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Okay, I've been putting this off, trying to figure something out but I can't. I need your help, because I feel as if I may have already destroyed my paint.

Heres my story: Last fall I bought a new black 5.0. Absolute dream come true. As probably every single one of you know, the excitement level is just unparalleled when you finally get the car. Anyway, I went from owning a silver car to a black car (aka, I had no idea how to take care of the paint). I read some cleaning stuff, knew not to take it through any touch-based wash, knew touchless was okay if no other choice, only use microfiber, etc. I bought detailer. I bought tons of microfiber. I was all set...but heres where I think I went wrong - I would soap spray the car off, then rinse it, then spot-free rinse it. Then I would dry it and then detail it, and obviously wipe the detailer off. I HAD NO IDEA THAT I WAS LEAVING A TON OF DIRT ON THE CAR THUS USING A CLOTH TO RUB THE DIRT INTO THE CLEARCOAT. I did this a few times probably last fall (stored the car over the winter and haven't done it this year because I realized what I did). So now I look at my car this spring, and I am nauseated when I look at it in direct sunlight, cuz you can see all the light scratches all over it. Makes me sick. I don't know what to do, I am so embarrassed. I want to be proud of my black 5.0, and in my excitement I went and made it look terrible. The scratches aren't gouges, but they are 100% noticeable in any type of light. Its completely evident that I had no clue how to take care of the paint.

I need some specific advice on my situation because:

1) I don't have a house, and have no hose or outside running water
2) I don't have a garage
3) I don't know any trustworthy detail guys at all
4) I don't really have any friends that give a rats ass about cars at all that would know anything about this or know any detail guys
5) I most likely still have no clue what I'm doing...not having a hose and running water is killing me - I pretty much HAVE to go to the car wash, even if just for their running water

Bottom Line: I'm a car lover who lives in a townhouse complex with no contacts, resources, or friends who has nastied-up his new black 5.0 paint. I have some cash (not tons, but a little), and I have tons of motivation to make this right, so please help!

Thanks everyone!
 

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try meguiars scratch x it works good for light scratches. On black cars in the sunlight you will always see like swirlmarks somewhat from the paint, different from scratches though. If you cant get them out take it to a detailer to buff/detail the car.
 

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Hi, Please post some pictures of damage of your car in sunlight.. A detailer is only to maintain a waxed finish, what I use on my non-mustang car (Focus) is Meguiars' Quik Wax you can do it in the sun and it doesn't take 1-2 hours to completely wax your car. It doesn't have the same longevity as paste or liquid wax but still does the job to clean and protect your finish. Now I need to understand is, you have swirl marks caused by buffing your car with a machine and was used wrong, spider webbing by creating scratches in your car's paint by having dirt on your towels and drying? Let me know.

Edit: I wouldn't recommend a compound it might be too harsh for your level of damage.
 

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I feel your pain...owning a kona is about just as frustrating. Mine just got buffed and I still see light swirls in sunlight. Search for a wax designed for black cars, that usually helps a little. As for the washing of the car...using the spray washers will never get off all the dirt you need to get off. Maybe get a couple spray bottles, fill one with clean water and one with car soap and water mixed and just use those as a replacement for a hose. Might take a while tho.
 

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1. To solve the problem with the scratches, you will probably need a Dual Action polisher like a Porter Cable 7424xp and some polish/compound. Google "Porter Cable 7424 Kit" and you'll see the package deals that are out there that will come with everything you need. I HIGHLY doubt you could correct the swirls/scratches by just using hour hands.

Here is one that is labeled as a "Heavy Swirl Remover" kit. Comes with everything you need for $250. You'll need to do some reading on forums to get the right process down and determine what pad you want to use.

http://www.autogeek.net/xmtpocaswrek.html


2. As for your washing problem not having a hose, I have a good solution. Optimum No Rinse. I have access to a hose, but I still use this stuff. Works awesome and doesn't damage your paint.

Fill up a bucket with a few gallons of water and add a few ounces of the no rinse solution. Fill up another bucket of plain water for rinsing. Soak a good wash mitt in the no rinse solution bucket and then wipe a panel. Put the wash mitt in the plain water bucket and shake it around to loosen the dirt out of the mitt. Ring it out and put it back in the no rinse solution bucket. Now dry off the panel with a good drying towel. Repeat for every panel on the car and do the tires last.

After using no rinse a few times, it actually leaves a nice slick surface.

After I wash, I always use Aquawax. Just spray it on and wipe off like a quick detailer. Works really well.

