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-   -   New to car detailing (http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=316278)

Shempi 05-11-2013 04:13 AM

New to car detailing
 
Alright so to start off I am pretty new to car detailing. I have been hand washing my car myself for a year now but thats it. Nothing fancy, just with some items I picked up at Auto Zone. Can't remember the brand names but basically the first thing I do is spray down my car, wash with mitt and then I use a shammy and drying wax.

Basically, this just is not cutting it for me anymore. I want to make my car look AMAZING. My car went through a rough winter here in Minnesota and now it is time to put some major TLC into it. I have never polished my car and wouldn't know the first thing to do. What is the first thing I should do to start off detailing my car and what products would you guys recommend?

Also what are some good ways of keeping the interior of my car clean such as cleaning up dust on the dash and cleaning the inside of my windshield? I seem to be getting a lot of streaks down it. A friend of mine left a huge redbull can in my car on a below freezing night and it exploded everywhere [?|] I was pissed. I got most of it cleaned up but there is still some on the roof and the sun visor that I cant seem to get off.

Thanks guys, any advice helps!

ShogunSamurai2005 05-11-2013 04:45 AM

I normally call my detail guy to come do a mini detail on my car on my driveway while Im in my living room enjoying a great movie. Cost? $30. [^]

FOCUS.FREAK 05-11-2013 01:14 PM

As far as the exterior of the car goes you should probably look into getting some clay bar. This stuff works great. It removes almost all of the impurities in the clear you cant see. Anything from brake dust to Industrial fallout. *It will not remove scratches*

If you are planning on waxing your car its best to clay bar it before. Your car will be as smooth as glass. Literally.

For correcting the paint you might ant to look into get a Porter Cable 7424XP. For anyone starting out with detailing and not want the worry of burning the paint its great. The head osculates instead of just spinning in in one spot like a rotary buffer. The are different buffing pads and products you can use to make your fofo look great. I like autogeek. They have a wide range of products.


Some may be expensive but the outcome is great. I use Menzerna's. For the 16oz bottle I paid $30. Seems like a lot but it breaks down and works a lot longer than some other polishes and compounds.

Edit: As far as the glass goes im sur the window migh have been a little hot. Might have caused the streaking, and for the red bull stains tr some rug shampoo. They have those a auto parts stores.

Burns098356GX 05-11-2013 01:37 PM

I suggest paying to have it professionally done. The price difference between you buying all that stuff and having a shop do it isnt all that much.

FOCUS.FREAK 05-11-2013 04:46 PM

I think the OP is looking more into doing little things on his own. Not major things. Even if he was going to use the PC its so easy a 5 year old could use it.

dyn085 05-11-2013 09:46 PM

I do my cleaning in the garage. If you have that option then use it as you won't have to fight the sun drying your work and environmental contaminants are lessened. About once a month I do wheels-off; this will help keep them from building up a bunch of road grime and brake dust inside the barrel. It also helps you keep your suspension and wheel wells clean.

First, rinse ycar with low pressure water to knock of large/loose contaminants. After that I use a sprayer that I bought from Walmart for $20 that can spray soapy water on the car. After that I use the two-bucket wash with grit guards. Here is a good write-up for that-How To Wash Your Car The Right Way - TLC Auto Detail

The only thing I really do different than their wash is use different mitts. I have one for the top half of the car, one for the bottom half of the painted part of the car, one for wheels, and one for all of the black plastics (wheel-well, rocker panels, splash guards, etc.). Whenever possible I only wash in front-back motions and never in circles (this reduces angles that any possible scratching can be viewed from). After I wash I use an electric leaf-blower to dry the car (instead of any towels). Same thing, top-down, while paying attention to difficult areas (side mirrors, door handles, etc.).

Once dry, you'll go back with a clay bar on all of the painted surfaces to remove contaminants that are still adhered to the paint. You should only have to do this once a year, so push through the pain. I use the bar for approximately half a panel, then work it to a clean surface. It will be mildly frustrating after putting the time into having done the wash, but ensure you use a lot of detailing spray to keep the surface well lubed. And if you drop the bar to the ground, you need to pick it up and throw it away-it is now worthless.

Once you've clayed the entire painted surface, you are ready for paint correction. As mentioned above, the PC 7424XP is the absolute best device for a novice. It has enough power to effectively correct paint, but it's designed for the novice and won't hurt your paint (unless you literally are trying to, and even then it will take a lot of work). There are some good tutorials online on how to use one and what products to use with it (pads and compounds/polishes). I usually tape off all of the black trim areas prior to doing it, which allows me to not be overly concerned with having to clean that all up when I'm done.

