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How many hand wash and how many take their 300 to a car wash?

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How many take their 300's to the local car wash, and how many hand wash the car? I know it sounds funny, but what does the best job, also, what kind of wax or polish works best with the finish on the 300 to maintain the showroom luster? Love to hear the input to this! Thanks again,

Brian Carotenuto
 

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i would say hand wash is the best way to go.nobody can clean your baby like you will!but if ..inbetween hand washes you wanna drive threw a carwash MAKESURE NO BRISSLES!only go threw the ones that only use spray jets or you will notice cobweb looking scratches..i did some reading and alot of peope are using http://www.zainostore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc
peace..herba..ps.. i also bought the kit myself
 

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For me, it actually depends on time and weather conditions. I would prefer to handwash, but here in the NE its tough to do in the Dec-Feb timeframe. When I do use a car wash, I make sure that it has touchless drying as I don't want any scratches put on from the drying system. So I guess for me its both.
 

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gossame1 said:
How many take their 300's to the local car wash, and how many hand wash the car? I know it sounds funny, but what does the best job, also, what kind of wax or polish works best with the finish on the 300 to maintain the showroom luster? Love to hear the input to this! Thanks again,

Brian Carotenuto
My 300c hasn't arrived yet so while waiting I'm leaning all
I can about keeping it looking great.

For those who don't already know there is a great auto detailing
forum with very helpful members: http://www.autopia.org/

From what I've learned I detailed my 97 Eagle Vision TSI for
practice with great results.

1) Wash with Sonüs Gloss Shampoo

2) Clay car with blue Clay Magic

3) Klasse All-in-One (AIO) applied by Porter Cable Polisher (PC) - 2 coats
For AIO use Sonüs blue finishing pad with PC 4-5 opm
Can be applied by hand.

4) Remove with Sonüs Der Wunder Microfiber (MF) Polishing Towel

5) Klasse SG (Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze) 3 coats.
Applied with a microfiber applicator pad very light coat,
no more the 1 oz for entire car.
(min of 24 hour for curing between coats)

6) Remove with Concours Buffing Towel, very soft

7) Top it off with P21S Carnauba
By hand, put P21S on extremely light

8) Removed with Concours Buffing Towel

WOWO Method
In order to apply SG using wipe on, wipe off, you should do the following:

1. Take a terry covered foam applicator and spray it with water. Squeeze the applicator as much as you can so that most of the water is gone. All you should have is a slightly damp applicator. This will make the SG more pliable.

2. Apply a couple of drops of SG to your applicator and apply it to a section of your car (1/3 of the hood, half of the roof, etc) in a front to back motion. Once you have covered the whole section with SG, immediately wipe off the residue with a DRY charisma or MF towel in a front to back motion.

3. Repeat step 2 for every section until the whole car is done.

Notes:
- As mentioned before, wipe the SG off immediately, no dry time is necessary.

- The SG should wipe off very easily leaving behind a slick, smooth, and glossy finish.

- You should use no more than 1oz. of SG per coat on a regular size car.

- Only perform step 1 one time, before applying SG to the first panel. You do NOT need to spritz your applicator with water before applying SG to each section. Once you apply SG to a couple of sections the applicator will be wet enough with SG, negating the need for more water.

-Do not use any water or Quick Detail spray to aid in removal of SG. This will just cause the klasse SG to develop an oily haze/film down the road. I've also experienced this.

-Wait AT LEAST 24 hours before applying another coat of SG. SG needs time to cure and bond to your paint surface. If you've driven the car ANYWHERE, then wash it before applying the next layer, or else you risk swirls on your car.

-Put on three coats of SG, and you will be good to go.

-If you desire more warmth and depth in your paint, then apply a pure carnauba wax (no cleaner waxes) a week after you've applied the third layer of SG. Make sure you wash before you wax. You may experience some streaking or ghosting of the wax. I did, but it wasn't enough to bother me. This is because SG and carnuba (any carnuba) don't entirely get along. Consider yourself warned.

If you decide to put a wax topper over your SG, ensure it is a pure carnuba wax without cleaners. The cleaners in a cleaner wax will strip off your SG, resulting in a wasted effort.

"Want an even higher level of optical light refraction and reflectivity. Here's how. When applying Show Car Polish do the following; On all Top surfaces of vehicle, use a back and forth motion (from front bumper towards windshield). On all Side surfaces (doors, fenders, etc.) use a vertical motion, up and down. This technique will increase the way light attracts and reflects off of Show Car Polish. The body lines and contours of your vehicle will seem to glow."

If you top the SG with a carnauba I'd either use a carnauba based QD like EF Clear Pearl or a QD without polymers or carnauba like Adam's Detail Spray...both are awesome BTW!

