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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I have seen alot of threads here on different parts of Insight but nothing yet on paint care or finishes. I want to keep my Insight's finish in good condition. I do not have a lot of experience with polishes and waxes could someone tell me if any brand is best, and if the 1,2,3 step waxing systems are better than single step treatments. Any advice or recomendations would be great. Thanks

Saboeme
 

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Good question. I was wondering the same thing this morning. I'm anxious to see what everyone has to say.

I'm with you, I don't have much expirence with waxing and paint care. My Inisght is the first car I've purchased because I wanted it, not just because it was cheap and would get me back and forth to work and school, so I really want to baby it and keep it looking nice.
 

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When I have time I will do a full write up on paint care. We've had it in the past if you check the archives I've got explainations there. As far as wax though Meguiar's has a new one out that is just astounding. It's NXT Gen tech wax. I've been using it for a month and it is the absolute best you can get. They even offer a full money back guarantee on it. You try it and for some reason aren't totally blown away they will refund your money.

A good place to start, look on Meguiar's web site (http://www.meguiars.com). They have full explanations on there of what to use/do wich are very very helpful. They also recently added an online forum (http://www.meguiarsonline.com). I'm on their forums as well (only one with an Insight for an avatar). I wish more of you were in the Phoenix area, we'd have a detail day some time.
 

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http://www.zainostore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc

nuff said

I only use these guys products after one of the guys I work with reccomended them ( extremely anal retentive clean car freak, You cannever touch the paint when closing his doors He will hand you a clean cloth diaper to use. )
 
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Hi Thorian:

___I am a Zaino fan myself as it simply lasts, and lasts, and lasts … It (Z2 or Z5) is a polymer and won’t break down like a wax of any sort does … Just don’t forget to Dawn wash for the first cleaning, claybar w/ some Z7 as lubricant, dawn wash again and then your are ready for a total Zaino Z7 wash and 100% cotton cloth dry, zfx w/ Z2 again and again and again, and some Z6 to top it all off ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1pj662pe][email protected][/email:1pj662pe]
 

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OK, I will give you the straight scoop, because there are lots of misconceptions. Car wax is intended to protect, not to clean. There are 2 major categories of waxes; straight wax, and cleaner wax. I avoid the cleaner wax unless the finish is a little faded. All Honda Insights are fairly new, so the paint should not be oxidized or faded. Be skeptical of claims that this wax is the "very best", if they are trying to promote their product. They cannot be objective if trying to sell something. Instead, select any high quality, well known car wax, and just use it often! That is the key; to wash & wax the car regularly. By the way, do NOT use a common dishwashing liquid like Joy or Dawn or Palmolive; they cut grease and also remove wax. Use an auto car wash liquid or powder intended for the purpose. I rinse my car off every 4 days with water, then dry it with a fake chamois. (don't use terrycloth or bath towels, they are too rough) Then I wax my car every 2 weeks (I go to lots of car shows). For most people, if you will wax it every 3 months, you will be in good shape. I use Meguires #27 carnuba wax. So, in my opinion, your energy should not be spent trying so hard to find the very best wax, but spent in waxing more often. Billy....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone,

Thank you all for your input and advice! I stand corrected as to there being no other threads about finish care. My take home from all of the advice has been:
.To use microfiber, or 100% cotton (USA) towels
.That there are several major wax or polymer based products that should do nicely, (two applications)
.Clay bars are a must for thorough cleaning
.The Dawn detergent issue is a personal choice matter for dewaxing and cleaning.
.Also, that regardless of brand or type treatment used, a regular routine of cleaning and waxing is best.
Now all that I need is a good portable shade for my car so I don't have to rely on the neigbhors suv for shading to wax my car. Thanks a million everybody. Happy polishing!

Saboeme
 

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There is something designed for aviation, called rejex. Its purpose was to stop exhaust stains from bonding to the paint. I work at Gulfstream, where our customers spend 45 million for a plane. They spend thousands on "teflon" treatments to protect against this. Rejex does same thing, and I suspect it is same formula. It works, they also found that bugs do not stick to it. You just get out a hose and it is gone. It also happens to put the most unreal shine on, and lasts 4 months. You can find it on the internet at corrosion x (the maker) with a google search. Your local airport pilot shop may have it. It will not hide scratches though, but it blows away waxes.
 

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Ok as promised. Paint care can pretty much be broken down in to 5 steps for that optimal appearance.

1- Washing. Seems simple enough, but deffinitely deserves revisiting as it is can be a big source of swirl marks and scratches in your paint as well as possibly causing your paint to more rapidly oxidize. You will want to use a good Ph balanced car washing soap. I know this is a matter of some debate but dish soaps should never be used on a cars finish. They are far too harsh and cause rapid oxidation of paint as well as strip the paint of any wax protection it had as well as oils in the paint.

