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3ismagic#
09-23-2011, 08:18 AM
The other day while I was waxing my car my neighbor fired up his leaf blower. I didn't notice it at first but it must have kicked up a fine brown dust that settled on the car.

I didn't notice it at first because I have deep sea blue 335d and was inside my garage but saw it when I did a section in the back which was more in the light. The end result was some light swirls on the hood.

The good news is that there were already 2 coats of wax on the car so there was no marring to the clear coat and the swirling seems to be confined to the hood and is not very severe.

I don't have a PC. Is it possible to remove these by hand? What product do you recommend?

Ilovemycar
09-23-2011, 10:38 AM
The other day while I was waxing my car my neighbor fired up his leaf blower. I didn't notice it at first but it must have kicked up a fine brown dust that settled on the car.

I didn't notice it at first because I have deep sea blue 335d and was inside my garage but saw it when I did a section in the back which was more in the light. The end result was some light swirls on the hood.

The good news is that there were already 2 coats of wax on the car so there was no marring to the clear coat and the swirling seems to be confined to the hood and is not very severe.

I don't have a PC. Is it possible to remove these by hand? What product do you recommend?

Hm. When we speak of swirls, we usually are thinking about clearcoat damage/scratches. In my experiences, marring is much easier to remove than swirls. Even a soft clay with lubrication can still mar paint. OTOH, if there are swirls in a very hard paint, well that's a long day ahead even with machines involved.

So, I'm wondering or hoping that maybe it's just contamination? And only of the protecting layers?

If so, you can perhaps remove the contaminated protection layers at this area, clean, and reapply the protection?

If by chance there was dirt blown into this area, and while you were unaware, you happened to wash your car (or QD with towel, etc), and started abrading this dirt in this area- well then you might have some minor clearcoat damage (if perhaps superficial, and easily correctable).

Anyway, to answer your questions, yes you can do this by hand, but machines are almost always recommended for paint correction. The rule of thumb in product choice, and this is not just for polish but almost anything related to car care, is using the least aggressive product that will get the job done.

So, you can't necessarily know what the magic bullet is; it may be best to buy more than one product. Use less aggressive, wipe, check work. If it needs something stronger, move on, and if it worked, then you're done . . .

I would recommend Meguiar's M105 and M205 in combination. The M105 will almost certainly be used again in the future, for removing fingernail scratches in the door handles, cleaning up door jambs or trunk jambs, as your polishing compound, etc. IOW, it likely will not end up being a wasted purchase. The M205 is for finishing, and its use is more one-dimensional I suppose. Wiping off the latter is particularly difficult, so do it rather quickly if working with larger areas than what you're now considering.

I hope this helps.

edit: I guess I would recommend getting a machine anyway. With a lovely ED car like that, you WILL want to polish it eventually. If you want it to sparkle again, have that flake come out again, it's going to need it one day or another, anyhow . . .

POof540i
09-23-2011, 08:45 PM
While it's possible to have swirls in the wax coat, more than likely the wax was only filling the swirls that were already there. Over time, washing your car removes the fillers thus exposing the swirls. Since it's a fairly new car, they may only be light swirls. In which case a light polish applied by hand should be able to remove them.

Ilovemycar
09-24-2011, 09:39 AM
POof540i, he just took re-delivery earlier this week. Do cars this new ever come with swirls? I wouldn't know.

3ismagic#, the nice thing about the Meguiar's stuff is how easily it "breaks down". Supposedly there's stuff out there that even the PC can't break down, as they require beefier machinery. I can say for sure the 105 works very well by hand, and while I'm a little bit less sure about the 205, I would bet that it would work fine by hand for spot polishing.

If you ever want to try a different product instead, I would look into how easy it is to break down.

3ismagic#
09-24-2011, 10:01 AM
POof540i, he just took re-delivery earlier this week. Do cars this new ever come with swirls? I wouldn't know.

