Professional Valeters and Detailers - Car Care Advice Thread

Professional Valeters and Detailers - Car Care Advice Thread

Author
Discussion

v1b1n

1 posts

49 months

Friday 21st October 2016
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Hi Guys,
I am new to PVD and Piston Heads
My name is Ant.
I just wanted to say hi to you all and look forward to getting familiar with everything and everyone here :-)




Attention2Detail - PVD Approved

detailR

127 posts

49 months

rthomp25

24 posts

190 months

Sunday 13th November 2016
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Hi
I am getting a new car on the last week of December and wanted to have the paintwork protected.
Therefore I would like some advice on PPF's versus other treatments.
I am based in the midlands (Stratford upon Avon).
Many thanks,
Rod.

Pro Valets

Original Poster:

61 posts

89 months

Monday 14th November 2016
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Hi Rod,

Thank you for your question. There are essentially four key ways to protect the paint work of a car.

The simplest is with a wax - these are easy to apply, can mask some light marks, and the best can last over six months, at which point a safe wash and decon, followed by another layer of wax can continue the protection. Even some waxes under £20 offer good protection, spend a little more and you will get benefits. Some of the top waxes out there cost £1,000's - but generally it's the law of diminishing returns. We are actually testing 24 waxes in our latest magazine for December - the results are fascinating.

Next up is polymer sealants - they are also easy to apply and last longer than waxes, but for the best visual results, you can wax over the top. A good sealant costs anywhere between £15 - £40 for a bottle that will do the car many times over.

Most of the new car protection options sold by car dealers are polymer sealants - some are OK, but usually the poor application and next to no prep work means they don't last long, and the application process itself can damage cars - when they wash the car with sponge, or dry it with a chamois leather they will be adding in marks. Alas in a dealership, valeters are at the bottom of the pile somewhere between the work experience kid and the photo-copier boy - though top-end dealers are starting to employ proper car care professionals on demand, it's a slow process. In terms of value - dealer protections are often sold for £300-£800 but the product costs less than £20, and they normally give a contract valeter half an hour to apply them - many of our chaps spend a lot of time correcting these cars.

The third option is ceramic coating - there are a growing number of products and people offering them. On the positive they do offer some physical protection against abrasion over and above the UV protection offered by waxes and polymer sealants. They also offer much greater durability than the other options - some manufacturers offer 3, 5, and even 7yr guarantees - though to last they need correct maintenance. However, before applying them, the car needs to be perfect - they don't mask any swirls or imperfections, so the car will need machine polishing prior to application. They can cost a similar amount to a dealer applied protection, but you are getting much much better value for money. As they are tricky to apply properly, do be careful who you choose - a badly applied coating takes days to repair - quite a few are applying them with too little experience and the wrong facilities - do not choose people on price as it will likely cost much more in the long term.

Finally we have PPF - the most expensive option but one that offers the most protection. It also has the benefit of being easy to remove and replace once it's done it's job - that of being sacrificial protection for the car.

What ever option you go for, your detailer can liaise with the dealer in advance of delivery - he or she can organise for the car to be treated prior to collection, and equally, stop the well-meaning dealer from 'prepping' the car, usually adding marks and swirls to the paint. They should be advised not to even remove the protective plastic until the detailer is on site.

Your nearest PVD Approved member is Ecurie Esprit in Stratford - I would suggest giving Tom Morrison-Jones a bell on 07910 108 507 - he is Koch Chemie and Swissvax Approved and will be in a good position to assist.

Kind regards

Bert @PVD - the UK Trade Association for Car Care Professionals

rthomp25

24 posts

190 months

Monday 14th November 2016
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Many thanks Bert - I will contact Tom. 😀

Pro Valets

Original Poster:

61 posts

89 months

Tuesday 15th November 2016
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My pleasure Rod - Tom can also do Xpel Paint Protection film - so everything is covered!

detailR

127 posts

49 months

Friday 18th November 2016
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Standard Nissan GTR problems!





detailR Bespoke Car Care - PVD Approved

mbcShay

16 posts

104 months

Wednesday 1st March 2017
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Another Introduction smile

I've been a member on PH for a while, but I'm also a PVD approved detailer.

