Picking up where we left off from yesterday, today is the more "detailing" part of the job - Clay, Polishing, coating, and dressing/de-stinkifying the interior. We'll also clean up the glass and polish the exhaust tip for good measure.
First things first, where we left off.
Before we start claying, rings OFF!
Below is what a new, unsoiled clay bar looks like.
This is what it looks like after half the hood. This car was holding on to some serious dirt. It also has a ton of over spray on lots of areas.
This was after the other half of the hood. Note, you fold the clay bar into itself after each section, this resets it and lets go again. After a while, you throw it out and rip off a new chunk.
One fender and the front bumper.
This is what the lower rockers had on them. Needless to say, that area was treated with fallout remover and tar remover before being clayed - way to thick for a clay bar alone.
Here is the lower trunk and rear bumper. These areas were treated to liquid fallout/tar removers before claying. There was still this much dirt stuck in the paint.
Now that claying is over, the interior plastics are up next. They have been vacuum'd but not scrubbed or steamed. First, the cup holder.
Scrub scrub scrub.
And steam it to release any stubborn stuff.
On to the steering wheel and dash vents, and eventually everything else.
Now that the interior is clean, we pull it into the car-hole and tape off all the stupid black plastic trim so it doesn't get all ruined during polishing.
Up first was the headlights. I did these around a year ago, but they're showing signs of UV fade.
Cost? One pad.
Next, I sampled 4 different light polishes to see what I wanted to use on the whole car, factoring in a lot of things including cut level, working times, and sealing after wards. I ended up settling on Mothers CMX 3n1 Polish and Coat as it cuts enough, but also primes the surface for their spray coating - saving me time by not having to panel wiper the whole car after.
Overall some of the polishes cut more than mothers, but I made up for this by pairing it with a more aggressive pad while still keeping my simple polish/coat setup for after. Each of these is one of the 4 I tested. I can't remember the order.
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Even after all that claying and stripping with cleaners, the paint still had a lot of dirt in it. This is another big benefit to polishing, nothing will deep clean paint better than polish. You should at least once a year use some kind of a cleaning polish on your paint, unless you have a full blown ceramic coating.
This is the other issue with this car - the paint is down right terrible in some spots. I get rust and rock chips are normal. but the repair job done some time down the road is abysmal. It looks like the paint was applied with a brush. This is why I'm not going crazy polishing this car. Between the physical damage and the need for the interior to be tip top, the paint just doesn't matter. The last time I did this car the paint wasn't even clayed. We had a tight time slot and budget and the interior was more important. Also Hi.
After polishing that spot - still looks bad.
Below is marks from the clay bar. This is why claying should not be done unless needed - it usually requires a polishing afterwards.
Switched out to a 3inch pad and tackled the bumpers, trunk, and other smaller areas.
Exhaust given a shine up.
And done. No photos of the spray coating as it dries to a crusty residue and I didn't want it on my phone.
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And just so we're clear, the car is not perfect. Paint still has damage, and swirls. It just looks 100 times better than what it used to look like.
This sort of strikes a cord with me and car cleaning.
Even to the majority of car people, car cleaning is just a sponge and a bucket, a chamois and a wax, maybe an expensive wax but they won't know what the wax is or about it, etc...
I'll never forget going to a German car fest and they had a show and shine event, the cars were disgusting and it was pretty much all about an accessory that had been put on the car or the fancy paintwork (that was dirty, scratched and swirled to high heaven).
I now know to just relax, it's not my car, my money or my problem. Just shrug it off and walk away.
What? 'powdered laundry detergent'? that stuffs not good even for you to use. It used to have very nasty stuff that when a small amount of water was added could burn your skin.
Chamois can be abrasiveness, especially if you missed a bit of the car and get a small bit of grit in it'll put a lovely amount of scratches in the paintwork.
I use a deep heavy weight microfibre towel, I have a spare smaller one and a general drying towel.
On the left is my wash mitt with two back ups, on the right my two interior microfibre 'hand' mitts (grey for light dusting, red for cleaner/cleaning, up top to the right is a rubber/plastic panel protector so I'm not scratching or scuffing anything by leaning, rubbing or standing on.
These are my exterior wash and door shuts cleaning stuff, from left to right, AB Jaffa Clean degreaser and protectant in both neat and diluted 5:1 ratio spray bottles, BH Surfex water based degreaser good for dilution up to 200:1 and snow foam gun for all over application, Gtechniq Gwash car shampoo and snow foam gun, CarPro Hydro2Foam car wash and sealant in one and snow foam gun, AF ObliTARate tar and glue remover in a spray bottle.
((not pictured bug remover, BH Korrosol fallout remover for the car body and CarPro Iron-X paste for localised heavy duty fallout removal))
@svend Not sure if that's a new thing, or if I've never noticed before, but I love the vanity plates!
Also: apparently there's some money in sandwiches!
It's her business, she has three or four sandwiches shops, here and a couple of surrounding villages. Her husband is in a well paid job too so partially funded that way I guess.
He drives a company 3 or 5 Series hybrid BMW.
The show plates are mine I got a couple of years back and replaced other showplates I had several years before that.
Sort of looks like it? If the piece were smaller I'd call this a good idea as I bet that area takes a beating if the back seat sees any use, and replacing/repairing a piece of plastic seems better than working on metal and paint. That said the piece seems HUGE and like it'd be expensive and complicated to replace so... sounds like a Jag. Good idea let down by poor execution (or meddling from the finance department.)
It's one panel on the forward section of the rear wheelarch and separate from the sills, etc...
My holiday is time away from work.
When I was younger my holiday was time away from family and work.
Family would go off on holiday together and I'd stay at home and enjoy the peace and quiet from all the family chaos.
But ye', I've always preferred to wash cars on my time off, it's therapeutic.
I don't celebrate Valentines day either, it's just an excuse to buy stuff for myself. I've been single for too long for anyone to buy me anything, but I did buy my neighbour some chocolates and bottle of wine because she's a nice lady.
Well he saw some of the stuff I posted on a group of a detailer I've been trying to promote his services for corrections, tinting and wrapping and aftersales detailing products. He was okay with me doing a car that someone contacted me via the FB Group to do in the past, but I want to run it past him this time as the guy says he just wants it cleaned properly. I've said I'd like to do it but I don't want Steve to think I'm using his FB Group page to solicit cars to do. The guy has previously had his windows tinted by Steve and had the roof of the Range Rover wrapped in black wrap.
We've already discussed products for him to use to care for his vehicle so he isn't just wanting his car done and ignore it.
Other than no money, gifts or gratuity my only requirement is that the owner doesn't just see the vehicle as a means to get from A to B but actually has a concern to look after and maintain it themselves after they've learned more on how to do it.