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Car Detailing Thread

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Beckwith, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

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    Anyone have any tips for cleaning/maintaining an Alcantara wrapped steering wheel?

    I like the feel - but it's starting to pill and not look so fresh, especially around 9 and 3 where hands are usually resting.


    Try this:

    Ultra suede :
    (Escaine, Alacantra) Should be cleaned by brushing the nap with a soft nylon upholstery brush, remove pilling with a single-sided razor blade and then applying a cleaning solution (Water /WooliteÂ[​IMG] or DreftÂ[​IMG] with a ratio of 5:1 or stronger) on to an applicator pad and apply to one area at a time (do not soak the fabric) Localized stains can be treated with a citrus-based cleaner, ensure surface is dry before use by leaving window cracked/open. For heavy stain removal- 1:1 Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover / Distilled water- http://www.folexcompany.com
     
  2. Daytona John

    Daytona John Active Member

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    +1 for Zaino - I also use their leather condition on the interior of my 330i - it smells great!
     
  3. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

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    +1 for Zaino - I also use their leather condition on the interior of my 330i - it smells great!

    Z-10 is the best leather cleaner I have tried.
     
  4. dastig

    dastig Well-Known Member

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    Oct 19, 2006
  5. Virginia Dandy

    Virginia Dandy Well-Known Member

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    Inspired by this thread, I splashed out on some new products recently. Finally had a free day yesterday to give them a try on the 2005 M3 (w/ competition package), the daily driver. Identical to photos below.

    Clean wheels first (BMW wheel gel and a battery of different brushes). The ZCP wheels are a bitch to clean in all of the nooks but are easier than the standard M3 wheels.

    Usual wash (MF mitts and a Meguiar's product I've had for ages).

    Zaino clay bar (new) with Wolfgang lubricant (new). I really liked how it pulled off stuff left behind after washing and left everything super smooth. An alarming amount of crap came off the areas behind the rear wheels.

    Wash again.

    Dry (an extra thick MF towel - forget where I picked that one up but it's mighty thirsty).

    Then into new territory for me. I'd never ventured into polishing or waxing myself before - but usually had a pro detail job once or twice per year. My usual washing had left some swirls in the meantime, of course. I gave the Klasse All-In-One Polish a try (ordered from Autogeek.net). Wow - what a difference. Covered the swirls nicely and the shine is plenty wet and deep for me. [​IMG]

    Dressed the tires with Zaino Z16 (new). This stuff is great - really black but not glossy and oily looking.

    Zymol cleaner and conditioner on the interior.

    Some follow-up on the Alcantara steering wheel. Diluted Woolite works well for cleaning purposes. A razor blade is useless for dealing with the pilling - takes forever. I had high hopes for one of those battery-operated sweater shavers, but that was a bust - couldn't shave close enough to grab any of the pills. Basically have to pick them off by hand - which just blows. A nail brush does a nice job raising the nap, though.

    Autopia.org apparently is the SF of the detailing world.

    This kid is up in northern Virginia and does great work - and posts great pictures. Has worked on a lot of sweet hardware. This one is a nice 599 GTB with two checks in the plus column - not red and no Scuderia shields:

    http://autopia.org/forum/click-brag/...h-39-pics.html

    Go to his profile to check out other threads - lots of Ferraris.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Huntsman

    Huntsman Well-Known Member

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    Will add another 'inspired' point -- I never used/knew about the MF toweling. Just got some and its sweet! Use it around the house too.

    ~ Huntsman
     
  7. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

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    Will add another 'inspired' point -- I never used/knew about the MF toweling. Just got some and its sweet! Use it around the house too.

    ~ Huntsman


    Microfiber has been one of the biggest tech breakthroughs in detailing next to new gen polymer sealant tech.

    My favorite vendor is www.pakshak.com for the best microfiber. I'm bit of a fiber expert. I did a shootout with about two dozen brands and they were the best. The house brand at Autogeek is also good for waffle weaves.
     
  8. Huntsman

    Huntsman Well-Known Member

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    Cool. Thanks -- will order my next batch from them.
     
  9. dopey

    dopey Well-Known Member

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    Since I am not interested enough in my car to spend time cleaning it, I would like to take it someplace for a complete interior cleaning and conditioning. Any idea what I should expect to pay to have everything scrubbed, shampooed, conditioned, etc. plus a complete exterior cleaning and waxing. Basically, I would like my car to look newish, but for the age of the leather and the assorted minor dings on the outside.

    Is this something dealerships do well or should I go to a car wash kind of place?

    I am in NY city and the car is a Volvo wagon (2001).
     
  10. LSeca

    LSeca Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Seattle
    Is this something dealerships do well or should I go to a car wash kind of place?


    I would contact a few high-end luxury car dealerships and ask who does their used car detail work. In my experience, most of them contract the work out.
     
  11. Aaron

    Aaron Well-Known Member

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    Vancouver and ?
    I would contact a few high-end luxury car dealerships and ask who does their used car detail work. In my experience, most of them contract the work out.
    Ditto, I would narrow it down and ask an exotic car dealer (someone selling Ferraris, Lambos, etc.) who they use. When you drop the car off if you see a lot of said vehicles you're in the right spot. Expect to pay $150 and up.
     
  12. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

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    I would contact a few high-end luxury car dealerships and ask who does their used car detail work. In my experience, most of them contract the work out.

    The problem is that many dealership detailers do heavy volume and low quality. Often this even impacts high end dealers.

    I would instead go to the Autopia website and look for someone in your area. These are higher quality OCD type detailers that use better processes and waxes/sealants.
     
  13. LSeca

    LSeca Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Seattle
    The problem is that many dealership detailers do heavy volume and low quality. Often this even impacts high end dealers.

    The Ferrari dealership here does very low volume but very high quality. I have used their auto spa before, although I much prefer doing my own detailing now.
     
  14. dopey

    dopey Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I have been poking around on autopia, but haven't found anything yet (that site definitely has enthusiasts, but not surprisingly, not too many in NYC). I may just have to give it to my dealer and overpay for a mediocre job.
     
  15. visionology

    visionology Well-Known Member

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    CT
    If you post a request for a detailer in NYC often the member will offer suggestions as many times they have connections that don't post on the website frequently.
     
  16. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I have been poking around on autopia, but haven't found anything yet (that site definitely has enthusiasts, but not surprisingly, not too many in NYC). I may just have to give it to my dealer and overpay for a mediocre job.

    Do a search for GSRStilez (Sean Bush). He's in CT but may be able to visit NYC. His work and integrity are top notch. He's moved into pharma sales for a big company but still does the occasional detail. Expert technique.
     
  17. Kai

    Kai Well-Known Member

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  18. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

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  19. Virginia Dandy

    Virginia Dandy Well-Known Member

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    Bump with some follow-up on maintaining alcantara.

    The pilling on my alcantara-wrapped steering wheel continued to drive me crazy.

    While perusing some posts on ferrarichat.com regarding the new 430 Scuderia with its mostly alcantara interior, I noticed someone question whether it would hold up well or soil/pill quickly. Another poster piped up with "just run an electric razor over it every once in a while and voila - good as new".

    Finally got around to picking up a cheap Remington at Target last weekend and gave it a try.

    Cha-ching. Worked like a charm.
     
  20. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting. That makes some sense but is an unusual solution. Good job!
     

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