How to Valet your Mercedes Exterior

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by adam87, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. adam87

    adam87 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Car:
    C200 Sport
    Here is a quick picture and caption guide on how to keep the outside of your car looking tip top.



    What You'll Need





    I have mainly listed the cheaper options to show that you don't have to spend £££'s on single products that would
    do the same job.




    Please click on the hyperlinks to see what products are suitable.

    Wheels and Arches

    All Purpose Cleaner Or Autosmart G101, Flash, or any other APC/Degreaser

    Safe Wheel Cleaner Or Autosmart Smart Wheels, Billberry

    Tar Remover Or Autosmart Tardis

    Tyre and Arch Dressing Or Autosmart Highstyle

    Long Wheel Brush

    Variety of Brushes






    Pre-wash


    All Purpose Cleaner
    Or Autosmart G101, Flash, or any other APC

    Variety of Brushes

    Detailing Brush






    Wash


    Two Buckets Or £1.50 each from B&Q

    Wash Mitt

    Shampoo

    Drying Towel

    Quick Detailer Or Autoglym Rapid Detailer

    Tar Remover Or Autosmart Tardis



    (claying is not in this guide but if it were it would go here. Claying Kit)



    Polishing


    Polish

    Applicator Or Bundle

    Super Soft Cloths





    Finals


    Glass Cleaner

    Glass Polish

    Plastic Dressing

    Metal Polish

    General Cleaning Cloths



    Cars Featured are a W202 C43 AMG and a R171 SLK 200 Kompressor.







    In almost all cases the wheels and arches are the first areas to be cleaned.


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    Start by rinsing the wheel and arch, using a pressure washer makes life easier.


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    Spray your wheel cleaner all over the inside and face of wheel.


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    Using a suitable wheel brush, begin to push it in and out of the wheel, working your way round till you're where you started again. (can get very messy!)


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    Rinse wheel


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    Apply more wheel cleaner to the face and "aggitate" ;) with a soft brush. Paying attention to the bolt holes and any lettering such as an AMG logo.


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    Rinse Wheel and apply Tar remover to the wheels and watch as the tar spots start disolving, leaving a brown trail. The black pitting can be removed with Clay or IronX.


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    Wipe off any tar with a soft cloth and liberally spray All Purpose Cleaner or a Degreaser into the arches.


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    Scrub using a suitable soft brush.


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    Apply APC to the tyre and scrub


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    Now rinse/blast.


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    Simply repeat on the other 3 wheels


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    To Deep Clean the Arches the wheels would need to be removed and a lot of tar remover needed but the after results can look fantastic. Here is my £850 W202 C200 before, after, and after painting the calipers. Yes I know it's rusty!



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    Cleaned


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    Freshened up


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    With the wheels off you also have the chance to clean all of the wheel.


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    With the wheels and arches clean you can now move onto the body work, door shuts and other intricate areas.






    Rinse the car


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    Apply your All purpose cleaner to the lower half of the car, all round. Leave to dewell for 10-20 seconds.


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    Blast Before Dry


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    Spray APC(All Purpose Cleaner) to door rubbers, window rubbers and any other areas thar are hard to get to that can build up green algae/moss.


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    Rinse


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    After all the intricate external areas have been cleaned move onto the door shuts. Rinse them first with the pressure washer turned off and apply your APC/Degreaser.


    [​IMG]

     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
    9 people like this.
  2. d w124

    d w124 MB Club Veteran

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    w124 3.6AMG styling E320 S124 Lorinser styling
    Thank you Adam.Crap I posted to quick,could a mod delete my post please
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
    1 person likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    adam87

    adam87 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    252
    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Car:
    C200 Sport
    Aggitate with a soft brush getting into every area possible.


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    Rinse.



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    Now the boot shuts. Same as all the previous, apply your APC or degreaser and aggitate with a soft brush. Different size brushes help to get into the tighter areas.



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    To rinse and minimise water getting into the boot, simply lower the boot so it is resting down and not closed fully. Then rinse well around all the gaps.



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    Not forgetting the fuel cap.



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    Now everything has been cleaned you can finally start to wash the bodywork using the two bucket method.





    It is really simple and straight forward, take two buckets.



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    Add your shampoo to one bucket.



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    Then fill both with water!



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    You'll note theres no grit guards. I don't let my mitt touch the bottom of the bucket so I do not use them. If you like throwing your mitt in the bucket after washing then they are a must.




    Take your Clean wash mitt and dip it into the shampoo bucket and wash half the roof.




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    Now dip and shake the mitt into the Clean Water Rinse bucket.



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    Then back into the shampoo bucket to do the other half of the roof.




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    Back into the rinse bucket... then the shampoo bucket.



    Start with the top of the car first, working your way down, leaving the dirtiest areas till last. I always end with the rear bumper, then lastly the sills.



    If the sun is shining it may help to do half the car at a time, drying the clean panels then carrying on washing the dirty ones. If half of the car is in the shade without the sun on it, start with that half first!



    After the whole car has been washed, rinse well and apply a quick detailer such as Autoglym Rapid detailer.





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    To dry the car a super soft and extra plush towel is most recommended. To minimise the risk of scratching/marring the paint, pat the car dry. This does take longer than simply wiping the car but is the correct way to dry. If Polishing the car with a machine after then you can swipe/wipe the car dry as the marks would be very minor if any and be removed during polishing.



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    Now you can spray tar remover over the lower half of the car and see the tar spots run brown as they disolve. Take a clean cloth and dab/wipe off any tar. It is recommended that you wash the lower half again after removing the tar. If you don't want to rewash then go over the lower half with a quick detailer before polishing.



