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Cadillac ATS Technical Discussion Forum Discussion, Swirl in the paint in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; Is anyone having any noticable swirl marks in the paint. My ATS is the Black Raven and they are mainly ...
  1. #1
    Rozay619 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Swirl in the paint

    Is anyone having any noticable swirl marks in the paint. My ATS is the Black Raven and they are mainly on the hood and trunk lid... (blame the color choice on my wife)
    Any suggestions on correcting the issue, i will try to put up pics later today if it's not too dark outside.

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    AtlantaGuy00 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Swirl in the paint

    It's the wax. Was the car delivered that way or did you wax it or have it waxed after you bought it? If it was delivered that way, I'd return it to have it detailed again. Black Raven is notoriously hard to wax. I have a Black Raven DTS that gets swirl marks when I wax it, so I usually have it profesionally detailed. You can hand buff it yourself with a microfiber cloth to see if you can even out the polish. Otherwise, take it back for another detailing.

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    Hoosier Daddy's Avatar
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    Re: Swirl in the paint

    Itís most likely from dealer personnel being careless while cleaning and prepping the car. Black is no more prone to this than other colors since they all have the same clear coat. BUT because of the way non metallic blacks reflect light, any swirls are MUCH more noticeable. Don't believe it? Try reading a business card's reflection in the paint. Other than being reversed, its almost as easy to read in the black than directly. For light colors or metallicís the card isn't really readable.

    The swirls are from dirt being ground into and scratching the clear coat. It can be corrected by removing the part of the clear coat that is scratched but its important to avoid the damage in the future because the clear coat is only so thick.

    To avoid swirls, black cars need to be washed differently than other colors. Use a wash agent that is very good at floating the dirt off and encapsulating it. I'm not aware of any available in common brick and mortar stores. I think its totally overkill for any other color but I'm going to get a foam gun if I order a black ATS.

    And not all mitts do as good a job of pulling dirt into themselves. Some materials keep the dirt closer to their surface where it can scratch while washing. Avoid using any pressure when washing the car. Rinse heavy dirt off first and use stronger chemicals for anything stubborn rather than rubbing.

    Use two buckets so you can rinse dirt out of the mitt before getting more suds on it. If you just have one bucket, hose the mitt down before putting it back n the suds. Two buckets is faster.

    Drying the car can cause swirling if any dirt was missed while washing. The dirt gets on the microfiber, chamois, etc used to dry and turns it into sand paper. I use an air 8HP dryer instead. A microfiber can't grind dirt into the dried paint if it never touches it.

    If you must use quick detail, use a type that requires little pressure and use a heavy knapp microfiber to minimize scratches. Try to go in one direction rather than round and round. Both scratch the same, but the swirl type are more noticeable.

    With almost no exception, you should use a good polymer sealer instead of or under wax. A sealer is closer to another thin layer of sacrificial clear coat than almost any wax. A good sealer is likely to be more reflective than even a high end wax. Some people just put wax over the sealant to soften the glare from the sealant. Its a preference thing. I see wax-on-top-of-sealant as similar to how some people prefer analog recordings over digital.

    If I got my car back from the dealer with swirls, I'd think long and hard about letting them touch my paint in the future unless they could explain exactly how it happened and why it wouldn't happen again. But I would rather get it back with swirls than have them buff them out without me knowing it. I like to know how much clear coat I have left!
    Cadillac_Fan and Cadillac_Fan like this.

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    Rozay619 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Swirl in the paint

    I bought the car on a rainy night, I didn't get to wash it for a few days... As soon as I finished drying the car I noticed the marks. The car had a bunch of scratches around the door handles that still after 3 trips have not been fixed. It's disappointing that my car now 4 1/2 weeks old paint looks like shit! I haven't waxed it myself yet, but plan on taking your advice Hoosier with the 2 bucket method, makes sense!! I think I will complain about the paint every time I take it into get serviced until it get fixed. Personally i don't think I should have to pay for a professional detail a month after buying a new car! Any recommendations on what type of soap or wax/sealer to try?

