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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:14 pm 
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Sponge

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:35 pm
Posts: 5
Hi. I've just bought a new motor in metallic 'Midnight Black', and want to ensure I keep it looking amazing so am after some advice on products.

I've bought the Autobrite Snow Foam lance, pressure washer, and did my first snow foam pre-wash at the weekend, rinsed with the pressure washer after about 15 mins of letting the foam sit, then washed using the 2 bucket method (lambs wool fit for top half, microfibre madness mitt for the bottom half). Then dried using some Polished Bliss drying towels.

It's at this point I don't really know what products to use, and in what order, to protect my paint and get it looking super slick and shiny. I've actually got a few products from several years ago - I don't know if they have an expiration? Would any of the following be recommended or are there better alternatives (at similar price points) that I should consider?

I have:

AG Shampoo & Conditioner
AG Clean Wheels (not sure if this is safe on my black JCW Track spoke alloys?)
AG Super Resin Polish
AG Extra Gloss Protection

It looks like I possibly need some sort of wax? Any recommendations for my black car (I'm not precious about using just AG stuff)?

And what order to use the products in?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:42 pm 
Welcome to the Forum :D

Black is such a beautiful colour when clean....but can show up every bit of dirt, swirls and blemish.


Lets take a look at what products you already have, their product us and then alternatives.


Shampoo and Conditioner...... A reasonable product what does what it is meant to.......cleans the paintwork and adds a few paint-nourishing oils
Clean wheels..... this product has a small amount of acids in it. The acids, just like an alkaline, gives it an extra cleaning power. It is safe to use, provided that you don't let it dwell too long or dry on the wheel.
Super Resin Polish (known as SRP)....this is a multi-faceted polish. It has cleansing agents, a small amount of abrasives, a lot of fillers and a sealant. Left on the surface of the paintwork will hide most imperfections, but usually doesn't last more than a month before the all the imperfections appear again.
Extra Gloss Protection (EGP)....is a pure sealant and is normally used as the top layer over SRP. This gives extra protection to the layers beneath it.

So what you already have can do a good job, but there are numerous better products available. Which new products to recommend is dependent upon several factors....How much money you want to spend, how much time you have to do the necessary work involved, is the car garaged and the 'look' you want for the car.

If it were my car, I would want the metallic flake in the black paint to 'pop' and the protective layer to be long-lasting, deep gloss with a ripple/shimmering effect.

Most of this can be achieved by quality preparation of the paintwork, starting with decontamination:

Pre-wash
Rinse
Shampoo using 2 bucket method
Rinse
De-Tar
Rinse
Iron Fallout remover
Rinse
Clay Bar/clay mitt.
Rinse and dry

Your existing snowfoam and shampoo are fine for this and Autoglyms tar and glue remover also does a good job. As for the Iron fallout remover, you can use a dedicated product such as IronX....I use Kenoteks Utra wheel clean for this function, aswell as on the wheels as it is PH neutral and safe to use on paintwork.

Making the flake 'pop' involves machine polishing, first using a purely abrasive compound polish and then a final finish polish. If you use the SRP, it will cover up the imperfections and not correct them.

Then, you have to think about protecting the polished/srp surface.... EGP to go over the SRP, or a longer lasting sealant or wax. A pure sealant tend to add a 'sterile' but glossy finish, but lacks character/warmth. A wax will add warmth.

So, consider using a hybrid sealant/wax such as dodoJuice Supernatural Hybrid Nano...best of both worlds.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:52 pm 
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Sponge

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:35 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks a lot for the very detailed reply, that's really helpful. So I'll carry on with my pre-wash, 2 bucket wash and microfibre towel dry. Then, seeing as the car is brand new, at this stage I guess I could leave out the SRP stage before applying a sealant, then wax (or hybrid sealant/wax like you mentioned) OR should you not apply sealant/wax without having polished beforehand (bearing in mind the car should have very few swirls etc right now being new)?

