1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Swirls, can they really be avoided?

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by AL_B, May 21, 2007.

  1. AL_B
    Offline

    AL_B Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    1,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi guys,

    Swirls, can they really be avoided? I don't think so. Read on...

    I am extremely p###ed off.

    Had my new S3 one month, I've only washed it 3 times, and I have the start of swirls / micro-fine scratches. I just cannot understand where I have gone wrong.

    Firstly, I should mention, these swirls were not done at the dealers during PDI. I gave the dealers specific instructions to just remove the plastic protective sheets, jet-wash and leave to dry. No sponges, no hydro-blades etc. The car was free from swirls / micro-fine scratches. I checked the car numerous times before I gave it its first hand-wash by myself. I checked the car under sunlight, normal bulb light in the garage, and under the halogen outside light on the side of the house.

    Before the cars first wash, I purchased 2 brand new Meguiars micro-fibre wash mitts. I also bought 2 24"x34" Micropak Waffle-Weave drying towels.

    After the first wash, after a week of having the car, no swirls.
    After the second wash, about a week or two ago, didn't check the car for swirls.
    But after last nights wash, the third wash, (using a brand new mitt, straight out of the packet) swirls all over. Not too bad yet, but they are there and noticeable in sunlight and halogen light.

    My wash method has been the following:-

    - Rinse the car thoroughly with water via hose pipe.
    - 1 bucket, with car shampoo (meguiars gold class)
    - 1 meguiars wash mitt (brand new last night)
    - 1 bucket, clean water for rinsing the wash mitt in between applications on the car
    - Grit guard in the bottom of the shampoo bucket
    - Microfibre Waffle-weave driving towel 24"x34" (I have used the towel before, and they have been through the washing machine, no fabric softener, but dried on the radiator)

    When the rinsing water gets to soapy, I replace it for some more clean water. When rinsing the wash mitt I check it for any grit or insect residue etc.

    I work from the top of the car down and use a seperate sponge/mitt for the bottom sills, making sure not to use that one on the bodywork.

    I tend to wash the roof and windows first. Then rinse those sections and then dry with the Microfibre Waffle weave towel. I then continue to wash the car a section at a time. Bonnet and front, drivers side, passenger side, and finally the rear. As soon as the water level gets down to where my wash mitt even slightly touches the grit guard, I change the water.

    Due to weather at weekends since having the car...either too wet or too sunny, I have not yet applied any polish or wax.

    So where have I gone wrong, what could I have done to cause the swirls?

    Finally, could someone provide me with a clear-cut way to remove them?
    Is there a definitive answer?
    If you could tell me what I need, I'll buy it straight away, I need to sort this out ASAP. I cannot live with it knowing there are swirls on my brand new car.

    I have meguiars ScratchX, but I don't rate it.
    How about Auto Glym Super Resin Polish?
    T-Cut?
    What else?
    Machine polisher? Hand polishing? Heeeeeeeelllllllp!!!!

    I really need your help on this.

    Cheers

    AL
    #1
  2. Clark@Polishedbliss
    Offline

    Clark@Polishedbliss Professional Detailer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dont use the Microfibre mitts mate, they are more for wheels.

    What you need is a decent lambswool wash mitt as the pile in these are longer and therefore lifts the dirt off and away from the paint safer and more effectively.

    Also, how do you dry the car? do you pat dry or wipe dry?

    Getting rid of the swirls can either be done by hand or machine, if they are very light then the likes of Autoglym Super Resin Polish could be enough to remove/mask them. If not then a Professional Detailer will be able to get the paint back to A1 condition easily, i can recommend one to you in your area if you like :)

    Another thing to consider would be a foam gun for the pre-wash stage, this removes alot of the dirt before washing and therefore cuts down on the chance of swirling etc, if you take a look at the pics of my Leon Cupra R in this section of the forum you will see the condition my paint was in after around 8 months without polishing, it is possible to keep a car relatively swirl free :)

    Hope that helps :)
    #2
  3. AL_B
    Offline

    AL_B Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    1,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bugger I did use to use a lambswool mitt on my old S3, but it was getting a little tatty, and it seemed to trap grit/insects more. i.e. they dirt bits were very hard to pick out. I had heard microfibre were just as good, so converted to those. Will buy a couple of new lambswool ones.

    I tend to wipe dry, to be honest. Not in circular motions though, more of a long sweep.

    Yep, please could you recommend one, but only someone who meets PolishedBliss's standards. I've seen your work on here, and its nothing short of a miracle how you fellas restore paint work.

