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Old 05-13-2021, 08:29 AM   #1
m6-lt1
 
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Water spot etching

Hi all. I bought a house and I was so happy that I could finally wash my car without driving to a car wash however I believe I have ďhard waterĒ. Also it was partially overcast and I think the sun may have came out while I was drying my car so that may have contributed to it.

Anyway I now have hard water spot etching on the hood/roof/trunk and I am sick to my stomach about it. I tried a rubbing compound/wax (just applied by hand) and adams pink detailer. It removed the ďinsideĒ of the water spot but left the outer ďetchingĒ from my research it seems the only way to remove this is with a buffer. You also have to see it with a light shined on it in order to see the etching.

I am a complete nube when it comes to using a buffer and Iím kinda terrified of burning through the clear. I have at my disposal some kind of buffer that I can control the speed but it only takes 7 inch pads. I have meguires m2 fine cut cleaner and meguiars m85 mirror glaze diamond cut compound. Iím not opposed to buying different polishes and cutting compounds but Iím not buying a new rotary. I was wondering if someone could tell me the steps involved to getting rid of these? I believe I have to be careful around edges which might be tough because my devices only takes seven inches pads. Below are what I think I need to do.

1. Make sure surface is clean.
2. Install POLISHING PAD and use some sort of polish. (I donít believe what I have listed is a polish)
3. Move in up and down motion. Never stay in one spot too long
4. Wipe off polish when done and check work.
5. If still there switch to CUTTING pad and cutting compound (I should start with the less aggressive of the two that I have)
6. Wipe down compound
7. Apply wax

Please recommend a polish and what pads are safe to use for me.

Also I had my car ceramic coated in the past however it is a little past the time they said the coating would expire. One thing Iíd like to mention is ever since I got the car coated, drying the car after washes had been a pita. And it was the last time I washed the car and that I think is what mainly contributed to the spots. That being said would yíall agree that the coating has failed/worn off since the etching occurred? Even when the coating was new Iíd get water spots in certain areas because of the way for example our hood is. It doesnít let the water run off easily.

Sorry I know that was a lot. Also if yíall think this is too risky of a task for a nube than please let me know. My only worry about taking it to a detail shop is they might say they arenít willing to work on my car due to it being ceramic coated (wanted a detail before all of this and one shop said no).
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Old 05-13-2021, 10:42 AM   #2
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Most ceramic coatings are bad for water spots & often make it worse, not better.

Some light water spot deposits can be removed with something like Carpro Spotless water spot remover. The quicker you get to these (i.e. right after a wash) the easier they come off. Waiting hours or days is bad.

Never wash a car in direct sunlight. Find some shade, a cloudy day, do it under a pole-tent, or indoors. Rinse with distilled water. A few $1/gallon jugs can do a pooled rinse on the entire car.

If the paint is truly etched, then only mechanical polishing will cure the defects. Lots of threads on this here. Even more youtube videos.

I recommend you hire a pro to teach you how to DIY, before attempting yourself with random equipment that may be wrong for the job.
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:57 PM   #3
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try toothpaste, it's a light abrasive, on a damp clean rag, or a clay detailing bar. I wouldn't take a buffer to it at this point, you can straight F up a car with a buffer if you don't know exactly what you're doing, even the orbital "everyone can do it!" kind of buffer.
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Old 05-13-2021, 03:38 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I’ll try the tooth paste on a small spot. I think it’s passed the point where a claybar can get it based on my research. I agree that it’s too risky for me to try to fix it on my own. I talked to a local detailer this morning. Might have him do a detail/correction or just live with it. Also after talking to the detailer (this is not the one that originally “coated” my car) but we both are thinking the original detailer didn’t actually coat the car. The reason being I don’t believe my car ever truly had a water beading effect. Even when the “coating”was new I would get softer water spots on it. I was never able to wipe water off easily with a microfiber towel during washes. But the main reason we don’t think it actually got coated was because my car did not have to stay at the original detail shop overnight. It was all done within a few hours. I went to a highly rated place too but I guess most people who went there didn’t know what to look for. I’m more mad at this discovery not because the car didn’t get the service I paid for, but because had I known for sure it wasn’t coated I would have just waxed my car to protect its paint on a regular bases like I had with my past cars.
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Old 05-13-2021, 04:46 PM   #5
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Get yourself an entry level DA polisher and a few pads and some polish & a compound. A DA is very forgiving and you wont burn through clear even if you try. Stay away from rotary. Learn how to use your DA and it will serve you well for life. You dont need to spend big money as a weekend warrior. Yes a Rupes is great, but get yourself something cheap to start and you’ll be good to go for a long time.
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:10 PM   #6
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Water spots will get away from you at some point..It doesn't take much with a darker color just get behind on the drying and it's over..Here's something to try..The new windex with vinegar will take it off but keep in mind it'll take any wax along with it..That stuff worked when Meguiars polish {by hand} wouldn't get it done..After the car is totally clean..Wet 1 area at a time,use a microfiber cloth to wipe the windex around the spots..Then use a different cloth to dry..Change the cloths frequently..
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:50 PM   #7
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I've had success with SB3 Destroy on some nasty water spots over black paint, it's worth a try before you put a DA polisher to your paint.
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Old 05-14-2021, 08:11 AM   #8
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Avoid ceramic coatings. Else be prepared to polish them off if you can't wash your car often.

