Eggtuary

Best protection on a modest budget?

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Hi, folks! I have been doing a lot of reading here, but this is my first post. Go easy on me! :)

 

I just recently bought a 2014 Honda CR-V in urban titanium (kind of a bronzy gray). This is a daily driver, not a show car, but I do want to keep it clean. As such, I would be the ideal customer for Opti-Coat.

 

Unfortunately, Opti-Coat is probably out of my budget at the moment. I found a place not too far away that can do it for about $400, including the initial cleaning and removing of imperfections (including the dealer-applied paint protection). But my wife is really balking at that kind of spending on a brand new car. In her mind, I should save up for a service like that, and maybe have it done a year or two from now.

 

I thought about buying Opti-Coat and applying it myself, but all the directions say to get the paint in perfect condition first. I don't have an orbital sander or polisher, and from what I read here, results using polishes by hand just aren't the same.

 

So what is my best bet? I want to start using Optimum products (don't have any at the moment) and protecting my car until I can get Opti-Coat.

 

Based on my readings here, I was wondering if I should get the Six Pack 3 offered here:

 

1) Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine

2) Optimum Car Wax

3) Optimum Leather Protectant (which may be Protectant Plus now?)

4) Optimum Tire Shine

5) Optimum Power Clean

6) Opti-Seal

 

I realize that it's recommended that one polish the car before applying Opti-Seal, but it doesn't seem to be as big a deal as with the Opti-Coat. That is, since the Opti-Seal is not a permanent coating, I wouldn't be making any swirls in the paint permanent.

 

So I'm thinking I can just get the above, a wash mitt and some grit guards, along with some good microfiber towels, and I'll be in good shape for a year or two until I can get the Opti-Coat.

 

Thoughts?

 

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I would add Some Hyper polish and an Orange Foam pad ( http://www.optimumcarcare.com/Orangefoam.php?li=9 )

 

to that list, and a tool you may already have, a random Orbital sander(since it,s considered a household tool, you may even get some bonus "honey do list" points). A Random orbital sander will allow you to polsih as well as a more expensive porter Cable. http://youtu.be/6oO-xc2i3VE With the pad and Hyper polish you will get correction and shine, switch out the Hyper for some Optimum GPS and you will be adding protection at the same time. The rest of your list is the Optimum perfect care care list.

 

 

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Does the car have any "imperfections" in it now? At least ones that you can't live with? The reason for "polishing to perfection" before OC 2.0 application is to not lock in swirls under it that are going to bother you for the life of the coating. If the car looks good to you now, there isn't any reason not to try to Opti-Coat (other than the fact that the more time you spend on your car the more acutely aware you may become of swirls and the more they may bother you).

 

Gently claying the surface followed by a hand application of Hyper-Polish could be a sufficient OC 2.0 prep. On the other hand, if you have no experience applying WOWA (Wipe-On, Walk Away) products, maybe you just want to take the route you outlined. You could do a lot worse than regular washing followed by regular application of either OCW or Opti-Seal.

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you will do fine with opti seal and optimum car wax...if the machine isn't in the budget, and your not looking for a showroom finish, these products will give you the protection you want from the elements.

 

most importantly, adopt a proper wash technique to avoid any damage.

 

for the 400.00 your looking to spend on a detail, you will go along way to outfitting yourself to do it on your own.

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A Random orbital sander will allow you to polish as well as a more expensive porter Cable.

I want to make sure I'm interpreting this statement correctly. Are you saying that a cheap random orbital sander can do just as good a job as a Porter-Cable? I only ask because years ago I had a really cheap RO sander (Black & Decker, maybe?) that fell to pieces in the middle of trying to use it. Plus, I didn't really know what I was doing, so I probably wasn't buying the right bonnets or products. As you can imagine, I never had good results with it other than to apply wax.

 

Plus, I mentioned not long ago to my wife that I was thinking about buying the Porter-Cable and doing the whole polish and Opti-Coat process myself. She reminded me that I broke a computer back in the fall when I tried to tinker with the insides. So I don't exactly have her confidence!

 

I guess my question is: Are some polishers more "idiot-proof" than others? Because that's what I would need.

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Gently claying the surface followed by a hand application of Hyper-Polish could be a sufficient OC 2.0 prep. On the other hand, if you have no experience applying WOWA (Wipe-On, Walk Away) products, maybe you just want to take the route you outlined.

Claying is something I tried a couple of times several years ago. I found that I induced marring on the soft paints of my Japanese cars, so without a polisher to correct the damage, clay just wasn't for me. But now I read about products that people say can get the same results without the marring. Opti-Eraser in the fine grade, maybe?

 

As you can imagine, I have no experience with WOWA products. So I'll be honest, they scare me a bit. And is it true that Opti-Coat PRO (which a dealer would have to install) is considerably more durable than the Opti-Coat 2.0?

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most importantly, adopt a proper wash technique to avoid any damage.

 

Do you have any pointers? I'm going to use two buckets with grit guards, Optimum No Rinse, and keep my wheel tools completely separate from the mitt used for the rest of the car.

 

I saw an Optimum video on YouTube where they hit the dirtiest parts of a car (wheels and lower panels) with Power Clean, then used ONR on the whole car, and finished up with Opti-Seal. Is that a routine I would do a couple times per year? Every wash? If the former, then what do I do for the in-between washes?

 

I really appreciate all the feedback, folks!

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Yes a small random orbital sander is about as idiot proof as one can get(Idiots, as a group, are responsible for defeating more idiot proof saftey practices then any other group known to man). It will have the same cut as the more expensive Porter Cable, but not teh life span. For someone doing there car every 2-6 months it will last for years.

 

A good wash technique and products are condusive to a great long term relationship with your paint, and what you described above is a good technique(ONR with a bad technique is still safer that soap with the best technique). Everytime you apply Power clean to the surface you are removing any protection(except Opti Coat) so it must be followed with protection.

 

I woud choose the Optimum Clay over the eraser. To minimise marring use a good lubricant(OCW), and little or no pressure, and knead the clay often. If your polishing, clay should always be part of the equation.

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Do you have any pointers? I'm going to use two buckets with grit guards, Optimum No Rinse, and keep my wheel tools completely separate from the mitt used for the rest of the car.

 

I saw an Optimum video on YouTube where they hit the dirtiest parts of a car (wheels and lower panels) with Power Clean, then used ONR on the whole car, and finished up with Opti-Seal. Is that a routine I would do a couple times per year? Every wash? If the former, then what do I do for the in-between washes?

 

I really appreciate all the feedback, folks!

 

looks pretty good, but i don't think you will need power clean all that often.

 

two bucket method is great. you will find what works for you based on season, location, water restrictions etc.

 

 

just avoid the car washes for sure with the spinning/rotating brushes.

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So I bought the "6 pack" above and used every one of the products today! We had a brief warm-up, which allowed me to use even the Opti-Seal.

 

I was really impressed by all the products. I am a little bummed that the Leather Protectant seems to have overwhelmed the new car smell. It's not a bad smell, but I was enjoying the original. No biggie.

 

I was really impressed by the Opti-Seal. My car almost seemed to change color! The gold flakes in the "titanium" paint really came forward. Very cool.

 

I managed to talk my wife into letting me get the Opti-Coat later this spring. I can't wait to see how much that improves the ease of cleaning.

 

Thanks again for all the advice!

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