Here's What You Can Do - FAQ's
Finally, it's spring; the garage-queens come out and many car enthusiasts are like children at Christmas time. What a glorious time spring is. About once a year or so, I like to take some of the most frequently asked questions and answer as best I can. Since this column will be full of tips, there will be no Tip of the Month this time.
Q. I seem to get streaking and hazing on my paint surface since I switched to a different wax, even though the new wax was supposed to be much better. Why is this?
A. First, I have to ask why you say the new wax is supposed to be better. (I hope it isn't just because it's more expensive.) When switching waxes, I suggest using a true pre-wax cleaner (as opposed to glaze) to remove the previous wax coating completely. This will prevent any possible incompatible reaction between the two waxes.
Q. How can I clean the inside of my rear windows behind after-market speakers, which stand higher than the stock ones?
A. This is one of the most frustrating tasks in cleaning your car. I find that wrapping a window towel around a wood stick usually does the trick (along with much patience).
Q. The touch-up paint I get at the dealership seems to dry faster than I can use it. What can I do to prevent this? Is here anything I can do to make the dried paint reusable?
A. This is a dilemma that everyone encounters at one time or another. Most factory touch-up paints are lacquer and dry much faster than enamels (with which all cars are painted these days). I wrap electrical tape tightly around my cylinders, while others swear by keeping their paint in the refrigerator. As to using dried touch-up paint, if the paint is only slightly thick, put the canister into a cup of hot tap water for a few minutes. If the paint is very thick, a small amount of lacquer thinner usually does the trick.
Q. I always seem to get white, dried wax residue in the crevices of my car emblem. How can I avoid this?
A. The simple answer is not to wax into the crevices which is easier said than done. A simple trick: When waxing along edges and crevices, go parallel to them. Repeat this when buffing off the wax. This is especially important when working along the felt lining around sunroofs.
Q. I seem to get frequent water spots on the rear wing of my Porsche Bi-turbo. Why does this happen? What can I do to prevent it from happening?
A. The design of the Bi-Turbo tends to pool water like a dish and this promote water spotting. I suggest waxing the wing more frequently than the rest of your Porsche. Another tactic is to open the engine cover after washing or after the rain, when you aren't able to dry, and promote water drainage.
Q. After I wash and dry my care, there still seems to be endless water draining from the crevices. Is there anything I can do to get rid of the excess?
A. The best way is to blow water out with compressed air. In case you can't do that, I suggest opening the trunk and engine cover and slamming the doors several times. This should help remove most of the trapped water in the crevices. On some shop vacuums, you can attach the hose to make it a blower so you can use that to blow the water out also with the filtered air. Don't use a gas powered blower as the two-cycle contaminated air will add a film on your newly washed paint.
Q. How can I remove water spots from my paint without using anything abrasive?
A. While there are special chemicals for this purpose, a home remedy is to use a soft 100% cotton cloth/towel dampened with a little WHITE vinegar but this is only effective if the water spots are new. Then wax the area that was cleaned. One thing to take into account is that some "water spots" are actually acid rain etchings and will require abrasive measures. Also, water spots that have been left sitting in the sun or have been there for a while will require special chemicals to remove and in some cases can not be fully removed.
Q. When I took my car to the track, I marked the numbers on my windows with white show polish. After taking the numbers off, white specs remained all over my paint. How do I get them off?
A. This practice reminds me of seeing college students drink a case of beer each, at a party. It seems like a good idea, until the next day. The simple answer is to use masking tape instead. As for the correct way to remove shoe polish from glass, use a foaming aerosol glass cleaner, a sharp razor blade and paper towels. Spray the glass cleaner liberally over the shoe polish and carefully scrape it off the glass, wiping the blade on the paper towel after each stroke. (The purpose of the glass cleaner is to keep the shoe polish flakes off the paint, not just to clean the glass.) If you already have these flakes on your Porsche's paint, as well as the rubber moldings around the windows, good luck! The procedure to take care of this is too involved to explain here, but you're welcome to call and ask me.
Q. After an autocross or track event, I have all these cone marks and black tire marks that won't wash off. How do I remove them safely?
A. This is one of the most difficult tasks since you don't want to promote scratches to your paint when removing these marks. In our shop, we've developed the DyNA Ultimate Cleaner™ (which we affectionately call "The Shit"). This is the product that we use more frequently at our shop than any other; not only because of its effectiveness, but also because of its versatility. The best description of it would be a “troubleshooter”. It’s a creamy cleaner which removes oxidation, surface scratches, spider webbing, water spots and especially bugs off paint or any other non-porous surface. It works by chemical action (rather than abrasively) and contains Brazilian Carnauba wax for protection. Great for restoring the color and correct sheen of the painted centers of Porsche Fuchs R wheels. Also melts road tar, tire marks right off, makes an amazing chrome cleaner and safely cleans paint protection film.
Q. I want to remove the logo from my car. Can I do it without damaging the paint?
A. These signs are held on by double-sided tape. First soak the tape with a quality tar remover/adhesive solvent that is safe for paint. After adequate dwell time, slide some dental floss under the letters' edges, tighten with your fingers and run it underneath, holding it flat against the paint. Remove any remaining adhesive with solvent and wax the area. If marks remain on the paint, you may have to polish them out. This method also works on glass (for cellular antennas).
As always, should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. May the wind be always at your back and may you achieve your pursuit of detailing perfection!