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Caring for your car

Discussion in 'Autocare, Detailing, Valet, Product reviews' started by C350Carl, May 30, 2015.

  1. McDonald

    McDonald Senior Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Surrey
    Your Mercedes:
    SL500 2004
    So far I've bought:-

    Two buckets, colour coded red & blue with grit filters and lids
    Microfibre wash mitt
    Microfibre drying cloth
    Sonax Deep Gloss Shampoo
    Bilt Hamber Clay
    Meguiars - Ultimate Quick Detailer (650ml)
    Wheel cleaner with microfibre mitt

    I've taken the precaution of having it all delivered to my office, so that I don't need to explain all this extravagance to my wife.

    The car has been tucked away for months and all this shopping is a clear indication of how much I've missed it, and how keen I am to bring it out into the daylight.
     
  2. Wighty

    Wighty Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    W211/E320cdi/2009 and CLK200k 2009
    Excellent work , love the deceitful way you have hidden it all from the Mrs .
     
  3. Rotorhead500

    Rotorhead500 Senior Member

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    Location:
    Very South Devon
    Your Mercedes:
    Used to have a C63...
    Needs must... egg.

    I managed to leave SWMBO thinking the "63" was just a trim level for three weeks. Was going well until one of her colleagues dobbed me in! :(

    It was then another 4-5 months before she realised it was petrol. :D
     
  4. Capra

    Capra Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    W204 2013 C350 CDI Pan roof
    Great write up. So to summary I would require the following to do a good job?

    Snow foam
    AutoSmart Smart Wheels
    Sonax Deep Gloss Shampoo
    Wax/polish
    Sealant

    lambswool or microfibre mit
    (600gsm) microfibre towel
    Bilt Hamber clay
    2 buckets
     
  5. Rotorhead500

    Rotorhead500 Senior Member

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    Location:
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    Your Mercedes:
    Used to have a C63...
    Also worth getting some Carplan Alloy Wheel sealant/protector - it's actually a superbly effective, very easily applied spray, and dirt washes off very readily!

    If you're happy to spend a little more, Chemical Guys Wheel Guard is very good, but is wipe on / wipe off.

    Pound for pound, I really rate the Carplan product.

    I tend to use two 2 wash mitts too - I keep one purely for the lower third of the car, where a lot of the cr4p tends to build up.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
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  6. Capra

    Capra Senior Member

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    Thanks, my wheels really need a refurbish as they have some corrosion around the centre caps. I'm also going to get one of those lances for the foam. I actually enjoy cleaning/polishing cars for some reason, my wife thinks I'm bonkers!
     
  7. Rotorhead500

    Rotorhead500 Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    Used to have a C63...
    I tend to find it quite therapeutic when left to my own devices... not so much when her ladyship is complaining that I'm not vacuuming the flowered or washing plant pots! :rolleyes:
     
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  8. daveenty

    daveenty Senior Member

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    Location:
    The Frozen North :(
    Your Mercedes:
    2017 W213 E63s & 1989 W201 2.5-16
    I also enjoy cleaning cars, I tend to find it rather therapeutic, especially when left on my own without some neighbour making the usual snide comments.

    Carl's initial write up is excellent and, if you follow the instructions even loosely, you should have a finish to be proud of. I don't use snow foam at all, though do tend to adhere to the rest of his instructions. My reckoning is that if the car's that dirty then I just keep playing over it with a hosepipe, loosening the muck gently. I also never use a pressure washer on it as I've seen too much damages caused by these. No matter how carefully you attack it with a jet of water, it's bound to get somewhere where it shouldn't really be in the first place...
     
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  9. Capra

    Capra Senior Member

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    Nice cars look better when they are looked after. A friend bough a Dacia (not my cup of tea) and it looked ok new. 12 months later and they have never cleaned it. When you get in you could mistake if for a 15 year old Renault!
     
  10. Capra

    Capra Senior Member

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    Am I better off using an electric polisher? If so are there any that you would recommend?
     
  11. daibevan

    daibevan Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    W203 C200 Kompressor Elegance SE 2006
    I'm sure you know, but wax & polish are different.
    Car polish does not "polish", it removes a fine layer of topcoat.
    Wax when buffed "polishes" the finish.
     
