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Old 04-17-2003, 04:28 PM   #1
RhinoRex
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Default Is it better NOT to use polish

Hello,

I FINALLY got a WRX after lusting for one since they came out. I have a few questions about taking care of it.

Polish has mild abrasives and does something to the paint. Doesn't that mean that frequent use will degrade the paint? Since my 2002 still looks new, it seems to me that I should just wash and use pure wax, not polish or cleaner wax. My thought is that if it still shines I shouldn't start polishing away good paint.

One other question. Right now I'm planning on using Prestone High Protection Wax (a synthetic wax). Does anybody have any advice on whether this is a good or bad idea? I chose a synthetic because I don't want to have to wax it frequently and I don't mind if the shine is not optimal.

Thanks!
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Old 04-17-2003, 04:33 PM   #2
meZoom!
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pure polish is just a pure polish...shouldn't have abrasives in them. a paint cleaner, on the other hand, is abrasive.
almost all waxes are synthetic polymer blends. there is no pure carnauba wax out there, because pure natural wax is cement hard.

so go ahead and polish and wax away.
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Old 04-17-2003, 05:56 PM   #3
Dr Ken
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There may be detailers, whos' oppinion may differ, but I'd say if the car is less than 3yrs old then the use of a cutting agent is more likely to harm than to heal the topcoat (likely a clearcoat). Best bet, deep clean with claybar annually or semiannually. And use clean, high quality cloths (microfiber) with everything that touches the car. Think about very infrequent (every couple of years) use of a fine cutting agent only after its 3rd or fourth birthday.
- Ken
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Old 04-17-2003, 07:30 PM   #4
RhinoRex
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Thanks for the advice guys.

What wax/sealer do the two of you recommend, given that it's a year old car?
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Old 04-17-2003, 07:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by RhinoRex
Thanks for the advice guys.

What wax/sealer do the two of you recommend, given that it's a year old car?
I use all sorts of products actually, and i haven't settled on swearing by one single brand name.
for polish, the meguiar's consumer line in the red bottle is easy to use...if i get bored w/ that i usually use 3M.
For wax, there's an even bigger selection. Meguiar's Gold Class Liquid wax gives a very reflective finish that is nice but IMO there is very little "depth" to its shine (i know, im very picky). Some people swear by Zaino products. and once again, Meguiar's Medallion wax and 3M i like as well.
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Old 04-17-2003, 09:31 PM   #6
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If you want the absolute best but a real pain to apply get Zaino Bros wax http://www.zainobros.com/ . Use all cotton white towels (I dont touch my car with anything less)good quality ones like Fieldcrest or Cannondale, then cut off all the designs and edges so you wont take a chance on them marking up the paint/clearcoat.

