Help A Noob

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I am completely new to detailing, but I've just bought a brand new metallic black 328i and I'd like to make sure that I keep it looking as beautiful as it is now for many years to come. I've been lurking around Autopia and this forum for a few days just absorbing some of the knowledge to be found here, but this is a little like drinking through a fire hose so I thought I'd ask a few specific questions.


Can someone give me a run down of the primary purpose of the main Optimum products? From what I gather the Opti-Seal is intended mainly as a paint protector which will guard against scratches and swirl marks to a certain extent. The spray wax is mostly a cosmetic enhancer in that it makes the paint look deeper and more reflective etc. but does not necessarily offer significant protection. But I've also seen that Optimum has an Instant Detailer which is also mostly for improving the looks of the car, but I don't know what the difference between that and the wax is. Then I've also read about Poli-Seal, but I'm not really sure how that fits into the equation. Are there any I'm missing?


And more specifically what is the recommended process/schedule for maintaining a car's paint? To give a little background, I had my car detailed once already by Scottwax in order to get a good properly applied coat of wax on it as well as to observe some of his techniques. If I remember correctly he first ONR'd it, then applied Poli-Seal with a rotary followed by a carnuba wax applied by hand. So at this point what would you recommend as a weekly maintenance plan? I've already got some ONR and a bottle of the spray wax that I was planning to use as the basis of my regimen but would like some additional advice and recommendations.


Sorry for the length of this post and thanks in advance.



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Mike, welcome aboard.


You have gotten off to a good start having Scott evaluate and detail your new BMW for you.


Lets run down the products.


Opti-Seal is a wipe on walk away sealant that will give you up to 9 months of priotection. It will not help against marring in your paint. It is good to apply every quarter for a foundation to other products to go on top.


Poli-Seal is an all in one paint cleaner with protection that has a mild abrasive in it to help remove light defects. It will give your paint gloss and protection for at least a couple of months. It dose have the ability to temporally hide light scratching that you may have in your finish. It can be used with a machine or by hand. You can use this product quarterly to clean up any problem areas your car might have. It is good around the exhaust area where you can have a film build up or all around the back of the car to remove the gunk build up during the winter months from rain, ice or snow.


The spray wax is really a good products. The things you may read on autopia from others are blown out of proportion. Under favorable conditions the spray wax can give you a few months of protection. The key is to mist the panel wipe it in good then flip your towel to the dry side and give it a light buffing. This product can be used weekly after every wash it's that simple. It will not stain your trim like other waxes do. The spray wax is the only one on the market to give you Carnuba and polymer protection together.


The instant detailer is a new product for Optimum. Some would wonder why if the spray wax is in essence the same. The instant detailer is for those quick clean ups on garage queens that may have a few fingerprints and some dust. Or you can mist the panels of your BMW while still wet with the No Rinse. This will give your finish a nice slick feel and some more added gloss. If your not into spray waxes then it can be used to enhance the finish of your car between waxes. It is a great complement to the Opti-Seal and really adds to the gloss and slickness after the sealant has had time to cure. The instant detailer will give your finish a couple of weeks of light protection and slickness.


I recommend weekly washes with a quarterly evaluation of your paint to see if polishing is required. This is up to you! You set the standards. You own the car!

Apply Opti-seal every quarter and you can apply spray wax every other wash or instant detailer after every wash. You may see two different looks with these spray on products and might prefer one over the other.


Good luck with the new car and congrats.

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Thanks for the quick response, Ron.


Couple of follow up question:


1) If OS doesn't help against marring (which makes sense since I assume it would have to be harder than the clear coat to do that,) what does it protect against?

2) Is there any advantage to using a machine over old-fashioned elbow grease to apply the poli-seal other than the time you save?

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Waxes and sealants are intended to enhance the finish as well as keep contaminants from bonding to your finish. When this bonding occurs the contaminants will start to degrade the surface of your finish making it apper dull. You can have a shinny car with scratches in the clear but these small contaminants that bond will really make the finish aper dull.


For hand V Machine the UDM or PC will be your best bet. It dose the job in a uniform manor at the same speed. It will allow you to create more friction needed to polish then you could do by using good old elbow grease. Being consistent is one of the keys to an all over good finish.


Any further questions that you have I or the others will be more then happy to answer them so don't hesitate to ask.


Feel free to share pictures in the concourse form.

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