Optimum No Rinse solution: Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine: clay lubricant, optimum rinseless wash, no rinse car wash, optimum detailing products
 

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I feel your pain OP. At least take solace in the fact that you are the one who caused the swirl marks. Its a learning experience. I picked up mine from the dealership and it had some pretty serious swirl marks from dealer wash jobs on the lot. It took me a while to get over it since I would never cause that kind of damage myself. But that's just one of the negatives about owning a black car.

In any case I always refer people to this forum: http://www.autopia.org/forum/forum.php

Professional detailers frequent the site and it is a mecca for automotive paint care and detailing.

If your car has serious swirl marks then you can take it for professional correction. This usually involves buffing with a random orbital buffer and some buffing compound. It will smooth off the edges of the scratches in the clear coat, thus rendering them less noticeable or invisible. The downside to this is that it also obviously removes some of the clear coat and I would be hesitant to start chewing away clear coat on a black car so early in its life.

Alternatively you can try and invest in some waxes or glazes that have swirl mark filling properties, but this is only a temporary solution and does not actually correct the scratches. The way I took care of the worst of my scratches was to get the dealership to install vinyl hood stripes over them for free. This may be another option for you if the scratches are in appropriate areas and if you like the vinyl look.

As for washing from here on out, if you do not have access to a hose or water then touchless car washes are your best bet for a quickie. You can also look for a coin op wash with a power washer if you want to do a more complete wash and wax. I also never dry my car with a towel, no matter how soft. I use a leaf blower to dry it.

Best rule of thumb, as someone else said, is to never ever never ever ever ever touch black paint unless you are washing it with a soft sheep skin mitt with a shampoo that has excellent lubricity, or if you are applying wax with an appropriate applicator.

I know it sucks, I've been there, but bottom line is don't worry because you didn't ruin your paint and this can be corrected and or masked. Eventually black cars will get swirl marks and clear coat scratches just from everyday use, so it is inevitable. Enjoy the ride and don't sweat the small stuff :bigthumbsup
 

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Here ya go. Watch and learn.

Instructional Detailing Videos

From your description you have not damaged anything beyond what a good clay bar or polish will fix.

You really need to find access to water so you can wash your car properly. If you are stuck with a wand wash never assume it cleaned your car. Those places recycle water in most cases so you are washing with dirty water to begin with. The film that is left on your car is pure dirt.

So how do your get around this. Well get a bucket, preferably 2. Go to the wash late in the evening when the owners go home. Get clean water from their hose for the initial wash. Break up the dirt using the wand, wash as usual and then rinse. Use a good quality soap in bucket 1 and a new mit or sponge. Wash your car from bucket 1 and rinse the sponge in bucket 2 after each 2x2 section. Keep the mit or sponge soapy as hell for good lubrication while washing and never rub. Let the mit glide over the finish. Once finished with the wash, rinse the entire car and then follow with the spotless rinse.

Spray as you go with detailer while drying with a soft microfiber towel. A blower is a good idea too but unless you have power something else is needed like a soft towel and the detailer to help minimize scratching. This method works well and reduces water spots in the process.

This all assumes you have watched the videos and have learned the proper steps to detailing your car. For the scratches, I would give it a good wash and then try to clay the car. This will not fix it all but should help remove some of the mess. The only thing that will correct it all is a good buffing.

Check out the Adams site for the how to on all of this. We use their products and I swear by them.

While your at it check out the Junkman here -- fun to watch and a lot of information just follow along through the chapters


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWlpT_QMGCU&feature=player_embedded
 

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I feel for you man!!! I love black, I have had two black vehicles. But IMO, you will never get them all out. Colors like Black and Kona are just that way. I'm not sure what to try. Seems like anything you do to cover them up is just going to be that. A cover up. You'll see some difference, but it will go away and just get worse over time. You will constantly have to be on top of it. This is why I won't buy a black car ever again.

All cars get the "spider webbing" that I think you are speaking of, it's just that black and dark colors show it MUCH MORE in the sun. I bet your car looks like a million bucks in the shade!!! huh?

Incidentally, my car is only a month and a half old and I have a few very minor scuffs in the paint here and there. Don't know how they got there, I bucket wash with two buckets only. They just appeared one day. Seems like these things just happen.

Good luck! I am real curious to see what you come up with and how well it works out. Please keep us informed.
 

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yes black cars are a pain but there is no other color when it shines i bought my car new in 03 its shines up better now than the day it left the showroom floor the only kit i have ever used is turtle wax "Black Box" and leaves an amazing shine,spider cracks never had any ,scratchs acouple fine ones afterwards none. get a porter cable DA and learn how to use it,i wax mine once every spring then just wash and use turtle wax ice detail spray and this is the result
family 137.jpg

family 138.jpg
 

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I agree there is nothing that looks better than black but after 5 or so black cars, I swore off. The last was my lifted 08 F150 S/C and it honestly just wore me out. I loved my black 07 GT/CS and it was flawless till the day it was sold.