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  12. Capra

    Capra Senior Member

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    I thought that's what T-Cut did LOL. Yes, I would polish and then seal. Never used sealant before.
     
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  13. Capra

    Capra Senior Member

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  14. OP
    C350Carl

    C350Carl Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
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    As a beginners tool that will be fine. Just don’t expect much correction from it.

    Mercedes clearcoat (as with most German cars) is notoriously hard as it is a ceramic clearcoat.

    To get any decent level of correction when I detail a Mercedes I have to use a rotary polisher.
     
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  15. OP
    C350Carl

    C350Carl Senior Member

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    I would be inclined to disagree. If you’re careful then it’s no worse than leaving your car out in torrential rain.

    Don’t forget one of the tests done for a new car is the ‘monsoon test’ and they use fairly high pressure water when doing so.

    Don’t get me wrong if you sit an inch or less from the paintwork or panel gaps then yes you probably would get water where it shouldn’t.

    But sit back a good 30cm or so and you won’t be in any danger.

    The one caveat is the engine bay. I do use a pressure washer when cleaning the engine bay. But I have a variable pressure nozzle and keep the pressure really low. It’s not something I would normally advise people do without being shown how to do it safely.
     
  16. Capra

    Capra Senior Member

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  17. OP
    C350Carl

    C350Carl Senior Member

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    Hi Andy,

    The stuff you have ordered is a good start. No personal experience with Mer Polish but others i know say it is pretty good. However having said that it is not going to do much in the way of correction for you as it is a finishing polish.

    Polishes fall in to 3 main categories, yes there are varying grades depending on manufacturer but generally they fit into 3 main areas. The categories are:

    Cutting compounds - most abrasive and generally used for heavy correction work.
    Polishing compounds - medium level of abrasiveness to give a decent correction.
    Finishing compounds - Light abrasive which is generally used for light correction and removing micro marring from polishing process.

    You can't repalce polish with a wax as the two products are completely different and have no bearing on each other for which i will explain.

    To get the desired finish you polish the car. This removes the defects in the clearcoat and, once you have removed all traces of oils etc after polishing, gives a wax/sealant the best surface to 'bond' to.

    Wax (or sealant) is basically a sacrificial layer to protect the polished surface underneath. You only apply wax/sealant after polishing the car. Otherwise if you apply wax first then you will take it away once you polish it, even with a finishing polish.

    If you have arms like Garth and don't mind spending the next 6mths away from your Mrs then go for it by hand. But you will not get anywhere near the level of correction you want. Not without using a polish that is full of fillers, which won't last more than a handful of washes.

    Eg. something like Autoglym SRP is filler heavy and only masks the defects. Whereas machine polishing removes the defects completely.

    As you are going to do this in one day don't worry about getting deeper marks out. Start as early as you can, thinking of your neighbours, and take your time if you are using a machine polisher. As long as you aren't stupid with it then with a DA polisher you generally can't do any damage.
     
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  18. Capra

    Capra Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info on polishing. The car has not been detailed for as long as the last owner has had it. So maybe I go with a polishing compound after i use the clay bar. after the polish would I then use something to remove the oils before applying the was/sealant.
     
  19. OP
    C350Carl

    C350Carl Senior Member

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    Don’t use a polishing compound unless you’re also going to use a finishing compound after. Otherwise you’ll end up with buffer trails all round the car.

    I used to use carpro eraser and IPA to wipe each panel down before applying a wax/sealant. I’ve not detailed a car for a while as I’m working overseas at the moment. So there may be other products out there now that do the job too.

    For what you want to achieve you may struggle in a day. It all depends on the level of correction you want and the current condition of the paint.

    If you can this evening take a pic of the bonnet under the light of a petrol station forecourt. Make sure you take a picture of the light reflection and try and be fairly close.

    Post up the pic and I’ll take an educated guess at what you’d realistically achieve in a day. It won’t be 100% accurate as you can’t do it fully from a picture for many reasons. But it will give some idea.

    I may not reply for a couple of days depending on my work. But I’ll try and reply before you start on Saturday.
     
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  20. Capra

    Capra Senior Member

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    Thanks Carl, with my limited knowledge it doesn't look too bad, but what do I know!! Thanks for helping, it's all very confusing!! Never knew there were so many compounds, years ago I would do a t-cut and then polish, missing the finishing application.
     

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