If you want to just take the easy route, go to your local paint shop or call around to see if they offer teflon coating. I can get it around here for about 150 and you dont have to wax your car for a year. Makes it a hell of alot easier to wash too.
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Old 04-17-2003, 10:05 PM   #7
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I owned a detail company in CA and used nothing other than Production Products. Nothing comes close. Nothing. Ask any top-down restoration body shop or professional detailer. I did exotics almost exclusively and couldn't run the risk of using even "good" products. Only the best with Production There's a distributor based out of Oakland, CA you could look up.
And stay away from cutting cremes and polish right now. You won't need that for at leas a year (depending on where you live/sun exposure/garaging, etc...).
And for future reference, PLEASE, for the love of all that is scared, stay away from claying. I can't tell you how many high end vehicles I worked on that had fallen to a nasty "claying".
A good wash, a good wax...keep that up for now and you'll be more than happy with the finish a Subaru can provide
Hope that helps.
T.
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Old 04-17-2003, 10:08 PM   #8
0260B4U
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So even supposedly using a clay bar to remove "rail dust" form the paint is a bad idea?I got 3500 on mine and I can see the little rusty brown spot where it's embedded in the paint.
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Old 04-17-2003, 10:20 PM   #9
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I'd have to see what the blemish looks like, but as a general rule, using clay is a serious last resort, last-ditch effort, it's always a no no in my book though. Clay can be used be someone who knows how to handle it, lubricate it with the right products, apply and "slide" it correctly for problem childs like paint overspray and extremely embedded particles/faded paint/older vehicles. Clay should not go anywhere near a new/er vehicle. A good cutting creme and/or synthetic polish can eliminate virtually ANY blemish a "new" car may have.
Clays, until now, have always been used by body shops to remove paint overspary. Think about what that means.
Try a good cutting creme or a good polish, applied in the shade, 50-80 degrees, on cheesecloth or a diaper cloth. Buff it out (and another NO NO - forget machines-if you're as anal as I am, you'll understand machines with fast rotating blades and fine finishes shouldn't come within 100 yeard of eachother). Apply a good dose of wax, apply, take it off, wax again...paint should look better than when you got your car from the dealer
Hope that helps.
T.
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Old 04-17-2003, 10:25 PM   #10
0260B4U
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yeah I've tried cleaner wax might try a polish next, it looks just like it sounds, little brown specks thta dont wash/wax off all over, mostly on front and back. And you can feel it when you run your hand over the paint.Not glassy smooth like it's supposed to be
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Old 04-17-2003, 10:30 PM   #11
T33
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Quote:
Originally posted by 0260B4U
If you want the absolute best but a real pain to apply get Zaino Bros wax http://www.zainobros.com/ . Use all cotton white towels (I dont touch my car with anything less)good quality ones like Fieldcrest or Cannondale, then cut off all the designs and edges so you wont take a chance on them marking up the paint/clearcoat.

If you want to just take the easy route, go to your local paint shop or call around to see if they offer teflon coating. I can get it around here for about 150 and you dont have to wax your car for a year. Makes it a hell of alot easier to wash too.
I feel I need to interject here.
Using cotton is ok, but the weave pattern in most cotton towels can actually scratch paint. Also, never wash the towels in anything more than 1/4 cup detergent/washload, and NEVER use bleach. Just hot hot water.
Use diapers. Use cheesecloth. The towels you mention are usually good for interior dressing and that's about it (by my book).
0260 - do not waste your $ on "teflon" coatings.
Nothing can replace tlc and good products. Teflon doesn't sound like something you'd want coating your car anyhow, does it?
Seriously, Simonizing (sp)/Teflon, etc, is a complete waste of money.
A good detail from a reputable company will do wonders for your finish, while things like Teflon may harm the finish over time. Keep teflon on your frying pan and away from your cars finish
T.
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Old 04-17-2003, 10:36 PM   #12
T33
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Quote:
Originally posted by 0260B4U
yeah I've tried cleaner wax might try a polish next, it looks just like it sounds, little brown specks thta dont wash/wax off all over, mostly on front and back. And you can feel it when you run your hand over the paint.Not glassy smooth like it's supposed to be
0260 - Spend a good solid day washing/cutting creme/waxing (in that order) the vehicle with excellent products (like Production Products) and the difference in your paint will be completely unbelievable. Just be super anal and you'll be shocked with the final outcome.
Clients were sometimes perplexed to find out all I had done to restore a finish was simply apply some good wax with some good 'ol elbow grease
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Old 04-17-2003, 10:42 PM   #13
0260B4U
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ok on the other point about the weave of cotton towels , lightly buffing with the nap there shouldn't be a weave right? And the nap helps keep the wax and stuff up away from the paint?Thought thats why your supposed to use em.
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Old 04-17-2003, 10:54 PM   #14
T33
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Quote:
Originally posted by 0260B4U
ok on the other point about the weave of cotton towels , lightly buffing with the nap there shouldn't be a weave right? And the nap helps keep the wax and stuff up away from the paint?Thought thats why your supposed to use em.
The weave in cotton towels is far too coarse and the thread design means cotton ends are usually, if not mostly, exposed on-end. Diapers use a much higher density weave. Also, cotton threads are continuously run on diapers. The difference is similar to a shag carpet vs. a good European bubour. This close knit weave should not be a problem when polishing/waxing. You may go through more diapers than you will a cheescloth or towel, but the result is far better.
If you have already been using terry towels or 100% cotton towels, now would be a good time to switch.
Once you make the change, the advantages will be visible after your first detail.
T.
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Old 04-17-2003, 11:05 PM   #15
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0260
pm'd ya
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Old 04-17-2003, 11:06 PM   #16
Dr Ken
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Oh man! I'm must be behind the times. I hope I'm not hijacking, but how can something that feels as good as claying be as evil as described above...or is it dependent on brand and technique. And some of you more experienced here may advise on high-end microfiber vs cotton, in terms of safety. Ignore me if I'm hijacking. Thanks.
-Ken
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Old 04-18-2003, 12:31 AM   #17
RhinoRex
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I hope you guys don't mind all of the questions; I'm learning a lot.

