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hey i just got my '02 steel gray m3 yesturday night! used with 9500 miles, no scratches or dents..What should i do first to keep it in great looking condition! What kind of products should i use? i live in the BAY AREA, OAKLAND! help me
 

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tony2k3 said:
hey i just got my '02 steel gray m3 yesturday night! used with 9500 miles, no scratches or dents..What should i do first to keep it in great looking condition! What kind of products should i use? i live in the BAY AREA, OAKLAND! help me
congrats, i have always used mothers in the past but every one here is going to tell you zaino i have yet to try it but it seams to work nicely
 

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tony2k3 said:
hey i just got my '02 steel gray m3 yesturday night! used with 9500 miles, no scratches or dents..What should i do first to keep it in great looking condition! What kind of products should i use? i live in the BAY AREA, OAKLAND! help me
Whatever you do don't go onto the Autopia forums. Uless you're a total car care FIEND you'll get completly confused like I do.

This is what I would use. Whether or not it's the ABSOLUTE BESTEST stuff you could possibly use I have no clue. BUt the stuff I use is pretty much the same as everyone else uses and a million E46 Fanatics can't be wrong, right?

For washing the car I use Zaino's car wash soap. You can get it at www.zainostore.com. I use Turtle Wax chenalle/chenille/chenelle/howeverthehellitisspelled sponges from Auto-Zone. It's a white sponge in a green cardboard package.

For drying head over to a Target, or Auto Zone or Peb-Boys and pick up something called The Absorber. It's a towel stuffed in a tennis ball style can. It works VERY WELL to dry your car. You can also try the California Water blade. It too works very well however you have to be careful when you use it as it will drag any bugs, pebbles, or whatever across your car when you use it. Also you can try the Mr. Clean Autodry and use it's spot free rinse feature for touchless drying. Don't bother using the included soap. It blows ass. They say not to use any other soap as it will cause the spot free rinse to not work as well. I think that's crap. I used my Zaino soap just today and the spot free rinse still worked wonders.

For waxing I used to use Zaino Brothers' products but I got sick of having to mix it into the little bottles. I just sold off my whole kit and I went out to pick up some Meguiar's NXT Tech wax and Spray Wax. It goes on easily and comes off easily. It's not a polish so it won't give you that super deep shine. It will however act as a protectant for your clear coat against bird stains and other crap.

For cleaning wheels I just use the wheel cleaner from BMW. It's in a white bottle. It works very well but it only cleans. It doesn't wax. I picked up the four pack of brushes from Meguiar's website. Two of them are for wheels. Also, I use my Dremel tool at a low setting with the brush attachment dipped in the wheel cleaner fluid to get out really stubborn specks of brake dust.

For tires I use Meguiar's tire dressing. Its easy to put on and keeps your tires black and shiny looking. I'm going to switch to something else when the bottle runs out as the shine doesn't seem to last very long. Maybe I'll try a different Meguiar's product.

For cleaning the engine bay up a bit I use Simple Green degreaser.

For cleaing windows I use Stoner's Invisible Glass which is also available at places like Auto Zone or Peb Boys. Use newspaper to clean your windows. Towels just leave behind lint.

For touch-up paint lots of people use the Autovisuals Auto Sharp Pen. Personally I hate the damn thing. I used it earlier today to touch up some chips on my trunk and every single time a big glob came pouring out. Now I have four dime sized blotches of touch up paint on my trunk lid making it look worse than it did before. I threw the pen out. It's a bit of an eye sore and to get it fixed it'll cost a **** ton. I'm not going to bother as I want to buy a new car next year anyway.

Heh, now that's just the exterior. Now comes the interior.

Meguiar's has something called Extra All Surface Cleaner in a purple bottle but I can't find it anymore. It worked very well in cleaning the inside carpets. Don't use it to clean your vinyl interior as it will leave behind white spots that are nearly impossible to get rid of. I have some spots I just cannot get out. I even tried clay baring it out. I also treat my vinyl and leatherette interior with Meguiar's Gold Class Dash and Trim Foam Protectant. It makes your interior kinda shiny and keeps it slick (it also covers up those damn white spots). Don't put any on your steering wheel or shift knob as it will make it slippery. If you have a black interior it will show very nicely.

You can use a normal house vacuum with thin attachments to vacuum out your car. Special vacuums come with special attachments to get into all sorts of places. You can also get a portable vacuum called the Shark Cordless Hand Vac. I got it for christmas and I hardly use it because it's battery has a very short life. I coulnd't even vacuum the whole car with it before it started dieing out.

Also I'll give you some tips for your garage. Whatever you do DO NOT leave anything leaning up against the walls. I used to have a ladder leaning up against a door in my garage. One day a gust of wind came by and opened up the door knocking over the ladder. Guess what was in the way of the ladder? Yeah, my car. I ended up with a shattered read window, a dent, several scratches on my quarter panels, and a trunk lid pretty much riddled with paint chips. I'm still finding glass chips in my car. I found a TON of glass chips under my seat when I installed my E46 Scroth harness.

In my garage there are some cabinets for storage that I park next to. After the ladder incident I went out and picked up some little screw hooks and eyes and attached them to the cabinet doors to make them lock in place.

OKay that's all I can think of for the moment.

Congrats on the M3!
 
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