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Old 11-28-2005, 15:59   #1
sjfrellc
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Protecting a new car finish, How often to wax

Please help me with advice on keeping the finish on my black Lexus LS430 nice for the 3 year lease. It's 5 months old and winter slush just hit in Michigan.

Obviously the black clear coat is a tough one to keep clean in good weather but might as well give up with road salt slush this week.

My main question is should I take it to a car detailing place to have swirls taken out of the clear coat and waxed now or wait until spring? I can't really do it myself in winter weather. How often should it be waxed?

I had very few oxidation water marks on it with very few clear coat swirls. I pretty much washed it by hand weekly with the Mr. Clean soap and deionizer. I treated the hood, trunk and left side of the car last month first with Mequires Scratch X for the oxidized water spots and then Meguire's gold class wax.
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Old 12-03-2005, 14:46   #2
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It doesn't sound like you keep it in a garage? If you have a garage it obviously makes life a lot easier if not find someone that has a garage you can use once in the winter to wax your car. Every 2 months is a good rule.

Alot depends on how much work you want to put into it. There are good one-step products that do an okay job at cleaning the clear coat, getting rid of the oxidation and providing some protection. These would be know as "cleaner waxes", Mothers and Meguiars both have good examples of these. Also you can use some of the silicone or polymer waxes that will hold up a little better/longer but usually don't clean the paint much.

Contrary to popular belief there is no secret to keeping you car looking good. Wash it often, wax it often and it will look better than most. Buy a good book on detailing and learn all the little tricks to keep it looking good for years. Nothing has really changed in years. A great book is Ultimate Auto Detailing. It really just comes down to this;

Clean the paint.
Polish the paint.
Protect the paint.

Good luck, black cars are a pain. ;f
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Old 12-04-2005, 08:39   #3
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Head over to www.autopia.org and read those forums. It'll be a huge help to ya. They review all kinds of tools and products and there are a lot of good people over there. My opinion is that 3 months is a good interval for waxing. Some Lexus cars came with single stage paint (my Mom's has it) so it will mar a little easier than a Basecoat/Clearcoat paint job. Good luck, and nice car!
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Old 12-04-2005, 17:43   #4
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www.zainostore.com

Wash with dish soap, then clay bar and apply two coats of polish in the spring. Do another coat of polish at the end of the summer. Repeat clay bar and polish in the spring if needed.

BTW, only use dish soap when you plan on doing a clay bar treatment.
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Old 12-04-2005, 18:01   #5
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Thanks Mstarmer. I think I'll have the dealer hand wax it at my 5,000 mile service this week. I keep it in the garage.

Were you suggesting that I wax it in the garage?. Does the temperature in the garage matter. My thoughts are that I can't clean it well enough in the winter in order to then wax it. Also my hands might freeze at 25 degree weather.
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Old 12-04-2005, 19:08   #6
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Menzerna is the best. I have not waxed since March. I did today because I was bored out of my mind.

The sealant was still beading tight, slickness was somewhat gone, but the protection was there.

Menzerna is the absolute best that I have EVER used. It's gaining popularity among the professionals very very quickly. It's quite pricey but welllllll worth it.

A 12oz bottle I've done 13 cars and have 1/4 bottle left. A very little amount goes a LONG way.
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Old 12-04-2005, 19:21   #7
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Forgot to mention with it being black/dark color.

Both my vehicles are dark. The wife's car is black, and the truck is carbon metallic.

When you wash ONLY for the love of God use a sheepskin washmitt. If you don't you'll get micromarring and swirls from hell.

Use the 3 bucket method. 1 bucket for the soapy water, 1 bucket for rinse, 1 bucket for 2nd rinse, then (i do this) get a milk crate, flip it upside down and then put the mitt on top of that. Hose off the mitt very very very good. This will get rid of any dirt/sand left behind from the 2 rinse buckets.

When you dry, use waffle weave towels ONLY and nothing else. You'll get marring and lots of swirls. Wash these towels by themselves. NO fabric softener, and dry on low heat wtih no dryer sheets. Wash after each use. You can get them at http://www.properautocare.com/biglitblutow.html Big blue is the best WW I have used. I can dry the truck with two of these towels.

Washing, work your way from the top down. Roof first, rinse, hood, rinse, trunk, rinse, top half of doors, rinse, loewr half of doors, rinse.

I clean the wheels, tires and wheel wells with a sponge, NOT your mitt.

When you glaze, polish, wax/seal always remove with a microfiber cloth and NOTHING less. Wash these seperate from everything else as well.


When I store all my towels, I keep them in a cabinet seperate from anything else, sealed in large ziplock baggies so that dust/dirt can't get anywhere when not in use.

www.autopia.org

feel free to PM me for some advice/help.
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:51   #8
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Another good place for products is http://www.griotsgarage.com/index.jsp

There are tons of good products out there. Most of the stuff you find at the retail stores like Walmart or Autozone etc, are somewhat lacking. The best stuff has to be bought online unless you can find a specialty place near you.

Some good stuff is P21S, Zaino, Klasse, Zymol etc. Don't be discouraged by the high prices, these products go a long ways.

Yes temperature does matter. I usually try to do more intensive cleaning in the summer when it's warmer. I'll do the multi-stage polish/wax. In the winter I'll skimp and use a one-stage cleaner wax just for my own piece of mind. I'll usually run a heater in the garage while I'm doing it or it takes forever to get it to dry.

Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2005, 06:13   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by sjfrellc
Thanks Mstarmer. I think I'll have the dealer hand wax it at my 5,000 mile service this week. I keep it in the garage.

There is no way in hell I'd trust a dealer to hand wax and keep his wheel off of it. You are better off finding a detailing shop that you can trust.
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Old 12-05-2005, 09:40   #10
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WOAH I didn't see that.

Don't let the dealer touch it. Would you really want some crack head thats making $6/hr to wheel your 50,000$ car? nooooooooo
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Old 12-05-2005, 11:53   #11
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Thanks for the heads up. I'm certainly new to auto detailing because for the past 15 years I've leased for two year increments and currently only going to live with this black beauty for three years.

Makes sense to keep the crack heads off the car. A "hand" wax at the Lexus dealer before winter seemed better than doing nothing.

I have a detail place near me. How do I check out if they will do well?
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Old 12-05-2005, 12:00   #12
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Go down and visit the facility, ask what they use for polish and what the process is. If they mention using a buffer, bid them good day and walk out the door. If they make no mention of it, ask them if they hand wax or use a wheel. Ask to see another dark car they have done, look for small scratches, etc.

Honestly, Zaino is easy to do. Do you have access to a heated garage at all? It won't take long to do after the car wash.
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Old 12-05-2005, 12:39   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by 45acp4me
Go down and visit the facility, ask what they use for polish and what the process is. If they mention using a buffer, bid them good day and walk out the door.
;z ;z ;z ;z

I take it you never seen a guy that can use a buffer. When I was a the dealership 4 out of 7 guys did awesome work. The other guys I let use the wholesale cars to train them on
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Old 12-05-2005, 12:55   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by streeter69
;z ;z ;z ;z

I take it you never seen a guy that can use a buffer. When I was a the dealership 4 out of 7 guys did awesome work. The other guys I let use the wholesale cars to train them on
4 out of 7 results in a near 50% **** up rate, my car nor the thread starters is worth the gamble.
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Old 12-05-2005, 13:45   #15
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Like, I said, I trained them on wholesale cars;e

I myself learned the hard way:( I like ProDetail supply. They have a carnuba that last for months. Hell they even have a wax that leaves a nice minty smell for a few days;Q

I have yet to find synthetic wax that is worth a damn.
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