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2021 Shelby GT500, Rapid Red
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Discussion Starter #1
With spring just around the corner, and pollen soon to follow, I’m wondering how people clean their cars, what products are best and how you deal with deal with or prevent water spots.
 

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With spring just around the corner, and pollen soon to follow, I’m wondering how people clean their cars, what products are best and how you deal with deal with or prevent water spots.
Depends on how dirty it is. Check out the numerous videos from Adam’s Polishes or on Autogeek. Hang on to your wallet, after watching the videos. You will want to buy their products.
you can find videos on their websites and YouTube.
 

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2014 GT500 Ruby Red
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Chemical Guys (muh recommendation) or Adam's is pretty much the way to go. Like @Ford Fest said, you can easily spend a lot, but dont over think it. I use a foam cannon and two bucket method, but the choices and selection is great, just a matter of how much time and $ you want to spend. Theres quite a few threads if you want to search and read in depth on it. Both companies also have helpful videos for their products useage.
 
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To prevent water spots: ceramic coating! If you already have water spots... I have fought this battle on many of my Mustangs... there are “water spot removers.” I found them to be worthless. Water spots are usually baked and etched into the clear. The only real way to remove them is with correction compounds and a DA buffer. Once you get them removed, get the car ceramic coated.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
To prevent water spots: ceramic coating! If you already have water spots... I have fought this battle on many of my Mustangs... there are “water spot removers.” I found them to be worthless. Water spots are usually baked and etched into the clear. The only real way to remove them is with correction compounds and a DA buffer. Once you get them removed, get the car ceramic coated.
I’m not sure these water spots are that severe. These happened after I hosed it down to spay off pollen and fine dust then wiped it down with a clean cloth. Any water drops I missed dried and left a hazy spot. I know we have very hard water here and, to me, that’s what it looks like.
But I’ll take your ceramic coating recommendation seriously, Tim.

Actually, this would be the best place to ask, so; can anyone recommend a reputable ceramic coat shop in MA?
 

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I’m not sure these water spots are that severe. These happened after I hosed it down to spay off pollen and fine dust then wiped it down with a clean cloth. Any water drops I missed dried and left a hazy spot. I know we have very hard water here and, to me, that’s what it looks like.
But I’ll take your ceramic coating recommendation seriously, Tim.

Actually, this would be the best place to ask, so; can anyone recommend a reputable ceramic coat shop in MA?
If you are going down the ceramic coat path, you’ll need a paint correction first anyway... which will solve the water spot thing. If you just want to get rid of light water spots, you can buy acidic water spot remover from auto parts stores and I’ve heard vinegar also works.
 

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I’m not sure these water spots are that severe. These happened after I hosed it down to spay off pollen and fine dust then wiped it down with a clean cloth. Any water drops I missed dried and left a hazy spot. I know we have very hard water here and, to me, that’s what it looks like.
But I’ll take your ceramic coating recommendation seriously, Tim.

Actually, this would be the best place to ask, so; can anyone recommend a reputable ceramic coat shop in MA?
After I wash, I use a leaf blower to remove the bulk of the water, especially in the cracks, I then mist the car in Meguires Final Touch. It keeps the car "wet" enough while I dry it with microfiber cloth. I am on the West Coast, so I cant help you with a shop.
 

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2011 SVTPP GT500 Convertible, Silver
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I did go down that rabbit hole with the detail products - been detailing all my life.

I did a full clay bar (3M Perfect-It Cleaner clay - by far the best out there), full paint correction (Megs Ultimate Compound then Megs M20508) on mine, some wet sanding in spots (2000 grit followed by Megs UC) then followed it up with Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant. Every wash I hit it with Turtle Wax ICE Seal N Shine.

Thing looks like a mirror, this combo just lasts and lasts, and no water spots whatsoever. This vehicle suffered from some very neglected paint when I got it (water etching, iron contamination, caked-on brake dust, scratches, etc). 😳😳😳The transformation from those products and a lot of elbow grease was really something.

I am not convinced about ceramic coating personally, at least on an occasional driver that sits in a garage.


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I did go down that rabbit hole with the detail products - been detailing all my life.

I did a full clay bar (3M Perfect-It Cleaner clay - by far the best out there), full paint correction (Megs Ultimate Compound then Megs M20508) on mine, some wet sanding in spots (2000 grit followed by Megs UC) then followed it up with Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant. Every wash I hit it with Turtle Wax ICE Seal N Shine.

Thing looks like a mirror, this combo just lasts and lasts, and no water spots whatsoever. This vehicle suffered from some very neglected paint when I got it (water etching, iron contamination, caked-on brake dust, scratches, etc). 😳😳😳The transformation from those products and a lot of elbow grease was really something.

I am not convinced about ceramic coating personally, at least on an occasional driver that sits in a garage.


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Looks fantastic!

I know you have your car year in your signature, but we do have a place right under your screen name for it. You get there by clicking your upper right avatar/account settings/vehicle details. That way everyone sees the car year at the beginning of your post versus having to scroll to the end to find out.
 

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One thing I do is blow dry my car. I never wipe it to dry it. When I wash my car I try to keep the surface wet. Then When I am done I get my blower and blow dry the car. The blower will get water from under trim and door hadles. You can use any of the 3 blowers I have. One leaf blower, shop vac or I got from a friend which is a hand held blower. The less wiping the less swirl marks you will end up with. Then I always finish up with detail spray. I have gone to using Turtle Wax spray detail and wax. NOTHING last very long in my opinion. I keep my GT500 under a cover in the garage so I never wash her with water but my 15 F250 and 99 Crown Vic stay outside and I wash them with water. Under the hood is compleatly different. I never use water under there. I keep my engine clean with those Swiffer dust things with the hand wands. They can get into some hard to reach places. If yuou do need to use water than I WOULDN'T use a pressure washer. Simple green on a brush and water from a hose that bearly comes out of the hose. You are just rinceing off the motor not blasting off the dirt. Stay away from electrical connections. I use the blow dryer under the hood as well. Don't forget the grit guard in the bottom of the bucket.
 

