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      02-27-2012, 07:51 PM   #1
chris325
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detailing?

Right - I want to keep my car looking the part, but for the past ten years before the BM that has involved chucking it through the most expensive program on the car wash..

So for a beginner to detailing - or even cleaning the thing - can someone help with the basics?


2 bucket method - what is this?
clay - what does it do?
how best remove superficial scratches?

Car was supplied with BMW cleaning kit so all I have been doing for a quick wash is
giving it a long hose down
starting at the top with a clean sponge and bmw shampoo
rinse
repeat wash
clean alloys
spray alloys with alloy clener
rinse alloys
tyre shine

Any help appreciated.

Chris
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      02-28-2012, 12:28 AM   #2
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I'd also like to add to this to Chris's post:

Once we're over the basics of cleaning what's the best way to maintain the look/condition of the paintwork? I'm totally lost & confused by the myriad of paint sealants & waxes etc & just want a simple, easy to use & long lasting system of maintaining the look of my metallic black paintwork. I don't clean my car as a hobby so easy & long lasting is more important than a concourse finish.

Thanks in advance & I apologise to Chris325 if it looks like I'm hijacking your topic
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      02-28-2012, 03:28 AM   #3
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Guys, read it & weep.

http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/forum/index.php

'Clean' is just a question of time and money - how shiney do you want to go?


Your wallet will never be full again! (and your missus will probably leave you)
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      02-28-2012, 03:29 AM   #4
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I could give you an endless amount of advice but I'm currently at work and on my phone.

The best tip I can give you is to get over to detailingworld.com an have a read. You'll find everything you ever wanted to know and more.

Use the search feature to type BMW and you'll find lots of specific advice.

HTH
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      02-28-2012, 03:29 AM   #5
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Doughboy beat me to it lol.
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      02-28-2012, 04:05 AM   #6
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2 bucket method is used to keep your cleaning cloth, preferably wash mitt and never a sponge, clean. You keep one bucket full of clean water and shampoo, use this to wipe the car, then rinse your cloth in the second bucket so any dirt etc stays in that water. Once cloth is clean then you take clean water again and wipe car and repeat.

Clay is brilliant, simply is brilliant. You wipe it over the car after washing, keep it well lubricated with some instant detailer spray and plenty of water. Removes all the surface contaminants and leaves the paint very smooth. The first time you use it you will be amazed.

After that your car is clean and ready for polishing. There are many stages depending on how much time and effort you want to put in. If you don't want loads of work a couple of coats of Autoglym Super Resin will fill any blemishes and add a bit of shine, follow this by a good wax to seal and protect the finish. There are MANY MANY waxes available, Collinite 476 is a very reasonably priced product and last really well. You still then need to do windows/tyres etc but you can then experiment with other products on the paint as time goes on.

As regards a black car, something like Poorboys Blackhole is hard to beat instead of using the Autoglym product noted above.
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      02-28-2012, 04:37 AM   #7
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SPONGE!!!! Did you say sponge??? DO NOT under any circumstances mention the word "SPONGE" on detailingworld, you will probably crash the server.

The guides on detailingworld are really the best place to start, there really is no point in anyone giving a guide here as it won't be anywhere near as detailed and useful as the info there. From these guides you will find out the correct process, how to do each step properly, get a shopping list of essential equipment (a sponge won't be on the list) and also get an idea of what products to buy.

Chris, it looks like your car is LeMans blue. My e90 was this colour, it is an absolute nightmare to keep.
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      02-28-2012, 04:43 AM   #8
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Arrrghh - sponge!

LOL!
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      02-28-2012, 04:45 AM   #9
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Curiously on DW they say wash the wheels first, but I can't figure that out.

I use the dirty car wash water to do the wheels afterwards.

I'm just not anal enough yet!
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      02-28-2012, 05:03 AM   #10
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Detailing?This is all you will ever need...

http://www.stuttgart9.co.uk/forum/ca...orn-alert.html

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      02-28-2012, 05:17 AM   #11
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DW is where all the closet obsessive/compulsives hang out. It's mental the lengths some of those guys go to.

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      02-28-2012, 06:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich1068 View Post
DW is where all the closet obsessive/compulsives hang out. It's mental the lengths some of those guys go to.

That's what worries me, I don't need a depth of shine that can be measured in yards and in over 40 years of driving I've no idea what 'correction' is and wouldn't know a 'hologram' if it bit me on the ar$e. All I want is clean and shiny car that can be maintained with the minimum of time & effort.

I already have snowfoam, which I've been using for about 3 years (2 coats soaked & rinsed), 2 HUGE buckets/grit guards but only use one with Meguire's Gold Class Shampoo (after snowfoaming), sheepskin mitts & more microfibre cloths than you can shake a stick at, but the most I've ever done for polish is regular wax or Autoglym SRP. From what I've read I think a paint sealer is probably my best bet but almost everything I read contradicts everything I've previously read It's hard to believe that waxing a car has got to be such a complicated process
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      02-28-2012, 06:51 AM   #13
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I reckon you're nearly there then. No need to go to the lengths some on DW go to. To be honest I used to go mad with products and time but there just aren't enough hours in the day for me anymore. I think the whole detailing thing is a young (and single) man's game.

