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Old 04-18-2012, 06:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What is sealer?

I bought some good old fashioned Turtle Wax to do my new Forester this weekend. Now it looks like I'm supposed to do some kind of sealer or something? Before I wax? What is sealer anyway?

I know the Turtle Wax takes a little elbow grease - I don't mind, but how does that stack up against some of the newer products on the market? I bought the Turtle stuff because that's what I've always used in the past (with "past" being the operative word here), but if there's something way better I'll donate the Turtle Wax somewhere else.

I'd also be interested in what clay is and the proper use of it. I saw it in Schwalmart, but I'm clueless!

Thanks guys - Jim
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Jim,
Congrats on the new car.
Wax is such a variety, so I will leave that alone.

The clay bar is used to get dirt out of the top coat that doesn't come out completely when you wash the car. I use the Mother's clay bar kit, there are others out there. It comes with a clay bar(x2), micro fiber towel and quick detail spray.

After you wash the car, you will want to clay bar the car before put down sealer and/or wax.

The detail spray is used as the lubricant for rubbing the clay bar. You will notice you can get bugs up with the clay bar. Break it up into sections, like you are waxing. Once you get a spot done, wipe down that area with the mf towel.

I like to rub in a front to back motion, length wise on my car, I don't do circles.

If you drop the clay bar on the ground, throw it out. You probably just picked up a bunch of particles and it will scratch your car.

Hope this helps.

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Old 04-18-2012, 07:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Dave! I think I'll go get the clay kit tonight after work. Great instructions on it's use, I really appreciate it.

I'm looking forward to my task this weekend.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Read the sticky at the top of this forum. I went from complete noob to professional detailer in one evening!

Actually not...but there's great stuff there.

Like you, shortly after buying my car, I went to Meijer, bought cheap soap and Meguiers because I recognized the name. THEN I started reading. Oi!
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's a slippery slope.. this detail business

Sealers are the newfangled synthetic petroleum based techy 'stuff', it's not a wax but does the same thing. Turtle wax (and other oldschool waxes) are usually non chemical carnuba or other types of wax.

Waxes/Sealants have come a long way; ease of use, and how long they protect and last have made huge gains.

Try a bunch, Meg's techwax is pretty amazing stuff, when I'm done my gold class it's up next.

Stay away from anything that says 'polish' until you're a bit more serious (and hooked) on detailing..

ps pay attention to any posts made by Kean, he is awesome.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Jim,
Best of luck and have fun. I find washing my car theraputic.
If you go with a sealer, make sure you check how long it takes to set before you can get it wet or apply wax.

Dave
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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DaveB420 explained clay well. Just youtube a video of it.
Here's a simple one:
Reading how to use it can be a little confusing as it seems weird to be rubbing down your car with clay and the neighbors may think your crazy

As far as waxing and sealants. Everyone has a different product they use, but there are a few that are more common/recommended among detailers (at least what I found during my research)
The question that I needed to answer was how often did I want to wax to protect my cars finish? You can get Carnauba waxes that produce a brilliant finish but need to be done more often, or you can get synthetic waxes and sealants that will last 3,6,9, or even 12 months. The synthetics produce a different finish, and it is a matter of personal preference in my opinion.


So for me:
1. I didn't have time to re-wax my car every couple of weeks.
2. I wanted something that would protect for a long period of time and I could basically do a wash and a quick detail when I felt like it and not worry about the finish being unprotected.
3. The answer was a synthetic sealant and IF I want that extra finish look that a Carnauba wax offers, I could do it overtop the synthetic and it would be perfectly fine and give that different finish!

I use Klasse All in One Polish and Sealant
then I use Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze.

My process the first time was:
Wash, dry, clay, wash and dry again (to remove any residue from the claying process) then apply Klasse AIO (I applied 2 coats for good measure to make sure I got spots I may have missed, you can apply 1 or as many as you want), then applied Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze (Again I applied 2 coats, you can apply 1 or as many as you want.)

I did this same process again 2 months after so I felt like I really had it protected. The labels say it is good for up to 12 months, but I will be doing it every 6. Now I wash every week or every other week and simply Wash it down good and use a quick detailer. Water beads up perfectly and it always looks fantastic. Next time I need to apply coats again I will do the same process that I put above.

The threads in this section are great, find out what fits your needs! If you decide to go with Klasse, you can still keep your turtle wax and apply that over top the high gloss sealant. Looking at places like autotopia and others is great to understand the process and the different options, but to be honest you don't need everything they tell you that you need. A few things are good, but those professionals can be pretty anal about their cars

My best tips that I think is most important before waxing:
Use the two bucket wash system and clay.
Buy a wash mit
Buy 2x Grit Guards (
Amazon.com: Grit Guard Wash Bucket Insert: Automotive Amazon.com: Grit Guard Wash Bucket Insert: Automotive
)
and use 2x buckets for your washing and rinsing.

