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easy, but not so quick, and not necessarily cheap

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by hyo silver, May 16, 2012.

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  1. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    It's been far too long since I've done anything with my car but drive it. The poor thing was badly in need of a bath and a rub down, so I've spent several hours over the past few days getting it all shined up again. Silver doesn't show the dirt much, until it's sparkly clean and you suddenly realise how shiny it is.

    I used the last of my P21S shampoo, kindly given to me by a neighbour, so I'll need more of that. Has anyone seen this in stores, or is it mail order only?

    I used 303 on the external black plastic and rubber parts, and they look almost new again. It didn't work as well on the nubbly dash inside, but mostly because the cloth I used kinda disintegrated - I'll try again with something sturdier.

    Next up is to clean the glass inside and out with Invisible Glass, vacuum the interior, clean the cabin air filter, replace a couple of burned out bulbs, install new wiper blades, and change the oil. I might be done by the end of the week. :rolleyes:

    The smooth reddish-brown plastic on the dash and doors looks beautiful when wet, but that's gone as soon as they dry. Is there anything that will keep these parts 'wet' looking? I'm almost tempted to try a tile floor polish, but there aren't really any hidden areas to test it out on.

    I also cleaned the headlights with Meguiar's PlastX, and they look great. I looked at the complete kits, but bought just the bottle of liquid for much less, and used a couple of old socks that I keep as rags. I didn't do a side-by-side comparison, but the rags worked quite well. I may keep the bottle in the car, just to see if any cute girls would like me to buff their headlights for them. :p
  2. cnschult

    cnschult Active Member

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    a brand I never heard of that has amazing customer reviews on advanceauto.com is called Surf City Garage, everyone gives all their products 5 out of 5 stars. Advance Auto won't ship it and my local stores don't have it but if you find some locally let me know how it works.

    step 1 is wash, I like to use a little bit of nice car wash from meguiars or some other name brand, 2 buckets, one with just water to rinse the dirt off the sponge/mitt. speaking of sponge, I personally like to just use a cheap new sponge everytime I wash the car, top to bottom of course.

    step 2, don't bother drying the car off, just start claying!! most of the good $20 clay kits include 2 80 gram bars and one bottle of spray detailer. if you are fortunate to find a supplier of just the clay bars you could just use a garden spray bottle with water and a little detergent to help the clay glide.

    step 3 is to protect your hard work with some wax, paste wax always is better than liquid, and synthetic wax long outlasts caranuaba wax. Eagle One Nanowax has always been my favorite of recent years but that's a liquid so I've bought some Turtle Wax ICE paste synthetic wax and will be trying it out soon. I buy cheap non-microfiber white applicator pads from walmart and never had any problems. I also buy cheap walmart microfiber towels, I don't know why people buy expensive ones than wash them I don't want that stuff in my washing machine that will later wash my clothes. In order to get a little extra moneys worth out of the microfiber clothes after I am done with them I use them to clean the door sills, and any painted parts inside the car (i.e. B & C pillars), then I use them to detail the engine bay and its off to the trash can.

    I skipped step 0 which is dent/scratch repair, the 3M kit works great as it comes with 3000 grit sandpaper (that you use wet) and it has 2 different pads (one for rubbing compound, one for polish) that mounts right onto your drill. I prefer 3M's rubbing compound and Meguairs Ultimate Compound Polish. You'd be surprised how many scratches on your car are actually just in the clearcoat and you can repair yourself easily. You may not have the skill to repair scratches beneath the clearcoat. My Bondo dent puller fixes small dents and greatly reduces large dents.

    tips: There are plenty of items on the market that can give your interior plastic/vinyl parts that wet look for awhile. Washing and waxing is done top to bottom so that your sponge/rags/applicators get dirtier as they get to the bottom of your car. try to do everything in the shade and wax and buff just a few body panels at a time. Never use a gas station car wash unless it is touch-free. Be careful not to use too much tire shine as that stuff tends to fling of onto the paint, especially at high way speeds.

    you've made a good start but you need all these steps for a complete job. I like to do this every 4 months, before winter, after winter and mid-summer, you'll even get an mpg boost (probably too small to measure) as your car will glide thru the air with less resistance . . . good luck!!

    one more thing, buy a car duster (such as california duster), you always see limo drivers using these while waiting for their clients. the reason is that dirt doesn't actually stick to a well waxed car, its just floating on the car and the duster removes it with ease, this reduced the # of times you have to wash the car which increases how long the wax lasts.
    2 people like this.
  3. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    Is this what you're talking about?
    eShine Canada: P21S Bodywork Conditioning Shampoo

    They are a Canadian company as well.
    1 person likes this.
  4. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Yes, that's the stuff. Thank you. I was hoping to pick some up at a local retail store, rather than pay shipping for an already expensive product.
  5. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    No problem.
    I just figured you probably won't find one in a local store (you never know though), and this can be a last resort.

    eShine.com and (American) Autogeek.net both have great products.
  6. maestro8

    maestro8 Nouveau Member

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    Be careful with this. Dust is abrasive. And once the duster is full, you're basically dragging sandpaper across your finish.

