This one will probably go down in my history as one of the most interesting stories.
I received a call one day from a client that wanted information about ceramic coating options for his newly purchased Mustang that he would be taking delivery of a few days later. We went over the usual topics of how long coatings last and what should and, more importantly, shouldn’t be expected of them. At this point, he decided to book his appointment and got into details of the purchase. He told me this is a brand new car but it is four years old! With it being 2019, that made his new pride and joy a 2015!
As it turns out, this car was ordered by someone at the dealership here in Connecticut back in 2015. The car was delivered to the dealership and for one reason or another, the buyer backed out of the transaction and didn’t complete the purchase. Ordinarily, the dealership would put the vehicle into its inventory and someone else would eventually come along and buy it. This car was spec’d our beautifully; bright yellow paint, track package with upgraded brakes, nice recaro seats, etc. highly desirable. Unfortunately, the dealership never entered the car into their computer so, even though it was on their lot, it wasn’t listed as available for sale!
FOUR YEARS went by and my client saw the car and asked about it. He got himself a great deal and that’s where I enter the picture.
after a few days of enjoying the car, my client brought the car in and I got to work. As you would imagine, four years of sitting idle is horrible for any car new or used. Dirt had accumulated in every body seam and there were black streaks etched into the paint below the door handles and gas door (you know, where the water ALWAYS drips after you wash and dry your car).
Time to get cleaning.
My pre-polishing decontamination wash process goes like this, regardless of the vehicle:
pressure wash the wheels & wheel wells
apply wheel cleaner & agitate after some dwell time. My favorite wheel cleaner right now is P&S Brake Buster. It’s non acid, foams really well and just does a nice job for not a lot of money.
use microfiber tool to clean wheel barrels
use boar’s hair brush to clean brake calipers
scrub tires with rubber cleaner
Pressure wash wheels & wheel wells to remove cleaners
pressure wash body of vehicle to remove loose dirt including in body seams
apply iron remover to wheels & body to dissolve ferrous deposits (rail dust, brake dust, industrial fallout) the purple liquid below is the iron oxide deposits dissolving and running off the body. (I didn’t get a picture of this with the Mustang so I’m showing it on another car)
Once the iron remover is rinsed away, it’s on to the next step in the decontamination process... Actually washing the car!
for this step, I use the “2 bucket method” . I wash one panel at a time starting with the roof and working my way down, rinsing each panel before moving to the next.
Washing the car is one step where I feel product choice is critical to the outcome of the job.
Heres what I use:
IGL Ecoclean Wash for the soap
The Rag Company Cyclone wash mitt
Clay barring a vehicle removes any non-ferrous particles that are embedded in the paint. This is a critical step prior to polishing a vehicle so that the polisher isn’t picking up contaminates and rubbing them into the paint you’re trying to perfect. <—- talk about chasing your tail!
its often surprising how much “stuff” comes out of a vehicle’s paint when this process is underway. This Mustang was no different:
Remember, this car is “brand new” and it only had 436 miles on it at the time!
Once the clay bar process is completed and the paint is free of any contamination, the car is washed again and then dried using only the very best microfiber towels available. I love the “Dry me a River” from The Rag Company
you can buy one here
Once the vehicle is dried, it’s ready to be polished. At this point, I’m usually about 2 hours into the job.
I am realizing this is getting way too long to continue to be interesting. Let’s call this Part I of a series!
One last thing! The links to products are affiliate links, I earn a small amount of product credit if you buy from Detailed Image. This does NOT affect the price you pay. I should also note that the products I use are my favorites. I use them because I like how they perform not because I have a partnership with any manufacturer (because I don’t). I’ve found the retailer, Detailed Image, to be my favorite supplier due to their vast product line, fair prices and ultra fast shipping.
Thats it for now, we’ll cover the polishing process in my next entry.