Detailing Experiences: share your tips or ask your questions...

protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
edited March 2014 in Mazda
Currently, Town Hall lacks a topic to discuss all aspects of auto detailing. I believe there is a wealth of knowledge among the Town Hall community. With interest rates for new car purchases at a all time low, many new car buyers are purchasing their first new automobile. Hopefully, many of these folks will participate in this discussion. The mission of this topic: "a civil place to discuss all aspects of interior and exterior auto detailing." I purchased two 2000 Mazda Protege's last year, and it has and will be my goal to keeping them show room "new". If if anyone has some pointers for me post away!



  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    I'll try to think of some things which work for me at TG FRIDAY'S (inside joke-good place to eat though) I know that I will learn a lot. Curious to hear if anyone has tried my Wesson Oil to bring back severely oxidized black vinyl trim!!
  • ed_swansfegered_swansfeger Member Posts: 45
    Autopia has some outstanding "how to do it right" topics concerning detailing. The proper tools are essential along with the product that works for your car's finish the best!

    Check out this site also:

  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    I had a really BAD experience this past summer, my dog jumped all over my brand new, at the time, 2001 Yukon XL and scratched it all up. I took it to a detail shop and they got 90% of the scratches out with rubbing compound, then they waxed it. Now I have swirl marks on the side of the truck, only on the side I had work done on. How can I get rid of the swirls?

    While I'm here I guess I will pose this question to you. How can I get rid of the rest of the scratches? I don't think they are beyond the clear coat because they disappear when it gets wet. Is color/wet sanding advisable? How hard is it to do? Should I just take it to a body shop for the repair?
  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    3m makes some stuff to remove swirl marks have heard good things about it.
  • pjyoungpjyoung Member Posts: 885
    I'd try the 3M stuff as recommended above and see what kind of results you get. If you're not satisfied with that, I'd take it to a pro if it were my vehicle. I'd be leery of doing anything myself that involved the word "sanding". I'd leave it up to the pros for that.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    I agree with P J, I think a good pro Detailer can handle bad swirl marks with a rotary buffer. The scratches might need a visit to a body shop?

  • mikegold_1966mikegold_1966 Member Posts: 138
    This product eliminates fine scratches and swirl marks with ease. It is more gentle than other formulations and it is ideal for quick touch-ups or reviving a car's entire finish. The next step would be to use Meguair's Medallion premium polymer polish and wax.

    A good body shop could also use a buffer and get rid of the scratches you are talking about. I would definitely try the Meguair's products first though!
  • kinleykinley Member Posts: 854
    Liquid Gold furniture polish does the trick. For removing black road tar, use service station Solvent. For cleaning brake dust off of wheels, use 1 part Dawn detergent to 10 parts water. Use same on black tires followed by STP high gloss silicone Tire Glaze. Wait until dry before driving. Solvent is used to remove grease on fabric floor mats. For flat black surfaces use the Wax Shop Bumper Black. Industrial 409 sprayed on the engine followed by a water rinse works. Vinegar/Water, one to ten, cleans windows. Westleys for white side walls. Meguiers Gold for the final coat of wax.
  • camryv6camryv6 Member Posts: 42
    Tommarow i have to detail someones Ford Exployer.The truck is about 1 1/2 years old. And they really didnt take care of it. What kind of wax would you guys use, alot of people say to use zymbol.And what brand no you guys use on the tires to make it shiny,i use (no touch). But i want something way more shiny then (no touch).And the persons truck i am detailng drives alot on unpaved roads and would like something that wont stik on the tires.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    The Scratches are deep enough that the detailer I took it to was afraid of "burning" the clear coat to try and get rid of them. I think they can be taken out because they disappear when I just get them wet. The scratches are from dog claws, much like the fingernail scratches near the car door handles, only a little deeper. Hopefully they can be taken care of at the body shop with a little finish wet sanding and polishing.

