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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
OK. Every one has their own routine but below is mine.

Our cars are usually spotless and FYI, my old 156 got chosen to represent the face lift 156's at NAD 2007 and our GT got chosen as the car everyone wanted to take home at an AROC fun concours last year (winning us a free service).

Wheels

I always do the wheels first. Use a separate bucket with wash & wax and warm water in it.

Next, a good hosing then spray with AG's acid free wheel cleaner or their regular acid based stuf if needs must. Agitate with the AG wheel brush or the Sonic Scrubber for the hard to reach bits like the GT's rims or the Brembo callipers. Then use a small sponge on the rest and tyres (Tesco non stick pan cleaners are ideal).

On to the wash

To avoid the swirls, I always pre-treat the car with a 50/50 mix of water and wash & wax, sprayed on with a trigger bottle. Leave for a bit then hose off (I never use a pressure washer).

EDIT I've recently become a Snow Foam convert. Apply via the spray bottle on a pressure washer lance after filling the bottle with a 50/50 SF & water mix. Leave on for no more than 5 minutes and then pressue wash off using the wide fan soft spray setting on the lance.

Once the car is really soaked, I use two Megs grit guard buckets and two decent quality (Tesco finest are great) dual sided wash mitts in warm water mixed with either Zip Wax or AG's conditioner shampoo.

Always ensure the car is kept really wet and dip the mitts often. Also, start at the top and work down. I wash in a straight line too (not circular motions) again to help avoid the swirls.

You can optionally rinse & clay at this stage if your car was really grubby. I do this twice a year (after winter & after summer) and the new Bilt Hamber Autoclay Soft seems to win all the tests for performance & easy of use. Just ensure the surface is wet as this needs to act as a lubricant to allow the clay to glide.

The finish

Finally, after a good rinse, on with the AG Aqua Wax (or Express Wax in 5 litre trade form) but make sure the car is really clean & really wet from the final rinse when you apply and do not go overboard with it.

Dry & shine with a decent quality microfibre cloth. I avoid those flexi blades at all cost because one small beut of grit means disaster:eek:

If you want to be extra particular, finally buff up with a fresh dry microfibre cloth (only really needed if it started to dry before removal).

It's a wax so will only shine, not polish & fill swirls like SRP. It contains Carnuba hence the nice smell:cool:

Wheels & tyres

Once dry, wax & protect the wheels with a suitable wheel sealer such as AG's Alloy Wheel Sealer or Turtle Wax nano protect wheel sealer. Try not to spray on the disks though so spray on a cloth first and then apply. A little goes a long way. Allow to dry then buff off to a shine.

For the tyres, AG's Instant Tyres Shine is excellent, again applied with a very small sponge to avoid getting it on the alloys.

This makes the cleaning of your wheels & tyres much easier next time around:thumbs:

Hey presto, a gleaming ride and with not a lot of effort:D

To note, I polish & wax the car about every three months using a combination of AG SRP (for the Ti), AG UDS (for the GT), EGP as a finish and now the new HD wax as the ultimate shine for shows such as SAD, NAD & MITCAR.

Aqua Wax is perfect for the in between months;)

Hope this is of some interest & of help to you:thumbs:

Cheers,
 
P

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Saturday before AID I'll be round for a demo on my Spider Si :thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Saturday before AID I'll be round for a demo on my Spider Si :thumbs:
Having keyhole spinal surgery on Monday so no clean cars for me unless I can rope GTleigh & Clare into helping:eek:

Will defo be at AID though:cool:
 
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Good thread mate!!

A question for you though, how do you get rid of fine scratches and swirl marks??
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good thread mate!!

A question for you though, how do you get rid of fine scratches and swirl marks??
There are virtually none on my Ti as I've had her from new so have always followed my routine:cool:

Any mild abrasive will get rid of the swirls (T Cut, Megs Scratch ex or AG's paint renovator etc) but it's a long job and needs to be done carefully & properly. Polishes such as SRP or UDS have slight cutting properties but they mainly just just mask the swirls by filling them up.

Post surgery, I hope to be able to de-swirl the GT:cool:

Roughly how long does it take to do all that....
Perhaps and hour 15 with the Ti, slightly longer with the GT as the wheels are a swine to clean:(

A labour of love.
 

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Similar to mine, except less variety of products! ;)

Those abrasive polishes you mention are hard work and can do more damage if not used properly. :confused:
Although SRP only mostly fills the defects, a couple of coats of it topped with a couple of coats of a good wax and all the finish will last a good length of time.
Its still considered and recomended by many pros as one of the most capable correction polishes that can be readily bought and easily used. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I did say "properly & carefully" regarding the abrasives P17. They can ruin a paint job if you go in too hard:eek:
 

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Having keyhole spinal surgery on Monday so no clean cars for me unless I can rope GTleigh & Clare into helping:eek:

Will defo be at AID though:cool:
Only just seen this,nafter the stick you've given me for scraping my alloy you can do it your bl**dy self, surgery or not !!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Only just seen this,nafter the stick you've given me for scraping my alloy you can do it your bl**dy self, surgery or not !!

Got in before you;) See you tomorrow:D
 

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Very nice thread and it just goes to show that it is attention to detail and a good washing regime that makes all the difference not just the products used.
 
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Very nice thread and it just goes to show that it is attention to detail and a good washing regime that makes all the difference not just the products used.
Agreed and use better products for an even better result. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Very nice thread and it just goes to show that it is attention to detail and a good washing regime that makes all the difference not just the products used.
Thanks, indeed. As I said in my opening line, everyone has their own routine and preference for a specific product. I've stuck to my routine for 21 years and all my cars have always been mint.

I must say that the Megs Gritguard buckets are excellent. Expensive (£20 each IIRC:eek:) but certainly worth it:thumbs:
 

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Nice thread SR :thumbs:

Quick question. The AG non acid wheel cleaner, which one is that please? 'Clean Wheels' or 'Custom Wheel Cleaner'

Ta.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Custom is the non acid version. I buy it bulk trade as acid free wheel cleaner.
 
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