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Old 06-03-2002, 11:34 PM
hedpe's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 507
want to remove swirl marks...

Alright, I want to try and spruce up the 500E. It's charcoal grey. I was going to a friends house the other day and when i arrived i noticed i had tar on my trunk. Not having bug and tar remover, i removed it with an extremely small ammount of rubbing compound. Well, it left very light swirl marks. And that is enough to annoy the crap outta me. I was wondering if anyone can suggest something to remove them. I waxed the car maybe 3 weeks ago. What do you guys think?
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Old 06-03-2002, 11:56 PM
ymsin's Avatar
Driver, Mercedes-Benz
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 1,645
That is the problem with dark colours and charcoal gray is no exception: the swirl marks are so visible!

I can only suggest waxing it over and over again .... I believe Meguars may have something in store for you.
... Kerry

126 tailed by a 203, 129 leading the pack.
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Old 06-03-2002, 11:57 PM
hedpe's Avatar
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so waxing over that spot should do the trick? I'll give it a shot.
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Old 06-04-2002, 12:44 AM
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Location: South Eastern, MA
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If you find that the wax doesn't remove the swirls take a look at Meguiars #9 Swirl Remover. It comes in a tan bottle and can be found in most Auto stores. Be sure to put another coat of wax on the car if you do use the swirl remover.

By the way, next time you get some tar on the car I'd suggest using a clay bar instead of the rubbing compound. It will remove the tar without scratching the paint.

02 C32 AMG

92 500E
84 190E 2.3 5 Spd
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Old 06-04-2002, 01:34 AM
hedpe's Avatar
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Okay, thanks, always need suggestions and better ways to get things done Do i put another coat of wax on before or after using meguiars #9?
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Old 06-04-2002, 07:46 AM
jcd jcd is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northern New Jersey
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Try Scratch-X/ Meguiars

It is a consumer product, so it is not heavy duty like Meguiars #9. Comes in a black tube and it available in larger auto parts chain stores and WalMart. Also, if you look above on this discussion group, just hit the Meguiars "Free car care Rx". It's pretty cool and works well. Just follow the Rx and you will see an improvement.

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Old 06-04-2002, 09:20 AM
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After washing the car with dish washing detergent to remove old wax etc, I use Meguiar's #9 swirl remover, then the polish and finally the wax.

There a good FAQ on this by Lee Scheeler: Lee's Detailing FAQ
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Old 06-06-2002, 01:41 PM
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Location: Southbay Area Los Angeles, CA
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Meguiars # 9 will do the job without a problem.

I was exactly in the same situation with a car same color as yours ( my wife's E420 ).

After washing the car I used Meguiars # 9 using an orbital buffer, then two coats of Meguiars Deep Crystal Polish # 2 ( applied by hand ), followed by a final coat of carnuba wax.

The results... a deep mirror shine finish without swirl marks !
Ernesto Molina

1993 500E Pearl Black / Alpaca Grey
2001 E55 AMG Brilliant Silver/ Anthracite
2007 SL55 AMG Black / Anthracite
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Old 06-06-2002, 02:21 PM
hedpe's Avatar
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Awesome, i'm got the meguiar goods, i'm gonna try it out as soon as it stops raining in pittsburgh!! grrrrrr, never!
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Old 06-07-2002, 11:41 PM
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Posts: 21
3M Hand Glaze works well also
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Old 06-10-2002, 09:29 AM
Former Dieselholic
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 380
Black 1983 240D.
I think PO mistakenly used sander instead of buffer.

I washed the car with Meguiars "3-step" products. Started with Meguiars car wash, then the cleaner (#1) and then the polish (#2-swirl remover). I did not continue with the #3 wax as the basketball game was coming on. After the #2 step, by hand with a terry cloth towel, the car looks "wet" and the swirl marks are GONE! I was very pleasantly surprised...

