New vehicle protocol

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1,141
Location
N. Georgia Mtns
What is the least you would do for a new vehicle as far as paint protection? Paint on our new vehicles look fine and repel water nicely right now. Should I be doing anything right now besides keeping them clean with scheduled washing?
 
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
I keep a layer of spray wax on the finish routinely. I've come to prefer that over a more elaborate waxing/polishing process. I like a shine and I like water to bead. Beyond that, I'm pretty easy to please. So for me, regular applications of a good spray wax are what work the best.
 
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809
Location
Nebraska
Wash properly and apply a synthetic wax (sealant) 2x per year. Avoid swirl-o-matic car washes and use proper washing techniques to minimize damage to the paint.
 
Messages
325
Location
W WA
I was in the same position--- two new cars and wanted simple and durable protection. Clay, sealant, wax twice a year. I use a fine Nanoskin sponge, Duragloss 601/105, and Collinite 845. But lots of good choices among similar products.
 
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Sierra048

Thread starter
Messages
1,141
Location
N. Georgia Mtns
Both our vehicles are garage kept. While I have clayed vehicles before and have enough on hand to clay either now, would claying be necessary right now given factory paint with what appears to be a nice sealant on it. I pretty much follow Hokiefyd's routine suggested with a good regimen of spray wax mixed in with a few detailed waxes through out the year. I was wondering if there is anything special I needed to do to the surface right now? I'm not a detail expert but my cars always look good to others because of my effort in exterior maintenance. Thanks for the input.
 
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1,050
Location
Rockwall, Texas
Agree on garage. I live in a neighborhood with 2 or 3 car garages, yet most people leave their cars out. All 3 of my cars park in the garage. The paint on the 14 year old car still looks good.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,119
Location
New Jersey
I agree that good washing technique and a spray wax (synthetic) are probably the best minimum. Some carwash soaps have corrosion protection and/or gloss enhancing additives, so you might consider them.
 
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40,710
Location
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
a spray wax (synthetic)
Spray wax? Can you throw out some recommendations? Something that's not overly time consuming to apply? Sorry, I've been out of the whole wax/sealant scene for a very long time. Wife might be buying a new car soon, so this is a very timely thread for me. smile
 
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23,886
Location
CA
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
a spray wax (synthetic)
Spray wax? Can you throw out some recommendations? Something that's not overly time consuming to apply? Sorry, I've been out of the whole wax/sealant scene for a very long time. Wife might be buying a new car soon, so this is a very timely thread for me. smile
I still recommend a paint coating, but for spray on options, consider Opti-Seal or CarPro Hydr02.
 
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6,170
Location
North Coast
Garage is best...but all my damage is done in parking lots anyway. Bottom line: I put 20k on the car so in 10 years it's going to look good for a car with 200k because I keep it clean. Then it goes to the next owner. At that point appearance is only worth about $500 maybe.
 

Sierra048

Thread starter
Messages
1,141
Location
N. Georgia Mtns
Critic, I see a lot of people recommending products like these. I've never heard of them and wouldn't have a clue where to get them. Are these products for the professional detailer? I usually use OTC products like Meguiars. Not saying their products are the best but they have always produced a decent look for me and others are impressed with the way our vehicles look. Don't want to use up too much of your time but if you could explain what some of these things do it would be a big help. I'll try to do some Googling as well. Thanks.
 
Messages
809
Location
Nebraska
Originally Posted By: Mfrank84
I see a lot of people recommending products like these. I've never heard of them and wouldn't have a clue where to get them.
http://www.autogeek.net/optimum-opti-seal.html I've never used Opti-Seal, but I have used that company's No-Rinse car wash and the results were surpising, yet consistent with what others were saying. IOW, it lived up to the hype. Meguiar's makes good stuff too. Autopia.org forums are where you want to go for research.
 
Messages
40,710
Location
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: The Critic
but for spray on options, consider Opti-Seal or CarPro Hydr02.
Thanks. Looks like one needs to be applied with a pad while the other is spray on only. Have you tried both? Which one did you like better?
 
