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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i washed my car last sunday when the weather was nice enough here in NJ. I was flabbergasted at the amount of swirls on the doors and sides of on my black hatch. must be the sand and sand they scatter on the roads when it snows. cant wait to do a full waxing of the car, right now i'm limited to spray wax after the wash. the hazards of snow on the road.
 

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Yup...depressing isn't [email protected]! Just think, spring is only 7 weeks and 1 day away!!! LOL..I hate winter
 

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I hear ya. Same story here in Indy.

Just an FYI though, waxing won't get rid of swirls. It may temporarily fill them in a little, but it doesn't remove them.
 

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I wouldn' even bother to wash it during the winter. I would host down the car and undercarriage a little and that's it.

When spring comes, wash, polish and wax.

We just got this car, no wax on it, just clear coat from the factory. Any experience with Mazda's clearcoat?

Is it hard or soft?
 

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Doesn't chip nearly as badly as my 06 Si did though...holy shyt was that paint thin! I think the passing air chipped the paint on the front of that car
 

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And Hoth, you are crazy for saying you wouldn't bother washing it during the winter!!! Pure insanity..mine gets washed all winter long, as often as is possible!!!
 

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scratches and swirls aren't caused simply by the presence of salt or sand (imo). most of it is caused by poor washing technique (ie using a dirty mitt or sponge) or drying (same but even the material can be abrasive, like a beach towel).
 

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YUK!!! :evil:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
[quote author=Aitch link=topic=134786.msg2903072#msg2903072 date=1233435130]
^^ exactly. But the most common cause in winter is brushing off snow! The bristles cause swirl marks, compounded by any salt residue on the paint.
[/quote]
i agree, that's why i use my california water blade to clear snow off my cars.
 

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[quote author=hatchback37 link=topic=134786.msg2903855#msg2903855 date=1233467669]
[quote author=Aitch link=topic=134786.msg2903072#msg2903072 date=1233435130]
^^ exactly. But the most common cause in winter is brushing off snow! The bristles cause swirl marks, compounded by any salt residue on the paint.
[/quote]
i agree, that's why i use my california water blade to clear snow off my cars.
[/quote]

Till you realize that you're also wiping dirt and sand particles off and your paint is all scratched up. Those blades aren't even safe for drying after a wash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
who said they're not safe?
 

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Anyone with a functioning brain, like mshu7. It's just basic physics, any sort of squeegee run over the finish will just drag residual grit over the finish and scratch it on some level.

There are many products and techniques that you can use to make it look it better than new. Unfortunately, they're difficult to apply in the winter if you don't have a warm, dry garage to do the finish work with.

I live in LA, which is having a mild, dry winter so far so, it's easy to keep my street parked car looking good. But for those of you in the real winter states, just wash it every (non frozen) week and wait for warmer weather to restore the finish. I've talked to body shop painters and professional detailers and they all say the same thing - keep it clean! Some of the synthetic polymers will help reduce the damage (wax doesn't help much in harsh conditions), but the main thing is to get the salty sandy road grime off your car as quickly and safely as possible. Commercial car washes are less than ideal but it's way better than letting that grime eat your paint until spring!

When the weather warms up and the salt and sand stops getting applied to the road, then deal with the carnage left behind. Clay bars, followed by swirl removers and tougher compounds for the deeper scratching, used properly, will get the finish back in good shape. Then, if you really want the best looking Mazda3 in the neighborhood, invest in some pro-quality products and learn how to use them before you even think about wax. Wax is the first line of defense but is also the first thing to wear off (1-3 commercial car washes). Think of wax as a finish coat to make it look pretty - what you do before the wax is far more important.

Meanwhile, just keep it as clean as you can to mitigate the inevitable damage caused by harsh winter driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
how do you guys clear the snow then? definitely not the brush, since that can be indicative of a non functioning cerebrum. can't drive w/o clearing the car or you might get a ticket.
 

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I typically just use my hand with a glove. However, I don't go all the way down to the metal. I leave about 1/2 - 1 inch of snow. The rest will blow off.
 

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I do the same, but with a brush. Just don't actually drag it over the paint.
 

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Same here with those styrofoam brush. BTW it's a dream to have a black car as a daily driver to be swirl-free..

All i do during the winter is ONR (Optimum No Rinse) washes whenever the weather is nice. But i've been getting a lot of dings on my roof from ice falling off buildings onto my car >_< My driveway is in between my house and neighbors...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
warm here in jersey last sunday, so today i am driving a black and shiny mazda3, woohoo!! my own formula of spray on wax/ detailer plus a little elbow grease gave it the shine to hide the swirl marks.
my wife's sienna too is the shiniest van in the school parking lot according to my daughter.
 
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