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Finding Swirl Marks......


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Hi everyone! It's good to be back on the forum after a while. I have a problem,....besides keeping my car "too clean". After coming across Junkman and Adam and his products, I've decided, I'm going to become a detailer. Yeah, a professional detailer if you will. Now, I'm not not better than Junkman of course-due to his experience, but after coming across Adams Swirl and Haze remover kit with the Porter Cable 7424, I've achieved GREAT RESULTS, just absolutely amazing, and I seem to be able to work that thing pretty well!

 

After using the whole setup on my 2010 Camaro SS, I've received a ridiculous amount of compliments as well as "request". I've counted, and I had over 10 people take my number down and bother the hell out of me because they want a full detail of they're cars and trucks, which after review has a great number swirls and haze marks. Nothing really bad like chipped paint, but before I even considered any of the request, I worked on a test vehicle which has some pretty noticeable swirl marks easily identifiable, I did 3 five minute passes with the orange pad and low and behold the swirls were GONE! And when I applied the polish the paint just came alive looked absolutely AMAZING. Brand new; factory brand new. So, it looks like I'm going to be buying tons more washcloths from Adams and a couple of gallons of detail spray as well as more swirl and haze remover.

 

But to make my long story short..........

 

Besides finding swirl marks with a light in your garage or a light which shines on the surface of the car,.......how do I go about actually finding swirls? Is there a more "professional" way than using the light on the top of your garage? Like is there a special light I can use on the surface of the car to make the swirls more visible therefore making it easier for me to find and remove? My Camaro looks flawless from just about every angle, and it's a daily driver, but when I put the car into the light and look deeply with one eye open,...I can see not swirls but small not even a centimeter in length infinitesimal "micro-scratches" that's **** near impossible to find. There isn't a special light or anything I can shine on the car to make these things show up better? At night in my garage just isn't cutting it. In the garage I can find swirls, but when I put the car under brighter light out in the yard and get extremely close down at almost face level, I see them. Invisible to everyone else, but visible to me only when I'm that close.

 

Any suggestions?

 

ALSO.....anyone have any honest pricing ideas I should offer my customers? I have people calling me out the a**; they want they're car done. And the damage they're paint has, I KNOW I can remove it because I've removed worse. Like what should I charge for a full 2 day detail of washing, drying, claying, swirl and haze remover process, polish,wax, interior and under the hood cleaning? All of that takes TIME. I couldn't even finish my Camaro in one day, I don't know if it's because I'm so thorough, or because to actually remove swirls, it takes TIME, and multiple passes. I see these guys at a local place named Safari charging at least 200.00 dollars for a full detailing including wax using only they're car wash machine which washes the car then applies liquid wax, and other packages they offer have guys out there cleaning and drying cars with torn "rags" and T-shirts, more like cleaning the car with sandpaper. Any pricing ideas for what I would go about charging based on the amount of work I put into each car would be nice. I don't wanna start too low or too high. And for me, hoopti's are out, I don't want to waste my time cleaning them; I only want to cater to people with mercedes, bmws,audis,porches, camaros, classics, vets,chargers, challengers, or basically any car which isn't in "just repaint it" condition. I see too many high price car owners with horrible swirls and different marks,.....it p's me off. Why have a 100,000 dollar car and don't take care of it? I've seen guys with BMW 750LI's, Mercedes, R8s, lambos, and z06 vets and keep they're paint in absolutely bad condition. Kills me.

 

ANYWAY........

 

 

I'd like to thank Junkman for "waking me up" from the matrix to these swirl marks and Adam for having such GREAT products that actually work, and you all who offer me useful information.

:cheers:

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Hey Mel, I see the detailing bug has not only bitten you, it has devoured you! :willy::willy::willy:

 

Now here's the deal. MOST detailers use products and tricks to hide and cover up damage to the paint. They also use a more powerful polisher that will speed up the swirl and scratch removal process. This is how they manage to rush through a detail. They are by no means doing the type of paint correction that you are trying to do because of the time involved. It takes a lot of time to do the type of job that you are trying to do. That's why I tell folks that I would need their car for three weeks and they should expect to pay anywhere from $1500-$2000 smackers. Needless to say, I don't do this for a living and the line at my garage is VERY short.

