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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Ask a Professional Detailer...



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      06-05-2007, 05:20 PM   #111
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Changing wax

George;
Just got the stuff I ordered from you thank you. I have a question for you. On my Bimmer I have been using Meguire's and am about to switch to Zaino AIO. Do I need to clay first to start over and get the best effect from the Zaino or can I just go with it. I have a similar issue with my wife's SUV when I ran out of Meguire's and used Eagle 1 stuff to finish. What a difference!! Definately staying with Meguire's!

Also I'm a bit confused on the wax vs sealent. Zaino is a sealent and Meguire's is a wax. Aside from the what they technically are, are they interchangable except for the time they last on the car?
My plan is Z AIO then Z5.

Lastly I have a clear bra. What is your advise for getting road tar off it. I tried just plexus but I ended up dulling the finish and not getting the tar off. I used Meguire's plastix and after many coats it finally brought the shine back and took off the tar but I'm not sure if this is a method I should be using on a regular basis.

Thanks
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      06-06-2007, 12:53 PM   #112
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Good questions Bartman. As far as using a clay bar prior to the Z-AIO, the better you prep the surface, the better results you are going to get. The clay will help remove any previous coats of protection as well as thoroughly removing embedded contamination. This will allow the Z-AIO to perform to a maximum.

You do not have to clay though, especially if you have recently. Z-AIO will remove any previous coats of protection and put down a base coat to build off of.

Quick comparison on sealants vs waxes...

Sealants - longer durability
Wax - less durability, more depth and gloss usually (more of the "wet look")

When detailers use a sealant then a wax on top of it, they want the best of both worlds, long durability of the sealant underneath AND the deep, wet look of a carnauba on top.

For your clear bra, wash it regularly like you would your paint. I usually recommend a chemical polish with protection for clear bra's, something like Klasse All In One, which is non-abrasive. It will help keep it looking sharp as well as give it a layer of protection.

I'm surprised the Plexus dulled the finish, how did you use it? Did you shake it up very well before using it? I'll try to fine tune your process to get better results. I've never experienced it dulling a finish and I use it regularly on my laptop screen. Let me know.

Let me know how you make out.

George
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      06-06-2007, 01:09 PM   #113
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Thanks for the info George. I think the error with the clear bra is HOW I was using it. I kept pushing harder and harder trying to get the tar off. It eventually left a dull finish. Took quite a few coats of Plastix to return it to looking new. And I might not have shaken it up enough.

So Zaino doesn't have a wax right? So I can use ZAIO and then Meguire's on top? I thought they didn't get along together. How long do I wait between coats?

Thanks for your help as always George!
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      06-06-2007, 01:40 PM   #114
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Thanks for the info George. I think the error with the clear bra is HOW I was using it. I kept pushing harder and harder trying to get the tar off. It eventually left a dull finish. Took quite a few coats of Plastix to return it to looking new. And I might not have shaken it up enough.

So Zaino doesn't have a wax right? So I can use ZAIO and then Meguire's on top? I thought they didn't get along together. How long do I wait between coats?

Thanks for your help as always George!
I think the problem you see when people top Zaino with some waxes is that some waxes won't add much or can take away from the final finish of Zaino. If you do top with a carnauba wax, make sure it is a wax that truly will add depth and gloss. My personal thoughts are don't top Zaino with an "over the counter" carnauba wax. I would wait a full day for the Zaino to finally cure before topping it with anything else.

Hope this helps.

George
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      06-07-2007, 11:28 PM   #115
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Hi George

Great resource btw.. and thanks for doing this.

I just picked up a Mothers clay bar kit and would like advise on how to use it:

I had a bird bomb on my hood that seems to have stained my clearcoat (the poop baked for a day and the car was... never waxed *sigh ) When I run my fingers over it I don't feel anything, so its like a slight discoloration.

