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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So - I bought my Renny-Lat back on 6/20.

A couple weeks later I brought it back to the dealer to cash-in an IOU they gave me, which was described as a "paint seal / rustproof / detailing".

I could certainly tell they did some work on the vehicle, as it had a nice glossy shine to it and the interior was immaculate - as well as all the black inside and out was super black.

In between the bring-home and the IOU work I washed the vehicle a couple times. Obviously, since the IOU work I've washed the Lil'Red a few more times. I used nice soft wash-mits and micro-fiber towels as I've always done with all my vehicles. I haven't used any waxes or sealants yet.

The car still looks beautiful following a wash'n'dry.

However, I never took the time to _really_ "super-inspect" every body panel before. Yesterday while the boys were shootin'hoops I was just dusting a few dirty spots with a micro-fiber towel and noticed some very hard to see surface swirls/scratches...maybe-not-scratches...I'm not sure what to call them.

I couldn't spit-on-the-finger remove them. But if a changed the angle that I was looking at the body panel, ever-so-slightly, they were no longer noticeable.


Now, on to my questions/concerns:

Have I already missed a step in the care / maintenance of my paint? Should I have already waxed or sealed it with something? Have I already ruined something? I want to be the best owner I can be for Lil'Red - so that she'll be around for years to come, and always look pretty and shiny when clean.

I'm not sure whether to be disappointed with the dealer for not telling me something, or disappointed in myself for not knowing something that's "common knowledge" about purchasing a new vehicle, or both... :(

Any info would be most appreciated.

Thanks, :(
 

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The sad truth is, you can't hardly touch a car without damaging the paint in some way. Neutral metallics (silver/beige) hide swirls the best in my opinion, with gloss, non-metallics (black especially) being the worst. I would never use a cloth on a dry car. Every molecule of dirt that is harder than your clear coat WILL leave a micro scratch.

Detail sprays help as they provide a lubricant to minimize this and if applied liberaly and wiped gently, can help to suspend the particles between layers of fluid to keep them from diggin into the paint. I no-longer use micro fiber on any any of my cars. Regardless of your cloth's material, care should be taken not to allow seams/tags of the cloth to drag across the paint as these will damage it also.

I would skip "in between washes" touch ups, and limit the washing to either hand wash or no-touch washes. I do not let others hand wash the car. There's a lot of hand washes around my area that make me cringe when I see their technique. Allowing clothes to drop onto a parking lot and picking them right back up and using them on the next car. For drying, I only use "the Absorber" brand synthetic chamois. Never terry or micro fiber.

The improvement you saw post detailing is most likely due to use of a "glaze". It's the final step in the detail process, applied over the wax. It's a bandaid that fills in the micro scratches to give the surface a uniform gloss. Unfortunately it is very temporary as it can't be applied under the wax as it will prevent the wax from adhering to the paint and cause a hazy look.

My advice is to go out and get the first shopping cart ding or scratch in the car. Seems silly, but I've noticed once the "brand new" perfection is gone, I'm able to quit treating the car like a new born and actually enjoy it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
My advice is to go out and get the first shopping cart ding or scratch in the car. Seems silly, but I've noticed once the "brand new" perfection is gone, I'm able to quit treating the car like a new born and actually enjoy it :)
LOL... Yea, she's already got a couple legitimate scratches from the campsite. It's all gravel, dirt, and dirt+whoop-de-do trails out there.

The legit-scratches don't bother me. Those are earned. Like badges or scars, :)

I'm a hand-washer, or a touchless-washer in the winter time. Those big spinny brushes just don't look safe at all, IMHO. :)

Maybe I'll just suck-it-up and start dabbling with plasti-dip like I've been wanting to, and stopping "rubbing my car with a diaper" LOL!

Life was so much easier back in the day, when paint had lead in it! A nuclear holocaust couldn't have scratched the paint on the '65 jeep pickup that I learned to drive in, back when I was a teen'! :)
 

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I have a black Rene, so it shows everything. I went thru the swirls, etc.. It's not a big thing to remove them and get it back to a real new look....

Here's what I would do:

(1) Wash it with Dawn (yes, the dish washing liquid), that will take everything off to the clear coat.
(2) Clay bar
(3) Wash it again
(4) Use a mild swirl remover, something like Meguiars #9 or #80
(5) Put on a polish/sealer - I use Blackfire Wet Diamond
(6) Wax Coat #1 - A carnuba like Meguiars [URL=http://www.jeeprenegadeforum.com/forum/usertag.php?do=list&action=hash&hash=2]#2 6[/URL] or Blackfire Midnight Sun does a great job
(7) (Next Day) - Wax Coat #2
(8) Grab a beer or many - you've earned it!!

And yes, I've done all the above - by hand...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If not terry or micro-fiber, what's an acceptable material for the wash/polish/seal process?

I see drying Chamois (http://amzn.com/B0000AY69V) and drying Towels (http://amzn.com/B00IRVF3EC) - both offered by the same supplier. Are there any advantages to one over the other?

Thanks for all the great info and suggestions. Us old dogs can certainly learn new tricks when we need to, :)
 

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Micro Fiber towels are perfectly fine to use. Used them for years, recommended by many detailers. Bmwgsa pretty much does what I do day one of getting a new vehicle. I had to clay the truck when I got because the paint had a lot of impregnated particles probably from shipping, that's how you get the nice smooth finish on your paint. You probably won't clay often if you keep the maintenance up on your paint. I would also say clay only if you are comfortable doing it. It is easy to do, but you must be careful as well. I need to clean up my engine bay next but that's another story haha. Also I'd treat all the exterior plastics as well. A lot of people recommend 303 aerospace for that.

Also +1 for blackfire wet diamond. Awesome stuff, water will bead for months. You don't have to top the blackfire wet diamond with wax if you don't want to as well.
 

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There's a couple of types of Microfiber towels.
One is Microfiber both sides, the other is Microfiber on one side, and soft on the other - I have both.
I normally take off polish/wax/etc with the standard side, and buff it with the soft side.

As for drying, I have 2 types of chamois that both work excellent. One is called the Absorber (I think I got it at Autozone for about $15) - the other is Meguiars Water Magnet - both do an excellent job of drying.

If you're looking for a great detailing site, try http://www.autogeek.com (I'm not affiliated with them) - they have just about anything and everything you would need in the detailing world.
 

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I'd like to add something useful and requires less time to do than conventional clay bar systems. They make clay mitts now. Easy to use and works great. I used it for the first time last week with good results. It cut my clar bar time down so much, I don't dread doing it anymore.

I bought the Eagle F1 Clay Mitt from Advance but I believe the other Auto parts stores have them also. Other companies make them as well. I first discovered them on Chemicalguys.com
 
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