School Boy Error

As virtually all the car shows have cancelled or postponed this year due to the Covid-19 running riot there is a slight chance that two are still going ahead. Pre-booking has been essential and due to obvious reasons they have been over subscribed with people wanting to show their cars, or just get out for the day to look at cars. With this in mind I decided to give my little lady a check over as I always, tyres, levels, leaks etc. When I opened the hood there was a strange and a rather ‘funky’ smell. After each car show season has finished I take out my water washer bag, or colostomy bag as they are often referred to and empty it out and put it back to stop the water going bad. The reason being this is a breeding ground for bacteria, the engine bay gets hot, then cold, then hot again. The end of last year I forgot to empty it out and clean it. So, when I opened the lid on the bag it wasn’t good news.

I disconnected the bottom pipe from the bag, quickly put my finger over the drain hole and took out the bag to the drain where it was emptied out. There was some black algae in there, which needed lots of rinsing, some citrus cleaner and more rinsing in order to clean it out properly. It took a while, but in the end it ran clean and smelt a whole lot better.

The back of the bag also showed some signs of being dirty. I started to clean it and thought I would share it with you, so this is sort of a third of the way through it. I started then general wipe down with some Meguiar’s multi purpose cleaner. Spray on let it dwell, then with a brush work it into the bag. Rinse and repeat a few times.

After a few applications it came back to white again after being dried out.

The bag is now empty and waiting for a refill before the next show. I do add screen wash to the bag which stabilises the water a bit. If I have to use the screen jets I don’t want any of the mixture running onto the paint and leaving a stain which I would have to buff back out again. After all the screenwash has a mixture of chemicals in the product to cut through the dirt and grime. Also in order to help avoid water spots or marking I only use de-ionised water, it’s cheap enough and the de-ionised water is also much better for your car’s cooling as well. I always keep a litre of de-ionised water in the trunk, just in case.

While I was waiting for the cleaners to dwell on the washer bag, I decided that my valve caps were also dirty. I didn’t realise just how bad they were. Only one of the caps here has been cleaned and waxed. Yes, I do indeed wax my valve caps too.

With the hood up I thought that the underside looked a little dull, so I waxed that as well, just because I can. I also think it’s quite a cool picture too.

What turned out to be an hour or so quick check up turned into a few hours of cleaning. Not that I mind really, just a bit disappointed with myself that I forgot to do it. It must be my age 🙁

Will I get to a car show this year? Will mother nature be cruel and rain on the day that one of the only car shows is due to take place next Sunday? Watch this space and find out!

Share my Content

Wax Comparisons

During the last quarter of last year, the UK had a few nice days of sunshine and as I had a few days off work owing to me, I decided to use my holiday up. That time was put to good use and completed a little project I wanted to try for myself. It’s often done on YouTube, but not to this degree, I think.

There are often a few car cleaning products compared on YouTube channels, but not ten side by side, with the same testing criteria by the looks of it. When I say “Top Branded”, I mean top manufacturers and their best selling products for normal weekend washing warriors on the street. Those of us who like the best products that work and at reasonable prices using traditional waxes, not the latest in thing of ‘Hybrid’ or ‘Ceramic’ waxes. Lets face it, there are some truly great products on the market at the moment, some of which are even essentials of my own cleaning routines, still. To put this into context there are waxes out there that are expensive for expensive sake, like Swizöl International’s Divine costing £2,150, Brough & Howarth’s Definitive Wax Marble costing £24,000, Zymol Vintage Glaze costing £2,400 or The Ultimate Shine costing an insane £65,000 which can be seen here:   http://www.performancemotorcare.com/car-cleaning-product-news/worlds-most-expensive-car-wax/1808

However, there has been (a strong) rumour that the ‘Ultimate Shine’ wax itself is actually made by Mitchell & King in Scotland. I can’t verify this, but can only state what I have read so far. The original mix (allegedly) sold by M & K is called Gold Rush Rally at £75 a pot which is a mere 0.11% of the price! This brings me back to my point, although these ten waxes are (mostly) affordable and will last a good number of applications, they are not in that stupid silly money league. However there is an in-between level of Luxury car waxes such as Swissvax Crystal Rock at £300, BMD Prometheus £120, Auto Finesse Desire at £120 and Mitchell & King’s top of the range wax ‘Lily’ around £600 where only One pot is made a year, or anything in between from M&K for a comprehensive range of waxes between £45 to £600.

I will be reviewing Mitchell & King’s ‘Lily’ in a very special review coming soon. This was purchased with my wife’s very own money for a special Christmas gift. Before anybody asks – No, I’m not on commission or paid by them.

If you can afford those crazy sort of prices I suspect you will get somebody else to clean the car for you. I’m guessing most of those super high end waxes are being applied to Veyron’s, Ferraris or any other super or hyper car where money is no object. Then there is the other end where Poundland stores sell car shampoo for £1. Pure logic dictates that there has to be a difference right? But somewhere in the middle, there is a sweet spot and that’s these sort of products I have reviewed here.

Anyway, back to these standard off the shelf and top selling waxes, I have been very happy with most of these waxes and will continue to use them on my daily cars. Some do a great job and perform well after application. That’s why I really wanted to compare these particular mainstream products. Picking the best of the best that I like, then at a later date this summer step up to the ‘Real Luxury’ car wax to see the real differences, if any. But a couple of these waxes are getting close to treading on the toes of the ‘Luxury wax’ end of the market; Dat Wax and Illusion based on their cost to volume ratio. The scores I have given in the past to some of these products I stand by. At the time I didn’t know any better or had anything else better to compare them against until now that is.

