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Confused about my cleaning regime

Hi All,

I am not sure which way to go with my cleaning regime.

I have a 3 year old 159 that, in my opinion, has a damn good paint finish. It seems to have a deep lacquer that may have been there from new or may be that AG process that you can get with new cars (I don't know but it did have an AG decal on the windscreen).

At the moment my regime is quite simple. I shampoo, rinse and then AG Aquawax, sometimes I also use Citrus Bling if I am doing a mid-week quick wash (damn seagulls). Also I do the glass and wheels with AG products.

My current regime takes me 1 hour max and I think the car looks pretty good, I certainly get comments about the shine.

My questions are:

Is this lacquer really lacquer or is it the AG treatment?

If I tried using clay would it take of this lacquer or AG stuff?

I guess my concern is I don't want to start a regime that takes me longer and might end up with the car looking worse.

Just for info the colour is Titanio.

Thanks
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All modern paintwork has a clearcoat finish on top of the layer of paint (colour). This provides a high gloss and protects the paint which is why modern cars rarely fade if they are properly looked after. When you polish and wax the "paint" you are actually working on the clearcoat.

So, when you say you have a lacquer it is most probably the clearcoat layer. I am not aware of any such coating that AG would apply. There are aftermarket so called "lifetime treatments" which the dealers will try and sell you which are an absolute ripoff and the workers who apply these will more than likely instill swirls into your clearcoat finish. Avoid them like the plague.

To answer your question: Claying the car will not remove the clearcoat, on the contrary it will remove bonded contaminants and allow you to polish and wax the surface to a high gloss.
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1.Its the clearcoat.

2. Clay would take off the AG lifeshine, not the clearcoat.

3. Claying, followed by polishing (with perhaps AG SRP) followed by either wax (Colly 476 or AG HD) or a sealant (AG EGP) will only improve the looks which you can then "top up" with Aqua Wax. The good news is that none of these products are particularily expensive, and they are all readily availible.
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(Post Link) post #4 of 17 Old 06-09-09 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, that clears up a few things. Think I will give the claying a try, how long would it take to clay a car of this size (excluding the pre and post clay work)?
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I took me about 90 mins to clay my MiTo as it was my 1st time. A good kit is the Megs Smooth Surface Clay Kit which includes 2 50 gram bars, QD Spray, an AIO cleanser wax and a MF Buffing Towel. Other than that NE Det have Dodo Juice Born Slippy Clay Lube, £6.95 then they have many different clays as you know. Its quite scary doing it for the 1st time i say! Good luck. Aquawax gives a lovely shine doesnt it!
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Bilt Hamber Auto Clay - Soft | Buy Auto Clay - Soft Online

this uses water as lube. saves buying more expensive kits.
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Bilt Hamber Auto Clay - Soft | Buy Auto Clay - Soft Online

this uses water as lube. saves buying more expensive kits.
Aye bachus, NE Det sell Bilt Hamber
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people on detailingworld.co.uk have even used blue-tac as a clay when times get hard!! However I wouldn't run the risk! AG SRP followed by AG EGP is a good combo. I personally don't think their is too much wrong with your cleaning regime, maybe snow foam the car before shampooing to reduce the risk of any swirls.

Do you do much with your wheels? I find a alloy brush really handy to get right between the spokes of the alloys too.

I currently have used AG UDS and AG EGP around 2-3 months and 'top' it up with aquawax and it still has a deep shine to it still ( I used UDS apposed to SRP as my car is only 3 months old so my paintwork should not need as an abrasive polish as SRP)
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Do you do much with your wheels? I find a alloy brush really handy to get right between the spokes of the alloys too.
Yep I use AG wheel cleaner and AG wheel polish and a brush when needed.
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Yep I use AG wheel cleaner and AG wheel polish and a brush when needed.
I would try a non acidic wheel cleaner if you clean them regulary as acid will in the long term damage your alloys. AG Custom wheel cleaner is non-acidic. I use bilbery and I dont try anything else as its fantastic.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpoolck View Post
I would try a non acidic wheel cleaner if you clean them regulary as acid will in the long term damage your alloys. AG Custom wheel cleaner is non-acidic. I use bilbery and I dont try anything else as its fantastic.
Agreed- Bilberry and an EZ Detail brush. You'll wonder how you managed with anything else.
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I wouldn't use any wheel cleaner at all. If your wheels are properly cleaned, clayed and waxed with a dedicated wheel sealant then a simple wash with car wash shampoo once a week will keep them sparkling clean.

Avoid wheel cleaners. Period!!
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If it has had AG lifeshine, there's probably nothing left of it anyway. All it is is a sealant thats badly apllied by people who don't know what they're doing and charge a fortune! Plus, people who have this done are misled in to thinking they never need to use a wax/sealant again.

Definately give the clay a blast but I'd bargain on at least a couple of hours to do it properly. Beware, you may induce swirl marks by claying, so make sure you use plenty of lube and be prepared to crack the polish out afterwards!

I agree with Springbok again with the wheel cleaner. If for no other reason I think its a waste of money. I spent years using various cleaners and now find that using regular car shampoo and a dedicated sponge (cut to the right size and Shape) works better than any wheel cleaner i've used in the past.
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I like using Bilberry at a mix of about 1:8 as i clean regularly. I have Sealed them more recently then just washed them with my new EZ detail brush which brought them up nice but i hate doing wheels so know i will revert back to the lazy way....Bilberry ftw! I know its better to seal etc but it just seems like so much effort. Last week i tried doing them with Dodo Juice Red Mist which was far quicker and i hope to get some Optimum Opti-Seal soon and do them with that. Its meant to be an awesome product. Its a spray sealant that you litterally spray and wipe with a sponge applicator.
YouTube - Optimum Opti-Seal on 1999 Cobra
YouTube - Dentless Dave's Optimum Opti-Coat and Opti-Seal Demo on a Evo 9 MR
You can use it on everything aswell, glass, trim, wheels and paintwork!



http://www.flickr.com/photos/philwhittaker/

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opti seal and opti coat looked pretty impressive combo! How much is the damage though? And where can you buy this from?
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Originally Posted by lpoolck View Post
opti seal and opti coat looked pretty impressive combo! How much is the damage though? And where can you buy this from?
Detailed Obsession
Bare in mind you use virtually one spray on each panel so its probably great value! Optimum seem to have some awesome stuff! Remember ONR is Optimum
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Yeah seems you dont use much product (just like CG new trim gel...used it like 10+ times, and doesnt look like ive opened it yet!)

So does the opti seal just make the water run off, or is it a combo of that and opti coat or opti coat alone?
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