Monday, April 14, 2014

First car wash and wax of the season

Bodywork Wash & WaxRiccardo YELLOW Detailing Clay Original  (8oz)Riccardo Premium Clay Lubricant

We had our first weekend with temps above 0 degrees so of course it is time to start the car washing season!  It was actually close to ten degrees so we were just at the temp where I could use my new Menzerna Power Lock sealant ($44) and my new yellow clay bars from Riccardo ($22).  The Menzerna is a 32 oz bottle so while it was a bit costly it will probably do me about 10 uses and the Riccardo clay came with three decent sized bars.

Step one was to wash the car using my Autoglym Was & Wax.  A little bit of this goes a long way, it's not too sudsy but it gets the job done.  I also had the chance to try out my new Chamois which I bought at Costco.  I found it awkward to use, you had to first get it wet and wring it out before use but then I found it difficult to pick up the water off the car like I would have liked, maybe it just needs to be broken in.

Either way I washed and dried the car, although I left some dampness behind since it would help with the clay barring.   Next step was to clay bar my vehicle to get rid of all the nasty bits and pieces that embed themselves in the paint over the winter.  I used my Riccardo clay bar lubricant with the clay bar and it took about 1/2 hour to do the entire car.  If you have never used a clay bar before you just spray one panel at a time with the lubricant and rub the clay bar over the surface until it moves smoothly without any resistance whatsoever.  If you hear any scraping noise (you have to listen very closely) just keep sliding it over the surface until the sound dissipates.  Once you do a section use a microfibre towel to wipe off any excess lubricant.

If you have clay barred properly, the paint should feel as smooth as glass.  However, especially if you have a light colour vehicle you may see some yellow spots that look like rust in the paint.  If you have a white vehicle you will definitely see some of these, it's harder to see on dark colour vehicles.  This is not body rust, it is small bits of iron from brake dust and other items that embed themselves in the clear coat and then rust, and these need to be removed.  I've found that a good Meguiar's Ultimate Compound spot treatment is the best way to remove these.  I tried a spray called Trix iron remover and it worked well but it smelled horrible and needed a lot of care when being used.  The compound requires more elbow grease but it works great without the smell or health risks of Trix.

At this point you should have smooth paint with no yellow spots and be about 2 hours into the production.  Now there are several options, you can polish, then sealant, and or wax.  I didn't feel like I needed to polish so I went right to my Menzerna Power Lock sealant to protect my smooth defect free paint.  Took about 1/2 hour to apply a thin coat by hand and then let it set a few minutes before buffing off with  a microfibre cloth.  The bottle says you can reapply a second coat after a few hours but instead I think I will rewash and apply some Meguiar's Ultimate Past Wax on our next nice day..... which will hopefully be tomorrow.  Check out the results so far, I didn't bother shining up the winter tires since they will be coming off this week:

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