Costs:

Multiple products which varied from a very reasonable £12 to a eye watering £75.  All these products I purchased myself, no sponsorship to skew reviews. These are my own thoughts and findings for the products with my own hard earned cash I parted with for each of them.

Meguiar’s :

Gold Class paste  £21 for 311g  click here for individual review

Ultimate Wax Paste  £40 for 311g  click here for individual review

Mirror Bright Polish Wax  £23 for 226g  click here for individual review

Nxt Gen liquid Wax 2.0  £26 for 532ml

Auto Finesse :

Glisten £12 for 500ml

Illusion Show Wax £75 for 150g  click here for individual review

Chemical Guys :

Butter Wet Wax  £23 for 473ml

Cherry Dripping Wet wax  £23 for 473ml  click here for individual review

Instawax+  £16 for 473ml  click here for individual review

Dat Wax :

£25 for 100ml  click here for individual review.

YouTube video of this written review:

The full video of this test can be found on my YouTube channel or here for the shortcut or paste the link to YouTube. It’s easier to see what is going on rather than read about it. The video lasts for thirty two mins or so and has be trying to film, commentate, wax and buff all at the same time. I think I pulled it off after a bit of editing.

https://youtu.be/mfUyFS-hRk8

Date Of Review:

October 2019

Background:

I have reviewed many products for detailing, especially waxes and quick detailers. Some have been rated 10 out of 10 by me when I tested them. Which at the time was correct as I used the product in isolation. However, there are always those nagging thoughts in my mind; what about side by side comparisons? Are the expensive waxes worth it? Can you tell the difference? I aim to answer these questions the best I can.

When you apply a wax on it’s own you can only gauge by what you are working with, application may be great and buffing at the time. But, you forget how others perform that you had previously used or reviewed.

So; I got my favourite waxes out and decided to compare them. That’s five hard paste waxes – old school and my preferred option. Then five soft or liquid waxes of similar products not made in a wax form.

The top three big boys are Meguiar’s, Chemical Guys, Auto finesse and a wild card of Dat Wax.

There are only really three actual ‘hard’ paste waxes which are the Meguair’s trio, Gold Class, Ultimate and Mirror Bright Polishing Paste Wax (made by Meguiar’s). The Auto Finesse Illusion and the Dat Wax are both very soft butter texture type waxes not quite liquid, but not a hard paste in comparison either.

The Sales Pitch(s):

These are found under each of the reviews I have done to date. See the links above. I still have a proper Glisten review to do and my latest purchase of the Butter Wet Wax.

Each of these products claims to have the best shine possible and protection, but they can’t all be right can they?

Instructions:

The instructions were followed on the tins and bottles of each product. The donor hood was my 2014 Toyota Avensis in a metallic grey. I divided the hood into roughly ten even sections via some masking tape. The day was overcast and sunny, but not enough to make the metalwork hot to the touch.

The top five sections were for the hard waxes, and the bottom five sections were for the soft waxes.

Top; left to right – Meguiar’s Gold Class, Meguiar’s Ultimate, Mirror Bright Polish wax, Auto Finesse Illusion, Dat Wax.

Bottom; left to right – Auto Finesse Glisten, Meguiar’s NXT Gen 2.0, Chemical Guys InstaWax+, Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax, Chemical Guys Cherry Dripping Wet Wax.

Application:

The hood was first given a wipe down with quick detailer to get the light dirt off.

The hood was then clayed with Auto Finesse clay bar and a Megs Quick Detailer, not the greatest detailer it has to be said, it’s recommended by Meg’s as a clay lubrication product as well.

The hood was then given a good spraying with 99.9% Isopropyl Alcohol to remove anything left, which was quite a lot based on the clean white 100% cotton cloth.

My fingers dragged and squeaked across the paint, I knew then it was clean. The hood was the taped up ready to apply the products. 

Each Product

Rather than going into pages and pages of what I did and how I did it, the video will show you each product as I went along.

Each product was applied with a clean applicator or cloth. The pastes and liquids were left to haze except for the Auto Finesse Glisten which could be buffed off straight away. It took around 15 minutes for all the waxes to cure / haze over.

Each buffing was done with a clean 280gsm microfiber cloth all from the same manufacturer for consistency, the only difference being the colours. I tried to apply each product in the same way, and buff off in the same way. The only difference being the Mirror Bright Paste as that required working into the paint as it was a polish as well. Failing to apply that correctly would have compromised the product. It’s interesting to note that the Auto Finesse Illusion and the Dat Wax never actually hazed over probably due to the oil content not evaporating.

I tried to apply the products to the paint for the same amount of time, and buff to a shine for the same amount of time for continuity.

Each product was only applied once to the cleanest of my paint work I could muster up. That way they all have a same starting point. It was obvious that some required additional coats to get to the desired levels of coverage. But, to be honest, you do need to actually build up the wax layers. It wouldn’t be fair to apply two coats of one and just a single coat of another.

The Video

This is a full half hour video I uploaded to my YouTube channel. The Video has me narrating (some say droning) on what I was doing and what I had found on the comparisons. Put thirty minutes aside and enjoy.

Results:

Don’t get me wrong, I like these products or I wouldn’t have bought them in the first place. I have previously given some of them 10 out of 10 for a review. They are all (mostly) great products from the top suppliers.

HOWEVER; when they are side by side there is a difference and I didn’t think for one second that the results I got were what I was going to predict below, that actually shocked me.

The results I decided to do in three categories. Touch, Shine, Water Sheeting/Beading.

The Touch Tests:

No matter where I go at a car show and my car is all shiny, somebody wants to feel the paintwork. Not sure why, but they do. So I decided to make that a test. No amount of photos will ever show you the feel of a wax.

