Any product recommendations for DIY detailer?

Faults and Technical chat for the Volvo XC40
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Boomer
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Any product recommendations for DIY detailer?

Post by Boomer » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:59 pm

Wondered if anyone might have any recommendations for "detailing" products for the new vehicle? The dedicated detailing sites just lose me a bit as to what is sensible for a DIY'er.

I am loathed to pay the dealership prices - as 1) not convinced they always spend as much care and attention as they could , 2) actually enjoy doing it myself (well at least the first time.. haha), and 3} it does seems like a nice mark up for them and could better be spent elsewhere.

Thoughts/recommendations gratefully received. I think I am focused on the paintwork first, but internals appreciated as well.

TIA
XC40 FE [MY18] | T5 AWD Auto | Crystal White | 20" | Lava | Apr 18


jim4244
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:22 pm

Re: Any product recommendations for DIY detailer?

Post by jim4244 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:20 am

I have never bothered with any of the protection products offered by dealerships. Whilst they may have someone who washes the cars prior to delivery and after services, you certainly can not consider them as knowledgable as a professional car detailer.

To begin with, even though it is a brand new car, it will have minor paint defects that can only be corrected with a clay bar and light machine polish. This preparation is far more important than the product being applied to protect the paintwork and in the past I have seen some real horror stories straight from the dealership.

There is a chap local to me (Northamptonshire) who is a very good detailer. We will get him to apply Meguires Ceramic Coating after a paint correction. It is guarantee for 5 years and comes in at around the £200 mark.


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Boomer
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Re: Any product recommendations for DIY detailer?

Post by Boomer » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:27 am

Thanks Jim. I've seen similar over the years from dealerships (not my vehicles) . I am sure some are better than others - but simply can't believe that they can have the time or patience to do a good prep job, nor finish, and don't want to risk it - or be the practice ground. I've always done my own cars but with a 3-4 year cycle I just don't have the time to track what the "best" products are on a regular basis. But will look at when a new car arrives. I was thinking Gtechniq this time round.

Sounds like you've got a good detailer at the price.
XC40 FE [MY18] | T5 AWD Auto | Crystal White | 20" | Lava | Apr 18


Bren62
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Re: Any product recommendations for DIY detailer?

Post by Bren62 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:47 pm

was offered X Guard by the dealer for a reduced price of £299 went on you tube looked like a good product but don't get it of the dealer you can get stage 1 & stage 2 from e-bay for £20 & do it yourself just done mine so simple & you don't get ripped off.


Silver Moose
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Re: Any product recommendations for DIY detailer?

Post by Silver Moose » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:43 pm

As 9 out of 10 people are likely to follow the fashion & recommend ceramic coatings, let me go against the zeitgeist & recommend a nice wax.

I absolutely love Autoglym HD wax. It's an absolute pleasure to apply, strong enough to only need doing two/three times per year, has a really warm finish, yet can be stripped back to bare paint with tar remover.

I then use Rapid Aqua Wax every wash to maintain the shine = no harder than just drying the car, so I never skimp.

Tired ceramic coatings are a challenge to remove if you're keeping the car a long time.
Real name Carl
T4 Inscription Pro ordered 13/12/2018 - collected 30/3/2019
Bright Silver/Charcoal
Convenience pack, Intellisafe Pro, 360 camera


grime
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Re: Any product recommendations for DIY detailer?

Post by grime » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:56 am

G'day,

Good question ..... what do fellow owners use to clean wheels?? (and can someone recommend a treatment to coat the wheels so that they stay clean)??

I find that our vehicle (white) looks relatively clean however the wheels very rapidly form a dark grime coating which I assume is disk pad dust. This is generally noticeable on European sourced vehicles which must have a 'soft' pad lining material.

I look forward to your suggestions, regards


Rifleman
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:21 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: Any product recommendations for DIY detailer?

Post by Rifleman » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:46 pm

grime wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:56 am
G'day,

Good question ..... what do fellow owners use to clean wheels?? (and can someone recommend a treatment to coat the wheels so that they stay clean)??

I find that our vehicle (white) looks relatively clean however the wheels very rapidly form a dark grime coating which I assume is disk pad dust. This is generally noticeable on European sourced vehicles which must have a 'soft' pad lining material.

I look forward to your suggestions, regards
My experience so far is that it needs nothing more than a pressure washer and a wheel brush. Haven’t used any chemicals on them as whatever they are coated with at the factory seems to be quite non-stick...
XC40 | First Edition | 2.0 D4 AWD | Bursting Blue | 19" wheels | Ordered 11/03/18 | Delivered 19th October 2018.


stu22
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:36 pm
Location: Colchester

Re: Any product recommendations for DIY detailer?

Post by stu22 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:09 pm

I got a quote from a professional detailer to prep and ceramic coat our car when it’s delivered - £900!
Think I’ll run the risk of a bit of polishing during our ownership to get rid of brush marks.


Silver Moose
Posts: 216
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:10 am

Re: Any product recommendations for DIY detailer?

Post by Silver Moose » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:46 pm

Rifleman wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:46 pm
grime wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:56 am
G'day,

Good question ..... what do fellow owners use to clean wheels?? (and can someone recommend a treatment to coat the wheels so that they stay clean)??

I find that our vehicle (white) looks relatively clean however the wheels very rapidly form a dark grime coating which I assume is disk pad dust. This is generally noticeable on European sourced vehicles which must have a 'soft' pad lining material.

