This thread is detailing a car on a modest budget. Granted I will be using a buffer, pads and lots of different microfiber towels. The products can all be applied by hand and you can achieve a finish that will be better than when the car was new. All of the products are reasonably priced with the exception of the wax. The wax is a moderate priced wax and is the best that I have found for white or light colored vehicles.
The car is a 1998 Pontiac Bonneville SE with a modest 116K on the clock. The car is stored outside under a tree and is my sisters 4th car in the home. With three grown children the car is used as a loaner when other cars are in the shop. The Bonneville has numerous scratches from carless placement of packages on the paint then sliding them off. The car was last detailed two summers ago. I do not think the car has had a good cleaning since.
The product use was Meg'* D151 Paint reconditioning cream and a pad conditioner. The random orbital buffer is by Griots Garage. The yellow pad was used to compensate for the low cut level of the D151. I am trying to use up the product that I bought but did not like the way it worked for me. The D151 is an all in one product that does put down some wax. If you have your car detailed and the cost is around $100 the detail shop will be using this product or another one like it. The microfiber towels used to be for wax removal but as they are wearing out I use them to remove polish. Do not skimp on microfiber towels it is just not worth it. The ones you buy from Wal-Mart etc at a cost of 10 for $15 will and do scratch your paint. The Fenix flashlight is for looking at swirl marks.
Overall the car was pretty dirty. Here is a sample door jamb pic.
This are a couple pics of the rocker panel. I believe my sister has a hotline to the county public works department to see where the roads are being tarred so she can drive on them.
Here is the same rocker panel after a quick claybar.
There were a lot of scratches all over the car. This one in particular was pretty nasty.
I did some minor correction with a rotary on this one but using the same polish as the rest of the car. Not fully removed but good enough for this daily driver. Informal studies have shown that most persons that have their car professionally detailed just want a clean car that is shiny. Most do not know the difference from a swirl mark to a squirrel.
The car was pretty dirty. Check out the pad dirt after two body panels.
This pad cleaning bucket makes short work when cleaning pads.
Pad all cleaned up. Takes about 30 seconds with the bucket.
Here are two pics after the polish. The car is bright white again.
In an attempt to hide scratches I used Megs #7 with a red pad.
I then followed up with two coats of Pinnacle Liquid Souverän Wax applied 16 hours apart. I like to let the first coat of wax rest and bond with the paint before applying a second coat. I used a black pad to apply the wax. A little tip. When using more expensive waxes with a pad place the pad in a baggie and then in the fridge until you use it the next day. This way the wax already in the pad will stay moist and ready for use. It add up when using the more expensive waxes.
Cleaning the interior I used the following products:
DP Krystal vision glass cleaner and Optimum leather Protectant for the plastic trim. I used Woolite for the carpet and mats. I also used 303 Aerospace Protectant for the rubber weather seals.
For the tires and wheels I used Zaino Z-16 for the tire gloss and DP wheel glaze to clean up the rims.
Here are the finished pics. Notice the clean rockers in the 1st pic.
Some interior pics.
And last a few reflection shots.
Hope you enjoyed the post. The total time for me was close to 10 hours due to my being old and all that darn tar.