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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
just a little car washing story for you guys. i know there are a few threads for specific products already asking for advice, but i figured a testomonial / guide thread wouldn't hurt. i would love to hear what everyone is using & how they are using it on their 3s. obvously i'm still interested in making my 3 look as good as possible so any input is valuable not only for myself but for all those on the boards. . .


i've been using the mr. clean for just over a month now on my 3. since my car is black every little scratch shows. the mr. clean def. was an improvement from a normal car soap / sponge setup in that there was no drying / scratches from drying. now i go over the car a couple of times with a microfiber towel once most of the water is gone. the one thing i have noticed is water tends to hide all over the body. after a few good passes everything is super super dry & there are no new scratches.

anyway, the point in this is that i had a few visible scratches on the hood & the paint had lost its luster. granted it was still rather reflective, the reflections were just dulled. i used some of meguiars scratchX to remove most of the scratches with utter ease, but i still wasn't pleased with how the paint looked. i have been lusting after a deeply shined black car for years now.

i had been reading about high end car show type waxes for a while but wasn't sold on the idea fully considering the upkeep involved. however, i read on autotopia ( seller of these high end car show-esque waxes ) quite postive reviews of meguiars NXT wax. considering the fairly inexpensive cost & technical specs ( for lack of a better description ) of the wax i decided it'd be worth a try. i mean a polymer wax that offers a deep shine & protection? it can't be all bad, plus i have used soley meguiars products on all my cars.

after having a red prelude for years that i waxed with gold class i wasn't too sure how a black car was going to shine with this new fangled NXT wax. . .i mean to get a deep shine on my prelude that had nice paint to start with i would start with a coat of red turtle wax liquid polish, let it set for an hour or two after buffing, the move on to at least one coat of gold class. even then, the shine didn't last too long.

i will tell you now that everying about this NXT wax is AMAZING. not only did the paint turn mirror like above & beyond the gold class shine, but all of the fine scratches were gone. the paint pretty much repels everything that touches it ( bugs, pollen, etc. -- even more scratches ). the application was easy enough, the wax goes on with ease and goes right where you want it. after it hazed i took a brand new flannel polishing cloth to it. buffing wasn't the eaisest, but the work wasn't anything too intense. once the haze was gone, the paint polished to a shine far beyond what i expected. i wasn't too sure how long to expect it to last however.

this past week brought 90 degree days where i have to park my car in the hot-semi-direct sun for atleast 10 hours & also some showers ( showers which are seriously acidic ). the showers weren't too bad this time around but the roads have much sediment on them lately & it turns things sick when the rain comes. surprisingly, the shine was still intense though what would have dulled my normal 'prelude shine'.

after waxing last wknd & going through the kakalak weather,a wash again this wknd with my mr. clean was in order. the dirt and everything that was sticking to my paint something fierce before waxing seemed to be non-existant. i was mostly cleaning off bugs & the dirty glass this wash. anyway, after washing the shine was super intense still & the paint was looking great. however, i decided to give the 'NXT booster spray' a try.

at first i thought this was going to be more of a 'detail spray' than it actually is. it turns out this is basically a spray version of the normal wax. granted it does not go on as thick as the liquid wax, i was surprised by how much of a coat you wind up with. basically you're to spray this stuff on, spread it out, let it dry a little, then buff it off. in the end you end up doing a light wax job in that you work hard to get all the knooks and crannies buffed & polished just as you normally would with liquid wax, but the big surfaces ( hood, doors, roof ) are super super easy to get done. in the end, the shine was deepened & the super slick just waxed surface was restored. the paint looks much deeper now than it did even after the 1st waxing.

my conclusion, this was a LOT of work. the 3 is a pretty easy car to wax in the 1st place ( there aren't a lot of spots to avoid and the body panels are pretty large without tons of seams ), but by a lot of work, i mean this isn't for everyone. i spent 3 hours washing, waxing, & detailing my car the 1st time. the wash, booster spray, & detailing was just over 2 hours yesterday. granted, multiple coats and labour intensive buffing weren't needed to get a shine that rivals everything i've seen off the shelf & into the high end market. the paint is like a giant black mirror right now. nothing is sticking. actually, everything glides RIGHT off because the surface is insanely slick with a deep deep gloss.

