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Please help a novice

Discussion in 'Kia Stinger Detailing Discussion' started by NickUK, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. NickUK

    NickUK United Kingdom Member

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    Hi All,

    I’ve never really looked after a car in the sense of only washing it by ‘no touch’ washing and never waxed, polished or any other detailing methods before.

    The Stinger is the first ‘nice’ car that I’ve owned and I’ve become more aware of these methods of looking after the vehicle but having researched this online, there seem to be so many methods and so many products that are needed and it’s all quite confusing for a complete novice such as myself as to correct procedures, in what order they need to be done and which ones are necessary.


    What I am hoping from this thread is that someone with experience can explain in relatively simple terms what I need to do in order to keep my Stinger looking great.

    From what I can gather, to wash a car properly and reduce the risk of marking the vehicle, you need to follow the below steps:

    1) Rinse the vehicle using a pressure washer on a medium or car setting

    2) Use a snow foam soap to cover the car by using the pressure washer with a foam cannon and leave it for 5-10 minutes

    3) Rinse off the snow foam soap using the pressure washer

    4) Dry using a car air blower dryer


    Can someone confirm that this is correct or am I missing something?


    I’ve also read that you should polish and wax your car. Can someone explain what the difference is between polishing and waxing and how often one should polish and wax their car? Also, what equipment is needed for both and what methods should be employed to carry out the procedures?


    Do I need to wax/polish if I intend to get a paint protection film applied to the car? Due to cost, if I only got a frontal paint protection film installed, would I only need to wax/polish the un-protected parts of the car or would i still need to do the whole car?


    Are there any other methods that I have missed off to keep my stinger looking great? I’ve heard ‘claying’ being discussed, but not entirely sure what this means..There's also ceramic coating too which is something else entirely?


    Final question: If I have barely visible swirl marks from washing by hand, how easy are these to remove and what is the procedure for doing this? Is this encapsulated in the waxing/polishing methods above?


    Sorry for the long post, I’m just a complete noob when it comes to this and would appreciate some advice from more experienced people out there. After getting a stone chip on my bumper I’ve become more aware of the ways people go to protect their cars and want to try to emulate that myself if I can.
     
  2. OliverNuther

    OliverNuther Australia Active Member

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    OMG!! What have you done?!?! You’ve awakened the monster!!
     
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  3. AV8R

    AV8R Australia 2500 Posts Club! Staff Member Authorized Vendor Moderator

    Items one to four are correct.
    You wont need to polish new paint if you keep it waxed. I recommend Chemical Guys Butter Wet wax and keep the shine with V07 detailer form the same company.
    Look on you YouTube for chemical guys and there are heaps of great how to vids.
    I use the V07 wash
    Then a clay bar every couple of months when I wash, the rest is already spoken about.
    This is what she will look like all clean and shined up...
    4269FA1A-7037-45E8-AF50-F84CEC8E99C0.jpeg 63476CFF-4E40-4580-BA94-FC71F7BC47DE.jpeg
     
  4. AV8R

    AV8R Australia 2500 Posts Club! Staff Member Authorized Vendor Moderator

    PS the swirl marks are from using a sponge instead of a noodle glove. Only use soft microfibre for everything else. Chemical Guys have all this stuff.
    You will need a swirl mark remover polish to get rid of marks. Wax after that.
     
  5. Metalmania82

    Metalmania82 United States Member

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    @NickUK go this site:

    Home | AMMO AUTO CARE INC.

    There's a TON of how-to's, from basic beginner washing techniques to how to remove paint and everything in between. Also, all of the products Larry has developed and sells on this site are amazing.
     
  6. SilverNitr8

    SilverNitr8 United States Active Member

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    Hopefully this helps:

    Washing Car:

    1. Was your car during the early hours before sunrise, at dawn, or on a cloudy day. Never in the middle of the day when the sun is at the highest as it dries out the water on the car and the minerals can etch your paint.

    2. If you are going to use a pressure washer, there are a few things you need to be aware of. Pressure of the water, spread of the water, and distance from the car. I recommend sticking between 1, 200-1800 psi. Make sure to use the widest water spread on your pressure washer, if it is too narrow, you can chip the paint. Then of course, distance. Wash the car at an angle and not too close to the car. Paints now are water based and thin. The last thing you want to do is chipping your paint while washing. I've seen this happen on other forums so pressure washing your car is fine, but take good precaution when doing so.