Humid climates cause a lot of waterspots from morning dew.

I park mine outside 24 hrs a day now. Wash it twice a month. I use turtle wax seal & shine or meguiars hybrid ceramic wax diluted. I apply them once a month depending on how weak it looks.
If you have some protection and you get to them soon enough, the waterspots should wash away.

My ceramic coated Mazda has had too many waterspot issues even though it's garaged. I guess hard water is causing it. Next time I get it polished, I will stick to seal & shine or hybrid ceramic wax.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikem2104 View Post
Get yourself an entry level DA polisher and a few pads and some polish & a compound. A DA is very forgiving and you wont burn through clear even if you try. Stay away from rotary. Learn how to use your DA and it will serve you well for life. You dont need to spend big money as a weekend warrior. Yes a Rupes is great, but get yourself something cheap to start and youíll be good to go for a long time.
Totally agree! You can hand polish and wax all day an still not get the results that a DA can get you in minutes.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:24 AM   #10
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How often should you polish? Won't it eventually affect paint thickness?
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Old 05-16-2021, 07:31 AM   #11
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Exactly why I won't do ceramic, wax only and no water spots. Also blow off water immediately after wash, then towel dry. Still looks like new.
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Old 05-17-2021, 01:13 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the help everyone. I tried water spot removers with no luck. These ones are etched in. My car is garage kept. I must have gotten behind when drying the last 2 times I washed my car.

Also my car was not ceramic coated. A detailer cheated me/I should have known better by the cost. I’m not that mad that I paid for something and didn’t get the service, I’m more mad that if I just knew I didn’t get the service I woulda just waxed my car like I normally do! Anyway two local detailers confirmed that my car wasn’t coated based on seeing the car and the info I gave them (basically what confirmed it was the fact my car did not stay over night and the amount I paid).

One local detailer is offering to teach me the process of polishing and paint correction if I just buy the parts I need! He is the nicest man I ever met in my life lol. Anyway I never had an issue buying the parts. I was always just afraid to burn the clear doing it myself. I’m hoping with his guidance/presence I do not do that haha. He showed me his work and he seems to do a great job based on reviews and what I saw at his shop so I trust him. I’m ordering all the stuff he told me to get today.
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m6-lt1 View Post
One local detailer is offering to teach me the process of polishing and paint correction if I just buy the parts I need! He is the nicest man I ever met in my life lol. Anyway I never had an issue buying the parts. I was always just afraid to burn the clear doing it myself. Iím hoping with his guidance/presence I do not do that haha. He showed me his work and he seems to do a great job based on reviews and what I saw at his shop so I trust him. Iím ordering all the stuff he told me to get today.
Excellent!

Don't forget to take some pics and document your journey.

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Old 05-19-2021, 09:28 PM   #14
1hprush
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m6-lt1 View Post
Thanks for all the help everyone. I tried water spot removers with no luck. These ones are etched in. My car is garage kept. I must have gotten behind when drying the last 2 times I washed my car.

Also my car was not ceramic coated. A detailer cheated me/I should have known better by the cost. Iím not that mad that I paid for something and didnít get the service, Iím more mad that if I just knew I didnít get the service I woulda just waxed my car like I normally do! Anyway two local detailers confirmed that my car wasnít coated based on seeing the car and the info I gave them (basically what confirmed it was the fact my car did not stay over night and the amount I paid).

One local detailer is offering to teach me the process of polishing and paint correction if I just buy the parts I need! He is the nicest man I ever met in my life lol. Anyway I never had an issue buying the parts. I was always just afraid to burn the clear doing it myself. Iím hoping with his guidance/presence I do not do that haha. He showed me his work and he seems to do a great job based on reviews and what I saw at his shop so I trust him. Iím ordering all the stuff he told me to get today.
Do you have any pics of the spots? I'm sure your local detailer can take care of them without issue. Good Luck!
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