    Thanks!
    Mike

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    AtlantaGuy00 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Swirl in the paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Rozay619 View Post
    I bought the car on a rainy night, I didn't get to wash it for a few days... As soon as I finished drying the car I noticed the marks. The car had a bunch of scratches around the door handles that still after 3 trips have not been fixed. It's disappointing that my car now 4 1/2 weeks old paint looks like shit! I haven't waxed it myself yet, but plan on taking your advice Hoosier with the 2 bucket method, makes sense!! I think I will complain about the paint every time I take it into get serviced until it get fixed. Personally i don't think I should have to pay for a professional detail a month after buying a new car! Any recommendations on what type of soap or wax/sealer to try?

    Thanks!
    Mike
    In that case return it to the dealer ASAP. The more time that passes your case is weakened for having them fix it. You have nothing to loose.

  7. #6
    Hoosier Daddy's Avatar
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    Re: Swirl in the paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Rozay619 View Post
    I bought the car on a rainy night, I didn't get to wash it for a few days... As soon as I finished drying the car I noticed the marks. The car had a bunch of scratches around the door handles that still after 3 trips have not been fixed. It's disappointing that my car now 4 1/2 weeks old paint looks like shit! I haven't waxed it myself yet, but plan on taking your advice Hoosier with the 2 bucket method, makes sense!! I think I will complain about the paint every time I take it into get serviced until it get fixed. Personally i don't think I should have to pay for a professional detail a month after buying a new car! Any recommendations on what type of soap or wax/sealer to try?

    Thanks!
    Mike
    The dealer should be able to buff the scratches out. If they won't, ask the Cadillac rep here to help. I haven't been on a Cadillac forum for long but those reps are worth their weight in gold with other forums I'm more familiar with. But I wouldn't let them wash my car or touch the paint again after that unless it was obviously a fluke of some sort.

    As for products I hate the names of these things but Chemical Guys citruswash+gloss is good. I'd check out Detailed image or Autogeeks (sites for detailers pro and amateur. There are several products that are probably just as good. Just compare the overall customer ratings. These products are extremely slippery and coat the dirt they touch. The weird thing is they are expensive per ounce, but its so concentrated, its actually cheaper (per wash) than what you can get at Walmart or Pep Boys or any auto parts store, or it would be if you didn't have to pay the high shipping charges. I pretty much buy everything I need for a year for all my cars all at once when they have the rare free shipping sales.

    Same with the polymer sealants in that there are several that seem to be as effective. The biggest differences seems to be how easy they are to apply and how long they last. I have been using BlackFire WetDiamond paint sealer. I think there are ones that last a bit longer but none have a better gloss and its ridiculously easy to use. Many are sensitive about the temperature or how long between application and removal. Some are hard to remove. This stuff doesn't care about temperature and you can even leave it on for hours before wiping off the haze and the haze comes off with almost no pressure. You can almost just lay a microfiber on it and pull it across by an edge. Below is a picture of a black car with WetDiamond on it. If you can't tell what the picture is, its a reflection of shelves in his garage in the roof of the car. This stuff is great. And like some modern polymer sealants, WeDiamond won't discolor or leave plastic or rubber trim chalky looking.

    Before I found out about the newer sealants I used the Zaino system on my cars. Zaino definitely lasted longer but involved numerous steps and was not as glossy. Not to mention it was hard work to get the haze off after it set up and almost impossible if you let it sit too long.

    Unlike the wash, these sealants aren't cheaper to use than the waxes/polishes from the corner store, but they aren't that much more expensive. WetDiamond says you need about a dime size amount per panel. I end up using a nickle size but that is probably a little too much. I think its around $29 for 16 oz most of the time. 16 ozs is a LOT of nickel sized blobs. There are other types of sealant that get the same result. I tried Werkstat Acrylic Jett and it had about the same gloss as WetDiamond and lasts longer BUT its applied a completely different way. You spray it on and immediately start rubbing it in until its hard and shiney. It doesn't dry to a haze that you wipe off like WetDiamond and most sealers or polishes. I stayed with WetDiamond because its so much easier to apply and I didn't like the idea of rubbing so hard on the paint just in case any dust settled on the car before or while using it. I'm not saying there aren't products better than WetDiamond but at ~$30 a pop, I'm not inclined to keep experimenting once I found something I really liked. Bear in mind sealants and pure waxes don't contain elements for cleaning or polishing so something else might be needed if the elements do get to the paint thru the sealant or when its allowed to completely wear off. But the sealants are pretty hard stuff. When I first bought WetDiamond, I tried it on half the car. A week later the car had major bird "strike" I didn't see until the next day. The areas that didn't have the sealant had visible etching that needed to be buffed out.

