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35 comments on Do I Need To Polish A Brand New Car?

  1. Ron says:


    Enjoyed your article on polishing a new car. I will be getting a new C7 Corvete that will probably need polishing.
    For a new car, what polishing product do you recommend. Clay the car first?

    Thanks Ron

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Hi Ron,

      First off, congrats on the new Corvette! You should surely clay the car first to ensure no embedded contamination remains before polishing. As for polishing, it’s really tough to recommend one specific product because there are many products that provide similar results and there are many products that are needed based on the condition of the paint. I’d recommend you check out some of my other articles on polishing supplies and pick up a few simpler product/pad combinations to begin with. You’ll probably want to pick up 2 different pad and polish types for starters to ensure you can do a little correction as well as finish polishing.

  2. christian says:

    great article i just picked up a gmc white terrain denali . I reached out to DI and asked for advice and used dodo lime prime with black fire sealant and dodo diamond white . must say my car looks and feels better from the day i brought it home thanks to DI. so i would consider minor paint correction as needed .

  3. Gene B says:

    I just received delivery of 2014 Mercedes E350 BLACK! Paint surface looks great–no swirl marks
    What steps to prep and polish. Should I use the black fire products or are they going away?

  4. Ivan Rajic says:

    Gene I have no experience with blackfire polishes, etc. but I do know their products are good and I know first hand the Blackfire Wet Diamond sealant is a very good product to use. I’m sure that would look great on your black Mercedes.

  5. Gene B says:

    Thanks for the reply Ivan—-Another question—I see that all the cars on the lot have a pebbly or dimpled look to the paint finish—I would guess it’s not “orange Peel”—but reflections are jagged–not mirror smooth.
    Will polishing help smooth this out or is this the way new car paint is being done??


    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Gene, that sounds like typical “orange peel” of new vehicles these days. Some are better than others, but it seems like every car will have some level of orange peel fresh from the factory. Aggressive polishing can normally help only to an extent, especially on some really bad paint jobs, but usually you’re looking at sanding down the entire clear coat in order to fully level it.

  6. Frank says:


    Very useful article. Thanks.

    Can you tell me how a car owner can be 100% certain that a detailer has done everything he said he’d do? I can’t think of any other service a person can pay fro where they really have no idea if the products the detailer told them he’d use were actually used and where all the detail steps paid for were actually taken. Say, if a detailer says he’ll use Gtechniq C1 paint protection and Gtechnig Exo repellant, how can the customer tell this was positively done? Thanks.


    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Hi Frank,

      Very, very good question! I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that question in such a way. The short answer is that you simply can’t really tell that everything was done as promised, at least not immediately. As you probably already know, the only thing you can really judge a detailer for is the cleanliness and final results on the vehicle. Otherwise, if they say a Menzerna polish will be used, there’s really no way you can tell whether or not they used Menzerna or Meguiar’s or Optimum for polishing as the results can be exactly the same.

      For sealants and coatings it’s a bit easier to tell over time, but only to an extent immediately. Most sealants and waxes bead and sheet water pretty well initially and coatings are very similar, maybe a bit better. Thus, the only way you can tell if something like a coating vs a sealant vs wax has been used and if it was properly applied is by checking roughly how long it lasts on the vehicle. If you were promised a coating that should last 1-2 years but it lasts 7-8 months, maybe it wasn’t applied in the best possible way or maybe the vehicle just saw a lot of driving and wore out the coating earlier than expected. If however you stop seeing beading after 3-4 months, it was either poorly applied, or you may have received a good sealant application. So on and so forth.

      Hope that helps and wish I could give you a better answer, but aside from watching someone use and apply specific products, you normally can’t tell much from just looking at the car after the job is all said and done.

    • Kenny Rambo says:


      Another way to know if a detailer is really using Gtechniq C1 & EXO is to check Gtechniq’s website for an Accredited Detailer in your area. Besides the added security of using an Accredited Detailer, they are able to offer warranties on Gtechniq coatings as long as they apply the product. In my opinion, you can’t beat Gtechniq C1 & EXO stack.

      • Ivan Rajic says:

        That’s definitely a good precaution Kenny, finding out whether or not a detailer is accredited/authorized for such stuff as Opti-Coat, CQuartz Finest, Gtech and other coatings. I was answering more so in terms of everyday detail products.

  7. blaine says:

    Hi there. I had just purchased a new car in april on 2013. I had waxed the car 2x in the summer of 2013. My work schedule brings me to a 10 days in 10 days off rotation. So for half the year the car in in a underground parkade when im at work. How often do i need to wax this car to maintain paint protection with the amount i am driving it?

