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This week I bought my first ever brand new car. The newest car I ever bought previously was 8 years old, I take good care of my cars (Volvos in the past) and they last and look good a long time.

I used to take my cars weekly through the local brush-free wash place, they run it through a powerwash with sealer and then hand dry. They do a pretty good job for maintenance of the paint.

However never having had a brand new car, I don't know if I should start off by just going to that wash, should I give it a coat of wax first? What product to use? I don't need to clay it since it's new, right?
 

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New car run through.
Yeah wax it now!
Any quality wax of your choice is good. I prefer liquid wax I apply with Viva paper towels, refeshing them if any dirt gets on the towel.
Liquid wax is easy to apply and remove the excess to polish. Paste wax is way more labor intensive.
I use Zymol if you want a brand name.
Also take time to wax all the little areas, inside the door jams, the trunk inner hinge area, the hood inside. Wax your wheels. difficult as it is, do them.
Then use a sealer on all the rubber. All the rubber around each door. hatch/trunk. hood. You can buy a product to 'protect' (don't use generic tire shine or Armour All) (If you use a spray, and spray the outside of your tires .. DO NOT GET ANY on the brakes!! very bad really really very bad to get stuff like that on the brakes/brakepads)
Do the vinyl on the dash too. I have noticed the dash vinyl is very 'dry' and it seemed to really benefit from being treated with a vinyl protectant (same one for rubber stuff) Do the vinyl inside doors. and center console with the sealant/protectant Do the black outside door bottom trim.

Buy a can of Scotch Guard. Spray it on all seating surfaces according to the directions.
Use up half one time. Then a week later finish off the can.
Protect the other stuff from the spray. Use paper towels or rags, casual is fine for covering other stuff. just do not spray the Scotch Guard all over everything.
Also DO the mid=sized door fabric panels with the Scotch Guard (I forgot this and now am not happy I fogot.)

I am lazy, and doing it right immediately is good. later on one can forget doing stuff more, if it got covered right away.
Also, if you have any interest in using the RainX sort of product, starting right away is better than gettin a few layers of wax on the windows and THEN applying Rain X (not good problems with ghost haze if done then, until all the wax is gotten off of the glass)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So should I hand-wash the car and do this myself before taking it through the brushless wash? Or will it be OK to have the car go through the wash with their "sealant" before I apply the wax?
 

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what it be like
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its still just a car....wash it and wax it...if its bad maybe clay some surfaces before you apply wax....use clean microfibers to remove your wax you shouldnt need anything super crazy with such new paint I use meg nxt 2.0 sealant wax it works awesome!
 

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1. Clay the car. The whole car. Most new cars come from the factory with something called "rail dust" which is iron filings and factory fallout bonded the the paint. If you rub on the paint before removing this you will grind it in creating marring.

2. If your dealer 'prepped' your new vehicle you can count on swirl marks and buffer trails. The extent of this I can't say without seeing the car myself. This will have to be buffed out with a mild abrasive.

3. Apply a sealant to the paint. I use something called BlackFire Wet Diamond. It's fairly expensive but it's a good product. Don't count on that sealant from the touch less wash really providing and paint protection. Also seal your wheels.

4. Apply a wax (optional). Most of the protection comes from the sealant, a wax is usually used for cosmetic purposes. I use a wax called Finish Kare 1000p high temp wax. It's cheap and lasts for a long time.

5. Tires. Use whatever shine you want. I use black magic I think. Apply, allow to soak in, wipe off. Don't use armor all. Ever. For anything. It will cause dry rot on tires and your interiour.
 

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I've been surprised to hear how horrible armor all is.. I actually hve a small bottle that I'm just using up now and that will definitely be out of my car stuff permanently.

for an easy wax I got some Meguiar's carnuba from Wal mart, I have a 99 Mustang, and I can vouch for how good it fills in swirls and cleans the car up. I do use sealant and clay all the time.
I don't think there's any way to beat the 'depth' that carnuba leaves on a finish, I wouldn't skip on wax
 

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1. Clay the car. The whole car. Most new cars come from the factory with something called "rail dust" which is iron filings and factory fallout bonded the the paint. If you rub on the paint before removing this you will grind it in creating marring.

2. If your dealer 'prepped' your new vehicle you can count on swirl marks and buffer trails. The extent of this I can't say without seeing the car myself. This will have to be buffed out with a mild abrasive.

3. Apply a sealant to the paint. I use something called BlackFire Wet Diamond. It's fairly expensive but it's a good product. Don't count on that sealant from the touch less wash really providing and paint protection. Also seal your wheels.