    IMG_0609.jpg

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    Rozay619 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Swirl in the paint

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlantaGuy00 View Post
    In that case return it to the dealer ASAP. The more time that passes your case is weakened for having them fix it. You have nothing to loose.
    You are right, I'm definitely going to contact the dealer again about the paint, but the dealer is almost an hour away, so its costing me something.

    Hoosier, Wow the wetdiamond looks great on the black, I donít think i've seen anything that good before!! When you apply the wetdiamond do you need to wax the car before application or just apply the wetdiamond after the wash? Thanks again for the help guys, it's much appreciated!!!

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    Re: Swirl in the paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Rozay619 View Post
    You are right, I'm definitely going to contact the dealer again about the paint, but the dealer is almost an hour away, so its costing me something.

    Hoosier, Wow the wetdiamond looks great on the black, I don’t think i've seen anything that good before!! When you apply the wetdiamond do you need to wax the car before application or just apply the wetdiamond after the wash? Thanks again for the help guys, it's much appreciated!!!
    The wet diamond should be put directly on bare paint. So if the car has any wax on it, remove it first. Dawn dish soap eats wax better than food grease! Never use it or anything like it except when you want to take everything off and start over. It may be overkill but I'd wash 1st with my regular suds (e.g. Chemical Guys) then with dawn since I don't know how well dawn does at keeping dirt it removes from scratching the paint.

    You can layer the sealant. I do two coats so it takes longer to wear away. You can wax over it. I prefer not to. Some people wax over it because they like the "softer" look of wax or other ways it changes how light reflects. Since wax is thicker than the sealant it has a greater affect on the light passing thru it. But if shine is your top priority, don't put anything over the sealant. Wax over a small area and see if you like it better and if its worth the time and cost.

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    Cadillac Cust Svc's Avatar
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    Re: Swirl in the paint

    Rozay619, I'm glad that you're planning to bring your paint frustration to your dealer's attention. If you would like me to officially document any feedback in regards to the situation, please don't hesitate to email me at Katie_Lucille@gmexpert.com!

    Best,

    Katie
    Cadillac Customer Service

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    Rozay619 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Swirl in the paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillac Cust Svc View Post
    Rozay619, I'm glad that you're planning to bring your paint frustration to your dealer's attention. If you would like me to officially document any feedback in regards to the situation, please don't hesitate to email me at Katie_Lucille@gmexpert.com!

    Best,

    Katie
    Cadillac Customer Service
    Thanks Katie, I am sending you an email as we speak!

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    Re: Swirl in the paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Rozay619 View Post
    Thanks Katie, I am sending you an email as we speak!
    Thank you, Rozay! I will review your email and reply tomorrow by 4:30pm EST. I appreciate your patience!

    Katie
    Cadillac Customer Service

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    Re: Swirl in the paint

    That's why I'll never understand why the fuss with buying black cars....always a problem with swirl marks and having them look clean; last color on my list to buy. Too time consuming!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rustybear3 View Post
    That's why I'll never understand why the fuss with buying black cars....always a problem with swirl marks and having them look clean; last color on my list to buy. Too time consuming!
    Nonsense.

    When I picked up my '04 V, it had a light ghost swirl on the passenger side front door.

    A quick detail with Griots Garage fine polish and a coat of wax removed that.

    Once that was done, hand washing and a detail every six months was all that was needed. A quick buff of Speed Shine between washes kept the V looking great.

    I autocrossed and road raced my V and had no problems keeping it spotless through the years...


    -- We miss you, JD (Dirt_Cheap_Fleetwood)


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    Re: Swirl in the paint

    I have owned multiple Black cars over the years - when clean there is nothing more stunning. I have had the Black Raven ATS for 3 months and have waxed (Mothers Synthetic Wax) it 7 times (it is my relaxation!) and have no indication of any swirl or buff marks. I am extremely anal about my car so for me to convey my appreciation of the finish is incredible. The car has 2 extremely small blemishes (right front fender and right front door) which are extremely hard to see. An unparalleled finish compared to my previous 15 automobiles.

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