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  1. #1

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    I just got a 2007 Gallardo Nera (black) and have only washed it once. The dealer buffed and glazed it, and after only one wash I can already see some minor issues. I`ve spent the past month reading the forums, calling Autogeek, and have spend hundreds of dollars on products and always seem to change my approach. I have minimal experience with the PC orbital, but have used it few times before. For obvious reasons I don`t want this car to be the one I experiment on, so I asked Autogeek for the safes route.



    They told me if the car was already glazed, then simply reglaze (Pinnacle XMT) using the PC and a blue pad, then top it with Pinnacle Souveragn paste wax by hand. Then I could start over in a few weeks after I build my confidence. I`m assuming this is the safest route...



    But, shouldn`t I clay, polish, SEAL then wax and do it properly the first time? If so, what are the safest products I can use?



    I`d rather live with a few minor imperfections because I know I can always get them removed professionally - I just want to do what`s best to prevent any further swirling, scratching.



    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

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    I can tell you what I would do.



    First, I would wash it properly. Accumulator and Supes will hopefully share with you their suggestions on proper car washing techniques. The key is to rinse your mitt often, so as to reduce the chances of a dirt or grit getting caught between the mitt and paint surface. The importance of proper washing cannot be underestimated.



    Second, I would clay the car. You have no doubt already purchased a good quality clay. You will be surprised by how much dirt the clay pulls off of your new vehicle.



    Third, I would apply a good nonabrasive paint cleaner: e.g., Lusso Oro Revitalizing Creme, Four Star Paint Cleanser, PS21 Paintwork Cleanser, or Swissvax Cleaning Fluid.



    Fourth, given my mood, I might apply a glaze: e.g., Megs` #7, Danase Wet Glaze, or your XMT. But I consider this purely optional. If I have used Lusso Oro paint cleaner (above), I would skip the glaze.



    Finally, I would then apply two coats of my chosen wax or sealant.



    I understand the passion and concern which attends the care of black cars--and you have invested far more in your car than most of us can ever dream of. Black cars are, as many have stated, a full-time occupation. But I would also urge you to relax. Your Gallardo will be with you a long time. No matter how hard you try, you will not be able to protect her from damage, at least not if you intend to drive her. All you can do is do your best and enjoy this incredible vehicle you are privileged to own and drive.

  3. #3

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    Akimel - thanks for the reply!



    Autogeek recommended Wolfgang Paintwork Polish enhancer before I used a sealant because it wouldn`t stick to the glaze. Is this the same as a paint cleaner?



    Thanks!

  4. #4

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    I have not used the product itself, but on the basis of the product description, Wolfgang Paintwork Polish Enhancer sounds like an excellent product for you: it is described as a nonabrasive paint cleaner. It will remove the previously applied glaze and wax and prepare the surface for a new application of wax/sealant.



    So what wax/sealant have you chosen for your Gallardo?



    What an incredible car you have!

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the compliment - I`m really excited, and never dreamed I would ever own such a car.



    As for the sealant, I would probably get the Wolfgang 3.0 sealant, then top it off with the Pinnacle Souveran.



    So then to sum up - clay, paint enhancer, sealant, wax. I would be using the PC orbital, and use the least aggressive pads possible. Which of these steps would help remove any swirls or minor scratches?



    Being a novice, should I be nervous about attempting this?

  6. #6

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    So then to sum up - clay, paint enhancer, sealant, wax. I would be using the PC orbital, and use the least aggressive pads possible. Which of these steps would help remove any swirls or minor scratches?


    You have to define "remove".



    A polish that removes paint will permanently (till the car gets scratched up again) remove the swirls etc. A wax/sealant can make swirls invisible/very hard to see by filling them in a with a wax film.



    Washing and claying the car just remove surface dirt, which detracts from the overall appearance of the car. Sealants/Waxes contain glossy chemicals that make the glossy paint surface even glossier.



    None of these steps calls for a electric polisher, especially the washing part.



    Being a novice, should I be nervous about attempting this?


