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Thread: Car body care

                  
   
  1. #1
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    Car body care

    I'm curious about people's opinions on car wax. Some people think it's not necessary with a clear coat. Just keep the car clean. While other's obviously live or die by the waxes they put on their car. Perhaps it's not necessary on new cars. But wouldn't a wax extend the life of said clear coat? If so, what's the best wax?

    I've love to keep my 6 month old Z4 looking fine for many a year.

  2. #2
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    Others can chime in here. With a brand new car, waxing is important to keep that new look. More importantly, IMO, it is the prep work.

    Even with a new car, I would once a year "clay" the entire thing. There's a lot of crap that you cannot see that adheres to your clear coat, even with washing. Thus, putting a coat of wax on it will just cover it up and seal in the imperfections. I think any detailing fanatic will tell you, PREP is the key to making a car look good. It is irrelevant, for the most part, of the wax.

    It also depends on what you want to achieve. Best shine, or, longest durability?

    I go after durability. So, I tend to avoid carnauba-based waxes. These tend to last around 4-6 weeks. I go for synthetic waxes and sealants. I personally like the Klasse AIO/SG combo. Some good sites to read are:

    www.autogeek.net
    www.properautocare.com
    www.autopia.org

    Everything and anything you ever wanted to know about detailing a car can be found on one of those three sites.

    This is what I like to use:

    a) clay the car;
    b) 3m FI-II (fine cut) -- found at most auto stores
    c) Wolfgang paint sealant (from autogeek);
    d) Klasse AIO
    e) Klasse SG
    f) 303 aerospace protectant for the inside of the dash (non-leather parts) and for the external non-painted parts (door trim molding, etc.)
    g) leatherique for the leather seats (once a year).

    You won't be doing this in one day -- it will take one weekend. Plus, I am using a PC orbital 7424 with different pads. (coastal tool has the best deal on the 7424). With this combo though, I can get the paint to bead 8 months later. I cannot say that with carnauba waxes, e.g., S100. Carnauba will give you a GREAT shine -- but, it does not last long enough for me.

    So, I can then just use a quick mist detailer every month and I'm done. Paint beads nicely. Klasse SG works well -- protects the car from getting paint chips. You have to buy it online -- don't know of any place that sells it locally.

    If you are really fanatical -- purchase a clear bra for the car. I have one. It does not discolor, fade, etc. I like it. Well worth the price. Plus, I no longer have to clay that portion of the car, heheh. I just wax the top of the clearbra, and I'm done.

  3. #3
    Senior Member AlfaEric's Avatar
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    Cliffs Notes of James' novel:

    Yes, a clear coat needs protection.

    Wax will give you a good shine and some protection but won't last long.

    A sealant lasts longer and provides more protection.

    Combining the 2 gives you protection and looks.

    Sorry James, I couldn't resist the summary.

    ---Eric


    Single handedly lowering the pax for MT

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlfaEric
    Wax will give you a good shine and some protection but won't last long.
    Depends on the wax and what it is. A pure carnauba wax (for example P21 or Zymol) will give good depth (different from shine-though it does enhance shine) but not last long.

    Some synth waxes (carnauba/polymer blends) will last fairly decently but may not always yield the best depth.

  5. #5
    Senior Member AlfaEric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    Depends on the wax and what it is. A pure carnauba wax (for example P21 or Zymol) will give good depth (different from shine-though it does enhance shine) but not last long.

    Some synth waxes (carnauba/polymer blends) will last fairly decently but may not always yield the best depth.
    I was just giving a summary but you are right. I've used certain brands of "waxes" and had them last a LONG time (due to the polymers in them). Other one's wash/wear off pretty fast. I think the polymers are key in protection which is why I just mentioned the sealants for protection.

    Applying a sealant (most people say to let it cure for 24 hours) then coat it with a really good wax and you will get both protection and shine/depth. If you don't feel like spending that much time cleaning your car go with a blend.

    I've been bored lately so I've been doing a lot of reading on this topic.

    ---Eric


    Single handedly lowering the pax for MT

  6. #6
    Senior Member SMOODY's Avatar
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    Yes you need to protect your clear coat. The clear coat is basically just a layer of clear "paint" placed on the car. If it is not protected, it will eventually wear away and expose the colored paint underneath. Most of the new environmently responsible paints that manufacturers use these days are somewhat fragile and need more protection then the lead and nasty chemical based paints of the past.

