Menzerna Super Intensive Polish/Super Finish
Long story but this may help some others.
After purchasing my Le Mans Blue M3, I'm reminded why I like Silver and White cars so much. I can't believe how soft the BMW clear coat is. If I use a detail spray to wipe a bug off of the hood, I can instantly see marring in the clear coat. I also have a pretty noticeable amount of swirl marks on the trunk that are driving me crazy. I wish I got Space Gray so that all these little imperfections weren't so visible.
All of this was fixable and just annoying until I had the worst case scenario for an aspiring detail pro happen. If you aren't from FL or Southern Georgia, you won't understand this, but we have love bugs in May and September/October. Their bug splatter is super acidic and will eat into the paint in as little as a few days, so you have to get them off pretty quickly. They were especially bad this fall. I'm talking having a thousand bugs on your front bumper that have to come off everyday. So I do what I've done for years. When I get home, I get the hose out and spray the bug ridden area down and then wipe the fresh bugs off with one of those perforated yellow mits. Since the car is going to get destroyed the next day and you can't just wipe down the semi-clean, wet BMW because the paint is so crappy, I just pull it in the garage and let it dry. I've done this hundreds of times with my other cars and have had no problem. Well two days later I pull the car out to do a proper wash and I have water spots all over the hood from the water that wasn't wiped off. I thought this was odd. It's never happened to my other cars, and I just chalked it up to the darker paint and figured they wash right off. Well they didn't. I'm talking hundreds of very visible former water beads imbedded in the clear coat. I still figured, no big deal. I'm due for a clay/polish/wax in the next week or two.
Fast forward a few weeks, and I clay the hood. The spots don't come out. I then use Griot's Polish 3 that has always done well for me. THE SPOTS ARE STILL THERE, HUNDREDS OF THEM! I go down to Polish 2, still there. I use Polish 1, still there! I then go back up to 2 then finish with 3, and the water spots are still there after 4 1/2 hours of work on just the hood. Griot's polish is super hard to get off the car. I look at my wife and say, "I'm selling the car. I can't live with this."
I've detailing for no one other than myself and the occasional friend for three or four years. I've been a big Griot's Garage fan as I've always liked complete sets of things. I've probably spent five or six thousand dollars on all kinds of products and equipment, and my cars have looked great. But this BMW, my first, is taking me to school.
I've been slowly veering away from Griot as I continue to read Phil's stuff from Detailer's Domain. I always knew Griot wasn't the end all be all and there is no way one company makes the best product for every application, but I was satisfied and liked the way my Griot shelves looked with all of the matching bottles.
So I bought Menzerna Super Intensive Polish also known as P083 or SF1500 and Super Finish also known as PO106FA or SF4000. I also bought Orange, Green, Blue, and Black pads as it was time for me to graduate from using a "one application fits all" pad.
Holly crap this stuff is awesome! It took me an hour and a half to clay, polish with Orange Pad and SF1500, finish polish with Blue pad and SF 4000, and wax the enitre hood. SF1500 took off the water spots in one pass. To top it off, the Menzerna Polishes wipe off almost as easy as a detail spray unlike my finger bleeding Griot stuff.
I'm now back in love with my car again and can safely say that Richard Griot won't be taking the next five grand of my money. Most likely Detailer's Domain will be.