Did the same on my ivory 3000td with similar results but of course it is much more noticeable on the black one...
Current: '91 300TE 4MATIC 317k and climbing...
'81 300TD Wagon 168K "Tank"
'83 240D 216K 4spd manual "Da Bear" (aka best car ever)

"Never sweat the petty things...
and never pet the sweaty things."
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Old 06-13-2002, 03:35 PM
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JPL JPL is offline
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
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First Hand (and a buffer)

I went through the Meguiars three step process. I was very pleased. Gave me back 10 or 15 years on my 20 year old paint job.

Just a thought, if you are going to clay, I heard the time in the 3 step process to clay is between the paint treatment and the polish, but look for a brand called Clay Magic. Although they sponsor this forum, and I hate to talk bad about a sponsor's product, the Meguiars clay is too soft and difficult to work. Perhaps they will change the formula based on consumer feedback, but in the meantime Clay Magic is the way for clay.

just my $.02


85 300SD 285k
Charcoal Gray/Grey MB-Tex

79 300CD 142000mi "Rabenshwarz"
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Old 06-14-2002, 11:46 AM
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Location: Fairfax Station, VA
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Just to add my 2 cents, my brother has a black Integra and had the same problem. The #9 didn't work, so we had to go with something stronger. I went out and bought some Meguiars Dual Action Cleaner/Polish, followed by Meg. Swirl Free Polish, then waxed with Meg. High tech yellow wax #26.
All this was done after washing, then claying with Clay Magic (hands down the best bar I've used). I'm not a big fan of the 3 step, Meguiars has much better products out there.
Here's a pic if anyone's interested in the final results
1984 300TD Turbo 156Kmi
"He who seeks knowledge begins with humbleness" - Buju Banton
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Old 06-26-2002, 01:11 AM
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Location: Texas
Posts: 79
A de-oxidant...try "nu finish" comes in an orange bottle works GREAT
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Old 06-26-2002, 02:55 AM
Michael Phillip
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What did you use to instill the scratches?

Hi hedpe,

Most of the buffing work I have done in my life is removing buffer swirl.

While what you have isn’t “Buffer Swirl”, I thought I would comment on the topic and address you problem at the same time.

What you have isn’t technically buffer swirl since it wasn't machine induced.

The word "swirl" isn't actually applicable either. Mostly because it “implies” machine induced or instilled scratches, (because the word swirl is part of the term buffer swirl), but is instead, what you have is merely “scratches”.

Random Scratches, Deep Scratches, Compound Scratches, anything but “swirl” scratches.

I say this because for years I have answered the same question over and over again and that is “How to Remove Buffer Swirl”. Often times after further investigation, I would find out that the person I was working with didn’t have “Buffer Swirl”, but in fact had, “Cob Web” scratches or “Cob Webbing Effect”.

(I just wrote a video script for our new Wet-sanding video, and I didn’t even want to address the entire subject of “Words”, but because I had to address the exact same issue, i.e. Buffer Swirl and it’s meaning and “Swirl” and it’s non-meaning, I thought I would chime in here and offer my own suggestions. As is such, consider the following,

Buffer Swirl - what it is, what it isn't, how to prevent it, how to inspect for it, how to remove it

The biggest most often reported complaint in the automotive industry is the customer complaint of having Buffer Swirl in the finish of their car, truck or suv.

Words mean things, just ask any lawyer, (or Bill Clinton, re: the words… “is” or “alone”)

When we talk about buffer swirl, let's start with defining it so there is no confusion over the meaning of the word.

Buffer Swirl - A circular scratch in the paint caused by the improper use of a rotary buffer. It is visible when viewed in bright light, often sunlight, at the right angle. Buffer Swirl is caused by a number of things, sometimes, one thing, other times a combination of things working in unison. These would include,

· Sharp mechanical abrasives that do not break down
· Wool pads - the fibers themselves cut the finish, putting their own scratch into the paint.
· Dirt or abrasive particles that have attached themselves to the buffing pad and contaminated the process.

