View Full Version : Detailing My Car?


94zGreen
04-19-2012, 12:45 PM
Hello all, I'm pretty new to the whole detailing of the car scene, so basically, how do you go about doing it?

Obviously, wash, rinse, dry, but things such as what products? What is a clay bar? haha sounds dumb, but I really want to try to make my car look as nice as possible.

Also a few months ago the bumpers on my car were painted, along with my hood and a few other misc portions, would it be ok to wax?

Run me through the whole process! Thanks everyone!

Skymaira
04-19-2012, 12:57 PM
Well you named all the obvious stuff. But there are other more subtle things such as making sure you clean your wheel wells, polishing any metal that's on the car, detailing the engine bay. Basically cleaning anything on the car. I would suggest going to adamspolishes.com I could talk to you about detailing all day, but its easier for you to see for yourself. On there you can click on any products (like a clay bar for example) and there's a video that explains the process, purpose, and shows the end result. That would be your best bet

94zGreen
04-19-2012, 01:25 PM
Oh okay! Great, thank you, I'll have to try to check that site out!

fccs
04-19-2012, 08:10 PM
http://s11detailing.com/info.html All of this basically. You want to start by washing it, wiping it down and drying it. Then claybar, then put each panel under a bright halogen light or the sun and look for swirls, scratches, dust scratches, hairline scratches, etc etc. Then you need to a polish and correct pad based off how bad the paint is to buff with. Work your way up from using the least abrasive pad and polish as you can up to the finest softest polish and pad.

After all of this is completed your finish should look like glass and have no swirls or scratches of any sort in the clearcoat left. Now basically all you do is choose your wax and seal it by using wax. Then afterwards get a thinner wax to seal it again. A full detail will take a day if done completely right this way 90% of the time. Site is a little outdated anymore since I get more contacts on facebook but yea, same effect. To bad you didn't live in PA lol

bandit1transam01
04-19-2012, 08:22 PM
Like all the other input but in simpler terms.

Exterior
1. Wash and Dry (inluding door jambs)
2. Scrub Tires clean with dishsoap and brush and rinse (you can do this first if you want)
3. Apply Tire Shine
4. Claybar the Car (if needed)
5. Wax the Car
6. Remove wax with a microfiber towel
7. Clean Windows

Interior
1. Vacumm Carpet
2. Armor All
3. If you have leather seats use a leather balm or something to shine them up
4. Clean Inside of Windows

fccs
04-19-2012, 08:31 PM
Like all the other input but in simpler terms.

Exterior
1. Wash and Dry (inluding door jambs)
2. Scrub Tires clean with dishsoap and brush and rinse (you can do this first if you want)
3. Apply Tire Shine
4. Claybar the Car (if needed)
5. Wax the Car
6. Remove wax with a microfiber towel
7. Clean Windows

Interior
1. Vacumm Carpet
2. Armor All
3. If you have leather seats use a leather balm or something to shine them up
4. Clean Inside of Windows


Just waxing the car is not detailing. That is just ..waxing the car. You need to correct the paint BEFORE you wax.

94zGreen
04-19-2012, 10:02 PM
^ Is it okay to wax it if I have "fresher" paint on it? I mean it's been a few months and haha PA isn't too far away. 5 hours maybe? lol Thanks though! That helped a lot!

fccs
04-20-2012, 11:18 AM
^ Is it okay to wax it if I have "fresher" paint on it? I mean it's been a few months and haha PA isn't too far away. 5 hours maybe? lol Thanks though! That helped a lot!

If the car has been painted I would wait 2-3months before waxing. If it's been around that long then I wouldn't worry

BlackScreaminMachine
04-20-2012, 11:24 AM
http://ls1tech.com/forums/new-ls1-owners-newbie-tech/1526026-new-ls1-owners-beginners-guide-detailing.html

I made this as a helpful guide, Sites like Autogeek Autotopia or Meguiars have some great resources. This works for me but you will find what you like as well...

---------------
Copy/Paste

Meguiars, Autogeek, & Autopia are great for detailed, step-by-step process with plenty of pictures.

Every detailer knows they need to customize what they are doing based on the customers wishes and what they are willing to pay for. This is definitely a general guide as when you get into paint correction, IF you decide to correct the steps will change a little according to what you need.

This is my list which will translate to paying customers any my personal non-gratis projects such as my car and family members... I general break down interior, exterior, engine bay, wheels/wheel well.

THIS IS NOT PERFECT but I think is helpful. PM me with questions.

-Exterior-

1) Inspection
- Take note of Trouble spots and Areas that need major attention.
- Decide the process in which to approach the vehicle, supplies, and time.

2) Pre Wash
- Good Mild soap, nothing with wax in it, no Dawn (due to pH issues). Good wash mitt, 2 bucket method

3) Clay
- Most times when doing correction you will need to clay the car, there or different types of clays out there in terms of aggressiveness. More aggressive will require correction.
- Using the Plastic Bag method (before washing) to feel for any texture is a great way to find areas that need it but in general the whole car gets done.
- With the car wet from rinsing, using a good non wax detailer for additional lubrication, I will clay the car ensuring removal of any surface containimates. *** This is the stuff that catches in a buffer that can damage the surface.

