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View Full Version : Nervous; waxing my M3 for the first time.


squider
Sat, Jun-12-2004, 04:24:55 PM
I'm not sure if this is the right section to submit this but nobody reads the others so here goes. The rain has finally stopped and I can wash and wax my car properly. Here's my dilemma, I had a Corvette that I used to wash and wax on a regular basis. It looked great, however, over the years the swirls in the clear coat became quite noticeable. I also have a winter beater which I bought new a few years ago (Hyundai :thumbsup: ....please stop laughing) that I would hose down but have never waxed. While waiting for the M3 to arrive, I gave the 'beast' a thorough washing and could not believe how 'new' the paint looked. Not one swirl and it looks incredible.

This leads me to think that a good waxing looks incredible today but in the long run may be detrimental. Keep in mind my M is always garaged and not driven in the rain nor winter while the Hyundai has never seen the inside of a garage and is always exposed to the elements, even road salt.

Is waxing really necessary with todays clear coats? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Beowoulf
Sat, Jun-12-2004, 04:30:31 PM
It is not the wax. It is your technique. Go to www.autopia.org and learn how to care for your car properly and what materials to use.

mountainm3
Sat, Jun-12-2004, 04:37:30 PM
I'm not sure if this is the right section to submit this but nobody reads the others so here goes. The rain has finally stopped and I can wash and wax my car properly. Here's my dilemma, I had a Corvette that I used to wash and wax on a regular basis. It looked great, however, over the years the swirls in the clear coat became quite noticeable. I also have a winter beater which I bought new a few years ago (Hyundai :thumbsup: ....please stop laughing) that I would hose down but have never waxed. While waiting for the M3 to arrive, I gave the 'beast' a thorough washing and could not believe how 'new' the paint looked. Not one swirl and it looks incredible.

This leads me to think that a good waxing looks incredible today but in the long run may be detrimental. Keep in mind my M is always garaged and not driven in the rain nor winter while the Hyundai has never seen the inside of a garage and is always exposed to the elements, even road salt.

Is waxing really necessary with todays clear coats? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Sometimes I wonder just the same thing...

squider
Sat, Jun-12-2004, 04:37:53 PM
It is not the wax. It is your technique. Go to www.autopia.org and learn how to care for your car properly and what materials to use.

I know it wasn't the wax, I always bought the 'waxing' cloths and properly chamoised the car and read everything about detailing a car I could. My thought is that it is inevitable and that you cannot get every spec of dirt and the more you rub your car, the more swirls that will show.

M3Tech
Sat, Jun-12-2004, 05:00:13 PM
I'm not sure if this is the right section to submit this but nobody reads the others so here goes. The rain has finally stopped and I can wash and wax my car properly. Here's my dilemma, I had a Corvette that I used to wash and wax on a regular basis. It looked great, however, over the years the swirls in the clear coat became quite noticeable. I also have a winter beater which I bought new a few years ago (Hyundai :thumbsup: ....please stop laughing) that I would hose down but have never waxed. While waiting for the M3 to arrive, I gave the 'beast' a thorough washing and could not believe how 'new' the paint looked. Not one swirl and it looks incredible.

This leads me to think that a good waxing looks incredible today but in the long run may be detrimental. Keep in mind my M is always garaged and not driven in the rain nor winter while the Hyundai has never seen the inside of a garage and is always exposed to the elements, even road salt.

Is waxing really necessary with todays clear coats? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Waxing provides an additional layer of protection to the paint if it is done correctly, regardless if you have clear coat or not. Of course, your car will be looking great too once you do the waxing. Your swirl marks problem probably comes from the way you wash you car and apply and remove the wax, not by the type of paint or car.

One advice, two parts:

a) Get Z1, Z2, and Z6 Zaino (http://www.zainostore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=Z&Category_Code=APPLICATION) products. Optional Z18 (clay bar) if you really want to deep clean the surface.
b) Get an orbital polisher from Sears (http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=TOOL&pid=00910722000)

This is what I use with absolutely no swirl marks whatsoever.

First, when you wash your car do not use any bath towels to wash nor dry it up, use a dedicated wash mitt to wash and a chamois reserved only for your car. For detailing, use dedicated old cotton t-shirts or microfiber cloths. In other words, dedicated means that you are not contaminating your equipment with dirt that can create a sandpaper effect in your car. This is where the swirl marks start appearing.