3ismagic#, the nice thing about the Meguiar's stuff is how easily it "breaks down". Supposedly there's stuff out there that even the PC can't break down, as they require beefier machinery. I can say for sure the 105 works very well by hand, and while I'm a little bit less sure about the 205, I would bet that it would work fine by hand for spot polishing.

If you ever want to try a different product instead, I would look into how easy it is to break down.

I appreciate all of the feedback. Can you explain what you mean by breaking down?

Eventually I plan on picking up a PC, but want to do a little correction and polishing as possible.

POof540i
09-24-2011, 10:14 AM
POof540i, he just took re-delivery earlier this week. Do cars this new ever come with swirls? I wouldn't know.

Definitely. Coming off of dealer's hands without swirls would be the exception. However I am not familiar with ED so I may be wrong.

Ilovemycar
09-24-2011, 10:18 AM
I appreciate all of the feedback. Can you explain what you mean by breaking down?

You're welcome. I couldn't explain it to you scientifically, unfortunately, but a lot of these compounds/polishes require shaking of the bottle first, then after application to the pad, with light pressure working the product around the small area to be immediately polished, simply to "break it down". It is after then when the user starts moving slowly, with greater pressure, to implement the cutting action. When a product is not broken down, it will not have the cutting power that was designed into it. Sorry for the feebleness of my attempt there.

Here is one thread I saw recently, where pros talk about "break down", but don't scientifically explain it, such as posts 4-5 . . .

http://www.autopia.org/forum/car-detailing/137648-re-most-effective-polishes.html

Eventually I plan on picking up a PC, but want to do a little correction and polishing as possible.

The good thing about correcting and polishing as little as possible is that this is the best way to keep as much of your original clearcoat as possible. However, for whatever reasons, even with the babying care I offer my own car, with the relatively limited miles and exposure to sun, does it require about a polish a year for the most beauty. However, I am currently on the track towards less and less aggressive polishes for future experimentation. Wait, I just thought of something, it's probably outdated now, but this is the best "aggressiveness chart" I have come across. My next purchase will be Menzerna PO85RD. You also might consider AIOs for ease. Supposedly the Zaino lasts a lot longer than Klasse, but the latter has good cleaning power and IMO is excellent on plastic trim.

http://www.auto-geek.net/charts/wax-cut-chart-master.htm

Definitely. Coming off of dealer's hands without swirls would be the exception. However I am not familiar with ED so I may be wrong.

Ah, thanks for the response, I didn't know. What a shame!


EDIT: 3ismagic#, although polishing removes cc, the amount that a finishing polish does is truly miniscule. I think maybe even just only a micron, or maybe two. Of course it all depends: pressure/pad(both type and size)/product/machine/speed.

POof540i
09-24-2011, 01:18 PM
EDIT: 3ismagic#, although polishing removes cc, the amount that a finishing polish does is truly miniscule. I think maybe even just only a micron, or maybe two. Of course it all depends: pressure/pad(both type and size)/product/machine/speed.

^^^ 'Tis true.


OP, a fine polish will remove less than one micron of paint. I'm quoting other sources (credible) that micron ranges for new cars is between 80 and 150. Any reading below 80 is considered dangerously thin paint. However, with proper washing technique you'll only need to polish the paint twice a year, at most. So don't worry about polishing your paint off with a DA.

mikenap
09-24-2011, 05:49 PM
You're welcome. I couldn't explain it to you scientifically, unfortunately, but a lot of these compounds/polishes require shaking of the bottle first, then after application to the pad, with light pressure working the product around the small area to be immediately polished, simply to "break it down". It is after then when the user starts moving slowly, with greater pressure, to implement the cutting action. When a product is not broken down, it will not have the cutting power that was designed into it. Sorry for the feebleness of my attempt there.