 

With that said, if you want to continue doing this type of work for profit, you need to taper the expectations you present to your customers. What you can tell them is that the swirl removal process is going to be a multi-application process, where they bring the car to you over a period of weeks. This will allow you to spend less time during the correction process on a given day and also allow you to spread your expectations over a period of time with each vehicle. You will find that some customers will be happy with a halfway complete job. Others will follow through with the complete treatment. The two things that you must stress to your customers is to not wash or wipe on the car improperly, and to bring it back to you for a quicky wash job when the car is dirty. Explain that not following this regiment will only undo the work that you are trying to accomplish which will cause the correction process to take longer. You also need to be very selective in the work you take on. A badly swirled car takes time to fix and if the customer isn't made`aware of this, then they may be disappointed with how much work is necessary to remove that amount of damage, especially with the PC.

 

Like I said before, most detailers use tricks of the trade to make a car look flawless. The secret to your success is going to be educating your customers on what you are actually doing. You need to get a understanding on how other detailers hide damage, so that you can show your customers that this is not what you are doing. Also, keep in mind that 90% of the people out there don't see the swirls in their paint until you point it out to them. You may or may not want to "unplug" them unless you are positive that you can totally remove the damage. By just removing some of the damage, their cars will look significantly better and they will notice this. They may not understand why their cars look better but they will see a difference. Your own car should be the trophy you display as to your ability and the benchmark that you can achieve on their ride if their paint is not in bad shape to begin with.

 

You are NOT going to be able to get every car perfect. Get that way out of your head. Some damage requires more aggressive measures and products. Stay away from those jobs or be honest and tell the customer that some damage can't be removed without professional intervention. If you don't present yourself as a professional, no one will expect professional results. That's a win-win for you because if your work exceeds what the customer expected, they will be more than happy to pay your price, come back for more business and spread your name to their friends.

 

Since you like to do research, you need to start finding out what others charge to do their various types of details in your area, and find out also EXACTLY what that detail consist of. Ask about paint correction and find out how many people actually do it. You will find little to none. The answers to the questions you are asking really need to be researched by you. I see a lot of phone calls in your future as you have a lot of leg work to do. Some of the detailers on this forum will chime in but you need to find out what the market in your neck of the woods is paying. After all, a detail job in Hollywood pays a heck of a lot more than one in Rottencrotch, Iowa.

 

Last of all, seeing swirls can easily be done with those 2-light halogen stands. I have heard of guys using all kinds of lights but those 1000W halogen stands show me everything I need to see. That's all I use, other than sunshine.

 

Good luck!

Edited by Junkman2008
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Hey Mel, I see the detailing bug has not only bitten you, it has devoured you! :willy::willy::willy:

 

Now here's the deal. MOST detailers use products and tricks to hide and cover up damage to the paint. They also use a more powerful polisher that will speed up the swirl and scratch removal process. This is how they manage to rush through a detail. They are by no means doing the type of paint correction that you are trying to do because of the time involved. It takes a lot of time to do the type of job that you are trying to do. That's why I tell folks that I would need their car for three weeks and they should expect to pay anywhere from $1500-$2000 smackers. Needless to say, I don't do this for a living and the line at my garage is VERY short.

 

With that said, if you want to continue doing this type of work for profit, you need to taper the expectations you present to your customers. What you can tell them is that the swirl removal process is going to be a multi-application process, where they bring the car to you over a period of weeks. This will allow you to spend less time during the correction process on a given day and also allow you to spread your expectations over a period of time with each vehicle. You will find that some customers will be happy with a halfway complete job. Others will follow through with the complete treatment. The two things that you must stress to your customers is to not wash or wipe on the car improperly, and to bring it back to you for a quicky wash job when the car is dirty. Explain that not following this regiment will only undo the work that you are trying to accomplish which will cause the correction process to take longer. You also need to be very selective in the work you take on. A badly swirled car takes time to fix and if the customer isn't made`aware of this, then they may be disappointed with how much work is necessary to remove that amount of damage, especially with the PC.