4) Re-wash
- To remove any left over clay and have a clean/dry surface to decide if your correcting or moving on to sealing.
- I use a good towel like Meguiar's Water Magnets, they absorb and low chance of swirling surface.
- Dry completely

5) Correction (optional) -This section should be a article in of itself-
- Tap off edges and or surfaces like trim, emblems, door handles/locks. 1" Blue or Green 3m tape.
- Paint Depth should be checked for the entire car and make sure you know how much clear you have to work with.
- Some cars need a rotary and then step down to a D/A to smooth. Or right to a D/A. Pad and chemical choice is dependant on the situation.
- Nice dark garage with good lighting for inspection of swirl marks, a hand held light can be useful.
- Re check paint depth and see how much you removed.

6) Re wash
- Be very careful, cleaned, leveled surface has no wax to protect so make sure to try to introduce as little of swirling as possible. Light pressure if none. A good compressed air for cracks. Slam the doors to make sure the car bleeds out.

7) Sealant/Wax
- Your choice; Carnuba or Synthetic, both have pluses and minuses. So do your research. There is no perfect way. It is the way that works for you.
- Do a light coat, buff off, and another light coat, then buff. The car should be allowed to cure (sometimes 5-8 hours or over night), The one final coat to give a solid protection layer.
- I recommend Meguiars Ultimate Quick Wax for in between wax boosting and the beading technology is impressive.

8) Final inspection
- Go over cracks, near trim, remove tape. Clean windows for the final pass.
- Look at different angles in the light to make sure left off wax residue has not been left on. I can be heavy handed so make sure you see no smears...

-Wheels/Wells-

1) Inspection
- Does the wheels need correction.
- Coated or Un coated metal.
- Does the wheels need removal.
- How does the wheels look??
- How aggressive does the chemical needs to be.

2) Rinse
- Spray down.
- Spray your choice of cleaner, be careful on un coated aluminum.
- Scrub with various brushes, semi stiff bristles.
- Rinse, inspect, repeat if needed.
- Some love using car soap as well and you can do this but I try to avoid dipping a towel back into any wash buckets due to fear of brake dust getting into a area that is supposed to be clean. (see 2 bucket method)

3) Dress
- Dry wheels.
- Spray down with a chem of your preference. I prefer Meguiar's Hyper Dressing Mixed 1 to 1 (insane shine, last for a good week if not more).

-Engine-

1) Know your car!!
- Not all engines can just be sprayed with water. (See Optispark LT1 350's)
- A slightly warm motor is ok!!
- Spray down with degreaser of choice, allow for dwelling, and scrub w/ various brushes. Rinse, repeat.
- Dress with something that will make the black shine.
- Wipe down on fender edges and front radiator support.

-Interior-

1) Jamb the car with a good All Purp cleaner and a clean towel. Especially the tracks in the trunk, Also all door edges that are on the inside.
- Also will include wiping down gaskets and if needed wipe down with silicone as it helps keep the gaskets moist.

2) Inspect
- Look for stains, burn holes, dust and other trouble spots.
- Decide if you want to pull the seats (Purely optional)

3) Process
- Dry vacuumed with various brushes to agitate the carpet/floor mats. Vac cracks of seats as well.
- Small brushes for vents an other hard to reach places.
- Wash/wipe down of all hard plastic surfaces, consol, controls.
- Wash inside of windows (see car wash soap), wipe, then final wipe with a good cleaner.
- Protecting the seats (i.e. leather cleaner) and hard plastics. Avoid this stuff on dash mat, will lead to nasty glare.
- If you decide to shampoo the carpets/seats; a good cleaner and a strong wet/dry vac with towels to dry. A good APC for trouble stains is recommended.
- To clean oders in the HVAC tracks I like BG product's Frigi Fresh, they sell a oder remover as well, you can google it.

** Let me stress, this is not perfect, some parts definitly glossed over, any other tips, please post in a positive fashion.

SinisterBirdWS6
04-21-2012, 08:54 PM
Keeping a black car clean will be fun as you'll find out lol

In my opinion meguiars products have done me good, but I'm no professional. I just detailed mine doing this...
Wash & Dry
Meguiars Clay Bar Kit( Makes the paint feel and looks like glass)
Used meguiars ultimate compound to buff the whole car of scratches, swirl marks, and imperfections.
Then I finished with some wax, i probably should have done another coat tho.

Im not saying its the best process, but it keeps my car looking clean.
If your really serious about detailing get a good DA polisher, that would save some time. Good Luck with it!

BTW does anyone know if you could use an axle grinder with a buffing pad on it instead of a DA. If they make something like that to use with a grinder?
I know you would have to be very careful to not burn through the paint tho lol