If you top your SG with a carnauba topper, use any QD that is compatible with carnauba. Excellent locally available products are Mother's Showtime, Maguire's Final Detail and Final Inspection. Online product - Clearkote Quick Shine, 1Z Lackfinish (diluted), Sonus QD with carnauba and PoorBoy's S&W.
 

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I am all about the hand wash. Unfortunately I let my parents drive the car once and they took it through a bristle car wash, and now it has the cobwebs :(
 

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Oh man... There is NO DOUBT AT ALL about the answer to this one.

"Car washes" - all of them - are incredibly hard on your car, period. They all use highly aggressive detergents, the wheel cleaning brushes will scratch your wheels, and the brainless drones that finish your car will damage it.

I can absolutely promise you that a car lovingly hand-washed and waxed at home by a conscientous owner on a weekly basis will look showroom-new in 5 years while the same car taken to the automatic carwash once a week will look tired and bedraggled - even if it IS lovingly waxed on the same schedule as they home hand washed car. There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever about this... Learn all about it at http://www.autopia.org.


As for protecting the finish, the answers are more varied. But the general answer is to use a polymer sealant like Klasse or Zaino every 6 months (or every 3 months if you really wanna be sure). You can also put a carnuba "topper" coat on top of the sealant on a monthly basis, which will help protect the sealant, and may also "deepen" the shine and/or change what some see as a "plasticy" look to the sealant, giving a "warmer" shine...


Also, when you hand wash, it is imperative to use a sound method. Use a good auto shampoo. The Meguires line is good stuff that's easily obtained. Mother's is good stuff too. Turtle Wax, Simonize, Blue Coral, and other "cheap" brands are not as good.

Start with your tires and wheels, and use two buckets - one with your auto shampoo and water, and the other with rinse water. Use a washmit dedicated to only tires and wheels. This is the dirtiest part of your car, and you want to get rid of the abbrasive particles without them coming in contact in any way with your paint! Rinse your washmit often.

After you've finished tires and wheels (and wheel wells, if you're as anal about it as I am!), then you're ready for the paint. Empty both buckets, and rinse thoroughly, being absolutely any grit from the tires and wheels is gone. Using fresh washwater, and a freshly laundered washmit, wet the car, and wash. Use liberal amounts of washwater - you want the soapy water to "cushion" your paint, suspending any debris up and away from the paint.

I highly recommend and enourage the use of quality microfiber towels! These are a boon to mankind, I tell you what! http://pakshak.com/ has some of the nicest microfiber towels you can buy, and at terrific prices! Plus Ranney is a nice guy. :D When you order, put "Autopia" in the "Promotion Code:" box at the bottom of the screen, and he'll give you a pretty substantial discount... (To be fair about it, you should probably register at http://www.autopia.org and browse the forums, since this discount is for Autopia members.) Get yourself at a minimum 3 of the 25'' x 36'' Waffle Weave Micro Fiber Towels, 2 of the 24'' x 24'' Ultra - Micro Fiber Towels and 2 of the 6.5'' x 9.5'' Ultra - Micro Fiber Mitts (one for paint, one for tires/wheel/wells and one for paint). I also like to have a couple of 16'' x 24'' Ultra-Fine - Micro Fiber Towels - these are the finiest threaded and softest microfiber towels around! Terrific for a final wipedown after waxing and perfect for using with quick detail spray (more about that next).


So, you've applied a quality sealant, waxed her up, washed her tires and wheels (and wells :)) and dried her off, and she looks like a million bucks! The FINAL STEP is to apply a coat of quick detail spray. (Make sure you're using the right kind - some are compatible with only wax, some are compatible with only a sealant, and some are okay on either.) The quick detail spray is spray on, wipe off. It provides that last bit of extra spiff to your washjob, and extends the life of your wax/sealant. It will also help some of the road goo be easier to come off next time. Work in small sections, a panel at a time. Spray it on, wipe quickly with your 16'' x 24'' Ultra-Fine - Micro Fiber Towel to spread it, flip your towel over and polish until dry.

Do this weekly, and your baby will reward you by remaining shiney and new for many years to come! :D
 

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LOL!

R-Mouse, guess you and I were workin' on the same thing at the same time! Your post wasn't there when I wrote mine... :D
 

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Oh yeah... Forgot one important detail.

When you're done washing and drying your car (minimum 90 minute job for me, up to 2½ hrs), LAUNDER YOUR STUFF!!! Do NOT "re-use" your wash/dry cloths again! They've got GRIT embedded in them which you've GOT to remove!

This is an important step for long-term benefit. This whole deal is all about long-term. 5 years from now, there will be a huge difference between a car cared for in this manner and one taken to the automatic car wash.