Messages
172
Location
FL, USA
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: The Critic
but for spray on options, consider Opti-Seal or CarPro Hydr02.
Thanks. Looks like one needs to be applied with a pad while the other is spray on only. Have you tried both? Which one did you like better?
There are a lot of options that are similar while being different. CarPro Hydr02 - spray on after rinsing the car, rinse the car again to activate it, then dry the car. It says up to 3 months protection, but here in FL, after a month or so, I want to refresh it. It still works, but I like my beads to be tall and tight, not flat and big. This is for a car that's outside all of the time in the FL sun and rain, so YMMV. Duragloss Aquawax - a spray sealant that can be applied two ways. After you rinse the car, before drying, spray the Aquawax on and then dry the car. This saves a buffing/wipe off step. Or, you can apply it like a regular spray wax and apply it after drying the car and then wipe off. AW is actually a spray sealant and has very good durability for a "spray wax". I get a good 3 months out of it in the summer. Longer in the "winter", as that means the excessive heat and the every day rain showers go away. CarPro Reload - a spray sealant similar to Aquawax in that it can be applied to a wet or dry surface. I just started using this as, but it is very similar to AW with a little more hydrophobic properties and a little better durability. It is holding up a little better than AW so far, so I estimate it to reach 4 months or a little longer. Ultima PGP or Optimum Opti-Seal - both are spray on wipe off sealants that are applied to the car after drying. I have used the UPGP many times, but OS only once. However, they are a little more finicky than a regular spray wax, because you need to "level" them as you wipe them off, or you will get high spots. It's not difficult, you just have to pay attention. The reward is well worth it though as these have much better durability. 5-6 months easy in the summer. CarPro CQuartz UK or Optimum Opti-Coat - these are both coatings that are applied to a dry, clean and polished surface. Like OS and UPGP, these are more labor intensive, even more so than the previous two, because they are a semi-permanent coating, so they need to be applied evenly. The reward being that they last up to 2 years. I can't verify this as I just started using CQ UK, but from what I have seen and heard, 1 year doesn't seem like a stretch at all. Ideally, you would apply a regular sealant or coating and then use Hydr02, Reload, Aquawax, etc. to boost the gloss and increase the durability of your main protection. Hope this helps.
 
Messages
6,171
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Originally Posted By: Doog
Bottom line: I put 20k on the car so in 10 years it's going to look good for a car with 200k because I keep it clean. Then it goes to the next owner. At that point appearance is only worth about $500 maybe.
#reality Imagine all the fuss and stress in getting your paint perfect, then your neighbor/co-worker/daughter/stranger has a brain-phart and your car is "ruined". I thought people buy new cars b/c they're less hassle?
 
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Messages
3,542
Location
Colorado
Never sew a new car that needed clay right off the show room floor unless it had been sitting on the lot for 6 months or more. 15 years as a pro detailer.
 
