Help! What do I need to do to make it shine? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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 09-10-2008, 06:04 PM   #1
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Default Help! What do I need to do to make it shine?

well, my GF'* bonneville is ready for some cosmetic attention now that i've gotten it road-worthy. the car only has 59K on it but after sitting in a driveway since the early 2000'*, its taken a toll on the paint. What should I do to get the paint (white) to shine like new. The paint has this annoying discoloration (brownish tint) around all the moldings from never being washed and there'* some surface rust near the back. also, it seems that at one time somebody thought it would be good to use steel wool to clean the hood and the hood has many scratches that over the years have filled up with grime and won't come clean. also, is there a good way to clean moss off of rubber seals around the windows? what about cleaning the rims? removing concrete from the inside of the front wheelwells?

i'm guessing this is going to take a little more than some wax so thats why i'm asking for help.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:11 AM   #2
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Wow, you have a mess.

Moss? I suggest killing it with a mild bleach. Make sure you then wash that area right away.

The paint will take a LOT of work. Do you have a polisher or you planning to do this by hand? Start with a good wash. Then a good claybar. You will then need to do a LOT of polishing. I suggest Meguires #83 Once that'* done give it a good wax with Meguires NXT wax. If you have a polisher it will go faster and easier.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:46 PM   #3
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Danthurs is right....a good clay bar first will help. Also having a buffer will make the job faster. The use of Mothers Step 1 or Meguiars Paint Cleaner Step 1 would be a good place to start after the clay bar. If it'* scartched you might want to use Meguiars ScratchX too. After that each of the companies have a step 2 and 3. Again a buffer will help alot. The use of good towels to remove each step will help. From that point on use good quality car wash and dry with something again of quality. I use show detailer between washes if it hasn't rained or if the car isn't "dirty". Dust and bugs are nothing to worry about with show detailer. Mothers and Meguiars both make good show detailers.
Just take your time and it will come out looking good.
Hell my Bonneville is a 97 and she looks nice and super shiney.
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:37 PM   #4
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With a little work and a lot of care, you can make the car look great. Mine is also a 97 and it took some work, but this is the result.
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:27 PM   #5
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fwiw for 100 bucks or so you can pay someone to make it shine 'like new'. that'* what i would do personally. then you just wash it when it'* dirty and it'* good for about a year give or take. i do this to my cars every spring after the winter and all i have to do is wash her and she shines right up. occasionally(like every other year or so) i'll do a coat of wax especially before a car show but that'* it. when you goto a professional who'* good at their job they'll clay it, polish, wax, and then put a sealant on it. it does however usually cost a bit more to have it clayed. you could always do that step yourself and then bring it there..as it'* time intensive. but the 1 a year really seams to work great for me. also they use buffers which help get rid of scratches etc. much better then by hand.

to get your car clean by yourself using your hand is going to take all day long, if not longer...believe me. as well as investing 50+ bucks in cleaning products, soaps, clays, microfibers, anti-scratch, all the different steps of wax n such, polish, rim cleaning spray/scrub, tire shine, etc.

to me my time is much more valuable, the professional shops do a better job than i can, and best of all my arm doesn't kill afterwards and i can enjoy my saturday instead of working on it. i'v looked into getting a buffer and what not but a full kit of everything i need/want is well over 300+ bucks. that'* 3 years of me never doing a total detail job which imo is well worth it.

to each their own.

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Old 09-11-2008, 09:55 PM   #6
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well, i guess i'll have to get to work. so, whats the whole concept behind using a clay bar? by trying myself, is there a risk of causing unfixable damage to the paint? also, anybody have suggestions for the rims? they're alloy wheels. what about the concrete on the rocker panels and wheelwells?
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:07 PM   #7
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The clay bar will remove deposits on the paint, that'* all it does. Try wheel cleaner on the rims.
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:39 AM   #8
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i suggest using google. try: how to detail my car, car detailing, etc. you'll get a wealth of info more then you will find here. also i believe every manufacture of claybar as a how to and info page devoted to it on their webpage...

you can also try: how to clean wheels/rims etc.

good luck.

post picks when you've finished!
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:48 PM   #9
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The clay bar works great. It removes surface dirt but will not hurt the paint. Just read the instructions and you'll be fine.
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:56 PM   #10
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Since you seem at a loss i figured i'd help a bit...

What is Detailing?
While there are no specific guidelines for what actually makes up a 'detail,' it is typically considered more extensive than washing and drying a car, and will often involve many steps. Main goals are typically beautification and protection, but can also touch other areas such as minor paint repair and surface restoration, as well as thoroughly cleaning areas which are normally ignored such as the engine and underchassis, wheels, tires, and trim.

