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Discussion Starter #1
Not me, the car of course.

I bought the 2012 auto in May. Overall the body is in great shape; a few scratches, no dings. After a wash I run my fingers over various panels and it feels very smooth. I do want it to shine to the max (the color is neither dark or light, but a very nice blue/silver)

I had not planned to clay it after washing. I had planned to polish it with Meguiars Ultimate Polish with a Porter Cable 7424, then 2 coasts of Klasse gloss/sealant by hand. Is this too little/too much?

Thanks in advance.

Chris
 

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Super Moderator/Florida Event Coordinator
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Is there a reason you don't want to clay bar it?

I used to wash, polish and wax but it never looked as good as when I clayed it, polished and then waxed. The clay pulled up the ground in dirt and residue that the polishing just doesn't get.

Also, I've never seen the paint look as good, it added 'depth' to the color.

Claying is easy and well worth it!

Putting two to three coats of polish/wax on the car may be overkill. Sometimes more is not better.

9021Jae is a detail expert, you might want to send him a PM.
 

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Me too.. I want to know what you have against claying...

It is amazing the difference it makes...

Come on then Chris..... you must have a good reason.. so, do tell...:x
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Me too.. I want to know what you have against claying...

It is amazing the difference it makes...

Come on then Chris..... you must have a good reason.. so, do tell...:x
When I was young, a can of Play-Doh fell on my head. Ever since then I have been afraid of clay.

Humor aside, I keep hearing how if you run your fingers across the panels and you feel roughness you need claying, But I also read how brand new cars get clayed and it does wonders. Trying to gauge when I actually need it. Sound like every time I expect to do a major exterior detail.

Thanks all.
 

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Yep...clay the car every time you do a major detail. In Jeff's case, that's about every twelve hours or so, I think...>:D
For the rest of us, a couple of times a year depending on whether or not the car stays garaged a lot. Clay really works wonders. Sunhilde looked rather sad and drab when she arrived from California in the winter of 2014, after a 500 mile trip atop an open transporter. Two wash & clay sessions later, followed by a paint prep session to remove old waxes and other materials, a light polish and then wax application shined her right up. I used Griot's Garage products for the whole process, which guaranteed chemical compatibility between the various materials.
 

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Must admit, it's not me who does the hard work on our cars..

Anyway.. Clive mentioned he must get a new clay bar.. what's that, says I..and he went on to explain how it would deep-clean..

Well, I pooh poohed that idea..just couldn't believe it would work... so he decided to teach me a lesson ..:wink: He clayed one half of the bonnet on my old Ondine.. and left the other untouched. Then I was invited to do the finger-test... wow... what a difference :grin:

Swiftly running my hands over the rest of the car, convinced me that he needed to do the whole thing... :laugh:

So, now I can confirm that the magical clay bar does make a difference...wow...and that was before he polished and waxed...

But, as previously stated, how often.. depends on the individual car...

our SLK has not needed that treatment yet.....just good wash, polish and waxing..seems to be sufficient at the moment.... but I am keeping my eye on it..can't let Clive be idle for too long...>:D
 

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Love this stuff!! :smile:

SM Arnold Speedy Surface Prep Towel works fast and achieves professional results with the advanced polymerized rubber technology, the next generation of surface preparation. Speedy Surface Prep Towel quickly, easily and safely removes paint over-spray, rail dust, brake dust, industrial pollution and other bonded surface contaminants from the surface of automotive paint, glass, moldings and plastic. Speedy Surface Prep Towel works great with your favorite showroom prep or clay lubricant product. The Speedy Surface Prep Towel is easily cleaned by simply rinsing off the accumulated contaminants with water. If you drop the Speedy Surface Prep Towel on the ground, no worries, just rinse the towel with water and you're ready to keep using it. Plus, the Speedy Surface Prep Towel does not require constant shaping and reshaping. Measures 12" x 12".

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Love this stuff!! :smile:

SM Arnold Speedy Surface Prep Towel ....... does not require constant shaping and reshaping. Measures 12" x 12".

Well, that went on my Amazon Wish List! Any particular grade recommended?
 

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There is nothing more satisfying than claying gritty paint and feeling how glass smooth it is afterwards. Depending on how serious you want to get or how easy to maintain you want it will depend on how you 'detail' it.

For me, easy maintenance is more important. So the first time detail would be:

Snow foam with a degreaser/APC mixed in
Clean all shuts and hard to reach places with small brush (i.e badges, shut lines, rubber)
Rinse
2 bucket hand wash
Rinse
Clay using medium clay bar (or aggressive if it's really bad, although this will leave marring)
Liberal spraying of IronX or similar
Rinse
Check each panel for tar, remove using specific product
Rinse
Machine polish with Megs MF cutting pads and correction fluid (amazing product for the home detailer) with a DA polisher
Wipe down with IPA
2 coats of sealant, I use Menzerna Power Lock (leave for 20mins to cure between each coat), can be machine applied with a Megs MF polishing pad
2 coats of wax. I use Megs MF finishing wax applied with the DA again.


The wax will be first stage protection, the sealant will be second stage. The above stages can also be applied to the alloys to make removing brake dust so much easier.

For windscreen glass you can do all the steps but do NOT wax. You can replace the sealant with a glass specific sealant like RainX.

That's what I do anyway :D, everyone is different. Obviously the first detail will take time, maintenance washes after will much quicker. If it's just dusty and a few bug splatters, you can wipe down with a quick detailer and have the shine back again. For a dirty car, a maintenance wash should be, snow foam (no degreaser or APC), light hand wash, dry with quick detailer and maybe a single coat of wax to top up. The paint is protected underneath by the sealant.
 

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wash, clay and wax.


As your car is still fairly new I would skip the polish as I don't think the brightness of the paint needs rejuvenating yet.
 

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Snow foam, rinse, wash, rinse, clay, wash, rinse, dry, seal, wax, treat rubber black trim, treat leather seats.................. Go out for a drive in the sunshine..... That was the story of my SLK's Saturday.....


Next weekend, wheels off to give a proper clean and seal, refurb (paint) the calipers while wheels are off..


Will do this twice a year (the waxing etc, not the going out for a drive...)..... finish off with detail spray between waxes..
 

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