    Could you send me a link to the this foam-gun thing, I've not seen them before.

    I am probably speaking slightly out-of-line by mentioning this :), but I have some pre-treatment and wax on order from well known competitor of Zymol, Swissol. Do you think the swissol pre-treatment will remove the swirls?

    Another question. Am I right in thinking that a polishing process, whether it be by hand or by machine, is removing ultra-fine layers of paint? Is that why you guys check paint thickness?

    So won't polishing too much, for example by machine, remove the protective lacquer?

    To be honest, I'm shocked how weak paint can be, to get micro scratches in a caring hand-wash process, that I have performed. Gutted.

    AL
    #3
  4. AL_B
    Offline

    AL_B Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    1,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Clark,

    Any thoughts?

    AL
    #4
  5. Steve-L
    Offline

    Steve-L Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    #5
  6. Clark@Polishedbliss
    Offline

    Clark@Polishedbliss Professional Detailer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry for the lateness of the reply mate,

    First off - Dont wipe the car dry, pat dry it, it seems daft and strange at first but its easy once you get used to it :)

    Swissol - We havent really used any of their products before so i couldnt tell you much about them, i know a couple of their cleaner fluids are abrasive though and could possibly remove the swirls, it depends just how light they are..

    Polishing with an abrasive polish does remove tiny, tiny amounts of paint, and yes this is why we use gauges. We measure the thickness in Microns which is approx 1/1000th of a mm, so you're talking next to nothing when doing a very light polish which is all your car will need. Typically you would see 2-3 microns max removed from your paint during a light polish as Audi paint is hard - one of the hardest automotive paints.

    So really, if you get a professional detailer in to do the job who is fully insured, uses gauges and more importantly knows what they're doing then you really have nothing to worry about as your car will need the lightest of finishing polishes on a polishing/finishing pad by Rotary polisher, your car will be looking better than new again :)

    Where about are you located mate so i can recommend you a decent Detailer?

    Clark
    #6
  7. Clark@Polishedbliss
    Offline

    Clark@Polishedbliss Professional Detailer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    0
    oh also, get registered on www.detailingworld.co.uk - it really will open you up to a whole side of car care you thought never existed, and you can check out the traders section where you will find the info needed about the Foam Lance, made by autobrite :)
    #7
  8. AL_B
    Offline

    AL_B Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    1,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Clark,

    I'm located in the North West of England, so Lancashire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester areas are all pretty easy to get to for me.

    AL
    #8
  9. pav-g
    Offline

    pav-g Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Messages:
    734
    Likes Received:
    1
    I use a shmitt (foam based glove) for my washing and it does eliminate the swirls - a great investment for 8.99. As mentioned previously check out the detailing world forum - definately an eye opener. Good luck
    #9
  10. Clark@Polishedbliss
    Offline

    Clark@Polishedbliss Professional Detailer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    0
    Matt @ Off Your Marks (OYM) Detailing is the guy for you mate, his work is top notch :)
    #10
  11. AL_B
    Offline

    AL_B Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    1,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Clark.

    If I wanted to have a go myself, at removing the swirls (by hand), what products would you recommend?

    I have been looking at some sites and I notice Sonus do an SFX-1, SFX-2 and SFX-3 range, which the information says can be used by hand. I notice the Menzerna stuff is for machine polishing only.

    What would you recommend?

    Thanks

    AL
    #11
  12. Clark@Polishedbliss
    Offline

    Clark@Polishedbliss Professional Detailer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    0
    Menzerna isnt machine polishing only, in fact i would recommend these way ahead of the Sonus products, they finish down better and create no dust what so ever.

    Menz IP by hand would be a safe bet, although i would suggest getting in a Pro to de-swirl the car as he will make a better job of it (by that i mean getting it 99% swirl free or better) and then all you have to do is maintain it with your lambswool mitts :)
    #12
  13. AL_B
    Offline

    AL_B Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    1,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Clark,

    Would that be Menzerna Intensive Polish PO85RD 3.02 or the standard Intensive Polish (PO91L) ?

    I am tempted to have a go myself, as I've caused the swirls, so I should fix it. Plus getting a pro to do it is going to cost me a lot isn't it? For paint correction....what we talking about £350? As its about a 2-3 day process isn't it?

    Cheers

    AL
    #13
  14. AL_B
    Offline

    AL_B Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    1,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Clark,

    Any thoughts on the above?

