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SH20 last won the day on February 11 2016

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  1. Bear in mind Nick that a clay bar or clay mitt/cloth will only lift contaminates off the surface of your lacquered top coat and do nothing for swirls, micro scratches etc. Clay bars are a must before any compounding of paint so you don't grind contaminates into the top coat.
  2. Like I said earlier on in the thread, a top coat, (self healing lacquer or not) or a ceramic coating will suffer from swirls, micro scratches, marring etc over time as sure as night follows day. How can it not?. Take a look at paint work in either bright sunlight or with a quality LED spotlight/torch that mimics sunlight and I guarantee you will see defects even on brand new cars. Even if you discount micro scratching caused by dragging microfibre towels across the surface you will see swirls caused by washing the car no matter how careful you are. So for those that advocate a pressure wash first to loosen the dirt followed by a PH neutral snow foam, then a wash and a clay bar routine, drying and then cutting the top coat with a Duel Action machine rather than a rotary to keep the heat down and using the appropriate pad with the appropriate compound you will achieve removal of swirls and scratches before you polish the top coat and refine the paint. Then you degrease all the panels you worked on. Then the application of a wax or sealant will complete the process. The wax or sealant will usually create great gloss and the ability to repel water/contaminates but it is only a barrier for what will inevitably follow as weeks turn into months. By definition a ceramic coating is not a lacquer and tends to put up a better fight against micro scratches, swirls etc. It will and does mark and my experience is that it can be corrected providing you approach defects knowing it is a ceramic coating. I have corrected my own car but the defects are no where near what a normal lacquer would show after 6 or 12 months. The myth that a coating will provide a bullet proof barrier and will not mark in any way has been exaggerated since their launch and all professional detailers who apply them know they have a service life that can be anything from 2 years to 6 or 7 years dependent on the price of the coating. Some Japanese coatings are seriously expensive. Someone who has their car coated might believe nothing will touch it for years and if that's what they believe that's fine but 1-2 years down the road that car will have defects. So a self healing top coat can still be clayed simply because it is a lacquer. Put your car away in your garage at night or wait till it's dark outside and use a LED torch and get close up and have a good look for the reflection of light from swirls and micro scratches. They'll be there for sure, more so if you have a dark painted car, less noticeable the lighter the paint colour. As a final point about ceramic coatings being corrected, after all these coatings are based on it being a chemical liquid glass, you only have to consider what exists for the polishing of glass e.g windscreens and glass headlamp lenses etc. that can be machined polished in stages to remove scratches so why not a coating?
  3. Although I have just used GTechniq Crystal Serum Light and use GTechniq C2v3 as a top up on solid black paint (Lexus ES300h) the most important tool in the box for me is a really good LED Inspection light used immediately before any final application is completed. You will never see ultra fine scratches after full preparation and correction no matter what branded products you use without an inspection lamp. I know nobody comes up to your car with an inspection light to forensically examine the paint and all cars detailed really well will look great especially at dusk when the sun is about to go down but applying very expensive wax or a ceramic coating and knowing you left some defects behind before you locked them in would drive me nuts. As one YouTube detailer once said , there is no such thing as a 100% paint correction and you should never ever try to pursue one as the only thing that will happen is that you will chase and chase yourself around the car till you eventually burn through. Always aim for perfection but be realistic. If you had seen my brand new black car back in August 2019 after the Lexus dealer "prepared my car" prior to collection you would have beaten those people about the head with a bat. I will allow the dealer to fit the number plates only next time after the PDI. I will take it away and remove all the white protective film etc myself.
  4. I first heard of self healing clear coats in the world of Bodyshop Insurance repairs some years ago when Mercedes made a big sales promotion about it. The reason why there never will be a car produced that can withstand normal everyday use without the inevitable swirls, light scratching, marring and holograms is because whether the top coat is considered a hard or soft lacquer it is a chemical mixture at the end of the day and man made. The thousands of products that promise to transform paintwork are merely temporary fixes including ceramic coatings which is technically liquid glass which, as we all know, can still suffer from self or accidental swirl marks and the like. You only have to watch YouTube to see two and three bucket wash experts, snow foaming, clay barring, machine polishing (Rotary and Duel Action) and every combination of polish and wax and yet car paintwork still requires maintenance to keep it looking good. Concours condition cars are exactly that, something that is little used and for show. Lexus cars have great quality paintwork in the main and the colour is a prime factor in minimising the signs of damage. My car has solid black paint out of choice and requires detailing properly every six months even with a GTechniq ceramic coating. If you touch paint you mark it, even a fingerprint will leave a greasy mark. Only when we get round to creating an invisible protective shield that forms around the car when you turn the key can we all enjoy perfect coachwork. Till then keep detailing.
  5. Hi Colin, the ES300h battery is in the boot on the right hand side under the dummy floor. Rather small compared to batteries in other cars I've owned. I guess if other ES owners confirm their battery also has top up plugs rather than a sealed unit it would suggest the ES is better served by a conventional flooded lead acid battery unless it's all about cost. Car manufacturers are well known for costing things down to the lowest possible price when dealing with thousands of individual parts that make up a car.