Second issue was the car was freshly waxed and was parked in an underground garage. I came back to see waterspots on the trunk from what seems like air conditioner drip from the ceiling. It's white and caked, I think it's calcium deposit. After washing I still feel the remnants, there's bumps.

I guess the overall question was.. if I start claying, do I need to clay the entire surface area (ie., the whole hood for the first part) or just the affected portion? Is my car going to be in different shades of color if I just go after the "damaged" areas?

Thanks in advance!
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      06-10-2007, 12:17 PM   #116
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Hi George

Great resource btw.. and thanks for doing this.

I just picked up a Mothers clay bar kit and would like advise on how to use it:

I had a bird bomb on my hood that seems to have stained my clearcoat (the poop baked for a day and the car was... never waxed *sigh ) When I run my fingers over it I don't feel anything, so its like a slight discoloration.

Second issue was the car was freshly waxed and was parked in an underground garage. I came back to see waterspots on the trunk from what seems like air conditioner drip from the ceiling. It's white and caked, I think it's calcium deposit. After washing I still feel the remnants, there's bumps.

I guess the overall question was.. if I start claying, do I need to clay the entire surface area (ie., the whole hood for the first part) or just the affected portion? Is my car going to be in different shades of color if I just go after the "damaged" areas?

Thanks in advance!
Good questions pokerface. For the bird droppings, some detailers will try to neutralize the bird dropping marks with baking soda and water mixture to provide a base to the acidic properties of bird droppings. After that, dry claying the surface. If that doesn't do the trick, I'd suggest a chemical polish, such as Klasse All In One. Beyond that you'll be looking at a light abrasive polish, such as Meguiar's ScratchX as a hand applied option. From there you'll probably need to begin using a quality buffer and some abrasive polishes starting with the least aggressive polish and working your way up until desired results are achieved.

For the marks on your trunk, if you think they are calcium deposits, try using a mixture of water and distilled vinegar to remove them. If there are remains, follow the same process as you would above starting with the clay bar until desired results are achieved. Claying should remove the bumps you feel and the polishing should remove any discoloration that may have occurred.

It's ok to clay just in certain areas, but once you begin to polish, I typically recommend polishing the entire panel. To play it safe and to insure a uniform look, perform all the steps, starting with clay, on the entire panel you are working on.

Hope this helps, let us know how you make out, good luck!

George
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      06-12-2007, 09:08 AM   #117
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A Few questions George...

I read an article stating that you can use a quick detailer spray over the car as a waterless wash to save time as long as the car is not very dirty... my car was outside with the rain last night but does not look dirty, just some bugs on the front bumper... is it ok to use the QD or should I do a full wash? Also how dirty is too dirty to use a car duster... also how dirty is too dirty to use a quck detailer?

Also what is a foam gun and is it safer to use than a wash mitt?

My car had a full detail just on Friday sealed with optimum's optiseal. Thanks!
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      06-12-2007, 09:19 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335I talian Stallion NJ View Post
A Few questions George...

I read an article stating that you can use a quick detailer spray over the car as a waterless wash to save time as long as the car is not very dirty... my car was outside with the rain last night but does not look dirty, just some bugs on the front bumper... is it ok to use the QD or should I do a full wash? Also how dirty is too dirty to use a car duster... also how dirty is too dirty to use a quck detailer?

Also what is a foam gun and is it safer to use than a wash mitt?

My car had a full detail just on Friday sealed with optimum's optiseal. Thanks!
I replied to your PM, but I'll answer here as well so everyone can see it.

You are safe to waterless wash as long as you've properly washed a couple days before hand. Do not completely replace the full car wash with the waterless wash method. I would say to be safe don't waterless wash your car more then twice inbetween proper washes.

To make sure the car is not too dirty find in your mind the most unseen or not looked at paint of your car and mist the area with QD. When you make your first 2-3 passes with your MF towl check to see how soiled it is. If it's turned black then you'll be better off to just wash the car. If it's only slightly dirty then go do the entire car.

