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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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      07-01-2007, 12:41 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by TiAg335i View Post
Is it better to wax in circles or straight lines? What about polishing by hand?
Great question TiAg335i. IMO there is quite the myth out there that waxing, polishing, etc. in a circular manner is wrong.

IF:
  • You are using a contaminated applicator pad
  • You are applying a product over a contaminated area
  • You are using a contaminated removal towel (or non-paint safe towel)
Then: This could result in swirls and other imperfections in circular patterns, or straight line patterns, in which I guess I would prefer the straight lines since it would only be visible at certain angles of light.

However, a detailing enthusiast should not be doing any of those three things mentioned above. As for polishing, it is much better to polish at various angles (usually circular motions or random motions). Look at the Porter Cable, it oscillates mimicking a circular hand motion. The reason being is you want to level the clear coat at various angles which provides an overall smoother clear coat. The smoother the clear the better the results.

You still want to make overlapping passes as you would with a PC as well for complete even coverage (or polishing).

Great question, I see this a lot.

George
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      07-02-2007, 12:23 PM   #156
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clay windshield?

George--I am preparing to do a full detail (wash, clay, JW Prime + Trigger), and was wondering if there is any benefit (or harm) to claying the winshield.
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      07-02-2007, 12:52 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by claycourter01 View Post
George--I am preparing to do a full detail (wash, clay, JW Prime + Trigger), and was wondering if there is any benefit (or harm) to claying the winshield.
I'm sure George will reply, but I don't believe there is any harm in claying any of your windows (or mirrors) inside and/or out. And I believe there is benefit. I clayed my windows (per the suggestion of a thread in this forum), and they've never been cleaner/smoother.
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      07-02-2007, 02:28 PM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claycourter01 View Post
George--I am preparing to do a full detail (wash, clay, JW Prime + Trigger), and was wondering if there is any benefit (or harm) to claying the winshield.
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Originally Posted by rtjones View Post
I'm sure George will reply, but I don't believe there is any harm in claying any of your windows (or mirrors) inside and/or out. And I believe there is benefit. I clayed my windows (per the suggestion of a thread in this forum), and they've never been cleaner/smoother.
Yep you can clay paint, glass, wheels, headlights, door jambs... I'd avoid rubber or vinyl textured trim. It's job is to remove surface contamination, both visible and non-visible to the naked eye so feel free to use it on almost any part of the exterior. The better you prep the paint (remove surface contamination and remove imperfections) the better the detail.

Good luck, let us know how you make out.

George
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      07-02-2007, 02:49 PM   #159
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thanks George & rtjones--I have been using the Zaino glass polish occasionally, which I believe is very good, but there are still some minor imperfections I would like to eliminate if possible.
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      07-02-2007, 02:54 PM   #160
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It's interesting how, now that my car is totally detailed (is that redundant?), I see surface imperfections I didn't know existed. Including the windshield - lots and lots of tiny stone chips, breaks in the surface. And tiny tiny scratches in the clearcoat I never saw. But, they are so minor, I won't even bother with them until my next 6 month detail, certainly my annual detail. A little Z-PC and PC polisher should improve it 99%.
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      07-03-2007, 03:04 PM   #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claycourter01 View Post
thanks George & rtjones--I have been using the Zaino glass polish occasionally, which I believe is very good, but there are still some minor imperfections I would like to eliminate if possible.
I've also heard decent things about the glass polish. From my understanding to truly remove imperfections from glass you need a high speed rotary (10 - 15k RPMs) before you can really start to improve glass. I'd keep that to a professional. Keep in mind, a clay bar will just help in removing surface contamination, not correcting imperfections in the glass.

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Originally Posted by rtjones View Post
It's interesting how, now that my car is totally detailed (is that redundant?), I see surface imperfections I didn't know existed. Including the windshield - lots and lots of tiny stone chips, breaks in the surface. And tiny tiny scratches in the clearcoat I never saw. But, they are so minor, I won't even bother with them until my next 6 month detail, certainly my annual detail. A little Z-PC and PC polisher should improve it 99%.
Yep it's a never ending curse. The more you know about detailing the more minor imperfections you can pick out on a vehicle.

This lead to the creation of this shirt ...


More detailing apparel here.


You have the right mindset for a daily driven vehicle. Do the best you can to minimize adding more imperfections and correct them on your next polishing session.

George
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      07-04-2007, 03:40 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by Detailed Image View Post
I've also heard decent things about the glass polish. From my understanding to truly remove imperfections from glass you need a high speed rotary (10 - 15k RPMs) before you can really start to improve glass. I'd keep that to a professional. Keep in mind, a clay bar will just help in removing surface contamination, not correcting imperfections in the glass.
George

thanks George--I don't expect the claying to be the complete solution. I have some circular fine scratches on the windshield which I can only see when the sun is low and coming in directly, but are still disappointing since the car has only been handwashed (by me) except on one occasion when I forgot to tell the dealer not to wash it. Looks like someone rubbed hard with a dirty wash mitt. Of course the dealer says there's no way they could have done anything like that...

