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2006 Acura TL in Nighthawk Black Pearl (part 1)

by

Quick Jump

This is part 1 of a 4 part series (read part 2, part 3, part 4)

Acura NBP paint and the detail to be performed (Return to Top)

Since I am the owner of a 2007 Acura TL Type S in Nighthawk Black Pearl (NBP), I get asked a lot of questions from Acura owners (and owners of black cars in general) on the proper car and maintenance and how to keep them looking their best.

NBP is a very challenging paint to care for to say the least, but if you combine the proper detailing techniques and products, you can keep it looking absolutely beautiful. Acura/Honda paint is soft and therefore it’s easy to scratch, mar, and swirl the finish. And since NBP is black, every little flaw stands out where it could be difficult to detect on a lighter color. Fortunately though, Acura/Honda paint is relatively easy to correct by machine polishing.

Like I mentioned already, I have a NBP TL-S that I’ve owned for 2 1/2 years now, and it is my test vehicle for all products. I am continuously trying different products and techniques to see which achieve the greatest results. In 2 1/2 years of ownership…that’s a lot of testing to see what works best on NBP! So as you read through this article, you can be assured that any recommendations I provide are based on countless hours of trials and field testing with my own personal NBP Acura TL. I don’t mean to come across as brash, but I do consider myself to be a bit of an expert on this one!

Here are a few photos of the results I’ve been able to achieve on the official test vehicle.

Esoteric Auto Detail's 2007 Acura TL Type S in Nighthawk Black Pearl (NBP)

Esoteric Auto Detail's 2007 Acura TL Type S in Nighthawk Black Pearl (NBP)

My plan is to write this article a bit differently than what I usually do. I am going to specifically address techniques, procedures, and products for the NBP Acura paint, as well as areas of concern on the TL. Having said that though, these techniques can be used on any color/manufacturer of paint. If you can follow instructions for a challenging color like NBP, then you can be assured that it will work on yours.

The ultimate goal of this article is to create a detailing reference of sorts for Acura owners.

Assessing the easily damaged Acura paint (Return to Top)

The owner of this particular TL had seen some of my work, and contacted me about a consultation to see what we could do to correct some problems and take the finish to a new level. When he found out that I owned a NBP TL-S, he knew that I was the right person for the job. One interesting note is that he’s an engineer for American Honda here in Ohio, and was part of the design/development team for this particular model.

Although he’s taken pretty good care of it over the years, it had its fair share of scrapes, swirls, and bumps and bruises. The biggest issue he was concerned with was a stain on the trunk lid from milk…more on that later. Because of all the fine scratches and swirls, the finish looked a bit dull, and the blue flake that owners of NBP love so much was quite muted. I knew that leveling the clear coat and then jewelling it with an ultra-fine polish would restore it to its original beauty (or better).

When the car arrived it was cloudy out, so I was unable to get any good “before” photos in the sunshine to show the level of swirls and defects in the paint. I had to settle for some shots with the flash, and with an inspection light, but you’ll be able to get a good idea of what I was dealing with.

First up are the lower rocker panels. This is a problem area with most cars, but they get exceptionally bad on the TL. They are very easily scratched, and get abused by road debris and from shoes/legs while getting in and out of the car. Since they get so dirty, it’s easily to scratch them up during the wash process as well. The finish on these was so bad that there was no reflectivity or depth whatsoever. They also had a lot of very deep vertical scratches (from shoes) and I knew they would be too deep to fully correct.

Acura TL in NBP showing swirls and scuffs prior to an Esoteric Auto Detail

The areas around the door handles were in rough condition as well. You need to keep rings, keys, and long fingernails away from the paint otherwise you’ll end up with this. When opening and closing the door, always (lightly) use the handle…don’t grab the door to close it. I even have my 9-year old trained to use this method, and the door he always gets in and out of remains completely scratch free.

Acura TL in NBP showing swirls and scuffs above the door handle prior to an Esoteric Auto Detail

This is the rear door, and these types of scratches are usually a good indicator that somebody has been closing the door by pushing/sliding against it instead of using the handle. If you have friends/family regularly getting in and out of your car, kindly ask that they use the handle and not to touch the painted surfaces. Sure they’ll think that you have serious OCD issues, but your paint will remain in good condition and you will maintain a higher resale value as a result.

