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Scratched Front & Rear Windows - From Claying?

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by Jameze, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    I'd never used a clay bar before, in fact, I had no idea what it was until I started looking at ways to look after my car (the irony).

    I used one last time I washed my car. I read up as best I could on how to properly use one, watched numerous YouTube videos etc to ensure I didn't do more harm than good (everyone said to "Use loads of lubricant to avoid marring!!" - I didn't fully understand what marring was but I did know that I didn't want it!). Fortunately I didn't have the time to do the whole car so the only areas I did were the front and rear windows (in the hope to remove the film of dirt that normal washing doesn't shift).

    Anyway... I thought all was well until two things:

    1. I drove into the sun a few days later and noticed my windscreen was riddled with spiderweb-like scratches. Oops!

    2. I was filled up at the petrol station and noticed what I thought was a hair on my rear window (factory tinted) - turns out it's a scratch that goes through the tint. Gutted! There's a couple of them.

    Needless to say, it's completely put me off using a clay bar anytime soon. I'm sure they probably are brilliant in the right hands, but I'd rather roll my bar up into a ball and chuck it at a pigeon.

    I assume the rear window is beyond help. Is there something I can use on the windscreen to remove the scratches? I think I've got some Autoglym Car Glass polish knocking about but don't know if this would be the right product to use?

    I still don't know how it happened. I did the usual washing ritual beforehand... snow foamed the car before giving it the two-bucket with a lambswool mitt. So it's not as if it was filthy and covered in grit when I started! I kept the piece of clay warm in my hands, used plenty of lubricant on the clay and the glass, didn't apply too much pressure, kept kneeding it / turning it over. What went wrong?!

    Any pointers on properly using a claybar would be very helpful, I MIGHT give it one last chance before sculpting something rude out of it and chucking it in the bin, or it might at least be nice to see where I went wrong. If it makes any difference, I purchased Auto Finesse Clay and Meguiar's Quik Detailer.

    Cheers!
    #1
  2. dre_S3
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    dre_S3 Member

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    Mate I have never used a clay bar for my windows only on the paint work I'm not 100% but I don't think it's for glass ?
    #2
  3. the_cueball
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    the_cueball Member

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    never heard of any clay damaging a window before!

    what clay and lube was it???? <sorry, just noticed you have that in your post... hmm.. I don't touch AF products....>

    to polish a window properly you really need a rotary machine and ceridium oxide... it's very, very hard to do...

    do you have a picture of your windows?!? could it be either there was a stone/grit trapped under the clay, or it's removed so much grime, the true condition of your windows are showing through?!?

    that all being said, give the AG stuff a go, it may help out, but I've never used it before....

    claying is one of the best things that can be done to enhance a cars shine.... I use mine on paintwork, windows, alloys, the lot...

    :thumb:
    #3
  4. Ste_Nova
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    Ste_Nova Active Member

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    through the tint?????
    #4
  5. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    I'll try get some pictures tomorrow but it might be quite difficult to capture in photos - it's only obvious when the sunlight is shining directly onto the windscreen.

    It might just be a coincidence but I've never noticed these things before and it was after my first attempt at claying that I noticed it. I'll also give the AG stuff a go next time I wash my car, see if it improves things.
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  6. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    Yeah it seems so. The tints are factory which as far as I'm aware means the glass itself is tinted as opposed to the films that are used afterwards so wouldn't have expected that to be possible? I'll see if I can take a picture later - it's basically a small clear line through the tinted glass (I originally thought it was a hair on the window). It might not show up great until I next wash my car though so bare with me.
    #6
  7. matts1
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    matts1 Member

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    It sounds like you may have picked up some hard grit in the bar, if the scratches weren't there before and just unnoticed. Clay bar is great to use but you do need to make sure the car is cleaned properly before use. I even suggest using tar spot remover prior to use, clay bar will shift it, but then your dragging that round the paint. The idea is that the grim in your paint is removed by the clay and sinks into it so not being dragged around your paint, but if you get a clump of something in it, it will cause damage.

    I normally rinse the car, shampoo with mit, rinse and towel dry, use tar spot remover to shift clumpy bits. Then warm the clay bar in some warm water to soften if stiff, work an area at a time, spray on lots of lube and gently wipe/rub the clay bar back and forth, you will feel it start to really glide after a few passes and once gliding, move on to the next section. If you start to stick, you aren't using enough lube. Keep folding the bar over and remoulding as you go around the car. If you drop the bar, dont use it!!

    You'll be amazed at how much grime is in the paint! and polishing after is so much easier with far better results.
    #7
  8. Dogtown22
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    Dogtown22 Member

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    I work in a paint shop (and have done for many years, do yourself a favour and throw that claybar in the bin, they're nothing but trouble and we NEVER use them, a good mop with a maching buffer is what you want to be doing, if you cant do it yourself take it to a paint shop and have it done, If you do do it yourself, go slow and stay away from edges. 1st you want to use a cutting compoung with a compounding mop head, then after you've done that switch to a fine polish with a black foam mop head. As for your windows, use these, hold them as flat as you can and go all over the OUTSIDE of the glass.. Sealey Razor Scraper Blade for AK867 Pack of 5 : Tooled-Up.com then use a good window polish.
    #8
  9. Dave.
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    Dave. Member

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    I'm sorry, but that's poor advice.

    Using a "machining buffer" without claying is a guaranteed way to leave you're lovely shiny car covered in holograms. Claying is part of the preparation for paint correction.

