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A personal note to "Reluctant" detailers.

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Al Sherman, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    #1 Al Sherman, Mar 30, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013
    I can't remember ever hand washing one of my vehicles. The closest I've ever come would be when I get the "your car is filthy" reprimand from the wife and I'd take it through the coin operated drive through. I decided pre-delivery that I would make an "attempt" at keeping the MS clean. The good doctor was dubious. I had my own doubts as well.
    I read all of the car washing/detailing posts on TMC in earnest with particular interest in artsci's testing thread. I spent way too much money on high end detailing stuff before delivery all the while wondering if any of it would ever be used.

    Cut to the chase: I'm REALLY enjoying it. I'm finding it relaxing, and almost meditative. It's turning out to be a great "mindfulness" exercise.
    I've been VERY critical of my ability and results. I miss spots. I'm not certain about the product. Are my towels too dirty? On and On. And yes, the dreaded swirls, and micro scratches. Yes I admit they are happening. I've decided I'm enjoying it and it's the best I can do right now. You REALLY have to get close and inspect the finish to see the swirls. AND, I'll take it to the detailer a couple of times a year to get the "full" treatment.

    BUT, I parked my car at the golf course yesterday and played my round with the "usual suspects." When we finished they all wanted some Tesla time. As we approached the car at the far reaches of the club parking lot I realized: MY CAR LOOKS FABULOUS!! Seriously, the light was just right and the car looked as if it were a mirror. It made me feel great.

    I'm probably not the worlds worst detailer, but I'm guessing I'm pretty near the bottom of the list. I'm enjoying the process, and the car REALLY does look great.

    If you're a reluctant detailer; my advice is go for it.:smile:
     
  2. wstuff

    wstuff Junior Member

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    Great post Al, it does create great ME time.
     
  3. DonPedro

    DonPedro Member

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    Cool post. I'd be the one below you on the list. Could you paste links to any of the "detailing for dummies" articles you found? I actually had to deduce the meaning of the word from your post - that is how clueless I am. ;-)
     
  4. Park2670

    Park2670 Member

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    Even if you are not a pro, keeping your favorite car clean is always a good time. I really enjoy my time on Saturday or Sunday cleaning the cars.
     
  5. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    You'd be surprised how easy it is. I knew nothing before reading this forum. Search "Wash", "two bucket method", "optimum no rinse." These will all lead to threads with lots of advice and opinions.

    I've been using the Glare products simply because that's what my detailer uses, and it seems to be doing very well in artsci's excellent experiment: Car Care: Controlled experiment - test gloss and durability of the top paint finishes

    The main product I've been using is the Glare Sahara. Pricey but very easy to use and looks great. Glare 37411-glr-012 GLARE® Sahara Wash and Detail Spray - 32 oz Bottle - Amazon.com

    Their tire cleaner is excellent too. I've been using the Sahara on the wheels too with good results.

    You'll also need lots of micro fiber towels. It seems as though you can never have enough of these. Griots garage has very nice ones in quantity. Car Care, Detail Supplies, Garage Organization, Car Accessories - Griot's Garage 800-345-5789

    Something to get the extra product out of the nooks and crannies is nice too. I got this and it works well with the package of microfiber socks that are separate. http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/detailing+stick+system.do?sortby=ourPicks&from=Search

    Again my disclaimer: I know zilch, and have ridiculously little experience. There are folks on this forum who are as close to experts as you can find.:smile:
     
  6. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    Al - All in on this one too, it's my Saturday yoga, and good father/son time too. Win-win. ++
     
  7. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    I think most "real" car people have known this for a long time, but I had much the same feelings with my Prius (now almost 10 years ago), partly with the process of washing and caring for it, but moreso the process of doing my own modifications and oil changes. You develop a pretty intimate knowledge of the vehicle, how it works, what it should be like and then, of course, any subtle imprefection.

    I think working on the Model S will be less involved (adding washer fluid may be it), so the handwash/detail will be the way to connect to the car. Once I get a bit more brave I might start some modding, but right now I wouldn't dare pull a dash piece off for fear of scratching or breaking it.
     
  8. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Some people find gardening relaxing (I definitely don't!), but I really do enjoy a Saturday afternoon cleaning and going over the family cars. They even seem to run better when perfectly cleaned and polished :smile:
     
  9. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    I imagine one of my home staff has known this stuff for a while, I just go out to the stable and pick out one of the cars... I know nothing about it, I let my hired hands do it for me.

    ...April Fool's...

    I drive every car I own through the car wash, except the 1960's cars -- because they'd have more water inside them than on them.
     
  10. K Hall

    K Hall Member

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    Nice share Al, I need to send my teenage boys to Indiana for the Al Sherman detailing seminar.
     
  11. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    Update

    I was a little wary about trying paint protection/polish on my own but I took the leap. I got a random orbital buffer and gritted my teeth and went for it. It was easy, and the car looks great. I used Glare Professional (two coats) and am thrilled with the results. The Random Orbital even buffed out some factory imperfections and swirl marks.

    Go for it!
     
  12. Curt

    Curt Roadster Signature #55

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    Thanks for sharing this info, Al!

    I hadn't hand washed a car in nearly 20 years, until I got my Roadster, and I felt lost the first time I got ready to wash it. Aside from the current heat wave here, I'm enjoying the washing ritual, and it doesn't take too much time on such a small car! Griot's Garage has had everything I've needed, including some useful videos on their web site.
     
  13. Plug Me In

    Plug Me In Member

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    I went from a "hose the car down after covering with dish soap" every 1-2 years to an every couple weeks intense washing/drying. I've used a quick wax once and will probably do that every 4-6 months. I haven't progressed to the level of the clay/buffing but I still, like you Al, get a deep sense of satisfaction after a good washing. After the last one, went with the family downtown for dinner and seeing the glossy car parked out on the street made my heart soar. Hell yes, that's my Supercar parked over there!
     
  14. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    Exactly! I know it's goofy but sometimes after I park, I walk away a few steps and turn around and stare at the car. My wife thinks I'm losing it.:smile:
     
  15. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    Al,

    What polisher did you get?

    I have to agree with you. Working on my cars is great stress relief.

    For those of you who think you might want to get into this stuff, don't be discouraged. Get some high quality shampoos, microfiber towels, waxes, sealants and a good entry level dual action polisher like the Griot garage 6 inch polisher. Start off using the polisher to apply waxes or sealants (or both). Once you get the hang of using the polisher with simple dressings, you'll be ready to step it up a notch and use it to actually polish your car and take out the defects.

    Drawback: you get friggen hooked and spend a boat load on products.

    a5agypa5.jpg
     
  16. AMPd

    AMPd Active Member

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    This detailer has great videos of how to detail or wash your car step by step
    i found it very helpful
    YouTube
     

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