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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
100% feel that we wear the damage and dirt the most. It's a good trade-off for the feeling of driving it fully clean though!

Love that you have a daughter who can share in the love for cars. No kids here yet, but I would love to have that one day. Love them for anything of course, but that's just special to have the same loves. Good life!

Thank you a ton for the camera info, I'm starting to realize that with mods and my love for keeping her clean, I find myself making notes of places I drive past that I would want to photograph my car at. But I only have my camera phone, and that isn't going to cut it all the way. I'll be sure to reach out when I start trying to do something :cool:

And Happy Father's Day!!
Thanks for the wishes, appreciate it. I am grateful to have my daughter in my life. Sure, just let me know if you need any camera info. Just a quick tip - even a used camera that can be purchased for around a couple hundred bucks with another couple hundred bucks (or less) for a used lens will give you better images than your phone camera. Just sayin' ;) No rush, whenever you are ready.
 

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I love the way the light shines off of MM in the interior shots. My poor car only looks this shiny immediately after I wash it, My parking garage is just too dusty for it to last :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I love the way the light shines off of MM in the interior shots. My poor car only looks this shiny immediately after I wash it, My parking garage is just too dusty for it to last :(
Thanks, the reflectivity does give a nice effect. I've considered a car cover, but I'm too lazy to put that thing on and take it off repeatedly.
 

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Thank you! Sorry to hear about the paint on your car :( The sad part is that dark colors like black and gray show dirt and defects so easily. But, as @Kyio said, these colors also look amazing when shown some TLC.

I wonder if a nice coat of wax would help somewhat seal the scratches and reduce their appearance? Have you by any chance experienced that?
As soon as I bought it I claybared and waxed it. Didn't help at all with swirls and scratches. The used car dealer must have done a good job detailing it. So I'm just not stressing about the appearance and am just happy I have garage space for it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
As soon as I bought it I claybared and waxed it. Didn't help at all with swirls and scratches. The used car dealer must have done a good job detailing it. So I'm just not stressing about the appearance and am just happy I have garage space for it.
Gotcha. That's too bad. I suppose that short of a respray, all can do is maintain it the best you can.
 

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looks fantastic. Can tell you spent the time to do right. as far as swirl marks unless preping for show room and going to be garage storing, it doesn't make a lot of sense to go crazy on those. light scratches can usually be greatly reduced with a good light cutting compound and a dual orbital polisher. Also, may want to research a sealant then use wax of your choice as last product applied. Clay baring is hard work but really makes the paint pop. bravo
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
looks fantastic. Can tell you spent the time to do right. as far as swirl marks unless preping for show room and going to be garage storing, it doesn't make a lot of sense to go crazy on those. light scratches can usually be greatly reduced with a good light cutting compound and a dual orbital polisher. Also, may want to research a sealant then use wax of your choice as last product applied. Clay baring is hard work but really makes the paint pop. bravo
Thanks! I actually enjoy putting in the effort - the end result is very satisfying. I'll look into adding a sealant as a part of the workflow, appreciate the input.
 

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Gotcha. That's too bad. I suppose that short of a respray, all can do is maintain it the best you can.
Paint correction will work wonders. Just one it’s perfect again you’re gonna stress about it lol
 
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Since we’re talking about detailing. This is the first car I’ve had ceramic coated. Had it done a couple weeks ago. It’s not filthy but definitely dusty and caught some bugs up front. I got my foam cannon out. Power wash, chemical bros honeydew foam soak it down, wash with mitt, rinse and then use my electric leaf blower to dry. The water flies off of it. Looks like it does when I picked it up a couple weeks ago. I can handle that type of maintenance.
 

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Beautiful car! The best config in my (very biased) opinion! Love the product choices as I use a lot of the same stuff on my car, the ultimate wax being a favorite. You should check out the ultimate polish and compound by megiuars as well if you haven’t already. I’ve used both by hand with good results and with an orbital polisher with better results. Love the pictures!

Car Tire Wheel Vehicle Land vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Beautiful car! The best config in my (very biased) opinion! Love the product choices as I use a lot of the same stuff on my car, the ultimate wax being a favorite. You should check out the ultimate polish and compound by megiuars as well if you haven’t already. I’ve used both by hand with good results and with an orbital polisher with better results. Love the pictures!

