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Does anyone else take two days to detail their Pilot

6027 Views 30 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Highspeedbail
Every spring I do a major cleaning on my cars. This is my first spring with the Pilot so here's my schedule. I live in Ottawa and we only have one car, we use it for skiing, canoe camping, everything.

Day One - 10:00 am start, 3:30 pm finish
1. Vacuum car and clean out garbage at car wash.
2. Re vacuum at home with various brushes and attachments.
3. Wipe down interior with hot water and mild soap.
4. Mothers Back to Black on interior trim.
5. Invisible Glass windows
6. Steam clean carpets

Day Two - 7:30 am start, 2:30 finish
1. Wash car at car wash.
2. Wash car at home.
3. Clay bar exterior.
4. Wash car.
5. Polish car -first year with Meguiar's Ultimate Compound - really impressed, took out 90% of swirls
6. Polish car again with Meguiar's Polish
7. Wax car with Meguiar's wax
8. Mother's Back to Black on trim
9. Invisible Glass
10. Clean rims
11. Clean/polish sidewalls

I'm not too particular on which wax/polish I use. I've run the gamut from Turtle Wax to Zano. I used a random orbital and elbow grease depending on how tired I was. Step 4 on each day was when I would start drinking beer.
One thing, you really notice the difference in your car each year. The Pilot was basically mint when I bought it used(no kids) 40000 miles after 4 years. Little dents and marks all over it now.


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My next vehicle I'm going to pay the initial and have a PPF or ceramic/graphene coating done right away. In an ideal world I polish yearly but if I'm honest the Traverse hasn't been polished in the 4 years I've owned it and the Pilot got polished maybe twice in 5 years since it's black. I was used Megs Ultimate Compound now I'm using the a similar Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions product. Dual action with the light cut pads. So my process is relatively light on the paint and not really designed to remove much more than light swirl marks. But I am finding with the high quality sealants I've been using the finish just seems to hold up better for longer and the swirls aren't returning as fast.
I've been using the Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic. I use the Porter Cable DA to apply with an orange foam pad. I just did my son's car with him yesterday. I haven't done real polishing/paint correction in a long time unless there are some that really stand out. The layers of polymer products definitely help. I'm using some Adams Graphene spray as a coat in between. Just not enough time and energy to really put into it. That and the constant abuse of roads and parking lots. I try not sweat the petty things or pet the sweaty things now. My Accord has a bunch of little dings by quarter panel from a car door in a garage from previous owner. I see them, nobody else really does unless I point them out.

I do try to give all the cars a quick clay mitt and a fresh coat of wax before winter. Helps the snow/ice come off easier and protect.

Yesterday on my son's car we did the windows with Ceriglass and glass polish pad. His windows were bad with water stains from sprinklers etc. Huge difference and not hard with the DA. Also rounded off many of the chips on his windshield. They are still there but a lot less glare. 2010 Forte with 168K. Unless it gets a lot worse it won't get changed unless it cracks. I'll polish a couple more times if needed.

One of my favorite coatings was Ultima Paint Guard Plus, wipe on and walk away but no cleaning/polish. I ran out and haven't bought new because I have so many other waxes/cleaners/coatings. Some I have not even tried yet like the CarPro Hydro 2. Squirt bottle on, high pressure stream from hose to activate.

When I was a kid and we had drought conditions in the area my dad would make me help him wash cars in the rain.
I've done that with the kids, they thought it was kind of funny. Also went swimming when it was hot and raining. "dad it's raining" "are you afraid you will get wet?"
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The other unexpected innovation I swear by now is one of those synthetic chamois cloths to remove the bulk water. Works great, and prevents water spotting.
It might add some small stuff but I never noticed them. I use a California Water Blade followed by a microfiber for the missed/corners. The "T" grabs that water on a nice silicone blade and just gets 95%+ right off. Started using that back in mid '90's. I went to car auction on rainy day, 2 guys at entrance of each bay 15 seconds cars were almost dry so could be shown better at auction (and keep water in building down). I asked what it was and where to get it. I have 2-3 versions now and keep one in each car trunk. Works well for the glass also on those dewy mornings. My favorite is still the original one with harder thicker handle. Looks just like the WeatherTech Water Blade but purple. Mine is seriously over 20 years old.

We used them at the Boy Scout car washes also. Cut down big time on the drying towels and efficiency.

I like the microfibers to follow up because I use them to wipe down door jambs etc after. Then I can toss them in the wash. Once they don't get too clean they get demoted other car work duty like rim wipe downs and then other dirty tasks then trash.