Process:  I had a single cloth soaked with Isopropyl Alcohol that I could wipe my fingers on between each touch test. That way I had no other waxes on my fingers to cross contaminate to the next touch test.

After a single application of the products and allowed to cure then buffed, touch test was ready. This was a simple feel for the surface, was it smooth, was it streaky or still there. My fingers really could feel a difference. The Meguiar’s Gold Class applied an adequate coating, but no doubt about it that it needed two or three applications to become a nice smooth barrier like the rest. It was really odd to feel the paint roughness still though.

I often refer on the video to a wet feel, of course it wasn’t wet, but just sort of feels silky or smooth buttery texture.

The touch test results are for the Pastes waxes:

1) Mirror Bright,

2) Dat Wax,

2) Auto Finesse – Illusion,

4) Megs – Ultimate,

5) Megs – Gold Class

Conclusion for Paste Waxes: The mirror Bright just felt like glass  where as both the Dat Wax and the Illusion felt more oily which was to be expected by their constitution to be honest. Some may prefer that type of feel. Ultimate was in no way a let down and felt like the Mirror Bright but not quite as deep feeling as it were. The Gold class could be felt as a coating there but certainly not great on a single pass.

The touch test results for the Liquid waxes:

1) Chemical Guys – Butter wet,

2) Chemical Guys – Insta Wax+,

3) Megs – Tech wax 2.0,

4) Chemical Guys – Cherry Dripping Wet,

5) Auto Finesse – Glisten

Conclusion for liquid waxes:  The CG Butter Wet Wax was the clear winner here with the Instawax+ with hardly any difference and a close run for top place. Megs Tech Wax 2.0 felt just like the Ultimate and a glassy feel to it. The CG Cherry Wet Wax was super smooth but just shaded a little by its siblings, a second coat and I would say it would be right up there with the winners. Glisten was on there but felt more watery based and you could feel there wasn’t much of a coating on the paint work, although a little better than then Gold class for a single application.

Overall: There is a difference between the feel of the waxes. The pastes are applying a thicker coating than the misting of Glisten for sure. Especially when you run a finger from bare paint to the waxed areas. It’s a very close thing between the Butter Wet Wax and the Mirror Bright. For a straight forward wax on the Butter Wet takes it, for a little cleanse and slightly harder work the Mirror Bright takes it. The Dat Wax and the Illusion over car show coatings feel like an oily coating to give that much desired consistent smooth look across all panels.

The Visual Inspection

Process: After the applications I was going to look at the colour and how the reflectivity, gloss, depth and warmth of colour of the waxes looked on a paint job. As my car has metallic flake this would be a real tell-tale of shine.

As I mentioned before this was a single application of waxes and inspected from their. The sun was in and out during the inspection. When the sun was out the metallic was made to pop by some waxes better than others.

The results are for the Pastes waxes:

You can clearly see from the top of this picture that the Meguiar’s has warmed the colour of the paint and clear to see.

The results for the Liquid waxes:

This picture shows the same warming glow to the paint from the Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax.

Conclusion:

As each of these products are now applied they should be performing as a finished product as it were. That’s the look of the waxes once applied and the effectiveness of the waxes.

There IS a difference in the way that these waxes can effect the look of a paint, say on a white car using a yellowish based wax will give a warmer glow compared to a white wax for example. It not as immediately obvious on much darker colours. I picked my Toyota as an example to test for the metallic and the neutral grey. My hunch was correct as the colour differences can be clearly seen.

Consider the look of the paint you require if you are that into it, or not worry it’s up to you.

Overall:

The waxes either the paste or liquid made little difference in the end to the look of the paint. A personal preference obviously comes into play as it does all the reviews. But I found the liquid of the Butter Wet wax and the Ultimate wax paste was virtually undisguisable.

1) (Meguiar’s) Mirror Bright Polishing Wax

2) Chemical Guys – Butter Wet

3) Megs – Ultimate

One thing to remember here, the hard waxes will last way longer than the liquid versions just by the nature of how they are applied. This could be a major factor when considering a purchase – value for money.

Water Tester Sheeting and Beading

Process:

I filled a gallon pot with clean water and chucked it over the car. This would show the clearing capacity of the wax properties for sheeting and beading.

I did multiple tests of the water deluge on the video and it’s very easy to see the differences.

On a personal note: to see the beading looks great as there is a barrier between the paint and the water. But as the car moves it will run off anyway. I prefer to see the water run off the car completely, but ‘Bead Bragging’ rights is a huge thing in the detailing circles.

Why do I prefer to see it all run off? Well if dirt lands on the car or dust it will sit around the beads. Once the beads are gone it will leave a dusty layer looking like a moon surface. With sheeting it will at least be a uniform film of dirt.

For the hard wax beading I found the following;

  1. Meg’s Ultimate Wax
  2.  Mirror Bright
  3.  Meg’s Gold Class
  4.  Auto Finesse Illusion
  5.  Dat Wax

For the liquid wax water beading I found the following;

  1. Meg’s Nxt Gen
  2.  Chemcial Guys Insta Wax+
  3.  Auto Finesse Glisten
  4.  Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax
  5.  Chemical Guys Cherry Dripping Wet Wax

For the Overall Sheeting ability I found the following;

  1. Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax
  2. Meg’s Mirror Bright
  3. Chemical Guys InstaWax+
  4. Dat Wax

Conclusion:

Without a question some waxes bead better than others, Meguiar’s take that crown here with both the paste and liquids.

Large amounts of water should run of quickly, and small rain drops tend to form together until the beads are to big and run off.