View attachment 405678
Thank you! Your car looks awesome too! Near-identical twins, I'd say (mine's a '17 ST1). Over my years of ownership, I realized that MM has really good reflective properties and really looks nice when cleaned well. I think it's just how the paint reflects dark and light tones with just the right amount of contrast. I like the quality of Meguiar's products too. I'm relatively new to the auto detailing game, so I haven't had the chance to try out other products. But, I'll probably stick with Meguiar's - why fix something good that's not broken?

I know that some folks don't like the premium wheels, but I'm a big fan of them. I don't know if anyone noticed, but after 2018, the BMW 2 series sported the exact same wheel style, just with the BMW roundel on them. I kid you not, this was the exact same wheel style as the FoST premium wheel. BMW probably purchased the style from the same vendor after our model was discontinued, I'm guessing. There was a BMW with those wheels parked near my daughter's mom's place and both my daughter and I used to chuckle any time we saw those wheels. Those wheels were also available online in the BMW vehicle configurator. In general, I think Ford offers among the best-looking wheels on the market - this includes the FoST, the FiST, the Mustang, and their other vehicles. On the other hand, I have found some of the recent wheel styles from Honda to be quite unattractive.

I agree, that ultimate wax is something else. It's so satisfying to see the smoothness, gloss and depth in the paint after polishing the wax off with a microfiber cloth. The effect has to be experienced in person to be believed. Regarding the polishing compound, aren't those mildly abrasive? If so, how often do you use the polishing compound, given that the clear coat might thin down over time? Any recommendations on an orbital buffer? I don't have a power outlet in my apartment garage, so what are your thoughts on the drill attachments (these questions are for everyone, so I'd appreciate inputs from anyone who could chime in)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Since we’re talking about detailing. This is the first car I’ve had ceramic coated. Had it done a couple weeks ago. It’s not filthy but definitely dusty and caught some bugs up front. I got my foam cannon out. Power wash, chemical bros honeydew foam soak it down, wash with mitt, rinse and then use my electric leaf blower to dry. The water flies off of it. Looks like it does when I picked it up a couple weeks ago. I can handle that type of maintenance.
Yes, I'm hearing some very good things about ceramic coatings. Did you apply the product yourself? I've heard that it's best to get the coatings applied professionally. Some of the DIY products can be hit or miss from what I understand. But, if you were able to ceramic-coat your car yourself, could you please share the details?
 

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I did not want to do it myself. I paid someone local $375 for wash, clay bar, and ceramic coating application. We will see how long it holds up. Initial impressions are that it is well worth it. I ended up doing one of the unlimited car wash passes because the black shows everything. Ultimately backfired with all the additional swirls. I was paying $37 a month for that... i'll probably do the foam cannon wash 2x per month and overall save money.

I literally used no elbow grease, just stroked the sponge on the front mostly where I knew bugs and debris had been building up, and made sure to wipe down the rear hatch because hatch life. My biggest pet peeve is drying the car -- our water is very hard and leaves terrible water spots if it dries. I've tried using microfiber towels but then i'm lazy about washing them separate or I'll drop it on the ground and then I'm stuck with nothing to dry with. My detailer told me to just use a big electric blower. So I used the worx electric I have.. and it just blew all the water right off. I don't think it would be as simple without the ceramic coating.
 
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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I did not want to do it myself. I paid someone local $375 for wash, clay bar, and ceramic coating application. We will see how long it holds up. Initial impressions are that it is well worth it. I ended up doing one of the unlimited car wash passes because the black shows everything. Ultimately backfired with all the additional swirls. I was paying $37 a month for that... i'll probably do the foam cannon wash 2x per month and overall save money.

I literally used no elbow grease, just stroked the sponge on the front mostly where I knew bugs and debris had been building up, and made sure to wipe down the rear hatch because hatch life. My biggest pet peeve is drying the car -- our water is very hard and leaves terrible water spots if it dries. I've tried using microfiber towels but then i'm lazy about washing them separate or I'll drop it on the ground and then I'm stuck with nothing to dry with. My detailer told me to just use a big electric blower. So I used the worx electric I have.. and it just blew all the water right off. I don't think it would be as simple without the ceramic coating.
That's cool. $375 is a good price. I've seen some exorbitant rates here in SoCal. Did they do any paint correction before applying the coating? The reason I ask is because I know some places insist that paint correction be done before ceramic coating, to ensure that the coating is more effective. Not sure if that is accurate or just something to sell services. Please do keep us posted as to how long the coating holds up. The water beading aspect is interesting, especially if you are able to blow off all the water.
 

