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Product review - Mother's California Gold wax system

6602 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  ErikB
OK, so I have a 25 year-old Ferrari. It has been repainted but I have no idea when. The paint is "OK", not "perfect". The problem I have had is all the swirls and micro-scratches that are common to a solid color. (The stuff that people with metallic finishes never have to worry about but anyone with a black car knows exactly where I am coming from.) So I have tried all the magic snake oils that will make my car look new in one easy step. None of them work. Sure they shine, but it just isn't "right".

So I tried this Mother's California Gold Ultimate Wax System which comprises of 3 steps. #1 is a pre-wax cleaner to remove oxidation, #2 is a sealer and glaze to hide swirl marks, and #3 is a pure carnauba wax (whatever the hell that means). I used an orbital buffer on the first 2 steps and applied the wax by hand.

It took me about 5 hours to complete the process on my 308, was it worth it? Well I think so. It did minimze the appearance of the micro-scratches on my car. Did it make them go away? No.

To the average person my car has a mile deep shine. To me it is not completely right. Is it better than the one-step cleaner-wax? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes, but be prepared for work, you have to go around the car 3 times instead of once.

Bottom-line: It cost me $20 and 5 hours labor but my car does look better than when I started.
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I recommend using Clay first and not wax. Clay will remove all the oxidation in the paint. You just get a spray bottle get the surface wet with a mild soapy water (more water than soap). Then wax. I didn't realize this until I talked to a detailer. He told me wax will come off when you wash your car which is why the water only beeds up for the first month after a wax. Waxing is good but clay the car at least once a year, then wax every 6 months for the water coat.
I recommend using Clay first and not wax.
Is Clay a product brand name?

Sorry. I should have said clay. Here is one of many makers. I like Zaino Brothers but their site seems to be down.
Here is an article.

Using a Clay Bar on Automotive Paint

Contaminant removal with the detailer's secret
By: M. Justin Fort/

Wash your car and look closely at the paint surface. Run your finger across it. If this finish is anything less than pristine, you're going to notice things with your finger. Things on the paint surface that aren't visible but still there, stuck to it, embedded, adhered to the paint in a fashion that keeps these particles from being removed by a typical washing.

What's happened is the sharper, pointier, stickier things in the air have actually jammed themselves into the first layers of paint. This is no longer a surface-only dirt issue that a thorough washing can handle, as a wash mitt or sponge doesn't have the grabbing, grippiness to pull these things out. So, you're left with a clean car that's still covered with the same selection of glass fragments and fibers, rail dust (little metal slivers emitted by the interaction between train wheel and rail), minute chunks of gravel and Earth byproduct. Enter the clay bar.

We can hear you asking what clay has to do with car washing. Imagine this—the act of pulling a soapy sponge across your car's wet surface while washing, with the stiction capacity (just made that up; the degree to which something adheres to and pulls on a surface when interacting with it laterally) amplified to where the pulling and stiction level is great enough to remove minute contaminants embedded in the paint. That's what a clay bar does: cleans the paint surface down to its pure paint self, sucked clean.

Automotive paint clay is a very particular grade of fine clay, not too unlike some clays used in modeling. Used by car care pros for ages and long a back door secret of the car care industry, insiders have brought the clay bar and its usefulness to public attention. Used with a lubricating spray (often a detailing spray) that allows the otherwise super-tacky clay to glide without marring the paint itself, automotive clay can be the tool to step from "just washed" to "ready to polish and wax."

Using clay is remarkably simple. Starting with a freshly cleaned vehicle, wet a section of the vehicle's painted surface with the clay lubricant and rub the clay on the paint in a random fashion. You don't want to use the whole wad of clay—a half or a third of what you're supplied is a good place to begin. As you use the clay, "rotate" it frequently, turning it as it fills with the things it pulls from your paint. You want to have fresh clay touching the paint. Dry off completed portions of paint with a cotton towel. Again, work by sections. Important: listen to the clay. As it slides across the paint on a film of lubricant, you'll hear its contact with the bad things in the paint. As fewer things are left to pick up, the bar will make less noise and you'll feel it slide more easily. You can treat the whole vehicle this way. Run your fingers across the paint after working over a portion of the painted surface and you'll be able to deduce the difference, by touch.