Acura TL in NBP showing swirls and scuffs from improper closing techniques, prior to an Esoteric Auto Detail

And here’s the infamous milk stain on the trunk lid that I was telling you about. The owner had set his son’s sippy cup of milk there and it managed to get on the finish. You can see the ring where the cup was, and then where it started to run off of the back. I’m not sure how long it set on the surface, but this stain wasn’t coming off easily. So another important safety tip…never put anything on the surface of your car. No coffee mugs, no gear bags, no purses, and no briefcases because it WILL cause damage! And never, ever lean against or sit on a car otherwise you’ll be coming to visit me to fix it. Paint really does damage that easily.

A milk stain on an Acura TL in NBP prior to an Esoteric Auto Detail

Here’s a nice scrape that went down the entire length of the car courtesy of somebody’s suitcase. This is exactly why I always park as far away from other cars as possible at places where “stuff” is being carried…the airport, grocery store, the gym, or at the mall.

A long scuff on an Acura TL in NBP from a scraping suitcase.

There were scuffs just about everywhere on the car where there were edges or high spots. This is the front fender. This area in particular can get scraped up (just like this) when having your oil changed. You know those “protective mats” they place on your fender when they lean into your engine compartment? Well those typically have been on every filthy car in town, never washed, and then dragged across the surface of your car when they’re removed. That would be equivalent to rubbing sandpaper on the paint. It’s best to clean your car (yourself…the proper way) before having your oil changed, and then ask them to use a clean mat with extra caution when they put it on and take it off.

Imperfections on the front fender of an Acura TL in NBP prior to an Esoteric Auto Detail

Now that you’ve got a good idea of the condition of the car, as well as a few lessons in what causes this, let’s get into the work.

Starting the detail (Return to Top)

The first step here is to fully wash the TL and to remove any contaminants from the surface prior to polishing.

Since most swirls come from improper washing and drying techniques, and they’re especially noticeable on NBP, I will go into details on the washing and drying process so you can work on your technique a bit.

When I am polishing a car, I always start off by removing the front and rear license plates so I can clean and polish those areas as well. Most of the time they’re simply in the way (like on the front of the TL), so it’s easier to take them off then to work around them. If you’re just performing a simple wash, then this step is not necessary.

Removing the front license plate on an Acura TL prior to washing.

Here’s another important safety tip for when you’re cleaning/working on your car…remove all your jewelry! All it takes is one little bump with jewelry against the finish, and you have a big ugly scratch.

Remove all jewelry prior to washing your car to prevent scratches, scrapes and scuffs

Now you’re ready to prepare your wash buckets. Yes, that was plural, as in more than one bucket! Ultimately you want 3 buckets. One is your wash bucket, one is your rinse bucket, and one is dedicated for wheel cleaning. You could get away with just two, but then you’d have to stop and clean out a bucket after you finish your wheels before you started on the rest of the car. Notice too that I use Grit Guards in both my rinse bucket and my wash bucket. For the rinse bucket in particular, this helps dislodge dirt and debris from the wash mitt, and then keeps the sediment at the bottom where it is away from the cleaner water at the top. I put one in my wash bucket as well for added safety. The reason you need a rinse bucket is because you want the water in your wash bucket to remain clean throughout the entire process. If you use just one bucket that means you’re introducing dirt into your wash water, then using that same dirt to wash your car with…hence all the swirls! For more information on this, please refer to this handy Detailing Guide on Washing and Drying.

Wash buckets with Grit Guard inserts prior to washing your vehicle

When using your car wash soap, be sure to follow the manufacturers’ instructions on how much to use and measure accordingly. If you’re performing a maintenance wash, and use too strong of a ratio (more is not always better), then you may end up stripping all of the wax off of the car.

Since I’m going to be polishing, I want to make sure that any existing wax is removed so I am using Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Clear at paint prep ratio (2oz/gal). For my maintenance washes on my NBP TL-S, I use Dodo Juice Born To Be Mild soap. It’s very gentle, provides a tremendous amount of lubricity, leaves no soapy residue, and it smells nice too.