    Thanks! 🙂

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Hi Blaine,

      I would suggest you simply stick with the typical waxing every 1-2 months or sealing (polymer sealant) every 2-4 months. This way you’ll be sure to have adequate protection on the car year round without worrying much about it. Once you get a feel for how long the protection is lasting in your situation, you can adjust accordingly.

      Hope that helps!

  8. Steve Webb says:

    Hi Ivan
    Thank for an informative article
    I am taking delivery of a Tesla S in the coming month and plan to try to protect this motor for as long as I possibly can as this is going to hurt for the next 72 months in repayments.

    I am using CQuartz as my sealant and have tried to educate myself as best I could on how to prepare the car before I apply this product.
    Thus far I have found conflicting views on how to apply the CQuartz (YouTube and various articles)
    Do I use a circular motion to cover the car or vertical then horizontal or does it make no difference?
    Do I let it cure before adding a second coat of not (one article suggested letting it cure hinders the adhesion of the second coat)

    In the prep of the car I am going to insist that no outside dealer detailing be performed.

    Then my plan of action is as follows:
    Foam wash the car

    Sheet dry then pat dry (I think I purchased all the rags I need from the “Rag Company” and the wife thinks I am nuts).

    Then apply ironX leave for a few minuets using a sponge gently agitate the ironX.
    Here I have another question if I coat the whole car with the ironX it is going to take at least 20 minutes to agitate it.

    Can I leave this product o the car for this long?

    Re foam the car to remove the ironX and dry

    Clay the car

    Apply CQuarts then I am back to my original question on application technique and cure time.

    Thanks for any guidance


    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Hi Steve,

      First off, congrats on the Tesla. It’s definitely a good idea to protect it well as it does have fairly sensitive paint that needs the protection.

      For the CQuartz application, I always apply in straight lines (up-down, then left-right). There’s really no good reason to apply in circular motions because you’re simply trying to apply it evenly to a section and there’s rarely a circular section on a car that would make circular motions more efficient. I would say that it probably does make a small difference because if applying in circular motions, you’re overlapping too much and taking much longer to apply properly and evenly to the section.

      As for the 2nd coat, you should wait about 1hour (this comes directly from CarPro reps) after the 1st coat has been wiped off.

      It’s definitely a good idea to leave it out of the dealer’s hands as they normally cause more damage than good. Otherwise, your plan sounds good for the most part. You don’t really need to agitate the ironX, rather let it do its job and then wash off as per directions. 20 minutes should definitely be safe in the shade and you can surely re-foam or just wash after rinsing ironX and then dry. You may need to wash with a mitt if the ironX sits too long, but 20 mins should be fine. Another option is to simply do it a couple of times if necessary, spraying the entire car, waiting 5-10 minutes, rinsing and repeating.

      The other thing you may need to alter with the prep is that you may either not need to clay or after claying you may need polishing to remove any marring/swirl marks from the surface. If you’re happy with the condition as is and if it has no contamination, you can simply go from the ironX, to an Eraser wipe down and then coating. If there are swirl marks, etc. that you would like to remove, you’ll need to do a step or more of polishing after ironX and clay in order to improve/remove them.

      To summarize, you’re looking at 1. doing a thorough wash (ironX if necessary, but recommended), 2. claying if necessary, 3. polishing if necessary, 4. Eraser wipedown and finally 5. coating

      Hope that helps Steve,


  9. Car Polish says:

    i have just bought a new audi r8 just need to know. what type of polish will be good for my car.

  10. Jackson says:

    hi, i enjoyed read your article Ivan. I got new Lexus ISF 2014 black. I just parked my car right next to the main entrance of my house after i washed my new car. but i found my car that has lots of water spots on my black car next day. i tried to erase with Meg. water spot remover but it was not working well so, i also used meg scratch x 2.0. for the waterspots but they are not erasable. what type of product i should use? I was kinda stressed. it is new car but i don’t know what to do. please let me know about your opinion. thanks!

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Sorry to hear that Jackson. You may want to try another water spot remover, but from the looks of it, seems like you may need some thorough machine polishing to remove those spots. I wouldn’t try too much hand polishing as the concentrated pressure can really do some damage to that sensitive clear coat, so you may need to consult a quality local professional or get some proper supplies to try it yourself. This is really the only way to see what can be done. Best of luck with it.

  11. mark says:

    I just bought a new black truck with clear coat. Looks beautiful, however I could find very fine microscopic lines in the paint in various areas, but no real scratches. Shines very well. Do I just need a good wax, or should it be polished first. Like I said, no real scratches except for of course it’s black so it shows imperfections

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Mark if it’s brand new, it’s really up to you what to do with it. Some swirl marks aren’t going to be detrimental to the paint, so you could just go ahead and wax it regularly for a while until more swirl marks accumulate and you do some polishing. Or you can also polish it now to make it near perfect, then apply a good sealant or coating for protection.