    Only as nervous as you should be feeling when working on $180,000+ car. :spot

  7. #7

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    Spumoni, I confess that I would be really nervous, too; but you have chosen a gentle paint cleanser, so you can be confident that you aren`t going to damage your car in any way.



    Perhaps you should think of yourself on a learning curve. It`s just going to take time and practice for you to become comfortable with paint polishing and waxing. So begin modestly. For this first session, don`t worry about removing swirls. Just focus on properly washing the car, gently claying the surface (use plenty of lubrication!), cleaning the paint with your gloss enhancer (whether by hand or by PC), and applying the sealant and wax. Get confident with these steps first, and then you can worry about removing swirls and scratches.



    In fact, you might want to consider doing everything by hand for this first session. Do you have another vehicle you can practice on first with your DA? The DA is very safe, but it still takes practice to use it competently. I know that for my first time I practiced on my wife`s car (an old Taurus) before I attempted to machine polish my beloved S2000. On the other hand, applying the gloss enhancer and Wolfang sealant with the DA and finishing pad might be a good way to acquaint yourself with the machine. Your call. Just do what feels right to you.



    In the end, your Gallardo will look beautiful! And you will feel great because you helped make her look beautiful.



    Good luck!



    Al

  8. #8

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    Al - what do you think of this approach?



    Clay with either Zaino or Pinnacle - the finest I can get.



    Apply Wolfgang Paintwork Polish Enhancer with a gray pad using the PC.



    Apply Wolfgang 3.0 sealant using a blue pad with the PC.



    Wait 12 hours for curing.



    Apply Pinnacle Souveran by hand.



    Of course I am going to wear diapers during this entire process.



    Although this approach may not remove all the swirls, it seems to be a VERY safe approach that would be hard for me to screw up. Right?

  9. #9

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    spumoni- Check out the "Articles" section, see if you can find my "Accumulator`s Non-marring Wash Technique" post. Somewhere towards the end of that thread I think I describe my current regimen (I need to reread/rewrite that some time...). No time to recap it all now, but I`ll be happy to adress any Qs you have. Washing is the #1 thing..gotta do it now and then, so you might as well figure out how to do it right



    Some Autopian Heresy: maybe it doesn`t *need* clayed :nixweiss I`d suggest you use Sonus green Ultra-Fine clay; possibly too gentle for true decontamination but at least it won`t mar things up *IF* you use it right.



    I have no experience with the Wolfgang stuff...can`t help there. But generally I`d stick to the glaze/wax approach until you get the wash sorted out. No sense taking off clear until you know you can keep it nice.



    FWIW, I don`t like to apply sealants via PC as it`s just too hard to get the correct *thin* application. I hear the LC *GOLD* pad makes this a lot easier but I`ve never tried one.



    This is probably just me...but I never use the sealant + wax approach, but rather I pick one or the other. And relatively few sealants lend themselves to the "hide the marring" approach. Eh...I`d probably recommend that you use something that conceals (e.g., 1Z WaxPolishSoft or even just Meguiar`s #9) and top with the Souveran. Maybe put some NXT v2.0 in between those two as it hides stuff too. I have two original-paint cars that can`t take much polishing and I use approaches like that...sure don`t use sealants on them FWIW, my Jag gets Autoglym Super Resin Polish topped with Souveran.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator
    Washing is the #1 thing..gotta do it now and then, so you might as well figure out how to do it right


    And the reason for 99% of the marring on your car.



    Hint: the two-bucket system isn`t gonna help. As long as you are mashing a wash media against the abrasive particles on your paint and then rubbing, you are marring, regardless of the number of buckets used. <Insert standard ONR disclaimer here>
    Sage advice from Greg Nichols: "Hey, Supe? When you`re trying to get the air bubble out of your syringe of Opti-Coat, don`t point it at your face, mmmkay?"

  11. #11

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    Accumulator - looks like I`m changing my course AGAIN!



