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2002 SLK 320, 2003 CLK 320
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I have a less than two year old 2003 C320 with 35,000 miles. For the last couple of months, every time I dry the car after washing, the chamois makes a funny sound as I dry the roof. After the last washing, I ran my fingers over the roof and it felt like very fine sandpaper. The paint looks perfect, but from the roof to about halfway down the A and C pillars, the suface feels rough. I used Meguiar's clearcoat safe paint cleaner, polish, and wax (two coats), and it is a little smoother, but nowhere near the perfectly smooth finish that it used to have, and that most of the rest of the vehicle STILL has. My windows feel the same - like very fine sandpaper.

The pool was just refinished at my condo building and my parking space is just underneath the edge of the pool deck in a carport. I think the top of the car must have been contaminated with something and I guess I will have to get it professionally removed? Any suggestions?
 

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1987 Mercedes 300e
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if your not sure what that means , go to sears or preferably a detailing shop and buy a clay bar kit and orbital buffer. follow the directions abd dont' push down on the buffer. just let its own weight be enough and just guide it.
 

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03' C320 4Matic SS
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if u use turtlewax hard shell carnuba wax it'll make your paint smoother than glass it is said to last up to 12 months i've used it ever since my benz was new and its a 91' 560SEL
 

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tim757 - 4/2/2005 1:57 PM

I have a less than two year old 2003 C320 with 35,000 miles. For the last couple of months, every time I dry the car after washing, the chamois makes a funny sound as I dry the roof. After the last washing, I ran my fingers over the roof and it felt like very fine sandpaper. The paint looks perfect, but from the roof to about halfway down the A and C pillars, the suface feels rough. I used Meguiar's clearcoat safe paint cleaner, polish, and wax (two coats), and it is a little smoother, but nowhere near the perfectly smooth finish that it used to have, and that most of the rest of the vehicle STILL has. My windows feel the same - like very fine sandpaper.

The pool was just refinished at my condo building and my parking space is just underneath the edge of the pool deck in a carport. I think the top of the car must have been contaminated with something and I guess I will have to get it professionally removed? Any suggestions?

It was suggested above that you clay your vehicle and I will help by elaborating on the process and help you understand the procedure so that you do this safely and with optimum results.

The first thing I will recommend is that you wash your vehicle well in a shady or covered area! Use the two bucket method. One bucket with your car wash solution, the other bucket with just plain clean water. Use a genuine sheepskin or wool wash mitt and try not to use a sponge! Sponges trap dirt at the surface where as the wool mitts will hold the dirt up and out of the way!

So...rinse your mitt in the plain water bucket and squeeze the excess water out, now dip into your wash solution and wash a section of your car. Now dip your dirty wash mitt into the plain water to rinse the debris and then back into your wash solution! You get the drift of this by now I'm sure.

You do not need to dry as yet. Perhaps remove most of the standing water on the flat surfaces, but that's it for now.

After you have washed you can clay your car. I would suggest one of the two following kits that can be bought most anywhere automotive cleaning supplies are sold;

Mothers California Gold Clay Bar System - Comes with a Bottle Of Instant Detailer, A Yellow Clay Bar and a small bottle of Cleaner Wax.

Meguiar's Clay Bar Kit - Comes with a Bottle Of Quick Detailer and a White Clay Bar.

Have a few soft clean 100% cotton terry towels or micro fiber towels ready as well for wiping up.

In both cases the Instant or Quick Detailer will act as your lubricant for the clay bar! Clay is a soft mailable substance that will effectively and safely remove contamination such as rail dust, Industrial fallout etc. from your paint, glass, plastics etc. when used in a safe and as directed manner as below.

Here we go...

Break your clay bar into two equal pieces. This way if you drop a piece of clay you have another to use! If you drop the clay..THROW IT AWAY! Do not use it.

Mold the clay in your hand to soften it and then mold it flat but not too flat between your palms. Spray a section of your hood (let's say a 1/4 of the hood) liberally with the Instant Detailer. LUBRICATION IS THE KEY! Use plenty of lube. Now pass the clay over the lubricated section using linear (back to forth) motion and LIGHT pressure to begin. Use a little more pressure as you understand a feel the action of the clay bar. You will feel and possibly hear the contamination being pulled from your paint up into the clay. It will feel rough at first, DO NOT PANIC and then it will smooth right out! When the feeling goes smooth and the clay bar passes over the section with ease, it's safe to assume that that area in now clean of debris. Look at the clay...filthy right?? Good..it's working. Wipe that area dry and thoroughly with a quality micro fiber towel or a 100% cotton soft terry towel.

It can be a little messy and runny but it wipes up very easily and will not stain your car or trim etc. If you do a nice job wiping up, it will save you the extra effort of having to re-wash the car or re-do the whole car with just the instant detailer and clean towel again!

Now run your hand over that section..it should be as smooth as glass and very shiny just by virtue of clean paint.

Now..turn the dirty side of the clay over to expose a cleaner side of clay. Don't worry, the dirt will turn in and be suspended high enough in the clay to let you work safely.

Spray another section of the hood and follow the same routine as above. Again..I cannot stress the importance of LOTS OF LUBE! If the clay feels like it is sticking to the paint, then you need more lubrication. After each area is complete, wipe it dry. You can do the same for your windows as well and even your trim.

I would suggest you do the whole car this time around! This way you have totally clean paint and a fresh "canvas". If you feel your clay is getting too dirty to use, then use the 2nd half that you broke off and set aside! My experience tells me that you should get by doing the whole car with 1/2 a bar, but use your good common sense and switch to a clean piece if you feel the need.

And YES..it might sound as though you are scratching your paint with the clay bar, but I say again..that with lots of lube and even pressure you will not be at risk.

Now...stand back and marvel at the results you just achieved with a simple piece of clay! You will probably not even feel the need to wax the car because the instant detailer will leave a great shine providing you did a nice job of wiping up after yourself.

From this point on, you can follow up with the wax of your choice if you wish! Keep in mind that a clay bar will have removed any wax you had on your paint as well!

You do not need to clay every time you clean your car! I would think that once a year is fine.

Geez...have I forgotten anything??? I don't think so! If you have any questions ask away! I would be more than happy to help!

Have Fun
 

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2004 E55-1970 280SEC
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You can skip a step if you use your wash as lubricant for the clay. I use dawn when first prepping the car. Stips off the old wax. I wash then use the mit again to put a layer of wash then quickly clay. Then rinse. The dawn/water makes a great lubricant.

I agree the roughness will only come off using clay.
 

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2004 CLK 320 Cab
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The over the counter clay is very dense. If you drop it, chances are dirt will not stick into the clay as it would in more mallible higher shelf clay might. If dropped, pick up and inspect the clay for loose debris and then fold the clay until a side of it looks free of fallout. Itis NOT necessary to throw away dropped clay unless you threw it against the ground and you made the debris purposely stick in the clay.
 

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1990 560SEL
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Absolutely excellent response --- just what I'd expect from all you guys!!!! One more pointer from a newbie --- when I first wash my car, I hold the mitt in one hand (no soap yet) and the hose in the other, and am constantly running the water where I'm washing to better assure that anything (no matter how microscopic) is washing away. After I've done the whole car that way, I do it again with the soapy water (Meguiar, of course) --- I'd be cautious about using Dawn --- although it sounds right for removing wax, it might be too strong for my tastes and probably shouldn't be used on a regular, weekly basis. Am I right guys?
 
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