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Adam's pads failing after 2 uses? Is that normal?


haugy
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I've finally become a big time fan of Adam's. I've done two vehicles and they are amazingly fantastic. I'm thrilled with all my new products.

 

But I've got two pads already falling apart after two vehicles. I'm experience with a power buffer. I don't ride the edges of the pad, or lift it off the vehicle allowing it to get up to full speed. I wash them immediately after using them with the APC.

 

But my orange pad and white pad are coming apart around the edges. They are opening up, and the orange one actually has a hole all the way through.

 

Are you guys experiencing this? I'm not sure what could cause this as I'm not having to really work the polisher. The vehicles I've done were in pretty good shape to start with.

 

I'd prefer to stay with the Adam's pads, but after only two uses, I can't afford to do that on a consistent basis.

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Yes, I keep it flat and level, and I'm not putting a ton of pressure on them. Just enough to keep them well planted on the paint.

 

Thanks guys, I'll call Ashley tomorrow. I know Adam's has great customer service. I had a question once that I asked on a Friday night, and figured I'd hear from them on Monday. Saturday morning when I got up, I had an email with a personal answer to my question from Adams. I was very impressed.

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Yeah, I'll try to get some tomorrow. But basically flip the pad over and look at the back. The excess lip that rises above the velcro is opening up. The orange pad has a hole all the way through it from the back where the pad is separating.

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Not 'normal' at all, and while there is always the possibility for a few defects in every couple hundred pads (nothing in this world is 100% perfect 100% of the time) most failures like this are due to improper technique. Usually its a symptom of not keeping the pad flat to the paint which then allows the backing plate to "dig" into the edging.

 

From the thread stickied at the top of this section:

 

 

http://www.adamsforums.com/forums/machine-polishing/13171.htm#post228683

 

 

UPDATE: Pad Wear and Tear/When to Replace

 

On average you can expect to see somewhere between 10-15 full corrections out of a set of pads. Obviously this will vary based on the number of passes made with each pad, the degree to which the pads are worked, and the size of the vehicles. Like anything else the pads will start to break down in one way or another, but proper maintenance helps ensure you get the most uses before having to retire a set.

 

COMMON ISSUES CAUSED BY MISUSE:

 

Pad does not stick well to backing plate or wants to shift during use - This is indicative of velcro failure. If the pads have been used heavily and more than a dozen times this is common. Pulling the pads off of the plate breaks some of the 'loops' in the hook and loop system each time. Remove the pads enough times and the loops begin to no longer hold. Also inspect your backing plate... it will pick up lint and fibers from a number of sources, a buildup of these will lead to a less "sticky" backing plate. Clean debris and fibers from the backing plate often.

 

Pad has rip or tear along the back edging - This issue is seen with improper technique, most notably not keeping the pad flush or as flush as possible with the finish during use. Even a slight tilt in your polishing position will allow the backing plate to dig into the bevel and thus cause a tear in the pad. This issue is often exaggerated by pulling the pad from the backing plate improperly. Anytime the pad is to be removed avoid pulling from just the edge. Work your fingers between the pad and the backing plate to start a separation and then pull with your fingers holding more of the pad than just the edge.

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Hi Dylan, thanks for chiming in.

 

Yeah, I've learned to keep a polisher level during use. My old polisher's backing plate ran all the way to the edge of the pad, so I had to learn the hard way on how to keep a polisher level or I'd gouge my paint.

 

The cars were two small vehicles a Tacoma and Benz C-class. When I did the first vehicle I felt and could see the pad loosening. On the second vehicle is when they came apart. I would think I'd have to ride the edge pretty good for a failure that fast on one car. Would they fail that fast?

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I had the same thing happen with the first couple of sets of PC pads. Nothing wrong with the pads at all. Just a technique issue on my part. Practice practice!

If you haven't yet get a set of the 4 inch pads and use those in the tighter areas. Works for me.

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Honestly, I've never had a single pad fail for this issue under normal conditions so I can't say with any certainty how long it would take.

 

All my personal use and demo pads have the velcro start to loose its stick or the foam to lose its structure long before anything like this happens.

 

If you're confident your technique isn't the cause give us a call in the AM (866.965.0400) and we'll get you taken care of with new pads.

