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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Performing your own new car prep



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      02-18-2007, 05:21 AM   #23
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great info.. about 8 months till i use it!!
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      03-06-2007, 12:56 PM   #24
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I asked my dealer not to wash/wax the car but they can take all packaging off. They told me that they have to use some toxic chemical to remove something on the paint when it comes in. I smell BS and never heard of this before. Any truth to this??
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      03-06-2007, 07:52 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitch88 View Post
I asked my dealer not to wash/wax the car but they can take all packaging off. They told me that they have to use some toxic chemical to remove something on the paint when it comes in. I smell BS and never heard of this before. Any truth to this??
They do not need anything to remove the shipping tape, it peels right off without any issue. They are probably talking about cosmoline, which BMW coats all their cars with prior to shipping. The dealership *would* need a chemical to remove this, but they should not need to remove it to begin with. By the time they receive the car the cosmoline will only be in closed areas (engine bay, etc) and will burn off naturally within the first 1000 miles.

So ya, I'd tell them to PDI the car, take the tape off, and that's it. No wash, no removal of cosmoline.
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      03-29-2007, 05:31 PM   #26
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So for the exterior it seems like the process goes: wash, clay, polish if necessary, klasse aio, sealant. So what if you wanted to have a clear bra installed when you first get the car? Where would that go in the process? I would assume after claying, didn't think you could install one on a waxed surface...
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      03-29-2007, 06:23 PM   #27
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Yep you can do it that way. Generally when I do a new car prep and the owner is getting a clear bra I perform it as normal - the clear bra guy will spray the area down with alcohol anyway to clean the surface. Just re-seal over the clear bra when it's done.
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      03-31-2007, 07:14 PM   #28
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Hey guys - I've been getting a lot of PM's about where I get my stuff. In Canada, I use www.eshine.ca for little things because they are local. For anything of substance I pretty much use www.detailedimage.com. Nice guys, quick shipping, etc... Let me know if anyone has any specific product recommendations.
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      03-31-2007, 08:44 PM   #29
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What do you do about those obnoxious signs on the sun visors? The ones that say "you're gonna die if you don't use your seatbelt, and even if you do, the airbags will kill you," or words to that effect. Goof Off? Prior to applying leather/vinyl protectant?
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      03-31-2007, 08:58 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernnorthcarolina View Post
What do you do about those obnoxious signs on the sun visors? The ones that say "you're gonna die if you don't use your seatbelt, and even if you do, the airbags will kill you," or words to that effect. Goof Off? Prior to applying leather/vinyl protectant?
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40374
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      03-31-2007, 09:07 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by southernnorthcarolina View Post
What do you do about those obnoxious signs on the sun visors? The ones that say "you're gonna die if you don't use your seatbelt, and even if you do, the airbags will kill you," or words to that effect. Goof Off? Prior to applying leather/vinyl protectant?
I've done it with goof off and a steamer; the steamer way is much easier - just heat up the decal and pull it off slowly, it's really straight forward. Not everyone has a steamer though.

It works with goof off too, but when I did mine I was left with some staining on the visor from the goof off. If you do go that route use as little goof off as possible.
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      04-01-2007, 07:29 AM   #32
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I've done it with goof off and a steamer; the steamer way is much easier - just heat up the decal and pull it off slowly, it's really straight forward. Not everyone has a steamer though.