my one real complaint is that the spray goes pretty much everywhere. i could not for the life of me get the spray to go where i wanted it too. this left me with waxy crap over the windows & onto parts that i wasn't really ready for or that i'd already done. a minor problem at best. a little practice won't be too much trouble. i think i could refine my technique to get this spray process done quickly with very little overspray.

in the end, worth every cent. . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
4DSC said:
Hmm... you've read the Autopia forums or articles and you still use a sponge? Tsk tsk... ;)


Thanks for the product reviews.
i've used a microfiber sponge on my old prelude for years. on the 3 i use a microfiber wash mitt that only touches my car & nothing else.

if i have to set any of my car cleaning stuff down i put it onto a clean towel set in the shade. god forbid i ever drop my wash mitt onto the driveway. . .i'll be running to the store to buy a new one, literally.

moral of the story, the only thing good enough for my car is mircofiber.



edit : forgot two points.

1 -- thanks for the comment 4DSC. you seem to know your shit so i take it to heart.

2 -- i forgot to mention that using the mr. clean car wash seems to cut the wash time down dramatically. i can spray soap with my left hand & wipe with my right at the same time. i do this from top to bottom starting from the back. i find the work really really easy to do & can get the whole car done without breaking a sweat. also, i tend to squirt just enough wax safe bug remover onto the front of the car before i start washing. this helps loosen up all the crap & guts so that when you get to the front, most of the debris is already gone. just be sure to use something mild, wax safe, and be sure rinse very clean.


i hope others can read this post and feel confident that washing their 3 with ease and without fear of damage is possible. the information that is on autotopia is daunting to say the least. plus, this is 3 specific! can't beat that ;)

thanks again! i'd like to hear what others think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
rukkus said:
has anyone tried using different shampoo in the mr. clean sprayer? i know it says on the box that it will cause clogs.. but i'd think that's just a way to get you to buy their soap. the box also says the soap it comes with won't strip wax, but I've heard otherwise.
honestly, i like the mr. clean soap a lot. my wax has not been stripped from using it. i doubt 99.8% that such a product would be sold under the guise of 'revolutionary car care'. granted, marketing is a shady practice, but you have to realize an insane amount of money goes into making sure it works.

i feel what people have described as the 'wax being stripped' is all of the surface contaminant coming off the car with very little work. with just a few wipes with my brand new, bright yellow microfiber wash mitt one whole side was practically black. i was astonished. using meguiar's gold class car shampoo on my prelude for years, i had to work damn hard to get that much of the crap off my car.

i can guarantee the wax on my 3 has not been stripped with my mr. clean. i have washed with it every week for about 6 weeks now. each time the car retains its shine and the surface remains just as slick as when i started. you do have to understand however, that no matter how good the wax and how much upkeep you do, eventually you will need to add a fresh coat to retain the high level of protection and even personal satisfaction a fresh coat of wax provides.

i find myself detailing my car to some exent every day of the week. through trial and error i have developed my own personal upkeep routine. at any given time, if you see my car it will look like a spotless mirror ;) at least i hope. . .point being, do what works for you but take the time to understand how things work & to do things the right way the 1st time. ( that applies to everyone and under all facets of life )
 

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Black Mazda3

Hey,

I also have a Black Mica MZ3, about two weeks old. Do you think that the paint originally lost it's lustre from the Mr Clean auto dry wash?

I'm using Mothers California Gold, and I'm pretty happy so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Black Mazda3

GBMazda said:
Hey,

I also have a Black Mica MZ3, about two weeks old. Do you think that the paint originally lost it's lustre from the Mr Clean auto dry wash?

