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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just looking for advice for us normal people that don't plan on having sex with our cars...so please, that elimates the "get Zaino's products!" replies, ok?

I'll only be taking my car though a hand-wash-only car wash, but some places offer hand-wax as well and I was wondering what's really a good wax to have done, and how often. I don't plan on ever washing the car myself, since the area I live in is totally unsuitable for it and I have no garage where I can wax the car myself for hours before a bird poops on it, so that's out too.

Say I get the car hand-washed like once every two weeks or so (probably weekly during winter which doesn't seem to be here yet), at what points should I have the hand-wax applied? Once a month?

And what sort of wax? The place I just went to had Meguiars, then something "better" and finally a Synthetic Polymer "paint-sealer" wax of some sort that they guy said was "the best" especially for a new-car/first-time wax. Since I just got this car one week ago, and the dealership cleaned it for my pickup, I wanted to give it a really good "first-wash & wax" so I opted for the poylmer waxing. I have no idea what the actual product used was.

Well the car looks great and the surfaces are glossy and slippery. Should I continue to get this Polymer waxing done? Is it really the best?

As an aside, I got one of those California dusters to use in the mean time to remove surface dust that builds up where I live. Are these ok to use as long as it's just airborne dust that lands on the surface?

Let me know. Thanks!!
 

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Try autogeek.net
 

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Thanks for putting it straight. Living in the NE part of the country I am constantly "washing" my car between Nov. and May. Its a constant diet of mud, ice, snow, slush and freezing rain, sometimes in combination.
I have found that using a quality product from any of the major brands works just fine if you dont plan on entering a concours d' elegance. Usually a "waxing" just prior to winter and then afterwards, with the auto carwash "wax" applied during washes, will maintain the finish.

However, I did hear of this formula of egg yolks and beer...............................................
 

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I think you were made the right choice in using the polymer for the first one. I personally wash my car each weekend, unless the weather is against me then it may go a few weeks in between. In Chicago I am not fortunate to do this during the winter months, so I'll take it to a "touchless" wash where I can still wash it myself but get the benefit of being under a roof and close the doors to keep out the elements. I then wax twice a year...once just before winter, and once in the spring.

Based on what you wrote, I think you will be fine with washing at the intervals you mentioned, and would probably suggest getting the wax down quarterly at the least. Since the car sits outside unprotected from the elements and doesn't get washed more often, the wax will probably break down sooner and need to be reapplied. You could probably get away with the Meguiars or the "something 'better'". I think the paint sealant might be overkill down the road since you really won't be having the surface cleaned with a clay bar to remove all the contaminants (run you hand over the surface of the car in a few months just after getting washed. If you still feel little bumps, those are contaminants that will become trapped under the paint sealant). I suppose it would trapped under the Meguiars too, but at least it cost you less...

As for the California duster, I've heard mixed reviews. Some tout it as the best thing ever, but only when used as you mentioned...for light dust. Outside of that, there are spray detailers that take litterally minutes to spray on and wipe off to give a "just washed" look. However it sounded like time was not in your favor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey imaginethat,

Fancy that, I was just in Pep Boys today looking at Meguiars Ultimate Quick Detail spray bottle and wondering about getting it.

I'm just not 100% about spraying something on a "dusty" car... or dirty car? and not putting scratches into the finish when I wipe it with a towel.

But that was the one I was looking at. I was really attempting to find that "polymer paint-sealing wax" I was goaded into getting, in hopes I could evaluate it on the shelf. I didn't see anything that said Polymer wax except for Meguiar's NXT line, or Eagle 1's "nanotechnology" (now there's buzzword marketing if I've ever heard it) wax and that Meguiar's spray bottle caught my eye...

What's the opinion of waxes? Meguiars? Eagle 1, Turtle Wax, Mothers? What's the best "store shelf" brand?? I used to be partial to Mothers when I used their metal products to clean/polish racing engines awhile back, but I've never used their car paint products... Meguiars seems to get the most word of mouth, however.
 

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Just my $.02....I tried Meguiars NXT stuff and was not impressed at all. Nice shine, but it seemed like the wax was gone after a couple of washes. I have been really happy with Meguiars Mirror Glaze Hi Tech Yellow Wax though. http://www.meguiars.com/?pro-paste-car-waxes/Hi-Tech-Yellow-Wax-Paste I've used it for years, but it is a very hard wax that takes some effort if you do it by hand. Give's ya a good workout though. :p Never tried the Zaino stuff, but have only heard excellent things about it.
 

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I've used Meguiar's 3-step (paint cleaner, polish, wax) and was not impressed either. Like the last poster noted, it did not last very long. I've heard good things about Mother's and there's one my dad swears by in an orange bottle at Pepboy's simply called NuFinish. Its claimed to be a once a year application. Personally I got turned on to products from Griot's Garage. You can take a look here: http://www.griotsgarage.com They have a one-step paint sealant, as well as one that has a polishing characteristic built into it. I also like the simplicity in explanation as to what the product is good for. Their handbook is a really nice thing to have handy..of course it is biased towards their product. ;) Regardless I have had good luck with their product thus far.

I was hesitant with the spray on stuff myself for the exact reason you mentioned...introducing scratches. However I think for light surface dust it does a wonderful job.
 

