Floor mats treated with all purpose cleaner and steam. Owner was quoted almost 200 dollars to replace the mats in his 5 series.
I have not used Plasti Dip personally but I have detailed a few customer’s cars with it. It was very similar to cleaning vinyl wrapped cars.
Q:My Nano Skin pads for my Flex and Cyclo have been a disappointment in terms of durability. What do you recommend without having to go back to the slow process of traditional clay. I really want the pads to work and love the results, but don't want to shell out $50 for a product that falls apart well before the 30 car life span. Thanks!
That’s interesting I’ve read mostly positive feedback on their Autoscrub foam pads. What speed were you operating them at and what did you use for lubrication? I’ve used my fine pad on 4 cars so far and haven’t had any trouble with them coming apart. I mostly use the Nanoskin mitt and sponges but haven’t had any problem using the discs at speed 2 on my Rupes 21ES. Throwing in some Optimum No Rinse or any other rinseless wash product for lubrication prevents the rubber from “grabbing” if that helps. You can also try CarPro’s PolyShave Decon pads as an alternative to the Nanoskin pads. Or you can try the Nanoskin mitt which I am a big fan of. I’ve gotten more than 20 uses out of mine so far with no problem.
Q:To follow up with my question I asked on your other blog, I think the Rain-X kit worked rather well. It was my first time restoring headlights, spent about 30 minutes each side, and it looks loads better than before. I posted some pictures of the before and after on my blog if you want to check it out. Thanks, Haris!
Awesome, glad to hear it worked out. Be sure to maintain a coating of the included sealant all year round so they don’t oxidize again later.
Prepping and coating this sweet R8 V10 that just dyno’d 571hp to the wheels.
Q:So a random question.. I wanted to pick up some brushes for detailing my engine bay and interior and things along those lines and I found a 3 pack containing a nylon brush, steel brush, and I want to say a brass brush (I could be very wrong on that one but I don't have them in front of me right now). What would you recommend using each of these for? Thanks in advance.
I’ve used metal brushes on things like bare aluminum intake manifolds, but most of the cleaning in the engine compartment is done with nylon brushes, towels, and steam. Avoid using metal brushes on anything painted/coated. A stiff nylon brush is usually enough to break down heavy dirt buildup.
Check out my engine cleaning guide for more info on keeping your engine compartment clean.
Touching up some nasty rock chips using a micro detail brush. After drying, paint “blobs” are wet sanded and polished to create a level paint surface.
Q:my car got keyed today and im pretty pissed about it haha do you recommend any DIY remedies? the scratch seems to be the same colour as the paint so i dont think its too deep. im fairly new to detailing etc. thanks
I can’t say much without seeing a picture, but I’ve tackled some pretty nasty scratches like key marks by machine polishing. Usually a compound like Meguiar’s M105 or Menzerna FG400 and a light to medium cut foam or microfiber pad will provide enough cut to remove the imperfections from the top coat. If the scratch is very deep, I might wet sand before polishing with something like 2000 grit paper. Wet sanding and machine polishing does require some skill and practice. If you can find a detailing shop near your area, they should be able to level out the scratch for you if it hasn’t penetrated completely through the top coat.
If you don’t have access to a machine polisher, you can try hand polishing using a Lake Country CCS foam hand polishing pad and a polish like Meguiar’s M205 or Menzerna PF2500 (a bit more aggressive but still workable by hand).
You can check out my polishing guide for a little more info on removing imperfections from paint.
Q:Thanks for all the help. Just one more question. Can you give me a rough idea about quantity of polish needed to polish a hatchback?
I helped a friend with some correction work on his Hyundai Veloster. We used an entire 2 ounce sample bottle of Wolfgang Uber Compound 3.0. Once we finished the bottle we probably used closed to another ounce from one of my own bottles.
I’d say around 3 ounces or maybe a little less if your using a fine polish and polishing by hand.
Q:I have a sliver car, with a soft paint. I live in polluted city. I recently picked up Menzerna SF 4000 and Lake County Orange Hand applicator. Use abrasive polish is kinda scary. Since it is easy to damage paint in hands of a newbie, hand application is long process, I plan to polish once a year. I was keen on glaze as it is a safer option and easy application. Do you reckon that polishing once a year will be alright in my case? Also feel I need any glaze in between polishing?
