With show season well upon us, the Meguiar’s Detailing Bay has been a hive of activity with a wide range of show cars and demo vehicles going under the bright lights! Last month, Meguiar’s was hugely excited to welcome Lee Sibley from Total 911 Magazine into the bay with his 2004 Porsche 996 Carrera 4. Having never detailed a car before, Lee was keen to find out the stages involved in professionally cleaning your car, and more importantly how best to maintain its paintwork after a full correction.
‘The Carrera is mechanically excellent and has put a smile on my face for every one of the 3,000-miles I’ve driven the car to date.’ explains Lee. ‘However, cleaning the 996 one weekend, I noticed that although it was relatively tidy at face value, the paintwork was indicative of a car that’s lived a busy life among the elements of Europe’s roads for more than a decade.’
Having racked up several thousand miles since taking delivery, Lee’s first step after an initial jet wash was to use a clay bar to remove any contaminants before attempting any cutting or compound. Clay is an essential step in preparing the paint prior to any swirl or scratch removals, as well as restoration. It’s a quick and easy way or removing tree sap, road tar and industrial fallout. Simply apply Meguiar’s detailer to the surface as a lubricant, run the clay bar with finger pressure only over the surface and watch the contaminants disappear.
‘It’s amazing what you can learn under the glare of the hundreds of lights in Meguiar’s detailing bay!’ adds Lee. ‘First off, though the paintwork was generally good, albeit hiding behind a mottled layer of grime and road dirt, I realised the car has had paint on the bonnet since it left the factory (though the presence of the delivery label attached to its underside gives clear indication the bonnet is still original).’
Paintwork free of contaminants, it was now time to tackle those fine scratches and swirls emphasized further by black paint. Our secret weapon here is Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound – one of our most-popular swirl removal products currently available. More importantly, Ultimate Compound is loaded with paint cleaners specifically formulated to revive tired and faded paint as well as scratch removal.
Lee’s 996 only required 1-2 passes with the DA to remove most of the cobwebs and scratches, meaning it was now time to bring the shine back to the 12-year-old paint with Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish. A common misconception is that polish only protects the paint, but that simply isn’t the case. Polish feeds the paint with essential oils needed to maintain a shiny and long-lasting finish, but it must always be sealed with a wax.
Shine restored, the final step on the paint was to then protect the finish with Meguiar’s Ultimate Wax – our fagship wax. This was applied and allowed to cure for approximately 20-30 minutes and then removed with a clean microfibre towel for a super-glossy finish.
‘It’s amazing what a little TLC with the right products can do’ Lee says. ‘I am astounded that 12 years of road grime can be so comprehensively removed in just a day’s work in the Meguiar’s detailing booth, revealing glittering Basalt black metallic paintwork as fresh as the day this 911 left the Zuffenhausen factory. With no swirl marks embedded in the coachwork, the car’s aesthetics have been transformed from tidy but tired to a showroom finish worthy of the esteemed badge adorning the 996’s nose.’
The full detailing guide will be appearing in a future copy of Total 911 – you can read Lee’s latest diary update by clicking here: http://www.total911.com/lees-996-carrera-diary-dirty-to-detailed/