Here is one thread I saw recently, where pros talk about "break down", but don't scientifically explain it, such as posts 4-5 . . .

http://www.autopia.org/forum/car-detailing/137648-re-most-effective-polishes.html




If I may, I think I should clarify the whole "breaking down" of polishes. Nowadays, abrasive polishes fall into two categories- diminishing abrasive and non-diminishing. Diminishing abrasives were the standard until recently, with the introduction of non-diminishing M105/205/86, etc.

Diminishing polishes break down because they are designed with the abrasives starting off in larger sizes and through polishing, the abrasives fracture or "break down" into smaller abrasives. This lets them start off with a higher amount of cut, relative to the polish's intended use, and as they break down into smaller abrasives, they refine the finish at the same time. If you take a medium-level diminishing polish and work it for a short amount of time, you may see lots of swirling removed but also micro-marring from the still relatively large abrasives in the polish scouring the finish. If you continue to work that same polish, the finish will get better as the abrasives break down until they've reached the smallest size they're going to get. At that point, the abrasives are "broken down."

Non-diminishing polishes, such as M105 and M205, use what Meguiars calls SMAT abrasives. Don't worry about the name, the short version is these abrasives don't break down like diminishing abrasives will. These abrasives remain the same size, relatively speaking, for as long as you use the polish. They work only as long as you need them too. You can work them for a long time, or a short time, but they will keep cutting at roughly the same rate as long as you're using them. By varying pad selection, machine speed and pressure, you can dial in the amount of cut you want. They are very versatile, but on some finishes, usually soft black, they may not finish out without leaving a little micro-marring since the abrasives are still working. If that happens, you use a diminishing finishing polish.

mikenap
09-24-2011, 05:54 PM
^^^ 'Tis true.


OP, a fine polish will remove less than one micron of paint. I'm quoting other sources (credible) that micron ranges for new cars is between 80 and 150. Any reading below 80 is considered dangerously thin paint. However, with proper washing technique you'll only need to polish the paint twice a year, at most. So don't worry about polishing your paint off with a DA.

Absolutely true. Just using a finishing polish once or twice a year will usually remove an immeasurable amount of clearcoat. But using anything heavier can remove paint pretty quickly sometimes. If you get your washing technique dialed, you won't have to polish that much anyway.

As far as the paint thickness, you're pretty close to accurate. Unfortunately, my daily driver Mazda3 is an exception. It's never been polished except by me, and then only lightly, but I still have spots that measured in the high 70s, with the majority of the car in the 80-90 range. I was pretty ticked when I saw that.:mad: My 7-year old BMW still measures in the 120-130s AFTER a pretty decent correction.

Ilovemycar
09-24-2011, 08:16 PM
If I may, I think I should clarify the whole "breaking down" of polishes. Nowadays, abrasive polishes fall into two categories- diminishing abrasive and non-diminishing. Diminishing abrasives were the standard until recently, with the introduction of non-diminishing M105/205/86, etc.

Diminishing polishes break down because they are designed with the abrasives starting off in larger sizes and through polishing, the abrasives fracture or "break down" into smaller abrasives. This lets them start off with a higher amount of cut, relative to the polish's intended use, and as they break down into smaller abrasives, they refine the finish at the same time. If you take a medium-level diminishing polish and work it for a short amount of time, you may see lots of swirling removed but also micro-marring from the still relatively large abrasives in the polish scouring the finish. If you continue to work that same polish, the finish will get better as the abrasives break down until they've reached the smallest size they're going to get. At that point, the abrasives are "broken down."

Non-diminishing polishes, such as M105 and M205, use what Meguiars calls SMAT abrasives. Don't worry about the name, the short version is these abrasives don't break down like diminishing abrasives will. These abrasives remain the same size, relatively speaking, for as long as you use the polish. They work only as long as you need them too. You can work them for a long time, or a short time, but they will keep cutting at roughly the same rate as long as you're using them. By varying pad selection, machine speed and pressure, you can dial in the amount of cut you want. They are very versatile, but on some finishes, usually soft black, they may not finish out without leaving a little micro-marring since the abrasives are still working. If that happens, you use a diminishing finishing polish.

