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Civic detail - kinda of a tutorial


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I was planning to do this write-up to pass along some tips, but ended up re-learning some things myself!


My son is home from school for the holidays and his car is due for a reapplication of a coating.  A coating works best on his car, as it is rarely washed when he is not home and it lasts longer than PS.  


I started with a good cleaning of the fuel filler area with diluted APC (1:1) and a old lug nut brush.  Then it was on to the wheels & tires.  



The tires are new, so they did not take much work, and the rear wheels (drum brakes) cleaned up with premixed  Car Wash Shampoo in a bottle with a foaming sprayer.   




Tip #1

(I am probably going to regret numbering these later!)

Part of this detail is a polish, so while I was cleaning the rear wheels, I wet the rear quarter panels and cleaned them with diluted APC (1:1) and a Fender Brush to remove any road grime.  I also did both the rear bumper and the area below the belt line the same way.


The wash was next.  I rinsed the car with a strong stream of water, and tried to flush out as many leaves as possible from the trunk lip.  As you can see the coating applied 30 months ago is almost gone.




I added 3 oz. of APC to the Car Wash Shampoo and started the wash.  I used the Wash Mitt and a bug sponge from the auto parts store.



Tip #2

Because I am older (or just lazy) I often use my work platform as a stand for the wash and rinse buckets.




As is suggested I did a pooling rinse after the wash.  It kind of does not make sense, but adding MORE water actually gets the car drier! I hit the door mirrors and a few other spots with the Blaster Sidekick, misted the car with DS, and dried it with a GWDT.

(Oh, and sorry for the Crocs shot, but they are the best detailing footwear for a warm climate!)



I use a piece of old hose on the end of my garden hose to do my pool rinse.



Next up: the headlights.  These lights are just a little hazed so they only required a polish.  My tools - a corded drill, a older green 4" Focus pad, and CP.







Tip #3 - I put a old, large MF towel under the hood to allow more room to work and to help keep any polishing dust from getting in the engine compartment, 



And After



And the after of the pad!




On with the polishing!

Tip #4

As this is a daily driver, I used old, beatup orange foam pads to polish below the beltline and both bumpers.  No need to spend a lot of time on this area, and since these are my least favorite areas to polish, I did them first to get it out of the way.


Tip #5

I tape sunroof weather stripping and black trim to help keep the pads cleaner.  I also tape emblems to prevent them tearing the pads.



I polished the remainder of the car with a MF pad and CP.  With this car I can correct and finish with one pad and polish combo,  With each section pass I make 4 movements with pressure and a high speed, then end with 2 movements with no pressure at a lower speed.   


Tip #6

When using MF pads they should be primed with polish before using.  I use a popsicle (or craft) stick for this.  The stick gets the polish more evenly disbursed than you finger will!








I was not able to get the before and after correction shots to come out on camera.  The difference could be seen in person, but I could not get them to show up 'on film'.


I completed the polishing late in the day, and due to the holiday visits I was not able to get back to the car for several days.  When I did get back to it I did a quick Rinseless wash, but noticed some polish residue I missed in the dark.  I tried APC, but it did not remove the residue.  Then I remembered Revive!  


Tip #7

Revive Hand Polish is a great paint cleaner, and when I put it on the hex grip applicator and rubbed it over the dried polish, it came right off.  Whew!  What a great product to have in your collection.  


After the wash I sprayed and wiped each panel with IPA to prep for the coating.  I applied the coating and left the car in the garage for 3 hours to let it cure.  


Here is the finished result...not too bad!



Edited by mc2hill
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Thanks Dan!


One tip for you: clean your Crocs with APC, let dry, then dress with Tire Shine.  Keeps them looking new for months!  All the Minions will be jealous when your yellow shoes smell like bananas!  :lol:


Umm, no, I never clean them, but the banana scent is a good idea!  I have a new black pair waiting for these to finally be too worn on the soles to use, and I am thinking of painting the new Adam's "A" logo on them.


I actually HATE the looks of these shoes, but as I said, the are perfect for warm weather detailing.  My trainers get too wet washing and wet sanding, and the holes in these allow you cool off your feet easily. 

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You talk about a coating.  A coating of what?  You use the paint correcting polish but what are you putting over it?


Sorry, a paint protection coating, the next level up in longevity from a sealant.  A coating has the effect of adding a 2nd clear coat to the paint, and can prevent minor swirls.  They typically last about 2 years and must be polished off.  Because of that, you can use harsher cleaners (APC added to Car Wash Shampoo) for regular washing.


Most coatings are sold in very small quantities and you use a very small amount on each car.  The one I used was in a 2 oz. bottle and that is enough to do 4-5 vehicles.  I have used it on 2 smaller cars, and still have enough for 3-4 more.


It can be applied to paint, glass, chrome, and wheels.


Coatings can be finicky to apply (many companies only sell to detailers that have taken their training), and it takes several hours to cure.


Feel free to PM me if you want more specific info, 

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