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Old 06-07-2001, 04:42 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 7277
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Valley Falls, NY 12185
2002 2.5RS
Midnight Black Pearl

Angry Cleaning black cars

First of all let me say hello to everyone. I am new to the site and this is my first post. I just bought a 2002 Impreza 2.5 RS. I will never get a black car again. Every little scratch and dirt mark shows...but you all know that. What are the best products to use to clean the car(soap, sponges, cloths,...etc)? I am very frustrated. What is the best thing to use to dry it? Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 06-07-2001, 04:50 PM   #2
Scooby Guru
Member#: 5291
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: pittsburgh,pa
'08 Scion xB
Nautical Blue Metallic


I have a black 2002 RS and I feel your pain. Try using the california water blade to dry the car off. I go Zymol the whole way. Wsshing the car in total shade helps ALOT. I wash the car in the shade then pull it in the garage and dry it off. Another tip to keep the swirl marks down is to stop using anything that touches the ground. Don't mix towels around either. Use a set of towels for drying, waxing, etc..

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Old 06-07-2001, 04:58 PM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 3149
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: montreal quebec
01 V7 GC/R32 sky


I wash my black 01RS one panel at a time, then rinse it because it dries very fast in the sun and leaved marks. I use a chamois to dry the car, but I have never tried the california water water blade before. I use a good coat of wax and it brings out the shine with some buffing. Admit it though, when clean and freshly waxed, nothing beats a clean black subie! Mothers is a popular brand and I hear good things about it, but I have not used it, try different ones and see what you like. I use those dense blue sponges for good cleaning and dense foam, but store it in a plastic zip-loc bag so it dosent get anything in it.

[ June 07, 2001: Message edited by: dcoty ]
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Old 06-07-2001, 05:29 PM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 5089
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Willoughby, OH
2002 Audi A4
Denim Blue


Well I have had 3 Legacy's The first was black...yeah i feel ur pain for sure. the second was white now that didnt show a thing...loved that color you could barely tell it was dirty half the time. The last one is black granite pearl well back to the scratches again. There are more chips on that car then I have ever seen and its not even a year old. Meguiars has a new scratch remover that i found actually worked on some but there are to many to get out. The funniest part of the white and black GT's is that if the white one gets a chip you can see black underneath and my black one you see white... now does this make sense? haha it be so much nicer if it was the other way ah well,,,, someday ill get a subaru with a good paint job.... ok lets not kid ourselves
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Old 06-07-2001, 09:31 PM   #5
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 6642
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Redmond, Washington, USA
02 WRX AT sedan


Hi There
You may remember me from such posts as "help, I can't get rid of the swirls" and "Are you gonna be out there ALL day?
I just got done washing / buffing / a waxing my rex for the first time. The dealer gave me a pretty good place to start as the lot lizard didn't wash it with a brillo pad.
(Hey, I can call him a lot lizard because I was one).

1. Rinse with high pressure (note, this may be the only time I do, becase this paint does chip easily, and if you get a high pressure stream under a chip, you could peel off a whole lotta paint, as I did to my mom's car many years ago.)
2. wash with a clean terry cloth mitt, cleaning it frequently. (note, always work from the top down, covering all areas. Leave the lower doors and bumpers for last, as these areas hold the most dirt and if you wash them first, you will be grinding all of your paint.)

3. Rinse with high pressure
4. Dry immediately in the shade. Right now, water spots are your enemy. Use clean towels or a chamois. Drive around a bit or let sit so the hidden drops dry up. This is best done in one place. If your like me and can't afford a house here, your washing at a gas station ( self serve ). Do not drive home without drying it as you will get dirt and pollen stuck to your paint.
5. use Meguiars overspray clay with meguiars final inspection to remove tar, sap, bugs, and whatever is left...keep the clay wet with the final inspection.
6. Buff out the scratches with 3M machine polish #39003, if you have a buffer. If not, I can't recommend a good hand compound at this point.
I waxed the car with 3M Imperial Hand Glaze. Do not do this on hot paint or in the sun. This product goes on easy, comes off very hard! but, it will last for 6 months or more if you don't wash it all the time. As a rule of thumb, the easier it comes off, the less it will last. Wax with clean sponges, (I use the little colored ones, cello, I think. Get it wet and wring out as much as you can. Do not drop it, it will pick up gravel), remove with cotton cheese cloth. When your sure you have it all, take it into the sun and inspect, rub out any swirls. Flourescent light is best for this, it never lies! ( If you have dark paint, blue or black, chances are you have swirls from the wax residue, that is if you haven't picked up final inspection, water, or armor all. Wash your hands, get a clean towel and rub till you can't rub no more. You need good light, look at it from every angle with the light directly on the panel your working on. Walk around, this is the most important part, and can be the hardest because now your beat.)
use a clean toothbrush or tooth pic to get the compound and wax from cracks.
Do not use armor all, it will kill your wax job, it's looks anyway. If you must, use it before you wax and then avoid those areas while you wax.
Wait your not done. Now you gotta clean all the compound and wax off the glass. With windex, you'll need to wash each window 3 times, essentially, to get it all off. Keep the windex, or whatever else you use, off your new wax job.

Tips, water and final inspection / lubricant can hide in cracks, if you pic this stuff up while your removing wax, stop ditch what your using, rewax the panel and wait. Don't even try to get the smears out, it's too late.
don't let bugs sit on your paint in the sun for very long, I've seen bug guts eat through paint and into plastic, this is common on rear view mirrors. some bugs are worse than others. Same goes for dird do.
Whatever your wiping your car with, if it hits the ground, it's done.

