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Cadillac CTS/CTS-V



  • thebugthebug Posts: 294
    The chrome wheels are very nice, adds a nice touch to the CTS. And you're right, they do look like they came with the car. Very tasteful IMO. I too am having a hard time finding a set of nice wheels for my CTS. These I like, and would purchase them as well. Where did you get them, and how much were they?

    On the chrome tips, I solved that problem in the early months after I picked up my CTS. I had the dual exhaust system installed ($1100). The chrome tips look pretty nice. I get a lot of compliments on how nice they look and how nice they sound. They purr. IMO, money well spent.

    Boy this thread has really grown. I've been away for a while. Welcome to all the new CTS owners, I hope you enjoy yours as much as I'm enjoying mine. The CTS rocks.

  • sonjaabsonjaab Posts: 1,057
    Heading for Vegas tomorrow ! Will be staying and playing at Binions (comp)! Shoot me a e-mail. We can have a drink and a laugh!
    Best thing NO woman or Kids this trip.......geo
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    A little unrelated but SpeedTV will have a "SRX Drive" show Friday night at 8:30pm.
    This is a show where Tommy Kendall and another driver blast 2 of the showcase vehicles around a race course.
    It should be fun.
  • thebugthebug Posts: 294
    Sonja, at the office at the moment, but will shoot you an e-mail as soon as I get home. Get off at 8AM. You're coming at a good time, the weather is cooling to the mid to upper 90's. Best time of the year. I'll drop my number in the e-mail give me a call when you get in.

  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    For August.
    4,278 Sold!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    In the business news this morning they reported CTS sales were up 23% in Canada.

    Cadillac was offering 1.9% for 48 months on the 03s which probably helped.
  • Use the cleaner product first. That will strip any of the previous wax off the car, leaving you just the clearcoat. That will allow the the ScratchX product access to the clearcoat. Most microfine scratches are actually damage to the clearcoat paint layer, which ScratchX is designed to fix with a very mild abrasive. If ScratchX doesn't fix it, it means that the dasmage is deeper into the paint itself, and needs to be handled by a professional with an orbital buffer. Do not try using an orbital buffer yourself unless you know exactly what you are doing; you could cause even more damage. Your best bet is to use an applicator and follow with an approved microfiber or 100% terry cloth towel.

    At this point, you are ready for the wax. I still think you need a more serious wax product that the Eagle, especially if you are going to bother using the cleaner. Both Meguires and Mothers sells combination wax/polish products that combine the seperate steps you'd normally have to do if you don't want to spend that much time on this. You can buy their seperate polish (step 2) and wax (step 3) products if you want best results. I'd only use the Eagle product for touchups after you wash the car in upcoming weeks.
  • necrosnecros Posts: 127
    My friend is driving both the XLR and SRX on Friday morning. Rrrr...jealous...
  • cu95cu95 Posts: 96
    Sevenfeet0, I bought Meguiars Cleaner Wax and planning to use it for the waxing step (my impression was that this is Meguiars basic, tried and true wax). My pattern for this first waxing was going to be: wash (and use a little bug and tar remover for stubborn goo), dry, apply and remove ScratchX, apply and remove Cleaner Wax, final wipe down. Thereafter I'd skip using the ScratchX unless swirls still evident and just use the Cleaner Wax for subsequent waxings (every other month?) and use the Wax As U Dry in between when drying after simple washes with no formal waxing. Should I use the Cleaner Wax before and after the ScratchX step? And everything will be by hand (except I might use a dinky Black-n-Decker rotating scrubber if I have any trouble with brake dust on the wheels). I appreciate all the help (somewhat embarassing that I've never taken the time before now to do a proper waxing of one of my cars, guess this is an indication of how much I like the CTS.)
  • I have some Eagle one wax with polish. It is a polmer of some sort that works with water to form a wax like finish. It is much longer lasting than carnuba wax. I sort of think the wax as you dry is a similar formula, but I'm not sure. Unfortunately, I have not seen any of the stuff that I am currently using on the store shelves any more.
  • Seems like the program is extended again, till the end of the month. What do you guys think about this? Good or Bad for GM?
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    Sorry if someone has already mentioned this as I have not read over all the posts. Looks like Corsa now offers a cat-back system for the CTS. Very cool. I have the Corsa system on my Aurora (STS system) and can't say enough good things about it. It sounds incredible, looks great, and performs. Their systems are literally straight through - like having straight pipe. But they are not loud due to the reflective sound technology. Of course it's not vault quiet, but the sound is the best. Totally quiet at highway cruising - any speed. Really.

