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Thread: Waxing problems--- help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    Waxing problems--- help

    I decided to wash and wax the car. I have a bunch of autodetailing supplies and have done it a whole bunch of times on various cars I and family members have owned. So I am pretty confused about what did wrong, since my clearcoat is now completely covered in tiny scratches in the pattern I buffed the wax off in. Theyre not deep and only visible on careful inspection, I'm pretty sure I can scratch x them out, but am completely confused about what I did wrong and how to prevent this from happening again. The last time I did this to a car I was 19 and thought using stiff terry cloth shop towels was a good plan...
    I washed wth a microfiber sponge and dried the car with a synthetic shammy and a microfiber towel. I used a clay bar with plenty of lubrication. I used meguiers ultimate liquid wax, applied it with the applicator pad provided by mequiar and buffed it off with the soft microfiber towel that came with the wax. I made sure everything was clean and there was no dust or other contaminants. I have done this with Toyotas, Nissan's, Mercedes and have never seen anything like this since the shop towel incident.

    I have read online that BMW's are known for having super soft clear coat, there are plenty of people complaining about scratching while detailing but they all made obvious mistakes. I wouldn't use even soft terrycloth and I wouldn't press too hard but microfiber? Where did I go wrong?

    There is a possibility that the scratches were preexisting, I've only had the car for a week and it was cloudy every day until yesterday when I noticed them, I haven't really gotten a good look at the paint condition before. I also noticed on the paperwork that the car did have that "protective coating" applied by the dealership. I guess its possible that the dealership scratched the clearcoat when it was delivered new and nobody noticed until I (second owner) admired my waxing job in direct sunlight....

    Did I do something that could have caused this? Is there a specific type of microfiber I should be using? The car is deep blue sea metallic, its a fairly dark color that looks close to black in most light. It only shows the scratches when its bright enough to see the brilliant blue metallic in the paint.
    I'm completely confused and afraid to attempt repair or do anything else to the car until I figure out what happened here.
    Last edited by Anomalychick; 11-18-2018 at 02:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    It sounds like you did everything right and your idea of the swirls being caused by the dealership are the probable cause.

    You have two choices - remove the swirls with a compound / swirl remover of choice, or fill them with a carnauba. Generally sealants don't fill, wax does.
    Personally I'd remove them then maintain the finish with proper washing/drying techniques. I'm not a big fan of drying with a chamois because they can pick up and hold grit over time. Wick excess water off first then use a leaf blower.

    Do you have a DA?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnZ3MC View Post
    It sounds like you did everything right and your idea of the swirls being caused by the dealership are the probable cause.

    You have two choices - remove the swirls with a compound / swirl remover of choice, or fill them with a carnauba. Generally sealants don't fill, wax does.
    Personally I'd remove them then maintain the finish with proper washing/drying techniques. I'm not a big fan of drying with a chamois because they can pick up and hold grit over time. Wick excess water off first then use a leaf blower.

    Do you have a DA?

    Never occurred to me to try a leaf blower... Wouild probably make things much easier.

    Sorry, what is a DA?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anomalychick View Post
    Never occurred to me to try a leaf blower... Wouild probably make things much easier.

    Sorry, what is a DA?
    Dual Action polisher. One can be had for cheap at Harbor Freight, and for the casual user is more than adequate.

  5. #5
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    On careful inspection of the scratches, they are not consistent with buffing damage. Im wondering if they might be from an automatic carwash now. I should probably try to get a picture of the paint and post it. The entire car is covered in tiny hairline scratches, thousands of them, but nothing resembling a hologram from a buffer or even a consistent motion.

    I also couldnt help but notice, it seems I am able to leave similar new scratches in the clear coat using only my fingernail? Am I supposed to be able to scratch the paint with a fingernail?
    Or does the car have 20 coats of wax on it and thats what the scratches are actually in? Please tell me the paint isn't THAT soft. I am considering stripping the wax and reevaluating from there.

    I have read that you can damage the paint further with a DA? Is it safer to do it by hand?
    My plan was to use a super soft pad and first meguiars Swirl X, switching to Scratch X 2.0 if it doesn't work. If that still doesn't work I was going to get the ultimate compound and a DA.

    The car belonged to my father and the only reason I have it is because he died. I could never afford it on my own, so I am absolutely terrified of making a mistake and damaging it.
    How would you handle it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Need pics!

    The Harbor Freight DA polisher is a low power polisher. You are at very low risk of damaging your paint with it. I would buy some Meguiars 105 and 205 and a soft foam pad. Typically you use the 105 first followed by the 205. If your scratches are minor you may be able to start with the 205. Always start with the less aggressive polish. If it is not doing the job then change to the more aggressive polish.

    Keep your fingernails out of your paint.

    Watch some youtube videos.

    The DA polisher is very forgiving.

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