You will want to also have a good wash mit. This is a source of contamination you will want to watch out for. The mit should never touch the ground and be ran through the washer frequently. Any tiny little spec of dust will be ran across the paint and cause microscopic scratches (that cob web you see in the clear when the sun hits the car). For washing it's best to work on one section of paint at a time. Wash and rince otherwise the car wash soap will leave a film on the paint. I personally divide my Insight up in to 5 sections with good results. Roof and front and rear windshield, each side, hood and front bumper, rear bumper. It's important to start at the top and work your way down that way the dirt moves down as you clean it.

For drying you'll want to do this immediately after wards. Some areas where the water is hard can leave water spots. These minerals actually etch paint when allowed to sit. I'm dealing with an etched spot from a swamp cooler drip on another of my cars. Anyways, you have a few options, either a 100% cotton terry towel, chamios with my personal recommendation on a good synthetic one, or a mircofiber drying towel.

Personaly recommendation for car wash: Meguiar's gold class car wash soap

2 - Cleaning and contamination removal The next step really after washing and drying is to evaluate the paints condition. This can be done with a bear dry hand. Run it over the surface of the paint and feel it. Well kept contaminant free paint will be as smooth as glass. Likely though you will have a rough surface, what you feel is bonded contaminants on the paint. The most effective way to remove these is with a clay bar. There are several types of kits available, they consist of a clay bar and some sort of lubircant spray. You spray the lube on the paint and run the clay bar over it, you will actually hear it picking up the bonded contaminants off of the paint. When your done the paint will feel like glass again.

Another option to consider is a dedicated paint cleaner. If you have any problems that a clay bar doesn't remove like oxidation, light scratches, or swirls a paint cleaner will help remove these defects as well as take care of any bonded contaminants that clay barring missed. There are many available, you want one thats not gritty and won't do more damage to the paint that it helps. Most people believe compounds are the answer, they are not. Compounds are old school stuff and are more for single stage paint, not todays clear coat paint jobs.

Personal recommendation for Clay Bar: Meguiar's Quick Clay, comes with Quick Detailer for lubricant.

Recommendation for paint cleaner: Meguiar's body scrub or Deep crystal #1 paint cleaner. If you have scratches Meguiar's ScratchX. All are effective when applied by hand and are safe for clear coat use.

3 - Polishing This step is often confused with waxing, but it's a completely different animal. This step is somewhat optional but is one to take if you want the best possible results. What polishing does is restore the natural oils in paint that makes it naturally shiny. It will also enhance the color depth of the paint. I generally apply polish once every few months.

Personal Recommendation: Meguiar's Deep Crystal #2 Polish.

4 - Protecting This is the stage where you finally apply wax to the perfectly prepared surface. Wax makes the paint appear more glossy and also creates a sacraficial barrier between your paint and the enviroment. There are two types or was, straight wax's and cleaner wax's. If you have some of the above issues and are mild in nature a cleaner wax can be a quick one step solution if you don't have the time to spend on your car. The other is a straight wax which will give better overall results.

My personal favorite is Meguiar's new NXT Gen Tech Wax. It's a polymer wax which I can't say enough about. It's easy to work with, fills in imperfections and is extremely durable. Like I said previously, if you try it and don't like it for some strange reason they'll give you your money back.

5 - maintaining So you've just spent hours doing the above no one can blame you for being lazy. This step allows you to do that. There are several products that allow you to get the just washed car look in only a few minutes with minimal effort. If you were to just take a towel and wipe a dirty car off you'd get all the dust in the towel and end up dragging it across the paint and putting more small scratches in it. However, these quick detailer like products when sprayed on the surface encapsulate the dust and lift it off of the paint so when you wipe it away it does not scratch. Basically you spritz, wipe, flip the towel to the dry side and wipe again. It will add gloss too. I haven't honestly washed my car in two months and with matenience it looks like it has been several times. This does require a coat or two of wax on the surface to work though.

Personaly Recommendation: Meguiar's Quick Detailer


As far as toweling 100% cotton terry cloth towels work fine, but a newer breed of towels called microfiber towels are now available which work much better than cotton towels. They are much less likely to cause towel inflicted scratches and do a better job of picking up whatever which means less work for you and less chance of any scratching. Wash these separately from your cotton towels, they will pick up any cotton lint that the others leave behind.

For applicators, foam applicator pads work excellent. They work great for applying any sort of product and will do so without scratching. You can also use a towel for applying a product, but it just works better with the foam applicators.


Did I miss anything?

I know I am very biased in my product opinions, but I have found Meguiar's to work as they say their products will. I am yet to be dissapointed by anything they sell, and their new products just keep getting better. They throw tons of money in to their new product formulations and support the automotive enthusiast public. I have seen zaino, frakly I find it too plasticky of a look. I based my product recommendations on things I've used in the past and have had good results on, but mainly the products your likely to find at your local automotive parts stores. They also have a professional line of products which I now use almost exclusively, which is a whole new ball game, but the end results are supurb. I have somewhat of a mini detail business going on the side. Mainly it's once in a while my dad will bring home a car to sell off of his lot and I will give it the several hour treatment and 80% of the time it sells to the first person who comes to look at it.

