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Taking care of black cars

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newsphotog

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#1
Me and my black Impala are entering marriage counseling.

I've had this car for two years and it's seen its fair share of dings, dents, and chips. I take the task of maintaining my car very seriously. I like it to look good and I want it to have good resale value.

So it's frustrating to say the least when you get the car detailed (waxing/buffing) and have the dents and dings pushed out on a Wednesday and then after a few good thunderstorms it's already looking like crap by Sunday. Water spots, streaks, dents, and even the most miniscule scratches show up in black paint.

I live in an apartment complex, so unfortunately I don't have anywhere I can hand-wash and hand-dry my car. The best I can do is go to an automat and spray it with their power washer. Sometimes if I'm lucky and there's not many people around, I can get away with hand-drying it in the wash bay.

I washed it today and dried it off with a $20 chamois cloth and I can't get it to look like it did when I picked it up from the detailer, even though it was done just a few days ago. I dried it off with a chamois to try to prevent soap scum, but the chamois left some streaking. (This was with a brand new chamois so is there maybe a break-in period?)

I remember when I was a kid I told my dad that I love black cars. He told me "they are hard to take care of," but he didn't really tell me why. Now I know why!

Any tips from anyone that is or has been in the same situation as me? I've learned my lesson and I won't buy another black car again, but I want to keep this car and try to make it look as best as it can.
 
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ky-oh-wv
#2
Might wanna check out : www-dot-naioa -dot-com all kinds of info for Impala owners over there, be sure to check out the 'car care' section in the forums.
 

W7RA

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#3
look at this stuff. Search Results for "zainbros.com" this stuff is not wax.

My opinion the best ting to do with a black car is to sell it though.

I bought a brand new black car on a Friday in Colorado a decade or so ago, and on Monday morning it was destroyed by hail. Was never the same, even after $7K paint and body work.
 

newsphotog

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#5
Might wanna check out : www-dot-naioa -dot-com all kinds of info for Impala owners over there, be sure to check out the 'car care' section in the forums.
I hadn't seen that site before. Thanks! I love my Impala -- it's great -- but the black paint is not.

look at this stuff. Search Results for "zainbros.com" this stuff is not wax.
Whoops, the correct link is http://www.zainobros.com -- which product would work best for this? They have a ton of stuff there and I can't really tell the difference.

My opinion the best ting to do with a black car is to sell it though.

I bought a brand new black car on a Friday in Colorado a decade or so ago, and on Monday morning it was destroyed by hail. Was never the same, even after $7K paint and body work.
I hear ya. I thought about getting it repainted, but I'd imagine that's expensive. If I trade it in as it is I'd probably take a hit of more than a few thousand dollars and I don't have that much money laying around to put into a new car. I'm really rough on my car, but I take good care of it. I'd have to re-do my entire radio install in the next car, although starting with a clean slate wouldn't be an entirely bad deal...

So far I haven't lost a car to hail damage (only door dings and chips) -- but we're not that far into storm season yet. I can't imagine a black car in a hailstorm. That is a seriously terrifying thought.

Black cars are the easiest to get dirty, but when they're clean, they are the prettiest.
Reminds me of a girl I know...

(sorry... it seemed obligatory)
 
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#6
Go to Home Depot, buy four tall buckets. Buy one of those big soaky sponges for rinsing. This is the hard part but I do it and it isnt bad-you just cant be lazy. Fill the buckets with warm/hot water-all four,one has the car soap in it...three are for the rinse. Carry them 2 at a time to the car (yeah two trips I know) but the payoff to this is you achieve the detailed handwash you want. No harsh washwands. I have been doing this for years-I have the constantly cleanest black truck around. I too love black vehicles-black makes a vehicle "handsome" moreso than any color.
Wash top-down with my method-and the key to success is to maintain a waxed finish...I do mine every 4 months. P.S. DON'T be afraid to do the hot water-I have done it for years...my truck in the below links is 8 years old now. Matter o fact I never use carsoap. I keep that surface slippy with Klasse sealant glaze every 4 months-so the hot water is totally adequate.