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I have probably 6 sets of pads for both the PC and Flex. I rotate through the sets as they get used frequently for demos. The only time I've had a pad fail is due to poor technique. My pads are over a year old and were demo pads every other weekend this year. The other weekends, they were used on my personal cars. I've had two, maybe three pads go bad this year, all do to poor technique.

 

I suggest you buy a second set of pads and see if they have the same issue. Most people I know with a PC or Flex keep at least two sets of pads so you can clean one set and let them dry and have the second set ready to go.

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I have probably 6 sets of pads for both the PC and Flex. I rotate through the sets as they get used frequently for demos. The only time I've had a pad fail is due to poor technique. My pads are over a year old and were demo pads every other weekend this year. The other weekends, they were used on my personal cars. I've had two, maybe three pads go bad this year, all do to poor technique.

 

 

Can I ask a question? You noted that you had pads fail due to poor technique? How do you know they did because of your technique? What were you doing that you know caused that? If they failed because you knowingly did that, why would you do that to a pad, or was it necessary? I ask because I'm trying to learn, not to nitpick or argue. Again, my concern is, if my technique was off, wouldn't my green pad have also suffered damage? It looks brand new out of the box still. As they all do actually, except the pad seperation on the orange and white.

 

I'm only taking care of my toys, so I didn't think I would need mult-sets of pads. Seeing as it takes me nearly 12 hours of work to do what I call a full blown detail of the whole vehicle in and out, I don't do but one vehicle a weekend. I see your point about having extra pads though.

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I think what Eric is getting at is that the demo pads go thru a lot more than just a personal use set, many times with people getting hands on training at a clinic where techniques are being figured out.

 

The big PA clinic last month I let a customer pick up the PC and take a few turns polishing on a demo car to get a feel for it. The first thing I had to correct for him was his lean on the machine. He was about 15* tilted to the side, had I let him continue its likely that would've been a cause for pad failure. Its not an uncommon mistake as you're getting started with machine polishing, and most people don't even realize they're doing it until you point it out. Also, like I mentioned earlier - contact our customer service... we can replace these for you if they're defective.

 

One thing I forgot to ask... do you run the machine with the handle or do you hold it with your hand over the top?

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Dylan hit it on the nose. My pads get used for demos, mostly people who have never used the machine before. My pads see the worst abuse possible and still hold up. I only see them tear apart when someone decides to run them across an antena, washer nozzles, trim, etc.

 

And if you have the handle on your machine, rip it off and throw it out.

 

If you can, video yourself. You will learn a lot about your technique! Sometimes it's hard for people to visualize the difference between correct technique and what they feel in their hands and perceive as correct technique.

 

Having an extra set of pads is like having an extra set of socks. They won't go bad and you'll need em someday!

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Ahh, that makes sense. I didn't understand what he meant by demo'ing them.

 

No handle, I learned on an older one that allowed me to put all kinds of too much pressure or lean on them.

 

I'll take pics of the pads tonight. If they failed because I fubar'd them, well then that's my fault. But honestly seeing how I "thought" I knew what I was doing and thought I was keeping it level, my first thought was failure.

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Don't sweat it! And by no means am I trying to say its absolutely your fault... like anything theres times when a product fails for a defect or other reason. My thought process, either way is we need to make sure your technique is right first... b/c if we send you new pads and you continue the same way, then you'd just have another set of wrecked pads.

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Looks like I'm in the same boat, and fortunately I'm not bringing a thread back from the dead. I didn't want to start a new thread since it looks like others are facing the same issue. I've got to be doing something wrong as I'm lucky if I can get pads to last up to 3 uses. Only one that's lasted is the black pad. Every other car I have to order new pads. I'm in need of a new green, orange and white now. Green has seen 3-5 cars, orange and white 2 cars. Having the same issue as the OP they are separating at the edge of the velcro ripped almost to the point of all the way through. This is my second set of pads for the orange and white to do this. So I doubt it's a product issue. It's gotta be me.

 

I'm not new to detailing, but new to adams products. I have a lake country pad that's seen a lot of abuse and shows no sign of slowing down. I like the completeness of the adams stuff and would much rather stick with it.

 

Off to do some searching to see what's wrong in my technique.

