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Best Practices for Wax / Coating After Exterior Wash

Discussion in 'Model X' started by AdamHLG, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. AdamHLG

    AdamHLG Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2017
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    Baltimore, Maryland
    Hello all,

    First, thanks for the amazing advice in this thread for vehicle washing:

    Foam Cannon and Air Compressor Recommendation

    I have elevated my game for routine washes and I am becoming more efficient with every wash. I am now ready to take the next step: Wax / Coating / Protection. There are tons of resources online and in fact its overwhelming. I figured I would start here to keep it in the Tesla family.

    I am not going to do a wrap / XPEL, etc. It is expensive and I am just not interested. I do, however, want to protect the paint, keep the shine, protect from UV, bird droppings, pollen, etc. I want the showroom finish.

    I contacted a local detailing shop, considered among the 'best' in my town per various reviews, and they wanted to charge me $500 for a "new car protection package" or $700 for the "top of the line" detail package.

    For the "new car protection package" the exterior portion reads as follows: "hand washed using only premium soap and an extra soft, premium wash mitt, wheels are deep cleaned in and out using a top of the line wheel cleaner specialized for your vehicle, wheel wells, tires and all jambs are cleaned with an all-purpose cleaner and wiped spotless, exterior protection application of Nano Resin Paint Coating, Glass Waxx, and Wheel Seal, dried with compressed air and plush microfiber towels, ultra fine clay pad to deep clean paint and remove contaminates, leaving your car with a smooth feel and preparing the paint for polish and coating, exclusive glass polishing designed to remove light surface imperfections and amp up the shine." The description goes on to say that the "nano-resin is a long lasting, durable nano-coating designed to provide the best paint protection possible. It protects paintwork and leaves behind a glass-like hydrophobic finish that beads liquids, resists contaminants, and makes your vehicle easier to maintain. Your clear coat has microscopic peaks and valleys or "pores" and when left exposed, contaminants enter the clear coat and start to cause damage. Nano-Resin fills these "pores" with a liquid that when full hardened, is much like glass. 2 coats are applied for extra durability. Glass Waxx is a glass polish and sealant that when applied makes your windshield nearly invisible for incredible definition while driving. It utilizes the same active ingredients used on aircrafts, so water and snow bead right off your windshield even in the roughest weather conditions. Glass wax makes driving much safer in harsh weather conditions."

    For the "top of the line" detail package, they talk about "2 layers of AMMO Reflex followed by 1 Layer of AMMO Skin." It goes on to say "Everything else out there can tear down your paint leaving it unprotected. AMMO'S approach is to build up layers of protection and increase shine with every application. It's designed to endure long drives, high speeds, and punishing track days. AMMO is for those people that care about the way their car looks, as much as it drives. The AMMO regimen includes: AMMO Reflex is the first layer of protection that goes on the paint. Unlike glass or ceramic coatings that claim to last a lifetime, Reflex creates a flexible membrane on the paint which wears away after one year. This allows you to have fresh layers put on every year. The benefit of this is that you won't lose your coatings performance from wear and tear. Reflex is applied to all paint, chrome, rubber, plastic, headlights, and taillights. AMMO Skin is a super sticky, super strong polymer based coating. It adheres to the AMMO Reflex, creating a candy like shell on the clear coat. Skin is applied to all paint, chrome, headlights, and taillights. AMMO Gelee is a high tech wheel sealant that's designed to keep brake dust from penetrating into the wheels. While it doesn't prevent brake dust entirely, which no product can, Gelee slows the build up of brake dust and dirt keeping your wheels cleaner for longer than normal. Gelee creates a deep glow that makes all types of wheel looks incredible. It's safe on all wheel types too including matte finish and powder coat.
    AMMO Mousse is a leather moisturizer or "conditioner" as many people call it. It's designed with all the essentials that your leather needs to look its best and retain color while leaving a natural finish and not a greasy shine. Many conditioners out there simply shine the surface giving you a false impression that your leather has been treated. Mousse contains rich oils that penetrate deep into the pores of the leather. Mousse contains a light leather scent that is not overpowering."

    Here is my issue: I have anxiety about the above. First, I do not want to let anyone else touch my car, professional or otherwise. I have anxiety leaving the car there for 2 days. I realize they're professionals, but I feel like this is quite expensive for a car that looks showroom new to begin with. I do not need any of the interior work done. Much of the above reads like I am going to restore a 1983 Camaro. My car looks brand new. All I really want is to protect the paint and wheels.

    I do not want to mess anything up by doing it myself; however, this does not seem like rocket science. Admittedly, I do not know much about clay bars, polishes or waxes. But I learned how to do a proper wash on this forum. I hope I can learn about the next step as well.