Without going in to which products, I'd keep it simple and just extend your existing wash routine. Have a look on Polished Bliss at the Werkstat products. You can keep a car looking top notch with Prime, Jett and Glos. Job done.

:edit:

And your car looks like Le Mans Blue. Those products suit it.
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      02-28-2012, 07:27 AM   #14
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Cheers Rich, it's Chris325 that has the Le Mans Blue my 320d is Black Sapphire but no pictures yet I'm afraid
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      02-28-2012, 07:32 AM   #15
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My quickie guide was meant to be a simple beginners introduction, yes the guides on DW are great but they are in many cases too detailed for the average person, they are for the enthusiasts.

This was what the OP had asked for.......
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      02-28-2012, 07:50 AM   #16
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Garage List
This is quite informative click me

Also sorry to thread jack but i'm on the market for a new interior cleaner/quick detailer. Any suggestions?
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      02-28-2012, 08:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davyk31 View Post
My quickie guide was meant to be a simple beginners introduction, yes the guides on DW are great but they are in many cases too detailed for the average person, they are for the enthusiasts.

This was what the OP had asked for.......
You're spot on. And clay is pretty amazing. If you can get hold of some cellophane (eg ciggie wrapper) and put your fingers inside to feel the paintwork before and after you'll be amazed. Before you clay your paintwork feels like a Braille dictionary.
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      02-28-2012, 09:19 AM   #18
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I totally agree that the How To stickies on DW are over the top but if you have the time it's worth skimming them at the very least. You will pick up little tips and bits of info that people won't cover here even though what has been written so far is helpful.

It's easy for those that are in the know to forget that your average person thinks hosing a car down, smearing it with a sponge then rubbing away like the Karate Kid with some Turtle Wax all in one on an old T-shirt will produce reasonable results rather than actually cause damage.

Then again, what do i know? I've only washed my car 3 times in the last 10 months
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      02-28-2012, 10:27 AM   #19
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Bear in mind although DW is brilliant, there are some things that aren't too obvious (IMO).

Using the clay bar and detailing spray is, maybe a once a year shot, not constantly. The only reason for claying more regularly is if your car is parked in an area that is overly dusty - parked under trees for example when you might get problems with tree sap or in a dusty and damp place where your paintwork is more likely to suffer from airborne contaminants.

Correction: if you look at your clean car under bright sun-light or under the lights in a petrol station you might see shading in your paintwork where an area - or a streak, doesn't look as clear as the rest of the paintwork. These are marks and scratches in the lacquer coat and machine polishing has the effect of removing a couple of microns of the top coat and thereby removing these marks. Filler type polish such as Autoglym SR fills in surface scratches and makes them less likely to reflect bright sunlight but the filling goes away after a number of subsequent washes and the scratches return.

The most important point for you is "WASH-MITT - throw any sponges you have, in the bin. Meguiars wash-mits are some of the best.
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      02-28-2012, 10:43 AM   #20
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Thanks for all the replies guys.

So to start, get rid of the kit supplied by bm, get a decent washmitt and shampoo.


It really does sound like to go the extra mile, unless it becomes a hobby, the time, effort and cost going into doing the detailing the whole car might be best left to an expert to do it for me?

I'm sure I like most on here when I say I haven't got time to spend 5-10 hours a week washing and polishing?
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      02-28-2012, 11:10 AM   #21
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Yes it is often good advice to get a professional to correct and machine polish your car. However you still need to maintain this by careful washing. For that you will be best to use snow foam, wash mitts, 2 bucket methods and then dry off with drying towels rather than a chamois using some detailer spray to keep up the shine and give some protection from the drying process.

If you were washing your car once per week then that would take you 1.5-2 hrs per week, once every 3 or 4 months you could redo polish and wax and once a year do it again fromthe start with clay bar etc.

It can even become enjoyable !!!! Although looking out and seeing rain before your first drive out after all your work is not enjoyable!!
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      02-28-2012, 12:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris325 View Post
Thanks for all the replies guys.

So to start, get rid of the kit supplied by bm, get a decent washmitt and shampoo.


It really does sound like to go the extra mile, unless it becomes a hobby, the time, effort and cost going into doing the detailing the whole car might be best left to an expert to do it for me?

I'm sure I like most on here when I say I haven't got time to spend 5-10 hours a week washing and polishing?
I thought that!!! Usually straight down to the valeter for me ( a good one mind does the Spurs players super cars) but now I wash and wax it myself at least once a week and have spent a fortune on various products. I currently have a 90 wax siting in my clean your car basket which I am about to buy. Yee Gods!!!! Today I even got the pressure washer for the first time in 10 years.
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