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Cosmetic Maintenance: Washing, Waxing, Detailing, Bodywork, Protection Anything related to keeping your Camaro clean and in good cosmetic condition.

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Old 07-28-2009, 05:01 PM   #1
5thGenCamaroChick
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To dry or not to dry. That is the question.

Hey fellas (and ladies), I was wondering if you could help me out with a dilemma? I have to park my car under a carport so it gets dusty overnight. Let's say I have to go out in the morning and it's raining. Should I dry her with a chamois and risk the dust particles scratching the clearcoat, or leave the water and risk waterspots? I put a good coat of Meguiars Tech Wax 2.0 on her on the 4th of July (today is the 28th). Also, I bought this car off the lot and I think they must have washed it or least wiped it off. When we got it home I noticed it had quite a few faint scratches in the clearcoat. I tried using Scratch-X on em to no avail. Short of buffing them, does anyone have any ideas how to get them out? Thanks for any help in advance.
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:31 PM   #2
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I wouldn't wipe a car down just because it's wet, more so if it was dusty or dirty. Needs to be washed.

If you have scratches, I'd think you'd need to buff those out and then polish and wax.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:50 PM   #3
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I wouldn't dry it without actually washing. I wouldn't want to risk scratching.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:18 PM   #4
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DON'T wipe the car down!

Seeing as you used a good quality wax/polish (Meguires) your paint is protected. Good move getting some wax/polish on the car.

As for the swirls, Meguires offers products to address these. Start out with a very mild abrasive and see if that works before moving forward. In most instances, swirls can be removed by hand using the correct product.
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:51 AM   #5
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Clay bar it then wax over.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:07 PM   #6
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Clay bar it then wax over.
A clay bar does not remove scratches. It only removes contaminants that attach themselves to the paint over time. I have read in various detailing forums that you should not clay bar more than 2x a year. Even though non-abrasive clay bars are called "non-abrasive," they still contain a small percentage of abrasive material (just like clearcoat safe swirl and scratch removers). Too much clay baring (1x or 2x a month over a 2-3 years) and you will eventually wear through your clear coat.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:16 PM   #7
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A clay bar does not remove scratches. It only removes contaminants that attach themselves to the paint over time. I have read in various detailing forums that you should not clay bar more than 2x a year. Even though non-abrasive clay bars are called "non-abrasive," they still contain a small percentage of abrasive material (just like clearcoat safe swirl and scratch removers). Too much clay baring (1x or 2x a month over a 2-3 years) and you will eventually wear through your clear coat.


Clay will not remove swirls, etc. - you will need a wax/polish with a mild abrasive.

Regarding clay, on "daily drivers", I clay once a year. For cars, such as my SS, which aren't daily driven, once is usually enough.
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:03 PM   #8
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Clay will not remove swirls, etc. - you will need a wax/polish with a mild abrasive.

Regarding clay, on "daily drivers", I clay once a year. For cars, such as my SS, which aren't daily driven, once is usually enough.
So what wax/polish has a mild abrasive (that's kinda dummy-proof )? BTW, you guys are great!
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:23 PM   #9
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Whatever Moose says regarding car finishing/detailing is what you should do.
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:25 PM   #10
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So what wax/polish has a mild abrasive (that's kinda dummy-proof )? BTW, you guys are great!
Just look for one that says it's clear coat safe. A lot of people on here seem to be very vocal for Zaino, but I am not one of them. I use Meguiar's products. I have used a lot of products over the years as my dad was a rep for the automotive aftermarket in Southern California from the late 70's through the mid 90's. Just remember, any time you go to remove a swirl line or whatever that you are removing some of the clear coat. Why? You have to bring the affected area down to the same level so that the line does not show up...but we are typically talking about 1000ths of an inch here...sometimes less depending on the "damage." Meguiar's has a detailing forum that is just full of really good information.
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:47 PM   #11
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If you can find Meguiar 21, love this stuff ,windows chrome and the best part you can do the whole car or one panel at a time. ps I'm a Zaino fan
Good Luck

While carnauba may never fully disappear from the garages of die-hard enthusiasts, it has certainly moved down the bench to make room for synthetic sealants. This new breed of paint protection has infiltrated the garages of long-time carnauba users because it simply lasts longer. Meguiar’s is always on top on the latest car care innovation, so they formulated Meguiar’s #21 Synthetic Sealant.