Pouring out the proper amount of Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Clear into a wash bucket

Now my buckets are ready…red for rinse (both start with R…easy to remember!), blue for wash, and green for wheels.

Since the wheels and wheel wells are the dirtiest part of the car, it’s best to start with them first. If you save them for last, you risk getting very dirty overspray on your clean paint.

Wash your wheels, tires, and wheel wells first! (Return to Top)

First I’ll pre-soak the rims with P21S Gel Wheel Cleaner. This pH neutral product is safe for all wheel types, and it does a great job on heavily soiled rims. Just spray it onto both the face and the inner barrels of the rims, and then let it dwell for a few minutes so it can start to break down the grime. If you keep your wheels well maintained, you won’t need to use this all the time…just when the dirt and brake dust buildup has gotten bad.

Spraying P21S Gel Wheel Cleaner onto the wheels of an 2007 Acura TL

Next step is to apply an all-purpose cleaner to the tires and wheel wells. Here I am using Optimum Power Clean, but I also use Chemical Guys Grime Reaper as well.

Using Optimum Power Clean on dirty tires on a 2007 Acrua TL

Now take your E-Z Detail brush and clean the wheel well areas.

Using an E-Z Detail Brush to clean inside wheel wells

With all of the wheel cleaning steps, you want to thoroughly rinse out your wash media before putting it back into your wheel-wash bucket. Otherwise by the time you get to the last wheel you’d be washing it with mud.

Hosing off wash media after each use to ensure it is fresh for each use

You can use a generic brush to scrub the tires. Notice how much dirt is coming off of them. When they’re completely clean it will help the tire dressing to adhere better and provide a more uniform finish.

Scrubbing the tires with Optimum Power Clean and a brush

Make sure you have a dedicated wash mitt or sponge for wheels, and don’t use them on the painted surfaces.

Dedicated wash mitt solely for the purpose of cleaning your wheels helps minimize swirls

Now you can use your Mini E-Z Detail brush to clean the inner barrels and brake calipers. You can also bend the tip of it to get behind the spokes.

Using the Mini EZ Detail brush to clean behind the spokes of the wheels

Wheels completely detailed after an Esoteric Auto Detail

On your TL (and most other luxury brands), you’ll find a sound deadening fabric lining the wheel wells on the rear of the car. These are great traps for dirt, rocks, grass, and everything else that you run over on the roads. Simply spray these down with your all-purpose cleaner, and then thoroughly rinse them out with a strong stream of water.

Hosing out wheel wells with fabric lining after getting degreased

For more detailed information on wheel, tire, and wheel well cleaning, please refer to my Wheel Cleaning Tutorial.

Okay, we’re done with the wheels, so we can set the wheel bucket aside and move on to the painted surfaces.

Properly washing soft black paint (Return to Top)

Since the lower part of the doors and rockers are typically the dirtiest, I will pre-rinse them to remove and loosen up as much of the dirt as possible. The more dirt you remove prior to washing, the less the chances are of scratching your finish.

Pre-rinse lower panels to remove dirt and debris prior to washing a 2007 Acura TL in NBP

Now I’ll move on to a few areas that require some special attention, and ones that are often overlooked.

For these areas I use another product that is safe for all kinds of finishes…P21S Total Auto Wash. Don’t use any harsh cleaners because they can stain plastic or paint. When in doubt, read the product label.

The front end of the car catches all of the nastiest stuff, so be sure to thoroughly clean out the emblem and the grills. Spray on some P21S TAW, agitate with a soft brush, and rinse off.

Spraying P21S Total Auto Wash on trim piecess

Working P21S Total Auto Wash into the trim with a soft bristle brush

Working P21S Total Auto Wash into the trim with a soft bristle brush

Working P21S Total Auto Wash into the trim with a soft bristle brush

When was the last time you cleaned inside your fuel-fill area? It gets dirty too, so don’t neglect it. Once again, P21S TAW is your friend here.

