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      10-11-2010, 12:53 PM   #1
CSanto
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Do it myself or Pay a service?

This month my car is 2 years old. Has some swirls and needs wax desperately.

I want to give it a full 3 step detail. I was thinking about buying a DA polisher and trying it out myself, but it looks ridiculously time consuming, and I don't have a lot of time to begin with.

Also, is it necessary to tape up all the door jams and everything? I dont have the patience for that.

I figured I'd save a good bit of money doing it myself, and I'd have the buffer and supplies should I ever need them for another detail.

Has anyone taken on this project and been overwhelmed? Or is it not as bad as I'm making it out to be?

Thanks for all the input,
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      10-11-2010, 04:20 PM   #2
Leozap
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Been 2 years, I'd pay. I paid for mine and it came out pretty good.
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      10-11-2010, 07:36 PM   #3
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If you love to learn and don't mind taking 20+ hours only to find out you didn't do it as good as it could be done, do it yourself. You can follow internet directions and still not end up with professional results. It's an art....but it can be learned. Be prepared to spend tons of time and a lot of money on products and tools.

Or you can just pay someone and focus on making money doing what you do best(and are paid for at work). I pay contractors to do stuff for me that I could do, but I would rather spend that time getting paid for what I do best all the while having a quality job and not worrying about it.

There is no right answer anyone else can give you. You now have the knowledge to make an educated decision as only you can say what's best for yourself.

**EDIT:
You have an alpine white BMW. Be prepared to work on some of the hardest and most difficult clear coat there is.
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      10-11-2010, 09:57 PM   #4
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OK, I may be O.C. but just I did my 2011 Jerez black over a two day period. I washed, dried with a leaf blower and micro fiber towel then clay barred the whole car. I then used P21s paintwork cleanser with a Porter Cable 7424 and a green pad (I had minor swirl marks from the dealership). That was day one and took about 2 1/2 hrs., longer if you include cleaning the pads and putting stuff away. Tonight when I got home from work I applied 2 coats of P21s carnuba wax. That took about 2 hours also. Tomorrow night I plan on doing wheels, tires and outside glass, next night interior. I expect to have a total of around 7 hours total of very enjoyable cleaning. Never felt overwhelmed and it looks awesome. It was also my first time using a polisher. I did spend a lot of time reading and watching videos on autogeek.com though. Hope that helps.
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      10-12-2010, 07:21 AM   #5
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Not trying to be insulting, but just from the sound of your post I would say your better off bringing it to a pro. To do a full exterior only detail on Alpine White your looking at about 6 hours to do it right. Wash, clay, megs 105, then 205, then CG ez-creme glaze followed by a wax or sealant of choice. If you don't take your time in the prep, taping and polishing you won't be happy with the end result. With AW I have found that unless you feel swirl removal is a must, or your car is very swirled, that it looks great with just a glaze (to hide swirls) followed by blackfire wd. But if your hearts not into it have a pro do it. PS if your near Long Island have Detailing Dynamics give you a quote, they are in Mineola.

Last edited by Hawk Lax; 10-12-2010 at 07:26 AM.
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      10-12-2010, 07:30 AM   #6
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When I read your title, I thought you were talking about hand-jobs
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      10-12-2010, 10:57 AM   #7
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^ hahahaha
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      10-12-2010, 04:46 PM   #8
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Two years and no detailing done.....you need more than just waxing!. You need poliahing for the oxidation build up and swirl removal. You are going to need a good clay session as well. How about the wheels and the wheel inners??? Those are probably going to need a stong cleaner to remove built up brake dust.

There are a lot of products for certain aspects of a car detail...especially for paint correction. I would plan om paying a tad more now for a higher end job and have the car done right the first time. Then you buy the few products for the upkeep on a weekly/monthly cleanings.
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      10-12-2010, 04:48 PM   #9
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Oh and i agree with detailing dynamics
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      10-12-2010, 09:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchiodo View Post
OK, I may be O.C. but just I did my 2011 Jerez black over a two day period. I washed, dried with a leaf blower and micro fiber towel then clay barred the whole car. I then used P21s paintwork cleanser with a Porter Cable 7424 and a green pad (I had minor swirl marks from the dealership). That was day one and took about 2 1/2 hrs., longer if you include cleaning the pads and putting stuff away. Tonight when I got home from work I applied 2 coats of P21s carnuba wax. That took about 2 hours also. Tomorrow night I plan on doing wheels, tires and outside glass, next night interior. I expect to have a total of around 7 hours total of very enjoyable cleaning. Never felt overwhelmed and it looks awesome. It was also my first time using a polisher. I did spend a lot of time reading and watching videos on autogeek.com though. Hope that helps.
Post pick please. I ordered a Jzb and want to do it myself.
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      10-12-2010, 09:16 PM   #11
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If you have a nice big garage and all the equipment you can surely DIY.

You probably want to tape up the non-paint surfaces as the chemicals don't work on every material.

It's a very long process. In short you have to:

1. Wash your car
2. Clay your car
3. Use rubbing alcohol to remove any left over wax/polish
4. Tape up trim pieces
5. Polish (this could take a few steps depending on the level of correction needed)
6. Wash off the polish
7. Wax
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      10-18-2010, 06:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Envious Eric View Post
Two years and no detailing done.....you need more than just waxing!. You need poliahing for the oxidation build up and swirl removal. You are going to need a good clay session as well. How about the wheels and the wheel inners??? Those are probably going to need a stong cleaner to remove built up brake dust.

There are a lot of products for certain aspects of a car detail...especially for paint correction. I would plan om paying a tad more now for a higher end job and have the car done right the first time. Then you buy the few products for the upkeep on a weekly/monthly cleanings.
perfect advice, Eric.
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      10-26-2010, 05:32 PM   #13
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Pay for the professional detail

Comparative advantage (Econ 101)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage
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      10-27-2010, 02:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rldzhao View Post
If you have a nice big garage and all the equipment you can surely DIY.

You probably want to tape up the non-paint surfaces as the chemicals don't work on every material.

It's a very long process. In short you have to:

1. Wash your car
2. Clay your car
3. Use rubbing alcohol to remove any left over wax/polish
4. Tape up trim pieces
5. Polish (this could take a few steps depending on the level of correction needed)
6. Wash off the polish
7. Wax
If he hasn't detailed the car in two years there won't be any old wax/sealant for him to worry about so that step can be skipped. Some polishes do not leave residue (Menzerna and Klassecome to mind) so that extra wash and the taping might not be necessary depending on the products used.

Having said that, I don't think he really wants to do it himself, especially if he's pressed for time. I used it as time to get away and relax. It's very therapeutic, but I'm weird.
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