    I would like to find a GOOD detail shop, the one I went to used a rotary buffer to try to get rid of the scratches with minor improvements. They are also the ones who gave me the ugly swirls on the truck. The swirls are only on the side that the work was done on, so it really looks goofy in the sun. Ryanbab your truck and my YXL are the same color, Indigo Blue, color # 39, so you know how easy it is to see this type of problem.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Well, I like Stoners Tire Shine but it is not the high gloss shine you are looking for. none of them give a high gloss lasting shine (Armor ALL) does give the best shine but does not last long and supposedly not good for the tires. Endurance, dull shine, really none give the really wet look and I have found none that last beyond a few days.

    You need a cleaner wax or clay the Explorer before a good wax job can be applied. My personal favorites are # 26, Collinite (both carnubas) but last only 6-12 weeks and of course the Z product which for durability outdoes them all IMHO. I use them all but on my Toy well, sorry guys but the forbidden one gets the nod. Carnuba waxes on my cars just have no durability
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    It appears to be running with the Gold Medallion. My experience is that the two are very close. Please note--If the #26 turns out to run lower than my experiences, I will not rant/complain I can live with it.
  • camryv6camryv6 Member Posts: 42
    Is the zymol cleaner wax($12.88) a primer before putting wax on or is it just a reguler wax. And has any ever used this produt before.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    Zymol is rated very high by Consumer Reports. I paid for and used up a bottle of Zymol liquid wax, last year. Very nice shine. It was easy to apply and remove, however I was a little disappointed in it's durability. I thought after 3 or 4 weeks it beaded rain like poop. Scott, I really think there are other choices in that price range that do a better job.

  • rayfbairdrayfbaird Member Posts: 183
    cleaner waxes. The lower end Zymol fits in that area. Pretty good shine, doesn't last, especially if an automatic car wash is used.
  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    Oh man dog scracthes?

    This happened to me about a month after i got my truck :(

    Dog was in the bed and my mom came home he got excited and jumped over the side with his two front paws i had about a 2-3ft long scratch where he slipped and he paw went across the side.

    I used some zaino i think Z2 (the scratch one) and it removed the scratch and the smaller ones he left too.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    I pick up my neighbors 6 year old daughter and my son every Friday from Kindergarten. Today, I pull into their drive to drop the kid off. I opened the back door of my beloved Protege to let the little darlin out, and their huge dog jumps up on the side of my car. Then, the dog hops into the the front seat and starts jumping around inside my Mazda, yikes! The mom drags the mutt out of my vehicle and he jumps up on the front quarter panel, AGAIN!. I stayed cool, let out a nervous "haha" and said my good buys. I hurried home gave the old PRO-ES a quick wash and detail. RELIEF, no scratches. I park on the street from now on when returning their child!

  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    a bit of raw hamburger containing crushed lightbulb.
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    Comes in a 16 oz. spray plastic container. It appears to be a pretty good product.

    On another subject- Somehow I got millions of very fine white (paint??) flecks on the lower part of my vehicle on both sides. The only way to get them off appears to use fingernail and pick them off one at a time. At this rate we are talking more than my lifetime. Clay???
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    Clay is the answer. This is what the product was designed for.
  • bidandsellbidandsell Member Posts: 43
    What products or procedures do you recommend to remove them. They are small fine scratches and tiny pits. Thanks in advance.
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    New windshield is the only answer. Sorry.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    I wanted to MURDER the dog, after he scratched the hell out of my 2 week old truck! I now park in the drive in front of the gates and make the dog saving wife park on the street. My plan is to install a fence from the garage next to the my 2 car concrete slab up to the house to keep the mutt penned in and away from my truck. I guess kids or dogs either will cost a bunch of money one way or another.

    I will try the Zaino Z2 stuff and let you know how it goes. Is that stuff mail order only or can I find it in the stores?
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    You can find out a lot about Zaino here at Town Hall: Maintenance & Repair-

    Zaino Car Polishes/Products--Your Experiences (Part 2)

    jgmilberg, if the scratches are fairly deep, Zaino will not help. Gently run your fingernail over the scratch if your nail catches on the scratch, you will probably need professional help. Visit a good detailer and an auto body/collision center for opinions and repair estimates. However, if your nail slides over the scratch with out catching, you might be able to restore the paint on your truck yourself.

