Detailing Discuss how to make your car sparkly clean for car shows, local meets, or any other reason. What products do others use and how do we get them? Get your questions answered in here.

The "How to" thread

Old 05-10-2005, 03:58 PM
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The "How to" thread

One of the new changes for the Detailing Forum is a "How To" thread. This thread is designed to (pun intended) detail the processes we use to get good results. If you have a process you'd like to share, please put it here.
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:04 PM
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How to use Autoglym Glass Polish

Materials used:

- Porter Cable 7336 Random Orbit Polisher
- Sonus SFX 4" White Spot Pad
- Autoglym Glass Polish


Steps:

1) Make sure that the glass is clean before polishing

2) After installing the 4" pad on the PC, put 4 dots of polish around the outer edge of the pad.

3) Take the polisher and smear the polish on the glass.

4) After smearing, make sure that the PC is at 4 or 4.5 and work the product until it turns into a haze or almost invisible.

5) After working the product, wipe with a microfiber towel

If you have never done this before, expect your pad to become almost grayish in color because the polish is removing the contamination from the glass.
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Old 05-11-2005, 05:47 AM
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How to use Stoners Invisible Glass with good results

Materials needed:

- Stoners Invisible Glass
- Microfiber Towel or newspaper

1) Make sure that you are at least 6 - 12 inches from the glass before spraying.

2) Spray a very thin coat of Invisible Glass on the glass to be cleaned.

3) Wipe with the microfiber or newspaper.


Notes:

a) If using newspaper, it will have a tendency to leave remnants in the area you are wiping down in some cases. Take your vacuum cleaner and suck that up.

b) If using a microfiber, make sure it is a more plush microfiber or one designed for glass. For example, I have been using Tropical Breeze Detailing Towels which work very well for this purpose.

c) You can do the same steps for the outside of the windows but wipe in a different direction so that if there is any streaking, you can easily determine where the streaking is.
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Old 06-16-2005, 10:48 PM
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See my looooong reply on the clay bar thread below:

http://forums.maxima.org/showthread.php?t=405910
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Old 06-27-2005, 04:49 PM
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How to clean floor mats

May not be the "best" method, but I just tried it this weekend and I was pleasantly suprised by how clean they got (ALL the stains came out).

1. Thoroughly sweep, vacuum, and beat mats to remove as much loose dirt as possible.
2. Lay mats out flat on driveway, in bathtub, etc.
3. Spray household carpet cleaner on any stains or especially dirty areas. I used a store brand equivalent to Resolve. Label said to let it sit on bad stains for 15 minutes so I did.
4. In the meantime, pour a little laundry detergent into a bucket of cold water. You don't need much -- consider how little you need for an entire washing machine full of water!
5. Pour some of the soapy water onto the mat and scrub it with a stiff bristled brush. Pour, scrub, repeat, until you're out of soapy water.
6. Rinse well, scrubbing as you rinse.
7. Hang them up to dry.

I would insert a before and after pic if I could. PM me if you want to see how well it worked.
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Old 07-23-2005, 11:26 AM
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Carpet floormats

MaxSE-R_VA has it right. I tried it. It does take a few days for the floormats to dry out, but it worked great. The mats look fluffy and new.

Also, I used a regular sponge mop to do the scrubbing so I could stand up while working. Try to do this on a sloped driveway. The trick is to totally saturate the mats with soapy water then rinse water. You will be amazed how much dirty water you push out of the floormat while scrubbing.
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Old 08-01-2005, 08:25 PM
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Zaino application