4. Apply a wax (optional). Most of the protection comes from the sealant, a wax is usually used for cosmetic purposes. I use a wax called Finish Kare 1000p high temp wax. It's cheap and lasts for a long time.

5. Tires. Use whatever shine you want. I use black magic I think. Apply, allow to soak in, wipe off. Don't use armor all. Ever. For anything. It will cause dry rot on tires and your interiour.
Pretty much this. I would have to disagree with the BFWD sealer though. Dont get me wrong, its good stuff, but there are sealers out there that are just as good, and better.

Ever since i tried HD car care's products, ive been HOOKED.

HD Uno for a polish/cutting compound(depending on what cut pad) and HD Poxy for sealant is an AWESOME combination, and can be had(both the uno, poxy and applicators) for less than just the cost of the BlackFire.

But, at the end of the day, its personal preference. Try out different sealers and see what YOU like best.


To add to the list, NEVER, EVER take your car to a car wash, brushless or not, its just BAD.

Touchless car washes use HARSH soaps and chemicals to remove the dirt(that the absent "brushes") are supposed to get. Because of that, it will strip off, or at the very least, significantly reduce the longevity of your LSP(Last Step Protection, I.E. sealers and waxes.)

ALWAYS hand wash the car if you want to avoid swirling, marring, and r.i.d.s.

Even in the winter, i hand wash my car. If the car is REALLY bad, i will take it to the local coin-op, and (with the rinse water only) blast away all of the loose particles and snow/slush if any. Then its back home to the garage for a wash with ONR(optimum no rinse wash).

ONR is by far one of the best products to have in your lineup. Depending on how you dilute it, it can be used as a quick detailer, clay lube, or a rinseless car wash solution.

 

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people use different products all day long. I just haven't had the coin to try the HD system yet...next Spring maybe? Probably.
 

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people use different products all day long. I just haven't had the coin to try the HD system yet...next Spring maybe? Probably.
Its awesome stuff, and well worth the money. If you shop around, you can get both the poxy and uno for 20 bucks
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the great advice! I'll hand wash clay and seal for now. It will have to be at a coin wash because I live in a condo no outside water. In the future I will probably have to rely on the touch less wash for maintenance but i will check out the no rinse system. At the least I'll make sure I use sealer/wax to help protect. I assume that is no good for very dirty cars though and I ride horses which involves driving on a dirt road to the barn!

I have used megulars and mothers products in the past and been pretty happy. Does a cleaner wax do the same thing as claying?
 

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Cleaner wax is not a substitute for clay. The purpose of clay is to suspend the particles it is removing so the dont mar the paint. With cleaner wax it just rubs it into the paint.
 

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Ok I picked up mothers ca gold clay kit and the best wax I could find at autozone which was the megulars gold class cleaner wax they didn't have sealers. Guess I will start with wash, clay and wax and then order sealer online.
 

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Ok I picked up mothers ca gold clay kit and the best wax I could find at autozone which was the megulars gold class cleaner wax they didn't have sealers. Guess I will start with wash, clay and wax and then order sealer online.
Sealant before wax young padawan.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just read the detailing howto sticky and saw your message- I guess I'll have to find some sealant if I want to do this tomorrow. Does Target carry anything worthwhile?

I am ordering the Optimum no rinse on amazon, looks useful for maintenance and has great reviews. They also sell the Autoglym etc.

Note on the sticky: In one line is says use dish soap to remove old wax before waxing, the next line down it says never use dish soap! I assume this means only use it when you intend to re-wax, but it does sound a bit confusing.
 

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I wrote that sticky. I can't edit it anymore so if it's confusing I apologize.

Only wash with dish soap when absolutely necessary. It lacks lubricity so it doesn't suspend the dirt particles well and can cause marring.

I have never seen a sealant in stores only online. People still seem to think wax is the end all be all.
 

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Detailing Freak
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Ok I picked up mothers ca gold clay kit and the best wax I could find at autozone which was the megulars gold class cleaner wax they didn't have sealers. Guess I will start with wash, clay and wax and then order sealer online.
It is VERY far and few between that retailers will carry paint sealers.

When i switched from wax to sealers, i was actually lucky enough that a local o'reilly auto parts store could order in Meguiars #20(polymer sealant).

Just about every great(great, not good) detailing product is sold online only.

I just read the detailing howto sticky and saw your message- I guess I'll have to find some sealant if I want to do this tomorrow. Does Target carry anything worthwhile?

I am ordering the Optimum no rinse on amazon, looks useful for maintenance and has great reviews. They also sell the Autoglym etc.

