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Date registered: Feb 2004
Vehicle: 1999 SLK230 Sport
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Review: Zaino Products (long)
I recently got a spread of Zaino products to try since I had heard so much about it and that everything I heard was positive. So I had to see for myself. Follows is a review of my experiences and results using these products.
First, and most importantly, you MUST follow Sal Zaino's instructions EXACTLY if you want to achieve superior results with these products. This includes using ONLY 100% American Made 100% cotton, HIGH quality terry towels. Do NOT use cheap terry towels as they contain polyester sheeting and stitching which will scratch your finish over time.
The Zaino products came quickly, and were well packaged. The products I received were
1) Z-PC Fusion Dual Action Paint Cleanser Swirl Remover.
2) ZFX Flash Cure Accelerator (Highly Recommended)
3) Z-2 Pro Show Car Polish for Clear Coated Finishes
4) Z-5 Show Car Polish for Swirl Marks and Fine Scratches.
5) Z-6 Ultra Clean Gloss Enhancer Spray
6) Z-7 Show Car Wash
7) Cotton terry application pad
To prepare the car for the process, you first wash the vehicle using plain, original formula DAWN dishwashing detergent. I know there are many out there that prefer not to use Dawn but, it does a good job of removing any old wax on the car, and its not like you are going to use it everyday. Besides, after you wash you will clean and protect the paint anyway. (for some people, a clay bar may be necessary, but my paint did not need this extra step)
Next, using my Porter Cable 7424 and a Green Cutting Pad from Proper Auto Care I started on the finish to remove the very light swirls that I had using the Z-PC Cleanser and Swirl Remover. This compound is a self diminishing abrasive cleaner that, when used properly, will not harm or damage the paint in any way. It's consistency was easy to work with and it wiped clean with very little effort.
Now comes the fun stuff. Using the mixing bottles provided with the ZFX flash cure accelerator, I mixed up about 1 oz of Z-2 Pro and 5 drops of ZFX. After shaking to mix well, I let it sit for a few minutes to get the chemical reaction going.
Using the terry applicator provided put a very THIN coat of Z-2 Pro over the entire finish. Use straight (not overlapping circular) strokes. Use front to back direction on the roof, hood and trunk and up and down on all side panels. Let me emphasize that you do NOT have to use this stuff in heavy amounts. In fact, 1oz was all I needed to completely coat my entire SLK. This coating should be allowed to sit for AT LEAST 1 hour (longer is better) so the chemical bonding process can finish.
The Z-2 removes very easily and left a shine that no pictures could do justice to. Very deep wet looking shine that you expect to only see on concours cars and the newest ones off of the showroom floor.
Finish up the job with a very light mist of Z-6 working a small area at a time. You have to be sure to completely buff out the Z-6 or you will have to go back and do it again.
This concluded my first day with Zaino.
The next day out I put 1 more coat of Z-2 on, followed by 2 coats of Z-5. The swirls that were left after Porter Cable buffing, literally disappeared. The next day I put on 2 more coats of Z-2 Pro and finished with Z-6. According to Sal Zaino, it is ok to layer Z-2 Pro and Z5.
You do not need multiple coats to get superior results. One coat of Z-2 Pro or Z-5 will give you a shine like you have never seen before and will last for 4 to 6 months. If you want more from a shine, then you can layer the products. The more layers you put down, the deeper and richer looking the shine gets.
I then took my car out into the sunshine for the acid test, I have never seen my paint look so good as it did then. I had several people that asked me if my car was brand new (It's a 1999)
To sum up my first impressions about these products, I only need one word, and that word is WOW. What a fine family of products. Good quality, great support from Sal and an unmatched ease of use for a product that delivers so much. Sal Zaino delivers on what he promises if you follow instructions exactly.
I am completely sold and will continue to use these products.
"The true delight is in the finding out, rather than in the knowing." - Isaac Asimov
1999 SLK230 Sport - Magma Red
2011 Ford Escape Limited, Hybrid