How best to protect new black paint? Prevent swirls and wax?
I got a new black car. I used Meguirers wax and it looks good but is streaky. By that I mean in certain light I can see the wax..if i run my finger across it the streaks switch directions and buffing more doesn't help.
Also do waxes repel dust cause after only 3 days my car has dust all over.
I want to protect swirl marks and protect my new paint from oxidation and do it right so it looks good for a long time.
Any suggestions? I've searched and found some info on Blitz wax but would like some fresh opinions.
Here is my gospel on avoiding fine scratches, swirl marks, oxidation, and the like. My advice is different from most here, in that I emphasize prevention and "first do no harm."
<b>0.</b> Step zero is to wait at least 3 months after your car's build date (look inside doorway) before doing anything but a gentle wash and dry.
<b>1.</b> You will get tons of opinions about waxes to use. Choice of wax is less important than the other points on my list. I happen to prefer synthetic (polymer) and avoid Carnuba.
One fellow who has tested waxes on his dark cars at length is Andre, an S6 owner from South Africa, same color as my car (below). Here is his advice: <A HREF="http://www.audioimports.com/cars/S6/sonax/sonax.htm">Andre on Sonax/Zaino Polish-waxes</A>. Also look elsewhere on his site for updates. He knows what he is talking about!
I use a professional shop, here in Silicon Valley, called AJ's in San Jose. They use all the right materials and methods I list here.
<b>2.</b> First priority: protect with wax. Wax the car every 3 months, or sooner when it no longer feels smooth after a wash or beads water.
<b>3.</b> Minimize touching of the paint. Scratches and swirls are primarily in the clear coat, and can't be fully repaired with polishes and waxes. So the best approach is to avoid doing anything! Seriously.
Only use a car duster when the car is clean and has only lint-like dust. If the car has been rained on or even has a bit of mist or dew on (except when totally clean), or if there are any tiny spots that are sticky or slimy (tree droplets, soot from airplanes), or if the dust is gritty (soil dust, sand) -- then do not dust it until after the next wash. I usually only dust for 2-3 days after a wash in good weather; less in damp weather.
<b>4.</b> Only wash it (yourself or by a pro) using specific materials and techniques. Materials: Microfiber wash mits (try <a href="http://classic-accessories.com/exteriorcare.html">http://classic-accessories.com/exteriorcare.html</a>), microfiber towels (two large is enough in a dry climate; mine are from griotsgarage.com), very soft wheel brush (OXO makes great ones, works for dusting dry between washes too), high quality car wash soap (I use Audi's own, by One Grand), and so on.
<b>5.</b> If you get bird spots between washes, clean them off right away with distilled water and a microfiber cloth (like griotsgarage.com cloths for removing wax). Typically, your car is dirty, so you don't want to wipe much. Spray on the cloth and blot. Only use a detailing spray if the car is clean, because the overspray requires more rubbing.
<b>6.</b> Wash carefully: No high-pressure spray, especially on a dirty car. No hard water (purified, decalcified, especially for final rinse). Wipe along the length of the car to minimize scratches (don't go in a circle). Do wheels first with a non-acid cleaner (P21S is great). Then wash the car once, and to make sure you have no water spots, do one more quick wash before final rinsing. Rinse the wash mits with a hose before dipping again in the wash water. I use 2 mits so that when one looks/feels a bit dirty, I swap to the other, then rinse, then rinse both mits, and continue.
Make sure you have actually washed the car clean before finishing (draw fingertips across paint).
If necessary, use clay to remove deposits (works well on windows too). Read up on clay at Griotsgarage.com or elsewhere. I think you should limit this to just before a wax job. If the grime is stubborn, use a gentle solvent or clay as appropriate, and rewax.
After the final rinse, do a gentle flowing rinse so that the water sheets off (not a spray, but a smooth flow without a spray nozzle). then dry by dragging the towels across the roof, the hood, the trunk, then the sides, and so on, with increasing attention to detail. To prevent dribbling and spotting, I use a blower to force water out of lamps, grilles, handles, and trim, and then dry each area again as I go around. Keep dyring around and around iteratively to prevent spotting.