Note on the sticky: In one line is says use dish soap to remove old wax before waxing, the next line down it says never use dish soap! I assume this means only use it when you intend to re-wax, but it does sound a bit confusing.
Highly doubt target is going to have anything decent there. You are honestly better off at an auto parts store, or if you have one local, a body repair parts store. Most of the time, body repair supply stores carry pro-line detailing products.


Good on ordering the No Rinse. It will REALLY save your paint through the winter, instead of running the car through car washes, or even a touchless.


For the dish soap, i normally will mix half car wash soap, and half dish soap when i wash my car before a detail session. Ive got to say though, the sealers that ive been using(meguiars #20, and most recently, HD Poxy) are pretty tough to strip off. I applied meguiars #20 on my car last year before the winter, and by the spring(6 months after application) it was still beading strong, and after a 50/50 wash before detailing, the water was still beading the same. After i claybarred and did an isopropyl wipedown it finally stripped off.


Now, that being said, for sealants, i would HIGHLY recommend going with either the meguiars #20, or the HD Poxy. Thats just my personal preference, and i can 100% vouch for the #20, as i used it for two years on my Dodge before making the switch to the Poxy this year.

If you have an o'reilly's near you, check them out and see if they have any sealers in stock.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that Meguiars NXT 2.0 is ACTUALLY a hybrid. It HAS polymers and the properties of a sealant, but also contains carnuba.

If you cant find anything in the store, for the time being, use the NXT, as it will protect longer than wax.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Looks like Amazon has Megulars #21 now which is supposed improvement on #20?

http://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-SYNTHETIC-SEALANT-2-0/dp/B002J854UC/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_cart_1

So I guess tomorrow I'll just wash, until I get this stuff from my order. How does this sound as a plan for detailing the next weekend:

- wash with Megular's shampoo
- clay bar (entire car? groan...)
- Megular's sealant #21 (the Blackfire stuff is 2x more expensive)
- Mother's CA Gold cleaner wax with carnauba on top (cleaner wax won't remove sealant I hope? I can return the wax is that's a bad choice I just know it worked really well on my old Volvo)

for interior protection I've always used Megular's Natural Shine because it is matte and doesn't look plasticy and wet on the matte vinyl parts and it seems to do a good job.

PS my car is the candy blue in case color makes a difference
 

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Detailing Freak
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Looks like Amazon has Megulars #21 now which is supposed improvement on #20?

http://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-SYNTHETIC-SEALANT-2-0/dp/B002J854UC/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_cart_1

So I guess tomorrow I'll just wash, until I get this stuff from my order. How does this sound as a plan for detailing the next weekend:

- wash with Megular's shampoo
- clay bar (entire car? groan...)
- Megular's sealant #21 (the Blackfire stuff is 2x more expensive)
- Mother's CA Gold cleaner wax with carnauba on top (cleaner wax won't remove sealant I hope? I can return the wax is that's a bad choice I just know it worked really well on my old Volvo)

for interior protection I've always used Megular's Natural Shine because it is matte and doesn't look plasticy and wet on the matte vinyl parts and it seems to do a good job.

PS my car is the candy blue in case color makes a difference
#20 and #21 are very similar, the difference being that #20 doesnt have as many "fillers" as #21. Basically, #21 will hide swirl marks better(but who really wants to HIDE swirls, instead of removing...)

As for the wax on top of the sealant. You CAN do it, but i wouldnt. As long as you choose a good sealant, it will look perfect. Wax also really doesnt protect against UV damage(despite the claims that it does..).

At most the wax will last a month on your car before it wears away, at which point the sealer will still be there. Id return the wax, or save it if you ever plan to use it. I bought a bottle of wax just like you did, when i was going to top my sealant with a wax. Still sits in my closet on the detailing supply shelf unopened(probably bad by now..)

If you DO decide to apply the wax, you are going to want to do that after a few days as well. Sealants need time to bond to the paint(aka cure). The polymers in paint sealants actually "cross link" together and to the surface of the car. Once you apply it, you are going to want to let the sealant cure on the paint for about 15-30 minutes before you wipe it off. About 80% of the cross linking happens during that time, and give it about a day or two to fully cure.

You also need to make sure that when you apply the sealant, it doesnt rain or snow while the sealant fully cures as well. Rainwater contains nasty little minerals that will eat away prematurely at your sealant if not fully cured.
 

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Detailing Freak
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Also, the meguiars natural shine is a good product. It actually has uv protection for whatever you apply it to, so no need to worry about your interior bits fading or cracking due to the sun.

I use the high shine on my car. Dont really like the shine, but the smell is awesome lol. If you apply it thin enough its not so bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Will the megulars sealant do or is the black fire stuff worth the extra$$?
 
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