So I try to keep it clean and polished and just not make it any worse; I realize you're correct, a rotary by a pro might help, but I know my limits and wouldn't attempt it. thanks!
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      07-04-2007, 03:47 PM   #163
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Hey Clay - Interesting comment re: the dealer putting the mark on your windshield. I mentioned this in another thread, but I'll summarize here. My wife and I expect our 335i to be delivered early Sept, and I've already told my dealer to not wash the car. He said they are required to do that. I said no, it is my car, do not wash it. He said I will need to sign a waiver (fine, I said), and that in 30 years of selling cars, he's never heard of a customer asking for their car not be cleaned before driving it off the lot! Isn't that crazy!?

EDIT: And, I mentioned to my dealer in person with he and I standing in his lot looking at swirl marks, and again with him on the phone, and he claims there is no way his team put those swirl marks in the car. They are brand-new, never owned. Who else did it, I asked him. Heh, heh...
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      07-04-2007, 09:00 PM   #164
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Quote:
Hey Clay - Interesting comment re: the dealer putting the mark on your windshield. I mentioned this in another thread, but I'll summarize here. My wife and I expect our 335i to be delivered early Sept, and I've already told my dealer to not wash the car. He said they are required to do that. I said no, it is my car, do not wash it. He said I will need to sign a waiver (fine, I said), and that in 30 years of selling cars, he's never heard of a customer asking for their car not be cleaned before driving it off the lot! Isn't that crazy!?

EDIT: And, I mentioned to my dealer in person with he and I standing in his lot looking at swirl marks, and again with him on the phone, and he claims there is no way his team put those swirl marks in the car. They are brand-new, never owned. Who else did it, I asked him. Heh, heh...
it probably is unusual for a customer to ask to do their own new car prep; I imagine more common for customers to request no-wash during service. But you're right, that is a major source of swirls and scratches; even if a dealer has a great service department, the guys they have in wash bay will likely not measure up. Good luck with the 335i delivery, and if you follow the Picus dealer prep formula I'm sure it will look great!
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      07-06-2007, 07:43 AM   #165
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What do you guys use to clean the engine compartment? All I have is dust in there and I'm guessing I could just wash it off but that would still leave the dust residue in there. It doesn't need to be eat off of clean but I would like it to be. Thanks,
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      07-06-2007, 08:00 AM   #166
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What do you guys use to clean the engine compartment? All I have is dust in there and I'm guessing I could just wash it off but that would still leave the dust residue in there. It doesn't need to be eat off of clean but I would like it to be. Thanks,
I would say a damp cloth or old MF towl. Then wipe down with Aerospace 303 or something like that. But that's just what I would do. I would never suggest you directly spray the engine bay with water. Let's see what George says as well...
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      07-07-2007, 08:31 PM   #167
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What do you guys use to clean the engine compartment? All I have is dust in there and I'm guessing I could just wash it off but that would still leave the dust residue in there. It doesn't need to be eat off of clean but I would like it to be. Thanks,
If the compartment is still relatively new and it's just a light dusting, you can use something like a quick detailer and microfiber towel. Then as Garrett suggested, treat the engine compartment with a water based dressing such as 303 Aerospace Protectant. By using a water based dressing, you will not attract dust and dirt as an oily silicone based dressing would.

If the engine bay needs something more than a quick detailer can handle, then we use Poorboy's World Biodegradable Degreaser. In this case, you'd want to wet the engine bay down, spray the degreaser liberally in the engine compartment. Let it sit for a minute or two, agitate stubborn contamination with a brush (or towel, etc.) then rinse down. After that, dry the engine bay and protect it with 303 Aerospace Protectant.

Here's a similar run down on how I perform an engine bay detail with pictures.

Let me know if you have any other questions on performing and engine detail.

George
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      07-08-2007, 06:23 AM   #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claycourter01 View Post
it probably is unusual for a customer to ask to do their own new car prep; I imagine more common for customers to request no-wash during service. But you're right, that is a major source of swirls and scratches; even if a dealer has a great service department, the guys they have in wash bay will likely not measure up. Good luck with the 335i delivery, and if you follow the Picus dealer prep formula I'm sure it will look great!
Judging from the comments on this board, it is not unheard of to ask the dealer not to detail the car. I have read somewhere, I think on Picus sticky, that they are not required to wash the car. The reason they say that is that they can see if there is any damage to the vehicle in shipping. As long as you are willing to take that chance, go for it. I refused to allow the dealer here to do anything to my car, as a result I have a swirl free car that I detailed myself. To me, if the car means something special to you, it is a great experience to detail it yourself. George, Picus and a lot of other people advised me on how to do it and I think the car looks great. Good luck,
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      07-08-2007, 04:31 PM   #169
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George,

I have a montego blue e92 that has some light surface scratches (some carwash used a dirty mit and now it has light scratches all over the place). I want to start taking care of my own car, and want to buy a complete kit with everything I need to do a good detail of the car (wash, clay, swirl remover, polish, etc) using a PC. From your store could you recomend the products I would need and a process to get my paint back to where it should be.

