Detailing Your Vehicle

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Tideland Prius, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. bentauto

    bentauto New Member

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    I agree with Mike, I have been using waterless car wash products for years. The water does bead off and you don't have to detail your car as often.

    There is a trick us detailers always use. Take a cigarette wrapper and put it on your fingers. Rub part of the car before you clabar it and then after. You will feel a big difference!

    I have tried every car wash on the market. I wasn't fond of Green Earth. I really like UltraLuster Wash. They have a site online too.

    I have used all of them. I particularly like UltraLuster Wash. It has an acyrlic polymer base and when you detail your car it lasts for a long time. I started a blog about waterless car washing if anyone would like to check it out...

    Waterless Car Wash Online Blog
     
  2. BDDave

    BDDave New Member

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    Re: Wax on plastic trim

    The last time I waxed my Prius, I put wax on the plastic trim pieces (around where the mirrors mount and between the side windows) and now they have turned a very dull color. Is there anything that can be done to restore their original shinny black finish?
     
  3. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Re: Wax on plastic trim

    The mirror mounts aren't shiny to begin. They're unpolished black plastic. Peanut butter will remove the wax. Back To Black will restore the black plastic shine.
     
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Huge member

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    If you park your car on the lawn when wash it, you recycle 100% of the water you're using :).

    Moti
     
  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Added new links to the first post
     
  6. Verde

    Verde New Member

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    I've tried a lot of products and techniques for washing/waxing/detailing my cars. Here are a few tips that work well for me:
    1. I use a number of products from Griot's garage (griotsgarage.com). They have a range of useful items and have expressed concerns about the environmental impact of some types of products. For example, their wheel cleaner is explicitly environmentally 'friendly' where most other brands clearly are not. It takes a bit more labor to use, but it's worth it.
    My favorite products are: Speed-Shine (useful for a wide variety of applications), Waterless Spray-On Wash (instead of using water to wash the car), Car Wash (another environmentally friendly product), and their Clay Bar. And I use their Paint Squeegee and Micro-fibre drying towel for getting the water off the car. BTW, I have no personal or financial association with Griot's.
    2. For washing, I use a technique that I first spotted at this site: The Proper Hand Wash - Jason's Automotive Detailing Spa. Read down to the 'Foam Gun' product and use. It's incredibly simple and radically simplifies the process of washing the car. And it minimizes the amount of grit you end up dragging over the car. Ditto on the non-relationship with Jason's.
    3. I'm not much of a believer in carnuba wax for anything but a show/weekend car. My Prius (and most others I suspect) is a daily driver and so I use an acrylic product to protect the finish. In theory it produces less of a shine than a well-applied carnuba, but it is a lot tougher, is simple to apply and lasts much longer. I use Klasse. A product that's been around for years. If you want a better shine, try using Klasse after clay and polishing (optional) and then coat it with a layer of carnuba wax.
    4. Clay'ing your car is about the greatest invention in the history of car washing. Used with a proper lubricant (I use Griot's Speed-Shine) it removes all of the surface grit, sap, goo, bugs, etc., that otherwise are near impossible to remove. It is a simple must-do first step (after washing) before you wax your car.
    5. Polishing is really a chore. You don't have to do it very often, but it makes a big difference - particularly if you have a dark colored car. I'm at a point in my life where I wouldn't consider doing it without a machine. An orbital (not rotary) polisher is a must for this task. Porter Cable or Griot's make some good ones.
    All said, I'm pretty sure that your local car wash is more water-efficient than washing your car at home, just as a dishwasher is more efficient than hand washing your dishes. I'm not a slob about it and try to minimize water waste, but I know I'm being inefficient. I consider car maintenance to be a hobby, not a chore, so I rationalize it that way. It's your call.
     
  7. prius148

    prius148 New Member

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    I feel like sometimes details look tacky?! Anyone else?
     
  8. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Re: Wax on plastic trim

    3M adhesive and wax remover works like a champ. There are coverups that will restore the black look but unless you get the wax off you are just hiding the problem and it will come back.

    Then use something on it that is made for trim. My favorite is Aerospace 303 protectant. It makes the trim look like new.
     
  9. drew935

    drew935 Member

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  10. theshark

    theshark Member

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    What is a good product to use on the front windshield, inside? No matter what I use it's streaked. rain ex, invisible glass. I use with paper-towels.
    Thanks in advance
     
  11. drew935

    drew935 Member

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    Use a clean microfiber towel instead of paper towels ;)
    You can use Stoner's glass cleaner. I believe local auto stores like Pepboys carry them.
    Also clean the window fully with a bottle of soapy water. Sounds like you have oil residue.
     
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  12. Gurple42

    Gurple42 New Member

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    Windshield has to be cool to the touch when cleaning, I get good results with Invisible glass.
     
  13. jqmello

    jqmello Junior Member

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    I'm gonna give you guys heart attacks...
    So ... our Prius, doesn't get cleaned all that often, maybe every other month, more when it's warmer. Now, it's been a few weeks since we noticed this, and we'd taken a long trip so there was some road grime, but when I went to wipe it off I discovered that half of it was very fine speckles of cement or grout, firmly attached to the... everything.
    We carefully scraped it off the windshield, which thankfully was easy because of the rain-x, but haven't touched the rest of it. I guess one or the other of us was following a leaky cement mixer, or someone drove through some wet cement and sprayed a fine mist over the cars behind when their velocity picked up...

    So, any ideas on how to get this off without totally gouging the paint? pressure wash?
     
  14. drew935

    drew935 Member

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    Wash and clay it. Then polish and wax to put it simply.
     