Meguiar’s developed their own brand of highly reflective polymers that bond to the paint for a long-lasting, durable shine. Unlike most paint sealants, #21 Synthetic Sealant eliminates fine swirls and scratches to render a flawless finish. Your paint will appear darker, glossier, and smoother than ever before. #21 is designed to go on by hand or with the help of a machine polisher, which makes it equally suitable for use by a professional or a do-it-yourselfer.

http://www.superiorcarcare.net/meguiars21.html

#21 Synthetic Sealant goes on smoothly and easily no matter how you choose to apply it. Wiping it off requires no special effort. Like most paint sealants, #21 is designed for easy application and maximum durability. You can expect months and months of protection and a lasting shine.

The benefits of sealing the paint are numerous. Acid rain, industrial pollution, road grime, and UV rays cannot penetrate the tough barrier so your vehicle is less likely to incur water spots, fading, oxidation, and general contamination. Keeping it clean is as easy as a quick wash with a gentle shampoo.

When applying #21 by machine, use a soft buffing pad. Meguiar’s Soft Buff Finishing Pad will work well with your orbital polisher, and the gray finishing pad can be used with a dual action polisher. Buff off with a soft Cobra Microfiber Towel.

Meguiar’s #21 Synthetic Sealant will give you the longevity, shine, and durability that you have come to expect from one of the oldest names in car care.

64 oz.
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Old 07-29-2009, 03:27 PM   #12
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So what wax/polish has a mild abrasive (that's kinda dummy-proof )? BTW, you guys are great!
Seeing as you've used Meguires products and like them, look at either Meguires Ultimate Compound or Meguires Swirl X, which I've both found at WalMart.

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Whatever Moose says regarding car finishing/detailing is what you should do.
Thank you Sir!
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Old 07-29-2009, 03:37 PM   #13
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Thank you Sir!
You are welcome. When I want to know anything regarding detailing, I search your stuff first because you always know what you are talking about. It's obvious how much product research you do and how experienced you are.
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:32 PM   #14
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Okay, 1 last question (I hope). Would it be safe for someone (like me) who's never used an orbital buffer to use one or should I just do it by hand?
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:27 PM   #15
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I have been using Meguiar's for over 30 years and love it. I still do the old-fashioned #3 cleaner, # 7 sealer, and #16 carnuba! It takes awhile but it is worth it.
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:30 PM   #16
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Okay, 1 last question (I hope). Would it be safe for someone (like me) who's never used an orbital buffer to use one or should I just do it by hand?
Most orbital buffers are not going to do what you need them to do. What you probably want is a porter cable random orbit polisher/sander or equivalent. Most people tend to go with the 7424 model, but the 7336 is the same thing. I bought mine at Lowe's a couple of years ago. And, if you are just starting out, do yourself a favor and practice on a car you don't care too much about (that's yours) or go to a junk yard and pick up an old door or fender to practice on before you try doing your Camaro. Otherwise, do it by hand and/or have a professional detailer come out 1x or 2x a year and do her up nice A good detailer will take 5-6 hours to do the job, and sometimes longer depending on the condition of the paint. However, it is not cheap and you should be looking at about $200 minimum.


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Old 07-29-2009, 07:55 PM   #17
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Okay, 1 last question (I hope). Would it be safe for someone (like me) who's never used an orbital buffer to use one or should I just do it by hand?

No need for the buffer, hand wax it. Your chances of damaging the car with a mechanical buffer is great is not worth the risk. Leave the orbital buffers to the professional detailers.
A little elbow grease is all you need and if you take care of you car and clean and wax it regularly it will look new when it has 200,000 miles on it.

Still Waiting uses the same product and method I do - Meguires #3, #7 and carnuba !
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:19 PM   #18
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Okay, 1 last question (I hope). Would it be safe for someone (like me) who's never used an orbital buffer to use one or should I just do it by hand?
If you're seriously considering a buffer, I'd recommend a random orbital buffer. Although you can still do damage if you're not careful, they're the safest for first timers.

But also consider the cost of pads for the buffer.

If you need to do multiple vehicles, then it may be worth the investment. If you're doing your car only, save some money, spend some extra time, and play it safe by continuing to do it by hand.
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