OK, well gee I was off on that one, eh?! :D:eeps:

There is more you could clarify for me! Why is it that some detailers say that "product X" has a "longer working time" than M105, for example?

HD UNO is SMAT as well right? People just "modulate" the pressure/speed/pad to give it a different specific purpose, but it always has the same level of cut otherwise? I've even read of people using M105 both as compound and finishing polish, if I'm not mistaken (which is beyond my skill level for sure, according to my experiences with it).

Anyway, thanks for setting me straight! :thumbup:


EDIT: Out of respect to the OP and his query, I'd like to ask a question that we would probably both be interested in asking/clarifying: You are implying that *any* SMAT product is "already broken down" and is immediately usable even by hand?

mikenap
09-24-2011, 09:10 PM
OK, well gee I was off on that one, eh?! :D:eeps:
No problem, I was asking those same questions once too!

There is more you could clarify for me! Why is it that some detailers say that "product X" has a "longer working time" than M105, for example?
While M105 doesn't break down, the lubricating oils usually dry quickly. So even though the abrasives aren't getting smaller, you sometimes get a short working time because it dries out.

HD UNO is SMAT as well right? People just "modulate" the pressure/speed/pad to give it a different specific purpose, but it always has the same level of cut otherwise? I've even read of people using M105 both as compound and finishing polish, if I'm not mistaken (which is beyond my skill level for sure, according to my experiences with it).

I believe you're right about UNO, but I've only used it once, and I'm not 100% sure it's non-diminishing. 98% sure maybe.:p You are correct about pad choice and technique as well. And yes, 105 can be a pretty nice finishing polish sometimes, but that depends on the paint. I've done it on an Audi which had rock-hard paint. I wouldn't try it on a Honda, which is usually soft as butter.

Anyway, thanks for setting me straight! :thumbup:
No worries!


EDIT: Out of respect to the OP and his query, I'd like to ask a question that we would probably both be interested in asking/clarifying: You are implying that *any* SMAT product is "already broken down" and is immediately usable even by hand?
Technically, you can use any polish by hand, but you might have to put a little more effort into a diminishing product like Menzerna. I find SMAT products to work easier by hand than diminishing polishes, but someone else might have a different experience. Don't forget, non-diminishing(SMAT is a trademark of Meguiars) polishes are only a few years old and people have been hand-polishing for a LOOOOOONG time!:D

Johnz3mc
09-24-2011, 11:47 PM
I saw a video a while ago. Mike Phillips, now with Meguiar's, was showing how he removed swirls on a hood with Scratch X by hand. It was a bit of a slow process but he did it. As an aside, Mike Phillips is arguably one of the best detailers and most knowledgeable fellows in the world, so when Mike speaks, I tend to pay attention.
Anyway, maybe google Mike Phillips and Scratch X or head over to the Meguiar's forums and see if you can find the video.
Good luck,
-John C.

TOGWT
09-25-2011, 01:55 AM
Hand Polishing Paint - http://www.autopia.org/forum/guide-detailing/137674-hand-polishing-paint.html#post1459982

Ilovemycar
09-25-2011, 01:30 PM
Thanks mikenap.

Johnz3mc, I looked for the video out of curiosity, and so far the closest I could find was a 1 minute dilution of the video, that finishes with a "buy this video" ad. Thanks though.

3ismagic#
09-28-2011, 07:36 PM
Again thanks for the advice. I'm gonna give it a week or two until my next wash. I'll strip off the wax and get a better sense of how bad the swirling is. Perhaps I'll invest in a PC if it needs a polish. Many years ago I worked as a detailer at a dealer and was pretty handy with a rotary polisher. But the technology of both the paint and polishers/polishes has improved a lot since then. This was before random orbits.

