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View Full Version : Buffer *CAUSING* Swirling?


Nevervana
10-20-2006, 12:27 PM
I feel like I had a really poor job done at my detailer this past week. I don't know what it was but the car came back looking cloudy instead of mirror shine.

Upon closer inspection I saw the rims still had chrome cleaner on them. The car just did not look right.

The next day, approaching it, I noticed the entire thing, including hood, had noticeable swirls all over it. I mean it was just everywhere. Swirls all over the place.

I had taken it in to get its once every 3 months complete wax job. I know they use the buffer like crazy to get out imperfections ... but ... can a buffer used improperly actually cause, and quadruple the amount of swirls on a car?

Up until that point, the car had almost none. I have been unbelievably careful to not introduce any in the cleaning process.

When I think about it I just get angry, to think they've permenantly ruined the paint job with their buffer.

Is that possible?

Can a "good wax job" remove those swirls or are they forever there?

-N-

beauport
10-20-2006, 12:40 PM
They can probably be removed. And yes, an improperly used buffer could cause this or even a dirty pad.
Unless this is the first time this place messed up your paint I'd find someone else, or better yet do it yourself.

TOGWT
10-20-2006, 02:17 PM
They can probably be removed. And yes, an improperly used buffer could cause this or even a dirty pad.
Unless this is the first time this place messed up your paint I'd find someone else, or better yet do it yourself.

Wax cannot remove imperfections from paint, although a Glaze will hide them by 'filling'
To remove surface scratches etc requires an abrasive polish / compound

Nevervana
10-20-2006, 04:08 PM
This was the most highly recommended place i knew of in San Diego. Anyone have any suggestions in the area?

-N-

BrAdam's
10-20-2006, 08:32 PM
Thats a shame!! You put so much trust in a shop to take care of your car and they make it look worse than it did before they buffed it.

The person(s) who buffed your probably did not know how to use one. It sounds like they must have used a buffing wheel that spins instead of a dual action polsiher that oscillates.

The spinning action of the wheel along with a possibly dirty pad, burned the clearcoat. Now the only thing you can do is minimize the apearance of the haze using a polish and a swirl remover.

First thing I would do is take it back to where it was detailed and have them look at the car.

Good Luck

///MLover
10-21-2006, 09:43 AM
Contact Surfsidedetail

theyll come to your home and theyre really good :)

97-e39-540i
10-21-2006, 10:31 AM
I have been painting cars for over 12 years. well first off like said before the pad might have been dirty, not like dropped on the ground. Just about every 2 panels or so its nice to clean off the pad with alittle hot water to keep the pad from being overloaded with compound. maybe he had the buff turned up at a to high of speed on the last steps of the buffing job. its good to have a slightly higher speed with the first cleaning/cut cream with a white pad . next lower speed use a differnt gray pad and poilishing glaze to get the glass look back . next hand rubb car with finally clear protectent .. ask always if it is a 3 step buffing job which is the BEST and remember to clean pads every other 2 panels and ask them to use TAPE to cover up all the window moulding and edges of lights, So the buff doesn't burn up the rubbers and discolor them. its good so that the extra compound doesn't get into all the cratches and bodylines that will dry up and looks crusty ...


But It can BE FIXED

MikeyC01
10-30-2006, 09:37 AM
The person(s) who buffed your probably did not know how to use one. It sounds like they must have used a buffing wheel that spins instead of a dual action polsiher that oscillates.

The spinning action of the wheel along with a possibly dirty pad, burned the clearcoat. Now the only thing you can do is minimize the apearance of the haze using a polish and a swirl remover.

I don't know how you can say that this guy's paint is burned without seeing it. His problem could be several things. It could be buffer haze, holograming, cob webbing, etc. Just because a detailer used a rotary buffer doesn't mean he burned the paint.

A skilled detailer can use a rotary buffer to create a result which is equal or better to that which can be achieved with a D/A polisher. It's done in less time too. Of course, a rotary buffer in unskilled hands can totally destroy your paint.

JetBlack3
11-02-2006, 09:19 AM
I had a professional detail my car as well and it left haze and swirl marks all over the paint. It ended up looking worse then when i took it in!!! The detailer said he had used a rotary buffer. This lead me to believe the spinning action of the rotary buffer ultimatly was the cause for my swirls. I did some investigation and found that a D/A polisher, along with high quality foam pads, is the ONLY way to go for properly detailing a vehicle without any chance of hurting the paint. The D/A poisher gave my paint a much better finsih and gloss then the rotary buffer did. It also took out all of the spider marks and haze that was put into my paint by the rotary buffer. Best of all i used the polisher myself and didnt have to worry about someone else messing my paint up. Using the D/A poisher, it took only 30 minutes to go over the entire car. I dont care how well trained someone may be in using a rotary buffer, there is always a chance they could easily damage the paint. After my experience, a D/A polisher is the only way to go.

MikeyC01
11-02-2006, 11:27 AM
I had a professional detail my car as well and it left haze and swirl marks all over the paint. It ended up looking worse then when i took it in!!! The detailer said he had used a rotary buffer. This lead me to believe the spinning action of the rotary buffer ultimatly was the cause for my swirls. I did some investigation and found that a D/A polisher, along with high quality foam pads, is the ONLY way to go for properly detailing a vehicle without any chance of hurting the paint. The D/A poisher gave my paint a much better finsih and gloss then the rotary buffer did. It also took out all of the spider marks and haze that was put into my paint by the rotary buffer. Best of all i used the polisher myself and didnt have to worry about someone else messing my paint up. Using the D/A poisher, it took only 30 minutes to go over the entire car. I dont care how well trained someone may be in using a rotary buffer, there is always a chance they could easily damage the paint. After my experience, a D/A polisher is the only way to go.