    3. Foam soaping the car is a very good way to lubricate the car, and get rid off surface dust. Stuck on dirt still needs to be wiped by hand. Use a PH balanced car wash soap. Pay attention as some soap will also remove wax on the car. I believe the chemical guys citrus soap will do that and that's fine if you are planning on waxing your car after the wash, but not so if you just recently waxed your car and are just doing a maintenance wash.

    4. Use a 2 bucket method with grit guard. One for soaping, and one for rinsing your wash mitt. Use a wash mitt that is microfiber on the paint to avoid scratching, don't apply too much pressure as you wipe the car, and wipe in the same direction. Wiping in a circular motion can leave you with a swirl mark which is harder to remove than a straight line scratch. Start with the roof and make your way down one section at a time, constantly rinsing your wash mitt to get rid of the contaminants that gets picked up by the wash mitt. Do the dirtiest section last, like the wheels and wheel wells and have a dedicated wash mitt for them.

    Drying your car:

    1. Use a leaf blower, preferably a dedicated one for your car or at least make sure you clean it before using it on your car. The last thing you want to do on your clean car is blow dust/contaminants back onto your car. It'll be like sand blasting your paint. Blowing the water limits the chances of scratching your car using a microfiber towel.

    Wiping:

    1. Use microfiber towel. Wipe in the same stroke and don't put too much pressure. Again, avoid circular motion. Use detailer when wiping to add some lubrication as you wipe to minimize the risk of scratching the car.

    Clay Barring:

    1. When your car is dry, feel if the car is slippery, if it is, you don't need to clay bar your car. If it feels a bit rough and sounds like a sand paper when you rub your hand across the paint, it's full of contaminants and it's time to clay bar the car. Use plenty of lubrication when doing so, it will feel sticky first as you rub the clay on your car, but as it removes the contaminants, it will get slippery. That's how you know you are done in that section. Kneed your clay bar as you work from section to section so the contaminants it picked up are not on the surface of the clay. If you drop it, toss it. You only need a small amount of clay bar. If this is a new car, I suggest you clay bar it. The car sits at the dealer lot and full of contaminants.

    Polishing:

    1. Polishing is generally not needed on new car, but if you see fine line scratches or swirl marks, it's time to get that polisher. I suggest using a random orbit polisher. Almost all detailers use this kind of polisher to avoid burning through your paint. As far as the polish is concern, not all polish are the same. The same goes for the pads. I suggest start with the least aggressive pad and polisher first and see if you get the desired result. If not, move to the next level until you reach your desired result. Don't go too aggressive, if you do and burn through the paint, there is no going back.

    Sealing:

    1. Sealing your car is a necessary step whenever you polish the car. Don't get this mixed up with wax as they are different things. Sealers seals the newly polished paint/clear coat to prevent contaminants from getting to your paint. If you plan to do ceramic coating, you don't need a separate sealer as the ceramic coating seals the paint and creates a glass coat protection on your paint and clear coat.

    Wax:

    1. Waxing is your final step to give that gloss shine and adds a sacrificial layer protection for your car. Again, if you are doing ceramic coating, no need to apply wax.

    Ceramic Coating:

    1. This is probably the latest and greatest in car care. Ceramic coating comes in different forms. Some are organic and some are not. Organic doesn't last as long as the non-organic ones. They are also more expensive. Non-organic tends to last 5-7 years. Organic ones 3 months - a couple of years, but the main ingredient in ceramic coating is silicone dioxide (SiO2). There are a few advantage to ceramic coating. It gives that really glossy/mirror like finish on the car. It has the hydrophobic benefit so the water just beads off of the car. Surface dirts are easy to come off. However, even ceramic coating requires maintenance. Some requires recharging to keep it lasting longer. Just because you have ceramic coating, it doesn't mean you don't need to wash the car anymore. Frequent washing is still needed to keep your car looking great. Ceramic coating doesn't protect your car from rock chips. Paint protection film (PPF) does. You have to avoid using alkaline products because this breaks down the ceramic coating. That means, avoid car washes including touch-less and especially the ones that uses spinning brushes. The soap they use have heavy alkaline to break down dirt. Hand wash only. Ceramic coating still scratches, so washing care is still needed. Just because they say ceramic coating last for X years, doesn't mean it will without proper care.