Finally, don't sweat the dings and chips, it's a car.

Next time it rains, if your car is still fairly clean, you'll have huge puddles of water sitting on your paint, dancing around, that's my favorite part!

Within 2 hours of finishing, it took me 6, my car was covered with pollen. I love Washington.
See you in the twisties

posted in NW forum a few weeks ago
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Old 06-08-2001, 08:22 AM   #6
Subie Gal
Super Moderator
Member#: 301
Join Date: Sep 1999
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: WA
1970 FF-1 & '70 Van
02 WRX/01 RS


3rd black car in a row!
i'll never drive anything else... erm... except yellow

ok.. i use meguiar's everything...

as well as detail clay and spray...

it's not that bad if you keep it up...

yeah the dings show.. and the scratches... and the rock chips...

but black cars look bad arse when clean!!!

and that's where it's at!!!
j. www.subiegal.com
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Old 06-08-2001, 08:34 AM   #7
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 383
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Gurnee, IL, USA
2001 Outback Sport


You know what they say... Once you go black...

Actually, my 2002 OBS is my first black car in probably 5 years (4 cars in that time). I always wash my car every day at a professional car wash (yearly pass) and sometimes twice a day. Keeping the dirt off in the first place helps.

When I do wash it myself, I always use new terry cloths specifically made for washing (or those more expensive specialty car wash fabrics). I change cloths frequently and never intermix or use a towel I dropped on the ground.

Use a _LOT_ of water. Generally speaking, washing at home is bad because tap water has a lot of bad elements that jack up your paint something aweful. I generally use pre-mix car wash solution (Mother's, Meguire's, Zymol, Liquid Glass Pre-Cleaner, whatever) and have found good luck with those pre-mix or mix-with-water solutions.

When it comes to washing at home, definitely do it in the shade. If you use bad detergents, you get what you pay for. Even some of the more expensive brands can be detrimental to a black paint job. Zymol is definitely the way to go, but its probably $15 per wash cost

I find a good wax job does wonders to a black car. My last car I Liquid Glassed about 30 layers (in the garage) over a 10 day period (didn't take the car out), leaving 4 hours between coats, and then finally baking it all under the HOT sun at the end. The car looked good for 2 years, never had a problems.

If you have swirls, the swirls are there for good. You're NOT going to get them out using off-the-shelf products. You may be able to hide them temporarily, but only a professional machined wax job will do it, and that is only if they know how to run their machines. I see so many people pay $60 for a "quick machined wax" and I see how much pressure those idiots put into the buffer.

Also, Subaru paint sucks.
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Old 06-08-2001, 05:11 PM   #8
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 7277
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Valley Falls, NY 12185
2002 2.5RS
Midnight Black Pearl


Thanks for all the help guys. I picked up the Meguires cleaner, polish, and wax and the thing looks great. It even hides a lot of the scratches. I have spent about 6 hours cleaning the thing though.
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Old 06-09-2001, 12:44 AM   #9
01 Black RS
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 2770
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Bartlett, IL

It takes me over an hour to wash my car, take your time when you wash a black car. Remeber whatever you drag on your car has potential to scratch, so make sure it is clean and rinse often. Use Zymol, I can't stress enough how great that product is. Pay the little extra it costs it's worth the results in the end.
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Old 06-09-2001, 05:10 AM   #10
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 2362
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: South Carolina, USA
1999 Legacy Outback
Blue w/ Paint Chips & Mud


At least you guys don't drive a wagon.

My god that thing is a bear to wax properly.

And I have plenty of rock chips and other nasty paint blemishes...... That's what you get for driving offroad. I also have swirls and light scratches on the sides of the car from narrow trails or taking turns a bit too wide offroad and brushing the bushes.

Car still looks nice though, subaru blue is very pretty.

I wash with off-the-shelf stuff and go to a spray-n-wash after I go offroad. I usually take my ramps with me to get the muck out of the underbody.
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Old 06-09-2001, 08:06 PM   #11
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 2715
Join Date: Oct 2000
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: where GW crossed the Delaware
70 911T


Oh yeah? Well mine's black AND a wagon (or SUV wannabe depending on who you talk to).

My process sounds like a combo of all of yours. I stopped taking the car to drive thru washes altogether, even the "brushless" ones. I wash from the roof down (using a step stool to get at the top between the roof rails - I'm a little shorter than the average bear) and one panel at a time. I use car wash detergent designed not to strip wax - some odd brand I got from the guy who painted my Stude - looks like pink bubble gum color. I use Meguiar's as well though I did get a Mother's clay bar and Showtime spray. Not as bad as some people claim and cheaper than Griot's, which though good is way overpriced on many items. Use Meguiar's glaze and either Meguiar's or Mother's pure carnauba without cleaner/polisher abrasives.

Even after all that there's still a lot of swirl marks on the car. I may want to try Turtle Wax's Color Cure at some point. Will I get another black Sube? More than likely; black's the best Forester and Legacy color and the blue-black arguably the best WRX color (close with WR blue, way better than red, silver or stick of butter yellow).

Black Sube owners unite!

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Old 06-09-2001, 09:09 PM   #12
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 6531
Join Date: May 2001
Location: on-line looking for parts.

takes me forever to get my wagon clean but when I'm done I feel so good!!! Black all the way
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