To remove bugs and bird poo spray the area with the QD and allow it to set in for a minute or so. Then go ahead and wipe clean. If it all doesn't come off in the first pass no worries, spray it again, let it set in and wipe the rest off.

As for the foam guns, I've never used one. George prolly knows more then I do. But I would say that a good sheepskin wash mit and a proper lubricating car wash is the absolute best and most effective way to clean your car. If your lazy then get the foam gun or Mr. Clean whatever. If you care about your car just do it the proper way the first time.

Any questions?
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      06-12-2007, 10:45 AM   #119
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A Few questions George...

I read an article stating that you can use a quick detailer spray over the car as a waterless wash to save time as long as the car is not very dirty... my car was outside with the rain last night but does not look dirty, just some bugs on the front bumper... is it ok to use the QD or should I do a full wash? Also how dirty is too dirty to use a car duster... also how dirty is too dirty to use a quck detailer?

Also what is a foam gun and is it safer to use than a wash mitt?

My car had a full detail just on Friday sealed with optimum's optiseal. Thanks!
Certain quick detailers are ok to tackle a little more than a light dusting, such as Poorboy's Spray & Wipe which is promoted as a waterless wash. Basically what you do is mist about 5 - 7 sprays per panel and let it penetrate for a minute or so. For this type of cleaning you want the plushest microfiber towel you can find, I recommend our Ultra Plush towel to our customers for quick detailing / waterless wash.

If you notice some marring during your first panel, the car is probably too dirty for a waterless wash and would recommend a complete hand wash. It's tough to quantify what is safe for a duster and mf towel, but basically for an ultra light dusting, use the duster, for light dusting with some minor contamination build up (basically 1 step beyond an ultra light dusting) then use the quick detailer - waterless wash... anything beyond that, a full wash.

Foam guns are helpful tools to apply suds quickly and effectively all over the vehicle. It does not replace using buckets, you still want to have at least 1 rinse bucket, and you still use a wash mitt.

I had the opportunity to use one this past weekend, a Gilmour one, and it was more of a fun tool to have while washing. It helps make sure that your suds are always fresh and minimizes your wash mitt touching the paint during the application process. They do also help get suds in hard to reach areas with your mitt, such as wheel wells, undercarriage, etc.

Let us know how the Opti-Seal holds up, I do like the OPT line up.

George
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      06-18-2007, 01:54 AM   #120
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All In One Products - This step is used to save time by combining some cleaning or polishing characteristics along with some form of protection. While the results are not quite as good as doing the steps separately, these products save time for people looking for great results in less time.
Hi, and thank you for this very useful information.

I just finished detailing my '99 328i per David's "Detailing 101" thread. Per his suggestions, and using Zaino products, I washed, clayed, Zaino AIO, Z2 sealant, then finished with Z6 quick detailer. Since I then ran out of time, the following weekend (yesterday, actually), I again washed, applied another coat of Z2, then finished w/ Z8 quick detailer.

Even though my paint is 8 years old last month, it looks 1 month old (except for many chips in the front only visible from 2-3 feet, and if you are looking for them). So what process, using what products, would I use in place of the process I outlined? It seems you feel AIO's are somewhat of a shortcut, and I'd like to understand if I'm taking any shortcuts, and how to improve the process I used. Thanks.
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      06-18-2007, 01:58 AM   #121
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Damaged Wheels and Door Dings

I'm not sure if it is appropriate to post this question here, so please let me know if it is.

Unfortunately, all 4 of my wheels (8 years old) have significant damage from scraping against curbs while parking. Can this be repaired to a reasonable degree? I wouldn't expect them to look brand new, but it sure would be nice if they can look reasonably better. Any advice on who to go to for this service?