    You're much better off using a quick spray detailer and a clean microfiber towel to maintain you car's shine.

    (Owner of two black cars here -- hardest color to keep swirl-free!)
  7. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    This isn't true with a California Duster.
    And I certainly wouldn't suggest using a spray detailer with a microfiber towel on your finish without dusting the car off first.

    (Owner of a swirl free black show car)
  8. maestro8

    maestro8 Nouveau Member

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    Go on, we're listening. How does the duster magically empty itself of dust?

    My towels go through the wash regularly. That's how I get rid of it...



    Again, feel free to explain yourself.

    I use the detailer + towel to remove dust. It's been working like a charm.
  9. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    You shake the California duster. Simple as that.
    California Car Duster Company - FAQs



    All you are doing is grinding the dirt into your paint first.
    If you're wondering why you have swirls, this would be one reason.

    The detailer is designed to be used on a surface that is already clean and dust free.

    Tell me, how would you clean your car at a outside show in the hot sun and you have a layer of dust on the car?
  10. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Replacing the tail light and the front side light were cheap and easy. And quick- maybe five minutes, and I did them while waiting to pick someone up, so it didn't really cost me any time at all.
  11. maestro8

    maestro8 Nouveau Member

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    I think that's some good snake oil they're selling... "the dirtier it is the better it is". Right. I'll rub a dirty old stick all over my car.



    Grinding? Who ever said grinding?



    Who said I have swirls?

    Hoo boy you've got a vivid imagination. Why don't you imagine yourself some friends and leave me alone?
  12. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    Believe what you want.
    But considering myself and others use them (and mines from 1997) and have paint jobs that cost $10,000 or more.....it's obvisouly safe to use.





    You did, when you told me how you 'dust' your car.
    You will NEVER see any detailer do what you're doing.

    I'm not aruging with you about the detailing spray, I use it as well. But it even says on all my spray bottles to use on a cool, dry, clean surface.
    The dust on the car, no longer makes it clean.



    Right.......:rolleyes:
    Thanks for telling me how you would dust your car in the hot sun with your detailing spray.
  13. maestro8

    maestro8 Nouveau Member

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    People buy $250k cars and drive them into curbs on a regular basis. Numbers don't impress me.



    Who in their right mind would buy and use a product to clean a car that's already clean?



    I don't use detailing spray. I use my accelerator pedal. Cars are for driving.
  14. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Here's my "butt in" opinion on California Car Dusters.

    I've used them..on black vehicles.

    But I think the key? Is using them on well waxed and protected vehicles, as a minimal maintanence tool.

    I have never had a problem using them lightly, on a relatively clean vehicle, that is well waxed and protected, to remove pollen or any light dust that might appear.

    I would NOT use it at any level of dirt or dust that represented MORE than that, or on a vehicle that doesn't have a good surface protectant wax or sealer already on it.

    As far as dust build up within the duster itself?

    Yes...if you believe it is an issue, like with any duster....you shake it out..away from the vehicle...you keep the duster from ever building up a damaging amount.
  15. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    It's about time! :)
  16. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Wow, was that oil filter ever a royal pain to remove. It's not like I haven't done them before - usually I can just reach up without even looking and twist it loose by hand. Not this time. The oil filter wrench was useless - do they come in extra small? - and clearances are too tight to get the stupid thing in there. Thankfully, a hammer and a sharp screwdriver worked like a charm. :)
  17. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    That I did all this on my car? Yeah, you're right. Judging by the green slime growing under the hood deflector, it's obviously been far too long. A couple hundred bucks in various parts, lotions, and potions later, I'm still at it. It'd sure be easier if I had a garage big enough to park in, and enough clear time to just do it all at once. Ah well.... ;)
  18. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    I use this:
    Channel Lock 215 15" Oil Filter Plier

    I use to complain about getting filters off of cars.
    Not since I bought these though.

    Another option is this:
    IMPERIAL Parts & Accessories - Oil-Filter Cup Wrench - Cycle Gear

    Just make sure to pick up the right size.
    Toss an extension onto a ratchet and away you go.
  19. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    That looks more like a proper tool. Thanks. I'll try that next time.
  20. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    No problem.
    They are a bit expensive, but it's a one time buy.
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