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Please don’t bash me for my dumb mistakes! I have a 2021 black pilot that was purchased in January. It’s been through the car wash several times and now has lots of marks all over it. I’ve contacted several local detail companies who haven’t been consistent with recommendations. I’m ready to just fix or attempt myself. What do you recommend I do to get the scratches removed AND keep it better protected? (no more automatic car wash obviously).

I’m reading lots of advice for what to do right away after purchasing but since I’m late to the game, I Don’t know where to start!
 

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2020 Pilot Black Edition
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Best bet, IF they’re just swirl marks from the car wash is use some polishing compound….start with a fine coupon deal (something like Meguiars M0216) and trying a small say 1’x1’ area and see if that helps, if not try a medium compound like Meguiars M0116 and see if that helps. Once you polished out the swirls (assuming they’re only swirls in the clear coat sndNOT ACTUAL scratches, this should do the trick. Once you polish the whole car, finish with a good wax or sealant. Source, that’s what did the trick on my Black ‘20 Pilot.
 

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Watch some paint correction YouTube's. apex detail and pan the organizer are good. Turtle wax 1and done (platelet precision) has been getting great reviews. I bought a bottle and it worked very well. Buff it out well then ceramic coat it. Also, Stop using spinning car washes.
 

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I suggest taking a step back and deciding what you want.

For a perpetual showroom finish or better, you either need a big budget for paying a detailer, or the right tool and a good product system to do it yourself. You'll spend hours reading the many sources to decide how to get started, and hundreds of dollars getting set up. But it will look as good as you want it to, and with a little experience and decent tools, you can wash, de-swirl and wax a Pilot in 90 minutes pretty easily.

If you're not looking for a new hobby and just want it to look great from 6' away, pay for a detail once a year or so. You don't need a full show-car treatment - just pay them to get the swirls out and prep it for whatever they put on top. Several Piloteers with lots of detailing experience swear by ceramic finishes. Search for that and decide for yourself. Keep it clean, and enjoy it.

Bottom line - what you want when you're done determines what you should do next. Figure that out and you'll be golden.
 
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