Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tips #3: How to Prevent Scratches on Windscreen?

Have you noticed some car windscreens have massive amount of RIDS (Random Isolated Deep Scratches) and wiper scratches? Most probably yes, especially if you're sitting inside the car at night with oncoming glaring headlamps. Glass is much harder than paint, eventhough it doesn't get scratched easily but it still can be scratched. Once it's scratched, it is very hard to be removed. However, there are some glass polishing experts around who are able to remove/reduce those scratches using Cerium Oxide on proper tools. Poor glass polishing skill will result in swirls/holograms, which is even worse than the initial condition.

So, instead of curing, why not preventing? It's even better for new car owners to start with a flawless piece of windscreen. For those who are suffering from bad condition windscreens, go insure your windscreen, break it, and claim a new one. Haha...just joking. Alright, here are some tips:

1) Wipe your glass as frequent as you can, best if daily. Use a piece of clean damp microfiber cloth with glass cleaner such as Meguiar's NXT Glass Cleaner. Becareful of areas around wiper blades which usually trap alot of sand, tiny stones and dust.

2) Do NOT turn on your wiper when it's dry. Also try to avoid using windscreen washer when it's dry. The initial sweep might cause scratches due to dirt and high friction between wiper blades and glass.

3) Remove bird dropping with plenty of water, NOT by rubbing it off with just a piece of damp cloth. Bird droppings could contain sand particles which will scratch the glass badly.

4) Inspect your wiper blades time to time. Make sure the blades are intact and the metal frame is not in contact with the glass. Replace harden/worn blades if necessary.

5) When claying glass, make sure the clay is clean and apply minimal pressure with plenty of diluted shampoo as lubricant.

6) If you have glue residue on your windscreen, do not rub away with force. Instead, apply products like Goo Gone or even Autoglym Intensive Tar Remover to remove the glue residue with ease.

7) If you wish to tint your glass, choose reputable shops with good workmanship. Often their way of cleaning glass might scratch the glass.

8) Avoid using newspaper to clean the glass. Unlike microfiber cloth with buffer zone, newspaper will drag whatever dirt on the surface and cause scratches.

The above tips will not guarantee scratch-free windscreen, but it'll lessen the probability of getting scratches on your windscreen. Hope you enjoy driving behind a crystal clear glass which gives you perfect vision for added safety.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

CNY minidetailing

Finally I get to find some time to try out the cutting pad (W7006). It wasn't that hard to use as long as I prime the pad with 2 shots of M34 Final Inspection. Though I can feel more friction, but I didn't experience buffer hopping. This time I tried it on the front right wheel fender, which has lots of pinholes/pittings.

M21/Foam Applicator/Hand

Total Time: 1.5 hour

The first step cuts the surface safely and evenly, without leaving the typical wool pad mark. The pinholes/pittings are gone after 2 applications. Usually W8006 pad will require about 4-6 applications to achieve the same result. However, this step left quite alot of holograms. Step 2 managed to remove about 90% of the holograms leaving light swirls. Finally, Step 3 left a very clear and swirl-free finish as you can see in the photo below. The finish looks so black and flawless - Only showing the reflection of the halogen work lamp.

Overall I feel satisfied with this practice session, but I know it's taking a very long time to perfect it. Without the halogen work lamp, it could take much longer time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Fogging Areas

According to my friends who stay in Bandar Utama, they often get fogging too (once a month). Reported BU3 was fogged last Thursday evening while BU2 was fogged today (Tuesday) at 6:45pm. However my place is unaffected. By inspecting my friend's car, there're some evidence of pimples caused by the fogging oil. The roof suffers the most, moderate on pillars, while the repainted bonnet (with good quality paintwork) is not affected at all. This shows that good aftermarket paint has higher solvent resistance. Good news for me if I plan to repaint my car. :-)

Entering 7006!

Sorry, what I meant is the Meguiar's W-7006 6.5" Foam Cutting Pad. By year 7006, most of us won't be detailing our car with the cutting edge technology. Anyhow, this pad will be used with M83 to remove heavier defects such as deep scratches, pittings and blemishes. I'm sure it's going to leave alot of holograms since the pad is stiff and rough. It will be tackled later on by M83 with W-8006 6.5" Foam Polishing Pad. The next area I will do up is my roof with the following combination and I will write a report about it.


Monday, January 16, 2006

M21 Cleaning Ability

The Iswara is parked outdoor most of the time, so it receives alot of rainfall and sunshine. Also, it's used daily but only wash once a week. With this kind of usage, the paint collects dirt very quickly especially during rainy season. I gave it a wash today and found out some stubborn dirt film on the bonnet. By knowing that M21 contains very mild cleaning agent, I gave it a quick application by using ROB with a microfiber pad on the bonnet. Now the paint looks clean and shiny again. Check out the condition of the MF pad after just a pass of M21 and you'll be able to imagine how much of dirt being baked into the paint under the sun...

Sunday, January 15, 2006

8 inchers

It's my first time trying the W-8000 8" polishing pad on the rotary buffer. The pad jerked badly especially when the pad was clean and new. After buffing a few square feet, the pad was primed with M80. I did get mild holograms from the buffing, maybe the foam pad was still hard. I solved the problem with M82/W-9006. Slapped on M21 as LSP and the Accord's bonnet reflects and shines very well now. By comparison, the Accord's paint is much much better than the Getz's paint.