Working P21S Total Auto Wash into the fuel fill area with a soft brush

And the emblems…

Working P21S Total Auto Wash around the emblems with a soft bristle brush

If your door jambs have more than a light dust buildup, then you can use the same process in here. When rinsing off, just use an extremely light spray of water, and keep the nozzle very close otherwise you’ll soak the interior and door panel of your car.

Cleaning the inside of your door jambs with P21S Total Auto Wash and soft brush

I realize that most people don’t own a Foam Gun, but I find it to be a tremendous tool for fighting the battle against wash-induced swirls. You just put your car shampoo in the bottle, attach it to the hose (it comes with a quick disconnect), and thoroughly pre-soak the vehicle in suds. This will further help to break down the dirt and debris, and will provide plenty of lubrication to help float away the dirt from the surface. The more gentle the process, the better the chances are of keeping your NBP looking its best.

Foaming up a 2007 Acura TL in NBP with a Gilmour Foam Gun and Citrus Wash and Clear shampoo

I usually let the foam dwell on the surface for a few minutes first.

Allowing foam to dwell on the surface of a vehicle

Now I’m ready to start washing. You want to make sure you’re using a very soft wash mitt otherwise, you guessed it, you’ll induce swirls! I have found the DI sheepskin wash mitt to be a proven winner for safe washing. I will do only small sections at a time (i.e. half the hood, a fender), and then completely rinse out the wash mitt before moving on to the next section. Remember you’re using little to no pressure at all. I always start with the top horizontal surfaces first, and work my way down.

(Note: Be sure to thoroughly hand-wash your mitt after each time you wash your car to ensure it’s clean and free of any debris the next time you use it)

Washing an Acura TL with a sheepskin wash mitt and Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Clear

After one small section, dip your wash media into the rinse bucket and gently rub it against the Grit Guard at the bottom to loosen any dirt and debris. This is a critical step in keeping a defect-free finish.

Rinsing a sheepskin wash mitt in the rinse bucket prior to getting more shampoo on your mitt

Your wash mitt is now clean, and ready to be dipped into your wash bucket. Once again, when you’re done washing the vehicle, your wash bucket should be as clean as when you started.

Getting suds from the shampoo bucket, using the two bucket wash system

For the sides of the car, I’ll first wash the upper portion with my wash mitt..

Washing the upper panels of a 2007 Acura TL using a sheepskin wash mitt and Citrus Wash and Clear

…and then I’ll use a separate wash media, such as the Lake Country grout sponge, for the dirtier, lower parts.

Washing the lower panels with a Lake Country Grout Sponge

Don’t forget to clean up under here…especially if your TL has a backup camera like my Type S does.

Cleaning under the trunk release with a sheepskin wash mitt

Cleaning and washing exhaust tips (Return to Top)

Chances are that your exhaust tips are looking bad too. Here I’ll use Chemical Guys Grime Reaper, and then scrub it with my Mini E-Z Detail Brush. For a complete step-by-step guide, please refer to my tutorial on Exhaust Tip Cleaning.

Using Grime Reaper to degrease exhaust tips on a 2007 Acura TL

Using a mini EZ Detail brush and some Grime Reaper to clean exhaust tips

Detailing the engine bay (Return to Top)

Your engine doesn’t need to be cleaned all of the time, but it’s worthwhile to go in and clean it every now and again. Once again my choice of cleaners is P21S TAW. Here you have to be careful, because if you use a strong cleaner, you risk staining plastic components, or worse yet your paint. Be safe and use a gentle cleaner. I’ll spray everything down (including the underside of the hood), and then clean it with an assortment of brushes and sponges. For a complete step-by-step guide, please refer to my tutorial on Engine Bay Cleaning.

Using P21S Total Auto Wash to degrease the engine bay of a 2007 Acura TL

Using an EZ Detail Brush in the engine bay to clean between pieces along with P21S Total Auto Wash

Drying black paint without adding swirls (Return to Top)

We’re done with the wash process now, so let’s move on to the proper way to dry it to keep from marring the finish.

Just because you’re armed with some microfiber towels it doesn’t mean that you’re not going to induce swirls in the soft Acura paint. You also need to have the right kind of microfiber, and care for it properly as well. You have to use a very high quality microfiber towel, and use light pressure.

