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Discussion Starter #1
As a former car show go'er with my 98 Integra Type R, I know all about getting cars "Concourse Clean" for car shows. I also have a friend who used to own a high end detailing shop in Huntley, IL, in he too was amazed in my findings. Below is a post, slightly modified from a thread that I posted in the Exterior Forum.

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Ever heard of Griots Garage? ( http://www.griotsgarage.com/ )

I am in no way affiliated with Griot's, but I have been using their wax on my Type R and my Accord for years now.

When my vehicles need it, I use their paint cleaning clay first. This removes any contaminents from the paint, and it gets the paint ready for compound, or wax if it doesn't need to be hit with compound to remove swirls first. It leaves the paint nice and smooth, and removes anything stuck to the paint like bugs, rocks, sap, or any other bad adhesives that stick on there. If you have never used a clay on your car before, you will be amazed at how smooth it gets the finish again. I know there are other clays out there as well that you can pick up at your local car care store that work just as good. I use Griot's "Speed Shine" as the lubricant for the clay. You can also use Meguiar's quick detail spray as well. It's all effective.

After that, if I have some swirls that need to be buffed out, I use one of the three compunds Griot's offers. They have a Fine, Mild, and Medium depending on how swirled your paints is. These work awesome and take out any swirls or spider webs. I apply this with their Porter Cable orbital they sell, but it can also be applied by hand. They recommend starting with the Fine, then going to the Mild if need be, and hitting it again with the fine.

I detailed my '96 Accord V6 yesterday for the first time in 2 years and it was bad and neglected! Being in the military, the car has been sitting for the last year, and has only gotten about 4 baths in the last 16 months. I started with the medium, and the car looked phenomenol before I even waxed it. I use 100% cotton towels to remove the compound. This system proves to be effective.

After I buff it out, I use the orbital again to apply their "Best of Show" Wax. This time I use the red wax applicator pad on the orbital, opposed to the orange pad i use for the polish. This is one of the best waxes I have ever used, and the easiest to apply, and even easier to remove. And it really brings out the depth in your paint. My Accord is almost 8 years old, and with the exception of the paint chips, the paint looks awesome!

When it rains and the car needs a wash, I use their car wash, but any other non-wax stripping car wash will suit you just fine.

When the cars are just dusty, I use a California duster to remove the dust. Or you can just give it a quick rinse and use an Absorger to chammy it off.

When it needs a little mre of a touch up, I use their "Speed Shine," and wipe it dry with a cloth diaper.

All of these steps have proved efective for me, as have Griots products. I swear by their stuff, and think it is the best and easiest for me to use. It also gives me the best results.

A few other tips:

1. Always wash your car after you have let your paint cool.
2. Never ever wash your car in the sun. This lets water spots produce, and warm paint gets soft, and helps the swirling start.
3. Never buff or wax your car in the sun or when the paint is still warm. This can make the product you are applying dry to fast, and you can get color variation.
4. Always wash the car top to bottom. never start at the bottom and work your way up. The bottom always has the best chance of having a rock stuck to it, which you could pick up on your sponge, and you could end up scrratching the surface of your paint while washing the rest. Ring out your sponge often, and check it for rocks or other thins that could potentially harm your paint.

There are also many other products that work just as well. Meguiar's and Mother's have great products that I have used in the past. Zymol makes an awesome paint prep cleaner/swirl remove called HD Cleanse. This is another phenomenol product that works wonders! But if you use it, use a back and forth motion, not a swirling motion. And then remove it in the opposite direction you put it on. If you put in on left to right, remove it up and down or vice versa.

In short, there are some great systems out there that work. Both the Mother's and Meguiar's 2 or 3 step packages work nice. I just prerfer the Griot's system that I have been using because it seems to work best for me, and is the fastest for me. The clay especially makes a huge difference.

Those are just my experiences and I hope that helps.

V/R,

Mark
 

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Michael Jackson?

I thought Michael Jordan would be here pitching some Nike Car Cleaning Products... :lol:

Good tips though. But how do you wash your car if you don't have a place out of the sun to do this?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I know what you are saying. When I lived on base I had nowhere to wash my car, and now, I live in an apartment with street parking. It's a pain in the butt.

Luckily, one of my friends has a driveway with a ton of trees that provide a bunch of shade. So I just go to his house.
 
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