Another Weekend Fogging

This is definitely a worse weekend compared to last weekend. I was working at customer's site and parked my car in the basement car park. By the time I finished my work, it was about 7:30pm. As usual, when I reach my car, I will inspect the whole car before I drive away. This time I was shocked. Whole car was covered with tiny oil droplets. It's not the first time they fog this car park.
Quickly I drove back home and gave it a quick wash before the situation went worse. However, it was too late. The fogging oil had already damaged the clearcoat, lots of pimples (yes, again) all over the car. Only certain painted parts such as side mirrors, door handles and grill with different paint quality from the car body are not suffering from the pimples syndrome.
This issue is no longer new to me, and I think this car is definitely not worth to be detailed. For the time being I'll use it for detailing practice and will get it repainted at the right time. The original factory paintjob is the worst paint I've ever encountered.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Lighting Upgrade

Working with the portable halogen work lamp which I bought some couple of weeks ago is not that easy. The original 500W halogen tube which came along with the lamp is producing excessive light (more than 5000lm) and heat. When it's too bright, I can't see much surface defects too. In addition, the lamp was producing quite an amount of smoke and burning smell. However, those issues are the past. Today I've got myself a new replacement halogen tube - Osram Haloline 150W R7s. It delivers 2400lm of light and the heat is not too much. The amount of light being projected onto the paint surface is just sufficient to show up swirls, scratches, pinholes, pittings, dust, finger prints, etc. This is crucial when working with light color cars as you know light color paint reflects a huge amount of light. That's one of the reasons why it's harder to spot swirls on metallic silver paint job under the sun. I would highly recommend this upgrade for any portable halogen work lamp user. It costs RM13.60 and it's available at Home-Fix (1 Utama).

Meguiar's @ Frankfurt Automechanika 2002

I was browsing through my laptop and came across the photos which I took during my visit to Automechanika 2002 in Frankfurt, Germany. Meguiar's participated in this event and it was really great. Here are some photos for sharing purpose.

Consumer range

Detailer's range

Mirror Glaze range


Feather sanding

Compounding with M85 (Notice they use FLEX rotary buffer)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tips #2: How Long Can The Shine Last?

Before most car owners decide to send their car for detailing job, the most common question is "How long can the shine last?". Somehow they are trying to figure out how worthy and how good quality the detailing job is so that they don't have to do it again soon. Again, those pure businessmen start to give a firm answer such as "18 months shine guarantee*". However, if you read properly, there's an asterisk in the quote. Lots of terms and conditions are applied due to some reasons.

There are many factors which can determine how long the shine can last. The list is below:

1) Paint quality - A good paintwork will be able to withstand the environment attacks better.

2) Detailing workmanship - If defects are permanently and safely removed, the shine will be solid. If the defects are hiden/covered by the glaze or wax, it will last just a few washes.

3) Detailing products quality - Good quality wax or sealant will stay on the finish for a longer period, acting as a sacrificial barrier against the environment attacks.

4) Washing frequency - By getting rid of the dirt from sitting on top of the finish as soon as possible, the finish is safe from etchings. Of course having a proper wash is a must, else you'll get all the swirls/scratches.

5) Waxing frequency - Wax or sealant shall be replenished at least once a month for our weather. However, prior to waxing, the finish must be clean and smooth, else you'll be sealing the dirt into the paint.

6) Parking location - Where you park your car is very important. If you park under the trees (with tree saps and bird droppings) most of the time, chances are your paint will deteriorate much faster than you expect. However, if you park your car in a close environment (such as basement parking), maintaining the finish will be a breeze.

7) Daily route - If you drive by construction sites often, your car might suffer from cement splatter, cement dust attacks, mud etching, road tar sticking, etc...

8) Usage frequency - If you keep your car at home in a garage 24X7, you don't have to maintain much. Just a weekly washing will keep the car in better-than-showroom condition.

There are many more factors which determine how long the shine can last. For those for wish to send their ride to shops for detailing, I would suggest them to either:

a) Pick up the yearly maintenance package. This means that the detailing shop will provide a weekly wash, monthly waxing kind of package which will sum up to be cheaper than individual jobs.

b) DIY. Yes! Pick up detailing as a hobby! It's not that hard and it doesn't cost much to do so. All you need is just an hour a week to wash your car, plus around two hours a month to wax your car. The self-satisfaction could be priceless - you could never buy that feeling.

Conclusion: There are no shortcuts in detailing world. If you want your car to be in tip top condition, there's always a price to pay.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Weekend Fogging

It's most annoying when the town council comes to perform mosquito oil fogging. I had never expected them to be so hardworking, especially during weekends. They came to fog my area at 6:30pm! After letting the oil mist to settle, I washed my car without wasting much time. Luckily the car is quite clean, so it just took me about 45 mins. to complete. After that, it was Accord's turn. Everything is done at 9pm and I was quite tired. Tomorrow morning it will be the Iswara's turn. So now I guess parking at home is very dangerous for the paintwork...Can't help it. I'm considered lucky that no damage being done after this round of fogging.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Not So Good

Most of the time our cars are damaged by other people. It seems that our effort of taking care of the car well is easily ruined by others, same goes for other stuffs in life. When I reached home, I found out some light scratches on my bonnet, in single direction. What I guess is somebody must have put something on the surface and dragged it along when he/she took away. Eventhough a simple machine polishing with M82 will fix this problem, but it just destroys my mood. =(