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Seems like every time I detail my car I'm finding a new scratch in the clear coat. Today I found two "nice" ones just behind the rear window. At least I know where these came from... I left my Sol @ my parent's house & we had a big rain storm. B/c of the pitch of the driveway my Sol was collecting a puddle on the trunk lid. Good ole dad saw it and decided to dry it off for me. Good idea/Bad result! Oh well can't fault the guy for trying to help. Anyway... What's the best way to get those light scratches out of the clear coat? Thanks in advance! :)
 

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Start with the mildest abrasive and work your way up until they are gone. For instance, Meguiar's polish, then scratchX, then compound. Check the label to be sure they can be used they way you want, some are for machine use only, some hand use only. Most of the new stuff is designed to breakdown as you use it to prevent mistakes and to give a deep luster. Asking the guys, (not me), that have a scratch free car is good too! :)
 

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AC - The better I get my paint, the more defects I find! I did the Meguiars and scratch X as Tim referenced above. I purchased the d/a buffer recommended by autogeek and used it with gradually increasing agressiveness of pads. It left a nice finish, but it didn't take most of the scratches and imperfections out.

I even tried 3M's Finesse It II compound with a lambswool wheel which I caution is NOT for the feint of heart or unpracticed in it's use - you can easily scorch the clear and you're pretty much screwed then.

(I started with a thorough wash and rinse and clayed the surface first.) After attempting scratch removal, which again was only partially successful, I then waxed and used a sealant. It was a nice result, but I still have WAY too many scratches and imperfections. I'm wavering on whether or not to get too agressive and use compound.

You may also want to review how you wax. We've all done the circular "wax on, wax off" motion. I was floored at how logical it was when autogeek's video explained you should apply wax in a straight line, front to rear of vehicle whenever possible. If you get any dirt on the applicator you'll actually create swirls rather than polish them out.

Does anyone have suggestions for something between the scratchX and a compound?
 

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Does anyone have suggestions for something between the scratchX and a compound?
Meguiar's Ultimate Compound. It's actually pretty mild on the aggressiveness scale (though heavier than Scratch-X) and had the diminishing abrasives so the more you work it, the finer it gets. It's still in their consumer line, so it's pretty safe.

I know what you mean though. Been working over my car this weekend and still have some scratches, but they're shiny scratches! I think next time I'll have to work up to Meguiar's #83 (which is heavier, and will actually leave a haze in my black paint) and then back down to Ultimate to see if I can get some of the scratches out.

If all else fails, I'm driving it down to SoCal and getting my buddy (who actually teaches classes at Meguiar's, does demos for them at shows like Barrett-Jackson and details high end cars on the side) and letting him go to town on it... :)
 

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lol! "Shiny scratches" - EXACTLY! I might just go for the #83 and work a small section. The haze in black (mysterious here also) doesn't bother me too much as I've recovered from that on vehicles in the past - same approach you mentioned, working back down.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I haven't even attempted to remove the scratches yet. I've been messing around with the 2012 Si Sedan that I just got (hate me now!) haha! No worries... didn't trade in my Sol for it... Hell No!
 

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lol! "Shiny scratches" - EXACTLY! I might just go for the #83 and work a small section. The haze in black (mysterious here also) doesn't bother me too much as I've recovered from that on vehicles in the past - same approach you mentioned, working back down.
Ok. #83 is in their pro line so will be less available than the Ultimate compound. Available online various places though. #80 is good too, though probably roughly equivalent in "strength" to Ultimate. Ultimate is newer...
 

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I take my cars back to the painter every couple of years for a clean up. The Dragon is there now. Couple of door dings, three nicks in the clear on the hood etc. They go over the car and return it to perfect condition for not a heck of a lot of money.:thumbs:
 

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Rob - we're probably going to end up with a complete re-paint, just not in the budget yet. Besides, that would take away a perfectly good reason to spend an afternoon with a game on the radio, cold beer on the work bench, and "tweaking" the Solstice!

PT - I received the #83 from autogeek yesterday and worked with it a bit on a couple problem areas. It's definitely improving it! In fact, it's revealed a couple of additional spots that have obviously had touch up applied to it. Now I can take 2k grit and wet sand those and make 'em disappear with a couple passes.