Steps 1 and 2 only need to be done once a year

1. Wash with Dawn dish soap to remove all traces of wax
2. Use a clay bar to remove surface contaminants
2a. Spray a section of the car with lubricant (can be Dawn mixed with water in a spray
bottle)
2b. Gently rub the clay bar over the lubricated section
2c. The clay bar will “pull” the contaminants out
2d. The section is clean when you no longer feel any resistance as you move the clay bar
2e. As the clay bar decontaminates the paint, it will become dirtier, requiring you to
stretch it out and fold it on itself to expose new, clean clay
2i. You MUST do this otherwise as you rub the clay bar, you will drive the
contaminants back into the paint
3. Wash again but this time, with Z7 soap
4. Dry with a waffle-weave, microfiber towel; I use four to do the Maxima
5. Shake the bottle of Z2 and squeeze it into the smaller, mixing bottle, filling it 1/3-1/4 full (1/4 full is enough to do four coats on the Maxima)
5a. Do not use any old Z2 that has been treated with ZFX
6. Add four drops of ZFX (blue liquid in a small vial) to the mixing bottle
6a. ZFX allows the Z2 to cure faster (fifteen minutes versus an hour)
7. Shake the mixing bottle for a minute or two and be sure to shake it in different directions
8. Apply a small amount of Z2 (treated with ZFX) to a cotton applicator (preferably a pad)
8a. No larger than a dime otherwise, it will be absorbed into the pad and be wasted
9. Choose a section of the car to work on
9a. Zaino is very different from carnuba waxes and you must keep the following in mind:
9i. Rub the pad in horizontal or vertical motions, NOT circular
9ii. Your goal is to apply the thinnest coat possible
9iii. When properly applied, there will be a very light haze, if any at all
10. Do the rest of the car and apply a little extra Z2 to any blemishes
11. Allow 15 minutes for the Z2 to fully cure
12. Remove the dried Z2 with a cotton towel
13. Mist a section of the car with Z6 and dry it using a different cotton towel; repeat until the entire car is done
13a. If the Z6 dries before you wipe it off, spray the area again and wipe
14. Repeat Steps 8-13; I typically put four coats on at a time
15. For best results, apply a coat of Z2 that has not been combined with ZFX and leave it on overnight; remove and follow with Step 13
16. When washing but not sealing, spray the car with Z6 after being washed with Z7; it will restore the gloss and “wet” look

Clean-up

1. Wash out the mixing bottle within six hours of use
a. Squirt some dish soap into the bottle, add some water, shake and squirt
2. Wash the applicator pad, microfiber towels, and cotton towels separately from all other laundry to prevent contamination
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Old 08-02-2005, 08:53 PM
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The quarter car wash.


I just got my 2000 Maxima SE washed there for about $3.00....used all of those nice turtle wax products... you put quarters in to get more time, and you can use anything that comes out of the gun.
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Old 11-05-2005, 05:57 PM
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How many of the wires did you cover? And if you cover it with a rag, won't the water partially go through anyway?
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Old 11-08-2005, 05:59 AM
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If you just have a stock airbox, can you go ahead and spray without covering it? Or should you cover it up just to be safe?
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Old 12-01-2005, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Pieps
If you just have a stock airbox, can you go ahead and spray without covering it? Or should you cover it up just to be safe?
No water SHOULD get in. Unless you have the intake snorkel removed like me, in which case you may want to cover up the hole in the air box.
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Old 03-07-2006, 08:36 AM
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About the floor mats.

What I would do while working at a dealership:

1) I would clean the mats as best as I could.

2) Spray some carpet cleaner, and a LITTLE degreaser on the mat.

3) Let it sit for a few minutes, you can also take a brush to the mat.

4) To rinse, use one of those high pressure wands at the quarter wash places.

5) -Optional- Use one of those hoover steam vacs with the carpet extraction tool. It will remove 80% of the water from the mat, leave the mat in the sun for 2-3 hours to get it almost dry.
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Old 03-22-2006, 08:14 AM
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thanx on the way to the car wash
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Old 07-01-2006, 07:08 AM
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Spot Cleaning a Headliner

Materials Needed:

Carpet/Upholstery Cleaner
Microfiber cloth or applicator

a) Spray the carpet/upholstery cleaner onto the microfiber cloth/applicator
b) Gently Agitate towel/solution on spot until the spot disappears.
c) Wipe area with dry microfiber to remove any moisture.
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Old 07-07-2006, 11:09 AM
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Most people buy into all those expensive speciality products out there... a special soap for your upholstery, a special soap for your carpet, bla bla... the real detailer only needs about 4 or 5 products. a good soap to do your exterior - this can be used to suds up your carpet (and upholstery as well). Just get a coarse brush and scrub at it hard. Use a shop vac to suck up the water. Put the windows down an inch and blast the heat in the car for an hour or so to dry.