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sukemecuke

 

Something I learned from Ashley about the pads is the speed. In the instructional video it showed Adam running the PC at speed 5, and then he says put it at speed 6 to finish it out.

 

Two things caused me to do it wrong.

 

1) It never said how long to run it at 6. I was doing the whole section at 5, and then about the same amount of time at speed 6. Apparently way too long on speed 6.

2) According to Ashley, you shouldn't need to go above speed 5.

 

I tried out some new pads and instead of running at speed 5, then 6, I went from 4 to 5. Never went above 5. The pads held up fine, and I got the shine I wanted. This was on a white vehicle, so I'll do my dark vehicle to see if it still gives you that desired result of no swirl marks and high shine.

 

But that seems to have worked. I didn't change anything else up. Might want to try that first. I'll keep this section posted on usage over time with the new lower speed settings. On pad life, and the performance of the polishes at a slightly lower speed.

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that makes sense to me. These 2 pads were pretty new(did one vehicle) until this vehicle that I used speed 6 quite a bit. It blew em to pieces in no time. I typically never went above speed 5 for the previous vehicle. The pad set before that I used speed 6 a decent amount as well. Same results destroyed pads. I have 2 details that I need to get done over Christmas so I need to order some new pads today.

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Because these types of threads always include the ending "is this normal?" I started this thread to show that no, it is indeed NOT normal for pads to fall apart after 1 or 2 uses.

 

http://www.adamsforums.com/forums/product-polls-product-user-input/15083.htm

 

Product Polls and Product User Input Chime in here and help steer the future of Adam's!

 

Edit Poll View Poll Results: How many uses ON AVERAGE do you get out of your PC pads?

  • 1-3 uses (1) -- 2.86%
  • 3-6 uses (10) -- 28.57%
  • 6-9 uses (10) -- 28.57%
  • 9-12 uses (8) -- 22.86%
  • more than 12 (6) -- 17.14%

 

Only a few things will cause pads to just completely fail after 1 use, and all of them are in the family of improper use or abuse. Hitting badges, edges, or sharp corners, allowing the pad to freespin excessively, putting excessive pressure or uneven pressure down on the pad, removing the pads by pulling from the edge without griping the backing at all.

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Yup I think I was putting too much pressure on the pads. I'll see how I do this next round of pads. I avoid badges and cracks( in between doors, etc), so that definitely wasn't it. This round will be the control in the experiment, since I used some of my damaged ones yesterday correcting a scratch in a buddies paint just to correct some of my old/bad habits.

 

Because these types of threads always include the ending "is this normal?" I started this thread to show that no, it is indeed NOT normal for pads to fall apart after 1 or 2 uses.

 

http://www.adamsforums.com/forums/product-polls-product-user-input/15083.htm

 

Product Polls and Product User Input Chime in here and help steer the future of Adam's!

 

Edit Poll View Poll Results: How many uses ON AVERAGE do you get out of your PC pads?

  • 1-3 uses (1) -- 2.86%
  • 3-6 uses (10) -- 28.57%
  • 6-9 uses (10) -- 28.57%
  • 9-12 uses (8) -- 22.86%
  • more than 12 (6) -- 17.14%

 

Only a few things will cause pads to just completely fail after 1 use, and all of them are in the family of improper use or abuse. Hitting badges, edges, or sharp corners, allowing the pad to freespin excessively, putting excessive pressure or uneven pressure down on the pad, removing the pads by pulling from the edge without griping the backing at all.

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I'm still a polishing noob, but have about 20 hours of polishing in so far in the correction of my A8 with the Adam's pads (I have another ~4 hrs using some non-Adams pads). I estimate about 4 hours with the green and 8 each with the orange and white. All my time is using a Flex 3401VRG.

 

-I clean them thoroughly the same night using APC, my fingers for agitation, and warm tap water.

-I work hard to avoid trim edges and such, masking them off when possible.

-I work hard to keep the pad flat on the surface (or the rotating axis normal to the surface), but will often use just the outer 1-2" of the radius on a small feature only because the surface is very convex and narrow.

 

With this technique, the pad integrity of all colors seems brand new. The white pad has some darkening/staining, but the other two polishing surfaces look brand new. The Adam's logo on all three is slightly fading.

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