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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
These aren’t photos of a CX-3, they are of a Toyota Aygo that I’ve done a few jobs on this week. However, the circumstances do apply - you can cause quite a lot of damage to your paintwork by not looking after it properly. The most obvious culprit is a car wash, no matter how soft they claim the brushes to be. This is a photo of the car. Nothing to obvious as with most cars.



Look a little closer and you will see the damage - especially in artificial or strong sunlight;



After some time with a rotary polisher, the paint starts to restore;



.......until eventually you get back to the original deep shine;



The moral of the story is (and appreciate that this is not always possible for those with no off road parking), rinse your car off and remove as much road dirt as possible without any contact. Wash your car frequently using plenty of car shampoo (not washing up liquid which will immediately de-wax it). Polish the car at least once a year. Ultimate polish from Meguire’s is cheap in Walmart. While you are there, get some wax like Meguire’s Gold Class. Polishing will restore the shine. Waxing 2 or 3 times a year will add a protective layer. Its easier to maintain a shine from new and keep it that way;





I could go on about “detailing” but for most it’s just a practical matter of looking after your investment.
 

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Anchorman, what's your opinion on tire shine? Most contain silicone. My local car wash applies it. It looks great, but i'm worried about it causing cracking in the side walls and premature deterioration.
 

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Anchorman... What is the best way to remove all previously applied products and get to a untreated paint surface before detailing? If you polish the car with a rotary machine does that remove any previous applied glaze/wax? After getting the old wax off, I've always believed the proper detailing process is wash, clay bar, polish, glaze then wax. Your thoughts please.
 

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I havent used a drive-thru car wash yet, mainly due to the fear of minor paint damage. I use the self wash ones (which have their own issues if you're unlucky) and so far haven't had noticeable issues. Few things I do to be safe is spray water against wall (or ground, just not vehicle) for awhile before using on vehicle. Don't apply soap brush to vehicle directly, instead use microfibre towel with said soap to apply on vehicle, takes more time, and it'll end up costing you more money (If at a self wash station).

For tire shine, I use Back to Black by Mothers, and it hasn't done anything wrong yet, and I know friends who use it as well and haven't made a complaint towards it causing damage.

For everything else i use Simoniz products, which have been good to me as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Anchorman, what's your opinion on tire shine? Most contain silicone. My local car wash applies it. It looks great, but i'm worried about it causing cracking in the side walls and premature deterioration.
I’m not aware that tire treatments can accelerate wall cracking. Over here in the UK, you are supposed to change tyres after 10 years from their manufacturing date which is shown as a week and year number on the sidewall. You can see it here as 2415 (week 24 year 2015) in the raised panel;



The stuff I use is mainly Autoglym which is clearly silicone based white liquid applied with a sponge applicator. I bought Meguires tire shine last time I was over which appears more oily. You guys are so lucky as you can pay peanuts in Walmart for what we pay a fortune for. I use one os those sill brushes from Target or Walmart that are about 18inches long and always wash the tires at the same time as washing the wheels. I think that helps keep them in good order and obviously, so does not rubbing the curb!

Anchorman... What is the best way to remove all previously applied products and get to a untreated paint surface before detailing? If you polish the car with a rotary machine does that remove any previous applied glaze/wax? After getting the old wax off, I've always believed the proper detailing process is wash, clay bar, polish, glaze then wax. Your thoughts please.
Yes, more or less as you say. I use a professional pressure washer to first wet the car then remove the course dirt. I mostly use snowfoam to wash the car but sometimes use a bucket with car shampoo;



Washing the wheels is the most time consuming and I use that brush from target for the tires and the outside of the wheel then a Daytona Speedmaster for the spokes and as much of the inside as possible. Next I wash inside the door shuts and the sills. If I decide to do some detailing, I start with tar remover. You need to get down to ground level and feel the body with the flat of your hand. There is an amazing amount of debris sticking to most cars. Clean the panel off with tar remover then move on to clay and lots of detailing spray. This is just the hood of my almost new CX-3;



Wipe it off with a clean microfibre then feel the surface. Not quite sexual but rather nice nevertheless. Next is the polishing. There are many polishes available and I use Meguires because I stock up when I’m visiting Florida in June! They do compound which is supposed to be courser as well but I can’t tell any difference.