    "Who let the dogs out?...Who let the dogs out? Woof Woof Woof Woof...Who let the dogs out..."

  • pjyoungpjyoung Member Posts: 885
    Larry's right - if you can run your fingernail over the scratch and it catches - not much is going to help. If it doesn't, you might try that GS27 informercial stuff. It really does take out minor surface scratches, rather quickly I might add. Again, that's only if it's a minor surface scratch - anything deeper is going to take a pro.
  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    after i washed my truck i threw my dogg in the back of my truck GRRR he almost went over the side again. Lucky he just slobbered on the rear window

    On the other hand blue is a pain. My little brother punted a football off my truck twice yesterday one hit by the Z71 sticker which didnt do any damage and the other time it hit the tailgate which took off a little paint

    Game ended when that happened

  • bri66bri66 Member Posts: 220
    Today I washed my brand new Escape and used Gunk's Bug-N-Tar remover to remove tar on the front and rear plastic bumpers. The tar was stubborn so I used a scotch brite pad gently, but when the water had dried I can see exactly where I used the scotch brite pad because it left small scratches and dulled the plastic finish. Does anyone know if there is anything I can do to blend these marks out with? Also I am not to familiar with plastic cladding. Does anyone know what I can use in the future to remove tar and road splatters and what type of application I should use?

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    Test yourself: 5 out of 9 and your an enthusiast.
    7 out of 9 and your a zealot.
    9 out of 9 and your ultra-fanatic!

    * If you own a car cover.
    * If when you're done washing the car, you step back and admire your work.
    * If you daydream about driving.
    * If you apologize to people for your car being dirty.
    * If you have another car that you refer to as "the winter car".
    * If you carry a picture of your car.
    * If you wash and wax your car even if it doesn't need it.
    * If your car is cleaner than your house.
    * If you keep sneaking peeks of your car out the window.

    BTW, I stole this test! Ok lets be honest, how do we rate?

  • jnj91jnj91 Member Posts: 55
    You might try a mild product like Meguiers Scratch X, or a 3M product (Perfect it- for light or dark colored cars).

    As far as removing bugs and tar in the future, you should find some Clay Magic, or Mother's clay. (Meguiers not reccomended) An Auto Body supply store should have the 3M and the claybars.

  • bri66bri66 Member Posts: 220
    Thank you for the advice. I will let you know how it comes out.
  • merlionmerlion Member Posts: 39
    I saw a package of microfiber cloths (Linene & Things) selling for 9.99. It has 3 pieces (different sizes) in it. Anyone use them before ? good , bad for auto cleaning ?

    Also, can I apply Klasse on my auto when my local temperature is around 40's ? what is the ideal condition to apply these polymers ?
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    the best thing to remove tar quickly is Kleen Strip found at auto paint supply stores. It will however also remove any underlying wax.

    Turtle Wax tar remover is pretty good, but may take longer.

    I've had no problems with Meguiar's Clay, and it's cheaper than other brands by half. It does remove tar. Just did it on my Dad's car and it removed the tar well, However, it was murder on the clay. I would try other products first, then use it if there are still problems.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    I would like to try cleaning my engine. My Mazda Protege is almost two years old and the engine is starting to look a little dirty. Any suggestions?Which engine degreaser to use?

  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    I don't know how dirty your engine is. Go over it first with a dry paint brush to get rid of the dust. The only thing I use is paper towels dampened with windex. Just do this to start and the other stuff can be gotten off with - I think I used that Castrol degreaser. 409 works Good- I would use the mildest product you can get away with. Once it is clean just go over it weekly with damp windex towels. My 3 cars are so clean - I use mostly demineralized water in a spray bottle.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    Yea, that's the point. The engines in my PRO's are just starting to get bad looking. I always give them I quick wipe down with the damp towels left over from my hand washing, as a last step. Nonetheless, my detailing mission; as always, has been to keep my beloved 2000 Mazda's looking new. I'm afraid my vehicles need the full engine degreaser treatment. Now, I like your regime to maintain them, after I get them back in top box form.

