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I just purchased my first Ferrari! It's a 1999 F355 GTB, and just as I expected ownership is an awesome experience. I would like to know what experienced Ferrari owners are washing and cleaning their cars with as I can't really find any recommendations in the owner's manual for exterior/interior care. I've always been a big fan of Meguire's car care/cleaning products, but I would like to get some input from some other owners on what you are using to clean/care for both the interior and exterior of your car.
 

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Coolhand,
You have a beautiful car! Meguire's is good and I use it for my everyday cars. It is easy to apply and maintain. But for the F-car I use Zaino and it really brought out the finish. It really does bring out that mile deep shine.

Here's the link to a review I did about Zaino:
http://www.ferrarilife.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3723
 

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I've use Zaino products for the first time this week-end.

I had heard so much about it that I had to try, everybody was raving about the "mile deep shine" and I wanted a taste of it. I was a little skeptic at first, however, having tried all sorts of brand in the past that just did not make a difference.

I got a package of product (the "total protection car kit") and spent my all day at it Saturday.

Well let me tell you... What a kick in the ass! My old 308 QV, with its original pain, has never looked better since I got it!

Not only are those products giving Kick ass results, but they are fun and easy to use and... They smell good! I'm not kidding. There is this fruit scent that makes it even more pleasant to clean your car on a sunny spring day!

I'll throw away all my other cleaning and waxing products. As far as I know now, Zaino is the shit!
 

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Ok guys, bear with me.

The best I have used, as far as waxes are concerned, is called Car Brite. Their wax in question is the Yellow Paste Carnauba. It is simply the most fantastic wax I have ever seen, ever. I HAVE tried Zanio, and while it was good, it did not compare to the Car Brite.

The caveat. Its only sold through distributors. I got it, and the information about it, through my friend who is a professional detailer. Unfortunately he no longer works there and Im running low so this is the end of my relationship with Car Brite.

I recently spoke with him about a substitue for the wax and he suggested Griot's Cranauba Paste over Zanio's. I just bought 8oz and haven't used it yet but I thought I would relay the info as this discusssion progresses. Hopefully it works as well as he says.

As for polish, I use Ardex Diamond Crystal Four. It in and of itself pulls the shine out of the paint. It is utterly fantastic. Again, the information about this product came from my detailing friend. This product, thankfully, can be purchased but through indirect means. You can get bulk quantities and I even found a guy on eBay who will sell a gallon of it.

If you are undecided about what to use then maybe you can give these a try.
 

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I too work with Car Brite products. While not on an F-Car, on others in a commecrial application. The products my company uses everyday are on the lower end of Car Brite's product spectrum, although i have used their Carnauba wax. It is truly excellent. The price is reasonable, as well. I would highly recommend Car Brite.
 

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Heck, if a car cannot be clean with water then I do not want it. My 550 sometimes gets clean only after a few thousand miles. One cannot spoil the car. It is only a car and it is used to move me from place to place and back again. Of course, it is much fun.

Darn it. I think I will drive it on the morrow.

Bonzi!!!

:)
 

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I always use Auto Glym products, been using them for years as I used to love TVR's and it was what they endorsed. It's not too expensive either, and I'm very happy with the results.
I've spoken to Swissol and Zymol rep's at F Shows, but it's expensive stuff. I might be a convert it I tried it, but will probably stick to Auto Glym.
I've got a couple of friends who use Zymol on their 911's and swear by it.
 

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dont waste your time with zaino, meguiars or auto glym nothing compares to zymol try it and you will see. dont put any other products on a car like that only natural which zymol is. depth and shine cannot be matched by any other product on the market.
 

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Try P21S 100% carnauba. I bet it will be the easiest carnauba wax anyone has every applied and removed. The shine is great as well. Please keep in mind that the best wax is nothing without a properly polished finish to remove the inperfections in the paint. I have all sorts of waxes and sealants, and the easiest to use is certainly P21S. You can find it at any local Harley Davidson store, probably under the name S100 (it's the same thing just in a cheaper can). I will say that durability is only about 1-3 months, but it is meant to be a show car wax. Zaino is famous for it's durability. I detailed a Lotus back in December with 3 layers of z2 pro, 3 layers of z5, and two layers of z8, zfx'ed, and the car is still very slick and it is June. The look of Zaino is a little sterile, and not truly rich in color. Of course this is my opinion. But, I do encourage everyone to experiment.
 

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Ciao

I just purchased my first Ferrari! It's a 1999 F355 GTB, and just as I expected ownership is an awesome experience. I would like to know what experienced Ferrari owners are washing and cleaning their cars with as I can't really find any recommendations in the owner's manual for exterior/interior care. I've always been a big fan of Meguire's car care/cleaning products, but I would like to get some input from some other owners on what you are using to clean/care for both the interior and exterior of your car.
Not sure if you are asking about waxing or the whole procedure on how to clean, trust me it is not as simple as one might think you need proper cloths, cleaning mitts, wash basins with dirt traps etc.

This post helped me out hope it answers a few of your questions.

I thought I was a guru of washing and waxing my car till I read this from a master detailer.


You are asking an open ended question because it is impossible to answer with out more specifics. If you are asking what is the best wax for your F-car, there are so many good choices that it couldn't be answered with out writing a book. The better question would be what are some of the best wax "systems" for you, based on your needs.

Before discussing waxes and/or sealants it’s important to remember that these types of products (LSP's or Last Step Products) are designed as sacrificial barriers, designed to protect the paint. People make too big of a deal in the wax they use, when the truth is that over 95 percent of the final appearance is based on the prep work before the wax (or sealant is applied).

If we wanted to break car "detailing" into steps, it would look something like...