 

Like I said before, most detailers use tricks of the trade to make a car look flawless. The secret to your success is going to be educating your customers on what you are actually doing. You need to get a understanding on how other detailers hide damage, so that you can show your customers that this is not what you are doing. Also, keep in mind that 90% of the people out there don't see the swirls in their paint until you point it out to them. You may or may not want to "unplug" them unless you are positive that you can totally remove the damage. By just removing some of the damage, their cars will look significantly better and they will notice this. They may not understand why their cars look better but they will see a difference. Your own car should be the trophy you display as to your ability and the benchmark that you can achieve on their ride if their paint is not in bad shape to begin with.

 

You are NOT going to be able to get every car perfect. Get that way out of your head. Some damage requires more aggressive measures and products. Stay away from those jobs or be honest and tell the customer that some damage can't be removed without professional intervention. If you don't present yourself as a professional, no one will expect professional results. That's a win-win for you because if your work exceeds what the customer expected, they will be more than happy to pay your price, come back for more business and spread your name to their friends.

 

Since you like to do research, you need to start finding out what others charge to do their various types of details in your area, and find out also EXACTLY what that detail consist of. Ask about paint correction and find out how many people actually do it. You will find little to none. The answers to the questions you are asking really need to be researched by you. I see a lot of phone calls in your future as you have a lot of leg work to do. Some of the detailers on this forum will chime in but you need to find out what the market in your neck of the woods is paying. After all, a detail job in Hollywood pays a heck of a lot more than one in Rottencrotch, Iowa.

 

Last of all, seeing swirls can easily be done with those 2-light halogen stands. I have heard of guys using all kinds of lights but those 1000W halogen stands show me everything I need to see. That's all I use, other than sunshine.

 

Good luck!

Good words of advice! Good luck Mel.:cheers:

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Now here's the deal. MOST detailers use products and tricks to hide and cover up damage to the paint. They also use a more powerful polisher that will speed up the swirl and scratch removal process. This is how they manage to rush through a detail. They are by no means doing the type of paint correction that you are trying to do because of the time involved. It takes a lot of time to do the type of job that you are trying to do. That's why I tell folks that I would need their car for three weeks and they should expect to pay anywhere from $1500-$2000 smackers. Needless to say, I don't do this for a living and the line at my garage is VERY short.
Wow. Yeah, the work I want to do isn't the kind to be done in such a short time like 2 hours and with a car-wash machine. I want a professional and quality look about my work. When I finish a person's car, I want the finish of the car to be like a mirror, smooth as glass, and most importantly swirl free. One thing I can say about talking to you Junkman, is when you said the process takes a long time, you never lied! It does take a long time, but I enjoy this and I'm committed to completing the job no matter how long it takes. That's the thing I notice about this stuff,...when there is something you love or enjoy doing, you can do it for hours on end and not complain, especially if you have your favorite music in your ear, but if you have a job you really don't enjoy doing your attitude is like "when is this going to be over,......how much longer before I punch out"?

 

I'm not just wanting to go pro,....I WILL go pro. But Junkman I'm just amazed at how much you can charge for this type of stuff. There is really some serious money that can be made at this. And that's why I want to do it, and because I enjoy it. I've been reading just so much taking notes and studying them, and visiting local detailers like you suggested me to, and let me say, they are horrible. I went to this local detailer around here that's pretty known because it's on a corner in a very populated area. And today, that's where I met and exchanged numbers with a Mazerati owner. He took his car to them to get the highest package they charge which was around $280.00 dollars, they were washing, waxing and doing his interior. I asked him was he pretty satisfied with they're work,....and he said they make it look good for the moment, I then asked him if he thought his car was in good condition after they "detailed" it, he said he thought they did pretty good work. That's when I humbly asked him if I could see the finish result once they were done with it, he said sure and even told me I could sit in it and chill for a minute just to see how it looks. He was a very nice guy.