I look forward to your suggestions, regards
My experience so far is that it needs nothing more than a pressure washer and a wheel brush. Haven’t used any chemicals on them as whatever they are coated with at the factory seems to be quite non-stick...
I agree (though I did wax mine when I waxed the car). I've had good success with all sorts of wheel cleaners in the past but I'm loathe to use them on diamond-cut wheels. Now....whether I can maintain that discipline next winter :roll:
Real name Carl
T4 Inscription Pro ordered 13/12/2018 - collected 30/3/2019
Bright Silver/Charcoal
Convenience pack, Intellisafe Pro, 360 camera


Septercius
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:13 pm

Re: Any product recommendations for DIY detailer?

Post by Septercius » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:36 pm

Detailing World is probably the best on-line resource for detailing, though it can be fairly overwhelming if you're a beginner.

Good suppliers of detailing products are Clean Your Car and Elite Car Care. I've used them both extensively in the past - the product ranges are great and delivery is always speedy.

Good brands are: Gyeon, Dodo Juice, Optimum, Chemical Guys, Meguiars, GTechniq, Chemical Guys and Bilt Hamber. You can mix brands, though most of my stuff is Gyeon.

First off, buy two buckets, preferably with grit guards. You should use the "Two Bucket Method" to wash the car. See here. You don't necessarily have to get posh buckets - those you get from B and Q are fine.

You can go crazy with products (like me). I'd say the essentials are:

Exterior

* Mitts for washing. Don't bother with sponges - they're too easy to drop. For example: here. I'd buy two, one for each hand.
* Shampoo, such as this or this.
* Wheel cleaner. Do not use acid-based cleaner as it can damage your wheels. Bilt Hamber Auto Wheels is good, as is Valet Pro Bilberry. It's probably worth getting a small brush as well, as you can use it to agitate the product and make sure it gets into all parts of the wheel. Such products are perfectly safe to use on diamond-cut wheels.
* If your wheels are particularly dirty, try an iron/fall-out remover (here). These work brilliantly and have the fun side effect of turning your wheels purple as the product works away ( until you rinse it off), but they do stink to high heaven.
* If you have small dark-coloured specks on your paintwork, it could well be tar that's been thrown up from the road. Get a tar remover to get rid of this.
* Glass cleaner. Self-explanatory really. Spray it on, leave for a few seconds, wipe off. For example: here.
* Micro-fibre cloths - for general use (e.g. with glass cleaner). For example: here
* Drying towels. Use to clean off all the water when you're done cleaning. For example: here. Towels and micro-fibres can go in the washing machine when done - I stick mine in at 40C with a bit of fabric conditioner to keep them nice and soft.
* If, like the XC40, there's lots of black trim on your horseless carriage, invest in some trim gel, such as this - it'll restore the nice black look you get when it's new. Consider a sponge applicator too.

Interior

* Some sort of vinyl/general interior cleaner, such as this.
* Leather cleaner of some sort. (No idea what to recommend here, as my current car doesn't have leather seats.)

When your car is nice and clean, you can look at protecting it. The most obvious product to apply is a wax of some sort to the bodywork. You can spend quite a lot on waxes if you want. You may also want to consider applying a sealant.

You can also apply a sealant and protection to your wheels - companies such as GTechniq and Gyeon offer coatings that you can apply to your wheels (cleaned, obviously) that help repel brake dust. I usually do this when I swap summer and winter sets over as you can get to the back of the wheel easily.

You can use a normal hose if you want, or you can invest in a proper pressure washer. You can opt for something cheap like Karcher or Nilfisk, but they can be unreliable. Probably the best make of pressure washer is Kranzle. Mine is ten years old and has worked perfectly since day one. It's built like a tank and keeps on going. For added fun during washing, you can buy some snow foam and a foam cannon - your children may enjoy using it (my niece certainly did).

If your hose connectors are leaking (most plastic ones are prone to), chuck 'em in the bin or recycle them and get some proper metal ones. I use a German brand called Geka. They weigh a tonne and haven't leaked a single drop when I've used them. They also look rather nice. You can get a kit with all the essentials: here. Their hose is top quality too (here). The Geka stuff is the same size as the usual Hozelock stuff - I actually have my Geka hose mounted on a Hozelock reel, and it works perfectly.

I wouldn't recommend going with any product the dealer tries to force on you. They may charge a fair amount, and as someone else mentioned, you can pick them up for peanuts on eBay and the like. They won't be applied by an expert, and you have no idea whether the person doing the job is going to miss large parts of the car because they're distracted by someone's new XC40 arriving. You can do a better job yourself, or you can get an expert to do it for you with proper, decent products.

When I ordered my car, I specifically told the saleswoman that I don't want it cleaned in any way before handover. They can remove the protective film from the bodywork and that's it. I don't care how dirty it is. I'll clean it myself (taking a whole day to do it properly and in-depth). I'm spending a great deal on this vehicle, so I want to take care of it.

Oh, and try and enjoy detailing. I find it rather satisfying, especially when surveying my nice clean car afterwards.
XC40 R-Design Pro D4 AWD Automatic | Bursting Blue | Convenience pack | Intellisafe Pro | Winter Plus pack | Xenium pack | Active four-C chassis | Power passenger seat | Sensus Connect/Harmon Kardon | Power rear door locks | Polestar


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