Beginner's detailing

Hi,

I'd like to give my A4 a good clean and there are a few things I think require more attention.

For a start there are a few stone chips in the front bumper. I realise this will probably need a respray in time but for now is there anything I can do to make them look a little better?

The roof and bonnet have quite bad swirl marks in them. In fact I suspect the rest of the bodywork is the same i just haven't been at the right angle to see them. I'm not in the market yet for a polisher but don't mind putting in some effort with some polish. Would Meguiars Ultimate Compound do the trick?

What are my options for shampooing/washing the car without a jet wash?

Thanks for the help.

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Kayobong

Registered User
Hi,

I'd like to give my A4 a good clean and there are a few things I think require more attention.

For a start there are a few stone chips in the front bumper. I realise this will probably need a respray in time but for now is there anything I can do to make them look a little better?

The roof and bonnet have quite bad swirl marks in them. In fact I suspect the rest of the bodywork is the same i just haven't been at the right angle to see them. I'm not in the market yet for a polisher but don't mind putting in some effort with some polish. Would Meguiars Ultimate Compound do the trick?

What are my options for shampooing/washing the car without a jet wash?

Thanks for the help.

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

Glad to see some new faces around, to be honest without a pressure washer it’s a relatively pointless endeavour removing swirls as they will come back if not properly maintained. Using a two bucket method with grit guards should help to minimise the amount of swirls you cause.

In regard to the stone chips, a touch up pen would be the best option for the time being, it’s not perfect but makes obvious stone chips less visible.

When it comes to compound everyone has a preference, give the meguiars a go and see how you find it, I personally love Sonax products and have recently been using some Menzerna polish too and I find they both have a large variety of polish with various levels of cut depending on the job at hand.

Good luck, I look forward to seeing some pictures.
 
Thank you for the reply.

So this may be a completely daft question, but am I right in thinking that with a pressure washer there's no need for sponges and the like? You'd rinse the car, then apply foam of choice and then simply rinse off?

For the price of a jet wash I'm attracted to the time (and labour) saved here alone. I realise there's still a lot of effort involved in claying, polishing and waxing obviously.

Would something like a Karcher K2 be sufficient?

Cheers.

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Kayobong

Registered User
Thank you for the reply.

So this may be a completely daft question, but am I right in thinking that with a pressure washer there's no need for sponges and the like? You'd rinse the car, then apply foam of choice and then simply rinse off?

For the price of a jet wash I'm attracted to the time (and labour) saved here alone. I realise there's still a lot of effort involved in claying, polishing and waxing obviously.

Would something like a Karcher K2 be sufficient?

Cheers.

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There's no daft questions mate, we were all new to this once.

A pressure washer doesn't eliminate the need for contact washing however it will greatly reduce the amount of contaminates/dirt on the paintwork before you contact wash it. Ideally a car would be rinsed, then a suitable snow foam would be applied via lance using the pressure washer which would remove/loosen and dirt, and then the foam would be rinsed off with the pressure washer ready for a contact wash. Also, as a side-note never put a sponge anywhere near a car's paintwork! Get a (microfibre, etc) wash mitt, they're much safer for the paintwork.

A Karcher K2 would be fine mate, I think plenty of people on here use them, I opted to go for a Nilfisk pressure washer when I first started detailing a few years ago now which is still going strong! I picked mine up for much cheaper than any Karcher however it was on sale at the time.
 
Really appreciate your help. Thank you. Will post pics when I eventually get round to doing all of this. I need to go shopping first it seems!

Cheers.

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Kayobong

Registered User
Really appreciate your help. Thank you. Will post pics when I eventually get round to doing all of this. I need to go shopping first it seems!

Cheers.

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Not a problem, look forward to seeing how you get on :icon thumright:
 

Taxboy

Registered User
If you don't have a polisher you can improve the appearance of swirls by using a product that has fillers in it. My personal recommendation is Bilt Hamber cleanser polish although Autoglym super resin polish is also good and more widely available. You will need to apply a wax or sealant over the top to lock in your hard work otherwise the swirls will reappear in about 3 weeks

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Thanks Taxboy, appreciate the help. I'm going to get either the Autoglym or Meguiars Ultimate Compound polish and see how I get on.

Cheers.
 

Taxboy

Registered User
Thanks Taxboy, appreciate the help. I'm going to get either the Autoglym or Meguiars Ultimate Compound polish and see how I get on.

Cheers.
You will need to bear in mind the Meguiars is more of a cutting polish rather than a filler type product compared to Autoglym. You may end up with arms like popeye if trying to remove the swirls with the Meguiars but I believe it is possible to do so. In your situation I would try the Autoglym first

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Taxboy

Registered User
That's the one. You may also want to consider a wax or sealant to go over it fu ds permitting. There is a matched Autoglym product extra gloss protection but it is considered a little old school as you need to leave it to bond for a while before removing.

I understand G3 paste wax is simple to use and gives a decent finish and is widely available at not too much money if you shop around but everyone has their own preference

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Noted. Could you recommend a clay bar? I'd like one where you can simply use soapy water rather than a specialised formula if possible. Would any clay bar do the trick here?
 

Taxboy

Registered User
I have used Bilt Hamber's clay bar, which can be used with water although they can all be used with a stronger shampoo solution to the best of my knowledge. Have a hunt around the in2detailing Web site who are a forum sponsor and offer a discount. Imran the owner is also incredibly helpful if you get in touch with him

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Last edited:

Kayobong

Registered User
Noted. Could you recommend a clay bar? I'd like one where you can simply use soapy water rather than a specialised formula if possible. Would any clay bar do the trick here?