    Dry the tyres and arches with a cloth if still wet then apply Autoglym Vinyl and rubber care liberally to the arch plastics(I'm using Autosmart Highstyle in the pictures but they both do the same job to a high standard).




    [​IMG]







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    Wipe off any excess.

    Use Autoglym vinyl and rubber care on the tyres too, simply spray on and leave to produce a great long lasting black tyre.



    I'm using Highstyle brushed on in these pictures.




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    [​IMG]






    Now take a soft clean cloth, spray the cloth with rapid detailer and wipe round all the sill ends and the inner bumper areas.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
    5 people like this.
  4. OP
    OP
    adam87

    adam87 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Car:
    C200 Sport
    You're now ready to being polishing.


    For ease of use, Autoglym Super Resin Poish is what I recommend for hand polishing.



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    Apply a small amount to a clean hand polishing pad.



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    Apply in a circular motion, sometimes straight lines in certain areas. Polish all painted areas.



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    Leave for a few minutes to cure, usually once you've polished the car you can begin to remove from where you started using a soft clean microfibre cloth.



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    Now you can dress any external plastics. You could use Autoglym bumper care, Autosmart Highstyle, or any other back to black wipe on product. Even Groundnut oil or Peanut butter work if you're on a budget!



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    To tackle dirty exhausts take a small blob of Metal Polish and work around the exhaust, a bit of brut force along with some 00 grade fine wire wool may be required if they are bad. Once made gleaming just wipe them over with some soapy water each week as excessive use of metal polish can start to damage the chrome on the tips.



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    While the Metal Polish is out, go round any other metal areas such as polished wheel lips and especially the almighty Star!



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    Lastly clean the Glass using a liquid cleaner or Glass polish. When doing the inside of the windows DO NOT use Glass Polish on the inside of the windscreen! Spray on the glass cleaner, wipe clean with a clean cloth, turn the cloth over and buff with the dry side. Two cloths may be needed on large cars. For Glass Polish, apply and remove in the same manner as when polishing the bodywork.




    You are ready to apply a wax or sealent of your choice!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
    2 people like this.
  5. OP
    OP
    adam87

    adam87 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Car:
    C200 Sport
    Wipe off any dust and wipe down the door shuts with your quick detailer or give them a hand polish and you should be left with something that looks like these...



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    Now go get cleaning!! :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
    31 people like this.
  6. longhoughtonlad

    longhoughtonlad Active Member

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    North Northumberland
    Car:
    C180, SL 320. Freelander2 2012
    Tremendous work :thumb:

    PS. missed a couple of places on the ML ;);):)
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. developer

    developer MB Club Veteran

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    You get my vote for the amount of work in constructing the threads (and the cars aren't too bad either ;)).
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Igurisu

    Igurisu Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Great guide, thanks very much :)
     
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  9. Gaz74

    Gaz74 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    C32 AMG
    Terrific write-up, thanks for taking the time to share! :)

    Think I'll give the ol' 32 a treat this weekend!
     
    2 people like this.
  10. fatdazza

    fatdazza Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Great write up Adam. Shows what people can achieve without breaking the bank or spending several days at it. Using your guide people can achieve a very presentable car. Great to see some Mercedes in the detailing section:D
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. Mobb

    Mobb Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    CLK55 AMG - E92 M3
    Wicked guide.. I do that exact process every weekend to my CLK. When I say every weekend I mean EVERY weekend.. Thats not to much isit? :ban:

    I tend to do my engine bay every 4 weeks and I go over the car with clay every two months just to keep a check on it.
     
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  12. Dand

    Dand Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    C208 230K
    Great thread :) its given me the shove i needed to give my cars wheels and arches a good clean tomorrow.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. Palfrem

    Palfrem Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    W124 E36 AMG, G 300 GEL his, SLK 200 hers
    Phew!

    Nice
     
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  14. moonloops

    moonloops MB Club Veteran

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    Lots of good effort in cleaning, somewhat undermined by the terminal rust on some of the cars..
     
  15. fatdazza

    fatdazza Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Do you have x ray vision? - My untrained eye cannot see any rust. Can you give me a pointer as to where to look?

    Thanks:)

    Oops - seen it now on picture 17! Prognosis does not look good for that one!
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
    1 person likes this.
  16. OP
    OP
    adam87

    adam87 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Car:
    C200 Sport

    On one of the cars*


    Well for what I paid for the car you can't expect it to be rust free can you? :confused: It's a 13 year old Mercedes and requires two front wings(probably on the original wings), and a few scabs on the door and rear arches. Hardly terminal. Compared to what else I could of bought for less than a grand I got a bloody good car with next to no rust underneath which is structurally solid. The rust is just cosmetic and after seeing what some W202's can look like underneath....... For £850, I got a very good deal.


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    Thanks to everyone else for the comments :)
     
    6 people like this.
  17. OP
    OP
    adam87

    adam87 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    C200 Sport

    Nice to see people looking after their cars, keep it up :thumb:
     
  18. SPX

    SPX MB Club Veteran

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    I can't thank you enough for a very clear and concise guide and for taking the time to do it.

    I like to keep my car looking ship-shape and your guide will help me concentrate my efforts in the correct places.

    You come across as a very genuine and honest lad, I wish you every success in your business.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. goldenii68

    goldenii68 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    A very good,detailed 'howto' guide, when are you going to post part 2 (the interior)? I would love to clean my car that thoroughly but dont have a drive or off road place to do it:(
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. mikec32

    mikec32 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Great budget guide for the forum bud, which will be easily attainable For forum members to achieve on a Sunday afternoon. Great work!
     
    1 person likes this.

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