You decided that this year you really want to show off your Porsche, Ferrari, R8, Lambo or your custom car. You have found the right exotic high end detailer and now you want to know what it is he's going to be doing to your baby to make your car look the best it can when your cruising down the road.
To get your paint in optimal condition requires that all the foreign contaminates be removed so all the tiny scratches can be polished away. He or she will start by washing your car and during the first wash process they will be cleaning your wheels, fender wells, tires and possibly motor if you feel comfortable with this being done. Next should be the clay bar process if your paint has contaminates. You may have heard your neighbor tell you that he clayed and waxed his car over the weekend and it looks and feels amazing. Trust me your professional detailer will be doing way more than this and it will show.
Your detailer will have a way of examining your paint whether it be with a halogen light or LED light. You can do this in your garage at home as well by using an LED flashlight and holding it over your paint about 2 feet away. You will be able to see what looks like cobweb type scratches. If it's really bad it will look swirled like the picture on the right.
Now that you and your detailer have now determined the condition of your paint it's up to them to figure out a plan to correct it. I'm going to use the images on the right as an example. This Range Rover was being washed by the owners gardner. It was badly scratched and to correct the finish we needed to get aggressive with the paint to remove the damage. This meant using a compound, a wool polishing bonnet and a rotary polisher. This process removes all the heavy scratches in the paints finish. This leveling process leaves behind swirls that every Exotic car owner fears. Swirls are very fine scratches left in the finish from the abrasives in the compound and the fibers in the wool pad. Some people call this a cutting step as well as a compounding step. Don't worry about the swirls they will be removed in the next step needed in the paint correction process called the polishing step.
The next step your professional exotic car detailer will be doing is polishing. This step will eliminate the swirls from the compounding process. This is done with foam pads and a polish that has milled abrasives that will diminish while being worked into the paint. Sometimes it's necessary to do this process twice starting with an agresive pad and finishing with a softer foam pad and the same polish.
Now you might think that the polishing is done and the only thing left to do is wax the car. Any highend detailer will take your vehicles paint to the next level with a final polish using what is known as a DA (Dual Action) polisher and an extremely soft foam pad in conjunction with a really ultra fine finishing polish. This process will eliminate the very slight wispy swirls that the foam pads left behind in the polishing process. These can usual only be seen in just the right lighting. This step really makes a difference.
At our shop we will re wash the vehicle to remove any polishing oils and remaining grit that may be left in the crevices so that we have a totally clean finish left to apply a premium wax or paint sealant.
Labor, skill and a lot of time is what it takes to bring your car up to super car status so don't expect it to all be done in a couple of hours. In some cases we will spend up to 16 hours just correcting the paint finish on a Ferrari. So plan on leaving your car over night at a shop or having someone working in your garage at home for a couple of days or longer.
Enjoy the ride.
Concours Auto Salon is a full service auto reconditioning shop in San Antonio Texas. We also provide protection products such as window tint, paint protection film (clear bras) interior stain protection and paint coatings.