A little misting and ALL these waxes will bead very nicely and there isn’t a lot in it at all. In fact I would go far as to say you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Perhaps by full on pour of the water is a little unfair, but the sheeting tests is similar to those used on ceramic coating demos. I was just showing the same type of reaction from a well applied wax.

The difference between the hard and soft waxes is minimal if at all.

Overall:

Such a difficult thing to sum up.

It has to be preference for application. Traditional or old school – Hard wax on, cure and buff off. Great results and little goes a long way. New or time saver – Liquid waxes apply and buff off to a great result. This method tends to use more product, but is cheaper.

Beading / Sheeting, under heavy water its easier to see the ones that deal with it quicker, but allowing for beading they all performed well with the hard waxes being the more consistent beaders.

Scores: 

Various out of 10 for these as I have reviewed most of the products before, but more to come soon.

Conclusions:

I’m not convinced that the fine mist spray waxes like Glisten are on a par with the liquids / hard waxes from the other suppliers. Personal preference is a huge factor for application, you either see it as an art form process – hard waxing, or an exercise to keep the car protected and looking good – soft waxes.

Costs between these waxes is insane – £75 for Auto Finesse Illusion that applies beautifully and smells nice looked no different from Chemical Guys InstaWax+ at £16 once both buffed off to a shine.

There is an amount of snobbery regarding brands between users out there. But the big boys vs the cheap end of the market there is a difference no doubt about it. However when you get to these high quality level of suppliers, all their great products in relation to each other there is virtually nothing in it.

Some prefer the wax of ‘So & So’ because it doesn’t streak, but on another car’s paint it may be difficult to buff to a shine. I found that I am using mixtures of brands to get what I want from a detail for a show. No one brand has everything covered better than the rest. You just have to try it for yourselves. If you buy it again then you have a product that works for you. I have a couple of friend’s Craig and David who are both as sad as me when it comes to detailing, we swap products between us to see what we like. I may like the look, but not the process, where as he may like the gloss that I don’t. We have different cars and they are very different colours, white, grey, black, dark blue, light blue etc so we can see the varying results.

I do need to mention that the waxes are dyed. Thats the Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax after applying it to a car for two coats it looked like had been smoking 60 a day for the last twenty years. Same with the Cherry Dripping Wet Wax which left me with red fingers like I had been picking strawberries all day. Just saying!

So, when I go to a car show and a want a wax on the car not just a quick detailer, then it’s a liquid wax. At home with plenty of time it’s back to the hard waxes. I never thought I would hear my self saying that, but I use both types of waxes now. So I have moved on with the times, I think.

Would I buy them again?

To be fair most of them I would, but not the £75 Auto Finesse pot or the Auto Finesse Glisten, not my favourites to be fair, but both are at the opposite end of the price scales to each other. The hard waxes will last me a good few years yet and will probably still be some left to polish the handles on my coffin when I drop dead! Having to choose, the Butter Wet Wax I would buy again, as I would the Mirror Bright polish paste.

Would I recommend any of them?

Without a doubt some I would; such as the Meg’s Ultimate and Gold Class (when multiple layers applied), Butter Wet Wax and Mirror Bright. However, it’s hard to recommend a wax for £35 for few fluid ounces in a little jar or a £75 for a wax that don’t last long as it’s a “show wax”. Especially if there is no real difference that can be seen straight away after application.

Like I said earlier, I am looking forward to using a premium hand blended quality wax which I will review and apply before some car shows – weather permitting of course. To suppliment this post I have also created a Dual Action pad comparison & guide from the manufacturers. Once I have written that up I will also post that very soon before the car show starts again in earnest. This post may not all be exactly Mustang related, but it could be for any car and I hope useful. I have learnt a lot from speaking to the designers of the products and I will share a little of that information in the next forthcoming posts. I am really pleased to say that the blog is also attracting some car detailers to and not just Mustang fans.

Share my Content

Am I Cursed Or Jinxed?

This car show is how it should be, cars that are at least twenty years old with nothing before 2000 was allowed in. I hate to say it, but a few still sneaked in! Some recent car shows I have been to there are three or four year old cars on show. If I wanted to see cars like that I would just walk around a superstore car park on a Sunday! Anyway, rant over; this car show was held at Stonham Barns which is about twenty minutes drive from where I live. The weather forecast was promising with only thirty percent chance of rain. The sky looked good, so I decided to go for it. The show was packed and there was lots of variation of cars still arriving at the cut of point of ten o’clock. I parked up and decided to go for a look around before the general public was allowed in.

There was some nice auto jumble stalls which I spent a little while looking around. It’s funny, that when I was looking for stuff like this – I could never find it!

So as is the norm now, in no particular order except that I started at the furthest end of the field and worked back towards my car.

There was a nice club that was showing some nice UK Fords,

Plenty of Americana represented as well,

Some old school beauties,

On the way back to the car there it was, a spot of rain. I walked quicker and it seemed the faster I walked the more it rained. I bumped into a friend of mine David who was walking towards me on his way back to his car, he said “I’m not coming to any more car shows where you go, it always f…..g rains where you turn up.” Said in the best of humour and we laughed as we passed. As I got back to the car it was pouring quite hard and I spotted this;

I checked my app and it said it would rain, it wasn’t wrong. I hung around for about half an hour with no signs of it stopping. With that decided that I had had enough of looking at my car getting wet.

The only good thing is that my Chemical Guys P40 Quick Detailer was beading brilliantly. I have reviewed it here, if you are interested.

Now here’s the thing, I had the right hump and got in my car and started the drive home. This is no word of a lie here, as I pulled into my own village the sun came out and started to pour heat rays all around. I pulled straight onto the drive and watched the sun cast shadows everywhere as I dried the car from the remaining few spots of rain. So I arrive at a show it rains, I leave a show and the sun starts to shine. So who ever has the rain cloud effigy of me, please can you give me a break (not literally obviously). I’m really starting to get a complex now.