Use of a solvent can help remove grease from your carpets. Just spray on while scrubbing them.

A pressure hose really makes the job easier. Gets into the dirty and cleans stuff away easier.

A cleaner for the dash, and something to spray on your tires and you're good.

Waxing can be more of a challenge, especially if you plan to buff, but again, some turtle wax will do just fine.

Detailing your car doesnt have to be expensive. The biggest expense is the time it takes to do it! a good shammy and a few simple products and your car will look brand new.
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by MacGarnicle
Most people buy into all those expensive speciality products out there... a special soap for your upholstery, a special soap for your carpet, bla bla... the real detailer only needs about 4 or 5 products. a good soap to do your exterior - this can be used to suds up your carpet (and upholstery as well). Just get a coarse brush and scrub at it hard. Use a shop vac to suck up the water. Put the windows down an inch and blast the heat in the car for an hour or so to dry.

Use of a solvent can help remove grease from your carpets. Just spray on while scrubbing them.

A pressure hose really makes the job easier. Gets into the dirty and cleans stuff away easier.

A cleaner for the dash, and something to spray on your tires and you're good.

Waxing can be more of a challenge, especially if you plan to buff, but again, some turtle wax will do just fine.

Detailing your car doesnt have to be expensive. The biggest expense is the time it takes to do it! a good shammy and a few simple products and your car will look brand new.

I disagree with pretty much everything you've said, but to each their own.....
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Old 07-19-2006, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by THT
Steps 1 and 2 only need to be done once a year

1. Wash with Dawn dish soap to remove all traces of wax
2. Use a clay bar to remove surface contaminants
2a. Spray a section of the car with lubricant (can be Dawn mixed with water in a spray
bottle)
2b. Gently rub the clay bar over the lubricated section
2c. The clay bar will “pull” the contaminants out
2d. The section is clean when you no longer feel any resistance as you move the clay bar
2e. As the clay bar decontaminates the paint, it will become dirtier, requiring you to
stretch it out and fold it on itself to expose new, clean clay
2i. You MUST do this otherwise as you rub the clay bar, you will drive the
contaminants back into the paint
3. Wash again but this time, with Z7 soap
4. Dry with a waffle-weave, microfiber towel; I use four to do the Maxima
5. Shake the bottle of Z2 and squeeze it into the smaller, mixing bottle, filling it 1/3-1/4 full (1/4 full is enough to do four coats on the Maxima)
5a. Do not use any old Z2 that has been treated with ZFX
6. Add four drops of ZFX (blue liquid in a small vial) to the mixing bottle
6a. ZFX allows the Z2 to cure faster (fifteen minutes versus an hour)
7. Shake the mixing bottle for a minute or two and be sure to shake it in different directions
8. Apply a small amount of Z2 (treated with ZFX) to a cotton applicator (preferably a pad)
8a. No larger than a dime otherwise, it will be absorbed into the pad and be wasted
9. Choose a section of the car to work on
9a. Zaino is very different from carnuba waxes and you must keep the following in mind:
9i. Rub the pad in horizontal or vertical motions, NOT circular
9ii. Your goal is to apply the thinnest coat possible
9iii. When properly applied, there will be a very light haze, if any at all
10. Do the rest of the car and apply a little extra Z2 to any blemishes
11. Allow 15 minutes for the Z2 to fully cure
12. Remove the dried Z2 with a cotton towel
13. Mist a section of the car with Z6 and dry it using a different cotton towel; repeat until the entire car is done
13a. If the Z6 dries before you wipe it off, spray the area again and wipe
14. Repeat Steps 8-13; I typically put four coats on at a time
15. For best results, apply a coat of Z2 that has not been combined with ZFX and leave it on overnight; remove and follow with Step 13
16. When washing but not sealing, spray the car with Z6 after being washed with Z7; it will restore the gloss and “wet” look