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if u dont plan on having sex with your car then why even bother washing/waxing or anything. Just take it to the gas station and get a free car wash with a fill up and call it a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
gnarboots11 said:
if u dont plan on having sex with your car then why even bother washing/waxing or anything. Just take it to the gas station and get a free car wash with a fill up and call it a day.
I do have some standards. I'm not about to take a new car through the car-beating gas station car washes that flay the paint job right off.
 

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I do have some standards. I'm not about to take a new car through the car-beating gas station car washes that flay the paint job right off.
[/quote]

What do you do when 50 degrees and less outside for 6 months? Avg temp maybe 25F over 6 months. Auto washes haven't hurt my paint jobs in 50 years 12 months out of the year. But, some people have a hangup over auto washes, I guess.
 

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I hate the gas station washes becuase the never get the lower portion of the car clean even when selecting the undercarriage choice(and paying more for it mind you. If I can't wash it at my house for free due to weather, I'll take it to a place that I can still wash it myself for quarters, but indoors and dry it too. If I want to treat myself I take it to a fully touchless wash and let the workers dry it off for me. That's too pricey to do all the time in my opinion though. $13 + tip. My luck it will rain ir get more wintry slush the next day anyway. :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
teetertotter said:
I do have some standards. I'm not about to take a new car through the car-beating gas station car washes that flay the paint job right off.
What do you do when 50 degrees and less outside for 6 months? Avg temp maybe 25F over 6 months. Auto washes haven't hurt my paint jobs in 50 years 12 months out of the year. But, some people have a hangup over auto washes, I guess.
[/quote]

I'm lucky were I can go down the mountain (even while we have freezing temps) to the more moderate temps down the hill of no less than 60 or so and have my car washed there... So I sort of benefit from being near a location that washing a car year round is hassle free, but I just have to take the time to go down, get the wash, and hope I can get back up without ruining the wash.

As long as I have a handwash place near me, I'll frequent that. I suppose if I was traveling, I might settle for a auto wash, but I'd cringe at how poorly it washes (misses spots the brushes don't reach, water doesn't spray well enough, etc, etc.).
 

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As long as you go to a quality automatic wash you should be ok. I know for a fact that one of the Mercedes dealers in Denver uses an automatic car wash but it is meticulously maintained and it's not touchless. I also take my truck to a detail shop that uses an automatic car wash and it does a great job, they do pull the antenna off before they run the truck through. I would say you are safe as long as you go to a place with a good rep. or you take it to a touchless. But if you take it to a touchless you probably need to hand wash it every couple of months. Everything I said above is assuming you don't care about the showroom shine, if you do obviously you should be hand washing and waxing.
 

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1. Touchless. Never, ever go anywhere where anything will rub your paint. This includes hand-wash / dry places. If you're going to to to a wand car wash, never, ever use the foaming brush on your paint.

2. I plan to wash / wax the Acadia maybe twice a year in my own driveway. Once in the fall before winter, and once mid-spring. Good wash and 2-3 coats of wax should last 4 or more months, unless you live up a 100 mile dirt road.

3. Get a cheapo "extreme" / "loaded" / "full wax" auto car wash at a touchless place once a month with a fill-up (so you get the discount). Use a place with a dryer in the winter. After you drive home, wipe down the seals with a cloth to prevent them from freezing if you live in a cold place during winter. This will keep an extra layer of the cheapo wax on top of your hand-applied wax.

4. Use coin-op / hand-wand places once a week / bi-monthly.

5. Repeat.
 

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Mtn_KAT,

I started my car care with doing all hand washes, waxing with carnubas only, and spending way too much time on my cars. I would take 8-10 hours to detail each car 4 times per year. They looked GREAT!! My friends would comment on how good they looked.

In 1997 when I got my new red wide track Grand Prix, I was going to do the same, but then my career took a turn and I found myself driving 45 miles each way to work around the DC beltway and working long hours. I just had no time. So I switched to having a detail shop wax my car with a polymer once per year right after the winter. I also used the auto brushless car wash at the Shell station on the way into work. The funny thing is that in the 7 years I owned that car, it looked GREAT!! My friends would still comment on how good it looked and how they wish they had time to keep their cars in shape.

Now, I have changed again. I have a 19 mile commute and my job is not so bad. I actually have a little bit of time again. I don't do the the 8-10 hour detail on my cars, but I do wax them myself. I tried Zaino's stuff 3 years ago and found the multi step process took too long for me. But the results were fantastic. So when I got the Acadia I figured I would perhaps take the time for Zaino one time again. That's when I found they now have an all in one cleaner, polisher, waxer. It is called Zaino All in One or ZAIO. I used this on the Acadia and it took me about 2 hours to wash and wax it. The wax wiped off easier than any other I have ever used. I find that for 2 hours, it is worth the $100 the detail shops charge around here to wax it.

But you started this thread saying you did not want to do your own waxing, so in my opinion, polymer is the only way to go in this case. The carnubas only last about 2 months before they start wearing off. A good polymer will last 6 months easy. If you are going to use the auto car washes in the cold months, they will strip off the wax over time, so have the wax put on as soon as it starts warming up and then hand was with water through the warm months and the wax will last a long time.

All of that was my opinion. Good luck with whatever you decide.
 

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Mtn_KAT said:
I'm just looking for advice for us normal people that don't plan on having sex with our cars...so please, that elimates the "get Zaino's products!" replies, ok?...
Sorry, but that was priceless! I lol'd! :thumb: ;D
 
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