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Old 03-19-2002, 07:46 AM   #1
mrtrex
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Default These swirls are driving me nuts!!!

I know how to wax a car dont get me wrong but it seems that every time I wash even after I wax it the swirls come back. For soap I use mcguiers as well as the wax. I use terrycloth towls 100%. I will only see the swirls if the sun is beating directly on it. My color is WRB are people with the same color having these problems. It looks great other then in direct sun. It has been buffed out by a body shop it did not help. I have only owned silver cars before. Maby I am just crazy. Oh ya the one side was repainted and it still does it. Can any one help me out???
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Old 03-19-2002, 09:47 AM   #2
SoLo OnE
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Wanna trade your WRB for my midnight black WRX?

Then you can talk to me about swirl marks.
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Old 03-19-2002, 09:50 AM   #3
mrtrex
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I think it is the subaru paint all the bright colors do the same thing.
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Old 03-19-2002, 11:40 AM   #4
kenchan
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yah, those colors are extremely hard to keep. i have another car that is a dark blue (midnight blue) and it's a pain to keep without swirls too...almost as bad as black. i decided not to get so picky any more. my test:

if i see swirl marks at a gas station lighting at night, then its time for some swirl remover. if not, then it's acceptable.

i got a silver wrx and i dont think i would ever get a solid colored car for a commuter.
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Old 03-19-2002, 12:10 PM   #5
b_tapper
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all i know is that i'm never gonna get a black car again

brian
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Old 03-19-2002, 12:18 PM   #6
TortoiseAWD
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You might try checking out http://autopia-carport.com/ForumIndex.htm . . . it's a detailing forum that has (for the most part) managed to avoid any "my wax is better than yours" holy wars, and is full of good info.

Tort
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Old 03-19-2002, 12:19 PM   #7
6Pack
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Have you tried Zaino wax? It's a multi-stage process, it's really unlike all others. I heard this works wonders in the swirl department. There's a group-buy starting up shortly, keep an eye on the 'group buy' forum for it.
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Old 03-19-2002, 03:54 PM   #8
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Try Griot's, Fine Hand Polish. Great product...Rob
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Old 03-19-2002, 04:02 PM   #9
mitch808
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Quote:
Originally posted by GQ
Try Griot's, Fine Hand Polish. Great product...Rob
I agree, www.griotsgarage.com There is no better. Any serious car show buff will tell you.
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Old 03-19-2002, 05:48 PM   #10
MELBA
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I've got Rally Blue Pearl paint and I've never been able to get the swirls marks out. I it's the paint itself.
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Old 03-19-2002, 06:06 PM   #11
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My black wrx has horrible swirls really noticeable but I do a lot of off-road driving, I am going to try meguiars swirl remover on a little section of my paint and I will post my results later.
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Old 03-19-2002, 06:26 PM   #12
blkwag
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I'm still in the process of "testing" out different products for Subarus weak paint, especially noticable on the black color.

So far, I've tried all the normal waxes at auto stores(Meguires, Mothers, etc), 3M professional waxes, Finish First, Zaino, Griots, Zymol line and probably others that I'm missing.

I was interested in the Finish First and Zaino since they were suppose to be synthetic and provide better protection. Some have argued that Finish First is 100% synthetic while Zaino might have some petroleum by-products in them.

Anyways, Finish First was just plain bad. It created more finer swirl marks which were still visible. And the prep formula took some mad muscle to get out.
Zaino might be good in providing protection and gloss, but doesn't do a good job of hiding swirl marks easily.
Both synthetics however, provide easy on and off application.

Zymol varies widely depending on the formula that you get. Suprisingly, the Zymol(made in chicago) stuff that goes for $13 is actually really good for the price.

I've tried Zymol Japon, Destiny, Vintage, Titanium, Concours which is their upper line. I have to say nothing that I've tried comes close to Vintage(not apples to apples comparison because of price) in terms of brilliance and color to the black pearl paint found on the '02 models. It has brought out the most amount of blue in that paint that I have ever seen. Durability seems better than any other "carnuba" based "wax" since technically, the Vintage has the most amount of yellow and white carnuba content that you can have and still spread easily.

I don't think there is one wax/polish that takes it all. Some might provide great protection but little gloss, while others might provide more brilliance on certain cars/paints. You also have to consider the car/color/paint that you're using it on. For example, my GF's Lexus has such a durable clear coat, I have yet to see any swirl marks on her car and she has never waxed it.