Most car washes are to be avoided. Problems: Wheels get scratched by mechanism. High-pressure sprays can scratch paint. Dirty mits cause scratches. Terry towels remove wax and can cause scratches.
<b>7.</b> Water spotting is a terrible enemy, the bane of dark cars in particular! Park away from lawns where there might be sprinklers. Even washing can cause spots.... Municipal water is often very calcified or acidic (I use two "Calcium Inhibiter Filters" from Arizona Mist/Orbit Irrigation, 800-488-6156-1-4, screwed onto the hose for in-line calcium removal). Even rain water is acidic in some industrial areas.
Wash as soon as possible after any spotting, like the same day, because it can etch permanently. Remove water spots carefully, first try normal washing, and if that fails, with special products specifically for this purpose, or 50/50% vinegar. Polish only if necessary at this point, and minimally. Either way, you may need to wax again.
<b>8.</b> Never place a car cover on a dirty car. Never drag the cover across the paint any more than possible. Use the lightest weight, most supple fabric that meets your weather and breathability needs.
<b>9.</b> Minimize polishes, glazes, and even washing unnecessarily, to avoid the fine scratches, the ones that pick up the light and look like fine parallel lines, concentric circles, or spider webs.
<b>10.</b> Swirl marks (foggy streaks that seem to have a 3-D quality) have never been a problem for me. They come from misuse of waxes, polishes, glazes, and even poor washing. Over-working the car (as many people on this forum probably do and recommend to others) is to be avoided!
<b>11.</b> Park far from other cars and walk! Park away from trees that can drop sap droplets or other detritus. (I had a back injury and so used a disabled placard, and that helped avoid door dings or people brushing against your dirty car or setting things on the trunk. The car looks great!) So, get some exercise and walk.
<b>12.</b> Get a Stongard clear-bra for the front. Audi paint on the bumper chips like crazy. Use a quality installer, don't cheap out on this. Quality materials should be used (3M for example).
See my <a href="http://www.netwiz.net/~jds/files/a6_links.html">FAQ</a> below for a growing <a href="http://www.netwiz.net/~jds/files/a6_links.html#care">car care list of links</a> and other subjects.
... from what I've read, and tried. Easy to use, easy to dry, very good at keeping particulates from scratching. No need to pre-dampen either, and try the car completely. Pricey, though, but worth it in aggrevation avoided.
While I would agree with you about overworking the paint, I would also add that
I have had very good success with the products that I've used, and found no ill effects from using 3M imperial hand glaze, and P21S gloss enhancing paintwork cleanser (the only glaze/polishes that I will use). Both are non-abrasive.
My favorite product is the Zaino system though. Very mild on the paint, and it produces a shine as good or better than any carnauba I have seen!
2005.5 A4 Avant 2.0T Quattro 6MT
APR 91/93/100 | APR Exhaust | 19" BBS RS-GT's | Carbonio | Hotchkis | Partridge-in-a-pear-tree
2006 TL on the block
2001 S4 sold
2000 A4 sold
I follow the Zaino process to the letter with great results-->
<center><img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/17474/l_rear.jpg"></center><p>I use all of Zaino's products for the exterior and all they have for the interior with execellent results. When I wash (always in the shade) I constantly keep the entire car wet, use a Sheepskin mit from Target, do small sections at a time from top to bottom. I first blow dry the car with a leaf blower and then "dab" any remaining water droplets off. In between washes I use a California duster and sometimes the Zaino Gloss Enhancer instead of a wash if it isn't too dirty. I have had some small swirls from time to time but a coat of Z5 takes care of them. I add a coat of Z2 each month as it only takes 30 minutes to put on and 30 minutes to buff off. I was lucky last winter as I was able to hand wash all winter and the protection lasted from late October to mid April.
01 A6 2.7T-TIP
PST Sport,Bose,CD Changer,Rear AB
Smoked Tail & Side Lights
Rondell 17" R-64s
Michelin Pilot Sport A/Ss 235/45
Some additional tips for protecting the paint if you happen to have kids...