The first thing I do after washing (always in the shade…especially on dark colored vehicles), is pull the car back in the garage and blow off all of the standing water, and water that hides in all of the cracks and crevices. The less you have to touch the vehicle the better. You could use a product like the Metro Vac ‘n Blo, or compressed air. If you don’t have access to one of these, then don’t worry because you can still get it done the old fashioned way.

When you do your final rinse on the car, it’s best to take the spray nozzle off of the hose so that the steady flow of water creates a sheeting action. This will minimize the droplets of water which will help prevent water spots.

Now that you’re ready to dry it off, first take a waffle-weave micro fiber towel, and gently drag it across the finish to remove the majority of the water.

This will leave a little bit of water on the finish, and you want to get that wiped down to avoid streaking. If you just buff that out with a plush, dry microfiber, you still run the risk of marring the finish. For this step, you want to add some lubrication and the best method I have found on my NBP TL-S is to lightly spray either some Optimum Instant Detailer or Optimum Spray Wax onto the still-damp surface.

Misting Optimum Instant Detailer onto an Acura TL after washing

Finally you want to take your plush, clean towel (here I am using the DI Great White), and very gently buff the surface with little to no pressure. Depending on how wet the surface was with water and detailer/spray wax, you may have to wipe it down, and then use a second towel for a final buffing. Once again, you’re using little to no pressure. With this proven method, you should have no streaks or water spots, and you’ll be left with a beautiful finish. It also saves time since you’re doing the drying and waxing/quick detailing at the same time.

Wiping off Optimum Instant Detailer on the hood of an Acura TL

If you follow those key steps in washing and drying, you should be able to keep your NBP TL (or whatever else you may be driving) looking its absolute best without inducing swirls in the washing and drying process. I can typically complete the entire wheels/wash/dry/wax process in an hour (without engine cleaning).

Let’s move on…

This is part 1 of a 4 part series (read part 2, part 3, part 4)

If you have any additional comments or questions, please submit your reply in the comment box below.

Todd Cooperider Esoteric Auto Detail
Todd Cooperider
Esoteric Auto Detail
Columbus, Ohio
EsotericDetail.com

58 comments on 2006 Acura TL in Nighthawk Black Pearl (part 1)

  1. Abi says:

    Can I use the P21S TAW to clean the wheel wells and the exhaust tip? Also, does the TAW clean bugs and tar?

  2. Jen says:

    You say not to use too much pressure when washing, but how do you get all the bugs and really stuck on things off, especially around the bottom?

    • Hi Jen,

      For those items I will try to pre-soak them in APC or use a product like Poorboy’s Bug Squash to loosen them up as much as possible. If some of it remains after pre-soaking and washing, then I’ll spot-clay to remove. If you have to go this aggressive, you’ll want to re-apply your wax / sealant on those spots.

      I hope this helps.

      Todd

  3. Will says:

    Dear Todd,
    When you use Chemical Guys Grime Reaper for the tires, do you dilute that with water and at what ratio?

  4. David Patterson says:

    Honda paint is very soft. I love TL’s and besides exotic details, I do a lot of honda Products. Its nice to know a paint that good. My s2000 was berlina black and i did a lot of testing with it knowing it has soft. Don’t you kinda dislike the spray pattern with the hose nozzel when the foaming portion is disconnected?

  5. [...] and I want to make amends. Now here's the thing. I've looked at all four parts of the infamous 2006 Acura TL in Nighthawk Black Pearl, and quite frankly, IT was what scared me. I don't know if I'm capable of doing what was done, or [...]

  6. Paulo says:

    Hello,

    I kind of follow the same washing technique you use but instead of doing an initial wipe down at first to get the majority of water in the drying process, I just go ahead and spray a spray wax or quick detailer as I dry the vehicle using a waffle weave MF while rinsing the towel a couple times in a bucket of clean water with grit guard during the drying process. Do you think I am at risk of introducing swirls using the method I use?