 

So when the detailers got done with it, I wipped out my pocket led light I bought which is considerably bright for it's size, I told him back the car into the shade, and when I had to "unplug" him! Junnnkkkmaaan, when I put that light onto the hood and surface of his car, it looked like wolverine himself had been cleaning that beautiful car. I kinda insulted the detailer when I put the light onto the surface of the car and just started laughed out loud. The owner and the guys were wondering what I was doing and looked confused, I got the owner and got him down to my level and showed him the damage his paint had received and will continue to receive unless he let's someone who really is experienced at this detail his car. Man, he saw those swirls and flipped. lol. It was hilarious. He couldn't believe because just like you said,.....he didn't even know they were there! I couldn't believe he couldn't see them hidden in plain view. He felt so bad, considering the car cost him 130k, he actually thought he was getting "quality" work.

 

So I told him "sir,....I know your in disbelief and you feel as if your car has been keyed because of the swirls being everywhere, but I have good news, the swirls are removable, very removable, and I can remove them". He asked me if I was serious because he was considering getting the car repainted, it was black so it was easily visible to me. I told him I do full detailing of all sort of cars,....if within my ability; if I can't repair it, I won't take the job. So he took a look at my car's surface in the shade while under the light and I swear he thought I just picked it up from the dealer, he said he couldn't find one find mark. I said, there is some small rockchips in particular places, but I'll never tell him where. But after seeing the difference in our vehicles, he asked me to take his number down and give him mine because he'd really consider letting me do a full detail of his car. Told him it would take a considerable amount of time to get the finish like I wanted:swirl free top to bottom, and deep reflective paint like a mirror. He told me he has a huge garage at his home and told me I could come over whenever is convenient for me and begin work immediately. :2thumbs:

 

I told him, I'd definitely take him up on the offer, but I told him I'm pricey, because the work is hard and takes TIME, but I can produce the said results. He then tells me, "hey look at the car I drive, I don't care about the price, I just need it done". lol. THOSE are the type of clients I want to cater to. 2,000k easy if I come through! I work a full time job though, I told him I have his number and that I need to replenish my material and get time off from my other job and I'd call him to schedule the work to be done. Great news! My first real detail! And I haven't even got my business cards made yet, or my brochures,.......or pricing. lol. But thanks to you Junkman, I know what I should charge based on the given time I put into the car.

 

With that said, if you want to continue doing this type of work for profit, you need to taper the expectations you present to your customers. What you can tell them is that the swirl removal process is going to be a multi-application process, where they bring the car to you over a period of weeks. This will allow you to spend less time during the correction process on a given day and also allow you to spread your expectations over a period of time with each vehicle. You will find that some customers will be happy with a halfway complete job. Others will follow through with the complete treatment. The two things that you must stress to your customers is to not wash or wipe on the car improperly, and to bring it back to you for a quicky wash job when the car is dirty. Explain that not following this regiment will only undo the work that you are trying to accomplish which will cause the correction process to take longer. You also need to be very selective in the work you take on. A badly swirled car takes time to fix and if the customer isn't made`aware of this, then they may be disappointed with how much work is necessary to remove that amount of damage, especially with the PC.

I have no problem spending lots of time of the correctional process in one day, I'm use to 14+ hours straight without a break, as long as I have my Zune and my music, and my water, I can go on for extended periods of time. Now once that's over,......I'll realize how much I worked, then my body will ache. lol. But I won't even take on a car that I know I can't repair, even though I'd probably be able to minimize the damage and hide it less that others would, that's just not my style;like you said, I'm in it to REMOVE it not hide it. Junkman, thank you, I really appreciate all of the knowledge you've been since giving me on the whole paint correction process. It's priceless. Thank you. :patriot:

 

Like I said before, most detailers use tricks of the trade to make a car look flawless. The secret to your success is going to be educating your customers on what you are actually doing. You need to get a understanding on how other detailers hide damage, so that you can show your customers that this is not what you are doing. Also, keep in mind that 90% of the people out there don't see the swirls in their paint until you point it out to them. You may or may not want to "unplug" them unless you are positive that you can totally remove the damage. By just removing some of the damage, their cars will look significantly better and they will notice this. They may not understand why their cars look better but they will see a difference. Your own car should be the trophy you display as to your ability and the benchmark that you can achieve on their ride if their paint is not in bad shape to begin with.