It works with goof off too, but when I did mine I was left with some staining on the visor from the goof off. If you do go that route use as little goof off as possible.
Thanks. I tried picking mine off. Looks like crap. I will drag my "fancy pants" clothes steamer outside.
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      04-02-2007, 10:55 PM   #33
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When using Zaino, why would I want to use Z2 vs Z5 or vice versa? I don't really understand what a deep look is.
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      04-02-2007, 11:52 PM   #34
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Thanks a ton for writing this...I will definately be using this in the future, and right now it is helping me write a business plan for a mock car detailing business for my entrepreneurship class.
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      04-07-2007, 04:10 AM   #35
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I am taking delivery of my new 335XI on 5 or 6 May and need to find out where to get all of this stuff. I work for the government and am posted overseas, Spain, so I am having trouble finding it. A website that would sell the stuff maybe? Can someone give me an exact list of everything (type of clay, brands, quantities; i.e. a shopping list) I will need so I can do this myself. I find it daunting to think about applying the techniques above to a car that isn't even off the assembly line until 12 April. Picus, is there a one stop web site where I can order everything I will need and have it delivered through the USPS? Like I said, if I could get a no kidding list of absolutely everything I need, it would ease the mental anguish of preparing to do this. I've had my other car worked on in Spain and it looked worse after I got it back than when it went in so a Spanish detailer is out of the question. The 335 is Sparkling Graphite Metalic outside with Black Dakota Leather and Burl Walnut Wood inside. I've worked on my own cars since I have bought them but want to do this BMW right. Thanks a lot for the help.

Last edited by sapperelite; 04-07-2007 at 07:40 AM. Reason: More info
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      04-07-2007, 09:52 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richifever View Post
When using Zaino, why would I want to use Z2 vs Z5 or vice versa? I don't really understand what a deep look is.
General rule of thumb - on a light colored car use Z2pro, on a darker car use Z5pro. Z2pro tends to have a an extremely wet look, as the same time it is a little "plasticky", in that the color looses some of it's depth, which is fine on light colors, in fact it's good. On dark colors you want that darkening and deepening of paint, so go with Z5pro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapperelite View Post
I am taking delivery of my new 335XI on 5 or 6 May and need to find out where to get all of this stuff. I work for the government and am posted overseas, Spain, so I am having trouble finding it. A website that would sell the stuff maybe? Can someone give me an exact list of everything (type of clay, brands, quantities; i.e. a shopping list) I will need so I can do this myself. I find it daunting to think about applying the techniques above to a car that isn't even off the assembly line until 12 April. Picus, is there a one stop web site where I can order everything I will need and have it delivered through the USPS? Like I said, if I could get a no kidding list of absolutely everything I need, it would ease the mental anguish of preparing to do this. I've had my other car worked on in Spain and it looked worse after I got it back than when it went in so a Spanish detailer is out of the question. The 335 is Sparkling Graphite Metalic outside with Black Dakota Leather and Burl Walnut Wood inside. I've worked on my own cars since I have bought them but want to do this BMW right. Thanks a lot for the help.
You want a list starting from things to use when washing, like buckets? Like, how thorough should the list be?
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      04-08-2007, 01:15 AM   #37
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I wouldn't say I'm a total idiot but, as this is my fist 50k car, please instruct me like I would my 7 year old daughter. I read all of your instructions and found them to be very thourough, I love details. Basically what I would like is what I would like is a checklist to take to a store, even though I am in Europe and would have to order online, that would tell me the type of clay, rags, polishes, wax, sealant etc.
One more question that is not obvious to me, do I need an orbital polisher (PC) as everyone else refers to it? I would prefer not to buy one here as I move back to the US in just over a year and, to tell you the truth, I had a professional with an orbital really damage my Black Jeep. I also will be living away from my family while over here for the first time in almost ten years so I'll have a lot of nights and weekends free that I would enjoy being able to wax by hand.
After the detailing is done, she will be parked in an underground garage at my apartment building. Do you recommend a particular car cover to protect the vehicle?

Thanks for the help. I hope I'll be able to proudly post some good pictures of the before and after of detailing the car, by mid May
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      04-08-2007, 02:17 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sapperelite View Post
I wouldn't say I'm a total idiot but, as this is my fist 50k car, please instruct me like I would my 7 year old daughter. I read all of your instructions and found them to be very thourough, I love details. Basically what I would like is what I would like is a checklist to take to a store, even though I am in Europe and would have to order online, that would tell me the type of clay, rags, polishes, wax, sealant etc.
One more question that is not obvious to me, do I need an orbital polisher (PC) as everyone else refers to it? I would prefer not to buy one here as I move back to the US in just over a year and, to tell you the truth, I had a professional with an orbital really damage my Black Jeep. I also will be living away from my family while over here for the first time in almost ten years so I'll have a lot of nights and weekends free that I would enjoy being able to wax by hand.
After the detailing is done, she will be parked in an underground garage at my apartment building. Do you recommend a particular car cover to protect the vehicle?