Don't forget to use plenty of lubricant. Too much can be mopped up with the towel. Using too little risks allowing the clay to scratch your paint. Late-model paints have a much softer composition than older enamels, so misuse of a clay bar will show readily, so use plenty of detailer. Clay can also be employed to clean hard plastic surfaces, trim, chrome and water-stained rubber in the same fashion as it does paint. The friction coefficient is not the same as with paint, but properly lubricated, the clay works wonders on these surfaces. Paint overspray can be removed from almost all automotive surfaces with clay, too. Note that clay can strip wax from paint, so be prepared to re-wax the vehicle's surface after using clay on it. Some clays are harder than others and leave less margin for error between effective lubrication and not enough. If the clay lubricant/detailer dries on the paint surface, a further spritz will let you wipe it off.

Clay bar treatment kits are available that provide you with the necessary lubricant and enough clay to do plenty of paint, multiple cars worth. Some kits come with a sample of wax, too, to give you a chance to test one manufacturer's formula of wax.

If you've never clay-barred your ride, take a moment to run your hand across the paint. The little things will be there, stuck to it, waiting for you to take action. C'mon—a little stiction never hurt anyone.
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I heard about Clay too in a positive way. I didn't use it, but that is because I do not have a car :)
Enzo250GTO said:
I like Zaino Brothers but their site seems to be down.
Yeah, I wanted to try the Zaino Brothers system but I had the time and the Mother's is what was available locally.

Here's a photo of the results. Of course, my crappy camera doesn't do it justice.


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Car looks great Pete! :lol:

Here is a good article I read on Ferrari-List. It covers Bars, Wax, and Synthetic Polymer Finish. Because of it I'll be using a synthetic when I can get my hands on one. I have a black car that shows swirl marks like only black cars can. Not only that but it just down right needs a paint job. Why synthetic? Well...

"The most popular polymer-based finish among Ferrari owners is Liqui-tech's Finish First Auto Polish. It is an excellent choice for protecting your car's finish (and is the product of choice for the author of this FAQ). While Finish First is referred to by its manufacturer as a "polish," it's not a polish in the traditional sense of the word because it's non-abrasive. Rather than rub out swirl marks like traditional polishes, it actually fills them with a clear resin that virtually eliminates them. This clear resin also creates a mirror-like finish that is easy to keep clean, makes water bead up into tiny drops, is stronger than wax, and provides UV protection to inhibit paint fading."

Also good paint code list:
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I've noticed that some people do not lubricate the surface as much as is necessary. I don't feel that a spray bottle is enough lube to clay many vehicles. As a tip, I find that the best clay lube is a simple combo of good car wash solution and distilled water, with maybe some optimum no rinse added in. Maybe an ounce or two of car wash in a 16 oz bottle of water.
If you want to remove swirlmarks, spiderwebs and other small scratches from you cars paint you can try to watch some of the videos on this site:
i.e. this:

I used a total of 12 hous on my 348 in March - only to have my first accident, since January 1979, 3 weeks ago :( and yes - you guessed it - it was not in our Toyota but off course in the Ferrari :( :( I am now waiting for it to come back from the repair - in August..... :(

It will be serviced and also be re-painted (100%) including my Targa roof (348 TS) - so some thing good may come out of it after all.....;)
Sorry to hear about your 348 Erik, are you going to post some pictures so that we can share your pain?:(
Sorry to hear about that. What happened Erik?
Hi guys, Sorry for "spamming" the the interesting subject of polishing our belowed cars with my sad story..... :(
The car will be 100% OK again, :) it is only a matter of time and both my passenger and myself are 100% OK. The hit on the car happened with a very reduced speed of appr. 20-25 km/h so no damage was done to engine, gearbox or other parts. Only the rearwheel suspension was bend and some bodywork damage on the right side and the left side "C-pillar" was visible.
It just takes time to get the right parts here unfortunately.

But back to the subject - I hope some of you have seen the videos on - you can learn a lot from them. And the products there are very good. Unfortnately I had to pay VAT and imort taxes on the stuff I bought from USA - it "only" amounted to appr. 83% of my original purchase price which included the shipping costs. So I do not expect to buy much more from outside EU :mad:

Keep your cars well polished gys - and drive carefully ( 180 degree turns are not recommended... :eek: )
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