If you HAVE to have someone else do your wash, there's nothing wrong with that. Pay for a handwash, and supply your own washmit and towels. You know your towels and washmit are CLEAN and freshly laundered, and won't scratch. Best bet is to do it yourself tho.

"If you want something done right, do it yourself."
 

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I use the laser car wash and they do not use brushes of any sorts. I did have the dealer wash the car last week and I was not too happy about it, told him to forget about it in future. I have never washed this car myself, but will do so when spring arrives and possibly clay and wax which has never been done.
 

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Mikeyjohn said:
I use the laser car wash and they do not use brushes of any sorts.
Is this a so-called "touchless" carwash?? If so, I'd encourage you to think about possibly reconsidering that as an option...

The "touchless" washes are actually harder on your paint than the standard automatic carwashes. The automatics aren't actually THAT horrid, provided that none of the dozen guys in front of you had caked mud all over his car. But these "touchless" washes are just awful.... The detergents they have to use are soooo alkaline - that's the only way they can actually DO anything to make your car appear clean without "touching" it. The alkalinity in these detergents is so strong it strips the waxes and sealants right off the finish!!! (The "wax" these systems spray on your car after they strip off your hours of hard labor sealing and waxing is basically worthless silicone - certainly NOTHING like a true "wax", and a FAR CRY from even the WORST sealant...)

Of course, it's your call as it is every person's! I s'pose if you're gonna keep the car for a year or two, it doesn't really matter much one way or the other. But if you're planning on owning the car, say 5 or 7 years from now, believe me, it WILL take its toll, and show up significantly in the paint finish on your car.

Just some well intentioned thoughts for your (and everyone else's) consideration... :)
 

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CottyGee said:
LOL!

R-Mouse, guess you and I were workin' on the same thing at the same time! Your post wasn't there when I wrote mine... :D
Someone here turned me onto www.autopia.org and it's great. I've learned so much. Surprised at how easy it is to keep your car looking better then new. :)
 

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We concur on the hand wash when possible. We use ZAINO between washes and to protect the paint. It is great, easy to apply and deep mirror shines.
Just follow Sal Zaino's recommendations and it works just like he states.
 

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My car has never been waxed, so I have no problem with the laser car washes. I took it to one of those drive through car washes and the carpets came out with more dirt on them than when it went in. When I decide to wax it, then I will reconsider the laser washes, but with a clearcoat finish it should not be necessary to worry about it.
 

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Mikeyjohn said:
When I decide to wax it, then I will reconsider the laser washes, but with a clearcoat finish it should not be necessary to worry about it.
I'm not so sure about that. I'm not trying to belabor the point or beat a dead horse. And I'm certainly no expert. But I'll bet the guys over on Autopia.org would tell you that the akalinity of the wash will damage the clearcoat with repeated applications over time...

I spose caveat emptor applies...
 

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jcsganga34 said:
For me, it actually depends on time and weather conditions. I would prefer to handwash, but here in the NE its tough to do in the Dec-Feb timeframe. When I do use a car wash, I make sure that it has touchless drying as I don't want any scratches put on from the drying system. So I guess for me its both.
What he said but I also insist on touchless washing as well which for $7.00 works remarkably well, includes an undercarriage spray too. I am a Zainohaulic too but not practical in the dead of Winter. CG brings up some good points on hasrhness of touchless solutions so what is one to do in the Winter? Soft cloth automatic? How do we know the alkalinity of those solutions? I kind of figure with the acidity and all the minerals in the well water I use at home it averages out over a year. The problem with averages is as follows "I have one foot in a bucket of hot scalding water and one foot in a bucket of ice water, on average I feel pretty good"
 

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THREE Buckets, one with pH balanced soap, TWO with clear water. TWO Sponges, one for the wash water, one for the TWO buckets of rinse water.

the best way to keep scratches off the car is not to put them there in the first place.

IMHO

LJB

P.S. Buy the Silver car, it hides the scratches...
 

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Yes, silver (X5), champagne(odyssey) or cool Vanilla (300C) all are righteous colors for hiding scratches, they also happen to be favorite colors of mine. One other tip for preventing scratches is to clay which removes grit and grime that would otherwise be ground into the finish (all that black/grey stuff on the white applicator pad is the grime). Some charlatan companies have switched to grey applicators so you don't see all that grime you thought you removed by washing without claying. Clay is discussed in detail in the wax polish thread if anyone is not hip to it.
 

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Unfortunately during the winter (ie now) the ice, snow, and freezing weather make washing the car by hand really difficult.
 

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Stay away from the touchless wash. I rolled thru one in Colorado, with my 93 T-Bird, and it just took the shine right off the car, and I have never got it back to the same level of gloss. If you are driving daily in the winter, when you roll in the driveway, lightly spray the car down. You would be surprised how much grime actually comes off, when the car is still wet.
 
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