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Discussion on how to keep your car shining bright and make them heads turn..

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Old 12-22-2010, 03:00 PM   #1
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Crystal Mall Car Wash?

I've driven by them a couple of times whenever I"m looking for parking at crystal mall and it seems like they do a fantastic job at getting the car all clean and shiny. I've seen a lot of beamers, mercedes, porsche and whatnot getting their cars washed there.

However, there is NO way I will bring my car there cause I don't trust anyone else washing my car other than myself. I'm just wondering if anyone know what product they use to get the outstanding shininess that the cars have and the steps needed to duplicate their work. I am putting in as much effort if not more in washing my car but even so, my work is obviously inferior to theirs.

As of now, my procedure in washing my own car is as follows:

Edit: Rinse rims > Clean Rims > Rinse rims again > Rinse twice > Wash with Car Soap + Wool Mitt > Rinse twice again > Dry with Chammois (sp) > Wax (Every 2 months or so) > Tire Gel

A typical wash will take me 40-60 mins
A typical wax job takes me roughly 2 hours

Critical Products that I use:
Meguiar's Car Soap
Meguiar's Golden Class Wax
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Last edited by 06TLer; 12-22-2010 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:58 PM   #2
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how bout cleaning the wheels?
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:09 PM   #3
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how bout cleaning the wheels?
Yeah I got that too, the armor rim's cleaner spray with this brush that I use, that's the first step after the initial rinse, I forgot to put that in hahaz, I also for the black magic tire gel for after the whole process xD. Just can't figure out how those people at crystal mall make the cars give off such a crazy shine when they obviously wouldn't spend nearly as long as I do washing the car.
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:48 PM   #4
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Washing and waxing should not take that long, check autopia.org forums for some good advice.
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really?.. some reason im afraid of taking shits after ghost movies.. i always think about what if a ghost's hand came out of the toilet and grabbed my nuts or stuck its hand in my ass -___________-.... i mean if it came outa the mirror id have reaction time to run but the toilets.. thats a pretty good blind spot to sneak up on people from -_____- ...
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:56 PM   #5
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A lot of that shine comes through prep work prior to waxing. Polishing and claybar and then sealing all that work with a good quality wax/sealant. Next is making sure your washing techniques are good to minimize swirls. I think your technique is there if your spending over an hour on wash. How old is your car? Maybe you should consider polishing it to revitalize the paint. A wax can only take you so far, and I'm not too familar with gold class wax, never used it myself. If your thinking about going through this then I would recommend buying some more boutique stuff, like from sponsor at autowerkes. If you do, get a new car soap. Gold class is a nice soap but sold way too expensive here.

Cars will look great at crystall, they're parked inside with flourescent lighting so they will have a very glossy look. You sure your car wasn't similar?
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjl View Post
Cars will look great at crystall, they're parked inside with flourescent lighting so they will have a very glossy look. You sure your car wasn't similar?
I agree 100%



edit:

wash, claybar, wash, wax.....and every 6-8 months i'd book a 1stage polish if my car looks a bit off even after the sealant and waxes.

My basic essentials consist of:

Chemical Guys Gloss Enhancing Shampoo
Megs Endurance Tire Shine
5 gallon HomeDepot bucket with Grit Guard
Bilt Hamber Autobalm
Megs Quick Spray wax.


eidt: Gold Class Liquid wax looks good, but only lasts a few weeks of good weather, and maybe a week if it rains alot. Not worth the effort. A have a 90% full bottle, used it 2x...went to a sealant for better durability and topped with a quick spray wax.

For my best results in shine, I like to ClayBar, CG wet mirror finish, Bilt Hamber autobalm x2, and spray wax x2....and then spray wax every second wash. Car seems to be always shiney, even when its dirty.
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Last edited by Supafly; 12-23-2010 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjl View Post

Cars will look great at crystall, they're parked inside with flourescent lighting so they will have a very glossy look. You sure your car wasn't similar?
Haha maybe it is the lighting problem. My car is 2006 so it isn't that old. I'm a little hesitant in polishing myself though cause from research, it seems like polishing means taking a thin top layer of the paint away that's how they eliminate the swirls + scratches + better looking paint. I'm afraid that I will apply too much and kill my paint hahaz, are there any consumer products that work great and is less abraisive? I was considering meguiar's 3 step wash but step 2 was sold out the last time I went to CT.

Thanks for the help.

Edit: I do appreciate my own work everytime Im' done with the car, I only feel crap whenever I driveby the wash at Crystal Mall seeing the cars there shining from head to toe like nothing else in that parking lot. =(

Edit: Autowerkes is awesome! I've seen the result of his work, I'll be blessed if I even have half his skills.

Last edited by 06TLer; 12-23-2010 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supafly View Post
I agree 100%



edit:

wash, claybar, wash, wax.....and every 6-8 months i'd book a 1stage polish if my car looks a bit off even after the sealant and waxes.