Also a couple other questions. When it comes to applicators for SRP, EGP, Wax etc, I presume you should dedicate a separate applicator to each of those products? I've got a couple of the Autoglym sponge applicators, which I was thinking I'd use for any polishing and sealing/waxing. Then I was thinking of using a regular kitchen sponge as a tyre dressing applicator? Are there any other applicators that I should use in addition to or instead of these? I've seen Meguiars do quite small yellow foam applicator pads - any good?

Any recommendations on wheel brushes, both for reaching through to clean the inside, hard to reach part that tends to get grimed up, and also something smaller for wheel nut recesses etc? I didn't want to buy any old brush which is perhaps to rigid or harsh, and scratch my gloss black alloys.

I've also read about Poorboys blue natty paste wax which is meant to be good for darker cars.If I was to use something like this, it sounds like I would ideally need to still apply a sealant prior to using this?

Finally, I found I have some very old poor boys wheel sealant in the garage (the pink stuff). Is this any good, and safe to use on gloss black alloys?

Thanks again for all the help.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:14 pm 
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Location: Woking
:wave: Starnzy & Welcome to the Forum.

Next time you wash the car, gently run your fingertips over the paintwork. Does it feel smooth or slightly rough? If the former, I'd still apply the AG SRP, as it contains some sealant protection and then top off with AG EGP. If you have a spare spray head and/or bottle; you may find this an easier way to apply. If the latter, you may want to consider the "De-Tar, Rinse, Iron Fallout remover, Rinse, Clay Bar/clay mitt" routine suggested by Willington above. You'll be surprised how 'dirty' a new car's paintwork can be

AG SRP is best applied via a pad, whereas AG EGP is best applied with a microfibre. Any sponge applicator for a tyre dressing should be fine, cut down to a suitable size.

Have a look at the Microfiber Madness / Auto Finesse Revolution Wheel Wash Kit.

Poorboy's is a good starter wax but not that durable, for this time of year.

The Poorboy's wheel sealant will be fine on your wheels, giving them some additional protection. As with your paint, a good decontamination may be needed. The cleaner the wheel, the better the bond.

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'15 Ford Kuga Titanium X Sport / '14 Audi A5 S-Line Special Edition Cabriolet / '90 Ford Escort XR3i


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:25 pm 
As the car is brand new, the Dealership probably offered you a 'protection package' such as Guard X....usually cost about £300. If your car already has this, then there is little or no point in using SRP or EGP....1. the paintwork is already protected 2. SRP would strip the protective layer beneath it. 3. SRP may not adhere to the coating beneath (commonly known as 'product compatability'). 4. Adding other products on top of the Dealership package, unless it is their product, could invalidate any warranty they provided.

You will be surprised at how bad paintwork is even on new cars.... that's why they like to use 'filler' type sealant just like SRP on them. They charge you £300 for a product which costs you £5 and 2 hours labour!

Withe regards to applicator sponges, they come in all shapes, sizes and for different uses.

For using pure abrasive polishes, the 'Ultimate German' is widely regarded as one of the best. Double sided...the firm side for applying and working in polishes and the soft side for waxes and sealants.
http://www.cleanyourcar.co.uk/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=280

The Megs sponges are designed for applying waxes, but could be used for sealants. I find these smaller sized pads take too much time when applying sealants.

A kitchen sponge soaks up any fluids (open cell foam) and is unsuitable for applying tyre dressings as it would waste a lot of the product. Dependent upon which tyre dressing type you use, a quick wipe over with an old microfibre cloth or one of your applicator sponges will do the job.

When it comes to wheel cleaning brushes, I tend to use a 1" -1.5" chemical resistant brush like this...

http://www.cleanyourcar.co.uk/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=1328

for cleaning wheel arch liners....a long handled toilet brush is perfect...also cheap.

I've not used the Poorboys wheel sealant before,...however, any sealant is better than no sealant. I use an aircraft grade sealant which is heat resistant to 300C and down to minus 100C.

