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Discussion Starter #1
I was reading a friend's copy of Griot's Garage catalog last night, and there are a lot of options on how to maintain the finish of the car. So I thought I would ask how y'all take care of your cars on the more cosmetic side. I plan on garage storing my car beneath a cover. Which cover to buy? How often do you need to wax/polish/wash etc.? Hand vs. Buffer. Good products? Bad products? Paint chip protection? What kind of a clear cote will be on the car if at all?
 

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I use P21S cleaning products on all of my cars, and Klasse to make it shine after its clean. I use a Porter-Cable orbital buffer (you can buy cheaper online or at Lowes as a sander, and just buy the buffing pads seperate). Beautiful results!! :)

 

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Let me prefice this with, "believe what you want". I was told when I bought my Elan, that the paint needs a while to bake in, so it's best to not use soap when you wash it for the first 6 months. So for the next year (I waited longer than 6 months), I used nothing but water and a clean cloth. I've gotta admit, the finish on that car looked better than anything I've seen. I went to a few Elan meetings, in 1999 and people were wondering when I got mine repainted, it looked so good. When I get my Elise, I'll be doing the same.

Barry
 

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BarryB said:
Let me prefice this with, "believe what you want". I was told when I bought my Elan, that the paint needs a while to bake in, so it's best to not use soap when you wash it for the first 6 months. So for the next year (I waited longer than 6 months), I used nothing but water and a clean cloth. I've gotta admit, the finish on that car looked better than anything I've seen. I went to a few Elan meetings, in 1999 and people were wondering when I got mine repainted, it looked so good. When I get my Elise, I'll be doing the same.

Barry
No wax either?
 

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That was true with older cars but the process of painting new cars has gotten rid of the old "bake in" advice. With clear coating the paint is already sealed in and you cannot do it any harm by washing/waxing it immediately.
 

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smura is right about the paint. Modern paint on cars are a base coat/clear coat system which are cured by the time they reach the dealer. The current paints use water-based urethane clears which are a bit 'softer' than the solvent-based clears. Naturally the water-based are better for our environment but they do scratch more easily. I'd suggest a good carnuba based wax, since they provide a nice 'hard' surface. There is another good thread HERE regarding waxing.

Covering you car is an excellent idea to protect your finish. You need to decide whether you need an indoor or outdoor or a combination of these. Whatever you choose, make sure you get one that fits the Elise. Stop by here to see some options: Elise Car Covers
 

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I can agree with Craigy,
Zymol (the mail order version, not the stuff sold in stores is exc.)is by far the easiest wax to apply, doesn't leave a build up and smells like cocoa butter sun tan lotion!
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Shinoo,

Thanks for the link. I see that this was discussed in depth last month while I was away. Great info!

Cale
 

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Cale said:
Anyone had any experience with car covers?
If a car must be parked outside, a car cover is an excellent form of protection. However, I think it's best if you only use one when a car is perfectly clean. Otherwise, you're trapping dust/dirt between the cover and the car, so when the cover is slid around during installation & removal, you're scratching your clearcoat. When I use my cover, I always clean the car first, either with that spray&clean stuff, or with a car duster if it's not that bad. Of course, neither of these actions are great for the paint, I admit, but covering the car makes it worth it.
 

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Pinnacle car wash, 1 coat of Klasse All in One, 4 coats of Klasse Sealant Glaze, and 1 coat of Pinnacle Souveran carnauba wax. One pair of dark sun glasses to protect your eyes from the reflection!
 

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I also use the Porter Cable Random Orbit buffer/polisher(separate pad per product). I got it from Coastal Tools-they had the best price. I used this particularly because the Audi was not a tiny car although with the Elise I may tend to hand glaze and wax.

I like Sonax Car Shampoo. P21s wheel cleaner is great. I also like Sonax's liquid wax for the buffer or One Grand for hand application. Always use flannel to buff away the wax. I get most of my car care products from Car Care Specialties. The guy Larry who owns it is an avid porsche club guy and is very helpful in giving car care advice.
 

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Zaino

Solo2Elise said:
The best car wash polish I've ever used and now I am sticking with it is zaino bros, http://www.zainostore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc. I've tried at least 20 products on the market. Now I use the left over zymol , Meguiars , Turtle ... etc on my helmets only.
My brother swears by the stuff, but I haven't switched over to it because it would be pointless while I'm parking outside until my new home is built. It looks pretty good.

I used to use stuff from Autofanatics, especially the RAGGTOPP stuff but I'll definitely be switching to the Zaino.
 

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I've been using Zaino exlusively for the last 3 years, on my M3 and my wife's MCS. It is indeed very durable and is very reflective.

But, I'm ready for a change, so when my big Spring detail comes up I plan on using Klasse AIO+SG, topped with carnauba (either Pinnacle Souveran or P21S). This combo is favored by lots of folks on autopia, so I figured I'd give it a try and probably stick with that when the Elise comes.

I clay with Clay Magic and then use Griot's machine polish twice a year with a Porter Cable buffer.

For wheels I use the P21S wheel cleaner, and for tire dressing I use Meguiar's Endurance gel.

Wash with 100% cotton chenille mitts and dry with Big Blue drying towels.

For microfiber towels I use pakshak's MF.
 

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atyclb said:
I've been using Zaino exlusively for the last 3 years, on my M3 and my wife's MCS. It is indeed very durable and is very reflective.

But, I'm ready for a change, so when my big Spring detail comes up I plan on using Klasse AIO+SG, topped with carnauba (either Pinnacle Souveran or P21S). This combo is favored by lots of folks on autopia, so I figured I'd give it a try and probably stick with that when the Elise comes.

I clay with Clay Magic and then use Griot's machine polish twice a year with a Porter Cable buffer.

For wheels I use the P21S wheel cleaner, and for tire dressing I use Meguiar's Endurance gel.

Wash with 100% cotton chenille mitts and dry with Big Blue drying towels.

For microfiber towels I use pakshak's MF.
The Klasse AIO+SG, topped with carnauba is the way to go. I have done that to both of my cars and it is now easier to clean. It is a real pain to apply the first time because of the time involved. The Big Blue Drying Towels are great. I recommend them to anyone looking for the ultimate drying towel. I use mine to dry my jeep and my mr2 without having to wait for it to dry.
 
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