My basic essentials consist of:

Chemical Guys Gloss Enhancing Shampoo
Megs Endurance Tire Shine
5 gallon HomeDepot bucket with Grit Guard
Bilt Hamber Autobalm
Megs Quick Spray wax.


eidt: Gold Class Liquid wax looks good, but only lasts a few weeks of good weather, and maybe a week if it rains alot. Not worth the effort. A have a 90% full bottle, used it 2x...went to a sealant for better durability and topped with a quick spray wax.

For my best results in shine, I like to ClayBar, CG wet mirror finish, Bilt Hamber autobalm x2, and spray wax x2....and then spray wax every second wash. Car seems to be always shiney, even when its dirty.
I'm using Gold Class Paste Wax and not Liquid, will the paste one last longer than a few weeks? Definitely not worth the effort if it does turn out to only last for half a month or so.

I'm planning to claybar my car in Spring once this horrible weather is over. As for CG wet mirror finish and Bilt Hamber autobalm, are these polishing products? The only abraisive product that I have used so far is Mother's Scratch Remover and even then I don't even know when enough is enough. Sometimes I apply it to the same area 5-6 times because I'm not seeing any results. I wonder how much of the clearcoat I have taken off already
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:54 AM   #9
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if you are scared about polishing and want to try it.. i suggest mekida polisher, they are a good beginnerish polisher(hard to burn through clearcoat)
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexchiu444
Haha maybe it is the lighting problem. My car is 2006 so it isn't that old. I'm a little hesitant in polishing myself though cause from research, it seems like polishing means taking a thin top layer of the paint away that's how they eliminate the swirls + scratches + better looking paint. I'm afraid that I will apply too much and kill my paint hahaz, are there any consumer products that work great and is less abraisive? I was considering meguiar's 3 step wash but step 2 was sold out the last time I went to CT.

Thanks for the help.

Edit: I do appreciate my own work everytime Im' done with the car, I only feel crap whenever I driveby the wash at Crystal Mall seeing the cars there shining from head to toe like nothing else in that parking lot. =(

Edit: Autowerkes is awesome! I've seen the result of his work, I'll be blessed if I even have half his skills.
Most hobbyists just pick up a dual action polisher, which you will have a hard time ruining the paint with that. If you are really considering it, then you can go to autowerkes and he can take a look at your car and hook you up with the right products. He will probably also teach you how to work with the machine too and check your paint readings. Or you could get him to do it

Maybe take some pictures of your paint so we can gauge what situation your in. If your not doing any heavy correction work then you could polish once a year for years and you'll still be safe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexchiu444
I'm using Gold Class Paste Wax and not Liquid, will the paste one last longer than a few weeks? Definitely not worth the effort if it does turn out to only last for half a month or so.

I'm planning to claybar my car in Spring once this horrible weather is over. As for CG wet mirror finish and Bilt Hamber autobalm, are these polishing products? The only abraisive product that I have used so far is Mother's Scratch Remover and even then I don't even know when enough is enough. Sometimes I apply it to the same area 5-6 times because I'm not seeing any results. I wonder how much of the clearcoat I have taken off already
I havn't read much on gold class, I don't think the durability is too great though. Pick up some nice sealants for longer lasting protection, which I think we need given it rains 3/4 seasons. If you're not liking the look, then get a wax for use in summer when we get better weather.

CG wet mirror finish is a glaze, you use that to boost gloss/hide(fill) swirls. Typically you use it before waxing, which is what the Bilt Hamber autobalm is. His spray wax routine is to maintain and boost shine inbetween waxing. You could try the glaze route, but the swirls that disappear will most likely reappear after a wash or two. If you have never claybared your car before, then chances are there is going to be a lot of contaminants bonded on to your car. Typical car washes can only do so much. That being said you might induce some swirls with claybaring, check out autowerkes subaru thread.
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:10 PM   #11
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Most hobbyists just pick up a dual action polisher, which you will have a hard time ruining the paint with that. If you are really considering it, then you can go to autowerkes and he can take a look at your car and hook you up with the right products. He will probably also teach you how to work with the machine too and check your paint readings. Or you could get him to do it

Maybe take some pictures of your paint so we can gauge what situation your in. If your not doing any heavy correction work then you could polish once a year for years and you'll still be safe.



Thanks jjl. For the dual action polisher are you talking about one of these?

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brows....jsp?locale=en

it's on sale right now at CT so maybe I should run my ass over there and pick one up. I've checked out all three threads from autowerkes and no doubts he does an AMAZING job. I'm just a bit worried that the things he used are too "Professional" for me since I"m starting out I should probably try out some consumer products first. Please reply and tell me if that's the right stuff to use for polishing/waxing my car, it's at a decent price right now probably a good idea to start my journey into the world of car detailing.
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:06 PM   #12
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^^ that Simoniz is garbage. What you need is the Porter Cable 7424XP.

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Old 12-27-2010, 02:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 06TLer View Post
Thanks jjl. For the dual action polisher are you talking about one of these?

