Originally Posted by VallejoNative45
VallejoNative45 here. Long story short, I have driven family vans/SUV's for last 20+ years and was lucky enough to purchased a used 2010 challenger and honestly I have only heard of the use of clay and a few youtube videos....my question is how easy/hard is it to use for a newbie such as myself and other than perhaps time to do it, was it worth the price of admission. My paint, while not too terrible, looks like its 9 years old (water spots, swirls and scratches, etc) and would really like to bring it back the best I can....5 kids and I am the only bread winner in the house and tying to make it on a budget...again sorry for the "basics" question, but I have rediscovered my love for cars all over again.....
It’s actually quite easy to be honest. It’s not “expensive” but I still paid like $400. Now that $400 included a dual action polisher, pads, microfiber cloths, cleaners for the pads, special car wash and a special IPA spray before ceramic, compound, polish, clay bar kit and of course the ceramic coating. The ceramic was about $120 for 2 bottles which is enough to do my wife’s car as well.
As far as steps, i just washed it with the special wash. Clay bar, which is easy...you just use a lubricating spray and run a bar of clay over the area over the entire car, this removes dirt from the clear coat. Then you compound and polish which is easy with the Dual action polisher, but time consuming. The ceramic though is very easy, comes with a little applicator sponge and cloths. You put a few drops on the sponge and just put it on the paint, one small section at a time using a cross cross pattern, wait a minute then Buff it off with a microfiber cloth. It helps protect paint, makes it look always shiny and best of all it repels dirt so it’s easier to wash.
4 hours to wash and clay bar. 4 hours to polish and fix small areas (my car was new and you’ll probably more time with your swirls you mentioned) and 6 hours to ceramic. But it’s guaranteed to last for 2 years on what i used.
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