    If maintaining a car sounds expensive....it is and is a lot of work, but if you love your car, it's all worth it in the end.
     
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  7. NickUK

    NickUK United Kingdom Member

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    Thanks guys, really appreciate the replies.

    Is it recommended to throw away the clay bar once it’s been used, or can it be kept for another time when it’s time to clay again? Are they one-use only?

    Can wax be used on the chrome elements of the stinger? (Mirrors, the strips on the roof, around the front grill/exhaust tips etc.)

    How often should the car be waxed? I’ve read that twice a year is suitable?

    Also, if you are re-waxing do you need to remove the previous layer of wax before reapplying, or do you just apply another thin coat of wax each time?

    Do you clay the windows/sunroof?

    Do you wax the windows/sunroof?

    thanks guys
     
  8. robz32

    robz32 United States 1000 Posts Club! Staff Member Moderator

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    Clay is like body soap, it will removed stuck on contaminants from the paint, that are not removed when doing a normal wash. Clay should only be done the paint feels rough to the touch. Clay does not remove scratches.

    Wax is a filler and will degrade over time, longevity is highly dependent on weather conditions (rainy, light rain) and frequency between car washes. Wax will not remove scratches it will only fill them and make the paint look good temporarily. Yes it can be used on the chrome parts of the stinger.

    If you really want to keep the paint looking good and (relatively) scratch free, you will need to first correct the paint (yes, even though it is brand new car, there are micro scratches on it from transportation and improper dealer washing techniques. This happens to any new car, not just KIA's). After the paint has been corrected apply a layer of PPF (paint protection film) on the area. To top it off you can also add a layer of ceramic coating on the PPF to make your washes a lot easier. This layer of ceramic coating will also need to be maintained, but it will be much harder to scratch than the clear coat on the paint.
     
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  9. SilverNitr8

    SilverNitr8 United States Active Member

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    What Rob said. As far as waxing is concern, twice a year is a recommended guideline, but as Rob said, wax degrades over time, and how quickly it degrades depend on a lot of factor like frequency of washing, environment, and driving conditions. If you really want to keep your paint looking good. Get a PPF to reduce the risk of paint chips from rocks hitting your front end. Then invest in ceramic coating. It will help make cleaning the car a bit easier.
     
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  10. AV8R

    AV8R Australia 2500 Posts Club! Staff Member Authorized Vendor Moderator

    The chemical guys V07 shampoo is good too. So is their Mr Pink shampoo. Citris is good to strip paint of all contaminants including wax.
     
  11. Stinger GT SS

    Stinger GT SS Australia 1000 Posts Club!

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    Nice write up & very informative....:thumbup:
     
  12. Revvdmedia

    Revvdmedia Canada Member

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    Here is my methods and reasoning:

    1. Wash - I use pressure washing to remove loose contaminants. I don't typically use foam but rather two buckets, each with a grit guard, one for soap/suds water and the other to rinse the microfiber mitt. Start from the top and work your way down. Only clean 1 panel at a time, rinsing the mitt after each panel before dipping in the rinse bucket.

    2. Iron decontamination - I spray on Iron-X by CarPro and let dwell per the instructions. I use a MF (microfiber) sponge to spread after spraying on. Rinse after recommended dwell time. This removes caked on iron contamination from brakes, rail dust, etc.

    3. Clay bar - this removes contaminants from the clear coat, both visible and unseen. You know it's clean when you run your hand over the area (make sure your hand is CLEAN) and it feels like perfectly smooth glass. Use a lubricant with clay which could simply be mixed car wash soap and water in a spray bottle. Only clay when the paint is rough as it is a potentially abrasive process and can introduce scratches. To your question about clay, you can use it more than once but use discretion based on how dirty it is - your rubbing the contaminated bar on your paint so use judgment. If you drop it, throw it out immediately.

    4. Polish/Compound - If you have scratches, you can polish or compound to remove. This can be done by hand but is arduous, a dual action polisher is highly recommended. There are different types of pads that are best used with different types of compounds and polishes. Follow a pad guide for what to use, but the methodology is that compound is more abrasive and removes more material quickly but leaves a less desirable finish. Polishing after compounding is less abrasive and reveals a more aesthetically pleasing finish. On a brand new car, compounding is almost never required, but a polish will remove dealer installed swirls and bring out a good finish in the paint.