Clean-up

1. Wash out the mixing bottle within six hours of use
a. Squirt some dish soap into the bottle, add some water, shake and squirt
2. Wash the applicator pad, microfiber towels, and cotton towels separately from all other laundry to prevent contamination
Do you ever apply Z6 before the initial coat of Z2 (after step 4 on your list)?
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Old 12-12-2006, 05:14 PM
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Okay I am retarded and grew up with my dad telling me how to wax cars and they never look amazing but they look good.

So what are the best methods ( without using mechanical tools ) to get a car looking good.

Please when you say certain things could you tell me like what KIND of clay bar etc/soap/cleaner wax etc that you use. Thanks

I have a car with a lot of sand blasting to the nose. Is there anyway to fix this?

I also have swirl marks from a BAD detail job that was done at the dealer. Anyway to fix these either? Thanks guys
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Old 12-12-2006, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by maximamass
Okay I am retarded and grew up with my dad telling me how to wax cars and they never look amazing but they look good.

So what are the best methods ( without using mechanical tools ) to get a car looking good.

Please when you say certain things could you tell me like what KIND of clay bar etc/soap/cleaner wax etc that you use. Thanks

I have a car with a lot of sand blasting to the nose. Is there anyway to fix this?

I also have swirl marks from a BAD detail job that was done at the dealer. Anyway to fix these either? Thanks guys
I am just going to let the link speak for itself.
http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums...&threadid=7011

If I actually had time and money, I'd be all over that link but my maxima has some stupid chips and what not.. so maybe for me a simple repaint might work better.
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Old 01-26-2007, 07:06 AM
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Any advice on cleaning foggy headlights? Smoky.
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Old 03-26-2007, 05:11 PM
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yeah, there was a thread about cleaning foggy headlights somewhere... maybe in the 5th gen forums... i think all you do is take the headlight assembly out and clean it with... some crap... i dont know, i forget.. lol.. do a search and see if u can find it.. or even a google search could tell u how to clean them on all cars
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Old 05-19-2007, 03:43 PM
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I'm going to add a 3rd (and the best) way to clean the floor mats.......

Spray with oxi-clean stain remover

Let sit for 5 minutes (brushing optional)

then ONLY ONE AT A TIME, roll them up like a circle (or a joint) and put them in the washing machine, yes that's right, IN the washing machine. They come out like BRAND NEW and the spin cycle get's about 95% of the water out, you are gauranteed to be absolutely amazed how well the washing machine cleans them

Disclaimer: I am NOT responsible if your one-peice rear mat overloads your 20 y/o washer and makes it crap out.
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Old 05-24-2007, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ILLJIM69
i only covered the filter, i just said cover wires incase someone doesnt and it jacks their car up, lol. dont want someone saying it was my fault because i didnt say it.


jim

Is there any need to cover up your fuse boxes? Also, is there a chance of getting water in your spark plugs and your car not starting afterwards?
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:08 PM
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Clean the inside of your windows with dry newpaper. The ink acts as a very mild abrasive and removes that haze. I crumple up a piece in to a ball and polish until the haze is gone. It works on the outside too.


Another good investment is a "Water Blade" to help remove the water after washing your car. Follow up with a shammy.

When you don't have time for a complete detail use a product like Mequiers Quik Detailer to get that just waxed look.
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by RLW001
Another good investment is a "Water Blade" to help remove the water after washing your car. Follow up with a shammy.
those things are aweful, i would NEVER use that on a customers paint, just the windows

use microfibers or a shammy
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by TheKrazyRaven
those things are aweful, i would NEVER use that on a customers paint, just the windows

use microfibers or a shammy
Why are they awful? Because you think you will catch something and drag it on the paint? Well guess what, you will catch any particle left on your paint with any drying utensil that you use. Ive always used it on my car and my customers cars and never had it make scratches.