 

As far as researching the "tricks of the trade" where can I start reading? Point me in the right direction and I'll take it from there. But yes, my starting idea in all my brocures was going to be "educating the customer" on what exactly I'm doing to they're car, allowing them to give a fully detailed in depth summary of what is involved in the paint correction process and the time it takes, given the damage. Therefore, with everything explained, they'll know why I charge what I charge. Oh, and unplugging people is fun! It's just the look on they're faces, disbelief, anger lol.

 

Me: Sir, you have swirl marks all over your cars finish, just everywhere from top to bottom.

 

Guy::confused: Swirl marks?

 

Me: Aims the light and reveals.....

 

Guy: OMGWTF.......:explode:

 

You are NOT going to be able to get every car perfect. Get that way out of your head. Some damage requires more aggressive measures and products. Stay away from those jobs or be honest and tell the customer that some damage can't be removed without professional intervention. If you don't present yourself as a professional, no one will expect professional results. That's a win-win for you because if your work exceeds what the customer expected, they will be more than happy to pay your price, come back for more business and spread your name to their friends.
Makes sense. Of course.

 

Welcome to the wonderful world of OCD. lol. Good luck going pro, we're all rooting for ya!!
HAHA!:banana: Proud! Don't worry, when I do get off the ground and get more equipment, I'm going to be posting some before and afters of the finish and videos.
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Do you think that it is wise to charge a guy a professional fee when you're just a beginner yourself? I'd think twice about that. Be fare to you customers from day one. Make that the foundation of your business, just as you have seen Adam do. He has reaped 10-fold over what he could have had by just taking the money and running. Money isn't everything. Don't allow it to blind your business practices.

 

By the way, you were at the place where you can learn the tricks of the trade. What do you think they do at that detailing shop? Paint correction? I don't think so!

Edited by Junkman2008
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Do you think that it is wise to charge a guy a professional fee when you're just a beginner yourself? I'd think twice about that. Be fare to you customers from day one. Make that the foundation of your business, just as you have seen Adam do. He has reaped 10-fold over what he could have had by just taking the money and running. Money isn't everything. Don't allow it to blind your business practices.

 

By the way, you were at the place where you can learn the tricks of the trade. What do you think they do at that detailing shop? Paint correction? I don't think so!

Absolutely not, I wouldn't charge him that, but the way he talks, he's game for any amount. So basically you think I should hang out at these local detailing shops who charge more for less, to see what they're doing and redefine my own efforts based upon what I've learned?

 

When you say "Adams", success comes to mind. :grouphug:

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Absolutely not, I wouldn't charge him that, but the way he talks, he's game for any amount. So basically you think I should hang out at these local detailing shops who charge more for less, to see what they're doing and redefine my own efforts based upon what I've learned?

 

When you say "Adams", success comes to mind. :grouphug:

 

I'm not saying redefine your efforts, I'm just saying that you should learn what others do in the business if you are going to claim to be different. You have to know what the other guys are doing before you can claim to be offering a better service. Start small and work your way up.

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I'm not saying redefine your efforts, I'm just saying that you should learn what others do in the business if you are going to claim to be different. You have to know what the other guys are doing before you can claim to be offering a better service. Start small and work your way up.

I understand what your saying, but when I went to the local car wash that runs the car through the machine for 250.00 dollars and then proceeds to "dry the car" with some T-Shirts and bath towels, I got a real good idea of what kind of "quality work" they really do. From looking at all of that, then meeting the Maserati owner at the same place, I have no doubt in my mind that I can do a better job than what they're putting out for 250 dollars. T-shirts=microfiber? HA! A bath towel? wow.