1) Wash -The most obvious step, but the least understood. Most (if not all) of the degradation of the car's finish comes from improper washing and drying techniques. Micro abrasions, scratches, and swirl marks are almost always owner (or cheap car washer) installed and completely avoidable.

2) Decontamination- After washing, the paint should be rubbed down with detailers clay to remove any contaminates that embed themselves onto the paint's surface. This step will restore smoothness to the paint and in some cases, clarity.

3) Paint correction- This is the process where machines are used to actually remove and re-level the paint surface. You asked whether "buffers" can be dangerous. Absolutely, you are using a machine to abrade and remove the paint. The paint on new F430's will range between 5.5 mils and 7.5 mils, which is total paint thickness. Of this you are looking at 1.5 mils (or more) of primer and 1.5 mils (or so) of base coat. This leaves about 2.5 mils of clear coat (which is VERY thick by modern standards). This means you only have a little less then HALF the thickness of a sheet of paper worth of clear coat on the paint. Of that, it becomes dangerous to remove more than 10 percent (when paint outgases, it pushes the UV protection to the top). Removing more then 10 percent of a half sheet of paper worth of paint over the life time of the vehicle will shorten the paint's life.

Certain tools, such as a Porte Cable (which is known as a D/A or orbital) are fairly safe because they do not remove a lot of paint, and the orbiting action reduces heat build up. These are very nice for the DIY'er, when used properly with the right pads and polishes. High speed or direct drive machines (known as rotaries or variable speeds) are serious machines which are much more powerful. In the hands of a skilled person they can remove serious defects as well be used to "jewel" the paint like a diamond.

4) Protection- Once the paint is perfect, then it becomes a matter of waxing or applying a sealant. People could argue for years about which is better and still not have a correct answer. If you are looking for durability, something synthetic sealants like Zaino or Werkstatt provide good looking, long lasting protection. If you prefer the deeper "shimmer" of a carnauba wax, there are so many options on the market, from Pinnacle, P21s, Dodo, Zymol, Swissvax, Meguiars, and many others. If you post your needs, color, and year, I could help you choose a great combination, depending on how crazy you want to get.

Also know that a lot of people will tell you stuff that they really have no proof of.

Ferrari's need carnauba wax- This rumor (spread by a high end detailer in south Florida) is beyond terrible. Also, you might here that certain companies make waxes specifically for "Italian" or Ferrari paint. Ferrari currently uses PPG Cerma-Clear paint, which was originally developed in conjunction with Mercedes Benz. PPG recommends using a wax or sealant on the paint, Mercedes recommends (and uses) a German product named Menzerna (FMJ, which is a synthetic sealant), and Ferrari USA recommends Zymol. This is the same paint system, however Ferrari USA has a deal with Zymol and Menzerna is known for making polishing compounds which are used in the Benz factories.

Clear Coat cars don't need wax- Clear coat is a clear paint. It needs protection just like single stage paints of the past. However, because it doesn't oxidize at the same rate of the older lacquers, it doesn't give off such a rapid appearance of degradation.

You can wax the paint off your car- Not true. Again in the old days, single stage paints (esp. lacquer) would oxidize very quickly. To remove this oxidation, the paint would need to be scrubbed with abrasives, much like exfoliating your skin. So in the old days, to fight of oxidation, paint would have to be scrubbed off and you could "wax" through the paint. While some companies still make this "cleaner/waxes" most waxes and sealants found today do not feature any abrasives. Certain sealants such as Zaino actually bonds to itself, so each coat increases the overall appearance.

I put ten coats of wax on my car, it looks awesome- This is more psychological then anything. Like I said certain sealants can be improved with multiple layers. However carnauba waxes cannot. Carnauba wax is harder then concrete in natural forum and has to be softened and cut with solvents and oils. When you are applying multiple coats of wax, the solvents from the fresh coat act to soften and remove most of the previous coat. It is always recommended to apply two coats though, for even coverage.

My wax has 70 percent carnauba, it is better than yours!- One of the most misunderstood claims in waxes, and the basis for 2,000 dollar waxes to exist. Because of the hardness of carnauba it has to be cut with solvent. VOC regulations are strict on how much and what types of solvent can be used. Because the amount of solvent is the limiting factor, it is really impossible to get more then 20 percent carnauba wax into a solution (by density). However, claims such as high carnauba wax content live on because they are a play on words. Generally a statement such as this means that 70 percent of the wax in the solution is carnauba OR 70 percent of the volume of wax is carnauba is advertised. However, carnauba wax is usually about 1/3 as dense as the other ingredients, so it does fill more volume then the other ingredients.

To make a long post, longer...

The wax or sealant you choose is icing on the cake. Nothing will ever look as good as perfectly prepared paint, in which case the wax or sealant of choice is almost redundant. However, most "detailers" and body shops do not know how to properly prepare paint. In fact, must "buff" cars with a glaze which is oil based product designed to "fill" or hide swirl marks and buffer induced marring temporarily. This is also a great option for the DIYer and something you may consider. Products such as Meguiars #7 or 3M Imperial Hand Glaze will greatly reduce the appearance of swirl marks and hazing temporarily, and can be topped with a wax of choice to "lock" in the oils.
Again, this is a very common in the detailing industry, where many people simply don't want to spend the 1000's of hours necessary to learn how to use a polisher correctly and finish the paint down flawlessly with out the use of glazing oils.
 

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Bella post!

Thanks for the "detailed" post Night Life. Too many people think that having the best wax will make a paint job look it's best...WRONG! Like you said, a properly prepared surface without wax will always look better than an unprepared surface with the best wax in the world used on it. To give everyone an idea, here is an Infiniti G35x properly prepared by me, WITHOUT WAX:

Before (w/o wax):


After (w/o wax):


This was performed via skilled polishing technique using a combination of rotary and random-orbit polishers and a combination of Menzerna polishes.
 
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