500 Section

500 Section

Waxing Your Car

Waxing Your Car

Would you like a Concours quality wax job on your Mercedes ? If you remember my article about claying in the June/July edition of The 500 Section Star, this is the ultimate method for applying and removing wax the easy way. I bought Griot's Garage Polish and Wax System based on the Porter-Cable Random Orbital Buffer. This is a ìsafeî system because the pad moves in a random orbit and does not heat up like other direct drive buffers. Foam pads and products formulated for orbital machine buffing eliminate the potential for burning through paint and make the system easy for the novice to use. 

The first step is a thorough wash to clear the road grime and other contaminants from your cars paint, then perform the claying ritual until the finish is baby smooth. Now that all the contaminants are removed you can evaluate the paint. If there are light scratches or swirl marks, these can be removed with a machine polish. I like to start with a product formulated for orbital systems such as Griot's Machine Polish #3 for older cars or Griot's Machine Polish #4 for new cars with clear coats showing minute scratches or swirls. I butter an orange pad with the polish and work in an imaginary 18î square moving left to right and working from top to bottom until the polish is almost gone. It may take about 5-7 passes over an area to properly get the polish distributed and worked in before grabbing a microfiber towel and wiping down the area. For those areas inaccessible for the buffer, such as the grill, mirrors, or trim, use a microfiber towel in the same fashion and work the polish into the area. 

Now you are ready to apply a wax in the same method as polishing. I prefer Griot's Best of Show Wax since I perform a complete clay/polish/wax every quarter, park my car at home and never use a commercial car wash. Apply about a nickel-sized area of wax to a red wax pad and work in an imaginary 18î square moving left to right and working from top to bottom until the wax is almost gone. It may take about 5-7 passes over an area to get the wax distributed evenly. Continue to overlap areas with the buffer and hand apply in those areas the buffer can't reach. When the wax has dried to a haze, place an orange pad on the buffer and add a microfiber wax remover bonnet and buff out the wax, changing bonnets as polish builds up on the pad. Follow-up with a microfiber towel on the grill, trim, mirrors, and other hard to reach areas and enjoy a Concours look. 

I tried this system on my daughter's 1992 Toyota Camry and it looks better than showroom new, just stunning! 

Griot's publishes A Detailer's Handbookî which goes into much greater detail of paint care. Check them out at http://www.griotsgarage.com  

Ken Salter

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