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Audi A3. Black Paint Care 101

First off... NEVER wash your vehicle with the sun at high strength. Depending on where you are, this is usually the same hours that they say to wear sun protection. Best to wash around 8 AM or after 4PM. using your garden hose, correct?

Make sure you use a mist from your hose to get wet before washing... use a GOOD wash... spend the 10 bucks on a bottle of suds... such as Meguiars or anything similar.

Use a good mitt that is clean and rinsed to wash your vehicle by hand. Always the black paint first, then everything else later like the tires, bumpers... etc and above all... start from the top of the vehicle first.

Rinse... you don't want to spray or mist... NEVER do this... these are all your water spots aided by heavy calcium deposits as well.

You want to take the sprayer off your hose if you had one on, and just let the heavy pour of the water from the hose run off the paint. Carry the end of the hose over where you are rinsing and because a heavy pour of water is more prone to being pulled down by gravity, the water will just carry off your vehicle... hence, less water spots and less time to dry.

Now... many have said use a chamois or other type of cloth... I don't recommend these. Purely because they are only good at getting the water off... yet, they often carry off the wax and/or oils in the paint and over time... more swirls and more slight scratches are possible.

Use a drying blade... often found in all auto stores, these are cheap and they look like those things you use to wipe your windows off.... these blades are so soft and they just whisk the water off your vehicle and leaves everything else intact. If your really obsessed about drying, get a blower and blow the water out of your cracks and door jams.

Your towel supply should be what is called "microfiber"... and this is a word being tossed all over the net right now, but believe it or not, they are much better at removing and trapping any dust than a terry or cotton cloth. Remember, we are also trying to avoid swirls here. Microfiber towels can be found all over the net and also at bigger auto stores like Pep Boys.

Now for the detail part -

Much debate goes on and on about the "best shine" or what works best for all vehicles. We are focusing on BLACK paint here and through trials of ALL formulas... this is the best:

Klasse All-In-One Polish and Shine... and it comes in a red bottle... can be found anywhere ONLINE and many detail stores... but this is the best for black.

You want to make sure that your paint is cool to touch also.

I always recommend by hand... if you get into orbitals... they are best for vehicles that already have the swirls, and this could apply more to you. Make sure you have a microfiber bonnet on your orbital if using one... we are keeping it SMOOTH here. Using a pad, (I will just say hand from now on, if you have the orbital, which you do, just know that you can use it the same but DON'T apply pressure and you will still have to use by hand after you are done to get the places the orbital couldn't get into), apply slight pressure and work one part of the vehicle at once. Make sure you use LITTLE of the Klasse... through all tests of major detailers that use Klasse... it lasts about 5 years even on a TRUCK!

After you have done the whole vehicle... buff it off... again, a microfiber is best and make sure you have about 4 of these for the whole project. The polishing and buffing you just did will remove ALL the swirls and not just cover them up.

Now follow with Klasse Glaze... which is in a gray bottle. SO SIMPLE to use... but most effective in getting your best shine on your black paint. With another pad, you simply wipe a little of the glaze over your paint and here with your hand, you apply NO pressure... because this is not a polish... it is simply a glaze that enhances your clear coat by filling in all the pores and microscopic caverns that effect how light is reflected off your paint.

Note: Many detailers including myself, recommend using a Spray Detailer that you use between washes to remove light dust. Mist the pads you use BEFORE applying the Polish and doing your vehicle and the Glaze before doing the vehicle... this allows the pad to more evenly distribute the product and not use it over excessively like we tend to do!

Here is the trick of your shine... If you want the best shine possible, the LONGER you leave the glaze on, the better the effect will take place. Amazing huh? Well, this is a process that we are going for a KILLER WET shine visual here. But the minimum also is 1 hour after it is on... so choose what you like... then buff it off.

With Klasse Glaze, it is possible to use several coats after to continue to enhance the shine... and this is not a phrase made up... this is actually very true.... if you buffed the glaze after an hour, then you have to WAIT 4 hours for the glaze to cure before applying another coat. If you waited over night and buffed the glaze in the morning, then you can buff off the glaze and then immediately reapply another coat of glaze.

Above is the best piece of advice from how people get their vehicles at shows to look SO rich.

The glaze is your best tool. Remember, the more coats, the better the effect but remember the times in-between to making it work. In addition, Klasse Glaze can be applied to all the taillights, headlights, foglights as well... just make sure you rub it off after it's left on for a little.

Now don't mistake me here... because many will read through this and think. DAMN... that's a lot of work! Well, not when you do it right the first time. This is a method that will allow you to keep the shine for up to 10 to 12 months typically... and can go longer if you glaze your vehicle every 2 weeks or so.

Now... after the glazing...

Use a good wax... Meguairs is recommended again.

This seals in your perfection... and if you wash your vehicle ONCE a week, which is recommended, follow with a wax.

Again, USE MICROFIBER towels and pads... they are the best and you will love how these towels suck up the white dust left from chemicals and wax.

You can use a Spray detailer like Eagle One or Black Magic to keep the dust off during the week and take off with a clean microfiber towel (keep a bottle and a few towels in your vehicle).

And always, if you have the time. GLAZE your ride every 2 weeks or 4 weeks and follow with a wax.

AND ABOVE ALL - NEVER use dirty towels or cheap terrycloth towels on DARK PAINT!

Then after following all this, you will NOT have swirls and your BLACK paint will be ultra buttery smooth and wet for the 10-12 months I said at which time you will need to REPEAT from the top.

Now... all of you who read this... it works best on RED also... or any DARK Color. All other colors will benefit as well... enjoy a swirl free buttery smooth wet world!

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