I also use a grit guard in my bucket but for the most part only use one bucket. I always do the wheels with a separate bucket and sponge and do them first. Advice way back so you don't get the dried water spots on the car while focusing on the rims.

These days I also have no issues going to the car wash to get a quick cleanup for $7 exterior only. They also have a $17 monthly exterior only and you can go everyday. I also have no issue with the big car wash brush for quick clean. I use that here sometimes and at the firehouse. Time, energy and family priorities.
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This is the Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic on 2 of my cars. The Kia is 12 years old and has 168k on it, lots of dings and other imperfections but from a short distance (y). Accord is 5 years old and 83k. I did not do any paint correction on these just a good wash and clay mitt followed by the wax applied with PC7424. Both cars are nice and slick. Accord just came back from a 3 day, 400 mile round trip 5 minutes before the picture. Works for me. Pilot will get done the same way hopefully soon. I opted to do reverse lights the other day and today go to range with my son for some "group therapy" or "grouping therapy" :ROFLMAO: .It was quite busy there.
Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Car Vehicle

Automotive parking light Tire Wheel Car Vehicle
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Elantra limited wheels on the Accord.
Transplants from the Sonata. I always liked them with the 7 spoke and flat face first time I saw them on an Elantra. Local guy was selling cheap ($150 for all 4 with tires even though a bit too small) as he upgraded from 17" to 20". Sonata had 16" steel with hubcaps that became the winter rims. I found some Tiburon rims for $100 for all 4 that became my 3 season. Sold those a couple years later with tires for like $300. Replaced with the Elantra rims. First winter the Accord even got the Hyundai steel with hubcaps since the snows still had a lot of tread left. Accord now gets the factory 16" for winter.
Automotive parking light Car Automotive side marker light Wheel Vehicle

Car Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Ice racing

Pics of the 16" Tiburon rims in here (and my crappy photoshop for the Elantra's)

What looks like Accord wheels on the Forte.
16" Kia Forte alloy wheels from a higher trim level. They are very similar to the 15" with hubcaps, 1/2" wider and different offset but factory. Honda wheels won't fit without adaptors Honda is 64.1" center bore, Hyundai is 67.1" (Nissan has 66.1"). The factory 15" with hubcaps are now winter with VikingContact 7. These are the 15" caps.
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Plant

Ridgeline wheels on the Pilot. You are really quizzing my useless knowledge right now!
Not useless, passion for what you like, many worse habits out there. Could not pass up the price deal to get factory alloys, $400 for all 4 with the factory sensors. The factory EX-L ones already had snows mounted on them from like 2 weeks old and 500 miles on that I did not want to remove knowing I would be getting spare rims anyway.

Also, our Sonata has yellow fogs in the same bumper opening location. Headlights were not great, the yellow fogs really help a lot (they are the Rigid DOT approved fogs aimed properly).
You, who recommended good LED's to me and I put in my daughters CRV, and you suffer with poor lighting yourself :cry: ???? My Sonata had the HID plug and play kit for most of it's life. They were awesome. I'm sure the new LED's would be great for you and huge improvement. I also had Hella DE with H3 HID's in the factory spots. I had to make some odd brackets but they were awesome. Best fogs I ever had. They might still make their way into the Accord though I like many of the new LED's. The Diode Dynamics options work very well, They also show the comparison between them, Rigid, Baja Designs, Morimoto. Forte has the DD SS3, CRV has the Morimoto, the DD definitely puts out more light. The Rigid are good also, the DD go a bit wider. They have a new "elite" that looks like factory lights that is supposed to be better still.

Rims- Sequoia had 17" limited double spoke wheels, $200 got me 16" Tundra swept star for winter (and 14 years until traded in). CRV has same size/style 17" factory rims for summer and winter, local sale from forum for $150 for all 4 in perfect shape. The only one that didn't really change was my old Corolla. It had 4 spare steel for winter so used the same hubcaps. Even they got changed after it got wrecked. Paramedic at firehouse had Corolla with bald tires on the silver painted. I swapped with him as mine was getting junked anyway. Tires still had 7/32" at the time. Old Explorer had spare rims for winter from a different year Explorer. It's $200+ per season to swap tires on rims or buy the rims once and change in my driveway while checking brakes etc. Definitely pays in long run for me.
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And just because- The Ridgeline are 265-60-18, factory is 245-60-18. Angle or whatever the factory looks like larger rims in this picture to me maybe because of the smaller tire? It was snow tire swap time.
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