Bill is new to the PC7424XP, has several vehicles at home, and inquires about product selection and techniques to serve them both:
Have a 2004 Audi A6 in Irish Green Metallic. I believe this is a clear coated paint but don’t know whether it is a relatively hard or soft clear coat.
How do you suggest I go about polishing and sealing? It will be my first “detailing.”
Then will be taking on my wife’s silver Lexus – also a 2004. Any change in strategy here?
Thanks for writing in! First of all, Audi typically uses (very) hard clear coat, whereas Lexus uses soft. Given this, the Audi will require a lot more effort in comparison to the Lexus.
You can use both polishes for both vehicles, however if you have deeper defects on the Audi you may want to consider something more aggressive down the road (Menzerna SIP or even more aggressive would be Meguiars M105). Since you’re just starting out however, I would take the time to get used to the products and processes first before chasing all defects. You will still have the ability to make a huge difference in both of your cars with the products and tools that you have.
After you wash and clay the Audi, and tape off rubber trim, you’ll be ready to polish. Most likely you’ll end up using PO203 with an orange pad, but you could try a white first just to compare the two. Apply 3 or 4 pea sized drops of polish on the pad, spread it in a bit, and working in about an 18″x18″ area, polish the surface on speed 6 with medium pressure. Slowly move the pad from side to side, overlapping passes by roughly 50% as you work your way down, and then use the same technique in an up and down direction (and then repeat the process). After a few minutes you should see the polish change to a translucent, which is when you know that the polish has broken down. At this point you should reduce the PC to about speed 4-5, and reduce to a light pressure for a few more passes. Now wipe off the polish residue with a soft microfiber towel and inspect your work. If it has a bit of a hazy finish, then you’ve either gone too fast and not allowed the polish to properly break down, or you’ve worked it dry. If this happens, just apply a couple more drops and re-work the section and it should clear right up. Once you’ve properly polished a section, you should notice a major reduction in swirls, and the color should be much deeper as well. Be sure to switch to a fresh pad several times throughout the process for best results. Pads will start to get caked up with polish, and then they become less effective. I will usually go through 3 to 4 pads for an entire car, although it is possible to use less.
After you’ve finished the first polishing step, you may want to go back with your finishing polish to refine it a bit with a finer polish and pad combination. Typically speaking, you’ll generally use either a black or blue pad with the PO85RD polish. Since your Audi has a hard clear coat however, you’d be fine using it with a white pad. Use the same basic technique as with the PO203S, but you won’t need to use as much pressure because you’re simply refining the finish at this point.
After you’ve finished all of your polishing, I’d recommend either washing the vehicle again to remove all of the carrier oils from the polish, or wipe it down with Isopropyl Alcohol (aka IPA wipedown). Just put your regular store-bought IPA in a spray bottle…spray it on a section, wipe it down with a microfiber cloth, and move on to the next section. This will leave you with a totally clean surface that will help with the bonding of your sealant.
Once you’ve completed that step, then you can seal the surface with your Klasse Sealant Glaze as directed.
Since your Lexus has softer paint, you’ll want to use a little different combination. If you can see enough of the defects on the silver paint, then you probably want to first try PO203S with a white pad. This should give you enough cut to remove most of the defects, yet finish down very nice without having to do a final polish. If you wish to create more gloss, then I would continue on with PO85RD and a black or blue pad.
On both cars, you can then go back every now and then for a more simple maintenance polish using just your fine pad and polish combination.
Congratulations on making your plunge into detailing by machine. Just give yourself a little time to get used to the machine, how and when the polishes break down, and what the best polish/pad combinations are for your particular vehicles. It takes time, and nobody is an expert the first time they do it! Even after the first time you use it however, you will be amazed at how much better your car(s) will look.
Best of luck, and please let us know if we can answer any additional questions for you.