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You fellows gave me some advice about the clay bar method and I purchased McQuiar's kit which has the clay, a spray bottle of detailer, some cleaner wax and their microfiber rag. since it was a cool day, about 2 weeks ago, I washed the Monte and proceeded to try my hand at giving her a knockout shine. The car, although a 2004, has only 8500 miles and I keep it meticulous.
I started with the hood and don't know if this is correct but when I started rubbing the bar on the hood (after kneading it and misting the hood with the detailer as spec'd in the instructions), I was leaving long white streaks of clay all over. So, I added more mist but immediately realized that all I was doing then was sliding the clay over the liquid and really not gaining anything. So, I stopped after several tries and completed the job with my regular polish.
What I think should be happening is some initial resistance during which any contaminants are being lifted off the surface but this should decrease as the rubbing continued. Was I too impatient? No confidence? There is nothing more disturbing than having streaks all over the hood (which was easily removed with a terry towel).
 

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Try a side first. The spray should act as a lubricant between the metal and the clay. The clay should slide easily and leave no marks. At first you will hear a kinda gritty slide as the clay picks up the junk. You know when the section is clean when there is no "noise". I hope this helps, but you'll know if you're doing it correctly and if you're not. It really isn't that hard to do though.
 

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Try a side first. The spray should act as a lubricant between the metal and the clay. The clay should slide easily and leave no marks. At first you will hear a kinda gritty slide as the clay picks up the junk. You know when the section is clean when there is no "noise". I hope this helps, but you'll know if you're doing it correctly and if you're not. It really isn't that hard to do though.
Righty-o. There is supposed to be little if any resistance when doing it, but if it's quiet (I usually work with the radio blaring) you can her a slight sound while it's picking up contaminents. You were oding it right when you were lubricting with the spray. Have at it again :yup:
 

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You should not "feel" too much resistance while claying, nor should you need to apply much pressure to the surface. The bar needs to be kneaded to soften it up a little first. Then flatten it out. Mist the panel generously. Also mist the clay bar and the palm of your had to prevent sticking and streaking. Make short, back and forth passes, kneading the bar as it picks up contaminants and keeping the paint moist. When you can no longer find a clean surface on the clay, it's time to toss it for a new bar. A good idea to make the clay last longer is to only use 1/2 0r 1/4 bar at a time. That way when it gets dirty, or you drop it on the ground (and you will), just toss it and start fresh.

As far as polishing, I recommend junking the terry towels and getting some good quality microfiber. Terry is really too rough on the paint and over time can cause severe swirl marks, and can trap grit in the fibers that scratch the surface. Microfiber is much safer, lasts longer and doesn't leave lint behind. You can usually find 25-packs at Sams/Costco for around $10-$12.
 
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