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Thread: Ask AutoLavish! Answers to your car care questions...

  1. #1
    Club Sponsor Marc@AutoLavish's Avatar
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    Default Ask AutoLavish! Answers to your car care questions...

    In order to shorten my PM list, I decided to open this thread in order to answer questions people have on detailing their own rides. If you have a question, we'll do our best to answer the question, or at least point you in the right direction.

    Please don't inquire about having us work on your vehicle here: PM me directly for that; this is intended to help out my fellow enthusiasts take better care of their own cars.

    If anyone else can help to give additional insight or suggestions, please feel free to chime in. We have a community full of great knowledge and I'm sure we're all willing to learn from someone else's experience.

    This is intended to be an informative thread for enthusiasts to get answers, so lets keep things friendly
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    Forum Member Ozz's Avatar
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    I'm looking for a protectant/sealer/wax type of product for powder coated/cleared wheels in order to keep dust/debris from accumulating too quickly, but which won't etch the clear and ruin the wheels. What can you recommend? An over the counter product would be best if possible.

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    Club Member ReallyRedCobra's Avatar
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    I do have a question. I have an 08 Grand Caravan and its white. The paint is ok on it, but i've noticed that I have some orange dots showing up all over. Is this something a clay bar would help get rid of?

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    Club Sponsor Marc@AutoLavish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozz View Post
    I'm looking for a protectant/sealer/wax type of product for powder coated/cleared wheels in order to keep dust/debris from accumulating too quickly, but which won't etch the clear and ruin the wheels. What can you recommend? An over the counter product would be best if possible.
    Ozz, Thanks for the good question that gets asked quite often. Wheel care can be very important to the aesthetics of your vehicle - especially if you have some expensive wheels.
    Over-the-counter solutions are out there if you know what to look for. Make sure to purchase something that is rated as being safe for clear-coated wheels, and follow the directions. Most damage that is caused which leads to etching, peeling, and discoloration is caused by using harsh cleaners on hot wheels, leaving the product on too long / allowing it to dry, and other similar mistakes.
    The issue with many over-the-counter products is they tend to get used up rather quickly, so the bang-for-the-buck factor isn't always the best. If you're willing to purchase online, I'd recommend an effective and safe cleaner like Chemical Guy's Stick Gel wheel cleaner or Chemical Guy's Diablo Gel wheel cleaner.

    Aside from allowing to dry / using cleaners on wheels that are hot or in direction sun, the other mistake people make is hoping for a spray-on + hose-off product. It doesn't exist folks - sorry to say. If it did, we'd be using it
    So grab some decent wheel cleaner, follow the direction, and invest in a couple of good dedicated brushes for wheel cleaning (even if you spend $50 on brushes - they'll last you a lifetime if cared for, and will make wheel cleaning 10x faster).

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlJhA8BF-cw"]AutoLavish video on wheel cleaning[/ame]
    Last edited by Marc@AutoLavish; 05-31-2010 at 02:05 PM.
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    Club Sponsor Marc@AutoLavish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReallyRedCobra View Post
    I do have a question. I have an 08 Grand Caravan and its white. The paint is ok on it, but i've noticed that I have some orange dots showing up all over. Is this something a clay bar would help get rid of?
    The ugly truth is all cars suffer from this - but only on white does it truly show up easily because of the color contrast.
    What you're seeing is embedded contaminates in your paint. Most are from things like industrial fallout, rail-dust (while being transported from the factory), and most of all - brake dust. The little metal bits get stuck in the exterior level of your clear-coat and oxidize with the humidity / weather / car washes, and end up being ugly specs of rust.
    The good news is that you can get rid of it! Clay is the all-mighty solution to this one, but as a word of caution - it's going to take quite a bit of time and effort to rid the surface of all of it. Once clayed, make sure to add a layer of wax/sealant as a sacrificial barrier from this type of stuff in the future.
    Hope this helps!
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    Forum Member Ozz's Avatar
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    Thanks. I guess there's no wheel wax product out there to help with it all then. I have some brushes but they need replacing. Where can I find one like that blue one in the video?

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    Club Sponsor Marc@AutoLavish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozz View Post
    Thanks. I guess there's no wheel wax product out there to help with it all then. I have some brushes but they need replacing. Where can I find one like that blue one in the video?
    Waxing your wheels helps for sure - but it's a temporary thing that only HELPS. The amount of heat that your wheels absorb through normal braking will GREATLY degrade a wax/sealant's effectiveness, let alone keep in mind that anything strong enough to help loosen/remove brake dust will nearly instantly remove the wax / sealant you use.

    Because waxing wheels can be a hassle, I'd recommend a spray sealant (we like Optimum Opti-Seal) to use on the wheels as it's super quick to apply, adds some protection / shine, and is easy to use.
    The blue brush in the video is here: http://www.detailedimage.com/DI-Acce.../Full-Size-S1/
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    Great thread.
    1999 Z28. A4. Magnaflow catback and a lid. 60k miles.

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    What would you recommend to take light "spiderwebbing" off the horizontal surfaces of the car? I have a 7424, Megs 105/205, and Klasse AIO at my disposal, along with an assortment of CCS pads (yellow, orange, blue, black, and white)? I'm simply trying to get the paint back before I sell the car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Overboost View Post
    What would you recommend to take light "spiderwebbing" off the horizontal surfaces of the car? I have a 7424, Megs 105/205, and Klasse AIO at my disposal, along with an assortment of CCS pads (yellow, orange, blue, black, and white)? I'm simply trying to get the paint back before I sell the car.
    I wish I could give you a cookie cutter answer - but I can not. All cars are painted a little different, and all paint is a little different.
    Using your PC7424, Try out 105 on white to begin. Is that getting rid of the swirls? If yes proceed to the next step, if not, try it again, but this time using an orange pad. Follow that up with 205 on black. Does it get rid of the haze 105 left leaving a beautiful finish? if not you'll need to step that up to white, or step down 105 from the orange pad. Sometimes finding the right combo can take some time, but once you've found it - you're on autopilot. Always start with a less aggressive combination and work your way up - so in this case, try Meg's 205 on a black pad by itself. The the swirls / scratches are way too deep for that combo - then 105 might be the solution. Hit me up if you get in a bind
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