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Discussion Starter #1
While I am recovering and unable to drive, I need help from all on high end car care. Now my Elise is beautiful and pretty as can be, but looking at Larry's and some other members photos I knowI am not doing her justice. I need some help on high end cleaning and polishing solutions. Can you guys provide me some solutions and polishes to help me make her proud? Please provide product name, where to get it, why you recommend the product, what to use it on, and the benefits of using the product. I appreciate the help. It will give me something to do in my down time. And why not make the best use of it by making my girl pretty?? Thanks in advance!
 

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Ticket Magnet
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I look forward to reading secrets of the gurus. I know I would recommend washing with Dawn, Griot's clay, and Carnauba Wax for the fiberglass, I also realize I am a simpleton in this area. I won't further embarrass myself with my leather and plastic preservation techniques.

Gurus, proceed!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
After phone calls, PMs, and research I ended up with about $150.00 worth of Maquires products. Had to buy a new orbital polisher due to loaning it out and not getting it back. So this weekend will involve many hours of work and discovery getting Elise showroom shiny again. The bad part is that now the ole lady wants her car done too. Oh well. The good part of having a second wife is that she will be there with me by my side doing the work. I think she wants her car to shine so she can convince me to trade it in for a second Elise. Not a bad thing though. huh?
 

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Yeah, I'm interested to hear what other people are using, but you won't go wrong with McGuire's stuff. I use their classic car wash, followed by a round with quick detail and a clay bar, topped off with their tech wax and I think it looks great. I had an awesome detail guy for a while that moved away but he swore by lemon pledge for the leather and interior. Makes sense actually because it doesn't leave that tacky feeling that I find a lot of armor all stuff does. I'm mixed on shining the tires.
 

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please do not use armor all in your car. It will form a haze on the inside of your windshield which must be removed every 3 days for the months that follow. I can't believe armor all never fixed this problem from 3 decades ago.
 

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Yeah, I'm interested to hear what other people are using, but you won't go wrong with McGuire's stuff. I use their classic car wash, followed by a round with quick detail and a clay bar, topped off with their tech wax and I think it looks great. I had an awesome detail guy for a while that moved away but he swore by lemon pledge for the leather and interior. Makes sense actually because it doesn't leave that tacky feeling that I find a lot of armor all stuff does. I'm mixed on shining the tires.


Exterior, i use "wolfgang" products. Interior, i use some of the higher end auto zone stuff. There is a real good leather cleaner/conditioner at auto zone, but I only splurge on things that contact my paint.

I can vouch for wolfgang car care(autogeek product), others can vouch for meguiars, poor boys, adams, the list goes on.

I personally, (when i get the itch) do swirl/light scratch removal, polish, then use a 6 month sealant(long lasting protectant with wax finish), NOTHING is easier to apply IMO than Wolfgang's paint sealant. You let it sit for 45 mins, and it wipes off, no buffing whatsoever. I suppose there are spray waxes and wash plus wax combos that might be technically easier....... but those are also of lower durability and shine.

The key is obviously to keep swirls from happening though......

I am a nazi though, and if the sun is out and a swirl catches my eye..... then ill see you in 6 hours.

As mentioned in my previous post, the spoiler/deck lid is very hard to properly abrase. I still have a lot of swirls on my deck lid, but i need to get a small mild cutting pad to do it where there are intensive contours.


INTERIOR: (besides leather)
I use my TORNADOR

For the plastic/rubber, i use plastic/rubber cleaner/shine/protectant. I dilute with water and spray on with my TORNADOR. However, the TORNADOR really shines in civilized vehicle interior cleaning, especially cup holders n such. It is also kewl to put some auto febreeze in the tornador with water and mist the f*** out of a car.

Aluminum: Nothing special, either a blast of air or a blast of high pressure misted air.

ADAMS carries a nice plastic/rubber trim sealant that is in an aerosal can. I have thought about purchasing that, for the louvers especially, to keep those nice and black. They have a vid on their site. The low end stuff, the greasy stuff, looks nice n pretty, but is a real mess to clean off of the parts of teh car you did not intend application on. Adams product seems to be non greasy and a breeze to apply.
 

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I'm not a uber detailer guy, I've had my Elise for about 2 months and am learning as well. I always hand wash but have started doing a 2 bucket wash per Junkmans suggestions. His videos are great and he knows how to detail. I use a Griots wash mit and Griots Car Wash solution. Prior to that I used a squirt of Dawn dish soap. Rinse well and I hand dry with microfiber cloth. I don't have a leaf blower yet but I think those are a great way to dry your car.

