Specialising in Exotic Sports - Prestige - Luxury - Show & Muscle Cars
Phone:   0414 665 861     I      Email:   feedback@directautodetailing.com.au      I     Copyright 1995 - 2014   Direct Auto Detailing.   All rights reserved
Exceeding Your Expectations Throughout The Hills & Sydney Metropolitan Area
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT CAUSES SWIRL MARKS? HOW DO I REMOVE THEM—ESPECIALLY ON DARK CARS?
Swirl marks result from micro scratches on the finish often caused by the use of a buffer with the wrong type of polishing pad and/or wax/polish. Hand applications that appear to leave swirl marks (especially on dark colours) are often just smudges or streaks from faulty application technique or inferior polish/wax.

If you use a buffer, we recommend that you use the Dual Action variety, since a DA polisher runs in an eccentric motion that greatly reduces swirling. There also is less danger of the DA buffer scratching the paint than with rotary buffers.

If you have light or deep swirls, you can use Xpert 1500 Hi Tech Polish to safely restore the finish. If you have deep swirls, and then follow with a pure protective wax. If this process won't remove the swirl marks, you will need to take your car to a local professional to see if the scratches are so deep that painting or other work is needed.
 
HOW CAN I TELL IF MY CAR'S PAINT HAS CONTAMINATION AND NEEDS CLEANING?
Although your paint may appear to be clean, microscopic particles of contamination such as dirt, dust and tree sap mist may be present, along with other residue such as the chemicals deposited by acid rain. This material gradually bonds to your paint—and even repeated washing won't remove it.

We recommend you use the "Smooth-As-Glass" test to determine whether your surface has accumulated significant contamination and needs to be cleaned. First, wash your car and dry it thoroughly. Then gently run your fingertips over its top surfaces (the hood, roof and boot).  The paint should feel as smooth as glass-with no sense of roughness or texture.

If your paint doesn't pass the test, it's time to clean and polish it before adding your next coat of protective wax. Deep cleaning removes stubborn environmental contamination, as well as dead paint that dulls your finish.  Polishing restores the paint, deepening the colour and creating a brilliant gloss while it erases minor imperfections.
WHAT IS GLOSS?
Gloss is an optical characteristic that describes the capacity of a surface to reflect directed light. A high gloss paint surface is one that directly reflects light with minimum hazing or diffusion. Dirt and grime on the surface of a car's paint absorb and diffuse light, making it look dull and lifeless.

No paint (even the new so-called "no-wax" varieties) will remain glossy if it is neglected and exposed to environmental contamination.

Proper paint care is one of the most rewarding activities you can do for your car. Not only do you instantly see a difference, but when it comes time to sell or trade in your car, it will be worth far more than a similar model that has been neglected.
WHY DO CAR FINISHES FADE? WHAT IS OXIDATION? HOW CAN I PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING?
Automotive paint is designed to reflect light to create the dazzling shine we see in most new car showrooms. If your car were washed daily and kept indoors 90% of the day, the shine would last for years because there would be no surface contamination to dull, stain or oxidize the finish.

Most modern car finishes consist of a base coating that contains the colour, and a protective clear coating on top that is designed to keep the colour paint from oxidizing. This outer clear coat adds UV protection that helps prevent the sun's rays from drying out the base paint. Oxidation was an obvious problem ten years ago because you quickly saw the colour fade. Now that the outer paint layer is usually clear, oxidation is less obvious-yet it still occurs. Constant exposure to the sun plays havoc with your cars paint, UV light that damages your skin does the same thing to your cars paint. If the paint isn't maintained it oxidizes and the surface gradually becomes duller and duller.

Even more than yesterday's paints, today's clear coat finishes look faded whenever the surface becomes contaminated by airborne pollution, acid rain, industrial fallout and countless other factors. If the contamination isn't removed frequently, it reduces the reflective quality of the finish until it looks dull and lifeless. If the contamination is left on the car for some time, it can begin to etch into the thin clear coat paint layer and expose the base coat to direct UV rays and even greater damage.

Once the clear coat protection is gone, the car usually requires costly repainting.
WHAT IS CLEAR COAT PAINT? HOW CAN I TELL IF I HAVE IT?
Today, most modern car finishes consist of a base coating of paint that contains the colour pigments and a clear protective coating on top that is designed to keep the colour from oxidizing. This outer clear coat paint will protect the colour as long as it is maintained properly and isn't damaged.