I have a Meguiar's G100 Porte Cable Dual action polisher. It oscillates and rotates at the same time, but is completely idiot proof. You can't burn paint with it. After clay barring with one of their professional clay bars I will use the DA polisher with a cutting pad and Pro #83 dual action cleaner polish. This removes swirls and does some polishing action. If I want that extra shine I'll go back with #81 Hand Polish with a polishing pad, then top it with a coat of the NXT Gen Tech Wax (I'm serious you have to try it) on a finishing pad. This is all done with foam pads on the polisher and wiped off with a microfiber towel. I think pictures speak better than words so here's a link to a black Lexus I did this process on:

http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums/sh ... readid=176

Like I said, I wish more of you were here, we'd have a detail day.
 

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Besides waxing (I, too, use Zaino), there is one other thing one can do to protect the paint finishes, 3M Clear ScotchCal Film. One can think of it like a clear kitchen counter liner. It's normally sold as in 6" strips, and one would use it to protect areas that could get scratched up. There are 3rd party companies out there that market them as "Clear Bra" and will sell designs cut specifically to the vehicle. But since the Insight is not quite as curvy, folks may be able to just buy the regular strips in install it themselves. It's "virtually" invisable and people do swear by them.

Besides covering the front and top of the vehicle, other uses include top of rear bumper to prevent scruffing when loading/unloading the trunk. One can also use it for under the door handles, or key holes, gas cap area, etc.

Of course, if you often parked under the tree, one should get a car cover also. I bought the ones that can be washed in washing machine, cause in my neighborhood, my car cover gets filthy very quickly. Tree saps, tree saps bonding with pollen, bugs, bird poops, etc. all accummulate quickly during spring and summer. I bought the "weathershield" line of custom car covers. My only disappointment was that they didn't accommodate for the antenna. My MINI has a straight up and down antenna, so the car cover has an extra "antenna pocket" sewn into the top of the car cover. My custom cover for the Insight fits well, but the antenna is forced to bend 45" downward. I never noticed it before the car cover, but now the antenna on the Insight is a bit "droopy". Otherwise, I highly recommend paying a little more for these car covers. They really don't scratch the paint and with the custom fit, not only looks good, but also stay on securely during mild breeze.

It takes probably less than a minute to put it on and off, once you got the folding routine down. For those who do not like the chore of locking up the car cover all the time, it's easier to loop the cable only from one side, and then loop the locking end around the rear tire (ie. looping around where the tread touches the ground.) Since these custom covers stays on snugly, the locking cables is just there to keep it from being blown off all the way, or simply a low-level of theft-deterent.

Oh, park REALLY REALLY FAR FAR AWAY (and on top of an incline if there are shopping carts)... nothing ages a car more than door dings. I don't even know if anyone can repair dents on the Insight, since it's aluminum. Besides the benefits of having a car looking beautiful without dings, there are other benefits with parking far. For those who are desk jockies like me, this is about as much exercise I can get all day. :oops: And for those who wants to show off our car, rather than getting buried and blocked by parking the car between two SUVs, when one parks the Insight out toward the streets, everyone who drives by can admire our beautiful car!

Also, don't forget to take care of the black plastic trims around the car too!

Charles <-- obsessed with appearances... of my cars...
 

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I too have a covercraft cover, well worth it indeed. As far as the antenna I just remove mine when putting the cover on. A word of advice though, carry a duster with you and run it over the car before putting the cover on.

As far as the ScotchCal film is it really that invisible? I was highly considering the 3M invisabra until I actually saw it in person. I vividly remember that day because the first time I saw it was on a Porsche and my first thought was "If my Porsche looked like this I'd be p($#@$!" because it looked like a huge sheet of orange peel applied over the paint, then I realized it ended. Then again this was the apparent "high speed rated" stuff so maybe the normal version isn't like this. I dunno, the two cars that I saw it on were the Porsche and a Ferrari.
 

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I've seen it live mainly on dark colored cars, like black and dark navy blue. In those cases, it is very close to invisable. The only reason one can tell is that the light reflection(refraction) is different, and plus I know it's there in the first place, so I know what to look for. I think it will show up a little on lighter colors, except for bright silver, that too, seems to blend in really well.

Besides the slight difference in reflection, the other thing that would give it away is the seam. If too much dirt is collected at the seams, one we be able to pick out the shape of the "bra". For me, that's not a big deal since I keep my car clean most of the time, and it is still less obvious than a big rubbery car bra.

Various shop guarentee that it would not yellow for at least 4 years, and one testimonial says that they have it for over 5 years and still look the same. I think it's possible that the ones you've seen are intended to be visible.

I wanted to put some on the Insight, but my wife didn't want me to. She doesn't drive as fast as I do, and her stretch of the road doesn't have as many rocks, thus for the last 3 years, we only got a small number chips. For my MINI, I get a chip every few months. I've bought the film specifically cut for my MINI, but there too many curves for me to feel confident to install myself. I've been dragging my feet on fixing the chips, and I should fix those first before I have it professionally installed... The top of the rear bumpers are already all scratched up, and wished I had found out when the cars were new.

Charles
 

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Zaino bro. products are the best. (but fairly expensive)

Meguiar Pro series does a good job on a budget.
 
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