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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've had my sexy cooper s for about 4 weeks now, and I just washed it for the first time and it's back to being it's shiny self after we both got a bit dirty at Download festival down at Donnington.

My question is what kind of products can I use to keep my car in tip top condition? Like when you get a new car and the paintwork is all smooth, is that just polish? I've never polished any of my cars before! And what do clay bars do?

Cheers brothers and sisters!
 

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I was always a bit lazy to do much myself with my outgoing Cooper, but I have a "mini valet" at my local wash drive thru, which involves hand waxing and buffing and whatnot for £35 three times a year. In-between the usual visits for a normal £10 every few weeks and for a black car which is 8 years old, looks good.
I do wish that I had taken care of the rubber trims on the top half of car more myself, as they have greyed a bit. Autoglym make some care products for that.
I intend to put in a bit more elbow grease with the new incoming MCS.

But as I said, I'm a bit lazy to do too much myself, my brother on the other hand is really into it and it's a pleasurable pastime for him.

Gonna google clay bars now!
 

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So I've had my sexy cooper s for about 4 weeks now, and I just washed it for the first time

Cheers brothers and sisters!

Mine has been washed 3 times and I only collected it last Saturday!

what colour have you got? Some colours look better with wax, some better with sealent.

A snowfoam gun/lance should be the top of your with list along with a grit bucket, lambswool mitt, drying cloth (not chamois leather).

Personally (and being a bit anal on the whole detailing thing) I don't like/trust clay bars. I prefer spray on decontaminants such as Tardis and IronX)

good stuff for "lazy" people is a water repellent such as Gyeon Wet Coat. Spray on, rinse off. Look for it on youtube.
This is an endless topic.........
 
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As I don't have much time I use "Showroom Shine", which I have for many years, and it really does the job.

It is supposed to, and does, work without washing the car first but I usually pressure wash it first to get the worst of the muck off.

I use it on my old classic car and it looks as good as new, paint wise.

If you are into it in a big way and have lots of time then you can spent hours and hours fettling your paintwork , but I'm not into that as the dirty roads round here soon make it filthy again.
 

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Whole heartedly agree with Donna re lambs wool mitt, grit filter for your bucket and drying cloth. Having used many different products over the years I have now settled on Meguiars Car Care Products - they have a very comprehensive range and have found them to be excellent. The one exception is for Autoglym glass polish (for the inside of your windows, in particular) - for anyone who has never used this please give it a go. The first time I used it on the rear window I nearly had a panic attack , when backing off the drive the following morning, I thought someone had put my window through !!- it's surprising how much c#*p builds up there on the inside of the glass !
 

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Just before I sold my Audi, having only washed it a little over the years of ownership - yes I know! - a mate at work helped me get the car ready for sale. He used a clay bar on some parts of the car and it was astonishing what it did. I'll definitely get one for the new car! I'm still learning about products but can't wait to try some out!
 

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I won't say too much on the subject as it's easy to get carried away, but I would say if you are just starting out in the detailing world the biggest favour you can do yourself is to go to the detailing world website and read up on some stuff in there. Just concentrate on proper washing and drying methods and your car will be in good shape a few years down the line.

Also ( I may upset a few people here) the car wash people you see in supermarkets and at the side of the road do NOT do a good job of cleaning your car. They often use acid based sprays on wheels and bodywork before they wash the car and it strips all the protection off of the paint. You can always tell a second hand car that has been washed regularly like this as the plastic wheel nut covers on some cars ie VW will be a whitish grey colour where the acid cleaner has bleached them out!

I'll shut up now:redface:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the input folks! To clarify, Sam is Volcanic Orcange with glossy black wheels & I wash him at Dad's garage. My dad is a senior technician with BMW, which is joined on to MINI in Carlisle, so they don't tend to mind if I turn up about 4:30 on a Friday and use their kit for 20 minutes.

I would like to get an outside tap put in at my house so I could spend a bit more time, but that'll have to wait a while, since the water pipes in my kitchen don't run along the front facing outside wall, so it'd be a bit of a mission.

So yeah, you reckon a lambs wool drying mitt for when I've finished? Then some glass polish and then some kind of wax for the body once I get home?
 

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Thanks for all the input folks! To clarify, Sam is Volcanic Orcange with glossy black wheels & I wash him at Dad's garage. My dad is a senior technician with BMW, which is joined on to MINI in Carlisle, so they don't tend to mind if I turn up about 4:30 on a Friday and use their kit for 20 minutes.

I would like to get an outside tap put in at my house so I could spend a bit more time, but that'll have to wait a while, since the water pipes in my kitchen don't run along the front facing outside wall, so it'd be a bit of a mission.