  15. guinaevere

    guinaevere Junior Member

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    I am attempting to clean and spiffy-up the interior of my 2005 prius.

    Where i am stuck is in attempting to polish the glove compartment and silver details. Using Armor-all and a microfiber, soft cloth, detailing cloth, or even detailing sponge made no difference - it dries matte and with the occasional streak.

    Has anyone found any products to add a nice gloss or shine to the interior? The dark gray bumpy-textured plastic that makes up the large portion of the dash is NOT the issue. It's the very dull/matte purple that is causing fits at the moment.

    Once upon a time a professional had it looking beautiful. But I'm darned if I can replicate that appearance.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
     
  16. drew935

    drew935 Member

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  17. priusenvy

    priusenvy Senior Member

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    I'm not very active here any longer, but I just checked this thread and noticed that there hasn't been any mention of the new paint coatings that have become available within the last three or so years. I did a quick search for "opti-coat" and "Gtechniq" in this same forum for the Gen III Prius and there were a couple threads, but that was all.

    Paint coatings for automotive paint application were introduced about three or four years ago. The first time I heard of them was when there were rumors of a new product from Optimum undergoing testing that would make paint sealants obsolete (Optimum happens to make a very good paint sealant, Opti-Seal). The early versions were somewhat tricky to apply, and didn't produce consistent results, but in the last three years, I'd say they've been perfected, and I now no longer apply sealants to my own cars. Previously, I had settled on a combination of Zaino Z-2/Z-5, with Optimum Opti-Seal to top it off between applications. Now two of my cars (including my Prius) have Gtechniq EXOv2 on them, and the third has 22PLE Pro on it.

    The coatings are like sealant on steroids. You can expect about 4x the life of even the best sealants - two years is expected under normal conditions, and Optimum Opti-Guard (available only to pros) can essentially be considered permanent. The EXOv2 on my wife's Lexus is six months old, a point where Zaino would barely be showing any evidence of its presence. In contrast, the EXOv2 is still exhibiting hydrophobic properties (beading), gloss, and slickness I've never seen from a newly application of any sealant I've used (and I've used many: products from Optimum, Zaino, Four Star, Klasse, Blackfire, Wolfgangs, Meguiar's and others I can't recall). It's amazing how the water beads (measured as the angle between the surface and the edge of the water droplet) and just slides right off. There are many videos on YouTube showing this property of paint coatings. Water slides off the paint so easily that there is almost nothing to dry after washing and rinsing your car (using the nozzle-less "sheeting" technique to rinse). It makes it really easy to dry your car by just draping your waffle-weave microfiber towel on the car, and drawing it lightly across the surface. This was true of drying a car that had a fresh coat of sealant on it, but the coatings take it to a whole new level. There is literally 10x less water on the car after rinsing compared to the same car if it had sealant on the paint, using the same rinsing technique.

    The big drawback to the coatings for most is their price (well, that and the required prep work, but for me that is the same regardless of what's going on top). A single application uses about $35 worth of product, while the same car wouldn't even use $1 worth of Opti-Seal or Zaino per coat. IMHO they are well worth it though; with a sealant I'd be looking at a light decontamination and possible light paint correction before reapplying sealant now, while I've probably got a year or more to go before I need to consider that for the paint coating, all the while enjoying protection and appearance that far exceeds anything I ever got out of a sealant. I've also found that "topping" the coating with anything - instant detail spray or spray sealant - reduces their performance and worsens the appearance, so I don't put anything on the paint after I wash and dry. I keep the instant detail spray around to get off the occasional bug or fingerprint, but I've got an almost full bottle of Gtechniq C2 sealant that I will probably never use, at least not on my own cars.

    If you can properly prepare your paint for a sealant - this means decontamination with clay or similar product (they have sponges and towels that do the same thing now), followed by machine polishing (I am partial to Menzerna polishes and have used them for ten years, although I have some Meguiar's M105 Ultra-Cut Compound for fast defect removal), you can apply a coating. While you may be able to apply a sealant or wax to a less than perfect finish, the coatings demand a near perfect surface. You're basically locking in the appearance for the next two years, so you want it to be as good as it can be.

    Paint coatings are mentioned a lot in some of the forums I frequent, such as the Lexus and Tesla forums. I imagine this is because owners of those cars don't mind spending $500 or more (usually a lot more) to get their paint corrected and have a coating applied.

    Here are a few coatings that have good reputations:

    CarPro CQuartz Finest (only available to pros, non-pros can get regular CQuartz - I would love to get my hands on some CQuartz Finest)
    Optimum Opti-Guard (only available to pros, non-pros can get Opti-Coat 2.0)
    Gtechniq C1 and EXOv2 (EXOv2 is especially easy to apply, in any temperature, but not as long lasting as other coatings)
    22PLE VX1 Pro

    There is general agreement that Optimum Opti-Coat and Opti-Guard are the longest lasting, but that others have better hydrophobic properties, better gloss, and more slickness.
     
  18. priusenvy

    priusenvy Senior Member

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    I should also mention that the same companies that make paint coatings also make permanent plastic trim restorers based on the same or similar formulations as their paint coatings. I've used them with great results in the past. My Prius has not had this applied to it yet, so I'll try to put some on the cowl plastic and mud guards, two areas where the plastic is looking a little faded, and post some before and after pics. Unlike other trim restorers which were gone after a couple months, these new trim restorers look like they will last a few years (6 month old application on another car still looks like new plastic).
     
  19. sthomasaz

    sthomasaz Junior Member

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    Thanks!
     
  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    tideland wasn't always a mod?o_O
     
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