Sounds like you were definitely the victim of an unskilled detailer using a rotary buffer. I don't understand how you can entirely write off the use of rotary buffers though. Sure they are easier to screw up with than a D/A, but if you are skilled at using a rotary buffer it is a much more effective tool than a D/A polisher.

Also, the D/A is not 100% fool proof. I know several people who have burned through their paint using a D/A. While the D/A does not require as much caution or experience as a rotary it is not idiot proof.

Here's a great thread from Autopia written by someone who IMO is a skilled detailer. It really illustrates the subtle difference between the results a rotary is capable of and those a D/A is capable of.

http://autopia.org/forum/showthread.php?t=77527

Personally, I only use a D/A. However, I will admit 100% that the D/A while safer is an inferior machine when compared to the rotary in terms of speed and results. This is of course only in terms of what the machines are capable of. The upper limits of the capabilities of a rotary are higher than the upper limits of capability of a D/A.

JetBlack3
11-02-2006, 12:53 PM
Sounds like you were definitely the victim of an unskilled detailer using a rotary buffer. I don't understand how you can entirely write off the use of rotary buffers though. Sure they are easier to screw up with than a D/A, but if you are skilled at using a rotary buffer it is a much more effective tool than a D/A polisher.

Also, the D/A is not 100% fool proof. I know several people who have burned through their paint using a D/A. While the D/A does not require as much caution or experience as a rotary it is not idiot proof.

Here's a great thread from Autopia written by someone who IMO is a skilled detailer. It really illustrates the subtle difference between the results a rotary is capable of and those a D/A is capable of.

http://autopia.org/forum/showthread.php?t=77527

Personally, I only use a D/A. However, I will admit 100% that the D/A while safer is an inferior machine when compared to the rotary in terms of speed and results. This is of course only in terms of what the machines are capable of. The upper limits of the capabilities of a rotary are higher than the upper limits of capability of a D/A.

Thanks for the reply,

The D/A polishing system that I used on my vehicle guarentees me that there is NO way in which I could damage my paint. I am using the Porter Cable 7424 Polsiher along with German made Durafoam pads. The pads, along with the non-abrasive polish and swirl remover i use, ensure that I cannot "burn through" the paint. I can push as hard as i want and for as long as want with absolutly no chance of damaging the paint. You mention that you know of people who have "burned through their paint" using a D/A. They probably used abrasive compounds or polishes, which if used incorrectly can probably burn the paint. The rotary buffer, as you say, is more effective because it cuts through the swirls faster than a D/A can. This is caused by the speed and direction in which the rotary buffer can turn.

Personally, just like you, I will only use a D/A. After falling victim to an unskilled detailer or not having the right polishing tools used on my vehicles, I will probably never have a rotary buffer touch my vehicles again. The D/A process that I am currently using is the only system I have found to be the most effective while still being guarenteed 100% safe.

I greatly appreciatly the advice and help you have given me. For right now Im gonna have to stick with the D/A as being the tool of choice. I dont think i can take another chance of hurting my vehicles again, especially when one of them has cost me over $70,000.

joyriiide1113
11-03-2006, 11:41 AM
I've worked on many highend vehicles, including my own which is 70k up. I began only using the DA polisher. It worked alright but I was tired of taking 4 hours polishing a large vehicle. Now I use the rotory for the majority of my details, which include a polishing phjase and a finishing phase, without the use of glazes or silicone filled polishes that hide and mask potential buffer trails, ect. Thats the only way I can finish a vehicle swirl free and buffer/halogram free.

Occasionally I'll have a vehicle, most likely a black one, which no matter what speed, pad, polish I use will leave a trail or two. Thats the only time I'll whip out the PC and use it to remove those faint faint buffer trails or halograms..

MikeyC01
11-06-2006, 03:15 PM
Thanks for the reply,

The D/A polishing system that I used on my vehicle guarentees me that there is NO way in which I could damage my paint. I am using the Porter Cable 7424 Polsiher along with German made Durafoam pads. The pads, along with the non-abrasive polish and swirl remover i use, ensure that I cannot "burn through" the paint. I can push as hard as i want and for as long as want with absolutly no chance of damaging the paint. You mention that you know of people who have "burned through their paint" using a D/A. They probably used abrasive compounds or polishes, which if used incorrectly can probably burn the paint. The rotary buffer, as you say, is more effective because it cuts through the swirls faster than a D/A can. This is caused by the speed and direction in which the rotary buffer can turn.

Personally, just like you, I will only use a D/A. After falling victim to an unskilled detailer or not having the right polishing tools used on my vehicles, I will probably never have a rotary buffer touch my vehicles again. The D/A process that I am currently using is the only system I have found to be the most effective while still being guarenteed 100% safe.

I greatly appreciatly the advice and help you have given me. For right now Im gonna have to stick with the D/A as being the tool of choice. I dont think i can take another chance of hurting my vehicles again, especially when one of them has cost me over $70,000.

I'm not trying to talk you out of using a D/A. They're great tools. I'm only trying to point out that the rotary buffer is a good tool as well. The tool itself does not cause problems. Rather it is the operator who causes the problem.