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Greetings Dedicated Auto Enthusiast.
I came to this forum because I happen to LOVE the new Solstice, in fact I plan to have the first turbo on my block. I just happen to be a professional detailer, and I have expressed interest in starting a Detailing Forum on this site. I also told the owner and moderators that I want to become a sponsor and support the site by contributing money and my time to help members with detailing questions. Here is some background on what I do. My name is Gary Kouba and I opened Perfect Auto Finish in 2001. My main focus, in addition to performing state of the art auto detailing, is to teach and educate the public on modern techniques and applications involved in proper detailing. In order to achieve this, I started auto detailing clinics shortly after I open my business, and the first class attracted over 65 people. This told me the public had a need and desire to learn about car care. I now teach auto detailing classes at the college level for continuing adult education. My classes have become so popular that the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and America’s Car Care Business have written articles about them. I write detailing articles for Professional Car Washing and Detailing Magazine and also run my own car care column in the Community Press. I serve on the board of directors for the Professional Detailers Association (www.detailersassociation.com), and I’m one of 6 PDA Certified Master Detailers in the state of Illinois. I currently run 5 detailing forums on other car sites. I have done work for the Oprah show and presidents of corporations and my detailing work has been featured in trade magazines. I started my own line of professional supplies that I cannot talk about now untill my sponsorship is official, however selling is NOT my focus, but it does offer simple solutions to people that are confused by the amount of products on the market today. I believe a detailing section here will benefit all the members, and I will do my part to provide answers as best I can. I look forward to talking with you all soon.
Best Regards in Car Care,
Gary Kouba


[admin note: Key points and "how-to" that gets developed and evolves from questions and such in this thread will be copied to the following thread: Automotive Detailing Basics, by turbomangt

That thread becomes the "reference" thread, and is locked to discussion. This thread is intended to facilitate questions, clarification, and develop the other reference thread into a comprehensive guide. thanks,
Solsticeman]
 

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Best idea I've read on this forum, and that's saying something. Bring on the info for those of us new to the car=obsession game!
 

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Well, welcome to the Forum..

I have a black ( oh no... ) Solstice..

and going to order the porter cable DA auto car buffer. They say its the best. I want to get rid of some very minor swirl marks and keep them off.

I heard the 3M swirl mark remover ( for dark colors ) is very good...
What do you think???
Here is the link:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ru=http://search.ebay.com:80//search/search.dll?from=R40&satitle=7969803009++&fvi=1&item=7969803009

Thanks, and welcome!!

Frank
 

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Welcome, turbomangt, we sure need your expertise in this forum.

Many have posted great ideas, and we will appreciate your input too.

How do you feel about Zaino?

How do you feel about 3M clear bra?

Glad you're here, Gary.
 

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so glad you're here!

what do you think of the "California Duster"...does it put swirl marks on the car? Does it work as well as it says? Would you offer any other suggestions for 'dusting' type products? My car is a 3rd car that sits in the garage on rainy days and I need something to dust it!!!

Thanks,
IS300toSOLSTICE
 

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I'm kinda dissappointed. I came to this thread hoping to get tips and learn the 'basics of automotive detailing.' I say lets hurry up and get a detailing section going because I'm going to be driving my Agressive Sol every single day for everything I do and I need to know how to keep it as pristine as possible while not breaking the bank and using up every ounce of free time I have as well.
 

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Great stuff, thank you. Is there a website that has a step by step wash/wax/detail intructions you would recomend. I have not really had a car that deserved the care an attention that a Solstice does. I usually just go to the car wash with my Subaru Outback. I would like to learn the right way to do it the first time. I was looking at the Zaino product kits.
What do you think of them?
What do you think of those 3M clear protective films?
Do they yellow over time?
Can you wax right over them?

Thanks you in advance for your comments.
Sitting Duck (Orlando)
 

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Hello, I'm a Proffesional auto detailer as well, and I thought I'd throw my 2 cents worth in here, as far as help when I can.