My wife's Grabber Blue GT/CS is still swirl free at 9 months and 9500 miles. Using the methods mentioned we have kept all of them looking great. The Shelby got its first marks from the dealer last week (morons didn't cover the fenders) during warranty work. Before that it was flawless. I will fix them myself rather than let them touch it again!. Warranty work for the clutch is done now so it will never return. The MCA is new but has already been clayed and waxed.

Black is a pain, but nothing looks better if you are willing to take the time needed to keep it that way.
 

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The only way to defeat black paint issues is just to not get a black car.

Since i ended up with one, I hit it with Turtle wax ice from the first day of purchase and i am making it a mission to keep it greased over with it at least every two weeks, I also get the bugs off the front bumper/hood probably 4 to 5 times a week.

I am not too particular about if it is spray washed, touchless washed or hand washed or even auto-cloth washed..as all three are harmful (touchless has detergents that stay on your car, auto-cloth wash has industrial shammies in contact with your car, hand washing has friction on the clear coat as you wash it with the microfiber)..i just try and keep it almost over waxed with turtle wax ice at all times to avoid this crap from digging down too deep into the clear coat. I have sworn off clay or carnuba etc...im just going to keep the paint greased like leather and see what happens.

I have also resigned myself to the fact that ill have to have a paint shop redo the front bumper, hood, and side mirrors about every 24 months.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You guys are freaking amazing. Fantastic tips - I mean you guys give specifics including products, tools and how-to articles!

I guess what I have I would consider "spider-webbing", but a lot of it, and all over the car. So maybe I am not out of hope? Before I go and spend $250 on a buffer, I'm going to try this based on your guys feedback, and more reading I've done.

1. Hand-wash using 2 bucket method somewhere with running water
2. Gently, gently dry (would love to use a leaf blower....fantastic idea)
3. Pinnacle Ultra Clay Bar
4. Yet to be determined polish to help with the spider-webbing
5. Yet to be determined wax (still researching on polish and wax, plus I need to see what I can buy locally)

Lastly, everyone and their mother has claimed that the Turtle Wax Ice is the bomb, and a ton of people use it to continue the shine of the car between proper detailings...so thats what I'm going to buy simply due to so many people claiming its ease and awesomeness.

So thats the plan. Now we just need to get one nice day here in NW pennsylvania (I know, do everything in the shade, but it needs to be more than 39 degrees outside lol).

Thanks again everyone for such fantastic responses, I truly appreciate having an online community like this one.
 

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You guys are freaking amazing. Fantastic tips - I mean you guys give specifics including products, tools and how-to articles!

I guess what I have I would consider "spider-webbing", but a lot of it, and all over the car. So maybe I am not out of hope? Before I go and spend $250 on a buffer, I'm going to try this based on your guys feedback, and more reading I've done.

1. Hand-wash using 2 bucket method somewhere with running water
2. Gently, gently dry (would love to use a leaf blower....fantastic idea)
3. Pinnacle Ultra Clay Bar
4. Yet to be determined polish to help with the spider-webbing
5. Yet to be determined wax (still researching on polish and wax, plus I need to see what I can buy locally)

Lastly, everyone and their mother has claimed that the Turtle Wax Ice is the bomb, and a ton of people use it to continue the shine of the car between proper detailings...so thats what I'm going to buy simply due to so many people claiming its ease and awesomeness.

So thats the plan. Now we just need to get one nice day here in NW pennsylvania (I know, do everything in the shade, but it needs to be more than 39 degrees outside lol).

Thanks again everyone for such fantastic responses, I truly appreciate having an online community like this one.
Just make sure whatever polish you use, get something that does not contain fillers. Fillers do nothing but fill the scratches so they look corrected but it comes right back after a few washes.
 

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Nice tips guys. Don't get me wrong, I love black. But I never figured out how to keep it looking good.

I got something for ya though. My buddy is coming over in a little bit here with his 2000 V6 Coupe. This car is black and has never been waxed and it's a southern car. Needless to say, it's been neglected (paint wise) it's whole life. The entire car has oxidization on the clear coat and paint. It's pretty bad. We are getting out the orbital buffer and some liquid glass to do this thing up. I'll take some before and after pics to post. I am really excited to see how it turns out. :yup:
 

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Nice tips guys. Don't get me wrong, I love black. But I never figured out how to keep it looking good.