I'm still curious to know what people think of synthetics.

Dr. Ken's latest post reminds me of something else I wanted to ask about. I have seen people say that technique is more important than products. What is good technique?

For example, is buffing more about pressure or repetition (how many times it's wiped back and forth)

Thanks
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Old 04-18-2003, 12:41 AM   #18
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this is the best site evAr for washing tips http://www.properautocare.com/ , also another good thing to use is a pure sheep skin mit, its VERY soft and actually pulls the dirt deeper into the mit so it isnt grinding on your paint
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Old 04-18-2003, 12:59 AM   #19
meZoom!
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Quote:
Originally posted by RhinoRex
I hope you guys don't mind all of the questions; I'm learning a lot.

I'm still curious to know what people think of synthetics.

Dr. Ken's latest post reminds me of something else I wanted to ask about. I have seen people say that technique is more important than products. What is good technique?

For example, is buffing more about pressure or repetition (how many times it's wiped back and forth)

Thanks
synthetics? you mean polymer blends in the waxes? keep in mind that just about every single wax out there for consumers is in one way or another, a synthetic wax. You cannot buy pure natural (brazilian carnauba, ie) wax specifically for waxing your car today. You wouldn't want it anyway, because pure carnauba wax is extremely hard, dries yellowish/white, is stubborn to remove, and does not withstand as much heat/sun as synthetics. Polymers/manmade waxes, or the best ones out there, are formulated to last up to 400 degrees, which is hotter than a black WRX's surface in southern california sun. some people still opt to buy products labeled "carnauba wax" because as a rule of thumb, polymer waxes do poorer of a job of hiding flaws in the paint than carnaubas (they do a better job of "hiding" or accomodating swirls and other blemishes). because polymers also withstand harsher conditions, you wax less, and as the wax from weeks ago starts to diminish, there is still a more "even" coat of it on, as opposed to natural waxes that can have uneven wear (that you can't see). naturally, horizontal surfaces (trunk, hood, roof) take a harsher beating.

Dr Ken: as for clay bar-ing and abrasives, think of it this way...every time you use it, you are thinly taking off the top clearcoat to expose a clean coat below it. automotive paint is applied in very very very thin mm's. clearcoat is no more than .04mm, so after clay baring and wet sanding and using abrasives over and over, you will just have no more coating left.

RhinoRex: buffing something out is more about finding a fine line between pressure/heat and repitition....on a d/a or other non-orbital machine, you really don't wanna let it heat up too much. if you are referring to 'buffing' as in using an orbital buffing machine to polish/wax your car, then as long as you don't get too crazy about how long you've buffed one spot, you should be ok. you can visually see if there is enough polish/wax on the car or not.
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Old 04-18-2003, 01:08 AM   #20
RhinoRex
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I actually meant buffing by hand. I'm never sure what to put more effort into.
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Old 04-18-2003, 03:47 PM   #21
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1 coat meguiars show car glaze (polish)
1 coat meguiars or Zymol carnauba wax.

Makes the car look absolutely beautiful every time. You only have to use the glaze 2 times a year. Wax every month to two months.
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Old 04-18-2003, 05:06 PM   #22
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In terms of wax choice, this is exactly what I want to avoid (waxing every 2 months). I'm trying to figure out what's the most durable and doesn't harm the car.
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