First 1k
Do not buy a buffer, if you have no experience using one. leave any kind of buffing to a Pro. You will ruin the paint on a car in 1-2 seconds flat. The last thing you want to do is burn that new Solstice paint job. You can very easily take those minor swirl marks out by hand. Here's how, and what to use. Find your AutoMagic retailer in your area, you can usually find it in your local phone book. What you want to buy from him is something called "White Magic". You cannot buy this in any store, it's a comercial detailling product only available to detailers, but, if you want some of their product, they will sell it to a regular consumer. The smallest amount you can buy is a gallon. It should run you around $22. A gallon in the long run is a good thing to have anyway. This stuff is excellent. Use it not only on the swirl areas, do the entire car with it. Make sure you do it in a garage with the car at room temperature, and out of the direct sun. Use an extremely soft application pad, or very soft towel to apply it. Use a modest amount of it, and only do small areas each time. Such as a fender first, apply, let dry for around 1 minute then wipe off. You should do this 2 times before moving on to say, the driver door, etc. etc. You don't have to use in a circular motion either, you can do half moons, or on the swirl areas, just wipe back and forth over it. Use a bit more pressure on the swirl areas, than the good areas. To wipe off, again, use a clean extremely soft large towel, turning it often while wiping off. When done with a small area before moving on, take the towel outside of the garage and shake it out vigorously before wiping off another area. This stuff creates a lot of dust in the towel for some reason. After applying this stuff to the entire car, you won't have to do it again for another 6 months, but you can if you want to. This stuff is so good, after applying, you could litterally drive out in the rain, take it through mud, let it dry over a week in the hot sun outdoors, then wash and sry it, and it will look the same as the day you first applyed it. (Of course you'd never do this to beautiful car such as this, but I just wanted to make a point about how good this stuff is.) Anyway, hope this helps, have fun. Anymore questions please ask.

gizmo2004
I'm not familiar with Zaino, I'll have to check into it. As far a 3M clear bra, that's scary. Your best bet is to have a Professional detailer use a type of polymer sealant for a protectant, and keep any kind of bra off the front end, unless it's an extremely soft non-abrasive leather outside type, and only use it on long trips. Take it off immediately when you get home, or if staying somewhere after the long trip take it off and bring it into wherever you're staying for the night or nights, but that's it. It may sound like a pain, but it's pretty much the only way.


IS300toSOLSTICE
The California duster is only a last resort if you want to want to take dust off your car quickly. Make sure if it's new to leave it outside in the shade with several newspapers underneath it for several days. Then dust furniture and stuff like that for a while first before applying it to your car. You want to make sure that it's completely dry before it hits your car. DO NOT use it on a dark colored car, black, burgandy, and the like. Light colors are ok, but don't use it often. Tack cloth is about the only thing safe enough to take dust off without scratching or pitting paint. If it's really dusty, just bite the bullet and wash it, and dry with a clean chamoi or super soft fluffy bath towels.


orlando
I'm sure your talking about protection from rock chips, road tar/paint etc. Good question. 3M clear protective films are great for headlight applications, but putting them on paint would be iffy at best. If you do use them, I would only leave them on for maybe a few weeks, then go without for another few weeks, then apply some new ones, but for only another 2 weeks on, etc. etc. Leaving these on permanent will leave bad paint fading, and so on. As far as a permanent solution to this, I don't know of any personally that don't leave some sort of other type of paint flaw, so it seems like a kind a trade off. Maybe someone else can throw in some better suggestions.

Well, I hope this helped some of you. I'll check back from time to time to try to help out if nobody else is, thanks...
 

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I don't understand what you said about the california duster. I got one for my black Monte Carlo, and it works great to just freshon up the car quick. It never scratched my paint. I don't use it often, just for a quick touch up if I'm going somewere fast and no time to wipe down the car.
 

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Capgun_Slim said:
As far a 3M clear bra, that's scary.

3M clear protective films are great for headlight applications, but putting them on paint would be iffy at best. If you do use them, I would only leave them on for maybe a few weeks, then go without for another few weeks, then apply some new ones, but for only another 2 weeks on, etc. etc. Leaving these on permanent will leave bad paint fading, and so on.

The 3M clear bra is the same thing as the Paint Protection Film, so the advice should not be different.

Also, It really isn't practical to put on and remove the Paint Protection Film every couple of weeks. It could take an entire day to put on not to mention that the actual film is a one time use product and can cost several hundred.
 

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Welcome turbo, glad to have some experts in car care on board :) With a black Solstice I've recently been studying up on detailing. I'm sure I'll have questions on the subject :thumbs:

Welcome to you too Capgun_Slim. I'm sure when you say don't use a buffer you mean don't try a professional circular type and but the random orbit/dual action type like Cable Porter 7424 is fine, right? I've read those are targeted at weekend novices.

I find the Solstice to be so small that doing it by hand is easy. I'm saving the PC 7424 for my truck and wife's car :lol:
 

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Welcome turbo and capgun...

... What I was thinking we could do is use this thread for discussion, and start a new, locked thread with the condensed information from the experts.


Turbomangt, since you started the thread, if you could compose your next posts on "the basics", with a clear title and discussion, we mods will extract the posts to a stuck, auto-detailing thread.
 

