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Thread: first steps for a new (used) car

  1. #1
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    first steps for a new (used) car

    New here. I just purchased a 2018 Audi Q7 with 39k miles. The car looks great now, but I wanted to get started off on the right foot when it comes to cleaning and protecting the car. I was reasonable educated about detailing back in the early 2000's, so I have a Porter Cable random orbital buffer, and the right wash mitt and bucket set up. Past that, I'm hoping someone can recommend the right first step (light polish followed by protective coating?) to get the car looking its best and protected appropriately. Thanks!

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    You might check out Essence. Great polish and you can stop there as it leaves protection. Or you can follow up and coat with a coating. I'd recommend you try Cquartz Lite if you want additional protection.


    Sent from my SM-N976U using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    I love shiny things Merlin's Avatar
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    The first step is a good washing/cleaning.
    I suggest using the Two Bucket Method.
    Here is a link -> https://amiracledetailing.com/files/...ash_Method.pdf

    Shampoos, towels, wash mitts, etc. have come a long way since "the early 2000's".
    I suggest 2 Grit Guards, a Merino Wool Wash mittand Reset Intensive Car Shampoo

    Drying is another subject. I use a Metro Air Force Master Blaster but a quality leaf blower will work IF it is never used for leaves.
    Any leaves, dirt, or debris can get it the intake and blow on the paint. If you must use one create a filter to put over the intake.
    Drying Towels: I like the Microfiber Madness Dry Me Crazy (25" x 17") or the Microfiber Madness Chipmunk (25" x 17")

    Below is a a short video that shows the "Two Bucket Method"


    Quote Originally Posted by AudiAgain
    I have a Porter Cable random orbital buffer, and the right wash mitt and bucket set up.
    Past that, I'm hoping someone can recommend the right first step (light polish followed by protective coating?) to get the car looking its best and protected appropriately.
    Does it need polishing? Do you have light scratches and swirl marks?
    Always use the least agressive method of correction/polishing first!

    For the PC I recommend a 5" backing plate to enable better control.
    I'd suggest the Meguiar'sŪ 5" Soft Buff DA Backing Plate, DBP5

    If it doesn't need paint correction for light swirls then I would suggest:
    Rupes UNO Pure Universal Ultrafine Finishing Polish
    I have had very good results creating a high gloss finish with this product.
    For the finishing pads I like both the Rupes DA White Ultra Fine Finishing Foam Pad 5" or the CarPro Gloss Pad 5"
    Work Clean. Be sure and clean your pads during and between each section that you polish.

    After polishing be sure and clean any polish of the paint surface with a diluted IPA or (my favorite) Carpro Eraser

    Now that the surface is polished and cleaned you are ready for the Last Step Product (LSP).
    There are multiple coating products CQuartz Lite (easiest) and Cquartz UK 3.0 (50ml Kit) (better looks and longevity)
    Coatings can be a little tricky to learn to apply and remove correctly but they have the best gloss and durability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin View Post
    The first step is a good washing/cleaning.
    I suggest using the Two Bucket Method.
    Here is a link -> https://amiracledetailing.com/files/...ash_Method.pdf

    Shampoos, towels, wash mitts, etc. have come a long way since "the early 2000's".
    I suggest 2 Grit Guards, a Merino Wool Wash mittand Reset Intensive Car Shampoo

    Drying is another subject. I use a Metro Air Force Master Blaster but a quality leaf blower will work IF it is never used for leaves.
    Any leaves, dirt, or debris can get it the intake and blow on the paint. If you must use one create a filter to put over the intake.
    Drying Towels: I like the Microfiber Madness Dry Me Crazy (25" x 17") or the Microfiber Madness Chipmunk (25" x 17")

    Below is a link to a short video that shows the "Two Bucket Method"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDBMvKKTV28



    Does it need polishing? Do you have light scratches and swirl marks?
    For the PC I recommend a 5" backing plate to enable better control.
    I'd suggest the Meguiar'sŪ 5" Soft Buff DA Backing Plate, DBP5

    If it doesn't need paint correction for light swirls the I suggest:
    Rupes UNO Pure Universal Ultrafine Finishing Polish
    I have had very good results creating a high gloss finish with this product.
    For the finishing pads I like both the Rupes DA White Ultra Fine Finishing Foam Pad 5" or the CarPro Gloss Pad 5"

    After polishing be sure and clean any polish of the paint surface with a diluted IPA or (my favorite) Carpro Eraser

    Now that the surface is polished and cleaned you are ready for the Last Step Product (LSP).
    There are multiple coating products CQuartz Lite (easiest) and Cquartz UK 3.0 (50ml Kit) (better looks and longevity)
    Coatings can be a little tricky to learn to apply and remove correctly but they have the best gloss and durability.
    Thanks so much for this. Just what I was looking for. Do you think one of the carpro starter kits plus a couple of pads and other products might be a good start?

  5. #5
    I love shiny things Merlin's Avatar
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    Let's start with the basics...Do you have fine scratches and swirl marks (washing marks) on the paint?

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    It's hard to tell because the car is silver, but I shined a flashlight all over it and to me the paint looks to be in good shape. There are a couple of deeper scratches that the dealer agreed to fix as part of the sale agreement. I'm getting those fixed in a few days.

  7. #7
    I love shiny things Merlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AudiAgain View Post
    It's hard to tell because the car is silver, but I shined a flashlight all over it and to me the paint looks to be in good shape.
    There are a couple of deeper scratches that the dealer agreed to fix as part of the sale agreement. I'm getting those fixed in a few days.
    Depending on the paint they use you may not be able to polish/seal for 3-4 weeks after they are corrected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin View Post
    Depending on the paint they use you may not be able to polish/seal for 3-4 weeks after they are corrected.
    Assuming I do wait until that process has cured (or whatever) then do you think I go with the Rupes UNO given that the paint seems to be in good shape?

  9. #9
    I love shiny things Merlin's Avatar
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    Again, depending on the body shop and their paint/process.
    I would normally suggest 3-4 weeks after painting before polishing and coating.

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