How to Valet your Mercedes Exterior

adam87

Active Member
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May 2, 2010
Messages
252
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.











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













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










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!)










Rinse wheel









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.









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.










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

















Scrub using a suitable soft brush.

















Apply APC to the tyre and scrub












Now rinse/blast.











Simply repeat on the other 3 wheels
















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!










Cleaned









Freshened up
































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
















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






Rinse the car












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











Blast Before Dry












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.















Rinse















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.




 
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d w124

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london
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Thank you Adam.Crap I posted to quick,could a mod delete my post please
 
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adam87

adam87

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



























Rinse.




















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.




























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.












Not forgetting the fuel cap.






























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.















Add your shampoo to one bucket.












Then fill both with water!









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.



















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
















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






















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.

















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.

















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).















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.














Now take a soft clean cloth, spray the cloth with rapid detailer and wipe round all the sill ends and the inner bumper areas.
 
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adam87

adam87

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Messages
252
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.













Apply a small amount to a clean hand polishing pad.













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


















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.






















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!















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.













































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















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!
 
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adam87

adam87

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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...














































































































































Now go get cleaning!! :thumb:
 
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developer

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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 ;)).
 

Gaz74

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Herts
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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!
 

fatdazza

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Vauxhall Chevette
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
 

Mobb

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London
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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.
 

Dand

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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.
 

fatdazza

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Lots of good effort in cleaning, somewhat undermined by the terminal rust on some of the cars..
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!
 
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adam87

adam87

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C200 Sport
Lots of good effort in cleaning, somewhat undermined by the terminal rust on some of the cars..

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.



















Thanks to everyone else for the comments :)
 
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adam87

adam87

Active Member
Joined
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Messages
252
Location
Portsmouth
Car
C200 Sport
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.

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

SPX

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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.
 

goldenii68

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Dec 22, 2007
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London
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c230 elegance selection kompressor
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:(
 

mikec32

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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!
 

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