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Old 07-15-2013, 09:06 AM   #1
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Claybar & Exterior detail

I don't mind washing my car and keeping the interior clean as a whistle but when it comes to waxing.....it's like nails on a chalkboard to me. First off, I suck at it and secondly I sweat so much I'm dripping all over the car while I work!

I got a coupon in the mail for 50% off a full car details (reg. $120) so I was thinking about seeing if they'd work out a deal of instead of an overall detail, I could get something focused specifically on exterior. The car needs a good base coat of wax anyway and if I'm going to pay to have that done, I should have them claybar it too.

Any thoughts from someone who's done something similar? Suggested prices? The car by no means is in bad shape but I'd really like to bring it close to a mirror shine and get the headlights touched up too. Chances I can keep this under $100 or is that just asking for crappy workmanship?

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Old 07-15-2013, 09:36 AM   #2
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The idea of paying someone to detail your car is like paying someone to make me cold cereal in the mornig.

Unless you're dealing with a legit pro detailing shop, and there are very few, most are simply car washes with a little car waxing section. Those guys are not knowledgable and are ham fisted, they'll do more harm than good. Probably because they're paying minimum wage workers to do a technical job.

Which means that there's no escaping paying someone a fairly high price for top shelf detail work.
But at the same time an owner can do nearly all of the most common jobs performed by a legit detailer with a little practice. It's not like tyring to teach yoursefl electrical/HVAC work.

My suggestion is use a portable air-conditioner in your garage. I seem the at Costco.
Or do the work at night and use halogen lamps from Sears. I clay/wash at the same time, the suds from washing provide ample lubrication for clay barring. rinse the car off and do a quick second wash to clear any debris you might have scattered. Even on a very neglected sports car, clay barring should not take more than a few minutes per panel. The second time around will be even faster. If you are using a Flex polisher or Porter Cable waxing the car is a piece of cake.
I can do a small car like the Boxster in 20 minutes.
The only really time-consuming part of an exterior job would be de-swirling, that requires slow left to right motions for the polish to grind down the swirls. But you should only be doing this once a year or so -- the paint only has so much clear coat to spare. If you find a pro detailer, I would do all the prep work (wash/clay bar/polish ie clean) myself and ask them to simply get rid of the swirls. The final 'icing on top" stages of adding a sealant and wax topper does not require a pro detailer's steep rates. Any enthusiast can do it him/herself...unless they are physically unable or are too lazy.
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Last edited by Perfectlap; 07-15-2013 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:55 AM   #3
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I have 3 porsches and do each of them once a year , wash, clay bar and wax and then just washes for the rest of the year and they stay nice. It is no big deal.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:24 AM   #4
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I'd not trust your typical car/detail place to do the kind of job you want.

Look for a specialist detailer that gets paid at least $50 /hr and has satisfied customers.

You have to carefully wash all the debris off your car before the wax polish stage otherwise you will be grinding dirt into your paint and wax making it less mirror like.

The Boxster is a small vehicle so like the others say, its not too long a task, and a polisher can make it quick and painless to produce remarkable results. Except for swirls on Black cars

The occasional claybar is also helpful but only when you notice the reflectiveness reducing since as the others have said, its abrasive and you want your clear coat to last.



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