    Anyway, check it out at
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Posts: 535
    Ha . A pro is someone who has had 3 min of instruction and the finesse of an adolescent . Be very careful letting any " PRO " buff your paint. The most skilled guys of a large outfit dont do the buffing .
  • need to even consider the CTS-v wheels; they won't fit your car. As I said, I've looked for wheels for close to a year and you can bet that I considered purchasing CTS-v wheels before I realized they are a 6 lug wheel as opposed to the regular CTS's 5 lug configuration. Also, believe it or not I'm actually not a huge fan of chrome either and might not have chosen it if I could have found a 18"x8" 7 spoke wheel that looked nice and fit the CTS that WASN'T chrome (like the CTS-v wheel for instance). Still, now that I have the chrome the look is kind-of growing on me and it's sort of fun driving around in the blingmobile.

    As for the rain you obviously don't know the rules of nature when it comes to black cars. It never rains when you're driving around in a filthy dirty black car but the minute you wash it you can be assured it will rain THE NEXT DAY!

    thebug: I'd love to be able to go the dual exhaust route but unfortuneately I've spent my budget on the wheels. I'd be happy to find a new single stainless muffler/tip combo for my CTS but so far no luck...
  • garnesgarnes Posts: 950
    The orbital buffers are really safe. My car is black and I've buffed the hell out if it with an orbital buffer with absolutely never a swirl or scratch. In fact, with Meguires No. 7 and some good pressure with the orbital and the terry cotton bonnet, you can literally "smooth out" the clear coat and remove some pretty good scratches. Meguires No. 9 has more bite and will remove the scratch easier but my leave things a bit swirly. You have to go slow and check to make sure something did not get into the bonnet. After doing a spot - wipe it clean to check.

    If the surface is not perfectly clean and you don't protect the bonnet 100% while working, yes you can do some terrible damage. But going slow, careful and clean I've always had excellent results.

    A high speed rotary buffer - now that's a potentially dangerous animal. You can burn right through the paint with that. I don't mess with that.

    Scratch X is great for removing stains and bonded droplets of mystery crap that won't come off. It's got some good chemical cleaners. But for really removing scratches you can safely remove them or hugely minimize them with something as gentle as No.7 and then lots of elbow grease. Try it by hand on a test spot with a known scratch. You have to rub like hell though - but it's safe. Strip the area of any oils after you are done and you will see that the scratch has been truly minimized by having the "edges" rounded off.

    I've been through it all. My car was severely damaged from chemical fallout (long story - parked somewhere I should not have). I had to have the car wet sanded to get it looking good again. Yes - there is a lot of clear coat left - at least on an Aurora. The wet sanding was good, but it was not buffed back to glass. I got the car home and orbital buffed it back to a glass finish (and even removed some rough spots from the wet sanding) as described above. It took time, but it worked.
  • cu95cu95 Posts: 96
    Automole, you're right. I completely forgot the discussion about the CTS-V having 6 lugs. As for your mention of enjoying the "blingmobile", that puts a smile on my face. My sister has (half-jokingly) suggested that I get vanity plates that read "J MONEY" (my first name is Jason). Of course if I did everyone who saw them would probably think I'm an @ss, but at the same time it would be sort of humorous on a black "Caddy".
  • My mistake, cu95. Mequiar's Cleaner/Wax is their one step cleaner-polish-wax product, and you can use it in place of their individual products for these purposes, especially if you don't want to take the time for the other products (it's three times as long an effort).