Because most people use the rotary buffer in a back and forth motion, overlapping their passes by approximately 50%, buffer swirl usually shows up as circular scratch in a zig-zag pattern on the lager, flat panels of a vehicle.

What buffer swirl is not.

Swirl - Many people use the singular word swirl to describe a scratch problem in their finish that is actually more closely defined by the term Cobweb Scratches or Cobwebbing effect.

Cob web scratches - cob web scratches or cobwebbing-effect, is hundreds of thousands of random scratches caused by common, day-in/day-out, wear and tear. Things like improper washing technique, poor quality washing mitts, poor quality towels used to dry car, poor quality wax pads, hand applied rubbing and polishing compounds etc. All of these things have the potential to put hundreds of thousands of random scratches into the paint. Cobweb scratches can potentially be put into a finish anytime somebody "touches" their car without being careful or using high quality products and application and removal materials.

Cobweb scratches have a look, somewhat like the pattern created by a spider when they build a cobweb. To see and understand this effect, just look at the finish that surrounds a point of reflected light, such as the sun or a strong, bright light bulb in your garage. A scratch pattern will appear to surround the point of reflected light. It actually doesn't surround any one point of reflected light but is instilled throughout the finish. If you move around the car and look at the same reflected point of light in a different area on the finish, the cobweb effect will appear to surround the point of reflected light in this area also. It has this effect because the scratches are equally distributed throughout the finish, more or less. It is important to understand that this is not buffer swirl but is instead cobweb scratches or cobwebbing effect.

Because there is much confusion over the definition of these words and because there are no "Ruling Authorities" to govern word usage in the general category of "Automotive Appearance Car Care Products", (just try to hammer down a definitive definition for the word Polish or Glaze). As usual, Meguiar's takes the leadership role in this area to try to establish a "Standard" by which all others can either conform too, or do their best to establish their own set of standards.

That's not to say, a finish cannot have both at the same time, it certainly can and if a car has buffer swirl it also will generally have Cobwebbing effect. But, not all finishes that have cob web scratches have buffer swirl.

The importance of distinguishing between the two defects is usually a matter of the severity and depth of the scratch. The goal however is the same and that is to remove the scratches and restore a flawless finish.

The depth and severity of buffer swirl in a finish will vary because of the type of compound and type and condition of the pad that was used on the finish. Worst-case scenario is a very deep buffer swirl caused by a coarse compound used with a very worn and tatty wool pad by a knuckle dragging detailer named Billy Bob. Best-case scenario would be quality cleaner/polish used with a quality foam pad by an expert craftsman, but perhaps the pad wasn’t held completely flat throughout the entire procedure. This could inflict/instill/put in a very shallow buffer swirl that could easily be removed.

What you have are merely “random scratches”, instilled by a mechanical abrasive, (I assume, thus the original question in the subject of this response).

Best results from #9 are obtained through the use of a rotary buffer and either the Meguiar’s W-8000 yellow colored polishing pad or the W-9000, tan colored finishing pad.

The problem with trying to remove scratches by hand is the fact that clear coats, because they are “tight pore” paints are incredibly hard paints. The average Joe Consumer cannot, with his hand and good intentions, “remove small particles of paint”, thus leveling the highest points of the surface surrounding the scratches, with the lowest points of the depth of the scratches.

Try if you like, but it is pretty much impossible. The most you can hope for is to “fill” them in. Technically, you can remove the deep scratches by hand, but… you leave behind your own scratches from the removal process. So, in fact, you are not removing the scratches, just replacing them with finer scratches.

As a good rule of thumb… never use conventional abrasives on your finish. Never let a detailer or a painter use conventional abrasives on your paint. It will instill scratchs that can only be removed through the use of a rotary buffer, specialized chemicals and skill learned through experience.

Hope this helps…

Mike Phillips
hand applied rubbing and polishing compounds etc. hand applied rubbing and polishing compounds etc
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