Thanks for the help. I hope I'll be able to proudly post some good pictures of the before and after of detailing the car, by mid May
Clay Any automotive clay of your choice. Meguiar's, Mothers, Pinnacle, Wolfgang, they all pretty much do the same thing.
Rags Microfiber, microfiber, microfiber. www.poorboysworld.com has all the ones you'll need. Also, get a sheepskin mitt, at least two. Brand doesn't usually matter. You also need a towel to dry your car. Waffle weave works well, as does a towel called the Absorber.
Polish Picus recommended some good ones. I use Poor Boy's World Polish and EX Sealant. Zaino is what the rest of the forum seems to prefer.
Wax Try going with paste waxes, for the most part they're better than most liquid waxes. Poor Boy's Natty's Paste Wax, Pinnacle Souveran, and the ones Picus recommended. Zaino works here too.
Window Cleaner Stoner's Invisible Glass
Wheel Sealants Poor Boy's World Wheel Sealant or Wheel Wax, I prefer the former...the latter takes forever to buff out.

You don't need an orbital buffer. PC refers to the brand (Porter Cable). Doing it by hand works just as well, unless you have some major scratches to take care of that would require you to even out the clearcoat with the PC. If you're parking in a garage, a car cover probably isn't necessary, just park away from other people so they don't hit you with their doors Good luck with the car!
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      04-08-2007, 03:08 AM   #39
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Thanks for the help. I own two parking spaces in the garage so I will park crooked enough to make sure they can't get close. I also have a 90 Mercedes that I will keep close to make sure they can't get in next to her. Thanks again and please feel free to offer more advice,
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      04-08-2007, 09:48 AM   #40
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Can someone check me on this list before I order it? I will buy the following from Zaino.com tonight: ZPC, Z2-Pro, Z6, Z8, Z7, Z9, Z10 and Zaino Clay Bar. Poorboys sells a Microfiber kit for 39.95 with the following in it (16" Velvet Smooth Glass Towel, 16" Work Towel, 16" Super Thick and Plush, 16" Mega-Plush, 21 x 36 Velvet Smooth, 24 x 36 Waffle weave, Mega-Plush Mitt). I found a 16 oz bottle of 303 (I suspect this will not have the Armor All effect, ie look like crap if I don't constantly apply it in the future), Stoners invisible glass and Mothers FX Tire Shine. I have one fresh wash bucket and can buy a cheap one on the economy here in Spain. I also will not be buying an Orbital Buffer, will Zaino still work by hand? As the vehicle is brand new, I don't think there should be too much needing buffing as Sinnet112 said. I have told BMW to send word with my vehicle that the dealer is to do no more than remove it from the truck, and nothing else. My biggest concern is that I do not have a place to wash my car when I pick it up. I think I can take it to a do it yourself car wash and just be real careful. Based on Picus and Sinnet112's posting's, will this be all I need? Almost forgot, Trim cleaner/treatment? I haven't seen a name for a good one. I think someone said to use a solution of 303/water but need to make sure. Thanks,
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      04-09-2007, 10:45 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinnet112 View Post
Clay Any automotive clay of your choice. Meguiar's, Mothers, Pinnacle, Wolfgang, they all pretty much do the same thing.
Rags Microfiber, microfiber, microfiber. www.poorboysworld.com has all the ones you'll need. Also, get a sheepskin mitt, at least two. Brand doesn't usually matter. You also need a towel to dry your car. Waffle weave works well, as does a towel called the Absorber.
Polish Picus recommended some good ones. I use Poor Boy's World Polish and EX Sealant. Zaino is what the rest of the forum seems to prefer.
Wax Try going with paste waxes, for the most part they're better than most liquid waxes. Poor Boy's Natty's Paste Wax, Pinnacle Souveran, and the ones Picus recommended. Zaino works here too.
Window Cleaner Stoner's Invisible Glass
Wheel Sealants Poor Boy's World Wheel Sealant or Wheel Wax, I prefer the former...the latter takes forever to buff out.