 

Yeah, if given the amount of time I need, I can do way better quality work. But what I'm going to try and do is find some "professional" shops who actually offer work with buffers then try talk to them and watch and see what they do, that I don't and you know, get some pointers and learn more. But if I can't find any shops like that,....maybe your right, I might be the only one in my area to even offer real paintcorrection service.

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I don't think anyone addressed the most important part of your first question: How to remove the "infintesimal" micro-scratches that you see in your paint.

 

I think what you are describing are called "tick marks", or pad marring, and are PC induced marks that replace the scratches you took out. I have them too. I haven't tried to get them out just yet but have been researching how to accomplish this. I put them there with SwirlX polish. They are invisible under halogen light but annoying under true sunlight. They almost look like metal flake although my black paint is non-metallic gloss.

 

On another detailing site I read that a followup with a finer polish or with a polish on a non-cutting "finishing" type pad would. I'm curious if anyone has tackled these PC tick marks with any Adam's polish/pad combination and how it worked.

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I don't think anyone addressed the most important part of your first question: How to remove the "infintesimal" micro-scratches that you see in your paint.

 

I think what you are describing are called "tick marks", or pad marring, and are PC induced marks that replace the scratches you took out. I have them too. I haven't tried to get them out just yet but have been researching how to accomplish this. I put them there with SwirlX polish. They are invisible under halogen light but annoying under true sunlight. They almost look like metal flake although my black paint is non-metallic gloss.

 

On another detailing site I read that a followup with a finer polish or with a polish on a non-cutting "finishing" type pad would. I'm curious if anyone has tackled these PC tick marks with any Adam's polish/pad combination and how it worked.

True that. In my humble opinion, I really don't think I induced them with the PC at all, mainly because I noticed that they were there before I even began using the pc or before I had swirls. Upon delivery of the car when I got 1v1 close on the car, I saw no swirls but what looked like small micro chips in the paint possibly from the factory maybe or the shipping process. They are totally INVISIBLE in direct sun-light or even under a 1000 watt halogen light, but I'd have to get like super close to the paint and **** my head to the side at the right angle and BOOM there it is. lol.

 

Not many, but like 1 or two here and there. But what I really need to do is hit this one spot on my hood and trunk with some swirl and haze remover, it looks like a cat found a spot to cleave it's claws. Other than that, I have no other visible swirls in no light setting, I make sure I do regular "swirl mapping" of my car. Preferably weekly. I map which areas have swirls or "specs", rock-chips, or virtually any damage of any kind. I take photos of it, log it, and keep it in files for future reference. I want to always know if any damage is incurred to my car, that way I don't ever come across things that tend to just "poof" pop up and gets mistaken for a keyed hood.

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I don't think anyone addressed the most important part of your first question: How to remove the "infintesimal" micro-scratches that you see in your paint.

 

I think what you are describing are called "tick marks", or pad marring, and are PC induced marks that replace the scratches you took out. I have them too. I haven't tried to get them out just yet but have been researching how to accomplish this. I put them there with SwirlX polish. They are invisible under halogen light but annoying under true sunlight. They almost look like metal flake although my black paint is non-metallic gloss.

 

On another detailing site I read that a followup with a finer polish or with a polish on a non-cutting "finishing" type pad would. I'm curious if anyone has tackled these PC tick marks with any Adam's polish/pad combination and how it worked.

 

That's why I don't use OTC junk. The damage that you are talking about can easily be addressed by following Adam's Swirl & Haze Remover (SHR) with their Fine Machine Polish (FMP). This will "finish down" the paint and make it look flawless, provided you have removed all of the swirls and scratches with SHR. These products are engineered to work together and should always be used in that order, unless the damage is minimal and FMP is only required.

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Before you do a job, do a detailed walk around of the vehicle (with a camera if you can). Make sure both you and your customer are clear on what is expected. This will help prevent someone from coming back and saying you didn't do what they wanted.

It is a business, after all. Sometimes you have to think like a lawyer/crook.

Other than that, good luck and have fun!

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