  • teksolverteksolver Member Posts: 9
    Is there any good way to clean buttons and switches that have had soda (Coke) spilled in them? I have that problem with two vehicles: one with sticky switches in the console and one where soda was splashed on the dash in a wreck. Someone once suggested an inverted can of compressed air (spitting out liquid air), but I don't want to damage the plastic by feezing it.

    Any other ideas? thanks!
  • beethoven07beethoven07 Member Posts: 167
    Hi everyone.

    I started a new topic in "Maintenance and Repair" titled "The practices I will use to make my Camry go 1,000,000 miles". A large part of my plan involves good detailing.

    I have worked professionally as a detailer and I believe that detailing extends past every day aesthetics. I'm curious to hear tips either in my topic or this one as to detailing practices you use to extend vehicle longevity. Chassis detailing to prevent breakdown, etc.

    Any posts would be appreciated. Happy Detailing!
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    When the engine gets so bad and full of gunk have it done professionaly and steam cleaned, that's what many used car lots do, looks great, no water or liquid problem to deal with etc. Gets into spots that the most meticulous detailer cannot get with a brush and long handles etc.

    On sticky buttons, I use warm water and if that doesn't work, carb or brake cleaner. Sure, sounds harsh but has not damaged the plastic etc. as yet. Try in a spot underneath if you are concerned.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021

    Only thing I can think of is a complete disassembly of the console and hand-cleaning one by one. Gotta be careful with the electrics. If the soda coated the wiring and contacts, you have an even bigger problem. New switches and connectors might be in order.
  • blklexblklex Member Posts: 2
    Hi All-
    I am anxiously awaiting delivery of my 2002 Lexus LS430. It is Black Onyx. I want to keep this vehicle as shiny and clean as possible.
    Last time I waxed a car was about 12 years ago. Since then I haven't driven anything worth taking care of.
    I would appreciate any advice you can give me to keep this car looking great.
    Thank You,
  • kinleykinley Member Posts: 854
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    I use it twice a year before I apply glaze and then wax. Minimizes scratches, makes a deeper shine.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    James, there are several wax topics here at Edmunds' Town Hall, "Store Bought Waxes Part II (No Zaino Posts)" and "Zaino Car Polishes/Products--Your Experiences (Part 2)", find them and scroll back several hundred posts and enjoy some great tips. Also, here is a couple of links to some great sites for additional wax info.

    I suggest you protect your paint with either Klasse or Zaino polymer sealants and a weekly hand wash. Enjoy your new car!!!

  • blklexblklex Member Posts: 2
    You guys left me so much to read my head is spinning.
    A co-worker who is a car nut swears by Turtle Wax Extreme. Says it cleans, leaves a great shine and lasts a long time. His Black Mercedes always looks good.
    I am curious about that Zaino stuff though. I can't believe there is a topic devoted to a single product.
    Thanks Again,
  • xwrayxwray Member Posts: 60
    I'm wondering if anyone has a pet product they use to keep aluminum components from oxidizing with the white powdery crud that forms if unprotected. Hopefully, it would not be an oily substance so as not to attract dust and dirt...any ideas?
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    I like Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish. I have tried a bunch- this is the best product of the ones I've tried. There may be better out there though. To test for clear coat...Try a small area that is not noticable and use a tiny bit of the product. If it does not get black you can't use this product. Many wheels are clearcoated.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    The Mother's stuff has been long proven as one of the best aluminum polishes available. There are others that are as good but I can't think of one better. And it's easy to find; I saw it yesterday at WalMart.

    But it does depend on what aluminum component you are polishing/protecting. As adc100 said, most factory alloy wheels are clearcoated, just like the paint. So the proper method of caring for them is exactly the same as caring for your paint.

    If we're talking about running boards, tool boxes, luggage racks, or trim along the pickup bed, Mother's may work well but a small test should be done to make sure. Adc's suggestion is the easiest way to determine if the part is clearcoated.

    Finally, the "white powdery crud"..... do you live in an area where road salt is used? If so, that crud is salt corrosion and needs to be removed regularly if you want the parts to look their best. You didn't provide an example of the parts you want protected so I can only guess as to what you're referring to.

    Hope all this helps.
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