I got something for ya though. My buddy is coming over in a little bit here with his 2000 V6 Coupe. This car is black and has never been waxed and it's a southern car. Needless to say, it's been neglected (paint wise) it's whole life. The entire car has oxidization on the clear coat and paint. It's pretty bad. We are getting out the orbital buffer and some liquid glass to do this thing up. I'll take some before and after pics to post. I am really excited to see how it turns out. :yup:
go with the "Black Box" it will bring it back to life
 

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I wish there was a class I could just sign up for a spend a day learning it hands on. Videos don't sink well with me.

I wouldn't think most good detailers would want to show me how to do their job, since then I wouldnt be calling them much.
 

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I made a post in a previous thread. As an owner of a black car (not a mustang but rather a 13~14 year old volvo) I feel your pain. Taking care of black paint is a never ending battle but if you stay on top of it, the results are magnificent.

The best advice I can give you is to take your car to a do it yourself carwash every weekend if at all possible (and assuming it's not going to rain the next day or two) NEVER take the car through an automatic car wash. Even the "SAFE" ones will destroy the paint.

Use a california water blade to remove all the water after washing from the hood, roof, trunk, windows, doors, etc... wherever the larger flat areas are and then use a microfiber drying towel (the cobra guzzler is the best I think) to dry the rest of the car.

ALSO

Twice a year, you need to use claybar (I see you already are finding the pinnacle clay. Excellent choice.) and machine polish and wax.

The second thing you need to do is invest in a good orbital polisher/buffer. Griot's, porter cable, etc all have acceptable models and are all safe for the paint.

With that buffer/polisher, you'll want to buy machine polish to remove scratches as well as the appropriate polishing pads. Not all polishes and pads are the same though.

I have used a lot of various polishes and the griots 4 stage polish is the only one that has managed to wow me.

Machine Polish 3 (Very Mild Polish) 16 Ounces - Griot's Garage

If the paint is really bad, you start with stage 1 for deep scratches and then progressively move up to each next stage for finer and finer scratches and swirls until number 4.

I personally like the cobra cross groove pads. They seem to pick up a bit more grime.

Cobra Cross Groove™ 6.5 Inch Flex Foam Buffing Pads,cobra foam polishing pads,foam buffer pads,dual action pads,cross groove pads,waffle pads

I use the orange pad for stage 1 polish, a white pad for stage 2/3/4 and the blue pad for wax. Always use a new pad for each stage of polish. (I.E. Don't use the same pad for 2 different coats.)

Anyways, as far as wax goes, there are a lot of great choices. Mothers, Meguiars, Griots, Pinnacle, Wolfgang, etc.. they all make great stuff. If you can afford it, the wolfgang fuzion estate is the best of the best for consumers.

I use a blue cobra pad if I'm using the griot's best of show liquid wax or the foam hand applicator pad included with the fuzion estate wax if I'm using it (which is a hard paste wax)




taking extra special care of a black car is a constant fight and even if the car isn't black or dark blue, going to these steps to keep the car in show room condition isn't a cheap investment. It's a big chunk of change to get all this stuff initially but most of the stuff lasts years (the machine polish I'm still using was bought 4 years ago) so it's pretty much just a one time purchase besides the foam polish pads. I usually toss those after 4 or 5 applications/uses.

Realistically, if you drive your car every day, you'll never be 100% scratch or swirl free. There's always going to be SOME there. If you stay on top of keeping it clean, washing it properly and drying it with quality microfiber towels (hint: most any microfiber you see at walmart, target, etc is junk) then when it comes time to the bi annual polish/waxing, you will probably only need to do the machine polish 3 and 4 then wax after claybar.


Like I said though, if it's kept up right, nothing will look better. A well maintained black car will look like a mirror.. even when it's 14 years old :hihi:






 

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Just used turtle wax black box. I have a bunch of scratches from car wash brushes, people walking by in jeans, inlaws dropping luggage against my car, etc. My car now looks better than showroom (mainly because my dealer got the car washed at a car wash that uses brushes, so there were swirl marks everywhere brand new).

The product did what it says it does - which is fill all those small scratches, the ones that didn't get to the bare metal of the car yet. The car looks nice, better than the Eagle1 wax, which is the only other one I tried. The pics do not do it justice. Any marks you see are either reflections, or areas of wax that I soon after wiped off.

I have enough left in the box for another go round, so I will probably use it in another year or so. The car has 22,000 miles and is over a year old. i can definitely recommend the product because of the way it made the scratches disappear, but I do not know if it shines any better than the other products mentioned here.

It took almost 3 hours of non stop rubbing, but it was worth it in the end.









 

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Zaino show car polish is the best wax there is! I've used it on all of my black cars and unlike many waxes, you can layer this stuff to fill in scratches.
 
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