Wihelm G
10-05-2011, 03:27 PM
Again thanks for the advice. I'm gonna give it a week or two until my next wash. I'll strip off the wax and get a better sense of how bad the swirling is. Perhaps I'll invest in a PC if it needs a polish. Many years ago I worked as a detailer at a dealer and was pretty handy with a rotary polisher. But the technology of both the paint and polishers/polishes has improved a lot since then. This was before random orbits.

Swirl X is the Meguiar's consumer product line polish for light swirls, Ultimate Compound for moderate to heavy swirls. As I recall, Swirl X is considered a "polish" in the ol'skool meaning of the word, i.e., it has no abrasives. Both Swirl X and UC may be applied by hand, although depending on the extend of the swirling using a machine may be faster and easier. Both work very well at what they were designed for-- removing swirls. Not sure, but I think I heard Mike Stoops say Meguiar's was phasing out the Swirl X, probably to be replaced by Ulitmate Polish. If you've been around detailing for awhile you probably heard of Deep Crystal Paint Cleaner-- this is the polish that was replaced by the Swirl X.

If you've used a rotary polisher before, there's no need to get a PC. Rotary polishers are faster, more versatile and more powerful than a Dual Action/Porter Cable type polisher, the latter being a good reason NOT to use a rotary polisher if you are inexperienced. Random Orbitals are pretty useless for polishing/buffing and pretty much are useful only for spreading wax. If you are indeed pretty handy with a rotary polisher, you have all the skills you need to remove your swirls. As ilovemycar says, it's just a matter of finding the least aggressive product that will do the job.

BTW, Mike Phillips left Meguiar's over two years ago. I think he's been with autogeek since then. Mike Stoops is one of Meguiar's World Class detallers who teaches the detailing classes. If you're anywhere near Irvine, California, Meguiar's has Thursday Nights Open Garage events in which you can take your car and have it evaluated by an expert and try out different products and machines, at no charge.

mikenap
10-05-2011, 05:54 PM
Random Orbitals are pretty useless for polishing/buffing and pretty much are useful only for spreading wax.

Sorry, this isn't the case any more. New compounds, polishes, pads and techniques have made many top pros switch over to random orbitals for compounding, polishing and finishing. Some even compound with ROs and finish with rotarys, depending on the paint hardness, etc.

Wihelm G
10-05-2011, 07:43 PM
Sorry, this isn't the case any more. New compounds, polishes, pads and techniques have made many top pros switch over to random orbitals for compounding, polishing and finishing. Some even compound with ROs and finish with rotarys, depending on the paint hardness, etc.

Perhaps we are not using the terms the same way.

Random orbital buffer/polisher:
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/310fECq4i0L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Dual action/DA/Porter Cable type:
http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/autogeek_2178_487805016

Rotary buffer:
http://www.harborfreight.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/370x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/image_11802.jpg

POof540i
10-05-2011, 08:19 PM
Yeah, the top one is a wax spreader/random orbital, but I've also seen the PC/Griots/G110v2 described as a random orbital numerous times. I believe the terms are interchangeable.

Excerpt from Autogeek's website: "Dual action polishers are also called random orbital polishers..." Dual Action Polishers (http://www.autogeek.net/dual-action-polishers.html)

mikenap
10-05-2011, 08:25 PM
Perhaps we are not using the terms the same way.

Random orbital buffer/polisher:
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/310fECq4i0L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Dual action/DA/Porter Cable type:
http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/autogeek_2178_487805016

Rotary buffer:
http://www.harborfreight.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/370x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/image_11802.jpg

I think that's the case. Sorry for the confusion!:thumbup:

TOGWT
10-06-2011, 01:47 AM
I appreciate all of the feedback. Can you explain what you mean by breaking down?

Eventually I plan on picking up a PC, but want to do a little correction and polishing as possible.

