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Rambo

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anyone detail their own car? recommend any products? ive been going down the auto detailing rabbit hole online and man, these people are worse than the clothing snobs.
 

Monkeyface

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anyone detail their own car? recommend any products? ive been going down the auto detailing rabbit hole online and man, these people are worse than the clothing snobs.
If you really care just get a paint correction + ceramic coating. Will set you back $800-$2000 depending on the size of the car and quality, but you’ll never have to detail your car again, and it lasts 5+ years.

Not sure why you’d do it for a Honda Civic though. Maybe if you had a nice/expensive car.
 

Rambo

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If you really care just get a paint correction + ceramic coating. Will set you back $800-$2000 depending on the size of the car and quality, but you’ll never have to detail your car again, and it lasts 5+ years.

Not sure why you’d do it for a Honda Civic though. Maybe if you had a nice/expensive car.
I’m talking about washing the car regularly you dope.
 

Monkeyface

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I’m talking about washing the car regularly you dope.
Yeah, it might be cheaper. $800 over the life of the car vs the time/money you spend on washing and waxing it. With a ceramic coat you can just pour some water over it and it’ll be pretty much spotless.
 

doghouse

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anyone detail their own car? recommend any products? ive been going down the auto detailing rabbit hole online and man, these people are worse than the clothing snobs.
I have for years. I'd ask specific questions you are wondering about, otherwise you'll just go in circles. There is a lot of awful information out there. Very, very few actually knowledgeable guys.

There's a lot of chemistry and such involved, you really have to know what works on what.
 

Rambo

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I have for years. I'd ask specific questions you are wondering about, otherwise you'll just go in circles. There is a lot of awful information out there. Very, very few actually knowledgeable guys.

There's a lot of chemistry and such involved, you really have to know what works on what.
For a start what products you use including tools and towels. Even something like microfiber towels is a god damn minefield.
 

Monkeyface

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So why don't more luxury cars come with ceramic coats?
I’ve thought about that too, it doesn’t make sense. The only reason I’m thinking is that you need to replace the ceramic coat every few years, while a the normal paint coat can last 30+ years, so it would increase the cost of ownership. The higher gloss ones don’t last as long either.

But, the results are super positive. Cars look spotless for much longer. Rain just falls off. Break dust doesn’t stick as much. Glowing reviews online everywhere. No need to wax your car anymore. I’m not seeing any downside except for the cost.
 

güero

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So why don't more luxury cars come with ceramic coats?
At least Mercedes has been offering it forever (>10yrs), iirc its the colors with a capital c before the number and it does not cost too much. Pretty sure you can get it from every "luxury" OEM, probably even standard if you get one of the bigger packages or choose one of the special colors. Supposedly "ceramic" coats help with scratch resistance as well. Ceramic not necessarily the best, there are all kinds of "nano-type" paint improvements.

Imho easiest to have the car picked up and cleaned for half a day every once in a while. Especially for the inside, which I think is very tedious to do thoroughly.
 

doghouse

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For a start what products you use including tools and towels. Even something like microfiber towels is a god damn minefield.
Towels are difficult because only a handful of factories actually make them to various specs, so trying to get them off Amazon is a total crap shoot. Autogeek is actually based somewhere down your way, and that's where I get most of my finish towels from. Generally speaking, the towels for cleaning jambs and stuff can be whatever, and your finish towels have to be nice, ie. the ones for glass, interior finishing, drying etc... The stuff autogeek sells is good.

I’ve thought about that too, it doesn’t make sense. The only reason I’m thinking is that you need to replace the ceramic coat every few years, while a the normal paint coat can last 30+ years, so it would increase the cost of ownership. The higher gloss ones don’t last as long either.

But, the results are super positive. Cars look spotless for much longer. Rain just falls off. Break dust doesn’t stick as much. Glowing reviews online everywhere. No need to wax your car anymore. I’m not seeing any downside except for the cost.
Dude, I've got two giant boats covered in the stuff, it's no real mystery. Dirt doesn't just "fall" off, you have to wipe it down as you would any other finish. It's just a really hard polymer that is too difficult for the average enthusiast to do on their own, hence the silly price mark up. Klasse acrylic lasts the better part of a year and you can put it on at home.

Ceramic not necessarily the best, there are all kinds of "nano-type" paint improvements.
Precisely. These are all just trade names for essentially the same product.

Imho easiest to have the car picked up and cleaned for half a day every once in a while. Especially for the inside, which I think is very tedious to do thoroughly.
Depends on whether you enjoy it or not. I used to love to hang out and detail the car. But then I got a family and a business and have fuckall time. I will probably start keeping up my new car again. I let my last one slide toward the end and had the local detail dude clean it every couple weeks or so, but they aren't nearly as good as I am so I might take it back over until the vehicle starts getting a little aged.
 

doghouse

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doghouse doghouse what products do you recommend?
For what in particular? This is what I mean when I was asking you to define specific questions, because there are so many products for very particular things it could go on and on.

Car wash? Tire cleaner? Rim Cleaner? Interior protection? Leather? Brushes? Glass?

If you want to start with your car, what sort of interior materials is it made with? Fabric seats?
 

Rambo

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For what in particular? This is what I mean when I was asking you to define specific questions, because there are so many products for very particular things it could go on and on.

Car wash? Tire cleaner? Rim Cleaner? Interior protection? Leather? Brushes? Glass?

If you want to start with your car, what sort of interior materials is it made with? Fabric seats?
I want you to list everything. I’m starting from scratch
 

Rambo

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Alright, let me rephrase. You have Camry or something right? Is your interior fabric? Trying to eliminate products like leather care. Are your rims steel w/ hubcaps?
Ah this is clearer. Camry and he new civic. Rims on both. Leather and fabric, one on each car. I have lexol so that would suffice for the leather. Mostly looking for exterior cleaning and care. I have hard well water in the sprinklers and it’s constantly getting spots. Plus the local car wash place is fucking awful.