This helps get grime off without dragging the dirt around on the surface and creating all those little microabrasions. It doesn't matter how good your wax or sealant that you buy is if the surface is not prepared properly.

Good luck!
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow - thanks, you guys are awsome! I really want to try the Klasse products, looks like I'll have to order them from Amazon - not available anywhere locally for me. Meanwhile I'll make a shopping list for Walmart. Just checked and they have the Meguiars NXT Tech Wax, and the clay kit in stock. I'll pick up a wash mitt while I'm at it. The votech center here at work has a huge auto shop that's brand new - 4, four pole lifts, paint booth, you name it, I'll pull inside there on Sunday when I'll have the place to myself, crank up the tunes and go to town.

Meanwhile I'll start reading all the info on the sticky here. Probably won't get much work done today, good thing I'm the boss ;-)
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Glad to help. After reading all of the different detailing websites, I thought I needed all of these fancy tools (like the Porter Cable polisher) and the best materials, so I went out and bought most of those things. So take everything with a grain of salt (even what I say) and start off slowly and see what works for you. Don't get lost and think you need what the professional or the guy that takes the car to the track or show every weekend has (UNLESS that is your goal, which is perfectly fine!)

I used the Porter Cable polisher, then returned it because I really don't need it for my situation, the Klasse products were easier to work in by hand for me. If I was working out scratches and doing major work daily, I could see it coming in handy, but for now it is unnecessary.
The three most important things that I found for my situation were:
Klasse products
Grit Guard (2 bucket system)
ONR (Optimum no rinse) I don't like going through car washes whether they are touchless or not, so for the winter months this came in handy when it was so cold outside and doing it in the garage made more sense (I have a tiny garage)
TIP: Working in Klasse by hand is easy just use a nice cotton cloth (6 packs at walmart in the auto sections are only a couple bucks), if you have trouble removing any of the Klasse products, just a little spritz of quick detailer and wipe off with a mf towel does the job.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmemcse517 View Post
I bought some good old fashioned Turtle Wax to do my new Forester this weekend. Now it looks like I'm supposed to do some kind of sealer or something? Before I wax? What is sealer anyway?

I know the Turtle Wax takes a little elbow grease - I don't mind, but how does that stack up against some of the newer products on the market? I bought the Turtle stuff because that's what I've always used in the past (with "past" being the operative word here), but if there's something way better I'll donate the Turtle Wax somewhere else.

I'd also be interested in what clay is and the proper use of it. I saw it in Schwalmart, but I'm clueless!

Thanks guys - Jim
Talk about a can of worms..... ;)

Yes, there are sealants like Meguiars NXT 2.0, Zaino Z-2/Z-5, Blackfire WDPS, Wolfgang DGPS 3.0, Klasse SG, Collinite 915, etc. etc. ....and then there are AIO's like Klasse AIO, Zaino Z-AIO, Duragloss 501. ....hybrids (i.e. wax/sealants) like Wolfgang Fuzion, Dodo Juice Supernatural. ....semi permanent nano coatings like those from G/Techniq, AQuartz, Cquartz. ....permanent coatings like Optimum Opti-Coat/Opti-Gaurd. ....WOWA's (wipe on, walk away) sealants like Optimum Opti-Seal, Ultima Paint Guard Plus, Zaino C-CS (Optimum Opti-Coat (the permanent coating) is also a WOWA product), WOWO's (wipe on, wipe off) products like Wolfgang Fuzion. ....and the list goes on....

My point is that a person can really drive themselves crazy thinking about all of this stuff. To make matters worse, these terms the industry uses (i.e. sealant, wax, polish, etc.) are not necessarily standardized. A good example of this is Z-5 & Z-2 from Zaino. While both are labeled as a "polish", neither have corrective ability (abrasives meant to remove blemishes in your finish). In fact, both are sealants in the general sense of the term. ....Z-5 has some filling ability.

What it really boils down to IMO/IME is what you are looking for in a product (i.e. durability, a certain aesthetic characteristic, contaminant shedding ability, beading/sheeting, ease of use, cost, compatibility, etc.). In other words, I wouldn't get too hung up on what people say you "should" be using (whether specific or generalized). I think most folks here have touched on this key point as you can see in one of Slatergs lines in his last post: "The three most important things that I found for my situation were:" IMO, the "best" product/tool/technique/solution is what works well for your situation. Only you can make that final decision.