If you have to, compound accordingly, polish, then seal and/or wax. Depending on how much correction your paint needs, your amount of work time will very. There are a million great products out there, so trying to say that one is better than another is a moot point. Usually it takes me a day to get to this point. The benefit of the PC is that you know you won't damage your paint while working. The downside is that the price you pay for that safety is the amount of time you have to put into it. That, and I don't work overly fast.

The next day is when I start interior and windows. I work front to rear, dash, console, seats, door panels, and then anything overhead (if necessary). I wait to deal with the glass due to possible overspray of interior cleaners. After I am at done with them, I then vacuum out the car because I won't be getting back into it. The only thing I would recommend in regards to your redbull stains would be this-Steamer.

Now that you're back outside, you can do your door jambs, remove your tape, do the exterior windows, and clean the exterior trim. Detail your wheels and tires and you're done[thumb]

Yes, the products themselves can run a decent amount of money. The bright side is that you probably won't have to buy much (if any) more throughout the year. You should only have to correct the paint once a year, and from there on out you will only have to put a third (if that) of the work in to keep it clean. The big thing will be ensuring that you wash your vehicle safely and don't introduce more swirls or scratches.

That's actually a pretty quick run-down and should give you enough information to fuel your Googles. Get familiar with Autogeek.net, ChemicalGuys.com, etc. You'll find stuff at your local Walmart, auto-parts stores, and even Lowes/Home Depot. Hopefully this helps[thumb]
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/05/12/yqysyhyz.jpg

Shempi 05-14-2013 02:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Burns098356GX (Post 4721619)
I suggest paying to have it professionally done. The price difference between you buying all that stuff and having a shop do it isnt all that much.

I thought about it, but in the end I really want to learn to do it myself.

Quote:

Originally Posted by FOCUS.FREAK (Post 4721752)
I think the OP is looking more into doing little things on his own. Not major things. Even if he was going to use the PC its so easy a 5 year old could use it.

\

Yes. I want to learn how to detail, not watch while someone else does it for me. I think it will be a very good set of skills to acquire and I mostly want to do it for the experience of putting some TLC into my car myself. I feel like it will be more rewarding for me and a huge sense of accomplishment once I get the hang of it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by dyn085 (Post 4721976)
I do my cleaning in the garage. If you have that option then use it as you won't have to fight the sun drying your work and environmental contaminants are lessened. About once a month I do wheels-off; this will help keep them from building up a bunch of road grime and brake dust inside the barrel. It also helps you keep your suspension and wheel wells clean.

First, rinse ycar with low pressure water to knock of large/loose contaminants. After that I use a sprayer that I bought from Walmart for $20 that can spray soapy water on the car. After that I use the two-bucket wash with grit guards. Here is a good write-up for that-How To Wash Your Car The Right Way - TLC Auto Detail

The only thing I really do different than their wash is use different mitts. I have one for the top half of the car, one for the bottom half of the painted part of the car, one for wheels, and one for all of the black plastics (wheel-well, rocker panels, splash guards, etc.). Whenever possible I only wash in front-back motions and never in circles (this reduces angles that any possible scratching can be viewed from). After I wash I use an electric leaf-blower to dry the car (instead of any towels). Same thing, top-down, while paying attention to difficult areas (side mirrors, door handles, etc.).

Once dry, you'll go back with a clay bar on all of the painted surfaces to remove contaminants that are still adhered to the paint. You should only have to do this once a year, so push through the pain. I use the bar for approximately half a panel, then work it to a clean surface. It will be mildly frustrating after putting the time into having done the wash, but ensure you use a lot of detailing spray to keep the surface well lubed. And if you drop the bar to the ground, you need to pick it up and throw it away-it is now worthless.

Once you've clayed the entire painted surface, you are ready for paint correction. As mentioned above, the PC 7424XP is the absolute best device for a novice. It has enough power to effectively correct paint, but it's designed for the novice and won't hurt your paint (unless you literally are trying to, and even then it will take a lot of work). There are some good tutorials online on how to use one and what products to use with it (pads and compounds/polishes). I usually tape off all of the black trim areas prior to doing it, which allows me to not be overly concerned with having to clean that all up when I'm done.

