DIY Car Detailing Appreciation

May 3, 2007
3.5 hour process this time. all by hand cause I can't quite afford a buffer.

Degrease/wash wheels/tires
Wash car
Clean/vacuum interior
Clay Bar
Mist & Wipe with Quik Detialer ("hydrophobic technology") and some Rain X on the glass for the rainy season





stock and clean > souped up and dirty
^ thanks, it's only 2 months old, but it's better than brand new because they never treated the paint this well and it was probably sitting on the lotgetting beat down by the sun and rain for a few months before I got my hands on it.

Originally Posted by SURE LOCK 510

what about souped up and clean?


either way, all things being equal I rather put more effort, time and money into protecting the paint and keeping it looking new than anything else
looks really good. I am probably going to save up for an interior detail this summer, I usually do the outside by myself
Not bad for 3.5 hours.
Usually takes me the same amount of time just to do a quick wash, wax, and vacuum of the interior.
Last time I clay barred my car was a year ago.
Can't wait until school is out to get my car back into a like new condition.
I'd do this for my car, but it'd be a waste of time. That's what happens when you have a clunker, you just don't want to take care of it
it helps to have a 2 door civic and it wasn't very dirty to begin with, interior was 15 minutes total. I even wiped off the pedals.

it took me probably 4 hours to do an A4 a few weeks ago. The Clay Bar is actually ridiculously easy and fast to do too (just don't drop it). using NXT waxfrom Meguiar's makes it simple cause it's also a sealant, saved quite some time there.

p.s. I need a better camera, these pics really don't do it justice
You did a great job

It's nothing like getting your whip shined up and then hitting the streets all weekend.
clay bars are now available at most auto parts stores, I go to Advance since it's near me.

I bought Meguiar's because it came with the clay, detailer (lubricant), microfiber cloth and a sample bottle of wax.
Mother's has a kit now too, I would trust it's good. TurtleWax/ICE just released one, I would probably pass on it.
IF YOU DROP A CLAY BAR THROW IT AWAY. you can easily ruin your paint with a contaminated one, that's why I break it in half to cut my losses, plus half abar is plenty for a compact-midsize car. Watch some YouTube videos on how to do it.

For the tires and wheels I used APC and rinse them off, then car shampoo with a sponge and brush JUST for the wheels/tires, scrubbed inside too not just thesuperficial stuff. Then I used Black Magic Tire Wet with a sponge applicator. It's not the brightest nor longest lasting, but there's not much sling atall. I'm going to start experimenting with different stuff on wheels/tires soon, hasn't really been my focus in the past.
very nice job you did there to you car. I need to detail my car soon as well to make it look good
You know you're good when/if you can detail a black car and get rid of the swirl marks. For the new kids to the game, start with a simple Porter Cable.

That's a good site a lot of the more experienced detailers order from. Enter "E90Post" for 10% off. You can get a nice piece of clay bar fromthe site too, and it will last a while since it's not that small laughable chunk you get at the local Pep Boys or what have you.

Pretty good forum to get your knowledge up.

I used to be into detailing, but I don't care much about my car anymore. Just the usual 30 mins wash rinse for her now.
+1 for the NXT wax. Used that 2 weeks ago after clay barring my car and I really noticed the difference. You're interior looks good man.
Most modern cars can take a wash in the engine bay.
I have a 1999 BMW and it worked.
Just use a towel and cover up fuse box and anything intake or electrical.

I can't wait to get my PC or similar device.
looks nice man...good job

i always dread cleaning my FJ
, but once i get going its
when completed.
I wish i had time to do it for my car, but with working 12hr days and going to school full time I take it to a place in town where i go to school, but I got aspecial sealant on friday and drove out of town and it was like hailing, i was so mad cause it looked like crap the rest of the day, but when I got home I wentto town and went to the do it yerself sprays and cleaned it real good, I wish I had a huge shop with a drain system so I could wash it inside. I wish i wouldnthave got another black car. I used to do it with my civic for the first year then I kinda gave up heh
Looks like you did a good job, man. What wax did you use? I've had good experience with Meguiar's Gold Class and NXT, paste of course. I wish I had aPorter Cable 7336/7424, but I'm broke so I do all my work by hand. I mostly use Meguiar's, Griot's Garage, and Mother's. I wanna try Zymol andKlasse though, paint sealants
What do you use to dry your car? I'm getting tired of my Absorber... Btw, been detailing since 14 here

And doing $200+ worth of work on your own car =
I used what I had left of turtle wax car shampoo, getting gold class for the next wash. used NXT liquid cause I don't have any experience with paste, morecomfortable with it, I would also love a PC buffer. most of what I used was meguiar's because they make it all pretty easy, they are very consumer-minded,much more than mothers and poorboys (you can debate on quality but I have 0 complaints).

I used a waffle-weave microfiber cloth to dry it. it picks everything right up and you barely need to squeeze it dry. in case you don't, you may considerthe soaking method to make drying easier: take the nozzle off the hose and pour the water straight onto the car, the water is so heavy it mostly sheds rightoff and there are hardly any beads, works on paint and glass. then dry up the rest.

Originally Posted by StangzNkickz50

I wish it would stop raining so I could wash mine...

I detailed it because it's been raining. torrential downpours this week and last down here. but all the stuff I put is meant to protect the paint(and glass -> rainX) from the rain and other elements
I know, I hate the grille and the chrome trim in the back, Honda is trying to look more American. And I hate it.
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