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Streaking & Spotting With Panel Wipe When I Was Preparing To Put On Ceramic Coating.

10 December 2006
Streaking & Spotting With Panel Wipe When I Was Preparing To Put On Ceramic Coating.

So I did a lot of reading & ended up buying Gtechniq CSL & EXOv4 to apply to my car.
At my best friends body shop, I did the following based on my research:
1. Washed car
2. Iron remover
3. Wash car again
4. Clay Bar
5. Polish car
6. When I applied Gtechniq panel wipe, on the on the car I was getting streaking, & what looked like dried water spots. Did we do something wrong? Temperature was about 10 celcius. Was it because I sprayed the panel wipe directly on to the car? We tried spraying the panel wipe on the towel & I think it was the same issue. We then tried using his usual pre primer/paint spray cleaner. It seemed to go away but I backed out of putting on the coating.
7. In the end we decided to try (for fun) what he had lying around Chemical Guys Hydro Slick.

I would like to try again at applying the coating this week.
What steps do we take from here? Do I need to remove the Chemicals Guys stuff & re polish the car or compound the car (car was re painted last year but we were both so busy, I didn't get around to applying the ceramic coating. Car wasn't driven much at all)
Panel wipe should leave no residue or streaking (on its own) and should evaporate quickly from the surface. What wax & grease removers like that can do is reveal surface imperfections in the paint that you didn't previously see, especially if you're not working in direct light during cleaning & polishing. If you kept wiping and removed the streaking then it was leftover polishing liquid that you removed.

Do you have any pictures to post of the issue? If you do actually have water spotting after polishing, then the paint's clear coat was etched by the materials carried in the water when it dried out and you need a more aggressive polishing to remove, or your initial polishing wasn't aggressive enough and left contaminants on the paint. Water spotting is so hard to remove because it carries dissolved minerals like calcium that don't come off with any normal soap or even claying. There are acid-based water spot removers available (or vinegar mixtures) that can dissolve the minerals. If I'm polishing a car with bad water spots, I would normally use a product like that before polishing as part of the decontamination process (like the iron remover).

Since you used another protectant (Hydro Slick) before the ceramic coating, it needs to be completely stripped off before the ceramic application, the paint needs to be bare which is why you'd usually put it on directly after polishing. You should be able to accomplish that with panel wipe/wax & grease remover, but make sure you've removed the wax completely by seeing if water no longer beads on the paint surface.

10°C/50°F is a bit on the cold side but should still work according to Gtechniq, you might have to wait a bit longer before wiping it back off to make sure the coating flashes enough to wipe without streaking it.
I line up with BMcH on this. When you polished the car, what did you use as the polish? If you have severe water spotting you need a high cut compound. Where I live they use a lot of crushed rock on paths and drives and if the fines from the crushed rock land on your car and it rains and then dries you will have mineral deposits like crazy. A highly waxed finish makes it worse because the water beads like crazy leading to concentration of the minerals at the edge of the bead which leaves a heavy deposit once the bead of water finally evaporates.

I have tried paper towel soaked in full strength cleaning vinegar (10% acetic acid) spread out on the deposits in order to keep the solution in place for an extended period of time. Didn't touch the water spots. Clay bar did absolutely nothing to the water spots. I have been advised that the only effective cleaning solution for severe water spotting is acid based wheel cleaning solution, typically diluted 50% with distilled water. I haven't been willing to give that a try. My fix is Mequiar's M105 Ultra Cut compound and a DA buffer. I have tried the M205 polishing compound; but, it will not completely eliminate the water spotting.
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