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  #1  
Old 04-22-2006, 08:50 AM
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How do I remove light scratches?

Help! I washed my husbands mercedes, lightly scrubbing off some tree debris! I have made small visable scratches on the hood of the car in the clear coat. How can I remove them? Please tell me the correct way to wash, wax and care for the exterior of this car. We live in a hot humid climate, what are the best wax and shine products to use on the exterior? The car is medium to dark green. Please help me correct this this stupid attempt to clean his car! Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2006, 09:45 AM
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Wash the car in the shade with a car wash soap e.g. Meguiar's Gold Class Car Wash. Use paint cleaning clay to remove surface contaminants (tree sap, pollen, etc.). Then use a polish ... machine polish with a random orbital buffer would be best ... otherwise a hand polish to remove light scratches. You might want to try Meguiar's Scratch-X to remove the scratches in the hood. Follow-up with a high quality carnuba wax.
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2006, 12:50 PM
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scratches

Thanks I will try your suggestions! Is there a trick to using the orbital buffer so I don't burn the paint?
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2006, 01:10 PM
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Exclamation Detailing tips

I moved this thread to the Detailing forum because it should be there.

Be sure to check out the Detailing section of the "DIY Articles". There's lots of info already here on MercedesShop!

These articles should be of interest:

Removing Swirl Marks

Are you over polishing?
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2006, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilli
Thanks I will try your suggestions! Is there a trick to using the orbital buffer so I don't burn the paint?
You cannot burn through the paint with a random orbital buffer. Random orbital buffers spin in an oscillating circular motion, and also vibrate. If you apply pressure on the machine while you are buffing, it stops spinning, and just vibrates.

If you're not experienced in removing scratches, you probably will not be able to remove them with a random orbital buffer because they do not do a lot of work. You would need a direct drive buffer, which is easy to burn through paint.

I'd take your husband's car to the local car wash / detailing shop, and pay them $80 to buff the car and the remove the scratches.
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  #6  
Old 04-25-2006, 01:17 PM
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best products

I have heard that Carnuba wax is not good for a hot and humid climate and that under those conditions it does not last long enough. What product do you recommend? I have a black 300SEL and a dark green C280. Thanks!
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  #7  
Old 04-25-2006, 01:41 PM
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Gold class is a blend of carnuba and polymers.

For a black car, I'd use Gold Class or Meguiar's NXT. I was at a detailer's clinic at Meguiar's head office in Irvine, CA, and we did some testing on black paint comparing NXT with gold class and other waxes. Gold Class and NXT made the paint darker and glossier than any other product we tested.

I think I'd lean towards the NXT. It is a synthetic polymer, which provides significantly better and longer lasting protection than any carnuba product, at least according to Meguiar's chief chemist, Dr. Pennington.
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  #8  
Old 04-26-2006, 01:55 PM
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Detailing Price

I was just quoted $175. to wash, clay, polish out the scratches, wax and buff the outside only all by hand for a C280. What do you think of this price?
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  #9  
Old 04-26-2006, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suginami
Gold class is a blend of carnuba and polymers.

For a black car, I'd use Gold Class or Meguiar's NXT. I was at a detailer's clinic at Meguiar's head office in Irvine, CA, and we did some testing on black paint comparing NXT with gold class and other waxes. Gold Class and NXT made the paint darker and glossier than any other product we tested.

I think I'd lean towards the NXT. It is a synthetic polymer, which provides significantly better and longer lasting protection than any carnuba product, at least according to Meguiar's chief chemist, Dr. Pennington.
NXT is a great over the counter synthetic that is good for hot climates or aggressive weather areas like the Nor' East. You can also try Wolfgang Deep Gloss, Klasse Gloss or Por Boys which are even more advanced. If you want to stick to Meguiars then try their #21 which is NXT on steriods
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  #10  
Old 04-26-2006, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilli
I was just quoted $175. to wash, clay, polish out the scratches, wax and buff the outside only all by hand for a C280. What do you think of this price?
Man I wish you were around here I would do it for you for a lot less. Anyway, for $175 thats not a bad price but I don't know if the results will be as good without a machine, especially the polishing out of the scratches, thats hard work by hand.
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  #11  
Old 04-26-2006, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilli
I was just quoted $175. to wash, clay, polish out the scratches, wax and buff the outside only all by hand for a C280. What do you think of this price?
Not a bad price, but they will not be able to "polish out" the scratches by hand. They need to be machine removed.

Claying is a great step. It removes sub-surface contaminants in the paint. It will leave your paint smooth as glass, but it does not remove defects.
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  #12  
Old 04-26-2006, 08:16 PM
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Clear Coat

I asked about a machine for the scratches and they told me they do it by hand because Mercedes does not put a thick clear coat onto their cars. Is that true for a 1990 and a 1995? He said the guy would spend the day on it.
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  #13  
Old 04-26-2006, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilli
I asked about a machine for the scratches and they told me they do it by hand because Mercedes does not put a thick clear coat onto their cars. Is that true for a 1990 and a 1995? He said the guy would spend the day on it.
Removing the light scratches with a machine, if used properly, will not burn through the clear coat.

Listen.....anything is possible if you put enough "work" into it.

He might be able to put enough "enthusisam" into it, and remove the scratches by hand. I can just see him rubbing back and forth, back and forth, like a madman for 2 hours. It ain't worth it, and it ain't effective.

The scratches can be removed with a rotary buffer in about 2-3 minutes, and then he can spend his time polishing, aka beautifying, your paint, and then applying protection, aka wax.

Any competent detailer loves to work with a rotary buffer because they work and because they are fast. They love to go over the whole car with a rotary buffer for just that reason. I have never been in favor of using a rotary buffer over the entire car.

Meguiars has taught me that a rotary buffer is best used to remove the scratches you are talking about, what they call RIDS (Random Incidental Deeper Scratches). After the RIDS have been removed, then you use a random orbital buffer, like a Porter Cable random orbital buffer, to apply polish and wax.

If your detailer wants to apply everything by hand, I'd probably find another detailer.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
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  #14  
Old 04-27-2006, 12:41 PM
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buffing

Meguiars has taught me that a rotary buffer is best used to remove the scratches you are talking about, what they call RIDS (Random Incidental Deeper Scratches). After the RIDS have been removed, then you use a random orbital buffer, like a Porter Cable random orbital buffer, to apply polish and wax.

Thanks! I spoke with him this morning and he does use both the rotart buffer for tougher jobs and the orbital buffer. The recomendation for this guy came to me from a retired detailer. He said this guy can really buff and wax! The shop owner said the same thing about him. Oh, and because of all the imformation you all have taught me he came down on his price $25.00!!!! Thanks everyone! I take the car monday morning, there is a monsoon outside today.
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  #15  
Old 04-27-2006, 01:30 PM
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Great. If he uses both a rotary buffer and a random orbital buffer, and comes highly recommended, then you should be in good hands.

Let us know how it turns out.

I am going to attend another detailing clinic at Meguiar's world headquarters in Irvine, California next Monday, May 6.
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