    So here's your order of things to do:

    Wash your car thoroughly. Keep on the lookup for tough places where you might have bug remains, road tar, or other gunk sticking to the surface. On the CTS, the front fascia and the mirrors are common problem areas. If you see places where you have surface stuff that doesn't come off, including paint overspray (say if you passed too closely to a road painting crew), consider using Mother's or Mequiar's clay bar products. They are very good at stripping stubborn junk off the car. Use a car shampoo dedicated to cleaning cars....never use dishwashing detergent (they strip grease, and wax is a grease). Never use the brushes found in most coin car wash bays. At coin wash car wash bays, I bring my own bucket and detergent (some places don't allow this). I think we've also talked about the use of natural fiber wash mitts (lambswool) and 100% terry cloth towels for wiping. I skipped over the cheap towels in the auto parts store and just bought a set of towels at Bed, Bath and Beyond that I dedicate for car wash duty. Make sure you cut off any tags before using the towels on your car.

    Use ScratchX for any surface microfine scratches that remain on the clearcoat finish. Use your hands...don't worry about orbital buffers for now.

    Use the Cleaner/Wax for the final step. You should end up with a great finish with lots of shine. Use the foam applicator pads found in most auto parts stores to apply the wax, and a 100% terry cloth towel to wipe off. You can use a microfiber towel instead of terry fact, I prefer it since it's easier and you get great results. The 3M™ Perfect-It™ Show Car Detailing Cloth is highly recommended (you can search for it on 3M's web site).

    Use the Eagle Wax to clean up your car on subsequent washes. I wouldn't use it on every wash, since the extra wax tends to build up and decrease the shine. You might try Mequiar's QuikDetailer product instead of a quick wax product after washes. It's one of my favorite products and really returns the shine without extra wax buildup.

    For your wheels, Meguiar's Hot Rims is a great product. All you do is spray it on, wait about 15-30 seconds, and rinse off. Then you can wipe off the remaining dirt or dust with a cotton towel. You shouldn't need a buffer if you clean your wheels regularly and I probably wouldn't if you have the chrome wheels that come with the LuxSport. You can scratch the finish of polished wheels, just like the paint finish.

    Finally, it's okay to ask questions here...we've all been novices at car detailer, and I don't consider myself an expert at this. I've just been doing this for a little while now, and I'm just telling you what works for me. Good luck. I'm going to be waxing my own car this weekend and I've got some swirls I've got to try to remove on my own car.
  • The low speed orbital buffers are generally safer, but I would never start with one as the solution to a scratch problem. I'd be too gun shy on trying it on my one year old black car. I'd probably want to train myself on an older vehicle with obvious problems that I wouldn't mind a boo-boo here or two in order to make sure I was doing the job right.
  • cu95cu95 Posts: 96
    Sevenfeet0, thanks for the detailed walk-through, this will be very helpful. I think it's safe to say that there are swirl marks over my entire CTS (I used an automatic car wash against the advice of this board), so I'll probably be applying ScratchX to the entire car (though I'll probably skip the lowest portions of the car). Forcast is sunny for the weekend, so I just need to avoid getting stuck with any projects from my wife. :-) One more silly question: I was planning on washing the car in the driveway, drying it, then moving it into the garage for the ScratchX and wax steps (so that it would be out of direct sunlight), does that stuff get everywhere and stick to the garage floor or can I easily wisk it away with a broom?
  • Sevenfeet0 you seem to be an expert so tell me what I should do relative to a first wax .

    It was new last week color silver made in July 2004.

    Now have 300 miles on it. Went for a 71 mile drive to the Indian casinos near San Diego. It worked great on the curves through the mountians for the last 15 miles. Had to slow it down to 40mph to keep my wife happy as the road was 2 lane and BIG trucks from a gravel pit went along it at 50mph on the other side.

    It isnt dirty yet as I keep it in the garage, but now I want to wax it.

    Any comments of what I should buy and apply?

  • I agree with sevenfeet0. I've been using an orbital buffer for years and it's the only way to get a really uniform polish on a black car (also saves elbow grease).

    I use the buffer to apply the wax and buff it off by hand w/ a clean 100% cotton towel.

    Like sevenfeet0 said, be SURE the buffing pad and towels are clean!!!

