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Dan Boots

Swirl marks – what, how, why and what can you do about them?

By WMCD News

Swirl marks – what, how, why and what can you do about them?

The majority of cars on the road will have swirl marks, sometimes hidden but sometimes very clear to see, usually on darker coloured cards because they reflect the light. Most people think that it’s part and parcel of cleaning a car for yourself at home and it’s inevitable. But it really isn’t and there are a few steps that you can take to greatly improve the presence of swirl marks and ensure that they don’t get a bad in the future.

Firstly, let’s look at what they are. Essentially a swirl mark is a very fine scratch on the paint’s surface. Swirl marks cut into a car’s paint coat, removing the colour, and allowing light to reflect off the scratch which is how we notice them.

So what causes them?

The most common cause is an inappropriate or incorrectly prepared washing and drying tools. The condition of your tools can be an issue such as a dirty chamois or a dusty towel. The materials can also cause a problem if they contain too much polyester content for example as this is too harsh for the car’s paint. Automated car washes are also a massive culprit for swirl mark, they may be very convenient, but you’ll pay for it afterwards! Some polish and paint products can also be too harsh so it’s always best to seek advise from an experienced detailer before using anything.

What can be done?

Swirl marks are a very normal occurrence on a car, and whilst there is always a small chance that they can appear, making sure that you use the right treatments, products and materials when looking after your car exterior will be a massive help.

WMCD services to help. We can provide full after card advice to make sure you can keep those swirl marks away!

2009 Porsche Boxster S Manual 2 Stage machine polish 5 year 3 layer ceramic coating system

By WMCD News

Re: 2009 Porsche Boxster S

A customer got in contact about a recent purchase of a Porsche Boxster S finished in ………. Black

Day 1

The car came into us,

we carried out a full inspection of the exterior of the vehicle before taking the keys of the customer,

This is an extremely good example of a Porsche Boxster S with around 50,000 miles on the clock, on a 2009 registration, finished with black leather and a manual gearbox this is a real drivers car, the owner had expressed that he wanted to bring the car up to a good level but he was still going to use the car for trips overseas in his ownership, which was a great practical approach

What work we did

the car then went through a full decontamination process, this is a deep clean wash.

 

After the pre-wash, a conventional three-bucket wash was carried out, followed by a very thorough decontamination. First, the tar was removed using Insta Finish – an LA-based brand owned by the long-established Warner Chemical Manufacturing. The fallout was next on agenda with CarPro IronX on the wheels to work their magic.

Finally, the   Bilt Hamber Auto-Clay Clay Bars

clay bar was put to good use removing any remaining bonded contaminants.

The vehicle was in for convertible hood deep clean and treatment as well as machine and ceramic coating work, as part of the safe wash stage the convertible hood went through full extensive decontamination, essentially a lot of all-purpose cleaners and elbow grease with a variety of brushes, to get out the contaminants and greenery filter in the fabric

 

After another safe wash it was finally time to Bring the car in dry off and inspect under the light, paint depth gauges were carried out around the vehicles paintwork to identify light spots, where the pain is thin

Once the pain sickness gauges have been carried out, we identified that the bonnet was particularly thin, my assumption is that this would’ve been an original bonnet due to a few stone chips, the rest of the paintwork was extremely clean and free from car park dinks and marks and knocks, although the paintwork was a severely swollen defect from poor washing.

At this point a conversation with the client to discuss whether a full correction was on the cards,

Wanted to go down a two-stage machine polish route rather than a full correction on the paint correction side of things

Day 2

The bodywork was covered with film so that the convertible hood could be coated, the following morning the second layer of Gtechinq Fabric coat was applied, and after curing time for the roof to dry off, the convertible hood and all the glass were taped up ready for machine polishing stage to start.

The machine polishing process, the first was using a cutting pad and polishing using the

Rupes Bigfoot LHR15 Mark 2 machine doing the majority of the work,

Photo before and after

Then a finishing pad and fining compound for refinements and moving those lighter scratches making the metallic sparkle and boosting the glass levels super soft white pad with the corresponding Diamond ultra fine polish

and finally, the iBrid Nano takes care of the smaller areas around the window frame with more intricate crevices.

will use a vast array of different machines, pads, and compounds – often mismatching brands for their desired effect.

This leads to an immeasurable number of possible combinations, and regardless of the paint you are confronted with, the chances are there will be a configuration that will do the trick. Just to add to the potential complexity, you can also adjust your method – varying the number of passes per set for example –

and add in extra elements of the front and rear bumper that have been re-sprayed and there was overspray up the front two arches and the rear quarter panels.

 

That said, Rupes are unique in that they manufacture their own machines, compounds, and pads – and they are developed together to provide what they refer to as a ‘system’.

In the past, we have attended Rupes Advanced Bigfoot Technique Seminar where he was honing his skills under the tutelage of Jason Rose, Global Director of Training for Rupes, who we interviewed later that day for the Car Care Adventures.

Before going any further, we got out the Scangrip LED swirl-spotting equipment and the panel wipe the check the results of the machine polishing stage of the detail

Day 3

final check before ceramic coating

after panelling the bodywork to remove any fillers and oils that have been left by the machine polishing stage

I finally inspection of the vehicle paintwork after the car has been panelled white to identify the true state of the paintwork, once we were happy we can then proceed with the ceramic coating

Once satisfied that the job was done properly, we set to work coating the car with Gtechinq Crystal Serum Light we applied this late on the evening of the second day of the booking so that there was a solid 12+ hours for this to bond to the vehicles paintwork,

The crystal serum light ceramic coating is more of a hard-core product that bonds to the vehicle’s paintwork think of this as an additional clear coat, it is this side of the product that offers more durability and more prevention of swell marks on the paintwork.

Day 4

The next day we came in early and applied to the first coat of gtechniq EXO V4 the manufacturers say that there is a curing time of two hours, as a matter of course we let this cure for four hours to get the ultimate bond between layers, an additional layer went on after lunchtime, the glass levels were really starting to show now,

The combination of these two products with the correct curing time between layers will offer the ultimate protection to your vehicles paintwork with a hardy base coat (to help prevent swirl marks in the paint)  that is bonded to the paintwork, and two layers of top coat for a finish which offers the ultimate in gloss, hydrophobicity and a superior finish

The Porsche wheels were deep cleaned with a panel wipe to remove any surface contaminants and dust then coated with Gtechinq C5 Alloy wheel armour ceramic coating applied to the wheel faces, this helps prevent brake dust buildup on the wheel and ease of cleaning

The exterior glass had three coats of Gtechinq G1 ClearVision, this is to help visibility when driving in rainy conditions really helps hydrophobicity on the glass.

The interior,

The interior was hoovered and cleaned throughout, including the boot and under the hood, leather and all the carpets were coated and treated with Gtechinq L1 Leather Guard treatment and protection

Gtechniq I1 Fabric Carpet treatment and protection

Day 5 Hand over

On day fifth day the car was ready to be handed back to a very happy client.

Thanks for reading