Am I cursed or jinxed? I honestly think so! 🙁

The remaining part of the day wasn’t wasted as managed to do a bit of work on my car in the sun which I will go into on the next post.

The best part of the day, while I was there that is, was that I spotted my local Meguiar’s products retailer. I was speaking to them and they said that they had some samples. Great, so I had one of each of course, so what do you do with the samples?

You pour the samples into the products you already have. Most samples don’t give you enough for what you want to do with them to be honest, but this way you can make proper use of them.

You saw it hear first 😉 

Share my Content

Strike Three – But Not Out!

Last weekend I went to a car show at the Enfield Pageant of Motoring, and guess what? It rained; OK it wasn’t a bad downpour, but it was still wet stuff from the sky which landed on my car. That’s the first three shows this year that I have attended and rain has appeared, although to be fair it wasn’t until later in the afternoon. This won’t put me off car shows, it just makes me check my useless weather apps more to see what lies they are going to tell me. It seems as though my luck this year with car shows is not going very well at all. I drove to the end of a field and parked up on the Mustang Maniac stand where I meet Adam, Yogi and Paul who were busy getting their priorities right, making the cups of tea. My priority was to start cleaning my car. Simple reason being that the previous day Saturday was a hot day for a change at the show and the entrance car park had dried to a dust bowl. The show cars that were driving into the event were going slowly so as not to kick up much dust and gravel. In other words, showing respect for other people. However some selfish a-hole in a van decided to do mini burnouts every time he moved. Needless to say the dust cloud that enveloped the car park was like cloud of nuclear fallout and just as toxic. Not a great a great start to the show, I wasn’t best pleased.

I have continued to review lots of car cleaning and detailing products as I get a few questions now and again about what products I use on my Mustang as well as the daily driver cars too.

Contrary to popular belief I am not a one brand product devotee, far from it in fact. A big pet hate of mine is where somebody will buy a single product and be brand loyal refusing to admit that some of that brands products are in fact a useless waste of money. Those same people will have blinkered and tunnel vision when it comes to trying other products. My outlook on the matter is simple, I’m still looking for the perfect combination of products for each step I perform whether it be; snow foam, drying, decontamination, cleaners for paint, cleaners for wheels, glass cleaners, polishes, waxes, microfiber cloths, brushes, carpet stain remover, rubber restorer, vinyl cleaner etc. Just about everything I use is in a combination of many products such as Meguiar’s, Auto Finesse, Chemical Guys, Poor Boys World, Mirror Bright, Valet Pro, Dat Wax and so on depending on what is need, and what I intend to do to get the results I want. This time I decided to use a Chemical Guys EcoSmart which is a waterless wash & wax product I have been using for a while now, but just couldn’t get it right to use it properly. The results are amazing (now) which have improved a huge amount since I started to use top quality plush, deep pile microfiber cloths at £5 each and not the 25 cloths for £5 scenario, which aren’t much better than toilet rolls if the truth is to be known. Round two was onto the quick detailer, a brand new product recommended to me which is Chemical Guys – P40. (Yes, I buy ALL my own car cleaning products, and I am unbiased in my reviews.)

The car finished and it looked quite clean again.

The Mustang Maniac stand was starting to get full as I was almost done and was easily the Mustang place to be. There were customers who turned up for a chat, people interested in getting a Mustang, and people who were just happy to be around the cars.

With the car finished some one and half hours later I went for a wonder around the show to look at the cars and stalls.

It was an fairly good show in general, but I think that this show is getting more mainstream rather than car focussed stalls. There were lots of house clearance stalls selling cheap rubbish, stalls that sell plenty of plastic toys and stalls selling a selection of tools (I use that term very loosely), which were aimed at people with an extremely tight budget should we say. For once I didn’t buy anything at all from anybody. The wife says I should take her out for the day with the money I saved, she’s right of course, there is a car show this weekend, I could take her there and maybe get her a burger and buy more stuff for the car.


Classic car owners second worse nightmare? Stone Chips.

The worst nightmare has to be rust, the second has to be the dreaded stone chips. I always drive with an extra spaces between the car in front of me and I back off if somebody pulls into that gap. It seems as though I have been caught out with the hated stone chips. Let’s just say I was pretty pi55ed off and the air was filled with the colourful language that may have slipped out of my mouth on a repeated number of occasions.

I spotted the evil craters from the previous car show and fixed them up before the trip down to Enfield. Although I got another one on the way back from Enfield, I spotted this one when I cleaned the car on Monday. I have done a walkthrough or tutorial guide that works for me under the Menu ‘How To…Projects/Fixing Stone Chips’. Here is just a taster of what I did to fix them. This is only the basic explanation, I fully explain it all here.

Identify the location of the chips by marking with a piece of masking tape.

Thoroughly clean the area with Isopropyl Alcohol (or similar) to remove all waxes and sealants, use lint free panel wipe or similar. Then take a little colour and place into a pot. I had some left from the original paint job so I was lucky in that respect for colour matching.

There are various ways to apply the paint, with a brush, paper, matchstick, toothpick or similar. I use a wooden burger skewer as they are longer, easier to hold and I can sharpen them well without splintering.

The idea is to place a tiny droplet into the centre of the chip so that it sits just proud of the rest of the paint around it. Place the tip of your choice of applicator into the paint and remove it which should now hold a tiny droplet which is held in place by the wood and not running straight off. If you get a big drop you have the chance of it dropping onto places it shouldn’t be, with a lot of recovery work for yourself later.