    I like to use the NuFinish sealant about every 4 to 6 months for overall protection of the finish. I know the commercials were hoky, but the stuff works, is easy to apply, buffs up nicely, lasts, and is cheap and easy to find. I then use the Mequier's Quick Detail after every wash to help prevent water spots and give the car a "just waxed" look.
    2001 330i (my car)
    2004 Audi Allroad (wife's car and family truckster)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMOODY
    I like to use the NuFinish sealant about every 4 to 6 months for overall protection of the finish. I know the commercials were hoky, but the stuff works, is easy to apply, buffs up nicely, lasts, and is cheap and easy to find. I then use the Mequier's Quick Detail after every wash to help prevent water spots and give the car a "just waxed" look.
    Along those lines, Liquid Glass is good too if you're looking for that one step/low to no maintanence type protection. My old boss used it on his black car and it came out great and lasts a long time. And is also readily available at most auto stores.

  8. #8
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    Wow, lot's of good info. Guess the next warm day I get, I'll be out there working away on it. I've got some reading to do first. (What's "claying"?).

    BTW, one thing I've tried just lately and am sold on is this new "Mister Clean" thing. The one where you don't have to dry the car. I was skeptical, but tried it and was impressed. Works great, looks great. Blows chamois clear away. And without drying, you can clean the car in no time. (translation: clean the car more often).

  9. #9
    Senior Member AlfaEric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdesautels
    Wow, lot's of good info. Guess the next warm day I get, I'll be out there working away on it. I've got some reading to do first. (What's "claying"?).

    BTW, one thing I've tried just lately and am sold on is this new "Mister Clean" thing. The one where you don't have to dry the car. I was skeptical, but tried it and was impressed. Works great, looks great. Blows chamois clear away. And without drying, you can clean the car in no time. (translation: clean the car more often).
    Claying - Removes surface imperfections in the paint. http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...hreadid=113673

    Good luck.

    ---Eric


    Single handedly lowering the pax for MT

  10. #10
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    I am hooked. Where do I get "Nu finish Sealent?
    wwj

  11. #11
    Senior Member SMOODY's Avatar
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    You can find NuFinish just about everywhere. Walmart, AutoZone, Pep Boys, etc.
    2001 330i (my car)
    2004 Audi Allroad (wife's car and family truckster)

  12. #12
    Senior Member John in VA's Avatar
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    I think this is in an orange can or bottle, found at AdvanceAuto or Walmart. It's a synthetic product (polymer?) that's great at causing water to bead up, but doesn't do much to "feed" the paint.
    There are nearly as many ideas and opinions on "detailing" as there are car owners.
    Check out:
    http://bimmer.roadfly.org/bmw/forums/detailing/
    http://www.carcareonline.com/
    http://www.autopia-carcare.com/autopia/index.html
    http://www.emmonscoachworks.com/home.html
    John in VA

    '74 2002tii
    '85 535i
    '86 535i
    '00 328i
    '02 325xi
    '03 530i
    '06 330ci ZHP
    '15 228i M Sport

  13. #13
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    I like that Nu Finish Ok but I find after waxing 3 cars I get lazy and Zymol I can smudge all over the place and I don't get that white crap left over on all the black surfaces. Only my wifes car sees the inside of the garage and the wax holds up about 4-5 months on all of the cars.

  14. #14
    Just to chime in from the other side of the fence... Zymol doesn't seal your paint, it feeds it, keeping the clearcoat flexible, water and other material resistant. I used Zymol Carbon on my Z3 roadster for eight years, and most people thought it was a new car... and it was never garaged! I am a little wary about paint sealants with alot of chemicals in them. And Zymol lasts more than a month, usually about three months depending on how wet the car gets and how often you drive it. Hope this helps! Lastly, BMW makes a convertible top cleaner and waterproofer kit. Buy this for the Z4 and use it at least twice a year. My top stayed dark, resistant to water and like new for years. Just as I sold the car, the top was starting to leak along one of the door pillars, but the cloth was still in very good condition.

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