Best Practice For Applying A Sealant To A New Car ?

Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
719
Location
California
I am awaiting delivery on a brand new car. I have instructed the dealer to have their new car prep guy only remove any protective wrapping or cover on the car when it arrives but not to wash it or apply any type of wax or sealant. I will do that myself. I am on the fence now between using Turtle Wax Pro Graphene or TW Hybrid Solutions Ceramic. I will most likely clay bar the paint first.

My question pertains to washing the car as part of the process. Should I use something like Dawn DW soap to gently hand wash the car to make sure the paint is free of any contaminants, clay bar the paint, and then wash again with Dawn to remove any clay residue prior to applying the Graphene or ceramic coating product ?

Or is regular car wash soap that isn't a "wash & wax" product fine for the wash stages ? I have some Meguiars Gold Class car wash soap that I normally use.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
2,654
Location
Texas, USA
Dawn will give you the cleanest surface to start from. Personally, I'd do some paint correction before applying anything. They do it for ceramic coatings, why not do it for everything else? Starting with a perfect surface will give the best results.
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
2,205
Location
USA
As someone who inspected and detailed new vehicles when I worked for vw and Lexus, be careful of going overboard. You can claybar but don't mar the new paint. Ed Bolian from vinwiki had a company ceramic coat his Black Porsche. He made a comment that he was skeptical but it really seemed to work. There was a specific process to clean the vehicle. I'd also put the vehicle indoors as to not contaminate the surface.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Messages
23,215
Location
...
Depending on your location and car brand, the car may have come by rail. A good wash along with a iron removal product if there is rail dust followed by claying with plenty of lubricant. Then wash again with Dawn and you should be ready for applying sealant.

This is the extreme case. Some cars come out in good shape and don’t need as much correction. Others are mutilated by dealers or swirl-o-matic car washes which gives the new owners more work.

The interior is also important. Clean and protect all surfaces with a good quality product.

Also the quality of your detail equipment is key here. Good quality microfiber including a wash mat or mitt is essential.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
251
Location
Iowa
new cars that sit on a lot can get washed by a kid in the wash truck with the attached pressure washer and a dirty mit...if they get snowed on they get 'snow broomed' where snow is pushed off by a foam 'broom' (dragging the snow across a dirty surface)...many have rail rust or other fallout...so, yeah, take a close look at your paint..it could be in great shape or terrible shape with plenty of swirls.
 

DwightFrye

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
719
Location
California
The car will be crossing the Atlantic, coming through the Panama Canal and arriving at the port of Long Beach CA or another port in the vicinity. Then it will be transported on one of those vehicle carriers about 100 miles to my dealer. The dealer said that the cars come with a paper wrap on the exterior. I don't expect that it will be on the lot for more than a couple of days while they are doing the new car prep procedure. I have seen the "lot boys" with their portable car wash equipment washing the cars on the lot and have also purchased cars that as part of the new car prep, had a machine applied coat of wax. I have asked the dealer not to do anything except remove the shipping wrap.

What is a good car wash soap without a glossifier ? I want the paint to be as clean as possible before applying the sealant of my choice.
In years past I used Dawn prior to applying a Zaino product. The Zaino worked well but was very labor intensive and I believe that there has been considerable advancements in waxes/sealants in the last decade.

I will also note that the car will be garaged and a "fair weather only" driver so will never be exposed to snow or rain if I can help it.
I just want good gloss and protection against bird droppings, bug splats, tree sap, and those types of things.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
2,151
Location
Tinton Falls NJ
As listed previously, do iron remover before you do the other steps. It may dissolve some particles you'd otherwise drag across the paint with a clay bar. Why take that chance?

Just a word of warning, you WILL mar the finish with a clay bar, even if it's microscopic. To that end I'd use a light clay mitt, NOT a bar. I might not even do that if it was completely wrapped, fresh off the truck, and passes the plastic bag test.

After that, use a bright, diffuse light source and find out where you need to spot correct and only polish those areas. You want to leave as much precious clearcoat intact as you possibly can.

Then do a panel wipe/prep and apply your sealant, preferably a coating. Try CQuartz Lite if you've never applied a coating before.
 