I'm using Mothers California Gold, and I'm pretty happy so far.

gb, i think the luster was lost after a few ( 4-ish ) washes, but that's almost normal. i know my car didn't have a good coat of wax from the dealer so i wasn't too surprised.

i have washed quite a number of times since with the mr. clean & haven't noticed much of a difference from a normal wash. i do know the wax is NOT being stripped as some have claimed. i have noticed the water beading less & less with each wash, but rather sheeting off a bit more. however, after every wash i hit the paint with a light coat of detail spray to finish things off. that being said, you may notice considerably less shine after x amount of washes compared to my ride.

i find that each time i wash, the process gets a bit shorter and that i am more adept at getting things super clean & shiny with less effort. i think the lesson lies in 'you only get out as much as you put in'. i feel the more effort i make, the more satisfying the result. what a surprise ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Great info

GBMazda said:
Thanks evil,

that's really helpful, cause this is my my first new car, and my first black car!

this is my 1st black car as well (i have always had or helped detail red cars). i have, however, been actively detailing cars for the past 7 years as a 'hobby', for lack of a better word. i've tried tons of products & methods to get the 'perfect shine', but as with any 'hobby', it's an ever changing process.

the mr. clean & nxt wax products are soo new that some may not see the difference. some may not know the finer details of detailing well enough to judge in the 1st place. hence this post & my review of these products. understand that this still is my personal opinion ;)

anyway, more to the point. . .i really like the protection the NXT wax & detail spray has offered thus far. previously i was using gold class wax & meguiars generic detail spray on my red prelude ( which btw is now a yard trophy ). the results were pretty good, but i had to work HARD to keep the shine up. i knew buying a black car would be almost a curse since i am soo into keeping my ride super clean & shiny. i read what i could find about detailing a dark car, checked out tons of products, and in the end decided to try out these two new options.

understand there are MUCH better products out there for getting a show quality shine out of your car. however, understand they require lots of work and lots of money. i was more interested in trying products i could pick up at the local store & that would save me some time. granted, i still spend 3 hours detailing my car, the shine is way up there. i find that keeping up the shine is pretty easy using these new products as well.

again, understand that quality comes from the basics. i could possibly get a better shine using a bucket to wash & a cheap wax to shine, but the effort would be astronomical. however, the basic method would still be the same; take your time, don't use cheap shit ( products, toweling, etc. ), and stay out of the sun. those would be my 'three golden rules'.

for more, as i have directed others to in the past, check out : http://www.autopia-carcare.com/how-to.html

as always, hit me up with other questions or comments because i'm full of useless knowledge ;)
 

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If you don't mind, could you give me a step by step on your wash/wax, etc. I saw the How-To's on Autopia but...what do I do first? wash? claybar?

I've been using just the Mr Clean and I've owned the 3 (black also) for just under a month and I'm dying to polish her to a mirror.
 

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Ronin said:
If you don't mind, could you give me a step by step on your wash/wax, etc. I saw the How-To's on Autopia but...what do I do first? wash? claybar?
Wash first. You don't want to rub dirty paint. There should be instructions included with any clay kit you buy.
 

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NXT is good, but its not the best IMO. I use it along with other Meguirs products like the 3 step cleaner/polish/wax, the wheel cleaner, the tire rub, etc.... I thought NXT would be the next best shit from them, but I was a little bummed. A lot of hype for not the best results. The immediate result if A+, but the overall luster over time falls short.

But don't just take my word for it, see what NXT is up against and you'll understand.
http://www.autopia.org/review/censura.php?cmd=browse&category_id=2

There are better products out there (Klasse, Zaino Bros, Liquid Glass to name a few), but they cost more and are more labor intensive. You just have to know what you are looking for. NXT gives off a great mirrored wet look, while something like Liquid glass give a more Shiny "Glassy" look (for lack of a better word). NXT is great, but the farther south you go the hotter it gets and down here in Florida NXT doesn't last too long. The wax softens up and collects dirt, dust, etc... after only a couple weeks; then you need to re-apply. I found 2 coats of Liquid Glass will last 6 months and to me its worth the sore arm.

Anyway, yea its meguirs, yea its in a cool bottle, yea it smells great, yea its easy to apply, and yea, i even use it from time to time; but just be aware of other products and try them out and see which ones work for your color, body style.

my .02

-z
 

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zcast said:
NXT is good, but its not the best IMO. I use it along with other Meguirs products like the 3 step cleaner/polish/wax, the wheel cleaner, the tire rub, etc.... I thought NXT would be the next best shit from them, but I was a little bummed. A lot of hype for not the best results. (SNIP)
....and this is why tons of product hype is bad for everyone - no one wins in the end. :(

That's my $0.02.....
 
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