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Old 11-11-2011, 10:58 AM   #1
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lessons learned - waxing

okay, i tried to wax my wife's car today. wanted to share some issues that i had and lessons that i learned. i assume that many of these, most of you already know, but still felt like sharing my experience.

first off, my wife took her car to the car wash and they attempted to remove a stain by "rubbing" it out. unfortunately, it scratched the clear coat. since it was her car, and she never really pays attention to it, i didn't notice it until a few weeks went by. so although upset, i knew that the car wash would deny any responsibility so i just tried to "fix" it myself.

i decided to try some cleaner wax. i had two bottles in my basement that i haven't used in a while. my options were meguiar's and zymol. i did some "online" research and decided to try zymol. perhaps retrospectively, should have gone with the other.

anyhow, i washed the car and parked it in the garage to work on it. i had an orbitor, but not the pads. so went and bought some pads. had the option of picking microfiber vs. standard terry cloth. microfiber felt so soft and more expensive, so i figure it had to be better. again, perhaps a mistake.

when i used the microfiber, i noticed once it got "wet", it no longer was "soft" and puffy. again, wasn't thinking when i bought it. anyhow, i decided to go ahead and just lay on the cleaner-wax on the entire car before buffing it out. mistake #3.

mistake #4 was that since the garage door was open, the back end of the car was somewhat exposed to direct sun light. as soon as i put the wax on it, you could see it harden and smoke!

so now i put on a new pad and tried to buff the stuff off. i went straight to the rear since i knew the sun was baking it. man, it was touch getting it off. and by now the entire car was also "hardened". the buffer took most off, but i had to go back and remove the rest off by hand.

don't know if this is a mistake or good method, but i was too lazy to get a towel, so i just removed my t shirt and started using that as my "soft terry cloth" to wife off the excess wax.

another thing that i learned was, for the tires, i wanted a gloss wet look. i had some left over tire dressing. the kind that you actually have to wipe on. it looked "thicker" so i thought it would be better. lesson i learned from this is that it is much more difficult to dress and wipe on without getting your hands dirty. also hard to get the bottom of the tire (near the ground). getting this stuff on your garage floor leaves a stain. lesson #??...what ever i'm at now. i noticed that the spray cans are much easier to deal with and gives you a more even spread. IMO, the results are the same. so in the future, i'll just stick with the spray can. but remember, do it out on the street or some parking lot. NOT in your garage or drive way. it will leave a stain.

as for the scratch that was "rubbed" out originally, the cleaner-wax improved the appearance, but definitely not gone. still obvious IMO. upset, but too lazy to try a new product/method for now. the excess wax removal/buffing wore me out.

the reason i don't like the zymol is even after the entire process, the car still feels gritty. as if i didn't even wax it. i remember when i used the meguiar's, i could feel an obvious difference, before and after. some may argue that my excessive removal technique removed the product, but honestly on the hood, i didn't have to work so hard removing the wax. so i truly think it just an inferior product.

so...lessons learned. feel free to critique and give your opinions.

thanks for listening to me vent.

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Old 11-11-2011, 11:01 AM   #2
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oh and last lesson of the day. washing the microfiber covers... instructions are to NOT put in machine and just let soak in soapy water. so i did that in my kitchen sink. MISTAKE!!! there is a rim of wax around the sink now. got to get it off before wife comes home. hehe.
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:27 AM   #3
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sounds like you had a fun day...

use Dawn or other dish washing detergent to dissolve wax ring around sink... I also use it to quickly get wax out of orbital pads after applying. The snappy pad cleaner stuff seems to only be good dissolving polishes in pads. Oh yeah, and clean them in a utility tub or let them soak in a bucket w/ soap/cleaner... not the kitchen sink.

couple other quick tips...
- never wax/polish a car in direct sunlight... (washing should be avoided too particularly dark colored cars)
- never apply wax/polish to a hot surface
- to apply tire dressing, I put old newspaper behind each wheel and roll car onto. It catches the excess and prevents it from staining garage floor/driveway/etc. Once finished, just drive car off, pick up soiled paper and dispose.

Now, relax w/ a few well earned beers and admire your handy work
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:39 AM   #4
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There is no easy way to fix scratches in clear coat. The only real way to do it is too scary for most people and they really should not try it unless they know what they are doing and that is wet sanding.

Wet sand with 1500 grit, then 2000 grit, then rubbing compound, then polish and then wax.

All the store bought liquid scratch stuff just fills the scratch temporarily, it will look better but it will come back.

For even deeper scratches, professional touch up paint formulas have a body filler step followed by a leveling the scratch step followed by painting.

No magic bullet and don't look for answers on youtube, the paint shavings, super glue aluminum foil thing is a recipe for disaster. Get a professional to detail your car once a year, then you can maintain it.
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:59 PM   #5
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i use meguiars scratch X for minor clear coat scratches and buffer swirl marks. it works pretty good.
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:03 PM   #6
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Tuanle16 - Since you are my friend I can say this "Knucklehead"!!! First sign of trouble you should have called me, said I would be home from the funeral Thursday night. Sun not your friend. Microfiber actually is your friend, it's just waxes will heat up and harden, liquid is your friend. Foam would have been better but it can be done with microfiber...never mind just rent her a car for a week and bring it up here next time you go back to Alt...or MJ and I will just come down for a weekend.

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Old 11-11-2011, 01:05 PM   #7
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Take it to a detailer and have it polished out. Wet sand is the absolute last resort but you'll likely have to do repaint A LOT sooner.

I use this tire dressing applicator. No mess.

http://www.eshine.ca/no_mess_tire_applicator-3951.php

Last edited by ekam; 11-11-2011 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:10 PM   #8
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Wow! what a disaster.




If you search my posts, you'll find one on my experience with detailing my car. I did it my self and had good luck with removing both fine/spiderweb scratches and more pronounced flaws. I use Zaino. But there are a number of quality "synthetic" wax systems out there.




Good luck in the future, but based on your first post I'd recommend that you find a professional...
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:47 PM   #9
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There is a guy who has put together several series of "how to's" on Youtube as to waxing, washing, polishing, clear coat sanding, etc. who goes by the name of Junkman. I ended up buying the Porter Cable machine he recommends along with other memebers here, the results are incredible.....VERY worthwhile watching:

The "Slow Cut" Technique - Part 1 - YouTube
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landrovered View Post
There is no easy way to fix scratches in clear coat. The only real way to do it is too scary for most people and they really should not try it unless they know what they are doing and that is wet sanding.

Wet sand with 1500 grit, then 2000 grit, then rubbing compound, then polish and then wax.

All the store bought liquid scratch stuff just fills the scratch temporarily, it will look better but it will come back.

For even deeper scratches, professional touch up paint formulas have a body filler step followed by a leveling the scratch step followed by painting.

No magic bullet and don't look for answers on youtube, the paint shavings, super glue aluminum foil thing is a recipe for disaster. Get a professional to detail your car once a year, then you can maintain it.
+ 1, I had my cars clear coat coming off on the hood and deep scratches on the front bumper/hit by some one when it was parked + Bird crap spots that also ate threw the clear coat in several spots on the car.
I had a loc. guy who does detail work on dealers car, repaint my hood and front bumper and wet sand and wheel out the hole car for $595.00 and the car looks showroom new, money well spent.

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