The Nattys blue wax does look good on dark coloured paints. The downside is, that on a car, you will be lucky if it lasts a month before it needs re-application.

keep those questions coming :)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:15 pm 
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Sponge

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:35 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks for the welcome BTW! :)

My Dealership did try to sell me a protection package but I figured it would probably be similar to what I could just apply myself, if I set aside some time, so I chose not to take them up on their offer. I think it was normally meant to be £300 or something and they were trying to do it for £150 but it still sounded like a lot for protection that I, in theory, should be able to apply.

OK, I'll check what the paintwork feels like after I've washed at the weekend but it sounds like using SRP wouldn't be a bad idea. I seem to remember from years ago when I last used the stuff that it created quite a lot of white powder everywhere when buffing off (though maybe thats more poor technique rather then the SRP product?). Also remember it being quite hard to buff off? Would you recommend any alternatives to SRP and EGP (as they are very old bottles and I don't mind buying something else if there's something that'll do an even better job or be easier to apply)?

What tyre dressing would you recommend for a really glossy black finish, and preferably long lasting? I can't remember the stuff I used to use but it was a liquid rather than gel and I applied it with an old paint brush. I see megs do some endurance gel, and autoglym do some dressing too. Any recommendations?

I'll give the poor boys wax a miss then, as I'll really want the wax to last a good couple months before needing to be done again, if possible. What is the norm for frequency of polishing, sealing, waxing usually?

I need recommendation for ?microfibre towels? for buffing after polish, sealing and waxing. I have a couple quite thick pile microfibre towels but they have labels on them which I don't want to be rubbing against the paint (I guess I could unpick the stitching and remove them). Any recommendations though?

The dodoJuice Supernatural Hybrid Nano that was recommended to be applied after something like SRP - will this last a good couple of months before needing to be re-applied?

Thanks for all the info - I feel like Im starting to get a much better idea of how to approach the process now... :)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:25 am 
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Location: Woking
Have a look at this Detailing Guide

_________________
"The Truth Is Out There!!"
'15 Ford Kuga Titanium X Sport / '14 Audi A5 S-Line Special Edition Cabriolet / '90 Ford Escort XR3i


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:10 am 
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Sponge

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:35 pm
Posts: 5
mulder wrote:
Have a look at this Detailing Guide


Perfect, thanks mulder.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:29 am 
The guide which Mulder linked to is excellent and lays of a great schedule for keeping your car looking good.

You will find that there are microfibre towels, then there are microfibre towels and you can never have too many of them! I have a big plastic box full of them, and each style has a diffrent use..... micrco-suede/'peach skin' for cleaning glass, short pile for the initial removing of cured waxes and sealants, medium pile for general cleaning/polish residue removal and deep plush pile for final buffing. Then I have old MF cloths which I use for the really dirty jobs such as tar removal.
The CYC shop only sells quality MF cloths which last a lot longer than the 2 for £1 you find in pound shops.

The DDJ Supernatural Hybrid Nano wax is a blend of sealant and a high proportion of carnauba wax. It's long lasting and shouldn't need re-applying for at least 3 or 4 months.

High gloss tyre dressing, the type the Migrant hand car wash use tends to only last for a day or so and flings off the tyres down onto the side panels of your car. Why? Because it doesn't soak into the rubber tyre walls giving it something to hold onto.

Pro quality tyre dressings tend to last a whole lot longer than the cheapy rubbish. Even within the 'pro catagory' the logevity of tyre dressings can vary....from a few weeks to semi-permanent. Again, the CYC shop has a wide selection available in a range of prices.

I am not a fan of high gloss tyre dressings on my car (it looks 'wrong'), so I opted for a 'shoe polish' type tyre dressing which had a satin finish. It lasts 3-4 months!

Several things to remember with Pro quality products.....

Less is more
Only a little product is needed compared to 'high street' products.
They last a whole lot longer than High Street products.
You pay for what you get.


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