I saw a lot of good reviews for some 303 spray on the interior vinyl and and Collinite 845 wax.
 

doghouse

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Ah this is clearer. Camry and he new civic. Rims on both. Leather and fabric, one on each car. I have lexol so that would suffice for the leather. Mostly looking for exterior cleaning and care. I have hard well water in the sprinklers and it’s constantly getting spots. Plus the local car wash place is fucking awful.

I saw a lot of good reviews for some 303 spray on the interior vinyl and and Collinite 845 wax.
You are going the right way. If I had to recommend one product ever, it would be 303. For the exterior if you didn't do anything else, I'd use Klasse All in One. It is an acrylic that lasts about 6 months. I usually put a layer of Klasse down and then a couple layers of Carnuba was for depth, but that is probably more than you need to mess with.

I will put a list together of things to start. Right now I'm actually unpacking some fresh goodies.

1510001415861220042209.jpg
 

Rambo

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How are those chemical guy products? There are a ton of shitty reviews on Amazon about quality control issues with their mitts and towels.
 

doghouse

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How are those chemical guy products? There are a ton of shitty reviews on Amazon about quality control issues with their mitts and towels.
Their towels are garbo. The mitts are whatever, mitts are somewhat disposable because you can only use them so long before they degrade.
 

doghouse

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Alright Rambo Rambo , here is the basic kit. I'm going to start with the most important/versatile, and then go into more specialized stuff since I'm not sure what your budget is. I'm gonna link mostly to Autogeek as they are solid on quality and a one stop shop. You can peruse Amazon for the same stuff, but I'd be careful on towels and such as I mentioned earlier. If you go to AutoZone or some shit, a hex be upon you.

Buckets, just go to Lowes or Home Depot. The important part is they are clean. I'm sure you've seen all about the two bucket method given your research so far.

Wash mitt, something microfiber, anything Autogeek sells is ok.

Soap, similar, most major brands are good. I buy Meguiars or something similar. Don't use dish soap, and never fucking use wash and wax combos. You can also get RV or boat soap from West Marine or the like, it's good gentle stuff.

Technique is more important than all the other stuff above. Use two buckets. Don't wash dirt upwards. Just follow the basics to keep from wearing out the finish.

The Speedmaster wheel brush is the best I've found by far, trying to buy a generic one or just some random brushes that says it's designed for wheels is perilous.

For the glass, there is only one. Invisible Glass. Get it at Lowes. Everything else is fucking awful. I'd get a few of the glass specific microfibers, they have a little waffle weave.

I'll talk later about techniques for dealing with hard water and spotting. For now, makes sure you have two nice drying towels. I like this drying towel but if it's too expensive there's also your basic XL towels which are good too. I'm not a fan of waffle weave drying towels as they aren't as soft and I worry about the finish.

For the interior, if you are set on Lexol for leather, then that's cool, good product. I like the Leather Masters line of cleaners and conditioners myself.

For light cleaning and protecting, Nextzett (formerly Einzett) makes the outright best product ever, Cockpit Premium. It's a non static, non tacky cleaner that is the only thing I've ever found that really works on modern matte plastic.

A detail brush is key, these boars brushes can keep every nook and cranny fairly clean.

As we've already discussed, 303 is a good product, I like it on a vinyl dash every few months for UV protection.

This is the basic setup. I will go over some more specialty products and techniques in the next post.
 

doghouse

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The next step is sealing the exterior. I won't go into paint correction here, that's a whole subject unto itself.

The most used friendly product I've found is Klasse AIO. It's literally wipe on/wipe off. It lasts longer than wax and can be used in conjunction with wax or the Klasse Sealant, which gives an extremely durable finish, almost a year depending on how you take care of it. Apply with a fine weave microfiber cloth.

You can add a Carnuba over top of the Klasse if you want for deeper shine. This works best on darker paints just fyi. I love Dodo Juice products. Use a typical microfiber hand applicator pad for this.

For a dedicated wheel cleaner, Nextzett Colortec is the jam. It's specifically made to target carbon, and actually turns purple when it touches it, so it lets you know when it's all been removed. Can use on any wheel, even painted. Here's a pic from today.

20171106_161526.jpg




On the wheels, I recommend Klasse AIO with two coats of Klasse Sealant. Will keep brake dust from sticking. Do not use a Carnuba wax as the temps will melt it. There are other wheel specifics waxes if you are inclined to research but I think Klasse is the way to go and you can use it all over the car.

Griots Garage tire cleaner is good stuff, but honestly, any citrus based spray will work. Can buy whatever bottle of orange stuff from Lowes if you want to save a little money. Griots also makes a rubber prep to that really strips the tire to bare rubber after cleaning. Not really a necessary step, I tend to use it when I'm restoring vintage hoses and shit. Do not finish the tires with some sticky ass tire shine. 303 rubbed in every now and then keeps natural looking rubber.

303s other main use is exterior vinyl and plastic. Just wipe down with microfiber. I have some restoration tips for weathered stuff I cam get into at some other point if you want.


If you have any chrome like exhaust tips, P21s is your ticket. Works well on aluminum too.

I'll get to the interior tomorrow.
 

doghouse

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Doesn’t the 303 clean vinyl as well? Why a separate vinyl/interior “cleaner” product?
It's wipes dust and grime off at best. You can use it alone, but I wouldn't recommend it on the general interior as it leaves a slight tack, you want a non stick, non static product.
 
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