This is also posted in the detailing forum:
After having done my first detail a few months ago I have found a reason to do a second one
This detail is for my Dad’s car, which is crimson red. I was very excited for this, perhaps more than my car, as I was looking forward to getting that distinct red shine! I did get a few looks from people walking by, who were probably thinking “What the f***”, but it was worth it! Picture wise there aren’t a lot as it was dark and cloudy when I started so I don’t have too many before pictures. Also I need to take actual pictures of the whole car, at the moment I have taken close up pictures and have forgotten about the bigger picture. I will upload some more pictures in the next few days.
Firstly I want to offer my gratitude to Greg@DetailedImage for a second time. I am still hoping they will ship to the UK one day! He answered all my questions, gave me a lot of confidence and had constant input throughout. I don’t think it really needs saying but he is very very helpful and his detail guide is amazing. THANK YOU!
From my initial experience I knew that a 2 stage machine polish would improve things drastically but still leave a little bit of swirls with the same polishes/pads. I decided quite early on, along with Greg’s input, that I was just going to do a 1 stage polish; to smarten up the car, make it shiny and deal with any remaining imperfections in spring time with a 2 stage polish. Reason for this was that the actual car was in better condition than mine and the weather was very unpredictable. Any marks that I couldn’t remove I’d just spot treat with an Orange pad with Menzerna PO203S.
So I had to decide what exactly I wanted to do. I wanted to include some additional steps that I didn’t do last time, such as the engine bay. Below is a list of steps I took, in a very rough order along with the products I used:
1. Cleanse to remove previous protection (Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Gloss)
2. De-ironise (Iron X)
3. Clay (Clay Magic)
4. Polish (DAS-6 PRO , Menzerna PO85RD and Blue Lake County Constant Pressure Pads)
5. Seal (Menzerna Power Lock)
6. Wax (Not done yet! But will use Dodo Juice Purple Haze)
1. Degreased tyres (Meguiars Super Degreaser 1 US Gallon and a bristle brush)
2. Cleaned with wheel cleaner (I think it was a Meguiars one)
3. Sealed (Poorboys Wheel Sealant)
4. Tyre shine (Meguiars Endurance High Gloss Tyre Gel)
1. Cleaned fabric seats and carpets (Chemical Guys Fabric Clean)
2. Protected fabric seats and carpets (Chemical Guys Fabric Guard)
1. Quick clean (Just used a normal glass cleaner)
2. Clay (Clay Magic)
3. Deep Clean and Seal (Car-Lack68 Glass sealing kit)
1. All I did was degrease, I think for a better improvement I will use something like 303 Aerospace Protectant next time
This was a picture I took of the boot when starting, not very clear or bright unfortunately:
So before starting I knew I was in for a frustrating time as the weather was very unpredictable. It would just start raining suddenly, and then gleaming with sunshine! I did consider to do everything panel by panel (so from cleanse to seal), but Greg mentioned that it would probably take longer. So I stuck to what I did last time. This whole detail has taken about 2 weeks, but it’s been spaced out over a few days.
First day I started off by washing and drying the car. Previously I have always used microfiber cloths to dry, but I wanted to try an actual towel. So with all the excitement I bought a new drying towel, which was the Chemical Guys Woolly Mammoth Drying Towel. This is the heaviest drying towel I have ever used, weighing in at 880+g/m2, according to the specs! This is so absorbent that I didn’t need to rinse it and could dry the whole car. Pat drying felt much easier.
The next step was to cleanse the paintwork to remove previous protection. The CG Citrus Wash and Gloss comes highly concentrated so I mixed it with water according to their recommendations. When in a bucket it looks like a nice lime solution. This step was just like washing the car normally. I just replaced shampoo with this, although when applied to paintwork it looked a lot more soapy/bubbly. After rinsing the paintwork looked clean and the water didn't bead too well, which is what I wanted I guess.