If anyone from my area (Corby - East Midlands) ever needs help, or just feels like popping in for a chat about car care, give us a call first and we'll put the coffee on cool

http://mybeautifulcar.co.uk/

WillBourne

1 posts

44 months

Monday 13th March 2017
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Another introduction smile, I'm a PVD member and have been detailing for a while but I'm new to PVD. Be interesting to get to know a few more faces and hopefully go to some pistonheads meets too!!

http://bournetodetail.co.uk/
http://www.pro-valets.co.uk/store-page/car-detaili...

GordonFev

4 posts

42 months

Friday 12th May 2017
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Hi

Like one of the earlier posters i am getting a new car...well, actually, i've just got it. However it arrived with paint defect and also external paint damage so the manufacturer is going to fix that. However it made me realise how thin and potentially fragile the paint surface is on this car compared to my previous VW. So my question is....what is the best method to protect the paint from damage? The car is leased so it'll have to go back to them in 2 years...oh and of course, i don't want to spend a fortune as it's not a hi-end sportscar and i'm not minted....i'm in Guildford. All advice happily received

Edited by GordonFev on Saturday 13th May 16:22

AutoMate

18 posts

50 months

Friday 19th May 2017
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Hi lolaking

To clean my leather seats I use https://www.liquidleather.com/car-motorbike-leather-cleaners/27-gt12-intensive-cleaner-5060033829813.html dark denim and cream leather don't mix - to make you feel better though dirty labrador paws and cream leather is worse!


Pro Valets

Original Poster:

61 posts

89 months

Friday 19th May 2017
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GordonFev said:
Hi

Like one of the earlier posters i am getting a new car...well, actually, i've just got it. However it arrived with paint defect and also external paint damage so the manufacturer is going to fix that. However it made me realise how thin and potentially fragile the paint surface is on this car compared to my previous VW. So my question is....what is the best method to protect the paint from damage? The car is leased so it'll have to go back to them in 2 years...oh and of course, i don't want to spend a fortune as it's not a hi-end sportscar and i'm not minted....i'm in Guildford. All advice happily received

Edited by GordonFev on Saturday 13th May 16:22
Hi Gordon - there are plenty of new car paint protection options out there. The most expensive option is Paint Protection Film (PPF) which is essentially a clear polymer film that offers the best protection against physical abrasion and stone chips. The latest generation of films are 'self-healing' - essentially if deformed by a stone they can be gently heated and will return to their previous shape. These can be fitted to the whole car or just the vulnerable areas like bumper and bonnet - but even the latter will generally be a four-figure price.

Next step down are ceramic coatings - again there is a huge range on the market - some for the home user, some for professionals, and some only for professionals who have completed product-specific training. They normally come as a liquid, which is then applied in a very thin layer. This hardens, forming the protective sacrificial layer. They won't defend against stone chips as well as PPF and they can be vulnerable to water-spotting, but some are guaranteed to last up to 7 years, and most will easily last your lease period. A pro will charge £100-£300 to apply, but will (and should) insist on a full decontamination and single stage machine polish prior to application - thus you would be looking at between £250 - £750 on a new car depending on the size of the car, the condition of the car, the selected product, and the selected detailers.

The next step down are polymer sealants - again their is a vast range. Dealer-fit paint protection packages are normally based on polymer sealants. The best out there will last a year or so - maybe a little longer with the correct maintenance and top-up procedures. Protection wise they contain UV filters to slow oxidation (which causes paint fade) and create a sacrificial layer, usually hydrophobic, that makes it harder for dirt to adhere to the paint. There is very little protection against physical abrasion. Cost wise, a detailer should suggest a wash and decontamination prior to application - you'd be looking at £80 to £200 depending on the amount of prep work required and the products used. Polymer sealants are fairly straight forward to apply though, so they can be done at home safely - the key is in the prep as the products themselves are normally under £20.

Finally there is good old fashioned paste wax - the best will last up to a year, but the vast majority will be nearer 2-4 months - but they are easy to apply, create a nice deep gloss, and if applying once a quarter for two years, you'll only need a single pot.