I really like clay mitts and prefer it over a clay bar, usually produces less marring too.


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Nickyc

Registered User
Here's a question. Is it advisable to use a clay bar if you are not machine polishing after ? Will the hand polishing the OP is going to do remove the marring from the claying stage ?

Get yourself a Pressure Washer as your first investment I would say, it will make the rest of your processes after so much easier, I would go for a Nilfisk C110 or C120, you can get them for well under £100. Great reliable machines with metal pumps ! We had a C120 for years and years and the only reason why we now have a C135 is that by dad drove over it by mistake and basically squashed it to death, otherwise it would probably still be here now. packs alot of punch for a little thing, and realistically for home use, its all you will really need for your car.
As to what products to use, until now I have not used a machine before, so its always been by hand, as mentioned above Bilt Hamber cleanser polish is good and so is Auto Glym Super resin polish. Also that new Turtle wax ceramic polish and wax is supposed to be pretty good and it will leave the protection after too, again if you want to protect that, then their ceramic spray coating as a protector is supposed to be pretty nifty too.

As for mine, I chop and change alot, but I chemically decontaminate at the moment and then have BH cleanser polish topped with wowo's crystal sealant which I think is great and both pretty simple and non back breaking to use.

Some suggestions below, but not restricted to, to give you some inspiration. Obviously this is just my opinion only and I could write you a list 50 pages long of products, but these are just a few that spring to mind that I dont think you can go wrong with.

https://www.bilthamber.com/surfex-hd - All purpose cleaner, that can be used as a pre wash and wheel cleaner based on dilution - Pretty cheap too

https://www.bilthamber.com/auto-foam - I find this more effective through a pump sprayer as a very good pre wash

https://www.meguiars.co.uk/shop/gold-class-car-wash-shampoo-conditioner - Got this when you could get it in Costco in a Gallon for peanuts, actually find it to be my go to Shampoo now. Lots of suds and lubrication.

https://www.bilthamber.com/korrosol - Iron fall out remover

https://www.amdetails.co.uk/am-tar - As it says on the tin

https://www.turtlewax.com/our-produ...rtle-wax-hybrid-solutions-ceramic-polish-wax/ - Not tried this yet but has some rave reviews online for a one step polish

https://www.turtlewax.com/en-gb/our...tle-wax-hybrid-solutions-ceramic-wax-coating/ - Not tried this yet, but can use on paint glass and plastics apparently so very versatile and very good protection too for the money.

https://www.bilthamber.com/cleanser-polish - Very good

https://www.wowos.co.uk/shop-2/wowos-crystal-sealant/ - Very good, use it on the paint and wheels for long term protection

https://www.bilthamber.com/auto-wheel - Very good - Similar to Korrosol above

https://www.cleanandshiny.co.uk/products/zaino-z16-perfect-tire-gloss - I love this stuff, I always come back to it
 

A4A4

Owner of a Shiny Daytona
What are my options for shampooing/washing the car without a jet wash?

Thanks for the help.

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You will get good results without the need for a pressure washer, I don't use or own one.

One of the minorities on here who don't use a pressure washer. But you will need a power spray attachment to fit at the end of your hose pipe. This gives enough pressure for the job.

Also get a hand pump sprayer loaded up with some prewash if the car is really dirty and spray it, before the regular wash.

Some good suggestions on here on products, so leave that up to you. Most will give you satisfying results!.
 
Nickyc - thank you for the thorough reply. I'll check out the links. I'm hoping there isn't too much marring left by the BH clay bar to be honest. I'm going to make sure I don't use it in direct sunlight. I'll check out those pressure washers you recommended too.

A4A4 - thanks. Definitely going to give everything a go without a pressure washer first and see how I get on. If I feel the entire process might benefit from one then I'll invest. I've got myself a hand pump sprayer for the prewash. I'm thinking I could do with another for the snow foam part perhaps.
 
I have been busy collecting a few products together, all of which have been delivered. Rather than list them, I've taken a picture :)

114413749_3032642023686835_1679425300882853341_n.jpg


Accessories include the following:
- Many microfibre cloths
- A large general purpose microfibre towel
- A wheel wooly type thing
- Detailing brushes
- Wash mitt
- Drying towel
- Hand pump sprayer (plan on using this for the pre-wash)

Not concentrating on the interior for the time being. It's in pretty good condition but I will get round to doing it at some point.

Anything obviously missing from this? I think I have my process right in my mind. Never thought washing a car would be so particular but I'm really looking forward to seeing the end results. I just hope i can get the swirls out.

Pre wash
Rinse
Foam
Rinse
Wheels
Rinse
Magma
Rinse
Bug and Grime
Rinse
Dry
Clay
Wash again?
Polish and buff
Wax and buff
Cuppa tea

Cheers
David
 

Nickyc

Registered User
That will get you going. Arent citrus power and the Valet pro pre wash similar products ? You are on the right track if you picked the only auto finesse product thats any good. lol. My opinion only. Anything for tires ?
 
They probably are. Maybe I got a little excited at the checkout!

Nothing for tyres yet. Really like how @A4A4 dressed his tyres so will see if a product is mentioned in his thread.

5 litres of BH Surfex HD is on the way too. That's the engine bay sorted.

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Actually, just seen your tyre gloss link above. I'll give that a try.

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There was a suggestion by someone on here that the BH Surfex HD can be used for a variety of applications based on the dilution. Could I do the interior plastics with it? (Light dilution obviously).

I'm itching to do some work on the car but this weather isn't letting me.

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