Car wax/and or polish-whats the best?

Tim L

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
323
Ordered a new car -Accord EXL now I have been out of the "I give a crap" about my car's looks for many years- and now it seems there are dozens if not more care care waxes and polishes to choose from..very confusing. I even went on some car forums like corvette and mustangs- and most of the stuff they suggest can only be ordered from the internet and require a three stage process or something (Zaino-was mentioned alot)-well its not a rolls royce,just a honda, so I am looking for something that will protect, shine-easy on,easy off. I have heard some good things about Maguiar products (there is alot of them too). I live in new england so heat, snow, etc-we get it all. any suggestions or experiences welcome.
Tim
 

Mort Corey

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 21, 2003
Messages
981
Meguiars makes quality stuff at reasonable prices. Everything from the "one step" easy on, easy off waxes to the more exotic detailer stuff. You can find it in most stores or buy it direct online. They have a forum for all your questions regarding products and applications...pretty intense enthusiasts.

Mort
 

Carl Miller

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
1,461
I used to use Meguires #16 all the time...incredibly durable, but not an easy off. Most of Meguires other waxes are not very durable.

I like Clearkote Carnauba Wax...it's a liquid wax, easy on/easy off, and very very durable. Most durable liquid wax I've ever used at 4-5 months between waxing in NYC weather. It's a mail order only product, in the $20 range for 16 oz, but lasts a long time...Looks especially good on black cars, and dark blues.
 

Brian W. Ralston

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 4, 1999
Messages
605
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Real Name
Brian W. Ralston
I would highly recommend that if this is the first real good coat of wax/polish you are putting on your car (even though it is a Honda) , that you thoroughly clean the car's surface with one of the vaireties of Clay bars out there. Yes...it is a bar of special clay, that when used like a cleaning sponge with the included lubricant will pull off more surface dirt from your seemingly clean car than you could possibly imagine. The cars surface afterward will be smooth as glass and very clean. Then, when you apply a couple coats of Maguires...or high tech car polish, etc...it will truly protect your car's surface a lot better because the surface was properly cleaned. That is why the Zaino process is multi step. But, part of its secret is getting the surface incredibly clean for the polish to bond to the surface better. It will last a lot longer between applications as well if you do this step first.

Also...if this is a factory new car, it really would pay for you to pay the dealer (before it leaves the lot) to treat the car's surface with their "special" protectant/teflon like treatment, etc...It usually costs a few hundred, but really they are in a unique position to add this final step before the car is delivered to you. It takes a bout a day to complete. They will automatically use the clay bar cleaning process before they do their surface treatment. It is like a teflon treatment for the cars surface (though not exactly teflon) and will make the surface of the car shiny and hard for dirt to stay on it. The end result is when you wash your car at a regular car wash...it will come out being as clean and shiney as it was the day you get it with the treatment. It will save you a lot of money in future waxes and polishes. Almost every dealer can do this...though it is not heavily advertised.
 

Ari

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 3, 1999
Messages
202
I use a mix of Meguiar's and Mothers with a smattering of Eagle One as well. I hear Zaino's the best but only available on their website.
 

Carl Miller

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
1,461

You couldn't pay me to let a dealer do this to any new car I'm buying. No offense intended to anyone working for a dealership here, but dealerships tend to screw up new paint finishes and leave swirls or worse all over the place thru careless use of dirty towels, water, clay and whatever else they might be using.
 

Brian W. Ralston

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 4, 1999
Messages
605
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Real Name
Brian W. Ralston

I think it really depends on the dealer. If it is a highly rated one...they will do good work. I believe the process is a spray on procedure as well.

A lot of people I know here in L.A. have had it done to their BMWs, Mercedes, Lincoln Navigators, etc...and to me, the results have always been stunning. I kind of wished I had known about it when I got my Durango a few years ago.
 

Carl Miller

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
1,461

You're totally right Brian...I shouldn't have phrased it as I did. It's not all dealers.

