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OK. With all the recent talk about detailing and keep black cars looking good, I thought I'd post the method and products that I use on my black Fusion.

First, washing the car. For this I use the two bucket method. This is a good method to prevent introducing fine scratches and swirls in the paint. One bucket is for your car wash soap, I use Meguiars Gold Class wash, the other is rinse water. It's also a good idea to use grit guards in the bottoms of the buckets to help keep your mit clean. http://www.gritguard.com/ After rinsing the car thoroughly, wash one panel at a time, rinse the mitt in the rinse bucket before putting it in the soap bucket and washing the next panel. For drying, use good quality waffle weave towels. If you find that the water is drying and spotting too quickly, use a little spray of quick detailer as you dry.

Next is paint prep. At this point, I clay bar the car. This will remove any bonded surface contamination, leaving a clean, smooth surface to work with. You can pick up a clay kit at any auto parts store or Walmart. This process is simple and easy. Work one panel at a time, and use a little quick detailer as a lubricant. Spray some quick detailer on the panel, and then pass the clay bar over the panel using VERY light pressure. It should glide smoothly over the panel. If it does not, use more quick detailer. After you pass the bar over the panel, wipe the excess quick detailer off with a quality microfiber towel, and kneed the clay to expose fresh, clean clay for the next panel.

Now it's time for polishing. This is made much easier with the use of a dual action polisher, such as the Porter Cable DA polisher, also sold under the Meguiars name with a lifetime warranty vs. the 1 year warranty on the PC branded polisher. Since our cars are new and shouldn't have any major paint flaws yet, you should be able to correct any flaws you have using Meguiars Swirl Remover. If using a PC with a polishing pad, make an "X" on the pad with the swirl remover, and work one panel at a time. Use 1/2 overlapping passes with the PC to ensure total coverage and give the polish time to work. The PC is a nearly foolproof device, just use common sense and go easy until you get a feel for it. For more stubborn swirls and scratches, you may need a more agressive product, or make multiple passes. After applying the polish to a panel, remove it with a quality microfiber towel.

On to waxing. For this, I use the PC with a finishing pad to apply the wax since it greatly speeds up the process and easily applies thin layers of wax. A single bottle of wax goes a LONG way when applied properly. Remember, thin coats are better than thick coats, and are MUCH easier to remove. With the PC, I apply a thin coat of wax over the entire car, then come back and remove the excess with a microfiber bonnet over a finishing pad. You can also apply by hand with a microfiber applicator, and remove with microfiber towels. For wax, I use 2 coats of Meguiars NXT, topped with 2 coats of Meguiars carnuba. I let the NXT cure overnight between layers, and before applying the carnuba. No need to let the carnuba cure. The 2 coats of carnuba are to ensure total coverage.

This is the method that I'm using on the Fusion, with great results. It does take a lot of time for the entire process, but I only do a full detail about every 3 months. Between full details, I just wash the car, and apply a coat of carnuba once a month.

The products I talked about here were all Meguiars products since that's what I use. This doesn't mean Meguiars is necessarily the best products available, but they are quality products readily available to everyone without having to mail order.

A couple links to excellent detailing supplies and advice.

http://autodetailingsolutions.com/

http://www.dftowel.com/

http://autopia.org/
 

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I use the same exact method as described above for detailing my car. And from his pictures, it is obvious that it works, no swirl marks and a nice deep shine. I however use different products. There are many quality products out there, most the of the stuff that is on the shelf at walmart or autozone isn't of the highest quality. The best stuff is mail ordered. For those of you that have never used a claybar, get one! Just keep in mind that after you use it, you have to wax because it strips any protective layers of wax you already have on the paint. However, Pinnacle Ultral Poly Clay is an extremely fine clay that does not remove wax, it can be used between waxings to remove contaminants. This is the only clay that I know of that can do this. Meguiars has some nice swirl removers, but I have never been a big fan of their waxes. I find that their waxes dont last that long, even their NXT series doesn't last that long. I use Klasse All In One polish on my car followed by multiple layers of Klasse Sealer Glaze. This stuff is very durable. It usually lasts me 6-8 months in this horrible England weather. But for the best shine and deepest appearance, a pure carnuba wax is the best. The only downside is that carnuba waxes typically only last 30-45 days. Poorboys natty blue paste wax gives some awesome results especially on dark paints. In fact I recently discovered the entire poorboy's line a few months ago, they have some really nice swirl removers, and all their products can be used in the hot sun. This is good for me because sometimes my customers don't have a garage or a shady area for me to work in. Zymol also makes some awesome stuff too. Like I said, there are a lot of good products from different companies out there, some work better on dark paints, and some better on lighter colors. Most of my customers usually prefer me to use a paint sealant and top it off with a carnuba wax, this means durability with a deep shine. The sites listed above are good places to order from, but I currenlty only order from Autogeek.net mostly because they ship to P.O. boxes overseas. But they have a lot of good stuff at reasonable prices. Pics of my results can be seen from the link to my cardomain page in my signature, but keep in mind that these pics were taken with a cheap camera and that it looks much better in person.
 
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