Manchester. This is not an advert, I'm just trying to give a view of prices which few other detailers seem to list on their websites: DMC Services & Prices
    #16
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  18. Palgrave
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    Palgrave New Member

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    Thanks! £200-£300 seems to be the minimum from what I've been able to find out locally (there are lots of high spec cars round here), with much higher prices for the full service. I can't knock it, as there are serious hours involved and I appreciate it can't be rushed, but that will have to be for a day when I've had a serious pay rise! All credit to those who do it though, as it must be hard (if satisfying) work.

    The DAS6 looks very good, and I am reassured that it is difficult to actually do any harm, especially with Audi paint.
    #17
  19. coxy8329
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    coxy8329 Member

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    #18
  20. Palgrave
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    Palgrave New Member

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    [Sep 5, 2013]
    This looks seriously good! Thank you ...

    Thank goodness also that the polisher is out of stock but I appreciate the code ... definitely very tempted now :)

    Rain forecast for tomorrow, so it'll have to be an interior clean after work in the morning! I have some leather care waiting to go!!!
    #19
  21. audiholic ste
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    audiholic ste Member

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  22. Palgrave
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    Palgrave New Member

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    [Sep 17, 2013]
    That's looking very nice indeedy - did you do it yourself or was this a professional job?

    I used to have an A3 in silver and I didn't give it the care it deserved. Black really looks the best when fully buffed though (my TT is in black), and I am totally committed to looking after it - got the DA pro, now just waiting for some good weather!!!
    #21
  23. leegsi
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    leegsi Active Member

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    [Sep 17, 2013]
    Had a play with my Das6-Pro polisher on our new Audi (Still learning with it) but anything is better than what it was

    [​IMG]
    #22
  24. audiholic ste
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    audiholic ste Member

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    [Sep 17, 2013]
    Had it done by the detailer in the link above the photo . Two lads spent the whole day on the car . It was her pamper day:yes:
    #23
  25. Palgrave
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    Palgrave New Member

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    [Sep 18, 2013]
    Definitely makes a difference! I have now got the same polisher and am learning panel by panel! What I am also learning is just how hard Audi paint is ... I've read about it and I can say it must be true. I have some swirls that are proving very stubbourn, so I'm going to keep reading up and asking questions. The thing is, I want it to be perfect, and it will never be because of some deeper marks and the motorway rash (of stone chips).

    Audiholic ste, your car looks great, and as it is also a black Audi like mine, I'm guessing there was some serioualy hard work going on!

    I have Saturday to really have a go at this ...
    #24
  26. RobbieWebs
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    RobbieWebs Active Member

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    [Sep 18, 2013]
    Doesn't matter how much u want perfection stone chips will always show again after a few washes .
    Only way is a spray if ur THAT ocd.
    I don't mind the masking every month but il get fed up soon ....
    #25
  27. audiholic ste
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    audiholic ste Member

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  28. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 20, 2013]
    #27
  29. puddy
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    puddy New Member

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    [Oct 7, 2013]
    My Q3 is the first Audi I have had

    My partner cleans my cars for due to me being disabled. I pay her the rate that I would a car valet about £50 unless she wax's it.

    We always put Autoglym Lifeshine on as soon as we get the cars home. We do it ourselves that way we know the full treatment as been done. We get a new car every 3 years and when the old car goes back the dealers always comments on how well we look after our cars.

    Like most men I am car mad I like 4wd diesel cars my last car history over 15 year are listed below

    Kia Sportage
    Mitsubishi Shogun Sport 2.5td
    Mitsubishi Outlander 2.0tdi (VW Engine)
    Kia Sorento KX-2 2.2tdi

    When we moved to our new house (11 years ago) my neighbours said our garages were so small these days they couldn't park a small car in. I opened my garage door to show them I had got my Shogun Sport in!

    Hopefully when I go away my partner will be able to get my Q3 in the garage now she never done it for me before
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
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  30. mancdan
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    mancdan Member

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    [Oct 10, 2013]
    Just had a 2 stage machine polish on my dark blue A4 at finerdetails in Oldham, Manchester. Price was £300 due to the time required.
    See my thread here.
    #29

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