Next I wax the paint. Again I use Meguires but the purists will use a hard wax like Collinite. I will be getting some soon. It is a very hard process using hard wax and must not be allowed to fully dry or it is like stucco to get off. Hard wax is also expensive and $600 is not out of the way.

Getting a car back to square one can be a bit overwhelming but I recommend doing one or two panels every time you wash then it doesn’t become too much of a chore. The effect on the finish and colour is astonishing.

I havent used a drive-thru car wash yet, mainly due to the fear of minor paint damage. I use the self wash ones (which have their own issues if you're unlucky) and so far haven't had noticeable issues. Few things I do to be safe is spray water against wall (or ground, just not vehicle) for awhile before using on vehicle. Don't apply soap brush to vehicle directly, instead use microfibre towel with said soap to apply on vehicle, takes more time, and it'll end up costing you more money (If at a self wash station).

For tire shine, I use Back to Black by Mothers, and it hasn't done anything wrong yet, and I know friends who use it as well and haven't made a complaint towards it causing damage.

For everything else i use Simoniz products, which have been good to me as well.
It’s funny because I always go right past Simoniz because they are seen as budget products here but I must have a better look next time I raid Walmart. I do rate Mothers products. Griots garage products are very good. AutoZone usually have a stand and they sell the best value clay in a tub for $19:99.
 

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I haven't thought of this so much. I suppose I would put a protector on to begin with and then just wash it by hand when the weather isn't too cold.
 

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So jealous of your setup, anchorman. I live in a condo without any hand wash capability. I was using the wash stall in my friends condo garage but he recently sold his condo :( I will only do a hand wash.

I've realized I need to add some wax and sealants to the CX3 as soon as possible. This round of nasty weather has shown the vulnerability of the finish from the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What about touchless car wash? Would that damage the car?
I've never got a good result without contact washing. Even snowfoam and a professional pressure washer still needs finishing by hand. Providing the kit is clean, the paint won't get damaged. This was my RAV4 at 3 years old.



The paint won't get damaged providing it is the original from the factory but if any body repairs have been done, it might.

So jealous of your setup, anchorman. I live in a condo without any hand wash capability. I was using the wash stall in my friends condo garage but he recently sold his condo :( I will only do a hand wash.

I've realized I need to add some wax and sealants to the CX3 as soon as possible. This round of nasty weather has shown the vulnerability of the finish from the factory.
Yes, I know it can be awkward. I would look for a hand car wash and just have a look to see that they keep changing the water and nothing gets dropped on the ground. If you intend using wax and sealant, the sealant goes first.
 

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Yes, I know it can be awkward. I would look for a hand car wash and just have a look to see that they keep changing the water and nothing gets dropped on the ground. If you intend using wax and sealant, the sealant goes first.
No one ever touches my paint but me! I'm currently reaching out to friends. All I need is access to a water spigot. I have a suite of Griots products to provide all the TLC my car needs - after I get the water source lol.
 

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Hey DJ,
If you're a Griots fan you can always try this no water workaround:
Complete Spray-On Car Wash Kit - Cleaners - Car Washing - Car Care - Griot's Garage

I bought a gallon and will be trying it out this winter.
Thank you! I actually have that on hand as it was included in a detailers kit I won as part of a raffle. I just can't mentally bring myself to wash my car without water. Its just a mental block I have.

I will say I've tried this on spot cleaning (bird dropping etc.) and it does work well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't want to contradict but there is no such thing as a water free wash. Water is the medium that transports the solids from the paint surface. I wouldn't recommend attempting to clean the car in that way. It will look OK at first but it will quickly act like sandpaper and do more harm than good.

I must say that I really rate Griots Garage stuff but I'm really stunned they sell this stuff. It's the kind of tat you find in the dollar store.
 

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I don't want to contradict but there is no such thing as a water free wash. Water is the medium that transports the solids from the paint surface. I wouldn't recommend attempting to clean the car in that way. It will look OK at first but it will quickly act like sandpaper and do more harm than good.

I must say that I really rate Griots Garage stuff but I'm really stunned they sell this stuff. It's the kind of tat you find in the dollar store.
I understand your point Anchorman and it is a concern of mine as well. The liquid is the product itself which supposedly has very high lubricity. I'm sure to use it safely will require spraying on a lot of the product and using quality microfiber towels.

