Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Satria GTi Detailing

My cousin bought a year 2000 Proton Satria GTi lately. It's still having the original OEM paintwork, which is by PPG. The paint characteristic is very similar to the one on my dad's old year 2000 Proton Perdana V6 - should be the same batch. Anyway, this car has fairly good condition both interior and exterior, except the paintwork requires quite a bit of attention. I believe the previous owner seldom wash the car, resulting in plenty of road tars stucked and baked on the lower panels. On the roof and bonnet, there are quite severe acid rain pittings, bird bomb etchings, tree sap etchings, RIDS (up to 30-40cm), oxidation and swirls. As for the painted plastic parts, the clearcoat has started to show micro-cracks on the surface. Check out the photos below for some close-ups.

Door scuff

Micro-cracks on skirtings

Rear bumper

Bird bomb etching

Ultimate bird bomb etching

Scratches on wheel fender due to mechanics' belt/button

Due to time constrain, I only have the time to detail the bonnet, roof and wheel fenders. It's quite easy to buff the paint as defects come out rather easy. For deeper defects, I proceed with M85/woolpad combo. Generally the paint turns out to be swirl-free/hologram-free even when I stop at M83/W-8006. Again, it was a rush job, so I didn't proceed with M82/W-9006 after knowing there were no holograms.

Job Scope:
M85/woolpad @ 600rpm (spot)
M83/W-8006 @ 900rpm

The result is marvellous for a 6-year old paintwork. It feels as smooth as it looks! Eventhough there are still some acid-rain pittings left behind, but I guess it's wiser to live with it rather than over-buffing it. From 5-feet away, the paintwork deserves a signboard showing "Caution: Wet Paint". Hope you enjoy the pictures and boost up your detailing spirit after reading this article.

Fluorescent lamp reflection on the bonnet

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Fresh Again

After spending 10 days in Kuching, finally I get to go home. As usual, my Vios is covered in a thick layer of dust. A quick wash would usually restore the car back to acceptable condition. I even took the opportunity to clay the windscreen. It does help to remove those bonded contaminants on the glass and it gives a better optical clarity, after being inspected with the Inova T2. A layer of Rain-X was then applied to produce a slick and water repelling surface.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

6 New Meguiar's Retailers

I was just told that 6 Parkson outlets throughout nationwide will become Meguiar's new retailers. Good news for fellow enthusiasts from East Malaysia, Northern Peninsular and Southern Peninsular. I will put up the outlet list once I get the confirmation. Thanks.


A big congratulations to a friend of mine (who doesn't wish to reveal his name) who just got himself a brand new Makita 9227C rotary buffer today. He's finally plunged into the world of rotary buffing. Wish him all the best! Hahaha...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I Know It's Going To Rain Again!

"Ah...no point washing it as it's going to rain again"

"Everytime I wash my car, it'll rain! Forget about it!"

"The rain will wash it for me..."

Do these comments sound familiar? Are you one of them who gives the same comment? If yes, you shouldn't be reading this blog. Haha, just joking. Unfortunately, we're living in a country with tropical weather. We receive plenty of rainfall every year and getting our car wet daily is just so common. It could be a big big problem for a detailing enthusiast - like me.

Imagine you've just spent 2 hours washing and drying up the car. You sit back, relax and admire the restored shine on your car after being tortured on the road for the whole week. Suddenly, it starts to rain heavily without any early sign. It can be worse if you don't have a shelter at home for your car, or worst if you have to drive your car out to pick up your wife, kids, girl friend or whoever. Ouch! That's definitely PITA!

It's a fact of life. Whether you like it or not, you have to take it. Think it this way...if you know it's definitely going to rain today, you tell yourself to postpone the wash to another day (usually the next weekend). What if it rains on the other day? You're right, delay it further. This might be going on and on and on...till your car is suffered from acid rain pitting, covered with heavy road tars on the lower panels, etc...I bet that it's going to be a tough job for the next wash. These contaminants are accumulated and baked on the paint surface while your car is exposed to the hot sun and a regular car wash will not remove them at all. The only way to get back the show car shine is by going through all of the complete detailing steps. Washing, claying, paint cleaning, paint compounding, paint polishing and waxing.

Wouldn't it be more costly? Wouldn't it be more time consuming? Wouldn't it be more hassle? I couldn't stress more about the importance of washing your ride frequently (if you think driving a shiny car is a pride). And if you spend 1 hour per week to wash your car, you're just going to spend 4 hours per month. If you wash your car once a month, you're likely going to spend 2-3 hours to wash the car, and another 5-8 hours to redo the surface prep job.

I'll guarantee your car will still be in mint condition at a minimal cost if you could think like me. Cheers.