    I called Chemical Guys for recommended products. They told me I have two options if I want the best they offer:

    Chemical Guys - JetSeal Paint Sealant & Protectant & 5050 Paste Wax Ultimate Shine & Protection Kit (6 Items)

    - or -

    Chemical Guys WAC227 - Carbon Flex C9 Protective Coating Kit (4 Items)

    It depends on the approach I want to take. We briefly talked about clay bars and polishes. It was a bit overwhelming.

    I recognize the easy route would be to simply hire someone to do this. However this skips the learning experience and I find it therapeutic to do the job myself. Surely there is a best practice to follow from my fellow EV owners.

    If it is not too much of a bother, I would welcome some advice from those of you that prefer to do this job yourselves. What is the best approach to protect a new Tesla? What are the proper steps? Must I clay the car first, then polish, then wax, even for a new car? Or is this ceramic coating the way to go?

    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. tllt

    tllt Member

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    I am definitely not an expert, but I personally used a clay bar at first to smooth out the paint. When I took delivery, there were a few areas that felt rough, but still looked fine. After using the clay bar, it was super smooth and I applied a wax after that and was silky smooth after that. I would recommend doing the clay bar at least once since tesla isn’t quite known for their perfect paint jobs. :)
     
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  3. Rhubarb7

    Rhubarb7 Member

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    Location:
    north NJ
    Interesting thread - myself, I am on the point of taking delivery, don't want to spend another $k on things I know absolutely nothing about, but wondering how such a job - clay bar and wax - would be easy to do, and what level of protection might it really accomplish?!?
     
  4. tllt

    tllt Member

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    Location:
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    clay bar and wax is pretty easy. just takes a few hours of elbow grease. as far as the level of protection it really offers, i have no clue, but doing the clay bar before the way supposedly helps the wax adhere better
     
  5. Sonic_78

    Sonic_78 Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Chicago
    The clay bar removes all “dirt”. This allows the wax, sealant, etc adhere to the clearcoat / paint instead of dirt. Yes, resulting in better bonding. Polish is an abrasive used to remove or reduce imperfections.

    On a new car a good wash, clay, and HQ carnauba wax should be sufficient. There are synthetic wax’s that bond stronger and last longer too.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Rhubarb7

    Rhubarb7 Member

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    Thanks, appreciate the insight!
     
  7. RenMan68

    RenMan68 Member

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    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    I've had my Model 3 for about 3 weeks and decided to wash and wax it for the first time. I used Meguiar's Gold Class car wash since it makes sense to me that a detergent intended for car finishes is probably different than other uses (e.g. washing dishes). Reading through the forums here about wax there were two things that stuck with me: (1) the most important thing is that you do it rather than choosing exactly the best product. I agree with this. Any reputable wax product will do its job pretty well. The difference between a $15 bottle of wax you get at AutoZone and a $199 bottle of nano-carbon fiber tube- kryptonite repellent stuff harvested from Martian bacteria cultivated in the Andes is probably negligible. It's no doubt better but not worth the price increase. It's also, as I said, way more important that you actually put wax on it periodically. (2) someone suggested using "polish" first and then wax. I figured that wasn't too much effort and cost so I decided to add that step and I stuck with Meguiar's products because I've used them for 20+ years. The polish I used is their Ultimate Polish pre-waxing glaze then I followed it up with their Gold Class Carnauba premium liquid wax. The wax cost about $20 for 16oz. Another thing that I think is really, really important from years of experience is to make sure that the car's surface is cool and you're in the shade or, preferably, a garage. If it's hot and/or the sun is shining on it the polish / wax will dry almost on contact and the process will not work. So, I spent a couple of hours polishing and waxing and, I have to say, the car looks absolutely fantastic. With some micro fiber towels and terry cloth applicators the whole thing was about $50 and there' enough product to do about 10-20 more applications and the towels are washable.
     
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  8. davidc18

    davidc18 Active Member

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    Skip all of the expensive products . I kept my black 70D looking better than new with chemical guys butter wet wax (once a month) and a porter-cable 7424 polisher. Use meguires synthetic spray wax after each weekly wash . Turtle wax bug remover as needed.

    Now that i have a car that is fully wrapped I appreciate how much easier it is to keep the car looking great.

    Good luck. No reason to spend big $$$

    Dave
     
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  9. davidc18

    davidc18 Active Member

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    I use OPT optimum no rinse and shine for the wash
     
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  10. davidc18

    davidc18 Active Member

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  11. ecrsail

    ecrsail Member

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    Location:
    California
    Consider me another fan of the clay bar + wax approach if you are going to forego a wrap. I have a vehicle that I have lovingly maintained like this for 16+ years.

    However, no amount of wax can protect your hood and front bumper area from the inevitable damage from pebbles and other road debris that your X will encounter in normal use.
     
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  12. Daniellane

    Daniellane Active Member

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    Camas, Washington
    Tesla Ultimate Car Wash !!!
     

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