The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hypothetical Question: I've just brought my Elise home from the dealer. What is the first thing that I need to do to get the painted surfaces in good order? I would think that a good paint cleaning clay is in order. Then what, polish or straight to wax? What is a glaze and what does it do? Some expert advice would be helpful. Vantage, you out there? Should I wait until the clear bra goes on before I do anything?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,160 Posts
Hey Cale! I'm honored that you trust me!

First thing I would do is to not let your dealer prep the vehicle. If you do, there's a good chance that once their wax starts to fade away, the swirls that they could have put in and the wax was hiding will start to appear.

Clay is a good idea if necessary. Mothers, Griots, Blue Clay Magic, Zaino, etc are good products to use. Just make sure it isn't something like the red Clay Magic, which is the abrasive type and more keen for removal of paint overspray. A great way to tell if you need to clay, is to slip a ziplock baggie of your finger, and gently feel the surface of the paint. Industrial fallout or other impurities will be magnified to touch ten fold.

Modern paints cure practically right away, so no need to fear working on it right away. If the car has swirls and this bothers you, a light polishing may be in order. Otherwise, I wouldn't do much more than a light chemical cleaner if there are any touchups needed. But really, this is brand new paint! It should be in great shape with no conditioning required.

A pure glaze, like Meguiars #7 for example, basically contains lots of oils and fillers to make your paint shine and to hide blemishes. They really give your paint a wet, deep look, but don't last very long. Pure glazes have minimal or no polishing abilities (ability to remove blemishes). If you are using a carnauba wax, then you'd apply the wax after you've applied the glaze. I love carnaubas but they don't last too long.

Some polishes contain glaze qualities as well as cleaning properties. Depends on the product. P12S Gloss Enhancing Plaint Cleaner for example can remove very minor blemishes, clean the paint surface a bit, and leave a nice glossy finish that obviates you the need to use a glaze afterwards. If you use a product like this, you could go directly to a wax.

Finally, certain synthetic toppers require "naked" paint for application, so remember to read directitons (Zaino, Klasse, etc).

Most Important Tip: Get the detailing out of the way ASAP, so you can get to driving!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,160 Posts
Almost forgot about the clear bra. If it is being applied before you even take the car home by your dealer, then hope they have professional installer that won't scratch up the paint before applying. Doesn't happen that often, but it can. Of course, if you ordered something like silver, you have nothing to worry about compared to black or red. The installer will prep the surface before applying the film, which will effectively remove any wax or glaze you've applied to those areas. You can wax your car before the install, just remember you will have to rewax over the film afterwards. If you are using a carnauba wax that leaves white chalk behind, be careful not to wax too much on the crease of the film/paint, otherwise the chalk could get stuck between and people will wonder why you use q-tips to clean your car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,766 Posts
Vantage is right, tell your dealer not to touch the paint, don't wash the car and don't wax it they will put swirls in it most likely! Get it home wash it and detail it yourself. I prefer one of the polymers like Zaino or Klasse. Multiple coats.
Don't let the dealer touch the paint! Oh, and tell them to stick the dealer badges you know where, no badges, no decales, nothing from the dealer on your car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,270 Posts
And one more thing about badges (we've discussed this before) No drilling the front clam for the plate.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top