Thread: Proper Detailing Steps

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  1. #1 Proper Detailing Steps 
    GT Level Member Adidasdude1989's Avatar
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    So i just bought a 2014 Chevy Malibu 2LT. I just got it last week and i noticed theres minor scratches, swirl marks and haze. Im new to detailing so im kind of confused on the steps and maybe what products i should get. I was looking more into Meguair's products to start off with but im willing to take recommendations from everyone here.

    Anyway, what steps should i do? Of course washing 1st is obvious. Should i use the clay bar next? What step does the polishing compound come in? When do i wax the car? Im just kind of lost, im new to this so i apologize. Also, what can i use to keep the plastic on my head light and tail lights clean and protected? Can i use something in between washes to keep the plastic clean if they got dirty?

    Again my apologies for all the questions. I have a real nice car sitting outside and i need to learn the proper car for it. I wanna add that everything will be done by hand.

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  3. #2 Re: Proper Detailing Steps 
    GrandPrix Junkie spazzz's Avatar
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    Since you are doing it ALL by hand I would just clay, then get a good cleaner wax. That way you will really see what you are up against.

    Honestly, getting set up to detail properly will cost a few $$. Start slow and build your arsenal.
    A DA polisher,proper pads and backing plate, the 'right' kind of microfibers(so you don't destroy your work), compounds, polishes and your choice of sealant would be a start.

    Meguiars line is definitely user friendly. Ultimate compound, ultimate polish and ultimate wax(the 3Us) will do a 180 on your car.
    If you can catch a fingernail in a scratch, it won't buff out.

    Time to browse Meguiars online and AutoGeek my friend.
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  4. #3 Re: Proper Detailing Steps 
    GTP Level Member Grandprix202's Avatar
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    I know this doesn't really answer your question and it isn't meant to take away from your new ride... But did you buy it new? Becuase if you got it new there should be no swirl marks or scratches on it at all. If you got it new then you must have got a porter that had no idea what he was going. Reason why I'm saying this is because I'm a porter and they are so so strict about that stuff where I work.

    Representing all the N/A out there. Fastest stock N/A you will ever come across.
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  5. #4 Re: Proper Detailing Steps 
    GT Level Member Adidasdude1989's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandprix202 View Post
    I know this doesn't really answer your question and it isn't meant to take away from your new ride... But did you buy it new? Becuase if you got it new there should be no swirl marks or scratches on it at all. If you got it new then you must have got a porter that had no idea what he was going. Reason why I'm saying this is because I'm a porter and they are so so strict about that stuff where I work.
    I got it used. The previous owner was a rental car company. So its kind of beat up but i got a good deal on the car so i took it.

    Miles: 170-XXX
    Engine: 3.8L V6
    http://youtube.com/KBsVlog

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  6. #5 Re: Proper Detailing Steps 
    GTP Level Member Grandprix202's Avatar
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    Ahh alright. Then I take back what I said. Can't pass up a good bargain.

    As a wax/sealer collinite 841 I belive it's called is good from what I've heard. I haven't used it on my car yet but I've used it on my wheels and it works great

    Representing all the N/A out there. Fastest stock N/A you will ever come across.
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  7. #6 Re: Proper Detailing Steps 
    GXP Level Member The Guz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandprix202 View Post
    I know this doesn't really answer your question and it isn't meant to take away from your new ride... But did you buy it new? Becuase if you got it new there should be no swirl marks or scratches on it at all. If you got it new then you must have got a porter that had no idea what he was going. Reason why I'm saying this is because I'm a porter and they are so so strict about that stuff where I work.
    This is a false statement. You would not believe what dealers do to new cars. New cars can have just as many defects as a used car. Defects being swirl, scratches and surface contaminants (rail dust, industrial fall out etc..). This is why on the detailing forums it's always recommended to have the dealer not wash or even detail the car on delivery. Same when someone takes a car to the dealer. It is recommended to have a few do not wash car signs to avoid the headaches.