TIA,

Sebastian
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      07-09-2007, 10:57 AM   #170
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George;
How do I clean the Porter Cable buffing pads that I bought from you? With the hand ones I just throw them in the washer with the car towels but I wasn't sure if it would be the same for these.
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      07-09-2007, 03:58 PM   #171
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George,

I have a montego blue e92 that has some light surface scratches (some carwash used a dirty mit and now it has light scratches all over the place). I want to start taking care of my own car, and want to buy a complete kit with everything I need to do a good detail of the car (wash, clay, swirl remover, polish, etc) using a PC. From your store could you recomend the products I would need and a process to get my paint back to where it should be.

TIA,

Sebastian
Thanks for the inquiry. I will be putting together a package once this post is done via PM. Look for it shortly.

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George;
How do I clean the Porter Cable buffing pads that I bought from you? With the hand ones I just throw them in the washer with the car towels but I wasn't sure if it would be the same for these.
You can use a washer and dryer. Usually throwing in a table spoon of distilled vinegar can help remove caked on product. I would not suggest washing your pads with your microfiber towels. Another option is to use something like the Snappy Clean Pad Degreaser and soak it in a bucket of water. A helpful tip is to making sure the pads are completely air dried prior to storing them or using them again. You're best time to clean them is directly after using the pads before the product has time to sit and solidify which can cause a lot of dusting next time around.

How'd you make out using the PC?

George
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      07-09-2007, 04:42 PM   #172
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Hey George thanks so much for all the great info. I used Poorboy's wheel cleaner for the first time and MAN THAT STUFF ROCKS!!! Best stuff. Thanks. As for the PC, I actually was just using it on the clear bra. I was trying to get a dull spot (same one I mentioned earlier) off the clearbra and its still there. A little lighter but its still there. Any other advise?
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      07-09-2007, 04:58 PM   #173
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I think you've exhausted most of my Clear Bra advice. I have never personally owned one, only detailed customers vehicles so I can't say first hand I've tried anything more than what I've previously recommended. Let me do some research and get back to you.

Glad to hear you enjoyed the Poorboy's product!

George
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      07-25-2007, 11:26 AM   #174
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Hi George,

I was hoping you can help me out with this paint issue. I was waxing my car, and in the middle of waxing I had to stop because something came up. I didtnt have time the next few days to wipe off the wax but I thought it wouldnt be a big deal because it was just wax. However the car was left out in the sun. When i finally had a chance I wiped off the excess wax, but now my paint seems to be distorted. It seems to me that the clear coat melted with the wax and now the paint job is not a smooth finish but wavy and bumpy where the excess wax was left. If you can please direct me to a product to even this out that would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks
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      07-25-2007, 01:51 PM   #175
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Hi George,

I was hoping you can help me out with this paint issue. I was waxing my car, and in the middle of waxing I had to stop because something came up. I didtnt have time the next few days to wipe off the wax but I thought it wouldnt be a big deal because it was just wax. However the car was left out in the sun. When i finally had a chance I wiped off the excess wax, but now my paint seems to be distorted. It seems to me that the clear coat melted with the wax and now the paint job is not a smooth finish but wavy and bumpy where the excess wax was left. If you can please direct me to a product to even this out that would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks
I would recommend getting some Isopropyl Alcohol and mix it with water in a spray bottle. Spray this into a plush microfiber towel and remove all the wax from the surface. For the bumps, I'd recommend going over the surface with a clay bar to further remove any remaining wax / wax residue and to smooth out your paint again properly prepping the surface to accept your wax. Then re-wax to protect your paint since after the alcohol and clay bar you would not have any remaining protection on your paint.

Let us know how you make out.

George
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      07-25-2007, 03:16 PM   #176
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Overspray

George-
Thanks to you apparently my friends now think I'm this expert detailer. HA! I'm just using your experience! Thank you so much!

I have a friend of mine who has white overspray (probably spray paint) on their black Rav4. I was thinking about claying it and possibly using some 3M rubbing compound it I have to. Any advise here?

While we are at it how many times should one use the same clay bar? I've already used it on two different cars. and what are your thoughts on the Sonus Clay bar system for future washes of my own car. (Obviously not for the overspray issue.)

Thanks George!
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