  12. manny says:

    I have a 2007 pearl white murano any polish /wax recommendation for a white truck, I am thinking of meguiars ultimate polish follow by meguiars ultimate wax

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Manny that’s a very general question and one I really can’t answer with any certainty. Most of the polishes and waxes we sell are extremely user friendly and provide great results, so for someone starting out you’ll simply have to flip a coin and choose a system with which to begin. My only advice would be to make sure you’re starting with a somewhat mild system and not causing any issues of your own. If you’re polishing by machine, I have always liked to recommend Meguiar’s 205 polish with a couple different pads to use for starters. Then you can figure out what if anything more aggressive you need from there.

  13. Sheldon says:

    Hi Ivan

    First and foremost I’ve found all of your feedback very helpful and Thanks! Anyway I have new 2015 Toyota Corolla (Black) and found a few contaminants and a few spider lines in the paint. I purchased Megs DA Polisher along with 5 Inch BP and 6 Pack of Disc. I also have MF Pads that came with polisher. In order to correct those flaws is it necessary to include M105 in the process or would you recommend going the MicroFiber Pad route?

  14. Sheldon says:


    Or should I skip the compound and go straight to M205? Sorry I forgot that question. It should be noted that the Discs are Megs foam.

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Sheldon it’s always tough to say what will be necessary to correct the paint, but it’s always a good idea to start with something less aggressive and move up from there. M205 is a great polish and it’s extremely versatile, so you can try it with both a foam and microfiber pad to see how it does before stepping up to M105. Best of luck!

  15. Olu says:

    I will be picking my Nissan Qashqai very soon, can anyone advise if i need to polish it to protect the paint or what do i need to do please as the car will be on the road daily.

  16. Olu says:

    Do i need to polish a brand new Nissan Qashqai against the swirl as the car will be on the road daily, thanks for your advise

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Hi Olu,

      Unfortunately that’s a very hard question to answer. One one hand, the car may come waxed from the dealer and you don’t “need” to do anything. On the other hand, if you want the best in looks or protection, you can either do it yourself or have a professional polish the paint and apply a protective coating to the paint and maybe wheels, glass, interior, etc. In other words, a new car shouldn’t “need” anything except maybe a $50 sealant application, but if you’re a meticulous owner like most of our readers and customers, you may want a very thorough detail, polishing and coating application that can cost $1000-2000+ by a professional or $200-500 to do it yourself (assuming you don’t have any tools and products)

      Hope that helps.

  17. Andrew says:

    Hello Ivan,

    I have a brand new 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that I have driven twice up in the mountains and has already accumulated quite a bit of rock salt spotting on the black paint. I have tried both hand washing and machine washing but nothing seems to be removing the spots. Any suggestions? I have not tried water and distilled vinegar yet…that will be my next attempt. Should I go straight to the clay if this does not work?

    Appreciate any feedback!

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Hi Andrew,

      Unfortunately there’s not one perfect solution for spots like that. Your next steps are in the right order I believe and if those don’t work you may have to try some water spot remover products or actual machine polishing to remove the spots.

      Let us know how it goes.

  18. Slavik says:

    Hi Ivan,

    I am getting a new BMW 3 series lease and was seriously considering applying Optimum Gloss-Coat Paint Coating (2 yr warranty). As this is a 3 year lease and will be used as a daily driver, my main goal is to wash it less often and keep it clean for a longer period of time. Do you think I can get away without paint correction (not sure how BMW paint jobs are from the factory in your experience), as this will be a relatively short-term ownership for me? The color is Estoril Blue Metallic (not sure if that makes a difference). I did ask the dealer not to detail it, and actually keep the factory hood wrap on. Thank you in advance, much appreciated!

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Gloss-Coat should last around 2 years, but I don’t think it comes with any warranty. Paint correction is as necessary as you make it to be. You do need to prep it with a quick primer polish, anything after that is your personal preference of how the paint should look (some people don’t care about swirl marks in the paint) and of course the condition of the paint.

  19. Jackie Bronson says:

    I have a light gray smear or spot on the bottom bumper of my pearl white 2015 Chevy Malibu. I’ve seen it before & it looks like a dirt spot & when I try to wipe it off with a wet towel the spot doesn’t come off. What could I use or do to get this dingy gray spot off my car?

  20. Mort Barke says:

    I just bought a Mercedes Benz S5 50 with a matte white finish and I would like to know if I should put a coat of polish on it and what type of polish or wax should I use Any other type of finish would just take a wax that makes it shine . How can I protect the Matte white finish . Please help ??

  21. bernie defazio says:

    just picked up my brand new cadilacc 2021, bright red xl5 model should i polish, i will be in hot sum and near ocean for 4 months, if so what polish

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