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Detailing & Appearance Discuss washing, waxing and detailing information as well as interior/exterior cosmetic modifications. This includes neons, body, cosmetic wheels, etc. Even under the hood detailing.

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Old 09-20-2007, 10:22 PM   #1
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Default Don't laugh...I already feel stupid

Hey guys, since I owned this car all I've done to it is just a normal wash. ( Car soap, water, tire shine, armor all for inside, windex for windows ). I really want to do a full job on cleaning it, Washing it, Polishing, Waxing, all that stuff. But theres 1 huge problem...I do not know what to do! When my stepdad was around he was going to teach me how to do it all properly cause he did hes SUV all the time and people paid him to do it to there cars, but obviously hes no more...So I'm just asking if someone could please tell me how to properly Wax, Polish, and all that to my 01 Se.

I do have a buffer, its a craftsman ( don't know it that helps )


PLEASE DON'T DISS ME!!!! I feel like a complete idiot as is for not knowing how to polish a car.
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:28 PM   #2
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EWC88
No problem and no diss.

What is the model number of the Craftsman buffer and do you have any foam pads for the buffer?
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:30 PM   #3
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dont worry, i pretty much have no idea on how to polish and wax a car either
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Old 09-20-2007, 11:04 PM   #4
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Don't ever feel bad about asking questions. We are here to help each other and while I don't know how to polish well myself I know that there are several members here that have it down to a science

Iirc there'* a recent post by Rob about all the cleaning products he has
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:00 AM   #5
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When I do my car I wash it first, then Meguires Clay bar, then paint cleaner, followed by wax

Step 1.) Wash the car

Step 2.) Use detail spray then a clay bar over the surface of the vehicle until smooth

These steps are using the Meguires 3 step detailing products.

Step 3.) pour some paint cleaner onto the orbital buffer using the foam or terry cloth wax applicator. Start with the hood then once it hazes over wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. Followed by the roof then the trunk. Then complete the rest of the car.

Step 4.) Repeat step 3 using the Polish (if your cars paint is still very new and already looks wet, you can jump to step 5)

Step 5.) Repeat step 3 using The Carnuba Wax.

Step 6.) Take a crap load of pics and Post in the "Your Ride" section of this site

P.*. Don't forget to clean the interior. Oh and just for knowledge, Armorall is not a good product. It tends to dry out leather and vinyl. This isn't coming from just my experiences. Meguires and Mothers are usually your best products to use.

IMO meguires products smell better and don't give you a headache.
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:38 AM   #6
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Ditch the power buffer. They're dangerous unless you really know what you're doing.
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:08 AM   #7
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Ok thanks guys! I don't know I just felt like a idiot and thought people woulda of been a little different since I didn't know.

The buffer/polisher is a Crafstman 910666, and what it has with it is, Terry clothes bonnet, and polishing Bonnet
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:38 AM   #8
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Is your buffer a DA / random orbital? or does it just spin... If it is the DA / random orbital style, you are all set. They are nearly impossible to damage your paint with.


Also, agreeing with everyone else, don't feel stupid for not knowing this stuff. I always have kept all my cars VERY clean, but still learn new stuff all the time..... better techniques, ways I was doing stuff wrong, better products. It is a learning process, and the only way to learn is to ask questions and get out there and do it. You are on the right track
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:09 AM   #9
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Taken from another post I replied to a while back:

Here is a basic process you can follow for detailing. Hopefully it answers your questions. You might need a bag of chips to sit down with:

1) Wash the car with a quality car soap. Meg'* Gold Class is good. I really love Duragloss #901, which can be found at Car Quest. You don't need to use anything stronger if you plan to polish. Some people will use dish soap to strip wax, but use it sparingly, maybe once a year. It'* said to be bad for plastic. Get a good quality mitt. Wal Mart has some good sheepskin mitts. Feel around for the softest one(*). Then get a good microfiber drying towel, actually a couple. Some people like the Absorber. Waffle Weave towels work great. Use two buckets to wash, one with the soap, and one with just water. Rinse off the mitt after each panel, and rub it to try and remove all dirt. Then wring it out and dunk in the soap bucket. This will hopefully keep you from rubbing any dirt on the paint. When you are ready to dry, use the hose without any attachments. It might not work great the first time, but once you get wax on the car, the water will "sheet" off the car leaving a lot less to dry up.

2) Clay bar the entire car. Cut the bar in thirds. This makes it easier to kneed, and if you happen to drop it, you have only lost a third (you shouldn't use it if it'* dropped). Do the paint first, then you can use it on the windows and rims. Unless the rims are really caked in dust, you shouldn't need a wheel cleaner. The claybar should do the trick. Make sure you use a good amount of lube, as not enough will make the bar grind into the paint and leave residue.

3) Polish- You can buy over the counter polish, but all they really are is cleansers. I have some of the meg'* polish from their three step program, and all it does is remove contaminants, it doesn't really polish. ScratchX is a decent one, but it will be tiring and take hours to do the car. If you have the $$, buy a polisher like a Porter Cable orbital and some quality polishes. Megs professional line can probably be found locally. Otherwise there are a lot of good ones found online. I can go into that deeper if you want to pm me, or there are several websites around. I just recently got some Menzerna polishes that worked great on my Bonneville. Wipe off the polish with the quality microfiber.

4) Seal-There are two options here, sealant or wax. Sealants last longer, and waxes usually look better. Most people that live in a northern climate will use wax in the summer, and sealant in the winter. I actually have a wax (Collinite) that will last 5-6 months. You can use both, some will do the wax on top for a better look. Another option is to use a glaze. Glaze is like a light polish that will leave fillers to hide scratches. The only thing with a glaze is that sealants won't usually bond with them, so you can only use wax on top. Back to waxes, most otc waxes aren't very good for durability and sealants are pretty limited. Duragloss has a good line of products. You may also find professional Meguiars products locally, of which the #21 sealant is a good one. You can find a lot of quality products online, many that aren't very expensive. You will want to do two applications to ensure proper coverage. Usually you want to give 24 hours inbetween coats. Use a foam applicator and buff with a quality microfiber, not a t-shirt. Also wax/seal the rims. This will make it much easier to keep them clean.

5) Other-
-Get some Mothers Back to Black for the plastic behind the hood to restore the dark look. The BTB doesn't last very long though, there are better products found online.
-Use RainX or sealant on the windows to add in cleaning and keep wipers from streaking.
-Get a good leather conditioner for the seats.
-Use a mixture of Simple Green or some other cleaner with water to clean the plastics inside. Follow up with a good protectant like 303 Protectant to protect against UV rays.
-You can also use the cleaner mixture to clean the carpet. Vacuum the carpets well, then spray the mixture on the carpet and work it in with a brush. Then spray it with some plain water to rinse, and vacuum again.
-Dress the tires with a spray or gel tire dressing.

A good site for products: www.danase.com as well as www.autogeek.net and a good forum for questions/ideas www.autopia.org

And to reiterate what Ryan said, ignore John Deer Boy on the buffer. Rotaries can be dangerous, but an orbital is not at all unless you completely lacking in common sense. If the buffer you have is the ten inch variety, it'* really only good for putting on wax. You need a quality random orbital like a Porter Cable. They are usually labeled as a polisher/sander.
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Old 09-21-2007, 02:18 PM   #10
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I'm guessing its a orbital cause on the container that holds it says it does 2400 orbits in a min


maybe I'm wrong??
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