You don't need an orbital buffer. PC refers to the brand (Porter Cable). Doing it by hand works just as well, unless you have some major scratches to take care of that would require you to even out the clearcoat with the PC. If you're parking in a garage, a car cover probably isn't necessary, just park away from other people so they don't hit you with their doors Good luck with the car!
I am going to add/edit this list according to my preferences.

Any automotive clay of your choice. Meguiar's, Mothers, Pinnacle, Wolfgang, they all pretty much do the same thing.

I agree, any fine grade clay will do.

Rags Microfiber, microfiber, microfiber. www.poorboysworld.com has all the ones you'll need. Also, get a sheepskin mitt, at least two. Brand doesn't usually matter. You also need a towel to dry your car. Waffle weave works well, as does a towel called the Absorber.

Again, agree. I personally use microfiber waffle weaves to dry. I use 16x16 microfiber for everything else. I dislike the absorber *personally* because it requires dragging. I get all my mf's from www.detailedimage.com

Polish Picus recommended some good ones. I use Poor Boy's World Polish and EX Sealant. Zaino is what the rest of the forum seems to prefer.

A little addendum here. Polishing = compounding. Zaino Z2/Z5 are no polishes (though they are labeled as such), they are sealants. You will not need a real polish on a brand new car (hopefully). Polishes are to remove scratches.

That leads me to sealants/waxes. I'd just go with a sealant. Honestly, 90% of the cars I do now I don't bother with a wax. Sealants look as good, lasts much longer, and are as easy to use. I use Zaino Z5pro on my car.

Also, I agree on Poorboys wheel sealant.

Here is the list of stuff *I* use when prepping a new car.

one bucket with grit gaurd
one bottle meguiars deep crystal
3-5 sheepskin mitts
2x microfiber waffle weave towels
one bar of fine grade clay
either menzerna final polish II (if there are some light scratches), or some jeffs werkstatt prime (chemical cleaner)
Zaino Z5pro or Werkstatt Acrylic Jett Trigger

Inside:
A Vacuum
Scotchgard
Zaino Z9/Z10
Aerospace 303

If you have any other questions let us know.
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      04-09-2007, 10:55 PM   #42
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Thanks for the edits Picus. I never actually used the Absorber before, I just heard good things about it. I've stuck with waffle weave all my life. I also know nothing about Zaino lol I've gone my own little way since I started doing my own car.

I've tried Mother's Reflections, Meguiar's Gold Class, Pinnacle Souveran, and I'm currently testing out Natty's Paste Wax this weekend. Mother's Reflections is my personal fave one that you can find at the store, and Pinnacle was actually a tad disappointing for me, although I sprang for the liquid version rather than the $80 paste version. I'll see how the Natty's does this wekend.

+1000 on the Zaino Z9/Z10. Can't go wrong with that.
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      04-16-2007, 12:36 AM   #43
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I appreciate the information guys. I will be out of the country for a few weeks but will order the stuff before I go so it is here when I get back and pick up the car. I will try to figure out how to upload the pics when I am done, if I don't totally mess it up. Thanks again,
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      04-16-2007, 12:11 PM   #44
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Hey picus, great write up. I'm sure your op will be viewed as the gold standard for new car prep. I have one question, I just finished a complete detail of my car over the weekend, which included 2 coats of "Best of Show" wax on the sides and front/rear bumpers, and 3 coats on the hood, roof, and trunk applied with a random orbital. Now the question (finally) is would I still clay bar the car periodically between waxes? I plan on using speed shine for routine (light) cleaning, but what effect, if any, would the clay bar have on the wax?
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