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brows....jsp?locale=en

it's on sale right now at CT so maybe I should run my ass over there and pick one up. I've checked out all three threads from autowerkes and no doubts he does an AMAZING job. I'm just a bit worried that the things he used are too "Professional" for me since I"m starting out I should probably try out some consumer products first. Please reply and tell me if that's the right stuff to use for polishing/waxing my car, it's at a decent price right now probably a good idea to start my journey into the world of car detailing.
That is a rotary buffer, measured in rpms. The safer option your looking for is DA polisher, which is typically measured in opm. The PC7424xp is a DA polisher, and one of the most popular ones used by detailers for a lot of reasons, safe, light, ease of use, varied pad options etc... Ctire carries it but your really better off getting it from detailing vendors, as they offer better pricing.

I asked for you to check the subaru thread because clay can scratch cars that are very contaminated or have very soft paint. So it is definitely good measure to follow up with a polish. Do all this right and you will have a car looking better than the cars on dealer lots.

Ken at autowerkes carries the PC7424. Drive your car there, and he can take a look at your car and tell you what you need. I'm sure he's willing to teach you how to work the machine and such too, just call him to make an appointment in case he is busy. You can also pick up some other stuff there, lots of fantastic stuff. Some of my my favourite stuff that he carries are the raceglaze brush set and raceglaze wheel brush. You won't find these on many other sites.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:45 PM   #14
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If you are considering polishing your own car, pop by and we can show what the differences between the machines are and how to use them. We can go over your car and see exactly what you need so you're not wasting money.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:36 PM   #15
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If you are considering polishing your own car, pop by and we can show what the differences between the machines are and how to use them. We can go over your car and see exactly what you need so you're not wasting money.
Thanks a lot! I've seen your threads on your work and you always do an amazing job on the cars. I will for sure pop by after I have gotten myself a PC 7424, but spending $200 on a polisher isn't a sound decision for me right now. Hopefully I can get one when spring comes, but for sure will be asking you for tips on how to use the machines.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:10 PM   #16
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Thanks a lot! I've seen your threads on your work and you always do an amazing job on the cars. I will for sure pop by after I have gotten myself a PC 7424, but spending $200 on a polisher isn't a sound decision for me right now. Hopefully I can get one when spring comes, but for sure will be asking you for tips on how to use the machines.
Whats your budget? Occasionally I hear of good used ones for sale. I have a couple I may let go as well.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:38 PM   #17
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Whats your budget? Occasionally I hear of good used ones for sale. I have a couple I may let go as well.
I was going to get a polisher off Canadian Tire for about $100 but apparently it's not that great being rotary and all. I doubt a used PC will be as low as that. How much does a used one cost? Maybe I can pick up one of those instesad. How much are you selling one of yours for? What does it take to learn how to use a buffer with all the different pads and polishing compounds xD I wanna work on my own car in the future without having to experiment and screw up on it

Finally washed my car today after a week of rain! Horrible weather in the lower mainland. =( I was amazed at the shine on my car but can't seem to make the front bumper shiny for some reason. Lighting does seem to be a big factor in the amount of shininess.

A picture after the wash:



It's definitely not perfect, but was enough to put a smile on my face after a whole week of driving in the rain.

P.S. I forgot to dry the windshield hahaz
P.S.S. HOLY SHIT!! I just checked out the gallery on your site, and the results are AMAZING! After you're done with their car, it looks like a freaking MIRROR! How can I get results like that!

Last edited by 06TLer; 12-29-2010 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:14 PM   #18
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I was going to get a polisher off Canadian Tire for about $100 but apparently it's not that great being rotary and all. I doubt a used PC will be as low as that. How much does a used one cost? Maybe I can pick up one of those instesad. How much are you selling one of yours for? What does it take to learn how to use a buffer with all the different pads and polishing compounds xD I wanna work on my own car in the future without having to experiment and screw up on it

Finally washed my car today after a week of rain! Horrible weather in the lower mainland. =( I was amazed at the shine on my car but can't seem to make the front bumper shiny for some reason. Lighting does seem to be a big factor in the amount of shininess.

A picture after the wash:



It's definitely not perfect, but was enough to put a smile on my face after a whole week of driving in the rain.

P.S. I forgot to dry the windshield hahaz
P.S.S. HOLY SHIT!! I just checked out the gallery on your site, and the results are AMAZING! After you're done with their car, it looks like a freaking MIRROR! How can I get results like that!
I have a used PC7424 that I would let go for $100. It's got very low hours on it. Doesn't take a lot of time to learn how to use a polisher.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:56 PM   #19
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I have a used PC7424 that I would let go for $100. It's got very low hours on it. Doesn't take a lot of time to learn how to use a polisher.
WOW that is a steal! I'll definitely take you up on that offer! You could also tell me what products I should use while I'm there picking this baby up. I'm thinking of Meguiar's M105 and M205 right now. Anyways, when is it a good time for me to drop by your shop to purchase some detailing products and get some advice?

P.S. Are you free for me to drop by tomorrow to pick up the PC and some detailing stuff? I have a load of questions that I would like to ask you so I might take up some of your time.

Last edited by 06TLer; 12-30-2010 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:43 PM   #20
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+1 for Ken. He's a great guy and spent close to an hour of his time answering my questions. Even allowed me to try the Porter Cable on his own car! He's the man to go to for your detailing needs!
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