Just plain water?

Cleaning and detailing your Astra.
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Finston Pickle
Posts: 350
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:58 pm
Astra Model: 1.6 Petrol Turbo SRI Nav Sports tourer
Astra Options: AGR seats;Wntr Pk;Sp Whl;S/Rf;Tints;CD plyr;P/Sens
Astra Colour: Flip Chip Silver

Just plain water?

Post by Finston Pickle » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:10 pm

When I bought my car I thought that I'd give it six months for the paint to harden before getting it Carnauba wax protected at the local hand wash place. I had always car shampoo washed say every two months and waxed my cars every six months.

Meantime, I did some internet research on which system to use etc.

Surprisingly, I came across a school of thought that the lacquer layer is all the protection that a car needs and that was from the US. Futhermore there were suggestions from some that there is no need to use shampoo to shift any dust and road film. A good spray with water then copious water and soft brush seemed good enough.

Well, never did get the Carnauba wax and have been amazed how 10 minutes water only gets rid of all the road film with the paint and alloys beading up just like after a good waxing. No sign of scratching either.

Just one thing. Flip Chip Silver seems to make an attractive landing place for flies in Summer and getting rid of any fly marks is the longest part of the cleaning job.
1.6 SIDI Petrol Turbo SRI Nav
AGR seats; Winter Pack; Spare Wheel; Sun Roof; Tinted Rear Windows; CD player; Parking Sensors


chrism40
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:43 pm
Astra Model: SRI 1.4T 150 VX-Line
Astra Colour: white

Re: Just plain water?

Post by chrism40 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:54 pm

In a word, no.

Modern paint is more like epoxy really, it doesn't need months to fully dry like old cellulose paint does. You can polish and wax it the next day after painting.

Modern paint is tough, but its still porous, so it needs something on it to protect it otherwise it will start to oxidise, and its quite rough at the microscopic level, so easier to scratch because it 'grabs' anything that comes in contact with it. Fresh paint will bead water, but it wont last long. Any wax is better than none, but old fashioned Carnauba wax has been long surpassed now, although it does have a nice warm look on dark paint.

The ultimate in protection comes from the Silicon oxide coatings, which are literally glass. Some are tricky to apply and expensive, others dead easy and cheaper, but less durable. They can even be applied in a shampoo now (Gyeon Bath+), giving months of protection in one wash.


cooldad
Posts: 1256
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 5:40 pm
Astra Model: 1.6 SRi Turbo 200PS
Astra Options: 18" Alloys + IntelliLux LED Matrix Headlights
Astra Colour: Power Red
Location: SE London

Re: Just plain water?

Post by cooldad » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:55 am

Interesting to hear what you say, Chrism!

As well as working with fuels and lubricants years ago, I used to be a surface coatings chemist, albeit related to military aircraft. I didn't realise modern car paints were epoxides, I thought they would be acrylics (electrostatically applied). I'm way out of date on the technology now, though!! Whatever their composition, it's been my experience that the paint on my Astra damages all too easily :o :shock: :cry:

My main concern is avoiding both discoloration, especially as I have a red car, and corrosion. I think modern red pigments have much less tendency to fade now, but UV protection of your paint is still important, IMO. As for corrosion, I always understood that blasting highly oxygenated water over your car (eg, from a hose or especially from a jet washer) is almost as bad as salt, but that's probably an exaggeration!! :) :)

Would be curious to know what you think............
Astra 1.6 SRi Turbo 200 PS / 150 kW, Power Red.
'Intellilux' headlights, 18 in / 45 cm bi-colour alloys, driving assistance pack, advanced parking pack.


chrism40
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:43 pm
Astra Model: SRI 1.4T 150 VX-Line
Astra Colour: white

Re: Just plain water?

Post by chrism40 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:51 pm

I think it depends on the manufacturer, some are acrylics some are more like epoxy, all I know is Vauxhall paint is very very soft. My door touched the car next to mine the other day and left a white stripe, it was just the lightest of touches as well. It just wiped off with a finger leaving no mark. Its like soft cheese! My sister has a brand new Corsa in red, one wipe with a good quality new microfibre left swirl marks, its shocking how bad vauxhall paint is.

As such I wouldnt use a vauxhall unprotected, and the only thing able to offer any real abrasion resistance are the nano ceramics, mainly because they are UV resistant, hard as glass, somewhat sacrificial and optically neutral. These days they can be applied during a wash, which also means they get everywhere, including the seams and door shuts, so that they even protect there. The hardest ones needs application by hand, on a warm, dry, but non-sunny day, so I will be doing that in the spring.

On a red car i would use a good ceramic nano coating, hand applied, after a polish with a bodywork safe polish (that leaves no residue). After that just a good wash, and the occasional go over with a quick detailer should be enough to stop fade, discolouration and corrosion.


Finston Pickle
Posts: 350
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:58 pm
Astra Model: 1.6 Petrol Turbo SRI Nav Sports tourer
Astra Options: AGR seats;Wntr Pk;Sp Whl;S/Rf;Tints;CD plyr;P/Sens
Astra Colour: Flip Chip Silver

Re: Just plain water?

Post by Finston Pickle » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:59 pm

Thanks for the replies - very informative.

Presumably all the new car painting warranties - such as they are - are based on a car not having additional surface protection.

Looking generally at modern cars, you see very few with surface blemishes big enough to result in rust bubbling and perforation.

My old, 16 year old celica - now a potential barn find (off road in my daughter's front drive) - has about three small areas where the paint is down to the primer. They are rusty looking dark spots but somehow not perforating or growing. It been like this since I had the car, 10 years ago - they were paint chips which I painted over with topcoat. The car had not been washed for probably ten years - although my grandson and I had a go at it this summer with some latest Autoglym product I got from an mag offer and it looks great. Probably an paint system that used solvents, so may not be relevant.

The point is that generally new products like solvent free paints are as good as their predecessors by the time the developers have finished. If this logic is true, even an unwashed car with no additional surface protection should last say fifteen years and come up great when finally given some care.

Interesting one about the reds however - historically they do seem to have had a real ageing problem. I always thought that a metallic paint with a laquer top surface was the way to go - it seems to have worked well for me.
1.6 SIDI Petrol Turbo SRI Nav
AGR seats; Winter Pack; Spare Wheel; Sun Roof; Tinted Rear Windows; CD player; Parking Sensors


chrism40
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:43 pm
Astra Model: SRI 1.4T 150 VX-Line
Astra Colour: white

Re: Just plain water?

Post by chrism40 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:30 pm

Metallic Vauxhalls seem better, but a light solid is OK as well, its why I went for white. Vauxhall red has improved apparently, no more PVS (pink Vauxhall syndrome). The only saving grace is that the paint seems quite thick and being soft its easy to correct, I have in the past recovered a totally matt and pink Vauxhall to gleaming red


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