Difference between Diminishing and Standard Abrasive Polishes

Diminishing Abrasives Technology
A non-linear abrasive that require kinetic friction and applied pressure, while the majority of polishes on the market use a form of diminishing (non- linear) abrasive, which you polish until it turns translucent; when a polish "flashes" from a liquid paste to a light semi-dry haze, much like a coating of Vaseline® the diminishing polish has then broken down and is ready for removal. Diminishing abrasives, as the name suggests; the abrasives become smaller with friction, and therefore go from removing paint defects to polishing the paint, which produces the shine. If you don't break them down sufficiently, you are just grinding those abrasive particles into your paint, without polishing it, which can leave behind marring and other paint surface imperfections.

It is important to know when a polish has broken down because if you take it too far you will re-introduce surface marring. During the polishing process, trace amounts of paint and / or oxidation is removed; this can cause the debris and the polish to “clump” together. This can cause a haze to the paint surface, a wipe-down or a paint cleaning product will eliminate this.

Pros - Menzerna diminishing abrasive polishes are formulated with a long lasting lubricant. The abrasives break down before the lubricating oils dry out, thereby giving polish a longer working time and producing less abrasive dust and avoiding dry buffing.

Cons - Menzerna lubrication oils can be really resistant to removal; it may take 2-3 IPA wipe-downs.


Non- Diminishing Abrasives Technology

A linear abrasive that require time and pressure - unlike diminishing abrasives, which require friction to enable the abrasives to 'break-down to obtain the best possible finish (and avoid holograms) non-diminishing abrasives react very differently. It will be as abrasive as you want it to be, time and pressure applied (linear abrasive) being its working criteria. By varying pad selection, machine speed and pressure, you can select the amount of abrasive cut required.

Block wet sanding (finishing paper and a sanding block) is the most effective tool for paint defect removal because of its linear process you abrade the paint surface flat until the defects are removed. Non- diminishing abrasives, a flat foam pad and a rigid backing plate are very similar in application.

The other similarity between using a non-diminishing abrasive polish and block wet-sanding with finishing paper; the cleaner the media, the more consistent the polishing will be.

It the polishing media becomes saturated, they lose their abrasive abilities. A linear abrasive eliminates the ‘abrasive cycle’ as you have a constant and consistent abrasive medium, the longer you work the abrasive the more surface defects are removed.
Linear abrasive polishes / compounds provides a constant cutting abrasive, as the abrasives remains uniform in size throughout the polishing process, so you need to check the surface often. They should be used with a semi-rigid backing plate and a cutting foam or wool pad until the defects are removed (1200 – 1500 RPM) but do not allow the polish too completely dry (as this will also produce holograms) and ensure that pad surface is cleaned by removing paint / polish debris regularly This type of compound / polish process usually requires subsequent polishing step(s) to further refine the finish and to produce a shine

Cons - the lubricating oils dry out, thereby providing a shorter working time, producing more abrasive dust and the possibility of dry buffing

Mequiar’s Super Micro Abrasive Technology (SMAT) - that is used in these polishes (M105 Ultra Cut Compound 1200< grit CAS 10/10 and M205 Ultra Finishing Polish CAS4/10) utilizes non-diminishing abrasives

Wihelm G
10-06-2011, 10:51 AM
I think that's the case. Sorry for the confusion!:thumbup:

You are not responsible for any confusion-- the detailing industry has not adopted any uniform standards for many things, such as what constitutes a "polish", what is or isn't a "wax", what is the real diameter of a 5" backing plate, whether a "rinseless wash" product can be considered a "waterless wash" product, and many more.

Someone pointed out the Griot's Garage DA polisher. Griot's describes it as a "dual action orbital" (their words) but they call it their "6' Random Orbital" (also their words). Including the "6 inch" in the name alone tells me it's not what I usually refer to as a "random orbital".

Anyway, I tend to favor Meguiar's use of various terminology-- they've been around the longest, and their products are very good, relatively inexpensive and widely available Plus their free Detailing 101 class at their Irvine headquarters is a pretty thorough intro to functionality of lots of different car care products, not just Meguiar's. But, again, people use whatever terms they prefer for whatever reason. Doesn't mean anyone is right or wrong, just that it may help to be aware there is some differences in terminology.