An easy way to tell if you have a clear coat paint is to look at your applicator when polishing or waxing. If you see colour on the applicator or buffing material, you do not have a clear coat paint.

Clear coat paints require special care and you should never use harsh abrasive polishes, waxes or rubbing compounds on them.
 

WHAT DO I DO IF MY CLEAR COAT HAS BLISTERED OR IS PEELING?
Sadly there is only one thing you can do, that is to get the panel or section professionally re-sprayed.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A POLISH AND A WAX?
There is a lot of marketing hype and spin trying to convince us that there is no difference between a polish and a wax, don't be mislead, they are two completely different products.

Professionals know there is a big difference. A polish is an abrasive conditioner that restores the paint, eliminating fine scratches and creates incredible high gloss not possible with waxes. An application of polish should always be followed by waxing to protect the shine and extend the life of the paint.

If you own a dark colour car, you'll see a dramatic difference if you use a polish.

 

ARE POLYMER SEALANTS GOOD FOR MY CAR?
Quality polymer sealants are noted for their long-lasting abilities, but in recent years there have been many inferior formulations marketed at extremely high prices. These products are mostly hype, and lull a car owner into thinking one application will last for years—only to discover later that their finish has been damaged by the lack of care.
WHAT IS CARNAUBA WAX?
Carnauba wax comes from a species of South American palm tree, and is one of the hardest types of wax available.  Don't fall victim to the hype advertised on some products (100% Carnauba Wax) 100% Carnauba Wax is the equivalent to going over your car with a stone, it would scratch the paint.  The highest percentage of Carnauba is about 3% per volume, with fillers, perfumes, oils and solvents..
ARE WAXES WITH TEFLON ANY GOOD?
Professionals consider "Teflon" formulas to be empty hype.  Even the maker of Teflon (Du-Pont) issued the following statement:

"The addition of a Teflon fluoropolymer resin does nothing to enhance the properties of a car wax. We have no data that indicates the use of Teflon is beneficial in car waxes."

Also for Teflon to be adhere to a surface it requires extreme heat before the application will stick.

 

WHAT ABOUT COLOURED WAXES THAT MATCH YOUR CAR'S PAINT?
First, there are thousands of car colours used every year. Some paint companies offer over one hundred different reds alone. There is no way that a limited selection of 8-12 different coloured waxes can hope to match your colour exactly.

Second, most paints today have a top layer of paint that is clear-it does not contain the colour pigments. If you add a pigmented wax on top of the clear surface you are creating an unnatural effect that will look even stranger as the pigments in the wax fade. Imagine applying shoe polish to your windshield, and you can picture what is happening when you apply colour waxes to clear coat paint.

If you want a great finish and wish to remove scratches, it is best to use quality waxes, cleaners and pure polishes that restore the surface properly.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WASHING & CLEANING?
Washing is the process of loosening surface dirt and grime from a car's paint. Cleaning is a separate process that we like to call "deep cleaning," because it is designed to safely remove dead, oxidised paint, as well as stubborn surface contamination that does not come off easily during washing (i.e.. acid rain, stains, tree sap).

Paint that has been neglected or that has undergone severe environmental contamination should first be washed, then deep cleaned with a mild abrasive product (Paint Prep-Bar) that is safe on all paint. Those with dark colours should also consider applying (Xpert 1500 or 1000) pure nano abrasive polish before waxing to create incredible gloss. Once the surface has been cleaned it should then be protected with an application of a quality wax. 

We always recommend that you start with the least abrasive cleaner and recommend Xpert Products. If you have serious cleaning problems, it is usually best to have a professional detailer do the job.
 
HOW DO I GET RID OF STAINS, SPOTS AND SMEARS ON MY CAR?
The best way to get rid of stains, spots and smears is to remove them as quickly as possible, before they have a chance to bake into the paint. It pays to carry a product like Xpert Spry Wax or Maxi Dri-Kleen in your boot, along with clean towelling so you can instantly remove contamination before any damage can be done.

If you have stubborn stains, spots or smears, you will need to wash your car and then use a paint cleaner that will safely deep clean the surface and remove the contamination.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HIDE SMALL SCRATCHES IN MY CAR'S PAINT?
If you are like most car owners, you have a clear coat paint on your car. Its clear layer magnifies scratches because it refracts the colour base-coat layer below. Don't be fooled by claims that colour matched waxes can hide these scratches. Since your surface paint is clear, pigmented wax will look strange and won't do the job.