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solsticeman: we certainly appreciate how you and the other mods have handled this forum. I know it takes a lot of your time and it provides so much more information than we could ever get from dealers, etc. And all in one place! Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You guys have lots of questions for my first post, I will give some feedback here on some of your questions.
Buffers, basically two types, High speed Rotary and Dual Action. The HS is DANGEROUS and should not be used unless you have experience. It creates heat to break downe the compounds, but can also burn the paint quickly. The DA buffer does what it says, two motions running at the same time, rotating and spinning in its access. Thus it doesn't create heat, but also does not do serious paint correcting. This I will discuss in future discussions.
3-M swirl remover/ this products hides the swirls does not remove them. You cannot remove swirls by hand, but you can cover them up.
Zaino, I could talk about this for hours. I know I will upset some that use it but her is my professional opinion. Over priced and over rated. They capitalize on selling the uneducated consumer. They also make it complicated to use. (z-1 z-2 z-3 z-4 z-5 z-6 z-7, where will this end. They also sell a ZFX additive for $25 that is suppose to help the polish react. Any chemist you talk to will tell you that Synthetic Polymers worth their salt has the additives IN the product already. ZFX is just a mareting ploy. I will leave this hear for now I'm sure we will discuss this more.
3m bra. Keep in mind that even though this may protect the paint from the chips, the film still gets chipped and creates unsightly marks when flawed. It could also discolor your paint if used for a prolonged time. They have a after market clear coat now that is 7 times stronger than factory. Its applied at body shops that are up on latest technology.
Cal Duster, if used properly it is fine. Do not press on it, gentle pressure only.
I will be writing a step by step interior and exterior guide soon for people on other forums that have asked me. Gary
 

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Thank you VERY much. You have already saved me a bunch of money. I look forward to your posts soon. I hope you are able to become a sponsor so we can learn from you. This forum has been more than a support group during the long wait for my Solstice, (here 10-26 if the creek don't rise), it has also been a source of great insight and knowledge. Thank you all for your contributions.
Sitting Duck, (Orlando) :yesnod:
 

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turbomangt said:
...
Zaino, I could talk about this for hours. I know I will upset some that use it but her is my professional opinion. Over priced and over rated. They capitalize on selling the uneducated consumer. They also make it complicated to use. (z-1 z-2 z-3 z-4 z-5 z-6 z-7, where will this end. They also sell a ZFX additive for $25 that is suppose to help the polish react. Any chemist you talk to will tell you that Synthetic Polymers worth their salt has the additives IN the product already. ZFX is just a mareting ploy. I will leave this hear for now I'm sure we will discuss this more.
...
Gary, what is your opinion of Blackfire and Four Star Ultimate Paint Protection? I've had good results with both those polymers, especially when applied over Klasse All in One.
 

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I pondering polishes and waxes myself. Had tried Blackfire first go round but now want to try something else next spring. Possibly a carnauba wax over some other product as a base since this car is a breeze to wax.
 

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mceb said:
I pondering polishes and waxes myself. Had tried Blackfire first go round but now want to try something else next spring. Possibly a carnauba wax over some other product as a base since this car is a breeze to wax.
If I were to try a carnuba, I'd try P21S or this:

http://www.topoftheline.com/toltradcarwa.html

However I'm not yet convinced either would look that much better than a top flight polymer.

Maybe Gary could comment on this as well (appearance difference between polymers and carnubas - how noticeable?).
 

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turbomangt said: "3m bra. Keep in mind that even though this may protect the paint from the chips, the film still gets chipped."

and "They have a after market clear coat now that is 7 times stronger than factory."

So these two are not one and the same? How is the clear coat applied? I thought that was the same as the 3m bra, that it's comes in rolls or pre-cut with adhesive.

Thanks for your assistance.
 

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gizmo2004 said:
turbomangt said: "3m bra. Keep in mind that even though this may protect the paint from the chips, the film still gets chipped."

and "They have a after market clear coat now that is 7 times stronger than factory."

So these two are not one and the same? How is the clear coat applied? I thought that was the same as the 3m bra, that it's comes in rolls or pre-cut with adhesive.

Thanks for your assistance.
I do not know much, (as you all know), but I am pretty sure the clear coat is a sprayed on product and the 3M is peal and stick.
Now that I know the new and improved clear coat is available, I am sure I would rather use that. Did you see the pictures of the car with the 3M product on it? I would do anything to get rid of orange peel, The 3M product is instant orange peel that you pay for to be applied. The clear coat is exactly that, a "CLEAR COAT". Yes the 3M is clear, but there are different levels of clear. 7 times stronger is not a sure thing that it won't chip or pit, but I think I will take my chances and be orange peel free. ;)
Sitting Duck
 
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