With the paint drop as small as possible, covering the chip itself and sitting proud of the paint – leave it to dry and cure. Not an hour or two, I’m talking a couple of days, I left mine for a week. This will also allow any waxes to apply to the fresh paint properly.

Next is to get the sanding paper out, I got a wide selection of wet & dry papers starting with coarsest being 1500grit all the way to impossibly fine 8000grit. They are different colours for identification.

I then take my special stone chip tool, a pencil eraser and mark out the width I need on the grades of paper to cut to the size I need. These erasers come in various sizes and shapes for your needs or what suits you.

The idea is to start with the courser grade and work finer to remove the previous sanding marks. I prefer the rubber eraser as it will give slightly to a contour as it’s not rigid, but firm enough to hold the paper flat to the surface. I marked the back of the papers as the cut strips may not show the grit grade itself.

Patience, then use lots more patience.

Wet the area, I use a small travel spray you can get from eBay. Then gently rub the paint drop down keeping the paper flat as possible. A few gentle rubs then check. This will give an idea of how the paint is reacting to the paper and also you don’t want to sand the topcoat or lacquer of the paint if you can help it. You can adjust your technique accordingly.

When you are getting close to the flat paint, swap the papers over to a higher grit. With the sanding the paper may shed and give you a light paste look depending on the type of paper you bought.

The higher the grit number will reduce the previous marks and stop you from rubbing the paint to hard, keep the area wet. Repeat as necessary all the way to the fine grades. When you rub your finger over the chipped area you shouldn’t feel anything at all, it should be glass smooth. If the paint has sunk and you have a pit, stop sanding and add another tiny drop of paint by repeating all the application steps above and let it dry.

Once you are happy with the sanded area then it’s time to bring the car paint back to life. Use a polish that you normally use to remove swirl marks or light scratches. This will remove all the sanding marks, I used Tripple on this occasion as it’s hardly abrasive. Rub into the area using a DA machine or by hand as in my case using the ‘Handipuck’ to get the shine back.

With the area polished it just leaves the protective wax to be applied, this after the hand polish. Pointed out stone chip area with the wooden paint pick tool.

My next step to wax and protect the area. Dat Wax which is show wax and is heavy on oils not the paste style which is ideal for this type of work. Oh, its also blue and smells of beautiful bubble-gum which I reviewed here.

The finished results:

The trouble is, I have to do it all again soon. 🙁

Share my Content

A Day In The Bay; The Video

Continuing on from my last post where I had visited Meguiar’s for their ‘Day In The Bay’ series. I have now been given access to all the pictures that Meguiar’s took on the day, but more importantly the video of the whole process is now also on YouTube, all eighteen minutes of it. Here are some great photo’s of the car from the day, and after avoiding being in any photos for seven years of my blogging, there is even a couple of pics of me in there, (I’m the one with the shaved head and a plain navy t-shirt). I have selected some of my favourites photos from the day, most of which are obviously the ones where I’m not in them. Rather than repeat myself with a write up again, this post is basically pictures, I hope that’s OK.

The link for the video of my car in the bay, is now on Meguiar’s YouTube channel here or watch it below.

The Washing & Drying

Into the Bay

Then it was time watch and learn how to machine polish the paint properly. There was some tiny swirls that needed a little correction first with some compound, before we got to the waxing stage.

Then I got to have a go with the machines.

Waxing

Buffing

The Final Results

With the outside completed we moved to the inside cleaning and protecting the seats.

Outside for the finished photo shoot.

Perhaps my favourite photo of the day!

I hope you like the pictures and more to the point the video, as much as I enjoyed the day. It’s funny though, I still can’t believe that I am going to show them. So, if you are going to leave comments, be gentle with this fifty something, grey haired old bloke! 😉

Remember: This is not a sponsored post by Meguiar’s nor an advert for them. I did by some products while I was there and will be reviewing them soon. Check out my ‘Car Detailing Reviews’ menu for the latest updates.

The car show season is nearly underway for this year, and I’m looking forward to a few shows this year. But, as the calendar dates pan out, there are a few shows on the same day which is rather annoying to say the least. So I will have to be selective with which ones I attend instead of going to them all.

Share my Content

A Mirror Bright Finish

A big day for me had arrived early on Friday morning, I had taken the day of work and just for once the Friday alarm woke me up and I was in a good mood. The day trip was a visit to go and see the guys at Meguiar’s for a ‘Day In The Bay’. I had been emailing Dale much earlier in the year and we arranged a date for me to attend on the 29th March. Before we start, and you make any assumptions, this is not a sponsored post by Meguiar’s. This is a genuine member of the public’s personal opinion. It’s no secret that I am a fan of Meguiar’s products. I have used other brands to try them out, but I always seem to come back to Meguiar’s.

The journey up to Davenport was little over one hundred miles away, my sat nav told me that it would take a little over two hours to get there. I set of at seven in order to get there for ten as arranged. The extra time contingency was for road works on the A14, it was just as well as I got held up in them, but at least I was moving, all be it slowly. The funny thing that I saw was a sign that said, “a lot of work is out of sight”, it probably is, they were hard at work making tea, sitting on their backsides reading the paper, or posting on Facebook instead of building the roads to minimise the carnage to the motorist. (rant over).

I arrived at a quarter to ten and parked up. The whole place was buzzing as there was deliveries being made and the forecourt had lots of products on pallets awaiting their delivery and stock allocation.

I buzzed into the main offices where I asked to see Dale, he in turn was then called. Within a few seconds Dale greeted me, then if summoned by some divine intervention the local mobile coffee guy arrived and Dale asked if he could get me a tea, coffee or cold drink.