    • Paulo,

      Well you’re using a very similar system to what I am, with the exception of rinsing the towel out in a bucket. I don’t see where it would add any risk of marring, but your towel surely isn’t soaking up as much water as it could. Using a QD or a spray wax during the drying process is a must as it adds needed lubrication to your drying towel.

      Thanks,
      Todd

      • Paulo says:

        Thank you.

        I usually see some fine grit on the bottom of the bucket after drying the vehicle even though I’ve thoroughly washed the vehicle. This is the main reason why I rinse/agitate the drying towel then wring out excess water away from the bucket and then proceed onto drying the vehicle again while spraying some QD.

        Thank you again for your kind reassurance.

  7. Matthew Costello says:

    Thank you for such an extensive guide, you put a great deal of work into the guide, not to mention the car.

    Keep up the GREAT Work!

  8. [...] Complete Detail from Start to Finish: This 4-part article takes an Acura TL through a major detail from start to finish including machine polishing processes. This is my largest and most read (and referenced) article I have produced to date. [...]

  9. [...] detailing classes even exist in this city. Agree that write up was very good. Here's a link: 2006 Acura TL in Nighthawk Black Pearl (part 1) – Detailed Image Reply With [...]

  10. Kelvin says:

    Todd,
    Just ordered the Foam Gun and from the reviews is not clear or easily understood the soap to water ratio. Do you just put soap in the container? or do you add water and soap? if so what is the ratio you recommend?…BTW, awesome write-up; I own a TL and will be doing a complete detail job…thanks for the pics too.

    • Just add soap to the container and set your dial according to the recommended ratio by the car wash solution manufacturer. You only need to add water to the container if the lowest setting on the foam gun is too heavy for recommended mixing ratio.

      Enjoy your TL!

  11. zeshan says:

    hi my name zeshan aziz i have infinity car g35x and black color i hate scracth in my car plx give me good advize i wana take it out scrath it in my car

  12. Kevin says:

    Todd, first of all, I want to say that all your articles are just wonderful and are a great help. I’ve seen in various articles that you go to the Gilmour Foammaster as your car wash tool. Is there any particular reason why you choose that tool over pressure washer and foam lance/cannon combination? Keep these great articles coming!

    -Kevin

    • Kevin,

      I have a pressure washer, but quite frankly I don’t have much need for it since the cars I work on aren’t overly dirty. Any time savings I would have by using the pressure washer are offset by the extra time I have to take to set it up, drag it around, and unhook everything when I am done. The car in this article was much dirtier than what I am typically faced with and could have used it at that time.

  13. Dan says:

    Todd

    Great articles. I’m on this site learning something new almost every day.

    Question: P21S Total Auto Wash is a little pricey. Is there anything else that can be used prior to the actual car wash for emblem cleaning, inside the gas cap, grill cleaning etc that is a little more economical?

    I have Megs APC (green not the orange) – can I use that in place of TAW on the exterior/painted surfaces of the car for that type of work? If so, what’s a better dilution ratio: medium strength 10:1 or heavy strength 4:1.

    Thanks!!

    Keep the great informative articles coming.
    Dan

    • Dan,

      What you have is designed for interior work. Get yourself some Meg’s D103 APC+ and mix at 10:1. This is probably the most economical APC there is! You can use it just about anywhere on the car…great stuff

      Thanks,
      Todd

  14. Mike says:

    Hi Todd,

    First off once again great write up. All the pictures and explaining are amazing and very well done.

    I have a Honda Civic 06 Galaxy Gray. Would you say that the type of paint that Acura uses on there TL will be used on the Honda and Acura models.

    • Mike,

      The paint in two different factories can be different (and many times is different), but having said that, most of Hondas paints are very similar. For the most part, they’re all good to work with.

  15. Phil says:

    Amazing write-up on NBP care and polishing. My question is: what would you say is the most economical way to own and care for an Acura with NBP without sacrificing the quality? I have an RDX. After learning in the online community there is no way I’m going to use the drive-through car wash, but do I really need to purchase $500 in product and tools? So far, I purchase the PC 7424xp. How you would advise a hobbyist proceed in the most cost efficient way? I’m willing to invest time and money, but I’d prefer to devise a high impact, low cost regime – assuming this is possible. Thanks!

