New to Detailing
So... I had my wife's SUV detailed this weekend, and all I can say is :confused0068:. It was incredible. Never seen the car look so good (even when we got it off the lot).
So... my question is, should I have the Camaro detailed right off the lot? Leather Protector? Wax?
I don't know ANYTHING about car detailing. The extent of my car washing experience is running it through the local autowasher.
*Disclaimer - I don't plan on doing this ever to my baby :)
Personally, I'd invest the money you'd use on a detailer in purchasing good quality products and doing the work yourself. ;)
There are ALOT of choices out there and alot of opinions. :D
I'm VERY happy to hear you'd never run either car through an automated car wash! :clap:
There is alot of good info. in this section that you'll find useful, or, shoot me a PM and I'll be more than happy to help you if you decide to detail the car yourself. :thumbsup:
The only place I can get the car washed by myself would be at a local joint in one of their stalls.
Congrats on the new job. :thumbsup:
If you choose to use a detailer, make sure and use a reputable one. :thumbsup:
Once you've got your home, then consider doing the detailing yourself. ;)
I'll say, get a good coat of wax on it, but don't expect it to last too long until you have your own garage and driveway.
It's been my experience that the instant you take your car to even the do-it-yourself car wash, the first thing that happens is the heavy-duty soap they have instantly removes your wax. Sometimes, in a pinch (winter, etc.), I'll take my car to a stall and use the high-pressure wand in the rinse cycle (no soap!) then gently dry it off with terrycloth towels.
TIPS EVERY DETAILER SHOULD BE TOLD ON DAY 1:
(Yeah, a lot of this will seem obsessive compulsive when taken in all at once, but itís not that bad. I only spend about 20 minutes a week on my upkeep.)
NEVER use dishwashing or laundry soap. Those items could be labeled as Instant Wax Strippers. You can easily find soaps that are formulated to NOT strip wax at Autozone, Walmart, etc.
No matter what - ALWAYS dry off your car after you wash. Not only does it look 1000% better, you won't get ugly / damaging spots from hard water drying on the paint. Open the doors, hood and trunk and dry off jambs and wherever you see water. After drying I take a damp towel and run it across the exposed areas in the engine compartment. It's surprising how doing that after every wash (or every other wash) will keep the engine looking showroom new YEARS later!
Start buying stuff now. You know you need leather cleaner/protectant - it's cheap and you can apply it in just a few minutes.
Watch the ads and buy terry cloth towels and rags whenever you see them on sale. Don't be afraid to throw them away when they're dirty. It's not worth messing up your new washing machine (or your dress shirts) trying to wash wax, polish, Armour-all, etc out of your "Car Towels." Buy 'em cheap, dump 'em in the trash.
Electric buffers are GREAT and you shouldn't be afraid of them Ė just use care.
#1: You don't have to spend a fortune.
#2: SLOWER speeds are better. Even the slowest is "fast enough" and less likely to cause damage.
#3: Don't press down. Just the weight of the buffer is plenty of pressure.
#4: Always start with a perfectly clean surface.
#5: If your car has lots of curves, buy a buffer with a small head (5", 6", 7") so you can easily get into more nook & crannies.
When waxing, use a very slightly damp towel / sponge / soft rag / buffer bonnet and a TINY bit of wax. Globbing it on doesn't help at all - it just wastes wax (or polish) and causes a hard-to-remove mess.
Do EVERYTHING out of direct sunlight and on cool surfaces. Instead of washing at home at noon, wait until dusk .
NEVER use anything other than soft CLOTH on paint. No paper towels.
You DONíT have to spend a fortune on polishes and waxes. Donít believe the hype you hear from uber-fans. You can get an equal or superior result from $20 worth as you get from $100+.
Whenever you have a good wax coating AND can keep your car out of the morning dew (which makes dust into mudÖ..) If itís dusty, gently use a California Duster to, uh, dust off the dust. Spots from driving though clean water, bird pookies, etc., can be easily removed using a detailing spray. (Youíll want to keep the duster, spray and a few towels in your trunk. Just know up front Ė these items quickly lose their effectiveness without a slick wax surface.
Rain-X? Maybe. It works best when there is heavy rain, your windshield has a very aerodynamic rake and youíre over 35 MPH. Upright windshield (like an old pickup) Ė doesnít work very well. Light rain (even with a sports car rake) doesnít work that well.
Holy carp Ė still awake? These are my experiences Ė donít be surprised if someone tells you Iím all wet.
Ask lots of questions!
I have used Zaino Products for 5 years now, and would say they are some of the best you can get. Have a C6 Corvette and was advised that this product was the best there was. So after 5 years I won't use anything else on my new Camaro. Had my car detailed right after delivery. Lots of spider webbing and didn't look as good as I thought it should. The guy who did it used only Zaino. Washed with Dawn dishwashing liquid, used the clay bar, and waxed. He did it in 2 hours, with an extra wax on the front and rear view mirrors, since that is where all the bugs like to collect. I like the detailing spray, He advised to spray it on then take all the gunk off with a detailing towel. You can get detailing towels with tags removed from Wal-Mart or Sam's club. I use the Absorber shammy to remove the water after washing, then polish off the rest with the detailing towels. You can mix the Zaino detailing spray with water to make it last longer. You can use the Zaino leather cleaner on plastic and vinyl items in you car, then follow up with the Zaino leather conditioner. Don't use a wheel cleaner, can use the detail mist or Stoners Invisible Glass, and you can also use the Zaino Z-5 wax on wheels. For the tires my guy suggested using the Zaino Perfect Tire Gloss. Doesn't make it too shiny, but good looking. Hope this isn't too much information and is helpful.
"No matter what - ALWAYS dry off your car after you wash. Not only does it look 1000% better, you won't get ugly/damaging spots from hard water drying on the paint. Open the doors, hood and trunk and dry off jambs and wherever you see water." I do the exact same thing. I even gently slam the doors to shake the water out of the small little spaces you can reach. I live in a TownHome/Apartment Complex. I take my Dodge Charger to the car wash and just spray it off. If there are bugs on the front, get the nozzle as close as possible. This usually works in getting most of the bugs off. Then I dry it completely. Then if there are any water spots, I use Mother's car detailer and a soft cloth to get rid of them. I also use Stoner's Invisible Glass. That stuff is awesome. I used it on our patio door window and my husband kept thinking the door was open. He kept trying to shut it. But because we rent, I will be checking around for area detailer shops to take my car to since I can't wash and wax it like it should be done. We are also renting a garage at our complex to store our car in. I won't let this happen to my baby: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/album....pictureid=4495
Personally, I have always loved detailing vehicles. My dad was an independent truck driver who owned his own rig. When I was a teenager, I would spend an entire Saturday washing, waxing and polishing that truck until it blinded you like the sun. Try polishing 6 tractor trailer aluminum wheels in one day!
You may be able to find a deatailing forum with a local section.They will most likely be able to show you photos of cars they have done,and hear from people that had their cars done by them.Have it done right away,don't put off protectng your investment.The earlier you get it done,the longer your paint will last.I personally would suggest finding a detailer that uses Zaino,but i am biased torwards it.
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