The rest of the swirl marks that you are seeing are the result of using hard waxes with hard application and removal by using rough rags. If you apply any "soft" wax (Zymol) or polymer (Zaino) gently by hand and then remove it using the polisher you will not see any swirl marks. Finish the wax removal detail with dedicated cotton or microfiber cloths.

Keep the shine going between washes with the Z6... again using dedicated cloths.

Good luck... :peace:

m3grl09
Sat, Jun-12-2004, 05:09:43 PM
how often do you all wash & wax your Ms?

jtrichel
Sat, Jun-12-2004, 05:10:40 PM
Note: Zaino is a synthetic polish system that last a long time. it is not compatible with carnuba based waxes, so you really cant use the two systems interchangeably... i prefer Zaino, some other prefer the carnubas. If you go carnuba, I would definitely squider, allow me to share my experience. it is long, but from the post you submitted, i think this might help you.

you sound like me about a year ago...i had always kept up with washing and waxing my cars, but in a general sort of way and i never seemed to ever get rid of swirl marks, light scratches, etc....especially on a couple of black cars i had.

i paid almost $60k for my M3...i could afford it, but it was a huge investment for me...one i had been saving for a long time... i made the decision that taking care of the "mechanical" elements of the car was only one part of the solution....that i also wanted to take the necessary steps to preserve the fit and finish of my new M3.

so with the same care that i researched proper break-in procedures and driving elements of the M3, i researched high-end car care. what i found is that there is an entire cult out there around how to keep your car in perfect buttery-finish show car condition...

it has become a new hobby of mine to spend 3-4 hours with my car every other weekend or so...detailing it. i actually get good exercise doing it and it relaxes me. the fact that everyone stares and points at me on the street afterwards is just bonus...

if you are willing to invest the time and money, you can keep your car in better than new condition for a long time. here are my findings and directions for keeping your m3 perfect....

Purchase list:

A) Get microfiber wash mitts, drying towels, and polish removing rags, etc. Plain cotton towels are ok, but can still leave micro-scarring on your finish. It is really important for ultra-softness in ANYTHING that touches your finish. This is lesson #1...it doesnt take much to scratch your clearcoat, so use very soft stuff from the beginning... I recommend checking out waynestowels.com or autofiber.com for the best microfiber stuff

B) pick up the best car care products.... everyone has different opinions on what is best, but the important thing is to go with quality stuff. one size does not necessarily fit all on this, so go with different brands for different needs...

my recommendations:
1. wash = use zaino Z7 (available at zainobros.com)
2. clay = use Griots clay (available at griotsgarage.com)
3. polish = use Einszett products (you really only need this if you have any kind of swirling or scratching...it will remove it - available at detailersparadise.com)
4. wax = use either Zaino Z5/Z2 (available at zainobros.com) or P21S (available at detailersparadise.com)
5. detailing spray = use Zaino Z6 (available at zainobros.com)
6. interior = use Interior Cleaner from Griots (available at griotsgarage.com)
7. windows = use Invisible Glass (available from any auto care store)
8. tires/wheels = use Meguiars "Hot Rims" cleaner and Meguirs Endurance Tire gel (available from any auto care store)
9. leather = use leatherique (available at detailersparadise.com) or zaino (available at zainobros.com)

C) use the right drying process. when you finish washing your car, take off the spray nozzle and use a light trickle from the hose to use the water itself to "dry" off the car in sheets. start at the top of the roof, and just let the water trickle in sheets. make your way down the car. you will be amazed at how much water comes off during this "sheeting" process. next, use a leaf blower (available at home depot, lowes, sears, etc) to power-dry out all the cracks of the car. you want to get all the water out of the cracks onto the surface where you can wipe it down dry. this drying process is really important to eliminate chances of water spots, etc.

D) the process for a brand new M3 =

1) under NO circumstance are you to let the dealer wash, clean, wax or otherwise touch your cars finish if you are ordering new. if you are buying off the lot, then they have already done this and your car WILL have small imperfections on the surface already.

2) first time you wash the car, wash it with DAWN liquid soap. This soap in particular removes any residue from the surface of the car. Do the wheels and tires at the same time. Make sure to get any brake dust off the wheels.