While paint protection is absolutely worth the time, effort, and cost - the vast majority of damage we see on car paintwork isn't because they haven't used the correct protection - it's because it has been washed and dried incorrectly. If you take a sponge and chamois to a ceramic protected car you will most likely cause damage - on the flip side, if your car is protected with a paste wax and you wash it following proper procedure (pre-wash, two-bucket method, wool or chenille wash mitt, microfibre drying towel etc) then you are far less likely to damage the paint.

So in conclusion - if you want a fit and forget option PPF is the toughest but priciest. Ceramic coatings are a fair bit cheaper, will last the 2 years needed, and offer most of the protection with the exception of stone chips. Polymer sealants will need some maintenance and offer significantly less protection, but are vastly cheaper. Wax will be about the same price and require more 'topping-up' but, arguably, can give a deeper lustre than most sealants thanks to their filling properties.

Just to complicate matters, there are liquid waxes and paste sealants too - then there are organic waxes that also contain polymer sealant... and there are sealants that contain elements of ceramic protection... and there are paste waxes that contain synthetic polymer sealants and silicon dioxide similar to that in ceramic sealants.... but this is why detailers never get asked to dinner parties or are allowed to share elevator space more than once.



Kaktus

68 posts

42 months

Sunday 18th June 2017
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Hi

I took delivery of a brand new C4 Cactus about two weeks ago and I wanted to protect it so on the day of delivery I took it to a supposed professional valet service to have it washed and waxed. Long story short, they did a really poor job with the whole process taking about 15 minutes and white wax stains, dust and whatnot all over the place including on the rubber pads surrounding the car (despite being told not to wax those areas). They were also supposed to seal the wheels for me but did nothing at all on them (and still had evident dirt). This service cost 50 quid so i was quite surprised.

So what I would like to do now is have it re-done and researching shampoos, claybars, polishes and waxes is frankly headache-inducing and I think beyond both my ability and available time, so I would like to take it a professional valet to do what needs to be done to protect the paintwork.

I've read this thread and I know of the four options to go for - PPF/ceramic/polymer/wax. I am interested in the polymer or wax option. My questions are:

1. Can they strip off the current poor wax job and start again?
2. Should I ask for a polymer coating and then a wax on top?
3. Should the car be clay barred and polished given it's brand new?
4. I intend on having the car re-waxed or re-polymered every 6 months. How do i clean the car in-between these bi-annual wax sessions without stripping/damaging the existing protection? just a rub down with soapy water and a microfibre cloth?
5. How should I ask for the wheels to be sealed and how often do I need to do this? Should I also do this on a 6 month schedule?
6. How do i clean the wheels without damaging the seal or in-between bi-annual sealing if that is required?

Finally, any recommendations for a professional valet near Harrow/North West London?

Thanks in advance

scratcher_

127 posts

49 months

Wednesday 21st June 2017
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A good detailer will be able to offer you a New Car Protection Detail that will deal with the poor job that was done and apply some good protection.

To answer your questions...

1. Can they strip off the current poor wax job and start again?
Yes, as part of the decontamination stage, the previously applied protection will be broken down - the remainder removed with a polishing stage if needed.

2. Should I ask for a polymer coating and then a wax on top?
You can there's no great benefit as the wax often won't bond well to the sealant underneath and only last a very short time.
3. Should the car be clay barred and polished given it's brand new?
Yep, definitely. The car may be newly delivered but it will have picked up some contamination while sitting in the docks, on a transporter and things.

4. I intend on having the car re-waxed or re-polymered every 6 months. How do i clean the car in-between these bi-annual wax sessions without stripping/damaging the existing protection?
Simply wash and dry the car. You can use a quick detailer spray after washes to top up the protection as you go.

5. How should I ask for the wheels to be sealed and how often do I need to do this? Should I also do this on a 6 month schedule?
I'd recommend a ceramic coating for the wheels. Much easier to keep clean and more cost effective in the long run.
A wheel wax would last 3/4 months at a time. A coating up to 2 years.