I believe subaru black is one of the harder ones to maintain and Vintage is the only one that will bring out the blue pigments(if that is the effect you are going for) for that particular paint.

Well, enough rambling. I'll just give my bottom line:

Low - $13 Zymol
Medium - Griot's (or Zaino if you have a lighter color car with little to no existing swirl marks)
High - Zymol Vintage or Destiny

The Zymol Car wash soap is the most bang for the buck imo too. It provides great suds, scent, and is very very very gentle on wax.

Griot's Car soap is also very good but a little pricey. The most foam I've ever seen from a car soap.

These are my observations based on 'my' experiences.
BTW, I only use microfiber for waxing.

My exhaustive $.05

Edit:
For getting out swirls, Griot's makes a multi-stage polish that doesn't "burn" your paint like other polishes, which can be helpful if you are an amateur at polishing a car.

I have given up on polishing and only will do it if the swirls are really bad since they usually come back and the Subaru clearcoat is thin as it is. I usually just cover them up with wax and use a good car soap so the wax stays on longer.

Clay bar is good to do though, once in a while just to bring back the silky smoothness of the surface.

Last edited by blkwag; 03-19-2002 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 03-20-2002, 01:14 AM   #13
jcblack
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without going into too many details or rants about whats best, I'd just add that its all about how you thouch the paint - basically.

Wax protects, but if you don't have enough water or soap, or scrub too hard, the dirt is going to scratch the paint. Get the dirt off the paint gently.

Don't use fabric softener/antistatic cling sheets in the dryer with your towels.

Wash and wipe in the same directions, linear - some will argue about this. Light reflects at a 90 degree angle, if you scratch the paint, do it in straight lines - you'd have to be at the perfect angle to see the light reflect off the scratch (with a swirl you can be anywhere and see the light).
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Old 03-20-2002, 07:06 AM   #14
mrtrex
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Default griots

Ordered some Griots wax. Ill give it a try
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Old 03-20-2002, 07:18 AM   #15
GoodFinder
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blkwag,

Thanks for sharing your findings with us. Sounds like I need to try some of that "Zymol Vintage" to see if it can help my WRX look better!

Regards, GoodFinder
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Old 03-20-2002, 09:27 AM   #16
wieger54
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Quote:
Thanks for sharing your findings with us. Sounds like I need to try some of that "Zymol Vintage" to see if it can help my WRX look better!
You need to take out a loan on that stuff!!!
Here... ....and here

mike...
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Old 03-20-2002, 10:15 AM   #17
Heavy Fuji
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Among the various products I've used over the years, Safecut by The Wax Shop has been a consistent favorite for removing swirl marks. As the name implies it's virtually impossible to screw up (just follow the directions: damp terry cloth and gradually lighten the pressure that you apply as the stuff starts to dry) and it's readily available, too. I haven't noticed any swirl marks on my WRBP WRX, but I did have to resort to using Safecut on the hood after removing a funky brown spot with rubbing compound. I'll echo what others have said by saying that it generally comes down to your washing habits (clean wool wash mit, linear strokes, lots of suds and light pressure for me). As for "wax" I've only used Zaino so far and have been more than happy with the results.
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Old 03-20-2002, 10:31 AM   #18
GQ
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Have any of you tried Blitz wax? i have heard a few good comments on it, but not at the "I" Club...Rob
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Old 03-20-2002, 12:36 PM   #19
blkwag
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Washing techniques/materials also has a lot to do with the finish like others have said.

It's really sad that Subaru makes such a good chassis but leaves the paint so fragile. I can't think of any other manufacturer that has a worse paint than Subaru(as far as durability).

As for the Vintage wax, most people won't get it because of the price and I definitely wouldn't have gotten it if I didn't have a Subaru w/midnight black pearl paint and if a friend didn't let me try some on this particular finish first. For those that don't know, we're talking $1200+, just for some wax. This kind of wax was clearly intended for those Bugattis and the like.

One good deal is to get the sample pack which contains all the Zymols top waxes and it only goes for $175. This pack is the most bang for the buck and I don't mind spending it for the midnight black paint. If I had another color, I would have to think twice about it though. If used properly, this pack should last a couple years, depending on your waxing intervals.
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Old 03-20-2002, 01:32 PM   #20
Liquid Fire
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Exclamation

Pearl paints are notoriously fragile. I don't know why, but my Jeep Grand Cherokee with pearl paint was so irritating I traded it, without regret. I think the wind could scratch that paint.