  6. Thanks Malcolm for the quick response and confirmation that my battery appears to be a flooded lead acid battery and that whilst commonly used in Hybrids Lexus may not always use them in every Hybrid.
  7. Hi Malcolm, may I ask if you can clarify what type of battery do you think I have in my ES300h, (Separate Post) . I am not convinced that Lexus customer relations were right when they said my ES has a AGM (Absorbent Glass Matt) type battery . All AGM battery videos on YouTube talking about AGM batteries show them to be sealed for life with a no spill design, no top up plugs and the letters AGM clearly showing. My battery has top up caps for the 6 cells and I can see the top of the electrolyte when I look down into the cells. This would suggest my 12 volt battery is a flooded lead acid battery and also has no markings whatsoever indicating it's AGM. This is relevant for this thread as my Ctek charger has an AGM option that can be selected but I opt not to select when I charge my 12 volt battery. I'm not saying Lexus don't fit AGM batteries but I'm not convinced my car has one. So if you can top up a battery is this because it must be a flooded lead acid type battery? Moreover, the battery has one clear window top up plug currently showing blue when you look down it. Blue means battery is OK. There is a little traffic light key on a sticker on the case and if the indicator cell turns clear the battery requires topping up , if it turns red it needs charging so if you need to top it up how can this be an AGM battery. I would have thought Lexus would clearly mark a battery as AGM if one was fitted. Any thoughts?
  8. My Ctek MSX 5.0 has charged my ES300h a few times in the last few weeks and there have been no issues regarding auxiliary electrics while driving to the supermarket once a week. As BoutTime says Ctek chargers are smart and monitor what the battery's state is before deciding what it needs to do to get the battery fully charged. The old type chargers could easily fry a battery if just left on charge constantly whereas once a Ctek charged battery has reached full charge the machine knows not to keep charging and lights up the green fully charged LED, number 7 on the display. Moreover Lexus UK customer relations replied to me when I asked about using smart chargers on Hybrids and they said it was ok to used trickle chargers while cars are spending more time sitting around and not being used so much. They even sent out an email to registered Lexus owners advising the method to make sure your car's electrics are ready to go by saying turn on the car with the green ready light lit and the hybrid battery will top up your 12 volt battery. The engine may fire up but this is ok and it will cut in and out while charging the 12 volt battery. The only issue is the car needs to be in the ready mode for around 60 mins. I would rather use my Ctek just to save time and not have the engine cutting in and out.
  9. As stated many times buy a Ctek MXS 5.0. Ctek make the best battery conditioners bar none. The 5.0 refers to 5 amps, you can buy 7.0, 10.0 amp versions but all will do what you want. Ctek has now produced a traffic light dongle which connects via cables with eyelets and gives an instant indication of battery condition. the 3 led lights flash separately dependent on actual battery strength, so green flash = OK, amber = get ready for a charge soon and red = needs charging. Bought for £12 on E Bay and is a genuine Ctek accessory.
  10. Of all the cars I ever owned my 2015 LS460 SE L gave me the most pleasure when I would show off the engine bay and surprise onlookers as to how neat and tidy Lexus made the engine bay area. I am freakish about clean engine bays and when I first encountered the under bonnet look of the LS I was so pleased. Talk about 2 minutes with a quick detailing spray and the job was done. I now have a new ES300h and there is no comparison of course, so much exposed pipework where dirt gathers, it takes me an age to clean. I really miss the LS but things move on and I think the ES hybrid is so good. I never did have the courage to consider the LS600h only because my knowledge of hybrids was zero back in 2015 when I was looking for a LS.
  11. Your F Sport looks really good in blue Dave, very smart. Yes I agree the wheels on Lexus cars clean very easily.
  12. I accept black paint will always give the most reflection compared to other colours like white but the ceramic coating does give the deepest reflection as per the photo.
  13. Very smart Ed, I thought about Mesa Red last year but I have this thing about black paint and tan coloured interiors so opted for that instead. If Lexus had offered a similar version of British Racing Green it would have been green and tan but the green Lexus offered in 2019 was not something that ticked that box so black and tan it was. Black paint can look like a black mirror if correctly looked after and Red also has that deep reflective quality that we all like. Nice wheel contrast too. Can't work out what interior you have.
  14. Will do Jeff, I've just ordered a cordless hand held blower with a nozzle air speed of 150mph to initially blow the bulk of the rinse water off the car after future washes. Going forward I want to minimise contact with the paint and revert to minimum hand drying with high quality drying towels. This will keep swirls and micro scratches to a minimum I hope.
  15. Yes Ed, forgot to mention the Gtechniq C2 which is great for follow up quick detailing which effectively buffs the ceramic coating. If you dilute it also, 1 part C2 to 20 parts water and spray it onto the car's surface or on your micro fibre drying towel/cloth when the car is still wet after a wash it lubricates the panel as you remove the surface water. The towel picks up the water but the C2 makes the cloth glide over the wet surface to minimise drag. I had a LS460 in 2015 in Siena Red so your Mesa Red NX must look great with a ceramic coating.