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Removing Car Wash Swirls and Scratches – 2016 Porsche Targa 4S


This gorgeous 2016 Porsche Targa 4S was brought to us because the owner was interested in having his car coated for added protection, gloss, and easier maintenance.

Upon inspection, it was apparent that despite the low mileage and new model year, the paint had not been properly cared for.  There were a considerable number of swirls and moderate scratches, and some tell-tale signs that the vehicle had been taken through the car wash on more than one occasion.

We started off with a thorough cleaning of the wheels & tires.  After a pressure rinse, the tires were cleaned using Tuf Shine Tire Cleaner & Tire Brush.

ATD | 2016 Targa 4S

The wheels were then soaked with a generous amount of P21S Gel Wheel Cleaner to help break down the large amount of buildup on the wheel faces and barrels.  We really like the P21S Gel because it really clings to the wheel and does not have a harsh smell like many wheel cleaners do.  The wheel cleaner was left to soak while I cleaned the tire on the rear wheel.

ATD | 2016 Targa 4S

Next, the barrels were cleaned, and thanks to the P21S Gel Wheel cleaner, all of the heavy buildup that could not be removed with the pressure rinse was easily removed with a large (3″) wheel woolie.

ATD | 2016 Targa 4S

Wheel faces were then cleaned with several wheel brushes and the end result was a very good looking wheel.

ATD | 2016 Targa 4S

Next the paint was washed with Meguiar’s Hyper Wash and then decontaminated with detailing clay.

ATD | 2016 Targa 4S

The owner then decided that he wanted to add our premium wheels-off service, so the car was put on the lift and the wheels were removed.  While we had the wheels off, the wheel wells were cleaned with some all purpose cleaner and then dressed with 303 aerospace protectant.  Brake calipers were cleaned up as well, and then coated for added protection.

ATD | Porsche Targa 4S

Since we had already done a pretty good job cleaning the wheels while they were installed on the car, they were not too much trouble to completely clean once removed.  The end result is a wheel that looks brand new inside and out.

ATD | Porsche Targa 4SATD | Porsche Targa 4S

The wheels were then wiped down with Eraser and sprayed with CQuartz for added protection and easier maintenance.

ATD | Porsche Targa 4S

Now that the vehicle is clean, the paint was inspected for defects. Swirls and scratches were easily visible with our LED inspection lights (check out my article on inspection lighting here).

ATD | 2016 Targa 4S

We had originally planned on performing a one-step correction process, however after testing numerous combinations of products and pads, I found that a two-step process was going to be necessary to make the type of improvement we were after. We were able to remove the majority of defects with Fast Correcting Cream & Microfiber Cutting Pads, and then polish the finish to a deep finish with CarPro Reflect on a White Rupes Pad. The color was greatly enhanced with this process making the uncorrected areas appear hazy in comparison.

ATD | 2016 Targa 4S

Here is a collection of before/after photos captured throughout the compounding process.  Notice we were able to remove the majority of defects, however some scratches were too deep to be removed with this process.  This is a daily driven vehicle, so chasing RIDS was not worthwhile as we believe preserving clear coat thickness is far more important than achieving a flawless finish.

ATD | 2016 Targa 4SATD | 2016 Targa 4S

ATD | 2016 Targa 4SATD | 2016 Targa 4S

ATD | 2016 Targa 4SATD | 2016 Targa 4S

ATD | 2016 Targa 4SATD | 2016 Targa 4S

The paint was then coated with 2 coats of 22ple Mistico Elemento.  This is a professional grade coating product that produces incredible gloss & durable protection.

ATD | 2016 Targa 4S

The end result was a beautiful finish with metallic flake that really came to life in the afternoon sun.

ATD | 2016 Targa 4S

I absolutely love this color.  Now this vehicle looks like a low mileage 2016 should, and will continue to look great for years with proper maintenance.

ATD | 2016 Targa 4SATD | 2016 Targa 4S

ATD | 2016 Targa 4SATD | 2016 Targa 4SATD | 2016 Targa 4S

Process Overview

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Zach McGovern
Attention To Detailing Peoria
Peoria, IL

25 comments on Removing Car Wash Swirls and Scratches – 2016 Porsche Targa 4S

  1. james self says:

    Looking good Zack! Mistico Elemento is looking crisp on that paint!

  2. William Shephatd says:

    Looks great! Nice work

  3. Mike says:

    Excellent work and write up.

  4. Bob says:

    Nice work as usual. I like the targa metallic trim around the b-pillar/roof.

  5. Andrew Ward says:

    Is that Dark Blue Metallic or PTS Aqua Blue? I can’t tell with any certainty…

  6. Derrick says:

    Very nice work Zach.

  7. Mark W says:

    This is a good write up, yet using a product not available to the public leaves me feeling like I’ll never be able to reproduce these results.

    • Hi Mark, thanks for reading! The coating is certainly not the leading factor in producing the overall look of the finished vehicle. While it is true that the wax, sealant, or coating of your choice will have a small impact on the overall look, the majority of the results comes from having a perfectly clean and properly corrected vehicle that is free of swirl marks. You can absolutely achieve these results! Mistico Elemento is a professional only product and has many benefits that make it a premium product, but there are many great consumer options that will produce incredible results in terms of appearance and protection, such as 22ple VX Pro2, which in my opinion is one of the best consumer coatings on the market! Check out my review here….

  8. Andrew Ward says:

    Hi Zach,
    I am going to go with Dark Blue Metallic like my car. If it looked dark turquoise in bright light, that’s what it is. I am still very happy with my choice after 3 years 🙂 Andrew.

  9. Benjamin Dutil says:

    Hi Zach,
    I’m very interested in gaining knowledge on how to apply a coating to the wheels with an airbrush. Can you elaborate a bit on that procedure? Thank you.

  10. Zach I am sitting at the edge of my seat right next to Benjamin in regards to learning more about coatings and what Mystico Elemento is. Yes, do elaborate please.

    The car looks beautiful by the way. That color is just gorgeous!!

  11. Lee says:

    Excellent results and detailed write up as ever Zach.
    Very, very impressive.

  12. Frank says:

    The work you did on the car is amazing! What did you use to coat the brakes for added protection?

  13. Nice job MAN.Good job.

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