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Hello All,

I just bought a bunch of car care items for detailing my Envious (Green) GXP this spring. Among these items is a CG Torq X polisher kit with a set of Quantum Pads with prepping and cleaning solutions. Having never used a DA polisher before I am hoping to possibly replicate some of the outstanding exterior results that I have seen posted on this forum. To this end, I have some questions.

Question #1 - Are today's DA polishers safe for our cars? The video clips I have watched online seem to say they are fairly foolproof to use if you follow the instructional videos while using the appropriate pads and products for the job at hand. Is this true? I have never used a DA polisher before but I can be trainable.

Question #2 - Is this an appropriate workflow? - Do a 3 bucket wash (wheels first with CG Mister Pink and Bear Claw Wash Pad), dry the car (microfiber towels), clay the car (Car Brite Detailer's Clay Mitt and CG Luber), polish car with the appropriate swirl remover (Orange Quantum Pad and CG V36), finishing polish (White Quantum Pad and CG V38), glaze the car (CG Blacklight on Blue Quantum Pad), seal the car (CG Jet Seal on Red Quantum Pad), and give the car a final hand waxing with Eagle One Superior Nanowax. The top I will clean and seal with the CG convertible cleaner and protectant.

Question #3 - If I successfully execute the above steps how long should I expect the goodness to last? I realize weekly washes and waxing will probably be required to keep it maintained but how long before the above workflow will need to be repeated?

Question #4 - What can I use on the engine compartment for protection?

Question #5 - What's best for windows? I have used RainX products in the past.


Let me know how I can improve on this endeavor.


:|:|:|:|
 

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Autoblog has been running an excellent detailing series, it covers all aspects of car cleaning. From how to wash your car correctly to how to use a polisher. It's currently up to 36 videos.

Autoblog Details (pg 2) The first video is on the 2nd page and then they works backwards.

Autoblog Details is our newest car care video series
Autoblog Staff Jan 22, 2016
You're enthusiasts. So are we. But there's a lot of jobs that can be surprisingly tricky, especially if you're not sure how to do it. Enter Details. Today we're launching these short-form videos starring the world's preeminent detailer, Larry Kosilla. We've got everything you need about how to get your machine looking right. Here's the library, and it includes everything from waxing to removing salt stains (you'll want to watch that one after all of the winter slush). Go ahead and binge watch 'em, and come back to Autoblog, where we'll highlight a new video each week.
 

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Question #1 - Are today's DA polishers safe for our cars? The video clips I have watched online seem to say they are fairly foolproof to use if you follow the instructional videos while using the appropriate pads and products for the job at hand. Is this true? I have never used a DA polisher before but I can be trainable.
Please don't start with a heavy scratch remover if you're inexperienced. My best suggestion, get some Meguier's Swirl Remover and start with that. You can create major swirls in your car if you don't know what you're doing. Chances are if you can't get the light scratches out with the Swirl Remover, your car may need to be wet sanded and professionally wheeled out, especially if you're looking for a show car finish. Please be careful with anything other then the swirl remover as you can also burn the paint. Getting scratches out that are heavier then swirls has to be done by "heating up the paint" with your cleaner and pad. And when you do that, you chance burning the paint if you don't know what you're doing.

Question #2 - Is this an appropriate workflow? - Do a 3 bucket wash (wheels first with CG Mister Pink and Bear Claw Wash Pad), dry the car (microfiber towels), clay the car (Car Brite Detailer's Clay Mitt and CG Luber), polish car with the appropriate swirl remover (Orange Quantum Pad and CG V36), finishing polish (White Quantum Pad and CG V38), glaze the car (CG Blacklight on Blue Quantum Pad), seal the car (CG Jet Seal on Red Quantum Pad), and give the car a final hand waxing with Eagle One Superior Nanowax. The top I will clean and seal with the CG convertible cleaner and protectant.
My advice on this is never start with your wheels! And if you're using a swirl remover, you might not need to waste your time with clay baring....if done correctly. And if you are using a light swirl remover, there really is no need for another polish after that. Do not seal the top!!! There is many a discussion here regarding 2 products for the top and they have impeccable results. Do a search of the forums for it.


Question #3 - If I successfully execute the above steps how long should I expect the goodness to last? I realize weekly washes and waxing will probably be required to keep it maintained but how long before the above workflow will need to be repeated?
I have never had experience with Eagle One, but I can tell you Meguier's synthetic wax lasts me about 6-8 weeks. You have to remember, if you are using a "paint protector" prior to waxing, wax will wash right off with the first washing. That's what paint protection or paint sealant is for. We used to use Xillon at the dealership and if a car had xillon applied before it was striped, the strips would peel right off.

Question #4 - What can I use on the engine compartment for protection?
Someone else will have to help with this one. I don't believe there is anything like an engine wax. I know a bottle of Simple Green, water hose and a plastic bag over your air cleaner will work.


Question #5 - What's best for windows? I have used RainX products in the past.
I can recommend Zep40, if you can find it commercially. We used to use this on my 240 car loaner fleet at the dealer. And it will clean carpet too!! A newspaper instead of paper towel or cloths to wipe the windows will help with streaking and fogging after the cleaning.


Let me know how I can improve on this endeavor.