    The only thing I disagree with him about is the No7 polishing compound. It works great and I've had to use it on several occasions (once when a friends car was absolutely trashed by an automated car wash). I wouldn't classify it as "gentle" though. If you're a novice you could eat right through your paint with that stuff...definitely apply No7 by hand and not orbital buffer and expect to have to follow it up with several coats of less abrasive polish.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Remember the half hour SRX program on SpeedTV tonight at 8:30 pm.
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Posts: 535
    I must agree . It's a bit more than "gentle" use it carefully.
     The Corsa exhaust looks pretty good to me . I'm not to crazy about having to cut the rear valance to accommodate the tips . I question if even after cutting carefully it will have a finished look .
  • thebugthebug Posts: 294
    wwhite2 - When I had the dual exhaust installed, they replaced the rear portion of the bumper with one that would accommondate the dual tips. Color matching and painting the replaced portion added to installation time.

    I also had them paint the hardwear black so that only the chrome tips would show. The fit and finish is pretty nice. And again, I believe it was money well spent.

  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    CTS sales are within 4,000 of matching total last year sales.
    Only 900 CTSs were built this week which is a very low number. It might have something to do with the SRX production finally ramping up.

    SRX show on Speed Channel was good but not great.
    They didn't seem to want to gush over the car.
    It is beautiful though. Better looking than the CTS IMHO.
  • You shouldn't have any problems with a mess in your garage when you do your wax job. You will end up with a lot of wax on your applicator pads and towels, but very little on the floor. And regarding your garage, doing the wax in your garage away from direct sunlight is the exact place you should be waxing your car.

    Finally, you can use ScratchX on the entire surface of the car's painted areas if you need to (the Meguiar's web site talks aboout this).
  • I don't really think we disagree at all. Mequiar's #7 product is just a more aggresive version of ScratchX and you can get great success with it and an orbital buffer for removing stubborn swirls. I just wouldn't use the buffer, even a lower speed one, on my black pampered baby without a little experience first. I'd probably try to clean up some defects on a different older family car whose finish you don't care about at much for practice before trying your hand on the expensive luxury car finish.

    For those who don't know what these products do, they use a mild abbrasive to literally grind down the top level of clearcoat paint that contains the scratch to reveal an undamaged layer (assuming the scratch doesn't go all the way to the paint level). Clearcoat paint is the top level of the paint job for all modern cars and is literally paint without pigment. It's used as a shield and protectant for the real colored paint beneath it. But clearcoats tend to show scratches very easily, which is why the need for these scratch repair products exist.
  • Now is an excellent time to get out in front of potential damage to your car and give it a hand wax job. It used to be that you had to wait for the paint to "cure" before applying wax to a vehicle, but the paint process in modern cars at the factory is a lot better than 20 years ago.

    If you ask most detailers, they usually like either Mother's or Mequiar's products for waxing and detailing your car. I've been using Mequiar's with good results but I'm sure Mother's is excellent too. Both companies have web sites which explain their products in detail including video clips.

    If I were you, I'd gather the following items at your local auto parts store:

    16-20 foam applicator pads (you can never have enough of them, and you should go to new ones often. Never use a pad to apply two different products. Don't bother washing them off to keep...they are disposable.

    A good car wash soap. The key here is to use anything but dishwashing liquid since they are degreasers and it will strip the wax coating off a car. That might not be bad for now, but later when you want to keep your wax job, it's not what you want to use.

    A clean bucket.

    Lambswool washing mitts (2).

    A collection of car wash towels especially for drying and wiping wax products off your car. I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought several white medium sized and small towels that were plain without patterns. Cut the tags off the towels so they won't scratch the car. Forget the cheap terry cloth towels in the auto parts store...they won't last one wash.

    Optional: some people like chamois cloths to dry their car. I don't. "Chammys" are a tanned animal skin product that has its own residue and you must wash and prepare them before you ever use them on your car for the first time. It's too much trouble IMHO when a large terry cloth towel will do fine. They are also very expensive ($25 and up for one towel).

