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Dumb questions about PPF and polish/wax

Discussion in 'Model 3: Interior & Exterior' started by NathanielHrnblwr, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. NathanielHrnblwr

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    Forgive me for elementary questions.

    I’ve done basic to enthusiast car care for some time, but my cars are dated and likely are the products I use. I used Zaino on my cars since new (2001/2003) and it has worked well, especially as the process got less time intensive. Moved to some Chemical Guys stuff for daily drivers and ease of application, but there are better (and much more pricey) options now it seems.

    I assume PPF goes on the car first before anything like CQuartz. What would one expect the detailer to do prior to PPF? Wash at minimum. Clay bar? What could I do ahead of time to prepare the car for PPF?

    If something like CQuartz is skipped (expensive), what products can be applied on top of PPF that would not compromise the film? Standard wax? Resins? Polishes? Is there a noticeable difference on panels that are covered in PPF vs. ones that are not? I’ve never seen these things up close or if I have, not knowingly.

    What about wheels? Wheels are the worst to clean, shine, etc. I’ve put on clear protectants but you still need to get out a brush and clean them. I suspect this may be less of an issue with the M3 due to less braking compared to a car w/o regen.

    I do enjoy shining and polishing my cars so paying someone else to apply coatings/polishes seems wasteful to me as I’d rather do it myself. Seems the nicer stuff is limited to detail shops only, but looking for input from those that prefer to do some of these car care things themselves.

    I was thinking PPF on the front bumper at minimum, but am open to the whole front end and perhaps rocker panels if I can make it work.
     
  2. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Active Member

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    The newer Ceramics are a generation ahead of the old Carnuba wax or polishes.

    They cost a ton, and require agressive paint correction before applying to get that show car shine.

    For most of us, a nice wax every 6 months will keep our cars well presented, but for the ultimate wet look the Ceramics are the current state of the art.

    Ceramics leave a super easy to clean, hard finish that lasts for years. Most still will put on another top coat refresher every 6 months to a year.

    Think it is over kill for white or silver cars, but for darker colors or red, the Ceramics really pop.
     
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  3. NathanielHrnblwr

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    Thanks for the info. So the ceramic coatings go over the PPF, not under it, right?

    Ours will be MSM and will get a decent amount of freeway miles for the other half’s commute and parked uncovered for the day in the hot sun. Her existing white car held up ok, but we had to replace some plastic trim that cracked due to sun. I’d like to do full PPF and ceramic, but it just gets too pricey. Need to optimize for value.
     
  4. CrazyCoconut

    CrazyCoconut Member

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    Wash and clay bar before PPF application. Paint correction if necessary. Then ceramic coating on top of of PPF.

    Think of ceramic coating like a permanent wax. This means no waxing necessary, just wash your car regularly.
     
  5. NathanielHrnblwr

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    Are there any good do it yourself ceramic coatings?
     
  6. favo

    favo P3D+ owner

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  7. Linkeds2

    Linkeds2 Member

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    #7 Linkeds2, Aug 17, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
    Just Incase you were asking this type of question OP. This is the order in which I’d personally perform these tasks:

    Brand new car
    1. Wash the car with a strip wax cleaner. Some people use dawn dish soap as a diy cleanse.
    2. Claybar the car.
    3. Wash again with wash that doesn’t have wax mixed in. Can use dawn again.
    4. Polish the car.
    5. Wash again to clean any residual polishing cream
    6. Wrap the car in PPF.
    7. Apply ceramic over car and PPF.
    8. Not needed but you can add a layer of protection over the ceramic with a wax.

    *wax can be used instead of ceramic as final protection for the car.

    ** correct any paint defects (fisheyes, sand down dirt specs, cut and/or polish any scratches/swirls our) before starting this
     
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  8. NathanielHrnblwr

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    What kind of product would you use for: 4. Polish the car?
     
  9. Linkeds2

    Linkeds2 Member

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    I’m a cheapskate lol.

    When I got my white M3, I got the Chicago electric DA polisher on sale at harbor freight for $55. Then got about 4 blue polishing pads from there for about $4 each.

    Went to oriellys and got Meguiar ultimate polish for $12 I think.

    Used about 2/3 of the polish and busted all 4 pads (the Velcro rips off the pad if you run the pad long enough to get it hot) then finished off with turtle wax carnauba. But I’m proud of it for a diy job
     

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  10. EVS Motors

    EVS Motors Vendor

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    Do not use Dawn or any dish washing soap to clean your car. You'll be stripping/damaging your clearcoat on the paint. Always use pH neutral products for your soap, even for your wheels.
     
  11. Linkeds2

    Linkeds2 Member

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    Dawn dish soap is ph nuetral
     
  12. EVS Motors

    EVS Motors Vendor

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    Good point. Typically looking for something pH neutral helps filter out a bunch of other shampoos/soaps out there when talking about car products specifically. While dish washing soap "cleans" the paint, it'll also strip any wax/coating you have on there, because dish washing soap is more abrasive and lacks the amount of lubricants in car soap. A car that gets washed with dish soap over time will start to lose that "smooth, slick" feeling when running your fingers over your paint.Car soap is more slippery (more lubricants in the mix), which also helps dirt "glide" off the paint. Hope this helps.
     
  13. Linkeds2

    Linkeds2 Member

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    That does help. Thanks for the info!
     
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  14. NathanielHrnblwr

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    Do you have a suggestion for a soap/wash to use prior to claybaring? I've used Dawn in the past but only to strip any existing wax/polish before I begin my clay bar work.
     
  15. EVS Motors

    EVS Motors Vendor

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    I've played around with some brands just to experiment and the "softest" soap I've found is Zymol's Auto Wash. The bottles even say "will not strip wax" lol. Adam's products are pretty popular and some of their products are good. They definitely have the branding/marketing down, but they aren't easy to find locally like Zymol. Big pro for me with Zymol is that they use natural/organic ingredients. Plus I like their coconut smell. :D
     
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