Then for some reason I jumped to the wheels/tyres. I mixed the degreaser with the appropriate amount of water and poured into a spray bottle. (UK readers, I would not recommend the spray bottles from cleanyourcar, they start and stop working randomly. Maybe it’s my technique I don’t know. I just got some spray bottles from B&Q which worked perfectly). Then I sprayed under the wheel wells and on the tyres. Agitated with a bristle brush and left for around a minute. After rinsing with water the tyre felt brand new. New rubber has such a nice feeling. I then applied Iron X to the wheels, cleaned the wheels with the wheel cleaner and applied a few coats of Poorboys Wheel sealant. The result was clean looking wheels with absolutely no brake dust. I have since washed the wheels again and all I needed was water and a quick brush. Dirt glides off so easily
At this stage I hadn't applied any tyre shine:
Next I sprayed Iron X over the whole body of the car. I was expecting the whole car to go purple and scare my Dad, but unfortunately it didn't materialise as expected. Maybe it’s because it’s a red car, or perhaps the paintwork wasn’t in too much of a bad condition. Then I rinsed it all off. I couldn’t tell if this step had made a difference or not, so maybe I might limit Iron X to wheels only?
This is how the Iron X looked on a few areas:
Then I clayed the car with the Clay Magic Kit, plus an extra bottle of QD, as I knew from my previous detail that the amount of QD included in the Kit was nowhere near enough for me. This step will probably never cease to amaze me, the way the paintwork just feels like glass. I skipped washing the car after this step to save time. The paintwork looked clean so I wasn’t worried. After this I polished the hood, passenger fender and passenger door. Then it started raining so I had to pack up for the day
I only had a few hours on this particular day so I carried on with the polishing and managed to polish all the panels, apart from the roof and trunk. I also managed to seal the hood and the passenger fender. Again it started to rain so I had to stop.
I finished off the polishing and sealed the rest of the car with the Power Lock. Polishing did seem easier than the first time. Maybe as it was just a one stage polish.
The following picture has some dusting from polishing the hood so try to ignore that. The marks in the middle which look like waves did not go after the PO85RD.
So I used the Orange pad, PO203S, and then the Blue pad and PO85RD for the second time:
The following picture was another mark which didn’t go:
After Orange pad:
Random picture after polishing:
The following pictures are all after polishing and sealing with one layer of Power Lock, but no tyre shine as yet:
The next few steps were done on various days.
I gave the interior a quick vacuum and started using the fabric clean with a sponge. I made a mistake here as it didn’t get rid of some stains, it just masked them pretty well. I didn’t use a bristle brush and didn’t put much effort in working the shampoo in. I applied the protectant afterwards as the condition had still improved. It smells very nice and feels clean.
For the windows I cleaned with a quick glass cleaner and clayed them. I was very excited to use CarLack kit as I have heard a lot of good things about it. So I applied the cleaner first in vigorous circles, with the cloth supplied, and waited around 10 minutes. It turned an opaque grey colour which I then wiped off with the aid of some deionised water.
Then I applied the sealant, which has a strong chemical/white spirit smell to it (which was quite nice!), waited a few minutes and wiped off.
The windows definitely looked cleaner but I was more looking forward to seeing how it performs in the rain. I applied this on my car and WOW, the water just flows upwards when you drive over 40mph, looks like you are driving super fast! Visibility is improved a lot and wipers are not needed as much.
Finally I started on the engine bay. This was a pretty simple and quick step where I just followed the guide on Detailed Image. So I rinsed, degreased, agitated, rinsed again, and wiped with a microfiber cloth. It looks better but the results didn't have the wow factor I expected but I think this is where other products such as 303 Aerospace Protectant come in.
After. The bonnet (trunk) kept dripping for ages so that's why it's a bit wet near the top:
So all that’s left to do now is to add a few more layers of sealant, and then 2 layers of wax which I will do in the next few weeks. I will also add some more pictures of the whole car in a few days. I also think I should use a better quality camera than my iPhone!
I think in the future I'd be interested in learning how to wet sand to get rid of the orange peel. But I don't think I would trust myself with that so we'll have to see