I bought a bottle of Meguires Ultimate Wax: MeguiarsDirect.com:Ultimate Wax Liquid Ultimate Wax Liquid It goes on easy, buffs out by hand rather well and has a pleasant scent and makes the car feel very smooth. I don't know other waxes really so if there is way better than Meguires I'm all ears!

I'll hand wash the wheels and hit them with some Windex and wipe them down and then use some Meguires tire spray. I have a mix of Isopropyl and Water solution at a 1 to 10 ratio for my mirrors and windows. It's cheap and does a superb job without streaking. Other than that, I try to keep the car clean and will wash it 2-3 times a week. It is very easy to keep the car shiny and spotless when you clean it often.

I've never used a buffer and do all my work by hand. My next step is to use a claybar on the car and re-wax it.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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Grab a good low pressure foam gun from auto geek for abrasive free soap dispensing. This allows the soap foam to sit on the car for a moment, suspending the dirt into the foam, before you sweep it away with the sheepskin washmitt. Which you also have foamed in preperation. Rinse the mitt in a bucket with a grit guard in the bottom. Leaf blower - touchless car dry.
 

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So my 2 cents, as I am coming to this party late.

I would have voted for the meguiar's products for sure as well. If I had known you were willing to go so far as to purchase a buffer I would have suggested the new Flex Random orbital ($300 with a meguiar's package) or the Porter Cable random orbital ($170 with a package), these two buffers are by far the best I have used personally over the last 3 years. And I swear by the flex system.

But if your paint is pretty good, and your swirls were minimal I would have suggested the Use of the Meguiar's Clay Bar Kit, as it is my favorite kit. (Available at any auto parts store)

And then waxing the car with Meguiar's Ultimate paste Wax. (available at any auto parts store). I used this wax on my wife's car last year when I buffed most of it out (05 VW Passat Wagon, spent 10 hours buffing getting it back to nearly flawless (130k miles on it)) and then laid down a nice layer of the Ultimate paste wax, washed it once this January since then, and again just 2 weeks ago, and MAN does that wax working amazingly well. I kid you not, that literally you can stand pretty much 3 to 5 feet from it, and it looks almost COMPLETELY flawless. I should say that the 10 hours was using the FLEX unit, when I used a unit similar to the meguiar's set up (Griot's machine) it took me almost 3 days, and I was still not 100% satisfied with how the car came out.

I will be doing a buffing job on the lotus and using the meguiar's ultimate wax on it as well from now on. Being that it is a synthetic wax, it will last for MONTHS before needing to be renewed, and it smells REALLY good. So only being able to get to my car once a month, this will be the perfect set up (Starlight black elise).

Prior to using the Meguiar's I have worked with the TEch wax 2.0 from Meguiar's and it was pretty good, but I LOVED Magic Wax from a company in DC. It is an All natural wax that smell great and looks amazingly good, the downfall with it is that they are asking about $25 for it shipped to my door (in washington state) and you have to order it direct through them, so availability is not the greatest, and being that it is a natural wax, it's life span on a car is about a month before it is completely gone.

Hope that helps.
 

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I'm still looking for something for the interior/dash of my S2.5 dash (the latest one). It seem if you rub on any product is looks patchy and the fluff comes of the rag. I am now using silicon spray as it doesn't need to be rubbed. It also gives a gloss finish which I love.

If anyone has found something better I'm all ears.
 

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I am a big fan of Zymol products. They are all natural, will not harm a car's surfaces and all smell great.

HD Cleanse - paint cleaner to clear the paint of contaminants and produce a smooth surface that accepts wax more easily
Carbon - Wax for dark colored cars like my LRG Elise
Treat - Banana oil based leather care for the seatings and other leather covered surfaces
Vinyl - for plastic and vinyl surfaces, leaves a matte shine that is not sticky. No vapors to get on your windshield either!

THey have lots of other products as well, but these are the ones I have used for many years on my BMWs, motorbikes, bicycles and now the Elise. I do everything by hand, using clean, microfiber towels to wipe, buff and polish. The Elise looks amazing after a day of Zymol treatment! It is a lot of work, but worth it.

Check out Official Zymol Website - Home for more info. They even make special formulation waxes for some cars, and custom formulations for folks who want them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well I finally was able to put the Maquires array of products to the test. Now my Elise was always beautiful since I got her last year. BUT, she is just absolutely georgeous after the time sent today. I am totally pleased with the products and the results. I am sold on the Maquires performance!
 

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Well I finally was able to put the Maquires array of products to the test. Now my Elise was always beautiful since I got her last year. BUT, she is just absolutely georgeous after the time sent today. I am totally pleased with the products and the results. I am sold on the Maquires performance!
Pics please!
 
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