    Optional: some places sell foam tipped wooden sticks and other small detailing instruments. I find that these are good to get applied wax out of tight places and cracks that your wipe towel might miss. Wax generally dries with a white color, and you can see it in the cracks of your car if you miss wipe spots or can't get to them. This is especially a problem trying to wax and remove wax around the area of the CTS logo.

    Optional: Microfiber cloths. These new cloths are the only man-made cloths that are dood on a vehicle since they don't scratch. They have the added benefit of having much small nits in their fabric which really does a superior job of wiping wax products, cleaners and polishers off a car. I highly recommend them since it makes the job of wax removal faster with shinier results. I even use them to dust the piano-black tops of my expensive home theatre speakers in my house (to my wife's amusement). I've recommended the 3M version of these cloths here previously, but I've used the Mequiar's branded ones and liked them (available from their web site). I hear Turtle Wax also makes one that is widely available in stores. I'd buy at least three. They aren't cheap, but they are machine washable and reusable.

    Select a wax system. Either Mother's or Mequiars have two different methods. One is their "all-in-one" product that cleans the old finish, polishes and waxes in one step. This is much better than what most people will ever take the time to do with their vehicle. Usually this product comes in liquid form for easy application.

    The other method is more tedious but gets best results. Buy the individual products and spend three times as long with your car. First, use the "cleaner" product to strip the old wax off the car (and yes, your new car will likely have some). Second, use the polish to bring out the shine of your finish. You'll really like the result of this step since the first step leaves your car very dull (as it should). Finally, use the waxing step to protect the finish of the polish you just used. I use Mequiar's Gold Class for the last step, which is their best non-professional wax product. Mother's has a similar product. You can buy them either in liquid or paste form. I prefer liquid since it's easier to use, but "old-schoolers" still use paste.

    Before you should clean/polish/wax your car, check the finish for any defects. If you see any microfine scratches (and all cars get them eventually), try a product like Mequiar's ScratchX to remove them. Use a foam applicator pad and towel to remove. Don't be afraid to put a little effort into it. Hopefully, you won't need to do this so soon with a new vehicle.

    If you eventually run into situations where you need to get off tar or other road grime that doesn't easily come off, Mequiar's and Mother's both make specific products for this. You need to rewax the area you apply these products to. And sometimes you'll notice stuff that seems embedded in the finish of the car. Over time, particles that your car hits at high speed can literally bury themselves into the finish of a car. Also, you may be victim to paint oversprays (say if you pass a road painting crew) or other junk that sits on the finish of your car. When that happens, use a clay bar to remove these problems. I'm going to do this today with my own car. I'll probably do this after the wax cleaner step when I'm waxing my car.

    Do not apply wax to the black stainless steel b-pillars between your doors. They don't need wax and will look horrible if you try. (You can use the "cleaner" wax products to get wax off of these surfaces if you have a boo-boo). You can apply wax to the plastic surfaces of the car, like the bumpers.

    For the wheels, I use Mequiar's Hot Rims product. It's good because it's safe for all wheels and you pretty much spray it on, wash it off and wipe it dry. You'll want to use specific dry towels just for this step since they will pick up with nasty brake dust and grime you don't want anywhere near the rest of your car. If you like shiner black rubber, Mequiar's makes a product called Endurance which not only dresses your tires, but makes the shine last for days, not hours. It really makes a difference.

    Always remember to never use a towel, washmitt or pad that has hit the ground. You don't want to pick up tiny bits of dirt or stone and then grind them into the car's finish. You can launder the towel or washmitt later, but throw any pads away that have hit the ground.

    I've yet to find a safe glass cleaner I like for the windows, headlamps and tailights. The best glass cleaner is stilll Windex, but you have to be extra extra careful around it with a car. The ammonia will kill a wax job too. I generally will spray it into a paper towel and then use the paper towel to clean the window or lamp.

    Well, time to wax my own car. I'm probably not going to get a better day to do it...
  • vcjumpervcjumper Posts: 1,110
    I'm a big believer in zaino products. Not wax but easy to apply and polish. There is a whole topic on it in the maintenance topics section of the townhall.
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