:|:|:|:|[/QUOTE]
 

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Engine compartment : I with the Ghost on this one I give it a good wash with Simple Green and a soft brush and follow that up with Wizards Black Renue on the plastic parts it's a cream so it does not get all over everything and it seems to last quite awhile . For the glass I found a product at the local farm and feed store Spray Away Glass Cleaner I have noticed that other stores in my area are starting to carry it and in all the years I've cleaned cars this is the best stuff I've ever used plus it's reasonable cost at under 3 bucks a can .I also use it on the billet ,powder coated items ,and chrome clamps in my engine compartment . I'm a detail freak so my car and engine compartment never get really dirty and I know that helps a lot .
 

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question #1 : Yes! a DAP is foolproof! You can't burn the paint with a DAP. Different story when using a rotary : if inexperienced, you definitely will burn the paint!
Most important thing is to start on a really clean surface

Question #2 : I also start with the wheels.
Then I foam the car, rinse it
use Iron X, to remove tiny metal particals in the paint, rinse it
Wash the car, rinse it
I don't dry the car before I clay it. NEVER skip this step when you're using a DAP. Otherwise, you'll be creatingswirls instead of removing them. Remember : it all starts with a good preparation, a real clean surface.
When you treat the top, always follow the direction of the fabric thread, never rub in opposite direction
Question # 3 : depends on how often you drive the car and in what conditions. Max. 3 months. You don't need to go through the 5 steps every time ; washing en waxing will be fine. I do the full 5 steps twice a year. I always use natural carnauba wax, they don't last as long as a synthetic one, but the result is so much better : a nice wet look!
Question # 4 : I use 303 Aerospace protectant : spray it on, let it dry for 30 minutes en buff it with a microfiber towel
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for chiming in!!! Keep your suggestions coming. Much of what you all say makes sense and I will have the CG online videos for each of their products I have recently purchased to fall back on. Just hope they aren't too far off on any of the steps for properly using their products.

The reason for my renewed interest in a better way to maintain the family's cars is the fact that I had the Solstice looking really sharp last fall or least I thought so until a good friend brought his new '17 Mustang GT over to show me. It actually glowed when parked beside the freshly washed and waxed Solstice. The Solstice looked good but nowhere in the same league as the Mustang.

Now I know 10 year old clearcoat can't be expected to match new factory fresh paint with a new car dealer detail, BUT I think I can squeeze out a bit more luster from my GXP's paint if I can learn to wash the car, remove contaminants, do minor paint corrections, and seal the paint properly.

Some of the pictures I've seen on the forum of properly detailed kappa cars support this line of thought. I have been looking at several threads on this forum for pics of nice looking cars and some of the pictures of the cars belonging to forum members are just outstanding on how nice they look. The cars just POP in the pictures!!!

If I can learn to do a detail job correctly I should be able to keep my GXP and my wife's 2013 Azera looking good for years to come.

Thanks for your help.
 

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After waxing my car, kept indoors, I wash it with as little as possible Megiuar's car wash soap which is suppose to be wax friendly. In between washes I detail with Megiuar's detail spray. I wax once a year.

For the glass, inside and out, wipe down with micro fiber towel, then clean with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, do not get drips on dash or on paint, then claybar the outside, then Megiuar's wax on the outside. Lasts longer than RainX/Invisible Glass. In between this deep cleaning, I clean the outside with a wet cotton shop towel and dry with a cotton towel. I do this deep clean twice a year.
 

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To support and add to the advice you've received -

Always clay (or nano-skin) to remove contaminants before you polish.

Most swirl removers and polishes are indeed safe with a DA buffer. They contain compounds that break down with use, minimizing the risk to your paint. The rule is to use the least aggressive compound at the lowest speed that get you results. Gradually work up if you're not removing swirls and imperfections.

As others mentioned, if you're running a wheel with lambswool you can get great results - unless you over do it and burn the paint.

If you use a sealant or "synthetic wax" the carnauba is optional. Some people prefer the deeper / warmer look of the natural wax on top of the sealant. Most natural waxes will last 6-8 weeks with moderate washing. I use sealant on my Mysterious Sol and it looks good all year.

As for how good your Solstice looks next to a '17 Mustang, first of all it's a much better looking car than the 'stand to begin with! But you can indeed get very good results on your 10 year old car that can exceed a factory finish. Time and patience is all you need.

McKee Plastic Trim Detailer works well under the hood. I buy it from Autogeek.net which also has many detailing videos you can learn from.
 

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The reason for my renewed interest in a better way to maintain the family's cars is the fact that I had the Solstice looking really sharp last fall or least I thought so until a good friend brought his new '17 Mustang GT over to show me. It actually glowed when parked beside the freshly washed and waxed Solstice. The Solstice looked good but nowhere in the same league as the Mustang.
I think the same thing w/I see a new black vehicle on the road, for whatever reason the black color looks deeper, shinier, and richer looking. This makes me question whether or not I'm cleaning, waxing, and polishing my vehicle correctly. To the extent that I've thought about finding a professional detailer. But not just any detailer, but someone who has an excellent reputation among the auto concourse set. I've also thought about attending an auto detailing class or seminar, but most seem to be held several states away.

car detailing class, how to detail a car instructional class, mike phillips detailing class, best detailing classes for detailing
 
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