    5. Wax/sealant/coating - There are natural and synthetic waxes, sealants and coatings. All perform a similar function of adding a sacrificial top coat that diminishes over time. Natural waxes only last a few months at best, synthetics usually last up to a year. Sealants often offer up to a year but don't always offer as much gloss as a wax. Coatings usually last a year or more but are easier to mess up when applying (leaves dark patches if not buffed properly) and lock in the condition of the car. Regardless of what you use, the idea of steps 1 through 4 is to get your paint to the best possible finish since waxes, sealants and coatings will top coat and lock in the condition your car was in. If you wax a dirty car, it stays dirty until the wax wears off. Ask me 13 years ago how I know that when I first started detailing.
     
  13. washguy

    washguy United States Active Member

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    Nick Heres what I can tell you after owning five carwashes since 1986....Never Ever Ever take your car to a carwash even a Touchless carwash..EVER ....now a good self serve that's busy and well taken care of...well yes you can use one....but don't use the foamy brush....so it all goes back to I guess doing it in your drive...although you wont have benefits of hot water or soft water depending where you are located....keep the psi at around 1200 with a 20 degree spray tip....and no chamois to pull off the water...that is scratch city.......theres a lifetime of stuff I could tell you but no EFFIN brushes no chamois.....and micro fiber all the way...as for waxing and polishing theres tons of info on that, and everyone has their own deal......my 2003 z06 was always washed at one of my self serves, and to this day she looks better than when she rolled off the showroom floor
    :) Wash
     
  14. NickUK

    NickUK United Kingdom Member

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    Thanks everyone, appreciate all the advice. Just bought a few things in my automotive shop and have a few items still to get.


    One thing I am wondering is whether I should wax the chrome elements of the Stinger? I assume this will be fine but wanted to check.


    Also, should I avoid waxing the integrated cameras at the front and back and also on the underside of the mirrors? I assume I should.
     
  15. robz32

    robz32 United States 1000 Posts Club! Staff Member Moderator

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    It is okay to wax the chrome. Waxing the camera it self and surrounding elements will not damage it, just make sure you remove the all the wax from them as any residue left will hinder visibility when in use.
     
  16. MerlintheMad

    MerlintheMad United States 2500 Posts Club!

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    I, am the "Monster", awakened aaagain. :D

    Lazy? No. OCD? Not hardly. OC? In a way: I don't like spending large portions of time on things that don't matter. To me a car is a beautiful thing, when it is intended to be. The Stinger is one without a doubt. Like the OP, my Stinger is my first really nice car, and I am quite OC about keeping her clean. But the real world says that no matter how much you try, imperfections will appear; swirls being by far the most common flaw; light scratches following; tiny nicks (mostly not through the paint or even clear coat); road debris will cause the more disturbing flaws, from nicks to gouges and even to the metal with dented body panels, etc.

    What is a solution over time? As many "OCD" car washing methods attest, every little flaw is noticed and leaped upon. Some are not correctable through any of the extreme methodologies already enumerated earlier in this thread (and on other like-threads). When a flaw is too big, the owner is either going to try to learn how to correct it, or take it to the professional detailers, or finally to a body shop. So none of these washing, protecting methods are proof, they are only temporary: something will need attending to sooner or later that expensive (time and money) car washing methods cannot correct.

    Meanwhile, the car gets dirty daily. How often will you wash your Stinger? Using this week as an example, on Monday I washed it late in the evening and went to bed. Tuesday it rained, so copiously in the evening on my way home that the earlier speckles were washed off entirely: Ma Nature "washed" my car a second time. Lovely! On Wednesday my car got speckled by sporadic rain again and I washed it in the evening and went to bed satisfied. Yesterday I went to the Uintas and met clouds at c. 10K feet, which did their thing all over my car. But serendipity was mine and the upper half and forward section looked pretty good: the lower sides and rear were grimy. I washed those down and retired, satisfied.

    That is a fair amount of car washing over four days! Do I use one of the four to half a dozen step methods shared on this thread? No, hell no! But I do have a method for washing often, as necessary, without risking damage. It is the simplest way that works best for me. I've used it for years. Does it prevent all swirls or exceedingly light scratches? Not over an extended time, no. But that's where the detailers can come into play if desired/necessary.