Messages
1,841
Location
Southwest
I'd go ahead and claybar the car. It could be my imagination, but I thought it helped. Claybarring a new car is super easy. Its almost kind of a pro-forma kind of thing. So why not? I don't think it matters much which spray wax you use. The good waxes are a little easier to apply without streaking and maybe marginally more shiny, but an extra five or ten minutes buffing the car and a little less shine for a couple of days isn't going to make or break anything. Expecting lots of protection or durability isn't realistic. If it lasts a couple of weeks until you wash again, that's about all you can hope for. That said, I like the Duragloss Aquawax product. Fairly priced, easy to apply. Sometimes sold locally at Carquest or ordered through NAPA. If you are mail ordering anyway you might pick some up. (I believe you can go directly to the company and get it mailed to you quite cheaply). Its very shiny in a plasticky, acrylic kind of way. I love it. There are a lot of good sealants out there and a few great ones. I'm satisfied with the Collinite product. I use the paste wax because I have a dual action buffer. The Duragloss two part system is fairly priced. Klasse is liked along with Mizerna Powerlock. There are the Opt-coat type products which promise even greater durability, but I figure 4-6 months is good enough. I'm a big believer in the no-rinse car washes. So far as I know, they all work well. You can sometimes get the Turtlewax product at Wal-Mart, or at least order it there at a very fair price. I've been impressed with the Duragloss no-rinse product, which has the Aquawax product in it, so you don't even have to spray wax. I do the "Garry Dean" method (you can Youtube it) using el cheapo microfiber towels I got at Sam's Club. but either way, the ability to wash your car at night in the garage or during inclement weather is a huge, huge help. I use the Stoner product with a microfiber towel for the windows. Rub hard and they come clean, period. Cheap and available everywhere. I'd say my time inputs are pretty reasonable for the results. Is it worth the effort? Yes, if you strive to be efficient. I'd say it makes more practical sense to spend a little time of this than to obsess over oil change intervals. The law of entropy says that everything falls apart. Your car will inevitably pick up dings and interior dirt that you won't be able to get rid of. All you need to do is stay a little ahead of the curve, so you won't feel the need to trade your car in for purely cosmetic reasons.
 
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Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
a spray wax (synthetic)
Spray wax? Can you throw out some recommendations? Something that's not overly time consuming to apply?
I use Turtle Wax Ice spray wax. It goes on easy, buffs off easy, and lasts for 3-4 car washes before it needs more. It takes about 30 minutes to do either of our two SUVs, so it's not very time intensive.
 
Messages
23,886
Location
CA
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: The Critic
but for spray on options, consider Opti-Seal or CarPro Hydr02.
Thanks. Looks like one needs to be applied with a pad while the other is spray on only. Have you tried both? Which one did you like better?
I have used both. However, I have not used either long enough to truly confirm the durability, but others have mentioned 2-3 months with Hydr02 and varying reports with Opti-Seal v2. I think genynnc said he gets 4 months out of Opti-Seal. Here are my thoughts on each one: Opti-Seal: Fairly sun friendly, very low cost per vehicle (I’m averaging about 20-25 cars per bottle), UV protection, very slick. Doesn’t fill any defects though (most waxes and sealants fill/hide decently well) Hydr02: Convenient application process (to some), hides/fills light defects very well, very good water beading and sheeting. High cost per vehicle ($2-3/vehicle), not sun friendly at all.
Originally Posted By: Mfrank84
Critic, I see a lot of people recommending products like these. I've never heard of them and wouldn't have a clue where to get them. Are these products for the professional detailer? I usually use OTC products like Meguiars. Not saying their products are the best but they have always produced a decent look for me and others are impressed with the way our vehicles look. Don't want to use up too much of your time but if you could explain what some of these things do it would be a big help. I'll try to do some Googling as well. Thanks.
Zeus33 did a great job of explaining the different products, and I am almost in complete agreement with him on the pros/cons of each. The thing to remember is that the mail-order, “prosumer” products are generally more concentrated, deliver better performance, and can be a bit cheaper on a cost per car basis. The products that are only suitable for the professional detailer, such as CQuartz Finest or Opti-Coat Pro, are not available through consumer channels; anything you find on autogeek, autoality, etc are generally suitable for the “prosumer” market. The OTC products have gotten a lot better in recent years, especially the Meguiars Ultimate line. With that said, the consumer lines will almost always be more application friendly to the beginner (i.e. more forgiving to over-use of the product) than the “prosumer” stuff. I do think that for the money, mail-ordered long life sealants (Menzerna PowerLock, Opti-Seal, Polymer Net Shield, etc) do provide a better value than the retail-level products. Paint coatings are something that should be reserved for the enthusiast or prosumer who’s willing to experiment, as it took me at least 5 applications to truly see/understand the nuances of each paint coating. With that said, I do believe that paint coatings provide significantly better protection than sealants, but they come at a high-cost (if you were to pay someone) and they still require maintenance (periodic claying and frequent washing) to maintain their high-level of performance.
 
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