DwightFrye

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
719
Location
California
I plan on doing the plastic bag test before any claying procedure. I have a Mothers clay bar kit. I have never tried a clay mitt, I guess the risk of dropping one is about nil compared to a bar. Can the mitts be reused, or are they a one shot deal ?

I'm a bit apprehensive about using an iron remover. Especially if the paint is only a month old on a factory fresh car. I have never used it before. Is the stuff really safe ? I used some Eagle 1 wheel cleaner one time that was supposedly "safe" for all wheels and it discolored the brake calipers. Isn't the iron remover a similar chemical ?

If the car comes in completely wrapped, will I even need to worry about iron decontamination ?
Thanks for all the advice
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2011
Messages
12,270
Location
North Carolina
When i get a new truck, i'm going to try that!
For a truck/SUV, buy an extra 30ml bottle of the paint coating.

This is what I applied to the Atlas - I've always been a Poorboy's fan and got a deal on this kit when they released it. The paint coating flashes VERY quickly. Apply it in a cross hatch pattern, then immediately level it with a towel.
 
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
15,212
Location
North Carolina
For a truck/SUV, buy an extra 30ml bottle of the paint coating.

This is what I applied to the Atlas - I've always been a Poorboy's fan and got a deal on this kit when they released it. The paint coating flashes VERY quickly. Apply it in a cross hatch pattern, then immediately level it with a towel.
So best done on a cooler day?
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
2,151
Location
Tinton Falls NJ
I plan on doing the plastic bag test before any claying procedure. I have a Mothers clay bar kit. I have never tried a clay mitt, I guess the risk of dropping one is about nil compared to a bar. Can the mitts be reused, or are they a one shot deal ?

I'm a bit apprehensive about using an iron remover. Especially if the paint is only a month old on a factory fresh car. I have never used it before. Is the stuff really safe ? I used some Eagle 1 wheel cleaner one time that was supposedly "safe" for all wheels and it discolored the brake calipers. Isn't the iron remover a similar chemical ?

If the car comes in completely wrapped, will I even need to worry about iron decontamination ?
Thanks for all the advice
You still don't want to drop a clay mitt but one of the benefits is there is some tolerance for that. The main benefit is it lasts a lot longer. Mitts also give you the ability to select the harshness whereas with a bar you only get one choice.

Do not be apprehensive about iron remover. It will most likely have more benefit than a clay bar/mitt will. Just get a dedicated product for this purpose, use it in the shade, let it dwell for a few minutes, and you'll be 100% fine. It is not necessarily the same chemical as your wheel cleaner which may have been acidic. You will not have any issues with a dedicated iron remover.

If the car comes in completely wrapped why are you concentrating so much on mechanical decontamination with clay? Again, for whatever paint is exposed I'd bet that iron remover will do more for you.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 24, 2011
Messages
12,270
Location
North Carolina
You still don't want to drop a clay mitt but one of the benefits is there is some tolerance for that. The main benefit is it lasts a lot longer. Mitts also give you the ability to select the harshness whereas with a bar you only get one choice.

Do not be apprehensive about iron remover. It will most likely have more benefit than a clay bar/mitt will. Just get a dedicated product for this purpose, use it in the shade, let it dwell for a few minutes, and you'll be 100% fine. It is not necessarily the same chemical as your wheel cleaner which may have been acidic. You will not have any issues with a dedicated iron remover.

If the car comes in completely wrapped why are you concentrating so much on mechanical decontamination with clay? Again, for whatever paint is exposed I'd bet that iron remover will do more for you.
Couple things.

You can rinse off a clay mitt or towel.

You can get different grades of clay bar.

Iron removers are thioglycolic acid.

Otherwise I agree.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
2,151
Location
Tinton Falls NJ
Couple things.

You can rinse off a clay mitt or towel.

You can get different grades of clay bar.

Iron removers are thioglycolic acid.

Otherwise I agree.
Yes, I know you can rise a mitt or towel.

Forgot about clay grades, you are correct.

Yes that's what they use as an active ingredient but the overall formulation is made to be clearcoat safe. We wouldn't use Meg's Wheel Brightener on the finish.
 
Top