With the refreshments out the way Patrick arrived as he was going to do the video and camera work for the day. This was also going to be an instructional video to go on their YouTube channel shortly. (I will place the links at the end of the post). Like all good trainers I was asked what I wanted from the day what could they do for me. No scripted you must do this, you must do that scenario. My response was that I wanted to know how to use their products correctly and for tips and tricks with my paintwork and wheels. We had a look around the car and I pointed out some ‘pig tail’ marks that were on the hood from a previous mop a long time ago. There was some minor swirls that I wanted to address as well. Dale looked at the paint work intently, listened to what I was saying and recommended their Mirror Bright range for the colour of my car, and particular paint.

Next was the worst nightmare for a classic car owner, water. Again I was asked if that was going to be OK before they started. As it was a beautiful day, sun was out and it was warm I agreed, the mandatory two bucket wash method was given the go ahead. The jet wash came out and the buckets were being filled.

For the next stage I was going to be very much hands on with the training and I didn’t get much chance to pick my phone up for some photo’s. Although I know Patrick was taking plenty as we went along.

We rinsed the car over with the jet wash to wet it over and remove the worst of the road grime.

The wheels were sprayed with the Mirror Bright wheel cleaner. The mix is left on for a minute or so to see if it changes to purple. Once the product has done its job rinse of with a gentle jet wash.

Tip: Use the jet wash at a forty five degree angle to the paintwork. The reasoning being that you are not blasting water directly into and stone chips.

Tip: Fill the wash bucket with warm water and the rinse bucket with cold. This way you can feel which bucket is wash or rinse when they both have foam on the top.

Using a soft wash mitt like the lambs wool mitt to gently wash over the paint with the product allowing the shampoo to do the work.

The car was dried with the new Meguiar’s supreme drying towel. After we had dried the car I was directed into the Detailing Bay, or as Dale described it; ‘the tunnel of doom’. When I asked why, he switched the high intensity lights on, then I realised why. I could see things I hadn’t noticed before in the paintwork. Every minute imperfection was holding a sign up saying look at me.

The main issue was to address the pigtails in the paint I mentioned earlier to Dale. Patrick was filming Dale explaining the process of what he was going to do. He showed me how to use the Dual Action (DA) MT320 correctly. I was shown how to prep the rotary pad, how to prime the pad before using it, and how much product to use. A common mistake by not priming the pad prior to the application of the products. The hood was sectioned into four smaller workable areas. Dale did one side and I did the other with him giving me guidance. Patrick was getting some close up action shots as we were going along.

With the hood corrected and cleaned it was now looking smooth and flat. Again I was asked my preference for wax type, so I said it has to be the hand applied hard wax rather than the liquid form. Dale then started on the application of the Mirror Bright hard wax paste, I wasn’t sure about the results I would get as I was expecting results like the Ultimate wax for my preferred results that I liked. My expectations were surpassed, Dale was right, this wax suited my car.

Tip: Pinch the top of the applicator pad and place flat onto the wax, twist half a turn and that will be enough for a complete panel.

Tip: A small overlapping circle with fingertip pressure is all you need.

It soon became pretty clear that I was using the wax quantities all wrong in the past, using way to much product.

Once the wax had cured it was a simple wipe of a microfibre was all it took to bring the shine out. The wax came straight off. No buffing, no elbow grease required. Just like dusting a car over in fact.

Tip: check the wax has cured by wiping it with your finger. If it leaves a clean mark behind then it’s ready to come off. If it has a greasy smear behind it, leave it little longer and check again.

Tip: With the car freshly waxed, use a light misting of quick detailer. This will stick to any left over wax that hasn’t been removed leaving a pristine slick paint job.

With the car buffed over I stood in amazement as the car looked as good as it did the day it was painted and still wet.

I drove the car outside and the sun made the car transformed yet again in natural sunlight.

As the Meguiar’s warehouse were still taking out and receiving orders, I had to move the car out of the road after the main pictures were taken, the lorry driver even jumped down from his cab and joined in for a chat too. As Patrick was using the professional camera, I let him do his thing and I kept out the way.

With the photo shoot completed I asked Dale and Patrick for a picture of them with the car. Dale in black and Patrick with the stripped top.

I would like to say to Meguiar’s, especially Dale & Patrick who looked after me;

Thank You So Much!

I had the best day ever cleaning a car, and nothing was to much trouble for these guys. They answered my endless barrage of questions, they also showed me the answers too. In fact everybody I spoke to there was amazing.

There was only one thing left to do, purchase some goods. I didn’t have to at all and they never tried to sell me anything. However I needed a bag that could hold the largest of Meguiar’s bottles, so I grabbed their brand new to the market Extra Large Kit bag, which is huge. The other products are what I used on the day, but I hadn’t got in my arsenal of detailing products. The Ceramic Wax I am very intrigued about and wanted to try.

However, once I got the car home I had to give it a gentle clean before I covered it up in the garage.

Patrick is going to be uploading a video of the day to the Meguiar’s YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/meguiarsuk

Check out the ‘Detailing 101’ where they show you how to use the products, it’s very useful.

The products I used for the day were all Mirror Bright except for the Meguiar’s Compound stage of the hood treatment. Again, I am gaining nothing from showing you what I used, but if you want some amazing results try these. I will be doing some reviews of the products a little later on of course. But, I can say one thing, they will get scores.

All of the products can be found herehttps://www.meguiars.com/mirror-bright

Patrick has said that they will be sending me the high resolution photos of the day, which I am so looking forward to getting hold of. I will then do a follow up post of some proper photos taken on the day.

Later that evening on social media platforms I spotted these posts:

Yes that is me with the polisher!