    • Thanks Phil. First and foremost, you need to make sure that your washing and drying techniques are absolutely solid! Use something like Chemical Guys V7 for your drying process as well as it will add lubrication to the drying towel and will provide a layer of protection at the same time. If you have a PC, then get yourself some black or blue pads, and a product like Chemical Guys Blacklight or Sonax Nano Tech Paint Cleaner. These are easy to use, will provide you with some light correction capability and protection at the same time. Even doing this process just a couple of times per year will make a big difference.

  16. Manoj says:

    oh my god.
    it show how much dedicated you are as well as how you love the car.

    all the best

  17. Brooke says:

    Todd,

    I LOVE the work that you did to this car. I’ve been studying it with any spare time that I may have, hoping that I can semi-replicate what you’ve done here. But I was wondering, for a person who knows how to get things clean, but doesn’t have much experience with buffing, do you think I’d be able to master the process? Also, I know that the buffers that are recommended are well out of my means (referring to $200 machines), and I’ve seen not-so-elaborate ones around for around $30 or $40. What do you recommend me getting? I have a 2007 TL same color as the one you’ve done work to here, and the paint is in about the same condition. Please help!

    • Thank you Brooke. I wouldn’t recommend wasting your money on an inexpensive machine like that…you’ll achieve very little success with it. To answer your question, yes…you can replicate this level, but it’s not something that you could achieve your first or second time around. We provide specific tool and product recommendations along with our thought processes to achieve certain levels of correction to show everybody what can be done, and how we do it. Many first-timers will be inspired enough to start learning as much as possible, invest in tools and products, and slowly learn the process. It takes time to learn, but once you start to get the hang of it, it can become very addictive (and frustrating). If you’re willing to invest the money for tools and equipment, and then the time to learn paint correction, then I highly recommend it. Otherwise you can find a true paint correction specialist that can perform the work for you if you want to transform your TL into something that looks like this one.

  18. [...] or break the look of your car's finish – especially since it's black. Looks of good info here… 2006 Acura TL in Nighthawk Black Pearl (part 1) – Detailed Image Post up some pics of the car!! I'll be in the market for the convertible version of the same car [...]

  19. Scott says:

    There is some great stuff here Todd, thanks so much..

    I am wondering what kind of brush that is you are using to clean the grille and emblems? If you could point me somewhere that I can purchase one I’d appreciate it.

    Scott

  20. [...] Since I am the owner of a 2007 Acura TL Type S in Nighthawk Black Pearl (NBP), I get asked a lot of questions from Acura owners (and owners … More [...]

  21. Ralph says:

    I just purchased an Black Kia Soranto and play a lot in the snow (cross skiing, etc.). At the end of the day I drop enough in altitude to get out of the snow but I left with a VERY dirty car. The first thing I’m going to want to do is clean it.. My concern is how I deal with an extremely dirty car and not introduce swirls?

    • Ralph,
      You’ll want to get all the heavy stuff off of it before doing any washing, and that can be accomplished at home with a pressure washer if you have one, and if not, you could use the one at your local do-it-yourself car wash (just DO NOT use their brush!). At that point you can safely do a proper wash as needed at home.

      • Kman says:

        Todd,

        What is the concern with the DIY carwash brush? When I use the DIY place, I always rinse the brush with the high pressure hose before using it. So presumably, any pre-existing dirt is removed from the brush. So, is it the brush itself that you object to? Are the fibers in the brush too abrasive? Please educate me.

        Thank you,

        Kelly Parker

  22. Joel Marsh says:

    I have an abyss blue pearl and it doesn’t have as many imperfection as this one you show but i was curious if you know any one in the minneapolis mn area that can do such a great job. yours was AMAZING!

  23. Marshall says:

    Todd,
    Thanks for the info, I recently purchased a 08′ NBP Type S and after reading this article I feel like I’ve been cleaning my old NBP Accord V6 Coupe all wrong (I was using Turtle Wax ICE products). My question is, what do you recommend for the carbon fiber inserts and the “black chrome” rims if I don’t yet have access to the products you used. Do you have any articles on seat care? Where would I find the products you used, by the way??? Thanks again!!!