 
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#10
I'm on my second black car ! I agree with SigSauer, when they're clean they really stand out, especially in winter time. I've become lazy with my detailing, I have several Meguires products that I used, but it became time consuming. Now I just handwash and rinse with the garden hose. I use a Pittards genuine chamois and I think it really helps in the final look of the car. You'll always get scratches on your car - from bad weather to idiots that can't park their car properly between the yellow lines and end up whacking your nice car with their car door.....they don't care. We always hear about how durable the clear coat is, but I think it's BS. They very first time I washed my new car with a new wash mit there were swirl marks all over the clear coat. Black cars take patience to maintain, but I can't see myself driving a car other than black -------- red ??? well only if it's a Ferrari. When the dealer asked what color I wanted I couldn't decide between black or silver (the only other color I would ever choose) I just couldn't say no to the sharp look of black.
 

wwhitby

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#12
Back in the '90s, a friend of mine owned a black Baretta. The biggest problem he had was with swirls when he waxed. He switched to boat wax and the swirls disappeared.

Warren
 
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#14
Me and my black Impala are entering marriage counseling.
I sympathize, I have a black 2009 9C1 that I got new - I live in a townhouse development and nobody gives a **** about other people's property. Good luck, & thx to everyone else for the hints and tips.
 
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#15
I sympathize, I have a black 2009 9C1 that I got new - I live in a townhouse development and nobody gives a **** about other people's property. Good luck, & thx to everyone else for the hints and tips.
You're living better than me, but yup, a non-garage-kept car is always 3x as hard to take care of.
 
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#16
I do agree...black vehicles are a pain to keep clean. I also wouldn't drive any other color of vehicle (except for that gorgeous Sunburst Blue Harley in my profile pic). I have no garage and either hand-wash or go to a very good car wash/auto-detailing place nearby and have always had excellent results.

When I hand-wash I use Dove dishsoap and warm water. Dry with a cotton bath towel. I stopped using chamois years ago. The cotton bath towels dry the vehicle much quicker and are easier on the finish.

For wax I use Nu-Finish once, maybe twice, a year.

Nu Finish | Scratch Doctor | Nu Vinyl | Car Polish | Car Wax | Car Wash | Scratch Remover | Rapid Dry | Reed-Union

In between car washes I use Wizards Mist And Shine. Mist And Shine is well worth it for keeping your vehicle clean between washes.

Wizards Products Store :: Automotive :: Appearance Products :: Mist-N-Shine Detailer 22 oz

I will admit that the truck was garage-kept by my father when he bought it new in 1996 until he sold it to me in 2005. I have no garage but as you can see by these 2 pics those products work pretty well. Not too bad for sitting exposed to the weather constantly since 2005. I use the same products on my 2005 Harley Ultra Classic and the finish on that bike is just amazing.

By the way...those gaudy white-letter tires are gone. Solid black wall tires went on at the end of this past summer. Makes the truck look just a little bit meaner now :D
 

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#17
Isn't dish soap bad for car washing ? It takes the wax finish right off the car. I used to use it too, but that was when there weren't any choices in the auto department for car soap. Today there's all kinds of car soaps to choose from. You mentioned NuFinish, why not try their car wash soap ? BTW, nice shine on the car !
 
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#18
I've heard the same thing about dish soap being bad for car finishes but I've been using it for years and have never seen any noticeable degradation in the finish on any of my vehicles. I don't use a whole lot, just a very quick squeeze of the bottle.

I have used several types of car wash products but none of them have seemed to work as well as Dove. I haven't been able to find the Nu-Finish car wash around here but maybe I'll get on-line. I'm really happy with their wax so I have no problem with trying their car wash.

BTW-thanks for the compliment on the truck! I'm still amazed when I look at it and realize it's a 1996 with 145,000 miles on it. Except for the radio equipment I installed the truck still looks as new inside as it does out and mechanically all I've ever had to do, so far, is just routine maintenance. That 302 V-8 doesn't leak, drip or smoke. It just runs like a top!
 
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