Very Light Scratches or Whirl Marks

Zahc

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Hi All,

I am a complete novice at making my car look shiny as I've never had a car I felt the need to do so.
Anyway, I have a black CLK and all over the paintwork are light scratches and whirls. Some marks are linear.
So my question is: Where do I start? I fancy tackling it myself unless I'm talked out of it by someone with knowledge.

Cheers,

Chaz
 

wu56Shoozz

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Seeing as your a novice I'd recommend paying for a detailer to carry out the work as you may make it worse than it already is.. It takes a lot of work, muscle power and skill to undo what you have..you risk burning or thinning the paint in areas..
 

ph47mf

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Stay away from the machine polisher if you haven't tried it before.

However why not buy some car polish (not aggressive ones) and spend a few hours on your car, it will definitely look better than it is. If you're not confident with that either, use something like Autoglym Polish Resin to mask the scratches and put some wax/sealant on, it will look good for a good few months.
 
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Zahc

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Confidence isn't my problem...over-confidence is! I respond well to simple instructions but just need to know how I can really screw things up....so I don't.
I don't mind getting stuck in....I may even come to enjoy it, but there are myriad products out there ranging in price from reasonable to eye watering. So I'm researching and testing the waters.
 

clk320x

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Buy a second hand panel, say a Bonnet from a Ford Ka for £20. Get a DAS polisher, practice on this scrap panel for a day. You will be a pro ;)
 
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Zahc

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exvolvoman

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If you're getting a DA polisher, then give it a go, it's not nearly as scary as some say. Take your time, don't use a very aggressive compound, I use Meguiars Ultimate compund, followed by Mirror bright polishing wax. You may like to use a clay bar or mitt first.
 

Toobad

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The wisest thing you could do now is invest 54 minutes of your life with Autogeek's Mike Philips, regarded by many as the world's greatest detailer. He is a brilliant communicator and will ensure your endeavours don't end in tears. If nothing else, the 454 cubic inch 1970 Chevy Chevelle he uses as a demonstration car should cause stirrings in the trouser department. :D

 

reflexboy

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Just got a ‘key’ scratch 95% out using a DA polisher. Amazing bit of kit and very safe if used sensibly. Start with a fine compound and work up to a courser one if needed to keep on the safe side. Best car accessory I’ve ever bought
 
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Zahc

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Just got a ‘key’ scratch 95% out using a DA polisher. Amazing bit of kit and very safe if used sensibly. Start with a fine compound and work up to a courser one if needed to keep on the safe side. Best car accessory I’ve ever bought

That's encouraging. Just reading about compounds and pads. Who knew how complicated it can get? Not me. Still, looking forward to it.
 
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Zahc

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The wisest thing you could do now is invest 54 minutes of your life with Autogeek's Mike Philips, regarded by many as the world's greatest detailer. He is a brilliant communicator and will ensure your endeavours don't end in tears. If nothing else, the 454 cubic inch 1970 Chevy Chevelle he uses as a demonstration car should cause stirrings in the trouser department. :D


A very instructive hour. Looks like I'm going to need a day to sort my car out. Not sure my attention span can handle it, I may do it panel by panel.
 

paul.goffin

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I would recommend panel by panel, as if you start to run out of time (or get bored) I've found myself starting to rush and make stupid mistakes.
 

Alex225

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If you're getting a DA polisher, then give it a go, it's not nearly as scary as some say. Take your time, don't use a very aggressive compound, I use Meguiars Ultimate compound, followed by Mirror bright polishing wax. You may like to use a clay bar or mitt first.

I second this point. Using a DA is far less scary and it's a much aggressive tool than you'd imagine. I bought a DA years ago and never plucked up the courage to use it, silly considering I'd been into detailing for a long time before. Then had a good conversation with Ed at Divine Detail (some of you know him on here) and he made some recommendations on what to use and some tips. Explained that actually with a DA, if you press too hard it stops rotating, plus with the oscillating plate you'd have to really put some effort in to do any damage. So I washed and clayed my E Class and cracked on, was very pleased with the results. Then attacked my other half's old SL350 and that also left a great finish!

Alternatively OP, you could buy a polish or glaze that you apply by hand which contains fillers which will mask the swirls. It's not a fix as such but swirl marks are essentially cosmetic (albeit microscopic scratches) so filling them can have similar results to a light machine polish even if it's temporary.

Even a polish as straight forward as Autoglym Super Resin will leave a great finish applied by hand, will definitely make a difference on a black car. Alternatively, Poorboys Black Hole offers something very similar, very easy to use by hand and once used you can wax over the top. May be worth considering if you're not quite feeling the idea of a machine polish, also a fair bit cheaper than spending £150+ on a DA. :)
 

Toobad

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I've got a DA polisher on it's way, mainly because I've been looking at the price of having it done by a professional.
Went for this.

DAS-6 v2 Dual Action Polisher - Menzerna Intro. Kit - Clean Your Car

I'll let you know how I get on, warts and all. :-D

Mercedes is blessed with some of the hardest clearcoat on the planet. There is little to no chance of you being able to inflict any damage with a 500W DAS-6. Perhaps if you were polishing on a sharp edge with a coarse pad and a compound polish for 5 minutes you may stand a chance of burning through the clearcoat. Incidentally, Menzerna is a technically complex German polish used by Mercedes for their finishing work on the production line. The golden rule to understand is that you can't put back what you take off. You only remove sufficient clearcoat to solve a problem encountered at that part of the bodywork so don't just hit the whole car with the compounding pad and the HC400 polish. Start with the least aggressive combination and if that isn't doing what you want, move up a grade. Remember you can vary your pad/polish combination to achieve intermediate levels of abrasion. Always bear in mind you are trying to leave sufficient meat on the bone to cope with future paint corrections should further mishaps occur.
 
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Zahc

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Thanks guys, I'm feeling much more confident. Everything has arrived. I have clay, the DAS-6 and some polish that I'll hand apply at the end. Wash mit, microfibre towels car shampoo......she who should be obeyed thinks I've lost the plot. The one thing I don't have is decent weather. Anyway, I'm looking forward to it now, which is most unlike me.
Again, thanks for the tips and encouragement.
 

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