I think I'm sticking with the #83 and just work the problem areas several times before I get more aggressive with another compound/polish. Very much like the "scale" of cut on the front label of the pro products.
 

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I mostly get road rash on my rockers and rear fenders and road acne on the bumper and hood. I think next year I'll have it repainted - if nothing else, all the body panels will finally match. I think I have 4 different shades of sunburst on the Sky - good ol' GM QA :lol:
 

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...I think I have 4 different shades of sunburst on the Sky - good ol' GM QA :lol:
really ?! :huh:
I thought I was seeing things on my car...

wow...
 

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I mostly get road rash on my rockers and rear fenders and road acne on the bumper and hood. I think next year I'll have it repainted - if nothing else, all the body panels will finally match. I think I have 4 different shades of sunburst on the Sky - good ol' GM QA :lol:
Someone who has seen the assembly process would have to confirm, but I'd suspect that the plastic fascias (or is the plural fascii?) are probably pre-painted and delivered to the factory for assembly. So a different lot of paint and possibly a completely different type of paint was used not just on the main body panels, but between the plastic panels also!

I know for interior trim we use a spectrophotometer to measure color but the general "tolerance" isn't really effective on different colors. For example drifting slightly on the amount of green is incredibly noticeable on a yellow versus a blue. It always comes down to the visual match and that can be swayed a great deal by the type of lighting, amount of UV, etc. It may have looked good at assembly but in different lighting you notice differences.

I had a Ford Probe back in the late 80's with an interior that looked great.. until you got directly sunlight on the dash and it looked like dog sh!t. NOTHING matched on that thing! :lol:
 

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Seems like every time I detail my car I'm finding a new scratch in the clear coat.
I hear you. Mine is starting to show her age. I will not park under any trees, of any kind, ever. In California, we have lots of eucalyptus trees, and they always seem to be 'misting' little micro droplets of pitch, ll the time. The pitch is sticky and collects dust and grit. Difficult to clean properly without damaging the finish. But still . . .

She's five years old now, and I hate to think about the expense of a new paint job.
 

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AC - The better I get my paint, the more defects I find! I did the Meguiars and scratch X as Tim referenced above. I purchased the d/a buffer recommended by autogeek and used it with gradually increasing agressiveness of pads. It left a nice finish, but it didn't take most of the scratches and imperfections out.

I even tried 3M's Finesse It II compound with a lambswool wheel which I caution is NOT for the feint of heart or unpracticed in it's use - you can easily scorch the clear and you're pretty much screwed then.

(I started with a thorough wash and rinse and clayed the surface first.) After attempting scratch removal, which again was only partially successful, I then waxed and used a sealant. It was a nice result, but I still have WAY too many scratches and imperfections. I'm wavering on whether or not to get too agressive and use compound.

You may also want to review how you wax. We've all done the circular "wax on, wax off" motion. I was floored at how logical it was when autogeek's video explained you should apply wax in a straight line, front to rear of vehicle whenever possible. If you get any dirt on the applicator you'll actually create swirls rather than polish them out.

Does anyone have suggestions for something between the scratchX and a compound?
If the scratch is through the clear coat (you can catch it on a finger nail) you won't be able to fix it with just polishing. If it's not then deeper scratches require a more aggressive compound and some patience. My suggestion is to grab a Porter Cable, a couple of orange pads, a couple of white pads and a black pad and then either some Meguires 205 and 105 and wax and you'll also need a clay bar to clay before you polish...of if you really want to break the bank Adams Polishes (Swirl & Haze & Fine Machine Polish) makes some real good stuff for beginners...it just costs.

Fixing imperfections takes time. I could spend 2-3-4 hours on one panel to get it perfect (a buddy of mine bought a vette that was a mess paint wise and it took us a good 100 hours to get it perfect). The problem with correcting, if you have never done it before each pass will fix the top layer of problems but it will reveal a new layer of problems. You'll need to keep running passes until you get it perfect to you. Once you do this the first time it's just keeping up with the car as time passes.

I'm all over the place here but when you start, test it out with the least aggressive method first and if you can't get it good then move up. I really haven't found anything that Swirl & Haze or 105 couldn't get out with enough patience. Anything more than that I generally have wet sanded.
 
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