Date registered: Jun 2004
Vehicle: 2008 c350, 2004 c240
Location: Mission Viejo, Ca
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Most polishes have a scale that describes their aggressiveness. It's within a manufacturer's line and not consistent at all (not like sandpaper grits for example).
I like Meguiar's products since they are all clearly labeled and you can determine their 'grit' relative to each other.
For your car I would use Meguiar's #83 Dual Action Polish with a medium foam pad on the Porter-Cable set on speed 5. You could start with #81 Speed Glaze which is less aggressive. They say to start with the least aggressive product that gives you the results you need.
But since your car hasn't been polished and it's black, I would use #83 the first time and then #81 after that.
For washing I like any good quality auto shampoo (I stick mostly with Meguiar's).
I wash with one bucket of soapy water and another of clear water. I use a good wash mitt or sponge but I don't typically use a sponge.
You dip the mitt in the soapy water and wash a section of the car, then rinse the mitt in the clear water to get the dirt and grit out without contaminating your soapy bucket.
That one tip alone will keep probably 90% of the swirls off your car since most swirls are caused by washing.
Then rinse the car and dry with clean microfiber towels. Only use microfibers for wiping and polishing. Keep them clean and take off the tags since the tags can scratch the paint.
TIP: don't ever use fabric softener on microfiber towels. It will 'clog the pores' and make them non-absorbent. Some people like to rinse them in diluted white vinegar since it leaves them softer.
*** Don't forget the CLAY !! You need to clay off your paint after washing and before polishing to take the surface contaminants off.
So it's: WASH - CLAY - POLISH - WAX
It sounds like a lot of steps and very complicated but it's simple step-by-step. In about 4-5 hours you will have an amazing car! AMAZING
That's why you need to spend time on the detailing forums. You learn good detailing techniques and your car stays looking new for years longer and the investment is worth more than some lame exhaust tips or blacked-out taillights.
Last edited by wblynch; 08-08-2008 at 04:14 PM.