    I have been in touch with Matt at www.offyourmarks.com. What a superb and helpful bloke. Very professional too. He himself, said there is only about 3 people/companies in the UK who he'd let detail his car, himself, you guys at Polishedbliss and another company based in London I think.

    He spent a good hour or two last Saturday having a chat with me and looking at the S3 and our Golf GTi Anniversary. Matts conclusion was that he seriously doubts that I have put in the swirls, based on my wash technique. Yes, lambswool mitts are recommended, but if I have been careful (wish I was) the microfibre should have been fine. Like wise with the Waffle-weave drying towels. There is just too much swirling to have been put in by me in only three washes. His opinion is that the dealer may have fed me line, masked the swirling with some sort of polish, and then in 3 washes its gradually come off.

    Who knows!? It did look free from swirls when I got the car home from the dealers, yet I also was careful with the car, so I guess I will never know the what/who has caused them.

    Matt also didn't recommend Menzerna by hand. What do you think, is it worth a go?

    He also suggested trying ScratchX on a panel, although in his opinion ScratchX is more of a masker, than actual swirl remover. I did try this on a panel on Saturday, but the swirls are still visible in sunlight.

    Matt reckons that one days work with a fine finishing polish should remove the swirls, as they are not the worst he's seen on a new car.

    I'd love to post some pics of them, any tips on taking a photo that captures the swirls? What camera settings, lighting etc?

    AL
    #14
  15. voorhees
    Offline

    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    15,020
    Likes Received:
    1,146
    at night about 8/10 inches from the paintwork is how I take mine...oh and I'll state the obvious that you must use a flash :laugh:
    #15
  16. Spacecowboy
    Offline

    Spacecowboy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    0
    Anyone know a decent company/individual detailer in the West Mids/Worcester area? I have some bad swirls and scratches :-(
    #16
  17. WX51TXR
    Offline

    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Messages:
    1,452
    Likes Received:
    11
    Hi Al, Clark is on a job today, but I can add to this. Matt may well be right; you simply wouldn't beleive some of the things that go on at dealerships, and the masking trick is one of the oldest tricks going. We did a two month old GTI last week that we struggled to correct, the swirls were that deep, and yet the owner has only washed it twice since collection. Without a doubt the defects were put in by the dealership, fortunately they are now paying the bill for the 12 hours it took us to put it right. Might be worth taking it up with them?

    Regarding trying yourself by hand, Menzerna Intensive Polish (not 3.02 mind, rather the standard version) does work very well by hand, as the abrasives are fragile and do not need machine pressure/heat to break down properly. I recommend it a lot for harder paints, but be warned, trying to correct hard Audi paint by hand is no fun, and will be very tiring work. Also, the end result won't be as sharp and refined as if done by machine. Compared to Menzerna polishes, Scratch-X is poor, and really not worth the effort in our book. My advice is to get the car corrected professionally (and try and bill the dealer for it), and then focus on maintaining it well. Reading the above, you may not have seen these guides before: definitely worth a read!

    http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/guides.html

    Finally, to capture swirls on camera, set up a light (halogen work lights work best) aimed at the panel, and then take pictures looking into the light (for example, set up a light next to a wing aimed at the bonnet, then move round to the other side of the car and take pics of the bonnet with the reflection of the lights showing - this should highlight all the defects).

    Hope that helps, Rich.
    #17
  18. WX51TXR
    Offline

    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Messages:
    1,452
    Likes Received:
    11
    Matt at Off Your Marks might travel that far, worth trying because he's very good. His webbie is http://www.offyourmarks.co.uk/. :)
    #18
  19. AL_B
    Offline

    AL_B Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    1,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well chaps. I have finally got around to posting some pics of the swirls. Taken yesterday, during the first bit of sunshine I've seen (in this country) for about a month.

    Car is probably only up to wash number, errrm, 4 or 5. Due to the weather, work, moving house etc.

    Anyway, here are the swirls that were probably put in at the factory or the dealer, or maybe even by me.

    [​IMG]
    .
    [​IMG]
    .
    [​IMG]
    .
    [​IMG]
    .
    [​IMG]

    Just need to make arrangements with Mark at OffYourMarksDetailing to get them sorted.

    AL
    #19
  20. WX51TXR
    Offline

    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Messages:
    1,452
    Likes Received:
    11
    That would be Matt, not Mark! :) Keep us posted, the swirls aren't too bad, but still not good on such a new car. Should be straightforward to fix, with minimal clearcoat removal. :yes:
    #20
  21. AL_B
    Offline

    AL_B Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    1,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ooops, yes, Matt. :D hahaha
    #21

Share This Page