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Swirl marks

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Old 05-11-17, 02:25 AM   #1
rdfish1
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Default Swirl marks

What causes swirl marks and is it only on black and dark colors? Buying used, seems like I need to be careful to inspect the paint but will swirl marks be a given and should I worry about it?
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Old 05-11-17, 03:15 AM   #2
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They can be easily addressed. All cars gets swirl marks some you see more than others and the cause is washing, hand or machine it makes no difference. Sometimes you can haggle a price down a bit pointing out the lousy detailing the dealership did. If you want to learn about detailing yourself there are a lot of great sites that will teach you the methods to make your car's finish look like new. If you don't you can pay a detailer once a or twice a year to clay bar, polish and seal the finish of your car. Many years ago I bought a dual action sander and learned how to polish out the swirls myself. It is sort of a hobby for me but the satisfaction of seeing a beautiful shine is reward enough for the work.
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Old 05-11-17, 05:29 AM   #3
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Swirls exists on all colors. It just happens to be more noticeable on darker colors like black (Lexus black especially!). You can have the swirls corrected by a detailer. I wouldn't worry too much about it unless there are other major defects like clearcoat failure and whatnot.
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Old 05-11-17, 06:15 AM   #4
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Too old, tired and miserable to own another black car. I have learned to live with my invisible (not) swirls on lighter shades. However when I see a black vehicle done right, it brings out a smile.
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Old 05-11-17, 07:22 AM   #5
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Swirl marks are a product of improper washing and drying. There are several factors that go into this including, but not limited to, improper/dirty wash media, improper/dirty drying towels, improper washing and drying technique.
How to Properly Wash & Dry A Car by Todd Cooperider
What Causes Swirl Marks? by Ivan Rajic

Swirl marks can be safely removed with proper paint correction work. This is something you can learn to DIY, or you can pay to have a professional take care of it.
How to Perform a 2 Step Paint Correction by Zach McGovern


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Old 05-15-17, 07:06 PM   #6
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Do you use the 2 bucket method? Also, mechanical car washes are an instant swirl party.
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Old 05-16-17, 11:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragingf80 View Post
Do you use the 2 bucket method? Also, mechanical car washes are an instant swirl party.
i've found that touchless washes aren't nearly as bad. i use them on occasion if my car is too dirty to use optimum no-rinse wash which i would use normally. take care not to use touchless washes too often because they use harsh chemicals to rid the car of dirt.

anyhow, that said, i don't have any swirl marks on my cars (nebula grey pearl and matador red mica).
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Old 05-16-17, 12:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davyjordi View Post
i've found that touchless washes aren't nearly as bad. i use them on occasion if my car is too dirty to use optimum no-rinse wash which i would use normally. take care not to use touchless washes too often because they use harsh chemicals to rid the car of dirt.

anyhow, that said, i don't have any swirl marks on my cars (nebula grey pearl and matador red mica).
How good is the touchless wash on matted on road film? Also depending on the chemicals/water they use, if you catch one on a bad day where the owner of the machine hasn't maintained it properly you can probably have some severe etching/damage to the paint?

Maybe Im just too cautious.
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Old 05-16-17, 06:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hovbuild View Post
All cars gets swirl marks.
Have to disagree on that statement. My 2013 IS-F has absolutely no swirl marks whatsoever. Mind you, the car has never seen a car wash, and has been hand washed with a microfiber wash mitt and a 5 gallon bucket with grit guard. I am the first owner of the car.

To the OP, the swirl marks are caused by improper washing techniques and materials, or worse, the car wash.

On black cars, they stick out like a sore thumb.

As far as removing them, a circular polisher, orange pad and Wolfgang swirl remover would work. There are other polishers that would work as well.

Keep in mind, the car has be properly washed, and clayed before attempting to remove the swirls. Clay bar will ensure the surface will be clean and smooth. You'd also have to work inside a garage and away from the sun, paint needs to be cool.

As others mentioned, if you don't want to try it yourself, hire a professional to do the job.

Once the swirls are removed, if proper hand washing methods are employed, no further swirls will occur.

And once again, stay away from those automated car washes.
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Old 05-19-17, 05:14 PM   #10
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The OP mentioned buying used? Be careful that most if not all used cars out there has GLAZED applied to temporary hide swirl marks. A real paint correction charged by a professional cost in the hundreds depending on condition of the paint and size of the vehicle. So its not financially smart for the car dealer to pay for a paint correction. Which is where glaze comes in, its quick cheap and dirty, it temporary fills in surface imperfections and slowly wears off with by a couple of washes.
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Old 05-19-17, 05:30 PM   #11
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You can minimize your swirls after you get a proper paint correction done. I have a repainted BLACK civic about 5 years now and it looks better then 99% of other black cars on the road as far as swirl marks is concerend. Washing your own car is the first step. I use the 2 bucket method with grit guards, quality wash mitt, airdry with a blower, pat dry residue water with a quality waffle weave towel. If my cars are just dust dirty, i sometimes use the waterless wash technique. I use lots of product and quality mf towels.

Dont use that crappy costco MF towels. I use towels from theragcompany.com(no affiliation) Their EDGELESS 16x16 MF towels are amazing. Best waffle weave drying towels ive used so far. I was a leather chamois guys for the longest time but a quality waffle weave towel imho is light years ahead of the classic leather chamois.
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Old 05-21-17, 05:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v13tnat View Post
Best waffle weave drying towels ive used so far. I was a leather chamois guys for the longest time but a quality waffle weave towel imho is light years ahead of the classic leather chamois.
You'll toss your waffle weaves back on the shelf after trying the Griot's Garage PFM Drying towels


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Product Review: Griotís Garage PFM Terry Weave Drying Towel by Chad Raskovich
Product Review: Griotís Garage PFM Microfiber Towels by Ian Howard
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