The steps of a basic exterior detail of the paint surface consist of, in this order, wash, dry, clay bar, polish, glaze, sealant, wax. Application of a glaze is optional, as is application of both a sealant and wax.

A variety of shampoos, cleaners, degreasers, protectants, lubricants, polishes, clay bars, and waxes have developed over time to suit various demands of consumers and professionals.

Clay bar
Clay is a mixture of clay base and various mild abrasives that is used to remove paint contamination. Spray wax, window cleaner or water can work as a clay lubricant. Road grime, tar, bugs, rust, tree sap and even paint overspray can be removed with a clay bar.Claying does not remove the clear coat of the paint but can cause marring or dullness if used incorrectly. It takes a few passes of clay to feel the difference on the surface of the paint. Claying does not replace polishing. It is simply a process that should be used before polishing compound is used. Claying should be used once or twice a year depending on the year of the car or truck.

Purpose of Polishing
The purpose of polishing is to remove oxidation, swirls, scratches, water deposits, and other imperfections from the paint. In contrast to a clay bar, which removes contamination, polishes remove surface imperfections. Polishing generally is the single most time consuming step in an exterior detail.

Polishes typically are classified in two categories, a chemical polish or abrasive polish. A chemical polish, sometimes called a prewax cleaner, cleans the surface and removes oxidation. An abrasive polish removes a small portion of the clearcoat or the base paint itself on single stage paint. Abrasive polishes are classified based on how abrasive they are. The abrasive polish with the most abrasion typically is called a Rubbing Compound. A Rubbing Compound will remove heavier scratches and swirls as well as oxidation. It can be compared to a very fine sandpaper. The abrasive polish with the least abrasion typically is called a finishing polish. A finishing polish is used to remove light oxidation and fine scratches and swirls. It is also used to remove the haze resulting from application of a more abrasive polish. Abrasive polishes work best when applied with a machine rotary buffer or machine random orbital buffer. Different pads are used on the buffer depending on the abrasion level of the polish.

An "All in One" product typically combines a chemical polish and sealant to be applied in one step. A "buff and wax" contains a high level of cleaner and U.V. protectant or carnuba, producing a polish and a protect effect. Unlike a chemical polish or abrasive polish, a glaze does not clean or abrade the paint. A glaze typically contains oils and kaolin to fill and mask minor imperfections remaining after polishing, and to enhance the brilliance of the finish. If a glaze is applied, it is used after use of a chemical polish or abrasive polish or All in One product but before application of a sealant or wax.

Purpose of Sealants and Waxing
Synthetic sealants are polymer based and provide more durability than even the best carnauba wax. They are liquid in form and apply very much like a liquid wax. It is suggested that most sealants cure for 12 to 24 hours before layering additional coats on the paint or applying wax over the sealant. Curing involves the cross-linking of polymer strands. When cross-linking is completed, the product has "cured." Some sealants contain an accelerator, or are sold with a separate accelerator that is mixed with the sealant before use, which speeds up the cross-linking (curing) process. For best results, the surface of the vehicle should be properly prepared for a sealant, which involves cleaning and polishing the paint prior to application. Applying a sealant over a wax or surface contamination may inhibit the bonding of the product to the paint. Once you top a sealant with a wax you will not be able to apply additional layers of the sealant without first cleaning the paint and removing all the wax.

Waxing further enhances the gloss and depth of the paint, and provides even more but shorter lasting protection. Wax comes in many forms such as cream, paste, and liquid. Most waxes contain carnauba which contains a high amount of fatty acids. This fatty acid creates a solid layer between the paint and the outside world which protects it, and gives it a glossy finish. Synthetic waxes commonly mix low amounts of cleaners with high amounts of U.V. inhibitors to create the same protective layer that carnauba does. Synthetic wax creates a high gloss while carnauba waxes give a warm and wet looking finish.


moar links for you to read on your free time. if these don't answer your questions then i don't know what will. you can also try you tube if you get bored of google.

Car Detailing Tips & Complete Car Detailing Guide <--- great website and great articles

Car Detailing | DoItYourself.com <--decent

Wheels & Tires Detailing Guide: learn how to safely clean all wheels and protect rubber tires... Tire cleaner, wheel cleaner, wheel brush, tire brush,

Learn how to clean your tires and wheels.

all of this was found with a 2 second google search.
nothing like being spoon fed i always say.
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