And I also have 3 door dings that are now really standing out after detailing the car. A full detailing really makes the beauty of the paint and clear coat stand out, but it also makes the imperfections stand out. There is a quickie car wash near my home that also offers the service of ding removal. Or should I take it to a body shop? Not sure. Thanks.

Last edited by rtjones; 06-18-2007 at 03:30 AM.
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      06-18-2007, 02:03 AM   #122
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For those of us who don't live anywhere near yourself or picus (kevin), any tips on finding a good detailer in our area? Any specific questions we need to be asking potential detailer? Is there any sort of industry site or standard that lists 'certified' (for lack of a better term) detailer?

I've read a few posts here of rather unfortunate encounters with so called 'detailers', that have done more damage than good to some cars here. How do we avoid these types?

My car (black sapphire metallic) has unfortunately been the victim of the bmw dealer carwash (wasn't told they were going to do it), and then their 'detailer' in an attempt to fix the holograms done by the wash. Needless to say they didn't really fix it, just waxed over it. I've been looking for a detailer ever since, but am really unsure what to look for in a shop.

Thanks!
Jeez, I'd go nuts if my new 335i looks like that upon delivery! At a northern Cal dealer when my wife and I were looking at different colors trying to decide what we liked, we saw a sapphire black 335i w/ horrible swirls. The dealer actually tried to tell me it was caused by the paint itself (too soft, he said), and not the washing. Right...
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      06-18-2007, 02:52 AM   #123
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Sounds like a much better process after hearing the entire thing. A less than $15 investment I'd recommend: Add a second wash bucket along with a Grit Guard insert to help release contamination from your wash mitt prior to re-dunking it into the suds. It's a solid insurance policy for minimizing adding imperfections.

George
Hi George. I use only 1 bucket, but after each time the soapy mitt wipes the surface of my car, I take my hose with moderate pressure and fully rinse the mitt. So the mitt is fully rinsed before addinig it back into my water bucket. Using this technique, after washing my car, the water in the bucket is perfectly clear, as though it had not been used. Is this safe, or do you continue to recommend the two bucket method? I know David recommended this in his "Detailing 101" thread.
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      06-18-2007, 03:35 AM   #124
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Dealer Prep

You know, reading this thread, and parts of others, I am really concerned abou the dealer doing the prep, even if I ask my salesman not to. At this point, I am still waiting for dealer allocation, so my order is not yet even placed. When he gives me a production number, I'll let him know. And I'll remind him many times until my car comes in. But I can soooo easily see the car getting prepped. I wonder if they have a process to support any requests to not perform the prep, or is it simply dependent upon the salesman's communication to the "detailer", and that particular "detailer" remembering which cars to prep, and which not to prep? Uggh...
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      06-18-2007, 01:47 PM   #125
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Hi, and thank you for this very useful information.

I just finished detailing my '99 328i per David's "Detailing 101" thread. Per his suggestions, and using Zaino products, I washed, clayed, Zaino AIO, Z2 sealant, then finished with Z6 quick detailer. Since I then ran out of time, the following weekend (yesterday, actually), I again washed, applied another coat of Z2, then finished w/ Z8 quick detailer.

Even though my paint is 8 years old last month, it looks 1 month old (except for many chips in the front only visible from 2-3 feet, and if you are looking for them). So what process, using what products, would I use in place of the process I outlined? It seems you feel AIO's are somewhat of a shortcut, and I'd like to understand if I'm taking any shortcuts, and how to improve the process I used. Thanks.
You are using the Z-AIO as a polish and to provide a base coat for your Z-2, which is perfectly fine. If you are looking to correct more imperfections, consider a pure polish instead of the AIO, like Z-PC or the Menzerna line of polishes. I've yet to find an all in one product that out performs two separate steps. Keeping it in perspective, Z-PC + Z-2 would yield more imperfections removed and longer durability than Z-AIO alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtjones View Post
I'm not sure if it is appropriate to post this question here, so please let me know if it is.