Be sure to follow ‘Mequiarsuk’ on Instagram to see their latest posts or follow ‘dale_mast’ himself who really does know what he is talking about.

Thanks again guys. I’m a very happy chap.

Share my Content

It’s All In The Details

It’s pretty much common knowledge that I am a bit OCD when it comes to my car and cleaning it. In fact I go a level above car cleaning and it’s called ‘detailing’. It means you go the extra mile to achieve excellence where ever you can. I am not at the ridiculous levels of Concours cleaning with cotton buds etc. But, I do have a selection of brushes to make sure I get in all the little places that I need to. I buy all my own products at retail prices and don’t get them given to me by anybody. If I did, I would say so and it certainly wouldn’t change my opinion when I get round to reviewing the product either. My reviews are always honest and unbiased. I mention all this because I get  a few questions now and again at car shows, along with the odd email asking me what I use to clean my car. I have one or two products in my stash to choose from. However, this little lot doesn’t include all the various types of micro fibre cloths, glass cloths, drying towels, application sponges, hand pads, brushes, sponge brushes, tyre applicators,  gloves, buckets with different types of dirt collectors, wash mits, snow foam lance, Karcher pressure washer or my Meguiar’s MT320 Dual Action polishing tool as I couldn’t get any more in the photo.

My favourite brands at the moment are Chemical Guys, Auto Finesse and Meguiar’s. I’m always open to using other brands as long as they work, an indeed tried some random brands with great results, such as Dat Wax.

I review my products and rate them on a score out of ten with two follow-up questions; ‘would I recommend it?’ and ‘would I buy it again?’ Both of these questions adding to the depth of the review when parting with my own money.

My reviews can be found on the main heading under ‘Car Detailing Reviews’. This is a section that gets added to regularly, even if I haven’t done a main post as such.

What I do have trouble with is giving a product a top score, then I get another similar product that I like even more and that gets a top score as well. That’s not to say I would go back and mark the score down for the other product. Indeed I would have no problems in going out to buy the top scoring products again. An example is that I love DoDo Juice Red Mist Tropical as a quick detailer, but it takes a couple of applications to remove any streaks if applied on top of Meguiar’s Ultimate Wax. (I did have a conversation with DoDo Juice themselves about this very issue, and they told me that they are aware of the problem). Auto Finesse Finale on the other hand doesn’t have that issue, but I don’t like their bottle spray mechanisms. Both are great products, but have their own quirks as it were.

There are numerous tutorials online and good ol’ YouTube on how to clean your car or detail your car properly, so I won’t bore you with that side of it all. However within my reviews I try to explain the price, the product’s sales pitch, product description, process, application, instructions, results, rating and conclusion all with photos. In fact I am still going through the process of working out what works for me and what doesn’t and in which combinations. I currently have got more than a dozen products that I need to create reviews for, but I just haven’t got round to doing them yet. It’s all a financial minefield and I would hate to think how much money has been spent on my car cleaning products, just one little pot of show wax I have costs £75 and it doesn’t look much different to Meguiar’s Ultimate after application, but I love the usability of that expensive wax, and that goes a long way to being in my preferred list of products as it were.

The other side to all these products is where to keep them, I have multiple bags of various types and sizes. In fact I have reviewed some of them, what they hold, how user-friendly and are they worth it etc. Some reviews will surprise you from the big names.

I hope my opinions help and save somebody some money on rubbish products out there, yes I have wasted my own hard-earned money on products reading other reviews that must have been written by the company employees. That’s the reason I started reviewing products, tools, equipment etc. My reviews are from a normal bloke that buys and uses them on his pride and joy. My goal is simple; to get a paint job that still looks wet and above all is protected. When you get to buy quality products, most of the time you get what you pay for, sometimes you don’t.

I get nothing for my reviews and I’m not on commission either, hopefully the reviews will help somebody one day.

Share my Content

Writings On The Wall

It’s not often I get an idea late at night and remember it the next morning. Last week was one of those days where I picked up my phone in the middle of the night, and made a note of it. In the process I managed to keep myself awake for ages and regretted it the next day at work. So what was my idea?

I have been looking around for literally years now trying to find a cleaner for my BF Goodrich white lettered tyres. To be exact it’s not the tyres, but the actual raised white lettering on the tyres. I have tried all sorts of cleaners and even read about using a fine grade sandpaper to rub the surface of the letters to remove the old dirty coat and leave the clean underneath. Then I thought of “toothpaste.” I have seen people clean old plastic headlight lenses with toothpaste to bring them back to life. After all up to fifty percent of toothpaste is in fact abrasives, all be it in a mild form of course. My thought was around the “whitening” sort of paste. My tyres are pretty clean and protected, but the tops of the letters and some of the letters have gone a brown tinge over time and not the sparkly white that they once were.

As my toothbrush was wearing out I decided to have a go and see what happened. I used Meguiar’s degreaser first to remove the old tyre gel and treatments. After that it was a wipe over with some Auto Finesse “Citrus Power” Bug and Grime Remover. No I’m not on commission before you ask!

As the toothpaste was almost empty I took it out to the garage before the wife noticed it had gone along with my toothbrush.

With most of the dirt and grime removed I sprayed some more citrus on and used that as the lather agent for the paste and got to work scrubbing.

It made a nice little mess but nothing some more Citrus Power couldn’t cope with. Once messy mixture was removed I found that it had actually worked and brought some white back to the letters. The final step was to re-coat the tyres with some AutoGlym Instant Tyre Dressing and allowed it to dry.

The other wheels followed a similar technique and used a tiny splash of water to activate the toothpaste and seemed to work a little better.

Before shots of the dirty letters than can clearly be seen:

The cleaning process:

The after shots: