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What finish would you call this, and how can I get it back?

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by selar, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. selar
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    selar Member

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    [Jun 23, 2013]
    When I got my A3 I took the car out for a run to Loch Lomond and shot the video below. That was in late March and now I'd like to give the car a proper detailing, but after reading about finishes I'm not sure on the distinction between "glossy" vs "reflective" (those are used as two ends of a scale in the sticky post at the top of the detailing thread) and I'm not sure what it means for a black car to look "warm".

    It's difficult to get a proper impression of a car's finish from a static photo - I think it's easier to see how the light changes as you move past the car, like in a video - so I wonder if someone would be able to tell me how they'd describe the soft, glowy looking finish of my car here (exterior shots at 1:55):

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014
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  3. sliced
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    sliced Drive safe, stay alive.

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    [Jun 23, 2013]
    not sure, but that looks awesome :hubbahubba: esp the interior
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  4. s-line style
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    s-line style Member

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    [Jun 23, 2013]
    I valet for bmw and imo its like that because its a brand new car I work on old and new cars brand new ones are obviously gonna have the effect your talking about as it hasn't had the effects of multiple polishes waxes and washes ect and mainly uv rays off the sun which do fade and distort paintwork. your car is like this imo as I said coz its brand new I know audi use or did use autoglym lifeshine maybe its had this? the "finish" your talking about is a brand new polished showroom car if it hasn't had the autoglym lifeshine look into getting it? there are loads of products for the finish your after use a carnuba wax polish its a new car id only recommend using polishes its older cars that need restorers ect. to keep it looking brand new get a paint protection system ive used guard-x and it is good. I used an autoglym wax on a 1 year old bmw 7 series yesterday and it made the car look brand new again. out of all the products available I rate autoglym the best.
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  5. coreythorny
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    coreythorny Member

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    [Jun 23, 2013]
    I'm rather confused what you're asking?

    as said your car will just be a unpolished paintwork which has probably only had a very poor nasty wash by Audi themselves.
    On a brand new car you should be looking at a very light clay bar, a one stage polish with a finishing compound then sealed.

    A carnauba wax will give a "warm" look where sealants generally a glossy, wet look. Its hard to show in pictures But most etching you learn over time from using different products.
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  6. s-line style
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    s-line style Member

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    [Jun 23, 2013]
    ^^^ audi wont do a "nasty wash" I worked in a bmw showroom all cars that are delivered old or new get a full valet including a polish his being a brand new car will of been treated with TFR new cars arrive in really bad condition as these cars aren't made in the uk so during transportation on delivery vehicles they get covered in dust, flies, tar ect so they cant get a "nasty wash" they need a really good wash after this they go into the showroom where they get polished which is obviously a must as potential customers are looking for there next new car and an unpolished one isn't gonna go down well for a big name manufacturer I work for bmw and our standards are really high and so are audis ive had friends who have worked there. every dealership will have there cars polished coz at the end of the day they want to sell there cars not have them sat there dusty and not polished his car and any other brand new car is cleaned to a high standard. obviously there are aftermarket products to make it better
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  7. coreythorny
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    coreythorny Member

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    [Jun 23, 2013]
    im not doubting they don't polish the cars, what I mean is their washing procedure. I witnessed it myself at s certain Audi dealer. A simple bucket and sponge then rinse with pressure washer. Finally chamois dried.
    Im not sure what polishes they use but most dealers have runnings with Autoglym and use SRP which is a filler polish, will give good effects but will soon revert back to its original state in terms of swirl marks etc.
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  8. s-line style
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    s-line style Member

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    [Jun 23, 2013]
    how else can ya wash a dirty car before ya detail it though?? all ya can use is a bucket and sponge bearing in mind they are clean. the good old bucket and sponge is the best way followed by a shammy off. we treat our cars with tfr and fallout remover and wheel acid the wheels ect audi work very similar and I don't get how a new car will have swirl marks ect and brand new black cars get treat differently to other paint colours his will of come from audi in very very good condition
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  9. coreythorny
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    coreythorny Member

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    [Jun 23, 2013]
    I personnaly never consider using a chamois or sponge.

    Swirl marks are caused by poor washing and drying techniques, the first tips to preventing them is to use a 2 bucket method, preferably a pre wash such as snow foam, a lambs wool mitt then patted dry.

    I completely appreciate the dealers are a business and there to make money. They can't be forking out for extensive cleaning procedures in which the vast majority of the population will never know the difference. I'm not slandering the dealers, I was still grateful that Audi did wash mine before I picked it up.

    Its all down to how intricate you are with detailing and your personal choice. If you use a bucket and sponge with chamois and are happy with your results that's all that matters.
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  10. s-line style
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    s-line style Member

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    [Jun 23, 2013]
    a bad worker blames his tools. ive always went by that motto. if the sponge and shammy is clean this equals clean car I can see where your coming from and don't wanna sound like im arguing with you :) I only clean cars at work how im instructed too ie sponge and pressure wash if I got paid more Id do things differently lol but doing more than I should for no extra money would be silly but I do make sure my cars are upto standard
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  11. johnnythepie
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    johnnythepie Active Member

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    [Jun 23, 2013]
    One reason I wont let anyone but me touch my car. Bucket and sponge? Shammy? You serious?
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  12. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jun 24, 2013]
    [​IMG]
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  13. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 24, 2013]
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  14. percymon
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    percymon Member

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    [Jun 24, 2013]


    Well perhaps some delaers are better than others but..

    My family bought 10 new BMWs one after another from my local dealer from the mid nineties to early noughties. I let them prep a few of my new cars and they were fine, although I immediately went at them with Zymol and the like to improve things. I stopped them doing service washes and new car prep when i saw their valetters hang their chammy leathers over a brick wall to dry out between uses. I even saw them jet wash one whilst it was hanging over the wall.

    Audi - the few showrooms I've visited the cars have been pretty good, minimal marks on new cars on display but some swirls and the odd long light scratch from dirt trapped ina sponge / wiper blade or chammy.

    Porsche - similar to Audi, sometimes worse - I rejected my last new Porsche due to swirls, and even after three further dealer attempts to prep the car it was a mess. I was quoted over £1k by a well know valetter to correct it all.

    At the end of the day the dealerships are about achieveing a level of preparation that suits 99% of customers - a lot of them aren't bothered, and will run the car through a car wash or cheap 'hand wash' place once a month. A lot of others will do the local jet wash once a fortnight and be happy. 10% of oweners will wahsa car themselves, about 1-2% will use 2 bucket method.
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  15. coreythorny
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    coreythorny Member

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    [Jun 24, 2013]
    well said that man!

    And that 1-2% of people who do it the correct way to prevent swirl marks, reap the higher return on invest when it comes to selling.
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  16. selar
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    selar Member

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    [Jun 24, 2013]
    ...actually, that's exactly what you did in your first post :)

    Thanks guys - in the end I went with this:

    Hose down
    Two-bucket sheepswool mitt wash
    Hose down
    Two-bucket sheepswool mitt wash (again)
    Hose down
    Microfibre pat-dry
    Meguiar's Quik Clay Starter Kit
    Microfibre wipe down (I was getting tired by this point...)
    Meguiar's Ultimate Quik Wax
    Quick buff with microfibre pads

    I went for that 'wax' because it seems to be a synthetic polymer sealant hiding under a generic name, and I wanted to avoid the toffee apple wax sheen.

    By the end it was getting dark so I buffed without really seeing what I was doing in as much detail as I'd have liked. When I woke up this morning I found the car COVERED in pollen and masonry dust from my neighbour's extension work, so I'll give it a hose off this evening maybe and see how it actually​ looks.
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  17. the_cueball
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    the_cueball Active Member

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    [Jun 24, 2013]
    wax, sealants, other LSPs (Last Stage Protection) will not alter the looks of your car that much... most of the shine, glow, reflection comes from properly polished paint, i.e. making it as smooth as possible via either hand or machine polishes, and usually spending some time "burnishing" the paint.

    Main dealers have (IMO) no idea how to make a car look it's best, they make it look as good as their time/expense/99% of customers want it to look, but everyday in life I see brand new cars that are covered in marks and machine polishing ones...

    Or as Audi Glasgow found out... a customer wanted her brand new car to look like mine (2002)... hers had all that "swirly" stuff in the paint, and why didn't mine... thankfully I cut the salesman off just as he tried to claim my car was damaged, not theirs...

    His customer was not happy... and even less happy when I told her the age of my car.

    The worst offenders seem to be Aston Martin mind you... their new cars are horrible.... obviously ignoring BMW and their "orange peel" motors...

    Got to say, I don't think a detailed car gets anymore value come sell time, although I tend to find it gets sold quicker...
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  18. matts1
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    matts1 Member

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    [Jun 24, 2013]
    we have a guy occassionally valet our cars, he uses some sort of wash wax and to be honest, it leaves the car with a pin sharp reflection.

    I tend not to use him for mine as it is black and the residue his stuff leaves sits in stone chips and highlight them. I tend to go with poor boys black hole glaze and natty's paste wax as it is so easy to use, well priced and designed for darker cars.

    Have to agree on the wash tecniques though, two buckets, wask mit and towel dry will mean you are far less likely to be dragging grit across the paintwork as you clean. A clay bar for anyone who has never used one is a must as well, the amount of grime in your paint even after you have shampood it is shocking!!
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