Unfortunately, all 4 of my wheels (8 years old) have significant damage from scraping against curbs while parking. Can this be repaired to a reasonable degree? I wouldn't expect them to look brand new, but it sure would be nice if they can look reasonably better. Any advice on who to go to for this service?

And I also have 3 door dings that are now really standing out after detailing the car. A full detailing really makes the beauty of the paint and clear coat stand out, but it also makes the imperfections stand out. There is a quickie car wash near my home that also offers the service of ding removal. Or should I take it to a body shop? Not sure. Thanks.
For the curb rash, check out this article...
http://www.audiworld.com/tech/ext43.shtml

For the dings, if the paint is not creased you may be able to get by with paintless dent removal, if it is creased you'll need to take it to a body shop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtjones View Post
Hi George. I use only 1 bucket, but after each time the soapy mitt wipes the surface of my car, I take my hose with moderate pressure and fully rinse the mitt. So the mitt is fully rinsed before addinig it back into my water bucket. Using this technique, after washing my car, the water in the bucket is perfectly clear, as though it had not been used. Is this safe, or do you continue to recommend the two bucket method? I know David recommended this in his "Detailing 101" thread.
This technique is fine, I haven't personally used this method but I'm sure it is similar in terms of safe cleaning techniques. I still like the idea of a rinse bucket with a Grit Guard insert and will continue to recommend that method. I like gliding the mitt across the GG in multiple directions to really help release contamination. I would imagine that using the hose is more work to achieve similar results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtjones View Post
You know, reading this thread, and parts of others, I am really concerned abou the dealer doing the prep, even if I ask my salesman not to. At this point, I am still waiting for dealer allocation, so my order is not yet even placed. When he gives me a production number, I'll let him know. And I'll remind him many times until my car comes in. But I can soooo easily see the car getting prepped. I wonder if they have a process to support any requests to not perform the prep, or is it simply dependent upon the salesman's communication to the "detailer", and that particular "detailer" remembering which cars to prep, and which not to prep? Uggh...
Good luck with everything and let us know how you make out. If a dealer prepped my vehicle when I told them not to prep it, I personally would not take delivery and find a new dealership to work with. If you make it known to them that it means that much to not prep your vehicle, I doubt they would.

George
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      06-18-2007, 02:14 PM   #126
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Thank you, George.
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      06-18-2007, 08:29 PM   #127
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George,
I received my order last Monday and I just wanted to thank you for your advice on what to do and what to buy. The Full Molecular Jacket and the Natty Blue wax made my car (2007 328 in deep green) shine like glass. Liked it so much, I clayed my wife's 2005 Audi and sealed and waxed it as well. Both look better than new. Thank you very much.

Also, I have two small scratches in my front fender (about 2 inches long and white in color). Any advise to easily remove them?
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      06-18-2007, 08:44 PM   #128
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George,
I received my order last Monday and I just wanted to thank you for your advice on what to do and what to buy. The Full Molecular Jacket and the Natty Blue wax made my car (2007 328 in deep green) shine like glass. Liked it so much, I clayed my wife's 2005 Audi and sealed and waxed it as well. Both look better than new. Thank you very much.

Also, I have two small scratches in my front fender (about 2 inches long and white in color). Any advise to easily remove them?
Great to hear back from you deepgreen, I'm glad everything turned out as planned!

As far as the scratch, are they lines in the clear coat or is it down past the paint? If they are in the clear coat, you should be able to take care of them with an abrasive polish. If they are thru the paint they will need touch up work.

Let me know how deep they are or take a picture and we'll assess your options.

Thanks again for your support!

George
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      06-20-2007, 10:50 PM   #129
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I just came back from checking out my car and it seems like there's so much more scratches on my hood now . There are some scratches along the contour line on the hood (under bright halogen light, not so clear under sunlight) and mostly swirls and surface scratch. I don't have a close up shot of the scratches, but these can be felt by my nails.