Unfortunately I was unable to avoid buying a WR Blue WRX. Alas, the misfortune of buying what you like

Aaron
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Old 03-20-2002, 10:21 PM   #21
JVG
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I have several dozen small white chips all over the driver's side of my car from parking it on a windy day next to the baseball field at the high school where I teach. I parked my BMW in the same place for several years without any problem. After that day I try not to even LOOK at my Subie too hard for fear of damaging the paint (and of course I found a new parking spot).
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Old 03-20-2002, 11:30 PM   #22
AmSFighter
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Zaino is AWESOME. It'll get those swirls out (I think it's the z-3 or something like that). Do a search and you'll see why people love zaino bros.

-James-
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Old 03-20-2002, 11:51 PM   #23
schnell
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I think I might stir up the hornet's nest here, but oh well. When you see your car in the bright sun and see those fine lines 'haloing' the sun, those are not swirls. Swirls are seen best when you are moving and see a sort of bright spot reflected that moves as you do - you can see it when walking towards a car in a parking lot and the sun is at the right angle. There are these bright spots moving along the paint. There is nothing you will ever do to get rid of the small scratches reflected in the sun - except to get a brand new car and park it inside and never take it out or clean it. Keep looking, one day you will see the swirl reflected as I describe and say 'Ahh, that is a swirl'.

As for Subaru paint, everyone bags on it, but it isn't that bad. It is all in the care you put into it. There is a guy up the street in an always super clean black Acura 3.2 CL. I was always so jealous - how did he keep that black car spotless all winter? The other day it was parked on the street and as I walked by I saw the tell tale swirl marks dancing all along the door panels - signs of poor washing or auto car washes. He had awful swirls in a pretty nice car. So even while my car is occasionally dirty, at least it has paint that is in good shape.

I always check out other cars, and I have seen almost new Mercedes, Porsches, and Jaguars with such bad swirls and scratches that my Subaru looks like a mirror in comparison. Probably because the owners couldn't be bothered to hand wash so they do what they think is the next best thing: Those auto washes where you get out of the car and at the end some guys vacuum and use some towels to vigorously rub the paint dry. Sure it seems good to be hand hand dryed and it IS expensive, but all the pressure they apply to the paint even with terry towels kill the paint, not to mention that they are probably dirty.

Here are some tips - use 2 wash buckets, one with soap and one to rinse. Use cotton chenille, terry or microfibre to wash with. NEVER use any pressure. Use a large terry towel to dry. If the car is very dirty, wash it twice before drying. Use liquid detergent to wash your stuff after every car wash, since powder stuff doesn't always dissolve. Remove all bird doo-doo immediately after it lands. The brand of wax doesn't matter so much as the application, even mediocre wax can look awesome when applied by a pro. Take your time. Use one mitt to wash the top half of the car and a different one for the bottom. Work from the top down. Wash one panel then rinse so as not to let the soap dry. Never use automatic carwashes. Don't wash or wax in direct sunlight. Wash and wax in linear motions, front to back. In choosing wax, pick ones that fit your time commitment. Don't try to apply a 3 step in 30 minutes. If you only want to spend 30 minutes - buy a one step, or a wash 'n wax. But don't expect miracles. Hmm, that's all that comes to mind right now. Oh yeah, I can't stress the 'no pressure' part enough.

I hate to sound like a pr1ck, but I see all sorts of people abuse their paint in car washes, then complain about their paint quality. If anyone has some good tips please let me know, my methods always change as I find better ones or better tools.

schnell.

[edit: one last comment. If your car is a daily driver, you park it outside and in parking lots - don't expect a concours winner. I tried, but I had to take a reality check. People don't care about other's cars, they walk by and drag their purse along your car, or open their door into yours. You just have to realize that your paint will be scratched and dinged in a few years. All you can do is try to stop swirls, keep it shiny and waxed, and enjoy it.]
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Old 03-21-2002, 01:02 AM   #24
trhoppe
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The Vintage Wax doesnt sound like THAT bad of a deal
Just get some, and then sell to 10 of your friends for $100.
You get free refills for life right?

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Old 03-21-2002, 03:42 AM   #25
SeattleWRX
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Wax will not remove the swirls, but only bring a shine to it. You need to get it buffed and polished and then waxed again. Best bet is to take it to a detail shop. If you don't have faith, ask them to do a section on your hood or something. Car will look brand new!

Mike
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