So yeah, you reckon a lambs wool drying mitt for when I've finished? Then some glass polish and then some kind of wax for the body once I get home?

Just to clarify, the lambs wool mitt is to wash with not dry - and as Donna says dry with a drying cloth and not a chammy !!
 

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Ha ha I feel a bit better now about my purchases, I used to "clean" my previous cars when I was younger and had my hot hatches (my fav was my white 205 1.9 GTI, had it when I was 19yrs old it was 20 years ago and it cost me £2200 a year to insure! I only earnt £7k a year back then ha ha) anyway I digress so far I have bought:
Auto Finesse Lather
Auto Finesse Wash Mitt
Auto Finesse drying towels
Auto Finesse Hogs hair detailing brushes
Auto Finesse mint rims
Auto Finesse Citrus spray
Auto Finesse Revive
2 buckets
A meguiars microfibre mitt (for the wheels)
Various applicator pads
A K2 Karcher pressure washer (£60 on Tesco Direct, bargain!)
Getting an outside tap fitted (recently moved home)

Unfortunately I discovered "Polished Bliss" and "Auto Finess" websites :laugh::laugh:

Does anyone use Auto Finesse Avalanche? I've read mixed reviews about snow sprays but this one seems pretty good!
 

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Polished Bliss is only a few miles from me. THANKFULLY they've stopped walk-ins ...it was starting to cost me fortune!

Its probably due to them I've turned into a product snob!

Ricky, IMO Volc will look best using wax. Darker and metallic colours tend to look best using acrylic based sealents. I've got my Supernatural carnuba wax lined up for mine but its £120 tub. Lasts years if you treat it right.
 
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Ooh this is really helpful thread - thanks for posting Ricky :)

(And I'm envious you went to Download! I didn't make it this year ?)
 

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Whatever you decide, don't choose a method that is a chore or you will clean the car properly once or twice when it is new, and begin to lose interest if it takes a long time or effort, and then do it less and less until you end up doing it before the summer, and before the winter and that's all. Apart from a pressure hose off now and then.

We have all been there!
 

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Whatever you decide, don't choose a method that is a chore or you will clean the car properly once or twice when it is new, and begin to lose interest if it takes a long time or effort, and then do it less and less until you end up doing it before the summer, and before the winter and that's all. Apart from a pressure hose off now and then.

We have all been there!
I usually stop washing my car when I get tired of it >:D.. The only thing that I dislike about washing my car , no matter what I do I still get water spots. Has anyone used a quick detail spray or another product to stop this from occurring?
 

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I usually stop washing my car when I get tired of it >:D.. The only thing that I dislike about washing my car , no matter what I do I still get water spots. Has anyone used a quick detail spray or another product to stop this from occurring?
I've used many QDs ....I love the smell of Dodo Juice Tropical Red Mist but it marrs, would be noticeable on darker metallics. Drove me crazy on my Amber red RCZ. Poorboys QD+ is a good one.

On my RCZ I loved using Werkstat Acrylic kit (Polished Bliss.....again). Consisting of polish/sealent/QD its the only kit you'll really need apart from decontaminents. You get a Carnuba version that would work really well on VO. I love that kit, so easy to use.
 
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I applied a Gtechniq EXO v2 crystal lacquer to my midnight black S on day 2 of ownership, seems to make cleaning it very easy. Just a couple of buckets of water one with some Nano wash shampoo in and then I wipe dry with a Auto Glym drying towel (very cool). Job done in 20 mins. I applied the EXO to the wheels and glass also. ;)
 

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Thanks for all the input folks! To clarify, Sam is Volcanic Orcange with glossy black wheels & I wash him at Dad's garage. My dad is a senior technician with BMW, which is joined on to MINI in Carlisle, so they don't tend to mind if I turn up about 4:30 on a Friday and use their kit for 20 minutes.

I would like to get an outside tap put in at my house so I could spend a bit more time, but that'll have to wait a while, since the water pipes in my kitchen don't run along the front facing outside wall, so it'd be a bit of a mission.

So yeah, you reckon a lambs wool drying mitt for when I've finished? Then some glass polish and then some kind of wax for the body once I get home?
Hi, RickyB, when did you get your Mini? I hope you ordered it well before me on the 14th April. and I hope you are enjoying the experience. I see that Lloyd Carlisle have an eBay shop selling goodies, just punch in mini f56 and it will be amongst the sellers. Maybe we will pass each other one day when
i finally get my car.
 

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I have always used a chammy to dry my cars, but this has been passed on from father to son.
So....whats wrong with chammy drying?

Also what products should I be buying for my pepper white/black roof/standard cooper silver wheels?

Texy
 
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