We're talking real-life here. You can go out and spend all you want on water purification equipment, the most expensive microfiber towels available, and the best wax ever made by man. You can spend 24 hours straight detailing your car. I'm telling you, bird crap is nothing compared to what a 4 year-old can do.
If you have young kids, there are several rules that need to be communicated to them. Others may have additional rules to add, but here's my list (so far):
1. You may think that writing and drawing pictures in the dirt on a car is"fun" but it isn't. Drawing with chalk on the driveway is a lot more fun, and it doesn't upset anyone.
2. In the garage, try to walk between the cars parked there without rubbing up against them. You may think it's "fun" to drag yourself along the entire length of the car and to hear your nylon jacket make that squeaking noise as you do so, but you are wrong; that is not fun.
3. The cats do not belong on the car, period. You may be amused to see them slip around on a shiny, freshly waxed surface, but their claws are like steel daggers. Please keep them off the car.
4. The car is not a backboard for bouncing ***** of any kind.
5. Do not test the smoothness of the paint by dragging your fingernails across the hood or other surface.
6. The hood of the car is not a seat.
7. The hood of the car is not a shelf.
8. The hood and roof of the car are not intended for feet of any kind, animal or human. It is not "fun" to hear the sheetmetal flex in and out as you walk on it. If your feet are on the hood or the roof, you're in trouble. The presence of snow does not change this.
9. The car is not a drum. It is especially not a drum when you're holding anything made out of metal that you might want to use as a drumstick.
10. I love that you want to help me wash the car sometimes. Just please don't try to "surprise" me by doing it all by yourself when I'm not there.
11. Those bottles marked with names like "glaze" and "polish" -- the ones over there on that shelf -- will blow up in your face if you don't open them in exactly the right way. So don't bother trying.
12. The sand in the sandbox must stay in the sandbox. 'Nuff said.
13. Don't even think about trying to imitate that TV commercial you saw, where the man squirts lighter fluid on the car and then lights it.
You guys think I'm kidding?! LOL.
"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and the government when it deserves it." - Mark Twain
Now that mine are 10 and 7, they're getting better about it. But....
....they think their Dad is kinda strangely compulsive when it comes to the cars, so they're really just humoring me at this point. I think my 7 yr-old still does the full-length body slide when no one's looking, but I can't seem to catch him doing it. LOL.
I do hope people realize my list was an attempt at humor! I know, don't quit my day job......
"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and the government when it deserves it." - Mark Twain
It sounds like you're using way too much wax; that's why it's steaking. Try using as little as possible so that you can properly buff it all off. Also, wipe the car down with a microfiber cloth after your finished, that will help to safely remove whatever wax is left on the car.
As for preventing scratches and swirls, with the exception of 3M IHG, nothing applied to your car's finish should be applied or removed in circles. Always apply wax, buff the car, wash the car, dry the car, in back and forth motions from front to back. The logic is that scratches are only visible when viewed perpendicular to the scratch. If you do things in circles, and create scratches (it's impossible not to, but you want to minimize them and make them less noticeable) then they'll be visible from all angles since they're circular. If you do things back and forth, the scratches will be considerably less noticeable.
Also, make sure you use only 100% cotton towels on your car. Some say they are, but they're not, so you need to either buy towels that you are sure are 100% cotton, or test them using the burn test. Be careful to remove all tags, and to test the stitching that binds the ends of the towels (some 100% cotton towels are bound along the edges with nylon). Nylon or polyester will scratch your car like a hypodermic needle.
I only use Griot's terry cloth towels, and high quality microfiber or flannel cloths. I also use only quality foam cell applicators rather than some of the lower quality terry cloth covered ones.
2008 Touareg 2, V8, Campanella/Anthracite, Lux Plus, Tech, Air Suspension, Llumar 35% Tint, Harman/Kardon Drive & Play 2, Parrot CK3100, Valentine 1, Cayenne winter mats - His