6. How do i clean the wheels without damaging the seal or in-between bi-annual sealing if that is required?
A bucket mixed with car shampoo and a selection of brushes will be all you need to keep them clean once they're protected.

There's a little more to each part there but that's the gist of it smile

detailR Bespoke Car Care - PVD Approved

African Grey

92 posts

32 months

Sunday 18th March 2018
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Hello

I lurk on the forum for the last 2 months reading anything informative or of interest.

I own a 2005 Boxter S and would like to ask about the issue of yellowing headlights.
I am aware that there are polishing kits (can’t see the advantage of the kits to sand paper) for the job and that there is a need to seal the plastic once it is finished. However, a week ago I met a detailer working on some nice BMWs and asked him if he will do it for me. His response was that from his experience the treatment will not last for more than 6 months, then, the yellowish shade will return, therefore he declined the job.

He mentioned a certain product (which I forgot it’s name) that will do the job and last for ~5 years but in order to be able to use it there is a need to join a franchise for a monthly fee something that he is not willing to do.

Can you provide some information about the durability of the standard treatment and maybe the product that he was referring to?

Thank you.


Pro Valets

Original Poster:

61 posts

89 months

Sunday 18th March 2018
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Hi - thanks for your question.

The headlights can be restored, but as you've identified, the oxidation will reoccur if they aren't protected afterwards.

There are various products out there which can offer well over a year of protection that detailers can get hold of off the shelf with no need to join an affiliation program - IGL Coatings, CarPro, Gtechniq all do suitable products.

We have actually done a video on the process here which might be useful: https://youtu.be/OnvbCUp3Zck

Your local PVD member will be able to assist you further if needed

African Grey

92 posts

32 months

Sunday 18th March 2018
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Thank you. This was a very quick response.

Pro Valets

Original Poster:

61 posts

89 months

Sunday 18th March 2018
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Our pleasure - hope you get them sorted

Daxed

188 posts

154 months

Saturday 14th April 2018
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Just received my 4 pack of backdated Pro Detailer Magazine, issues 2 - 5, superb value and a fascinating read. Can I bounce a question please?

I'm looking to deep clean and refurbish some full leather auto seats that are the best part of 30 years old. They are in reasonable condition considering the age. No holes or rips, just dirty, badly faded and discoloured. Filler will be required on the most prominent fold lines.

How is the different colour stitching (red) protected when using dye on the main seat panels (grey)?

The back/front seats are colour mismatched, the black rears (although faded) should be grey to match the fronts. Is a colour change from a darker to a lighter colour more problematic?

Thanks in advance.

PoshTwit

1,218 posts

112 months

Sunday 15th April 2018
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Daxed said:
Just received my 4 pack of backdated Pro Detailer Magazine, issues 2 - 5, superb value and a fascinating read. Can I bounce a question please?

I'm looking to deep clean and refurbish some full leather auto seats that are the best part of 30 years old. They are in reasonable condition considering the age. No holes or rips, just dirty, badly faded and discoloured. Filler will be required on the most prominent fold lines.

How is the different colour stitching (red) protected when using dye on the main seat panels (grey)?

The back/front seats are colour mismatched, the black rears (although faded) should be grey to match the fronts. Is a colour change from a darker to a lighter colour more problematic?

Thanks in advance.
Hi!

Well for starters I wouldn't advocate using filler on folds, only if they have become cracks. You will find that a careful application of heat will often help the leather regain it's original shape. Wet heat such as from a steamer is gentler but will potentially separate the top coat from the base. Dry heat is not so kind but won't cause the separation as readily although it can melt the top coat and cause it to contract if allowed to dwell in the same place for too long.

Contrasting stitching can be maintained using latex masking solution or fineline masking tape. A continuous stitch line can also be masked by masking just over it and working up to it in one direction and then doing the same thing in the opposite direction once the first side has been finished.

Going from dark to light is not an issue as most good quality colourants are obliterative. The key is to ensure full and proper preparation as this will define the quality of the end result.

Hope you find that helpful.

Rich
www.ukdetailing.com
Professional Valeters & Detailers Master Trainer