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Discussion Starter #1
When I got my CTS a couple months ago, whoever had detailed it before I got it left me with lots of micro fine scratches all over the car. Hood, decklid, doors, panels everywhere. They were not bad, but under any kind of direct sunlight they were highly visible.

Today I finally got down to it. I used Meguire's Mirror Glaze 9 Professional Swirl Remover 2.0 with a 7" orbital buffer. The bottle says to use a high speed rotary buffer, but I have read where it is very easy to ruin your finish with those if you are not experienced.

Well, the oribital and the Meguire's did the job. I am far from a pro, but I examined every panel from every conceivable angle under incandescent light in my garage and sunlight out in the driveway. The scratches are completely gone. This stuff is the ticket. I hope it lasts at least a little while.
 

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2012 Escalade, 2014 SRX
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To keep your car mostly swirl and scratch free make sure your towels are 100% cotton, or good microfiber towels, wash mitts should be either 100% cotton or sheepskin, use two buckets to wash your car with, one with clean water and the other with car wash and water. When washing, waxing or drying go in the same direction i.e. bumper to bumper, not circular, that can cause swirls. All these things will help. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Actually, I only take the CTS to the touchless car wash. And drying is done by air :)

Any remaining waterspots are removed with slightly damp cheesecloth.
 

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1988 SDV; 1997 SDV D'Elegance
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Those Touchless Car Washes just leave your car with a layer of wet, shiny dirt - they do squat for getting the filth off the paint - just run a white towel over your paint after you go thru one of them for the proof.

And if you REALLY want to f-up your finish, opt for the "hot wax" treatment post-washing - that'll ensure the shiny dirt is embedded in your paint (not to mention your windshield!)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Those Touchless Car Washes just leave your car with a layer of wet, shiny dirt - they do squat for getting the filth off the paint - just run a white towel over your paint after you go thru one of them for the proof.

And if you REALLY want to f-up your finish, opt for the "hot wax" treatment post-washing - that'll ensure the shiny dirt is embedded in your paint (not to mention your windshield!)
I am no expert, but I am fairly certain there is only one method guaranteed not to ruin the finish of your car; its called a museum :thepan:
 

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2000 Seville SLS
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I'd listen to him -
touchless car washes are shit. My Seville is black, and it's a bitch to keep clean. I can attest to the fact that ANY touchless car wash is not going to get your car that clean. My parents usually do touchless on their pewter and gold cars, and no matter what wash they go to, what price level they choose, etc., their cars come out looking pretty shitty.

Nothing beats a good hand wash, clay, polish and wax.
 

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'93 STS (sold), now looking for a CTS Wagon soon!!
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Bees wax for the paint...the toughest stuff. ...& yes don't swirl when waxing....go back-n- forth.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
work 40 hours a week, commute 15 hours a week, have two kids. find me the time to hand wash my car, and I will stay out of the touchless. Touchless is better than rubber curtains banging all over my car.

Besides, I dont see collector cars under any of your names, why are you so worried about your paint? As long as the paint lasts as long as the rest of the car, fine by me.
 

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1988 SDV; 1997 SDV D'Elegance
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As a matter of fact, I DID have a 1972 Mustang Showcar (sold at auction last year), along with a vintage 1972 Norton 750 Commando that had custom paint applied to it's tank, side covers and fenders, so I consider myself as having more than a passing interest in keeping the paint and finish on my cars the best they can be. Sure, Touchless is better than Full-On Rubber Curtains - that doesn't negate the damaging results of using them, though.

We all have time committments that keep us from indulging in our more pleasurable pursuits. We all commute for several hours/week, we all have bills to pay, people to have meetings with - in short, our days fill up pretty quickly (and predicably). But if you care for your car's appearance, then you'll find the time to take care of it properly, just like the rest of us.

It only makes sense to take as good care as you can of your rides, so they'll bring top dollar when it comes time to sell them off.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It only makes sense to take as good care as you can of your rides, so they'll bring top dollar when it comes time to sell them off.
I dont think there is such a thing anymore. Everyone wants new cars. And I run mine into the ground anyway. My Maxima has 170k miles and counting...
 

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2001 STS
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Everyone may want a new car.
But by no means can everyone afford one.

May be surprised how much more you could get, and how much quicker you can sell a used car if it looks good.
Even on a trade in.
If its covered in crap and scratches you'll automatically loose at least a grand.
If it at least looks good you can bargain.

Is like hookin up with a women. You gonna buy a drink for the fat dirty one in coveralls. Hell No !
But Ill bet you'd drop half a bank roll on the slim clean one in the tight mini skirt.
They've both got all the same equipment. But for some reason everyone wants the nice lookin one.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
you make good points, but with 0% financing, and all the deals new car dealers offer (at least here in Chicago area) you can get new cars dirt cheap. which means there is very little market for used cars. i know someone who recently tried selling a G35 here, put ads in all the papers, online, craigslist etc, not a single bite. trade ins here? forget a good price. figure kbb trade in value, poor, and less about 20%, if you are lucky.

none of which matters when it comes to keeping your car looking nice. I try, believe me I try, to keep my old ass Maxima looking nice. It still shines. I am just not going to spend alot of time buffing and polishing. I dont even have the time to do that on my CTS-V. I wish I did. Oh well.
 

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99 STS
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To keep your car mostly swirl and scratch free make sure your towels are 100% cotton, or good microfiber towels, wash mitts should be either 100% cotton or sheepskin, use two buckets to wash your car with, one with clean water and the other with car wash and water. When washing, waxing or drying go in the same direction i.e. bumper to bumper, not circular, that can cause swirls. All these things will help. :)
I agree with everything but the bumper to bumper wipe down. I ran a detail shop in Arizona for a year and the worst thing is when that nasty sandy dust creeps in under and around the huge garage doors and lands on your freshly washed car. A circular motion is safer from rubbing this abrasive stuff down the side of you car and will prevent scratches.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
update:

well I took the car to the touchless wash a couple days ago. After getting home, I took a brand new terry cloth to get the residual water off, and I got no dirt with it. The towel was still pure white after wiping nearly all the car. I will admit though, the car wasnt terribly dirty to begin with.

And after a couple weeks, some of the swirls are starting to become visible again in direct sunlight. Damn wax doesnt last very long.
 

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01 Eldo ETC, 02 Deville SOLD!
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And after a couple weeks, some of the swirls are starting to become visible again in direct sunlight. Damn wax doesnt last very long.
Wax is, by nature, a sacrificial product. Swirls are removed by polishing them out (removing the microscopic layer of clearcoat in which they are embedded). Once the swirls are gone, a good wax protects the clear coat for a while, but most are not designed to last more than a few weeks or so, depending on layering. The longest lasting wax I've found is Collinite 845IW, and there are synthetics that also do a very good job.

Think of your wax as a 'disposable' item on your car, and be prepared to apply a new layer over CLEAN clearcoat every 6-8 weeks...
 
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