    Quote Originally Posted by spazzz View Post
    Since you are doing it ALL by hand I would just clay, then get a good cleaner wax. That way you will really see what you are up against.

    Honestly, getting set up to detail properly will cost a few $$. Start slow and build your arsenal.
    A DA polisher,proper pads and backing plate, the 'right' kind of microfibers(so you don't destroy your work), compounds, polishes and your choice of sealant would be a start.

    Meguiars line is definitely user friendly. Ultimate compound, ultimate polish and ultimate wax(the 3Us) will do a 180 on your car.
    If you can catch a fingernail in a scratch, it won't buff out.

    Time to browse Meguiars online and AutoGeek my friend.
    I tend to agree with this. Investing in the proper equipment will definitely be the way to go. As stated, come over to Meguiar's Online and Autogeek. Your eyes will be opened on the proper way to do things. If you choose to go with a machine look at the Harbor Freight Dual Action Polisher. Get a better 5" backing plate and 5.5" pads and this machine does a good job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grandprix202 View Post
    Ahh alright. Then I take back what I said. Can't pass up a good bargain.

    As a wax/sealer collinite 841 I belive it's called is good from what I've heard. I haven't used it on my car yet but I've used it on my wheels and it works great
    Colinite has a following and is known for being durable. It's a good price but there are other products that can get the job done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adidasdude1989 View Post
    So i just bought a 2014 Chevy Malibu 2LT. I just got it last week and i noticed theres minor scratches, swirl marks and haze. Im new to detailing so im kind of confused on the steps and maybe what products i should get. I was looking more into Meguair's products to start off with but im willing to take recommendations from everyone here.

    Anyway, what steps should i do? Of course washing 1st is obvious. Should i use the clay bar next? What step does the polishing compound come in? When do i wax the car? Im just kind of lost, im new to this so i apologize. Also, what can i use to keep the plastic on my head light and tail lights clean and protected? Can i use something in between washes to keep the plastic clean if they got dirty?

    Again my apologies for all the questions. I have a real nice car sitting outside and i need to learn the proper car for it. I wanna add that everything will be done by hand.
    First off congrats on the new car. What color did you get? That doesn't matter as the process is the same but it takes a little more effort on a dark colored car.

    You can only do so much by hand. You won't remove all the swirls and scratches but you can make the car look better. This is a good thread on doing things by hand or machine.

    http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/...s-machine.html

    I would recommend you pick up a set of these pads when doing things by hand. They will give you more correction power than a typical foam applicator. I use them on areas that I can not get a DA.

    http://www.autopia-carcare.com/hydro...pplicator.html

    Now that we have that out of the way this is what I would recommend you do a test spot with the least aggressive method. Start with a polish. If you need more correction then go to the compound. But the typical steps are the following:

    1. Wash
    2. Clay - Removes bonded surface contaminants from the paint.
    3. Compound - Removes swirls and scratches
    4. Polish - Gives the paint gloss and refines the finish from a compound. If you are happy with the finish after compounding then continue to waxing
    5. Wax or sealant or both
    6. Maintain - using a spray wax in between washes will extend the life of your protection but also add some shine and protection.

    Meguiar's offers great products. The ultimate line is great and a good place to learn. They will keep the car looking good and protect it. I always recommend this kit to new folks on the Meguiar's forum when starting out. It has everything you need. You can only get it online.

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Meguiar-s-...undle/29670206

    I would also recommend you pick up some good quality microfibers. You can never have enough microfibers. These are good for the price

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Meguiar-s-...ingMethod=p13n

    Don't forget a drying towel or 2. These are good. The Rag Company is having a 20% off sale for this weekend. Use PS20

    http://www.theragcompany.com/Dry-Me-...09-2659-OW.htm

    I am really liking the plush towel lately. It's a large towel and very soft.

    http://www.theragcompany.com/The-Edg...-2040-EL-W.htm


    In regards to keeping your headlights clean and protected. You have a couple options. You can either use ultimate compound and ultimate wax from the provided kit or you can invest in Meguiar's Plastx and Meguiar's Headlight Protectant. Headlight protectant is a little more durable than ultimate wax on headlights. You will have to apply it more often. The general recommendation is every 6-8 weeks or when the water is not beading or sheeting off the lenses. For the tails just use ultimate wax. They don't tend to oxidize like headlights.