Here is a link to the ChemicalGuys site where they go into detail on their waterless car wash product with videos and reviews:
Chemical Guys - EcoSmart - Hyper Concentrated Waterless Car Wash & Wax (1 Gal Makes 8 Gal)

The Griots product has received 4.5 to 5 stars on Amazon and the CG site reviews are also all 5 star. I will be very careful and test it on a small area and I will post my findings when I cautiously use it for the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hmmm, well. I like how they use a clean BMW to demonstrate it. What about when the car is absolutely full of crud?

I know it isn’t easy when owners can’t get access to a hose but I’m a bit sceptical about that stuff.
 

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I've never got a good result without contact washing. Even snowfoam and a professional pressure washer still needs finishing by hand. Providing the kit is clean, the paint won't get damaged. This was my RAV4 at 3 years old.



The paint won't get damaged providing it is the original from the factory but if any body repairs have been done, it might.



Yes, I know it can be awkward. I would look for a hand car wash and just have a look to see that they keep changing the water and nothing gets dropped on the ground. If you intend using wax and sealant, the sealant goes first.
Your RAV4 looked flawless, Anchorman! What made you decide to trade it in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Good question jt.

It was every bit as flawless as it looks on that photo and I'm glad to say a good friend bought it rather than the dealer making a killing on it.

When I bought that car I had a job where I travelled to work by train but a couple of years ago, I had to start using the RAV due to a change of circumstances. My journey to work is a 46 mile round trip and that RAV, even with a Diesel engine, has an auto box and it's thirsty. In addition, the emission laws in Europe have just stepped up to version six. There is discussion about any vehicle less than version six that travels to a city centre will be charged a daily fee of £10 ($15). Potentially if could turn out expensive. You've probably worked out that I'm a bit of a car freak and if I'm honest with myself, just fancied a change so the financial situation was all the excuse I needed! My mate said "I had an itch that needed scratching" and he's probably right. The new RAV is simply too big and so far isn't offered with a version six engine so that didn't get a look in. The CX-3 is dead cute and has a reasonable spec but size wise is nice and most importantly, available with AWD.

For the first week I confounded the day I ever set eyes on the CX-3 but I must say, there is a lot to like about it. My major criticism is that I cannot get comfortable in those heavily bolstered seats. It feels like each of my shoulder blades is holding my back off the seat back. Perhaps the designers at Mazda have got tapered backs but mine isn't!

So there we are. As long as it does like my last three RAVs and gives me virtually zero defects, it will be with me for the next three years or so. I'd like to keep a car longer as I squander thousands on cars but I don't have any other vices. If it becomes troublesome it's winter tyres won't touch the ground on the way to the dealer.

I bet you wish you never asked now ;-)
 
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On the contrary, very interesting and informative as always, Anchorman! Never ceases to amaze me how much more complex (and costly) motor vehicle requirements are in Europe as compared to here in North America - but no doubt it's only a matter of time before we have to face and weigh all the same sorts of considerations.
 

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I just washed my car yesterday morning, probably for the last time since winter i setting in. Really like this wash station, soft brush, high pressure hose, some sort of spray on wax. Most important of all, its clean and never busy, so I can take my sweet time.

On the topic of winter and washing, any suggested method for washing in the winter? I intended only to clean the underside with pressure on the days salt is laid out on the road, but wouldnt mind occasionally washing it in the winter.
 

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I am not someone who has to have my car perfectly cleaned and detailed all the time...a decent wash job is usually good enough for me.

However, in the last couple of years, I have stopped going to the automated car wash places though.

My wife used them often (drove by one on the way home from work) and over a few vehicles (and a few years) I always noticed dings/scratches/scuffs on her wheels. I was 100% sure she was driving into or rubbing on curbs..but there are no curbs in the parking lot of where she works.

Then, I have a cousin who frequently buys cars that are way out of his budget...but he is a 'car guy' and he buys a subscription to a local car wash places (flat fee each month for unlimited washes). On his last 2 cars, he is asking me what to do about his wheels, he is getting them with minor damage (including damage to part of a sidewall of his tire), and he had NO IDEA why it keeps happening..he says he pays attention and has NOT even touched a curb with his tires.

I think either the automatic rails are doing the damage, or pulling into them is (if you don't pull in 100% pefect, your wheels can rub on the metal rails.)

Well, since my wife stopped going there in the past year, she has not had one new mark on her wheels. My cousin still goes there a few times a month and he is still getting minor damage to his wheels. I think it has to be the car wash.
 
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