Menzerna SF4000 is a very fine polish. The particle abrasives will not remove very much paint, especially if you’re going to be polishing by hand with an orange LC pad. Try out polishing and working with a glaze on a small work area or panel and see what you’re most comfortable with.
Q:Sorry, I didn't make myself clear in last ask. When I said about polishing once a year. I was referring to daily driver. For a paint correction; will polishing once a year be good enough? In between polishing intervals or when they can't polish, one can use glaze. Glaze has 'filling abilities' and can hide minor imperfections. One can use glaze iff when they are able to keep paint in good condition. Wet look is add on benefit, but glaze can't cut, they can fill. Mike P call glaze pure polish
It depends on the products/method you’re using. Polishing once a year with a fine polish and light cutting pad won’t remove too much paint/clear, but if you’re polishing annually using a heavy cut compound and a medium to heavy cut pad, you will be removing quite a bit of paint. Most modern cars only have a very thin coating of paint from the factory to begin with. It’s hard to give a time frame for how often you should be polishing, but my advice is to polish as little as possible.
To answer your other question, yes you can use a glaze as a filler for minor swirls and scratches. It won’t hide major imperfections like heavy swirling and deep scratches, but if you’re keeping your paint finish in good condition and you have only minor swirls and scratches, a glaze should be able to hide them no problem. Glazes usually don’t have the durability of say a paint sealant because they were not designed to bond like an LSP (last step product). You will more than likely need to keep reapplying throughout the year to get the full benefits of their filling properties.
It’s really up to you whether or not you want a use a glaze. You can try out a product like Glossworkz Glaze or Blacklight from Chemical Guys. These glazes are said to have a sealant built into their formulas and can fill imperfections fairly well.
I hope this answers your previous question a little better.
Q:Flex or Rupes?
Both are great polishers with small differences. The Flex 3401 offers forced rotation which helps for correcting tricky areas, but the Rupes 21ES offers larger “throw” in terms of pad oscillation for more effective correction in a small amount of time. They are both powerful machines in the hands of an experienced detailer. I personally use a Rupes 21ES but I have been considering adding a Flex 3401 to my detailing arsenal. Flex has announced they will be revealing a new product soon so I’ll be waiting until then.
Q:How often should one use glaze? I read somewhere that people should polish once a year and when they can't polish, they can glaze. Is alright, if I polish my car once a year and in between polish interval I should use glaze? I've sliver color car.
Glazing is a completely optional step that can be done before applying a wax or sealant. Glazes are not like like polishes because they do not contain the particle abrasives used for correcting the paint finish. Glazes simply enhance the look of the paint in terms of depth and “wetness”. In many cases you can achieve the same look with just a quality wax or sealant and no glaze.
You do not have to polish your car if the paint does not need to be corrected. When you correct a vehicle’s paint by polishing, you are “cutting” a small amount of paint/clear to reveal a perfected surface. Once that surface has been perfected, you have to maintain it by protecting it with a wax or sealant and properly hand washing with at least 2 buckets (one for paint and one for wheels). Use soft wool or microfiber wash mitts and clean them out regularly during the wash process against a Grit Guard (to prevent scratching the paint with dirt you may have picked up).
Keep in mind that you must maintain a coating of wax or sealant on your vehicle throughout the year. This prevents UV damage, water spots, staining, and other imperfection that can form on an unprotected paint surface. It also makes cleaning your vehicle much easier.
Polishing is not something you have to do all year round, but it is a good idea to decontaminate your vehicle’s paint at least twice a year using a paint cleaning clay or similar product like a Nanoskin Speedy Prep Sponge. After a vehicle has been decontaminated, it must be coated with a wax or sealant since the paint surface will be completely bare.
Q:What did you use on the bumpers and fenders of the FJ that looks sick! I have a tundra with fender flares. I used Armorall but it only lasts a few days or washes off when it rains.
I used Ultima Tire & Trim Guard. It’s a water based coating with great durability that doesn’t leave behind a greasy residue.
To ensure that the product bonds with the trim material, I wash the entire vehicle then clean the trim vigorously with a microfiber towel and Isopropyl Alcohol (diluted with water 5:1). If you don’t prep/clean the material before applying the coating, it won’t stay on for very long.