3) clay bar the car. this will be a very rewarding experience. make sure to use plenty of clay lubricant when you glide the clay across every inch of your cars surface, including the glass and plastic. clay is truly an amazing thing...the car will gleam with pureness after a good claying exercise. it is also now completely and perfectly clean

4) wash with the zaino z7 to remove any excess from the claying exercise.

5) if the car has any light scratches or micro-marring from previous washes, use the Einszett polishes to get those out. Unless you can feel a scratch with your fingernail, it is probably something that can be removed. those slight scratches/swirls are in the clear coat, and when you polish, you remove them by taking a micro-amount of clear coat off the car...we are talking microscopic amounts, nothing to be worried about. I like to use a Porter Cable Random Orbital 7424 to do this, but you dont have to. It makes it a lot quicker though and is completely safe. If your car is new off the truck and it has not been touched by anyone, than you probably dont need this polish step.

6) begin the Zaino or Carnuba waxing process. multiple coats are ok and help with depth of shine

7) finish with a light spritz and spray of zaino z6 all over the car. repeat entire process twice per month.

8) interior = people get too agressive here in my opinion. A nice general interior cleaner like the one that Griots has is great on a soft towel. Your M3 interior reacts best to simply water and towels or light cleaner and towels, rather than heavy-residue types of protectants, etc. Keep the Nappa leather cleaned and conditions...i do mine about once per month

I have probably forgot some stuff, but overall that is my process. The products arent cheap...I probably have spent $400-$500 in total on car care products....but i feel like it is a worthwhile investment for this type of car. ITs not magic....its actually quite simple = use very good products and only allow microfiber to ever touch your car. Do everything by hand if you can, with scratch/swirl removal with a random orbital being the only exception. Oh yeah, and try not to do your car on the same days that your neighbors mow their lawns...i found out the hard way that little microscopic amound of grass were flying onto my car while i washed/dried and caused little scratches i had to remove later...

Unless you can catch your fingernail on it, any scratching/swirling can be removed!!! So be happy and have fun detailing....

hope this helped

jtrichel
Sat, Jun-12-2004, 05:12:11 PM
sorry, the NOTE: part about the zaino synthetic thing was supposed to come last...i pasted at the wrong place..... *shrug*

spartacus700
Sat, Jun-12-2004, 05:49:59 PM
Our cars have a heavy clear coat. By all means DO NOT use traditional car "wax" on it.

There are many shine/protectant products created especially for clear coat.

I recommend Liquid Glass. Note: THIS IS NOT WAX.

BigHat
Sat, Jun-19-2004, 02:42:04 PM
Our cars have a heavy clear coat. By all means DO NOT use traditional car "wax" on it.

There are many shine/protectant products created especially for clear coat.

I recommend Liquid Glass. Note: THIS IS NOT WAX.

Please explain the expertise you bring to this discussion and the rational for condemning the use of "wax."
What does the thickness of the clear coat have to do with the protective product you opt to use anyway? What is traditional wax any way? Do you mean carnuba wax? That's about as traditional as you can get and may be the safest protect you can use, but admittedly not the most protective or yield the brightest shine.

I use Zaino (this is not wax either) but your warning on the use of "wax" (as you phrased it) is idiotic.

M34U2NV
Sat, Jun-19-2004, 02:51:59 PM
Use Zymol. www.zymol.com

-Frank

cbformula
Sat, Jun-19-2004, 06:33:19 PM
not to get too much into details like jtrichel did, heres my thoughts on wax: Ive been detailing cars since I was 12 and would considermyself quite knowledgable in the detailing word.

First, yes you should wax your car. Necessary? Absoultely not--todays clearcoats can prevent a car from having paint peel as long as you keep it somewhat maintained. Living in areas with outsnow (salty roads) will also make it easier.

Benefits
But taking care of your car will help maintain the value of your investment as car prices continue to rise at an ave rate of $1,000 a year according to R.L Polk (research firm) and the length of car ownership continues to rise as well (7.5 as opposed to 5.5 30 yrs ago). According to KBB a well kept car can be valued as much as $2,000 more than one in fair condition. And aside from the money aspects, a clean car reflects a good personal image. So do yourself and your car a favor and spend the time to take good care of it (do it yourself or pay a reputable detailer).