    If you're machine polishing cars without claying you're going to cause more damage than you've started with.
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  10. Alex.
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    Alex. New Member

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    Always had good results with fine grade clay from the likes of Dodo etc, sounds like the clay was soiled somehow prior to use. Auto glym glass polish is fantastic for removing fine scratches give it a try before splashing out on a repair mate.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
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  11. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    Cheers for the advice guys. Sorry I've not updated with pictures yet - not had chance to wash my car recently! It only properly shows up after a wash so once I get round to washing it I'll use the AG stuff, see if it helps and post a few pictures (if the scratches are visible in photographs).

    I'm thinking maybe I'd just not warmed the clay up enough. It was a pretty cold day and my hands were already cold from being outside washing the car, so I tried my best to warm the clay up in my hands but maybe it wasn't enough.

    I shall report back when I next wash her :)
    #11
  12. Dogtown22
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    Dogtown22 Member

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    Dave, you wouldn't believe the amout of cars I've had to machine because people have scratched them up using bars. The extra fine polish such as Finesse will take care of any holograms, there are anti hologram polishes out there but if you know what your doing you don't need them.
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  13. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    Pics as promised (only just got round to washing my car... it was so satisfying at long last!!)...

    [​IMG]

    As you can see the rear window's factory tint has been scratched which I can only assume is down to my terrible attempt at claying :( gutted. The windscreen scratches aren't showing up - only seems to be when the bright sun hits it.

    I didn't get chance to polish the windscreen with the AG stuff but will try it next time (how do you guys have the energy to wash, clay, polish and wax your cars????).
    #13
  14. Boon
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    Boon Active Member

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    Sorry to say but you most likely wont be polishing those scratches out, they are far too deep

    You will be able to reduce them with a cerium oxide polishing compound, but it will take hours. You also run the risk of breaking the toughened glass as it can simply explode once a certain amount of glass is removed (every piece of toughened glass has its own limit till it breaks & you wont be able to judge it safely)
    #14
  15. Luke2.0tdi2006
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    Luke2.0tdi2006 Member

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    This post is worrying the hell out of me now, I'm an absolute virgin when it comes to all this detailing lark, however I have suddenly got right into it, well I will do when the weather gets above freezing! I've always just washed and polished my car with results that i'm pretty happy with but it seems I could be doing more, ie: lambswool mitt, two bucket method, clay, LSP ect, so I have just bought over £100's worth of different products to see if I can better the results(meguires, blackfire dodo), just like Jameze I have read and read and read and watched videos and asked advice about different things and paid particular attention to how to use the clay as that's the only bit I would probably mess up! Now (after reading this post particulaly dogtowns post) I'm very sceptical as to wether I should bother with the clay or not, I want to because 95% of the feedback from claying is VERY positive (assumably if done right) I'm pretty sure it'll be fine but one question I got is about the lubrication side of it, I've bought the Meguires Smooth Surface Clay kit which suggests using the 'Quick mist and wipe detailer' that comes in the box to keep it lubricated? is that right? Would it be an idea not to dry the car and leave it wet to add lubrication also? I guess i'll start in a small area first, or maybe on someone elses car first...lol
    Jameze, did you attempt the clay on the paintwork or just the windows?
    #15
  16. epics
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    epics New Member

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    I had very similar, if not worse, scratching like this to both rear windows on my A3 Sportback BE. Cause of the scratches was unknown, perhaps vandalism, I will never know.

    I used a company called GlasWeld, in particular a very helpful and knowledgeable guy called Mike Nash from Southport. He spent the best part of 6 hours with a rotary polisher and various polishing compounds and restored the windows to as new condition.

    This was 12 months ago now, with no subsequent issues. I believe it cost me around £100 to rectify (bargain for the amount of time he spent on the car).

    Glas Weld Systems (UK) Ltd - Official Site - Repair Don't Replace - Windscreen Repair

    certainly worth a look for glass scratch repairs, I have no affiliation with the company.
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  17. Mike_B
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    Mike_B Member

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    Yes. I assume your insurance covers w/screen breakage / damage? With a minimal excess? Mike.
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  18. sidibear
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    sidibear Looking for Zombies !! Staff Member Moderator

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    Please bear in mind that we do not promote insurance fraud on this forum. This is your comment and you alone are responsible for it.
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  19. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    I think I'll probably leave it to be honest and put it down to a lesson learnt at the risk of making things worse. To be honest I forget they're there, it's just a bit heartbreaking when you wash your car and see them again.
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  20. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    I'm in the same boat as you mate. The furthest I'd explored was snowfoaming, followed by the 2 bucket method using a lambswool mitt and microfibre drying towel. The next step for me seemed to be polishing and maybe waxing, which I didn't want to do until I'd clayed the car. Fortunately when I clayed my car I didn't have much time so I just did the front and back windows as I noticed there was a lot of smearing when using my wipers. To be honest, I think I'll just dive in and give it another go on the bodywork this time as I really want to polish and wax my car in the next month or so, I'll start on a small area and see how it goes / how confident I am. Every day's a school day, I just wish I'd attempted it on my last car instead of practicing technique on the Audi!
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  21. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    Cheers for that, I might look into this if the windscreen is still an issue. I'm going to try some glass polish next time I have chance to give my car a proper wash and see if that helps.
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  22. Mike_B
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    Mike_B Member

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    I'm a little baffled at your suggestion that I may be suggesting anything fraudulent. I base my comment purely on having taken an Audi with a scratched windscreen to one of the national w/screen places to enquire as to whether they could remove the scratches. While they said no, not practical, they did suggest to me that my insurance would cover it.

    Hence my suggesting that it may well be worth checking and/or following through. I hope that clarifies my intention?

    Regs, Mike.
    #22

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