And a chamois, I would NEVER use that on customers paint.

Waffle weave towels only, works better than anything
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluesbrekr
I disagree with pretty much everything you've said, but to each their own.....

Reasoning? I suppose you're one of those people that buys into the "only the most expensive products will do the job" mentality?

detailing is in the tactic, not just the product.
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:40 AM
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Cleaning scrathed and foggy headlights...

Originally Posted by choiiiiiiiiiii View Post
Any advice on cleaning foggy headlights? Smoky.


Okay the other thread listed this product and they said they had great results I am going to try on my wife's car before I actually buy new headlight assemblies.

Crystal View Headlight Restorer

The website lists places like Walmart, K-Mart and Advanced Auto Part as suppliers.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:57 PM
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Plastic Headlight cleaning

http://forums.maxima.org/showthread.php?t=443410
New Link:http://forums.maxima.org/showthread.php?t=332187

That was a link to the 25 minute headlamp cleaning thread from the old forums. Now it looks like its gone!!

To sum up what the instructions were:
1) Use wet sandpaper in the grit range of 600-1200 or so. Use a spray bottle with some dish soap and water. You want the water sprayed out to be sudsy.
2) Use 600 first, then 800, then 1200 or whatever ranges you bought.
3) Circular motion and you'll have to sand with each grit for about 10 to 15 minutes.
4) Once the highest grit sandpaper has been used, then you can switch to a rag/terry cloth and use some 3M Plastic Polish (or equivalent) and again, go with circular motions for 10 to 20 minutes.
4b) You can use a machine polisher, but exercise caution. Using the machine polisher could damage the headlamp.
5) I recall after doing the 3M Plastic Polish, the headlamp will now be super clear. You can finish the look with some carnauba wax (as I recall reading.. Don't quote me on that). Just use another clean rag to rub this in, same circular motion.

Someone may want to post up better directions.

Last edited by RR5; 11-02-2007 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 11-02-2007, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by RR5 View Post
http://forums.maxima.org/showthread....0&goto=newpost

That was a link to the 25 minute headlamp cleaning thread from the old forums. Now it looks like its gone!!
Try this one.

http://forums.maxima.org/showthread.php?t=332187
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Old 11-15-2007, 02:44 PM
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Hey Prinz! Any help you need here, just let me know.
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Scottwax View Post
Hey Prinz! Any help you need here, just let me know.
Scott, chime in at any time. You are more than welcome.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by choiiiiiiiiiii View Post
Any advice on cleaning foggy headlights? Smoky.
I just bought an '02 SE and the first thing I addressed were the hazy headlights. I used a folded microfiber towel and some Optimum Hyper Compound. Worked like a charm. Followed up with Optimum Compound and Poli-Seal and the headlights are nice and clear now.
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by choiiiiiiiiiii View Post
Any advice on cleaning foggy headlights? Smoky.
When I bought my maxima my headlights were very cloudy. Today I finally got sick of looking at them and decide to do something about it. Went to auto zone and bought a container of Meguiar's PlastX.

Then followed this simple process...

1) Apply a liberal amount of PlastX to the surface of the headlight
2) Take a waxing pad, and buff the compound into the headlight
3) Flip the wax pad over and "polish" the headlight
4) Repeat the process until the desired result is acheived

This worked great for me.
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MaxSE-R_VA View Post
May not be the "best" method, but I just tried it this weekend and I was pleasantly suprised by how clean they got (ALL the stains came out).