These scratches on that line looks something like this:



I am wondering if these scatches can be polish/buff out by detailers or I have to get it into a body shop? If I were to do it myself..what steps and products would you recommend? Thanks
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      06-21-2007, 02:01 AM   #130
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George,
I want to get a PC from your site, but have a few questions.
If I use a towel ontop of the pad, do I need a different pad for different applications?
Can I wash the pads in a way so that I can reuse them?
Do I need the 6" counter weight?

Thanks
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      06-21-2007, 09:30 AM   #131
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I just came back from checking out my car and it seems like there's so much more scratches on my hood now . There are some scratches along the contour line on the hood (under bright halogen light, not so clear under sunlight) and mostly swirls and surface scratch. I don't have a close up shot of the scratches, but these can be felt by my nails.

I am wondering if these scatches can be polish/buff out by detailers or I have to get it into a body shop? If I were to do it myself..what steps and products would you recommend? Thanks
From what you are describing BMXtreme, you may be out of luck. First indication is that you can feel them with your nails. The biggest problem with that is typically to remove imperfections that can be felt with your nails typically require high speed buffing, wet sanding or possibly a respray. Unfortunately, the scratches are on a ridge, which means the paint is thinner in those areas, which makes it difficult to safely take a high speed buffer or anything more aggressive to that area. To perform correctly, I don't know if this is a job I'd recommend tackling yourself. I'd seek the advice of some local professionals and weigh your options. Perhaps a more detailed close up picture can help me better assess the situation. Keep us posted on what you end up doing and how you make out.

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Originally Posted by Coldintake View Post
George,
I want to get a PC from your site, but have a few questions.
If I use a towel ontop of the pad, do I need a different pad for different applications?
Can I wash the pads in a way so that I can reuse them?
Do I need the 6" counter weight?

Thanks
Coldintake, thanks for contacting us. When you say a towel ontop of the pad, do you mean using a bonnet? Or literally putting a MF towel on top of the foam pad? If so what would be the purpose, product removal? The buffer is designed specifically for applying products, not removing them. All products should still be removed by hand even if applied with a buffer. Bonnets can create marring rather quickly and another problem with removing with the buffer too is that you cannot always reach all parts of the paint and would be left with product residue in the hard to reach areas of the car.

I recommend using our General Purpose Microfiber Towels for product removal.

Pads can be washed and reused many times, if taken care of properly. Never let product sit in the pads for an extended period of time. You want to wash them immediate after usage for maximum durability of the pads. I do recommend using 1 pad per product though. You do not want to mix the products on the same pads because inevitably there will be some remains of the previous product on the pad and could potentially negate your results.

The 6" counter weight will help reduce some of the vibration the buffer gives off. I've used the PC with both counter weights and do not notice much of a difference.

Let me know if you need a hand with any thing else or if you have any other questions regarding the PC. I'm sure you'll love the time and effort you'll save and most importantly better results when polishing!

George
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      06-21-2007, 10:52 AM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detailed Image View Post
From what you are describing BMXtreme, you may be out of luck. First indication is that you can feel them with your nails. The biggest problem with that is typically to remove imperfections that can be felt with your nails typically require high speed buffing, wet sanding or possibly a respray. Unfortunately, the scratches are on a ridge, which means the paint is thinner in those areas, which makes it difficult to safely take a high speed buffer or anything more aggressive to that area. To perform correctly, I don't know if this is a job I'd recommend tackling yourself. I'd seek the advice of some local professionals and weigh your options. Perhaps a more detailed close up picture can help me better assess the situation. Keep us posted on what you end up doing and how you make out.
George

Thanks alot George! I thought so, but will see if I am lucky enough to be able to fix it easily..guess not....the scratches looks pretty deep, the dealer probably put his toolbox on it when they work on my car...the car was dusty and I didn't catch those when picking it up...I guess I will have to swallow it and maybe live with it frm now on. Thanks alot!
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