I prefer to do this stuff myself because it sort of relaxes me for some reason. One thing I'll never forget is when we took delivery on our Lexus RX 330, my wife and I were inspecting the car looking for damage before taking it home, and I saw a Lexus employee claying a new one of those little Lexus convertibles, still with the sticker on.

The guy dropped the clay, picked it up and went right back to work with it on the car which I'm sure you know is a total no-no. I just sort of cringed and went about my business, but whenever we take the car in for scheduled maintenance they ask if we want them to wash it and I always say no and hope they listen.
 

Tim L

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
323
Okay I have read about the clay bar treatment- I have never done this and don't want to screw up the new finish-I wonder if I should just set up an appointment at a car detailing place when the car comes in- or maybe test out my clay skills on my wifes older car. I guess I will have to look into this Zaino treatment some more-seems a little confusing-not quite sure what products exactly to buy. Lots of good links and info guys, thanks-I think I am missing by 92 Bonneville already.(only kidding),
Tim
 

Ari

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 3, 1999
Messages
202
Claying is actually very safe for your finish....it can be a lot of work but since your car is new, there shouldn't be a lot of gunk that'll need claying. After washing your car, put your hand in a sandwich bag and run it against the paint. It should be as smooth as silk...any rough patches will need claying. Just make sure the area to be clayed is sufficiently lubricated (use quick detailer or soapy water) and randomly rub the area with clay. It should come off without a lot of force.

After claying, wax the car. This should make future claying a lot easier since contaminants will have a harder time sticking to the car's surface. Just make sure that 1. you don't drop the clay; 2.pick out big dirt particles; 3. rinse the clay after using; and 4.store the clay in a clean sandwich bag/saran wrap.
 

Arthur S

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 2, 1999
Messages
2,571
I'm sure this goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. Don't let anyone use a powered rotary polishing tool on your vehicle. They leave swirl marks. I might go so far as to tell the dealership that you do NOT want the car polished prior to delivery. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they use the rotary polishing tool.
 

LewB

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 11, 2002
Messages
1,282
I'm going to disagree with that statement. From my readings at http://www.autopia.org/ it would seem that pro detailers usually use a random orbit tool (one made by Porter Cable seemed popular). One thing I would stay away from is any car wash where a brush or the like comes in contact with the car. I learned this the hard way after the first winter I had my new car. Want swirl marks and spider webs ? Take the car to the car wash.
 

Garrett Lundy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2002
Messages
3,763
1. Clean car with paint cleaning clay.

2. wax car. Regular $7 Turtle Wax was rated #1 by consumer reports.

3. wash car. I suggest the SpeedShine®, that leaves no water spots

4. After wash use high-gloss spray & wipe.

Repeat steps 3&4 when car is dirty. Steps 1&2 every 2 months.

Concern yourself more with cleaning the car often than which brand of cleaning product you use (since they probably all come from the same Chinese factory).
 

DonnyD

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 12, 1999
Messages
1,145
I WAS a Mequiars user until I discovered the Zaino product line. Now, nothing else touches my vehicles. I use several of their products and believe it to be the best car care line I've ever used on my vehicles in over 40 years of keeping my vehicles looking good. Being a synthetic, it is much more durable and long lasting than the carnuba types. There are several more synthetics on the market if you look around.
Clay Bar of any type is also a preferred way to prepare a vehicle to accept the polish and or wax you end up using.
 

Carl Miller

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
1,461

The Porter Cable is virtually stupid proof...almost impossible to damage your car with it. I was so paranoid about using it that I bought a car door from a junk yard, took it home and practiced on it before using it on my car. Totally unncessary.

If you really care about your cars finish, best to stay away from any car wash, period. If the brushes of a car wash don't get you, the dirty rags and towels the guys use will.

Tim, Zaino is an excellent product and I'm not trying to talk you out of it...But don't be afraid to clay a new car. As long as you follow Ari's suggestions, you'd be fine with it.
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
345,204
Messages
4,734,011
Members
141,407
Latest member
An Elvis Fan