I know this probably doesn't answer your question directly but hopefully it provides a little different perspective on the topic. If you're not happy with your current LSP (last step product; wax/sealant), you may want to visit the forums of Autogeek, Autopia.org, etc. where you can read reviews/opinions/experiences regarding various other products to see what might work better for you. I don't have any personal experience with the TW product you mentioned but you may also find some feedback for that on detailing-specific sites/forums like the ones I mentioned.



On the subject of clay bars, the following videos are a 2 part tutorial regarding clay by Mike Phillips Director of Training at Autogeek (formerly of Meguiars). There are a lot of videos out there but I like this one since Mike is an excellent instructor and he covers a lot of key points regarding the topic that I think are important:


Hope this helps.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by vicali View Post
ps pay attention to any posts made by Kean, he is awesome.
....I just noticed this comment.

Thanks for the vote of confidence but I think you give me too much credit.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Slatergs View Post
....then applied Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze (Again I applied 2 coats, you can apply 1 or as many as you want.)

I did this same process again 2 months after so I felt like I really had it protected. The labels say it is good for up to 12 months, but I will be doing it every 6.
A fellow member (well respected) over on Autopia.org (Accumulator) still swears by KSG (4 coats (IIRC) applied after each has been given adequate time to cure) as one of the most resilient, durable sealants he has used to date. While he has used and likes other LSP's, I think KSG is still a benchmark for him that he will sometimes measure other products against.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:33 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slatergs View Post
The question that I needed to answer was how often did I want to wax to protect my cars finish? You can get Carnauba waxes that produce a brilliant finish but need to be done more often, or you can get synthetic waxes and sealants that will last 3,6,9, or even 12 months. The synthetics produce a different finish, and it is a matter of personal preference in my opinion.

This helps get grime off without dragging the dirt around on the surface and creating all those little microabrasions. It doesn't matter how good your wax or sealant that you buy is if the surface is not prepared properly.
x2

I got really tired of spending hours applying carnauba wax and it only last a month. I am so sold on using zaino because it takes virtually no time to apply and I only have to apply it twice a year...and even that often probably isn't needed based on how well it beads even at the end of 6 months. honestly, I dont see any noticeable difference between carnauba and the zaino. I use ZFX enabled Z-2 and topped with one coat of Z-CS

Especially on these terrible new EPA regulated clear coats that are softer, the less you're "polishing" in waxes or sealars I think the better chance you have of not creating spiderwebbing and the better you are in the long run.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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x2I got really tired of spending hours applying carnauba wax and it only last a month. I am so sold on using zaino because it takes virtually no time to apply and I only have to apply it twice a year...and even that often probably isn't needed based on how well it beads even at the end of 6 months. honestly, I dont see any noticeable difference between carnauba and the zaino. I use ZFX enabled Z-2 and topped with one coat of Z-CS
IME, Zaino Z-5/Z-2 takes about as much time as any other non-staining sealant these days. ....mix with Zfx (if desired), apply to the entire vehicle, allow to dry to a haze (~30 - 45 minutes IME in most cases) and wipe off. The process can take much longer if your applying the multiple coats and/or using something like their Z6 between each application of the sealant(s). .....humidity and temperature can also play a big part.

On the other hand, while I have no personal experience with Z-CS, I do use other WOWA sealants like Opti-Seal. It really doesn't get mush faster than that. I even use an airbrush in many cases with this product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspector View Post
Especially on these terrible new EPA regulated clear coats that are softer, the less you're "polishing" in waxes or sealars I think the better chance you have of not creating spiderwebbing and the better you are in the long run.
Well, not all modern paints are "soft". For example, the paint on my Challenger is noticeably "harder" than on my Subarus but not as hard as some GM vehicles I have worked on. ....some of those can be quite resistant to marring by comparison.

As far as mitigating the risk of marring, the majority of the damage people do to their vehicles in this respect can likely be traced back to how they care for their paint during their routine regimen. .....how they wash, dry, apply QD's, the quailty of products/tools they use, techniques, etc. Application of an LSP on the other hand is relatively safe provided your not screwing something up (ie waxing a dirty surface, using a contaminated or unsafe applicator, using towels that can scratch to remove your LSP, etc.).

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Old 04-20-2012, 09:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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oh, ok Not sure I ever said I needed to apply multiple coats with Z-6 in between, but whatever floats your boat to make your point!

Actually, I do everything I can to avoid marring, such as Grit guards, two buckets, plush mit, never too much pressure, in the shade,waffle weave dab drying, even tried drying with detailer to no avail..... you get to the point where it's almost not worth the hassle to touch the surface of your car.
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