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No paint correction. Just wash and claybar to make sure fully decontaminated. Maybe they're just upselling? I mean it makes sense to hold off on a ceramic coating if you're going to want it removed to polish in a few months. I made the decision to not stress about the swirls in the clearcoat and just go with it. Yea with a keen eye and bright sun you can see all the swirls... but at the end of the day it's still just a Focus.
 
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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
No paint correction. Just wash and claybar to make sure fully decontaminated. Maybe they're just upselling? I mean it makes sense to hold off on a ceramic coating if you're going to want it removed to polish in a few months. I made the decision to not stress about the swirls in the clearcoat and just go with it. Yea with a keen eye and bright sun you can see all the swirls... but at the end of the day it's still just a Focus.
I think that's a good way to look at it. Move forward rather than worry about stuff like that. I probably have micro scratches and swirls in my paint too, but I realize that I'll just do the best I can to maintain it while realizing that stuff like this is inevitable.
 

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Thank you! Your car looks awesome too! Near-identical twins, I'd say (mine's a '17 ST1). Over my years of ownership, I realized that MM has really good reflective properties and really looks nice when cleaned well. I think it's just how the paint reflects dark and light tones with just the right amount of contrast. I like the quality of Meguiar's products too. I'm relatively new to the auto detailing game, so I haven't had the chance to try out other products. But, I'll probably stick with Meguiar's - why fix something good that's not broken?

I know that some folks don't like the premium wheels, but I'm a big fan of them. I don't know if anyone noticed, but after 2018, the BMW 2 series sported the exact same wheel style, just with the BMW roundel on them. I kid you not, this was the exact same wheel style as the FoST premium wheel. BMW probably purchased the style from the same vendor after our model was discontinued, I'm guessing. There was a BMW with those wheels parked near my daughter's mom's place and both my daughter and I used to chuckle any time we saw those wheels. Those wheels were also available online in the BMW vehicle configurator. In general, I think Ford offers among the best-looking wheels on the market - this includes the FoST, the FiST, the Mustang, and their other vehicles. On the other hand, I have found some of the recent wheel styles from Honda to be quite unattractive.

I agree, that ultimate wax is something else. It's so satisfying to see the smoothness, gloss and depth in the paint after polishing the wax off with a microfiber cloth. The effect has to be experienced in person to be believed. Regarding the polishing compound, aren't those mildly abrasive? If so, how often do you use the polishing compound, given that the clear coat might thin down over time? Any recommendations on an orbital buffer? I don't have a power outlet in my apartment garage, so what are your thoughts on the drill attachments (these questions are for everyone, so I'd appreciate inputs from anyone who could chime in)?
Polish and compound are abrasive with compound being more aggressive than polish typically. I used both when I bought my car to get rid of swirls from previous owners and it still looks pretty good almost 2 years later with no additional polishing. I wouldn’t recommend doing it frequently though as you’ll burn through clear coat like you mentioned. Best method (in my opinion) would be to compound/polish then protect with ceramic coating or paint protection film (although film can be pricy).

For polishers, you can spend lots of $ on name brand stuff (Rupes is a good example) but I just use a cheap random orbital from harbor freight and some foam pads off Amazon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Polish and compound are abrasive with compound being more aggressive than polish typically. I used both when I bought my car to get rid of swirls from previous owners and it still looks pretty good almost 2 years later with no additional polishing. I wouldn’t recommend doing it frequently though as you’ll burn through clear coat like you mentioned. Best method (in my opinion) would be to compound/polish then protect with ceramic coating or paint protection film (although film can be pricy).

For polishers, you can spend lots of $ on name brand stuff (Rupes is a good example) but I just use a cheap random orbital from harbor freight and some foam pads off Amazon.
Thanks for the input, appreciate it.
 
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