    Just so you know there are a couple different references to protection. You have carnauba wax and sealants (aka synthetic waxes). The difference being that sealants last longer, typically 4-6 months. Carnauba's offer that warm look and typically last 1-3 months. There are those that apply a sealant first followed by a coat of wax to get the best of both worlds. You get the protection of a sealant and the look of a carnauba.

    I mentioned in those steps a maintenance step. What I mean by this is that after you wash your car hit it with a spray wax. It will add shine and protection. But it will also boost the existing wax or sealant on the car.

    I almost forgot about the wheels and tires. Meguiar's All Wheel & Tire Cleaner works on both wheels and tires. Use it clean your tires and then apply a tire dressing. A few of my favorites Meguiar's D163 Tire & Trim Gel, Meguiar's Ultimate Black Tire Coating (lasts longer than a tire gel), Turtle Wax Jet Black Endura Shine Tire Coating (lasts very long in terms of months). Are the wheels OEM?

    These are a couple more threads that are useful. Don't hesitate to ask any more questions. I invite you over to Meguiar's Online if you go the Meguiar's route.

    http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums...Series-Claying

    http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums...Series-Washing

    http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums...my-paint!-quot
    1999 GP GT 18" Boss 353 Concave|SLP CAI|Borla Cat Back|Plog|HV3|HV TB|ER Rockers|Black Headlights|GMPP Lowering|GMPP Handling|Red LED Tails|MPD F1|
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  8. #7 Re: Proper Detailing Steps 
    GTP Level Member Grandprix202's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=The Guz;1329632]This is a false statement. You would not believe what dealers do to new cars. New cars can have just as many defects as a used car. Defects being swirl, scratches and surface contaminants (rail dust, industrial fall out etc..). This is why on the detailing forums it's always recommended to have the dealer not wash or even detail the car on delivery. Same when someone takes a car to the dealer. It is recommended to have a few do not wash car signs to avoid the headaches.

    I'm just saying how this is how our dealership works. If it has scratches or swirl marks it doesn't go out.

    Representing all the N/A out there. Fastest stock N/A you will ever come across.
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  9. #8 Re: Proper Detailing Steps 
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    I'm new here but not new to W bodies. I'm doing a paint correction on my 98 GT 4 door and need info. Is the paint on these cars base coat/clear coat or just single stage? I think it's not clear coated but I want to be sure not to buff through clear coat. So far the Gold Metallic paint is glassy and beautiful but the bumpers need more work Help! and Thanks
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  10. #9 Re: Proper Detailing Steps 
    GT Level Member Supercharged99's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure they haven't done single stage paint on cars from the factory for several decades. It's a basecoat/clear coat.
    1999 GTP...stock for now
    2007 Suburban...far from stock
    1991 GMC Dually...74k original miles. Work in progress. Far from done.
    1977 C-10 (my baby)...too many mods to list
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  11. #10 Re: Proper Detailing Steps 
    GXP Level Member The Guz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gearhead 1 View Post
    I'm new here but not new to W bodies. I'm doing a paint correction on my 98 GT 4 door and need info. Is the paint on these cars base coat/clear coat or just single stage? I think it's not clear coated but I want to be sure not to buff through clear coat. So far the Gold Metallic paint is glassy and beautiful but the bumpers need more work Help! and Thanks

    The paint is base coat/clear coat. Certain companies still use single stage like Toyota white. You should not be seeing paint transfer unless the clear coat has failed. The bumpers are notorious for clear coat failure.
    1999 GP GT 18" Boss 353 Concave|SLP CAI|Borla Cat Back|Plog|HV3|HV TB|ER Rockers|Black Headlights|GMPP Lowering|GMPP Handling|Red LED Tails|MPD F1|
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