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One thing I do is blow dry my car. I never wipe it to dry it. When I wash my car I try to keep the surface wet. Then When I am done I get my blower and blow dry the car. The blower will get water from under trim and door hadles. You can use any of the 3 blowers I have. One leaf blower, shop vac or I got from a friend which is a hand held blower. The less wiping the less swirl marks you will end up with. Then I always finish up with detail spray. I have gone to using Turtle Wax spray detail and wax. NOTHING last very long in my opinion. I keep my GT500 under a cover in the garage so I never wash her with water but my 15 F250 and 99 Crown Vic stay outside and I wash them with water. Under the hood is compleatly different. I never use water under there. I keep my engine clean with those Swiffer dust things with the hand wands. They can get into some hard to reach places. If yuou do need to use water than I WOULDN'T use a pressure washer. Simple green on a brush and water from a hose that bearly comes out of the hose. You are just rinceing off the motor not blasting off the dirt. Stay away from electrical connections. I use the blow dryer under the hood as well. Don't forget the grit guard in the bottom of the bucket.
Yeah, the less you touch the paint the better, especially on dark or red cars.

I went and splurged on the Ego Power+ 650 CFM blower, mainly for the Raptor because the thing is so damned big and has so many places where water gets stuck, only to streak down the sides when I start driving. I didn't want to believe the hype on this particular blower, but it's ridiculously powerful. The battery on it is huge and it has a dual purpose of blowing off my driveway and porch. But on the Mustang it's totally dry in less than 5 minutes - wheels, crevices, mirror pods, everything!
 
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I tried my big backpack blower one time after washing... it caused horrible water spots. I went back to towel drying.
 

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I tried my big backpack blower one time after washing... it caused horrible water spots. I went back to towel drying.
You might have either 1) hard water 2) did this in the sun 3) not enough sealant on the paint and glass 4) didn't sheet the water off; or 5) a combination of all 4.

I never have issues, I do usually have to pat certain areas down with a microfiber drying towel. You should also sheet the water off your vehicle before doing this...meaning take the spray nozzle off the hose, coat the car with a thick stream of water and let gravity pull most of it off. Then use the blower.

 

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You might have either 1) hard water 2) did this in the sun 3) not enough sealant on the paint and glass 4) didn't sheet the water off; or 5) a combination of all 4.

I never have issues, I do usually have to pat certain areas down with a microfiber drying towel. You should also sheet the water off your vehicle before doing this...meaning take the spray nozzle off the hose, coat the car with a thick stream of water and let gravity pull most of it off. Then use the blower.

I did it in my car port with roof overhead... sun wasn't an issue. Hard water...? Maybe... it's city water. Not enough sealant? Maybe as well. All I know for sure is towels leave me zero spots and the blower left my car covered in them.
 
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I don't wash the Mustang or the Shelby, just detail spray. The Mustang got ceramic coated in Dec and looks awesome. The Shelby will need some work on the paint at some point, so for now the detail spray does the trick.
 
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I don't wash the Mustang or the Shelby, just detail spray. The Mustang got ceramic coated in Dec and looks awesome. The Shelby will need some work on the paint at some point, so for now the detail spray does the trick.
Same here... my Mustangs rarely see water. If I hit the track, I’ll clean the wheels/tires with soap/water or if I go on a cruise and the front gets peppered with bugs, I’ll just hit that area. Everything else normally gets a duster and detail spray.
 
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I have extra hard water at my house and had my GT500 applied with PPF and Ceramic coated....no water marks or calcium deposits anywhere at all. I use a foam gun to wash the car along with micro fiber hand towel to wipe it down and then I simply rinse off. I then use a leaf blower to get the water beads off and then a micro fiber towel to dry...works great and typically I am done within 30min or less unless I do detail work to the exhaust and wheels.

What is everyone using for there interior protection?
 

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I have extra hard water at my house and had my GT500 applied with PPF and Ceramic coated....no water marks or calcium deposits anywhere at all. I use a foam gun to wash the car along with micro fiber hand towel to wipe it down and then I simply rinse off. I then use a leaf blower to get the water beads off and then a micro fiber towel to dry...works great and typically I am done within 30min or less unless I do detail work to the exhaust and wheels.

What is everyone using for there interior protection?
For seats and leather I'm using Chemical Guys Sprayable Leather, for the Alcantara using Sonax Alcantara cleaner, for glass and the nav screen it's Invisible Glass, for plastic and dash pad it's blackfire Interior cleaner and then followed up by blackfire interior protectant. I have an allergy to shiny interior surfaces so I'll sometimes buff out the latter to make surfaces look as matte as possible. For tough dirt, I keep a 1:1 spray bottle around with APC, usually the purple stuff from Walmart - this is what I used to remove years worth of greasy protectant from the dash pad before I used a protectant. I keep a bunch of detail brushes around for interior cleaning.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I was able to get some finishing spray and microfiber cloths before the spots had time to set or etch too deeply. A light mist and wipe down removed all the spots. Lesson learned! I am still going to look into ceramic and/or PPF to give me that added level of protection.
Thanks for all the suggestions/tips!
 

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To prevent water spots from forming in the first place, use one of these to condition your water.
Spotless water system.
You won't get spots even if you leave the car wet, even in direct sunlight!!
Since I got the dic-20, my washes are faster and spot free.
BTW, I have VERY hard water.

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