If you have to, compound accordingly, polish, then seal and/or wax. Depending on how much correction your paint needs, your amount of work time will very. There are a million great products out there, so trying to say that one is better than another is a moot point. Usually it takes me a day to get to this point. The benefit of the PC is that you know you won't damage your paint while working. The downside is that the price you pay for that safety is the amount of time you have to put into it. That, and I don't work overly fast.

The next day is when I start interior and windows. I work front to rear, dash, console, seats, door panels, and then anything overhead (if necessary). I wait to deal with the glass due to possible overspray of interior cleaners. After I am at done with them, I then vacuum out the car because I won't be getting back into it. The only thing I would recommend in regards to your redbull stains would be this-Steamer.

Now that you're back outside, you can do your door jambs, remove your tape, do the exterior windows, and clean the exterior trim. Detail your wheels and tires and you're done[thumb]

Yes, the products themselves can run a decent amount of money. The bright side is that you probably won't have to buy much (if any) more throughout the year. You should only have to correct the paint once a year, and from there on out you will only have to put a third (if that) of the work in to keep it clean. The big thing will be ensuring that you wash your vehicle safely and don't introduce more swirls or scratches.

That's actually a pretty quick run-down and should give you enough information to fuel your Googles. Get familiar with Autogeek.net, ChemicalGuys.com, etc. You'll find stuff at your local Walmart, auto-parts stores, and even Lowes/Home Depot. Hopefully this helps[thumb]
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/05/12/yqysyhyz.jpg

Thank you so much! Your post has been more than helpful! I do have access to a large garage and I WILL be using your great advice.

MCPunk79 05-14-2013 10:47 PM

We'll hook up in June Connor... If you really want to, I plan on visiting a father & son duo of detailers in Minnetonka when I come down, they really want to do a "detailing party". Bill and Josh have taught me quite a bit in the little while I've known them. You won't believe the condition of their duo Evo Xs!!

I believe at Apple Valley's car show, there will be a guy who shows how to detail. He's been there the last two years, and sells a variety of products. I bought some pads from him last year.

It is true that detailing is NOT cheap, by any means. I have been spending around 250-500 dollars per season just trying new products. It's really a fun hobby, as you really see yourself getting better with each detail.

I mentioned before, hit AutoGeek or Detailer's Domain for some great forums and some great products. I may be a bit finicky, but I don't really buy anything "off the shelf" anymore... everything I use is ordered from either Detailer's Domain, Chemical Guys, AutoGeek or Zaino.

Shempi 05-15-2013 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MCPunk79 (Post 4725412)
We'll hook up in June Connor... If you really want to, I plan on visiting a father & son duo of detailers in Minnetonka when I come down, they really want to do a "detailing party". Bill and Josh have taught me quite a bit in the little while I've known them. You won't believe the condition of their duo Evo Xs!!

I believe at Apple Valley's car show, there will be a guy who shows how to detail. He's been there the last two years, and sells a variety of products. I bought some pads from him last year.

It is true that detailing is NOT cheap, by any means. I have been spending around 250-500 dollars per season just trying new products. It's really a fun hobby, as you really see yourself getting better with each detail.

I mentioned before, hit AutoGeek or Detailer's Domain for some great forums and some great products. I may be a bit finicky, but I don't really buy anything "off the shelf" anymore... everything I use is ordered from either Detailer's Domain, Chemical Guys, AutoGeek or Zaino.

Thanks for your help Mike. I would definitely be interested in joining in on this "Detail party". And I do understand detailing can get expensive but to me it seems like money well spent.

swansong 05-15-2013 04:10 PM

Great posts so far, I'm guess I'd say I'm a budding detail buff myself. I can't recommend the claying part enough. In addition to the Porter Cable Polisher, you could also pick up a Griot's Garage polisher. I bought this starter kit in an Amazon lightning deal for $100 last Christmas. No idea if they'll have a deal like that again. The buffer is good quality and easy to use, and the machine polish they give you is basically error-proof. To be honest I'll need something a bit stronger (more abrasive) to fix some of my paint blemishes.

Couple washing/drying tips:
After rinsing the car, take the nozzle off of your garden hose (assuming that's what you're using) and let the free-flowing water "sheet" over the car, from top to bottom. This greatly reduces the amount of water left to dry up. I like to use a water blade after that, which leaves me with a basically dry car. I just dry up the door jams and edges after that.

Oh and for windows I like Stoner's Invisible Glass. Windex works in a pinch, but it's not the best and can negatively effect some window tints.


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