    Marshall

    • All of the products are available right here on Detailed Image!

      • Marshall says:

        Thanks Todd, I will be slowly but surely filling my garage with the products I’m finding on your site…LOL

    • Paul T says:

      Hey Marshall,

      Just wanted to tell you that there’s a Google search box at the top of this page, or on the Blog home page that you can use to find any article you need….and yes, these guys have pretty much covered everything!

      • Marshall says:

        Hey Paul T, Thanks… I registered on DI and I looked up quite a few of Todd’s articles, I feel like Neo when he first enters the real world in The Matrix. I’ve been detailing wrong all this time… LOL!

  24. Albert says:

    Hi Todd,
    Has the use of a leaf blower found it’s way into any of your car-drying workflows? I happen to use one to dry my large truck, and it saves a lot of time and towels.

    -Albert

  25. [...] Since I am the owner of a 2007 Acura TL Type S in Nighthawk Black Pearl (NBP), I get asked a lot of questions from Acura owners (and owners … More [...]

  26. [...] before this guy gives step by step guide with pictures on how to restore your cars paintwork. PART 1 http://www.detailedimage.com/Ask-a-P…-pearl-part-1/ PART 2 [...]

  27. Logan says:

    Mr. Todd,
    Today is the first time I’ve learned what detailing really means and am blown away at the awesomeness you guys achieve. I saw in one of DI’s articles the mention of a car being washed weekly. Would you please shed light on how frequently you do this whole wash/wax process? And you do the paint restore (Buff?) twice per year? I’m just curious about the upkeep one must apply to your gorgeous car after “babying” it as you effectively described in the article.
    Logan

  28. [...] http://www.detailedimage.com/Ask-a-P…-pearl-part-1/ This is a great reference for proper detailing. If you don't really have deep scratches or just want to mask the swirl marks instead of removing them (if you have any), then I would avoid polishing because it removes the top layer of your clear coat. Washing, clay barring, and a good wax should suffice if you've kept your paint in good condition. I'll try to write something next time I need to wax my car. [...]

  29. [...] I'm going off this: 2006 Acura TL in Nighthawk Black Pearl (part 1) – Detailed Image [...]

  30. Greg Symoens says:

    Great Work, I detailed for an acura dealership for a year or so and I have done so many TL and TSX, The NBP paint is tricky but looks amazing after full correction. Love that you drive a Type S, been my favorite car for years. both to drive and detail..
    Thanks Todd

  31. Gatwicked says:

    I have a white car and I would like to know if the white color requires the same amount of maintenance as black?

  32. mike p says:

    OMG, I just bought a 2006 TL with this NBP color, the price was right, even though the miles where in the 90′s but the car is certified, and beautiful…Here is my Question, it has a couple of scratches on the hood, a larger one on the trunk, and a 1″4 chip on the fender…Body shops here in Delaware all want to re paint both hood and trunk…1100.00 buck…Please help
    sincerely Michael

  33. [...] 2006 Acura TL in Nighthawk Black Pearl (part 1) – Detailed Image this is a very good tutorial and we could use the same polishes on our TSXs too __________________ OC [...]

  34. Daniel Ray says:

    Where do you get your materials like buffer/polish pads for your tools?

  35. J L Arya says:

    Sir, apart from these valuable guidance, i would request you to provide leads for buying these superb items, from where to buy may be the hit question among the readers, online links can be inserted.
    Regards
    J L Arya
    New Delhi.

  36. Andres says:

    Does FW1 waterless product damages your paint?
    http://www.fw1shine.com/
    Please advice

  37. [...] regarding a NHBP Acura TL complete with product recommendations and step by step pictures. 2006 Acura TL in Nighthawk Black Pearl (part 1) | Ask a Pro Blog 2006 Acura TL in Nighthawk Black Pearl (part 2) | Ask a Pro Blog 2006 Acura TL in Nighthawk Black [...]

  38. Aaron Wilson says:

    What are your thoughts about using a clear bra on a black car?

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