    I use 100% cotton terry cloth towels. These are not abrasive but they do not pick up water droplets with the same alacrity as microfiber. I haven't invested in microfiber because the terry cloth works efficiently enough and I am cheap. But some day.

    If the car is heavily soiled, wash off thoroughly with a hose and nozzle, to spray off the dirt/mud, etc. Once only surface grime remains, I fill a bucket with softened, straight hot water (hot enough to make you not want to put your bare hands in). Heavy duty "rubber" gloves during the entire wash (otherwise, the frequency of washing would vaporize my skin!).

    A sopping, dripping towel is taken from the bucket and plopped on the roof; work your way over the sunroof, windshield and rear window; trunk lid and roof behind the "moonroof" are last. The secret to being kind to the paint/clear coat is LOTS of water; it dissolves, and the towel picks up, the surface grime. A dry towel is taken over the glass, then the rest of the roof and trunk lid. Do not RUB! Only use a light touch and let the towel draw up the water so there are no drops left to dry.

    Second section is the rear, including the diffuser. Going around the tailpipes is a bit sticky but satisfying to poke the washing then drying towel in under the pipes and up around them where they emerge. I wipe out the inside lip of the pipes too. You don't have to be too careful with the chrome; it can be wiped down rather vigorously and it polishes up well.

    Third is the hood and front fenders and grill area. Sopping towel, LOTS of water. If necessary after doing the rear, fetch a fresh bucket of hot water; if you insist, you can renew the bucket for each section; but I often don't need more than the one bucket, because I am not cleaning dirt off, but only a thin layer of dust and possibly rain speckles, i.e. the car isn't filthy, so there is very little in the way of abrasive stuff and one bucket does the job most of the time. Just watch the water and if it starts to look grimy then change it out.

    The sides and side windows are done one after the other, wash down and then dry.

    I use as many towels as necessary to keep the drawing power of the drying towels up to speed; when the towel gets damp it gets replaced with a dry one. Again, no pressure, only lightly remove the moisture, letting the towel rest on the surface and move it deliberately, lightly around to fetch up all the water.

    The last stage is sopping down the rims and drying them; this is okay with a damp towel and I work both the wet and dry/damp towel into all the indents of the rims in a methodical manner. Each wheel takes c. three or four minutes max.

    Final step is to thoroughly launder the towels. I never use towels twice between launderings.

    Now, how long can I get away with this "trim" washing method? What I experienced with my van after I had it repainted, with no clear coat or wax over the enamel (yeah, a cheap Maaco job, looked really good, though), over a period of three years, and washing a lot less frequently than I do my Stinger, was that the paint looked good other than attrition not attributed to washing. Slowly the paint job got less than "perfect" and I lived with it: intending to get the whole thing repainted (properly in layered lacquer) in the not too distant future. That didn't happen, as it happens, because I bought a Stinger! :D

    My campaign going forward is to eventually take the Stinger to a detailer and get any swirls and light scratches taken out, clear coat it with ceramic, and continue washing as described, which should last me more years before I repeat the trip to the detailer to renew the ceramic, etc. At some point, probably sooner rather than later, I am going to get microfiber drying towels. I don't think that microfiber washing towels are necessary. Microfiber for drying towels has to be excellent in reducing the rubbing (no matter how lightly) to a nullity. A simple blotting motion will suffice to pull all water drops off.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  17. MisterMac

    MisterMac United States Active Member

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    Lots of good info in this thread. There are a lot of Chemical guys fans on here and while there is nothing wrong with their products, I have various favorites across a broad spectrum of manufactures/suppliers. Another great site for products and tutorials is: www.autogeekonline.net

    When you get to the website, check out the detailing how-tos and study.

    Then enjoy keeping your Stinger looking the best it can!
     
  18. MerlintheMad

    MerlintheMad United States 2500 Posts Club!

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    I got my first microfiber drying towel (2' x 3') and have used it in place of terry cloth for the last three washings. Yooge difference! Water leaching is dramatically better than terry cloth, which translates into less contact with the paint. I am stoked and plan on getting in more towels right away so that I can dry quickly without any concern over the microfiber getting too damp.
     
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