1. Thoroughly sweep, vacuum, and beat mats to remove as much loose dirt as possible.
2. Lay mats out flat on driveway, in bathtub, etc.
3. Spray household carpet cleaner on any stains or especially dirty areas. I used a store brand equivalent to Resolve. Label said to let it sit on bad stains for 15 minutes so I did.
4. In the meantime, pour a little laundry detergent into a bucket of cold water. You don't need much -- consider how little you need for an entire washing machine full of water!
5. Pour some of the soapy water onto the mat and scrub it with a stiff bristled brush. Pour, scrub, repeat, until you're out of soapy water.
6. Rinse well, scrubbing as you rinse.
7. Hang them up to dry.

I would insert a before and after pic if I could. PM me if you want to see how well it worked.
Use a shop vac or Bissel or the like after cleaning and rinsing and your mats will be dry in the morning.
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:18 AM
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Additonal Engine Bay Detailing Tips...

Originally Posted by ILLJIM69 View Post
1 - cover up any bare wires, intake filter(if its exposed under the hood) and spray the shiznit outta the engine bay with simple green or wheel cleaner(which i used).

2 - let it soak in for about 5 minutes.

3 - since i was at a quater car wash place, i used high pressure soap next but didnt actually squeeze on the trigger.

4 - then comes the rinse, rinse it good, make sure you get everything.

5 - let it dry, you can also use rags to get any obscure areas you may have missed. i drove it for a while afterwards to evaporate the water under hood.

6 - hose down the bay with armor all or similar product(i use formula 2001). i let it sit for a few minutes then went to wiping off any excess. and you will prolly get some on your cowl and windsheild, so prepare to clean those up too. VIOLA! nice looking engine bay!

example - it took me about 15 minutes of work for this......


jim
Here are some cautions based on experience:

1. Be careful with the cleaners/degreasers. They'll spot and/or damage the finish on your raw aluminum parts. A better bet is to mix up a solution of dishwashing detergent (i.e. Dawn) and water in a spray bottle.

2. Don't just let the rinse water sit and don't heat up the engine. That'll leave water spots on plastics and painted surfaces and the minerals left behind can etch bare aluminum.

3. After rinsing use a shop vac in reverse (blow mode) or a compressor to blow the engine compartment dry. Be sure to pay attention to electricl connectors and electrical compoents. Make sure they get some good blasts.

4. Avoid the car wash or use of a pressure washer. The high water pressure can force water into electrical connectors, components, etc. A garden hose with a spray nozzle will work fine. Don't reply on the water pressure to removed stains, soil and deposits. Use a brush or rag for this. Water should be used to rinse only.

5. Avoid application of protectants (i.e. ArmorAll) to bare metal parts. These products are generally silicone based and can't be effectively removed from porous metals without detergents. These products will grab and hold on to dirt and grim. A better bet is to apply the protectant to a rag and apply it to plastic, vinyl, and other approriate materials as needed.

6. Avoid spraying protectants directly onto/into electrical connectors. These products can find their way to the contacts and cause problems. A better bet is to apply the protectant to a rag and apply it to plastic, vinyl, and other approriate materials as needed.
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Old 06-04-2008, 04:15 PM
  #39  
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headlight cleaning>>>>>>>

i don't recommend wet sanding or PlastX. i used plastx once, and 4 months later, they were worse off than before i started.

USE BRASSO. i know it sounds ridiculous, but using the brasso is better than plastx, because brasso is designed to remove oxidation, from metal...but in our case it works wonders on headlights too. mine looked like brand new after just 2 applications. find it in the household cleaning products at your local walmart

EDIT: visit this thread if you don't believe me...
http://forums.maxima.org/showthread.php?t=555377
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:19 PM
  #40  
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Hazy headlight cleaning

Renovo works well also to clean slightly hazy plastic headlights. If it's really bad you may need something with more bite. Using a polisher like the PC and a soft foam pad (blue or black) with a lightly abrasive finishing polish like Menzerna PO106FF or Micro Polish you can polish out a lot of the haze and imperfection and leave them very smooth and shiny. They aren't cheap or available at your local auto parts store, but since I've discovered them I don't know how I ever lived without them.
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