If your scratches are small, use of a pure polish prior to frequent waxing is the best way to hide the imperfections. The polish will restore the damaged paint and help reduce the optical refraction that makes scratches noticeable.
HOW LONG DOES CAR WAX LAST ?
WOULD IT LAST LONGER IF I APPLIED TWO OR THREE COATS ?
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I WAX MY CAR ?
There is no standard answer regarding how long a car wax will last. Many variables influence the life of the wax:

Type and colour of paint

Condition of the paint

Local environment (normal and extraordinary)

Number of hours kept outdoors

Quality of the wax used and method of application

Applying two or three coats of wax at one time is not recommended. While there is some slight incremental protection with each application, it is not as effective as spreading the same number of applications over a longer period. It's like that old adage 3 steps forward 2 steps back.

Environmental conditions today do demand more frequent waxing to prevent costly damage to the outer layers of paint.

A good rule of thumb is that you should wax your car at least once every month if it is not garaged and at least once every 3 months if it is garaged.
WHY DO I HAVE TO WAX SO OFTEN?  WITH TODAY'S PAINT TECHNOLOGY, I THOUGHT WAXING WAS NO LONGER NECESSARY.
In addition to countless environmental factors, catalytic emissions from the cars in front of you are depositing hydrochloric or sulphuric acid particles on your car's upper surfaces. All of these contaminants take a toll on your car's paint if the finish is not properly maintained.

Imagine what would happen if you only brushed your teeth once a year. The build up could lead to costly dental repairs. And your teeth might never look as good as they did before.

Your car's paint is constantly exposed to the elements and needs regular care to keep looking its best, too.

If you neglect your car, a good paint job could cost $4,000+.  If you decide to sell your vehicle without a new paint job, it could cost you anywhere from $500 to $5,000 in lost trade-in value, depending upon the age and type of automobile you have.

“You can expect from $500 to $5,000 more at resale time from a well detailed, sharp looking vehicle, instead of one that's “showing its age.” (Actually more for exotics and collectible cars.)”
HOW CAN I TELL IF MY CAR NEEDS WAXING OR POLISHING?
Clear coat paints make it more difficult to determine when your car needs waxing or polishing. It may need attention far sooner that its appearance would indicate.

Two simple tests can tell you if your car needs waxing:

Take a clean, dry Microfibre towel, and rub it along a clean upper surface of your car. If you feel drag, that's a sure sign you need to wax.  After washing and drying your car, take your hand and run your fingertips along the upper surfaces of your car's hood and boot. If you detect rough spots you also know you need to wax (using a cleaner wax). Or if the problem is more severe, you will need to deep clean the paint with a paint prep bar prior to waxing.

The best solution is to get on a regular maintenance schedule. Your personalised car care professional will suggest one that's right for your car.
DO WAXES HAVE UV PROTECTION?
Some waxes do contain UV-protection agents, but the amount of protection is limited. The main goal of a wax is to protect the upper layers of paint that do contain UV-protection agents.

If your car is waxed regularly, your paint will be protected and you should suffer no major UV damage.
WILL I GET BETTER RESULTS BY HAND OR WITH A BUFFER?
Professionals prefer using an orbital buffer because it makes it faster and easier to apply the right amount of even pressure during the application and buffing process. Often, hand application or buffing creates uneven pressure—especially if the wrong applicator or buffing material is used.

Anyone waxing by hand should always apply with the appropriate applicator and remove wax with a high quality microfibre towel. This protects the paint, and helps prevent uneven removal of surface care products. Avoid putting pressure on tops of ridges where your paint is the thinnest.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ORBITAL AND ROTARY BUFFER? WHICH IS BEST?
A dual action (DA) buffer runs in an eccentric circular motion. It is never in the same spot at the same time, like your hand or a regular rotary buffer. Most DA's don't apply torque to the surface and uses a random pattern to safely do its job.

If you use a rotary buffer and are not skilled in its use, you could easily apply too much pressure to the paint and burn right through it, creating a need for a new paint job. For the same reason, do not use buffers that are attached to power drills. A good DA buffer should last many years.
WHAT'S THE BEST WAX TO USE ON A BRAND NEW CAR? HOW SOON CAN I BEGIN WAXING?
The best wax to use on a new car varies with the type of car you are buying, the environmental conditions in your area and the amount of time you are willing to invest in waxing each year. Any new car will require a non-abrasive wax that is safe for newer paints.

As I only use the very best products available, I will only recommend the car care products that I use.

Home | About | Services | Testimonials | FAQs | News | Gallery | Links | Contact