Waxes
Theres been alot of different opinions on waxes and non waxes so far in this thread. Waxes can mean alot of things but in this context I wil refer wax as a product you can apply to your paint to protect it one way or another. Let me just try to summarize it as simple as possible for you:

--There are two main types of wax: natural and synthetic (man made).
--Natural now a days are some form of carnuba mixed with other oils and enhancers. Zymol, Pinnacle, Meguairs make mostly carnuba waxes. Carnuba waxes have the characteristic of bringing a deep wet gloss to paints. Durability depends on the quality of the product but the best carnuba can only last about 2 months max of daily driving.
--Synthetic is man made wax, many synthetic waxes are free of carnuba though there are "hybrids" that have carnuba and synthetic stuff mixed together. Good example everyone brings us is Zaino-- a synthetic polymer. Synthetics often create a very "hard" shine and gloss. Not as deep and wet as a carnuba look but more sheen and reflection. Being man made, synthetic durability often surpases those of natural carnuba. Zaino for instance still has adequate protection after 3-4 months of daily driving.

Is one wax better than the other? Absoultely not, each has its pros and cons and favorable characteristics depending on the users preference. The choice is yours--play around with different products and see what you like!

As to what someone said earlier... its not the wax, its the technique... thats only half true. Wax and the products you deal with have significant impact on the results of your paint. Technique is important also as technique will help utilize the products to its maximum potential. www.autopia.org is the best detailing forum on the net so go check it out too.

Hope that helped clear some confusion for you :)

M3IZZY
Sat, Jun-19-2004, 07:29:02 PM
Is waxing really necessary with todays clear coats? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Yeah, either a carnuba or polymer.

But, I believe in 2005 or 2006, BMW will begin baking the paint onto it's 7 series as regulations regarding pollutants in Germany are changing. This baking procedure is expected to go out to all BMW's, and MB, Audi, VW, etc. with time. All together, this will put a rather large dent into the detail market as cars will no longer be susceptible to swirl marks and will require less work for great results.

spartacus700
Sat, Jun-19-2004, 07:58:06 PM
Zaino is great for clearcoat... But you did not specify this... YOU said "Wax" in a very general sense and that's what I reponded to in an effort to HELP you just in case you literally meant traditional car wax... how the hell are we supposed to know exactly what you mean?...

I can tell from your reply that you are edgy about this and probably an a$$... so let me be crystal clearcoat clear... I don't really give a flaming ratsass how you clean your car... you can use a brillo pad and dishwashing liquid if this is what makes you happy.

Peace...

Please explain the expertise you bring to this discussion and the rational for condemning the use of "wax."
What does the thickness of the clear coat have to do with the protective product you opt to use anyway? What is traditional wax any way? Do you mean carnuba wax? That's about as traditional as you can get and may be the safest protect you can use, but admittedly not the most protective or yield the brightest shine.

I use Zaino (this is not wax either) but your warning on the use of "wax" (as you phrased it) is idiotic.

M3IZZY
Sat, Jun-19-2004, 08:09:10 PM
ding..ding :box:

spartacus700
Sat, Jun-19-2004, 08:18:06 PM
ROFL... no fighting for me... I'm going for a drive..

ding..ding :box:

BigHat
Sun, Jun-27-2004, 07:33:55 PM
Our cars have a heavy clear coat. By all means DO NOT use traditional car "wax" on it.

There are many shine/protectant products created especially for clear coat.

I recommend Liquid Glass. Note: THIS IS NOT WAX.


I responded to your post, I didn't ask the original question.

AGAIN, the the above post is stupid. The thickness of the clearcoat has nothing to do with the benefits of natural or synthetic "wax." Your post intimates that carnuba wax on a clearcoat car is a problem and should be avoided. Of course, that's foolish. If you don't know what you're talking about don't post advice.

spartacus700
Wed, Jun-30-2004, 11:58:01 PM
Traditional wax will not harm clearcoat... but you ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT get the best results with it... there are better products designed specifically for clearcoat finishes... try it for yourself and see.


I responded to your post, I didn't ask the original question.

AGAIN, the the above post is stupid. The thickness of the clearcoat has nothing to do with the benefits of natural or synthetic "wax." Your post intimates that carnuba wax on a clearcoat car is a problem and should be avoided. Of course, that's foolish. If you don't know what you're talking about don't post advice.