    I read your article, and it is pretty extreme. I can`t imagine a safer way possible to wash a car. My fear is having that hose so close to the car all the time. I will give this a try. Here`s my new plan:



    Wash (using only the concentrated powers of my mind - no contact at all)



    Glaze with Pinnacle xmt carnauba finishing glaze (The guys at Autogeek SWEAR by this stuff for black cars) using the PC and a BLUE pad.



    Hand wax with Pinnacle Souveran.



    I can`t see how I could screw this up. Is it OK if I use screws to attach the pad to the PC just incase the velcro gives out? (jk)

  12. #12

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    spumoni- Heh heh, once you get the psychic-car-wash working for you that plan will be great



    I haven`t used that Pinnacle XMT Finishing Glaze but I`m guessing it`s a close relative of their PCL. I bet you`ll do OK with that and Souveran, at least for a while. Sooner or later you`ll possibly want to dial things up, but I`d wait and see how it goes.



    Autopian Heresy: I hope you don`t get so caught up in this cosmetic [stuff] that it starts to overshadow the more fun aspects of owning a car like that. You might have more fun not sweating the cosmetics so much and simply driving the wheels off of it.



    On the washing, doing the BHB/foamgun and mitt/foamgun combos is safer than you might first think. And a few gentle bumps with the foamgun (it`s the jug that hits, not the nozzle or the hose) won`t do much, if any, damage. Better than the *definite* damage from poor washing. Just spraying foamgun output the the point of wash medium contact and moving any and all said media in short, interrupted jiggling motions will do worlds to minimize the marring.

  13. #13

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    Spumoni, you might want to read through the articles on car washing cited here, especially Accumulator`s and Super Bee`s: Internet Resources for Detailing Newbs. It also contains links to a lot of other good articles.



    Good luck and have fun with your car!

  14. #14
    SuperBee364's Avatar
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    I *really* wish we could get Accumulator to do a video of his wash technique. I`d do it myself, but I`m missing two things: 1. Accumulator`s intimate knowledge of the technique. 2. A Gilmore foam gun.



    As soon as the Doc clears me to start working on cars again (my appointment is tomorrow, and I`m keeping my finger`s crossed that he`s gonna give me the OK), I`m planning on doing a car wash video, fiwiw. Several, actually, including a video review of the new High Definition Car Care waterless wash when I get my sample.



    Spumoni, in addition to Accumulator`s washing technique, Optimum No Rinse Wash N Shine (known as ONR around here) is a *much* safer alternative to a traditional bucket, hose, and wash mitt wash. To this day, I get scared every time I use it because you do things in an ONR wash that many here (including myself) have spent pages of posts saying not to do. It is capable of pure magic. However, if you take the time to learn about how marring occurs and learn Accumulator`s wash method, you lesson the chance of wash induced marring to even better than your odds with ONR.



    Honestly, if you polished your car just one time, then followed Accumulator`s method to a T, you would most likely never have to polish your car again.



    My car never *needs* polishing anymore, but I do still use it to experiment with finding the highest gloss I can achieve. But marring and swirls are a thing of the past. And I have Accumulator (among other Autopians) to thank for it.



    One shortcut to the necessary mindset for mar-free maintenance: Every particle on your paint is abrasive. If you rub that abrasive across your paint in any way (<insert standard ONR disclaimer here>), you are going to mar it.



    Could we talk you in to a few pics of your ride when you get a chance?
    Sage advice from Greg Nichols: "Hey, Supe? When you`re trying to get the air bubble out of your syringe of Opti-Coat, don`t point it at your face, mmmkay?"

  15. #15

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    I haven`t taken many pictures of the car yet, because I really haven`t been able to clean in properly. Once I figure out what I`m doing, I will take better pictures and post them. I`ve attached one from the first day, and there`s a few more pictures on another thread.



    Search - black gallardo what`s the next step.



    I really would love to see some video`s of the washing technique. Also, I`ve been hearing great things about the ONR, but like you said it goes against EVERYTHING I`ve been learning over the past 20 years....



    Thanks for all the help everyone.
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