Thursday, December 31, 2009

thinking aloud

have been a while since i posted anything here, been somewhat busy after clearing my leave.

i just read a facebook update that my buddy alerted me. Felt rather angry upon reading it. I must say it's her right to post whatever she likes, so i'll keep my comments right here.

even if there was no good ending from a previous chapter with my friend, i would rather she kept her mouth shut and not risk hurting the feelings of her ex. Does making that comment online on her facebook make her a superior mortal cum lover than before? I guess it does.

on the same note, i hope the guy who dumped another friend of mine can be kinder on his words. Not going to mention names here...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

some lessons to learn from car grooming...

shall compile some important lessons gained from own muscle grease...

1. change of microfibre cloth occasionally. How to know it's time to change? Compare a MF cloth brand new hanging on the shelf in Autobacs or Homefix, and yours. If the cloth is coarse and has lots of large particles stuck in between, better not risk creating swirl or scratch marks on the paintwork.

This also explains why you shouldn't use tissue to wipe off dirt...

of course, i always advocate not using sponge, especially used ones, on the paintwork. It's a big no-no.

2. rinse before shampoo. Some of us do it to our skin, hair, etc - same principle; get rid of the dirt before using soap. For cars, it prevents dirt from clogging up the microfibre cloth, making it more lasting.

There is a difference between 1st and 2nd/3rd bottle. The first strips wax.

3. claybar, polish, seal, wax. My major cleanup every 2-3 months involves all 4, or skip polishing in between. An excellent article by Meguiars is here.

my claybar: soft99 077 metallic ($19)
my polish: Autoglym Super Resin Polish, red label ($30)
my sealant: Autoglym Enhanced Gloss Protection, yellow label ($25)
my wax: Meguiars Ultimate Quik Wax ($19)
my cloth: Mr Clean Wax on/off cloth, pack of 3 ($3/pack)

The tools

most of these items, except the soft99 claybar, can be bought from Autobacs, Homefix or NTUC AMK. Costs about $100, which is about the cost of a single session of grooming by professionals. But this $100 can last you a year at least!

now to the technical side:

the claybar removes all the odd large particles that got stuck over time. Some say it also removes the sealant, and a non-waxing shampoo will remove previously coated wax. I believe in the latter but not really the former... but still use the claybar.

heard that polishing actually removes a layer of the clear coat, so i only do it when necessary. Such as paintwork getting dull, some stubborn spots like the ones caused by tyre gel.

a good sealant is self explanatory, it protects the raw layer of paint after polishing. So far, i'm finishing my bottle Autoglym gloss protection sealant, and will be moving on to Meguiars #21 Synthetic Sealant 2.0 next year.

to top all the hard work off, wax is required. In fact for lazy people, you can skip everything above BUT not wax. Singapore's weather is hot and wet and there are bird waste and tree sap, which will cause big problems with the paintwork if there's no wax to take the first blow from these elements.

there are various forms of wax available, from paste wax (longest lasting) to liquid wax (less lasting) to spray wax (least lasting). I converted from liquid to spray recently, because it's just too tiring after the polishing and sealing rounds. Although it wears off easily, i can easily respray on a weekly basis. It's so simple that i go around recommending friends to use them.

4. quick detailer. I'm still trying out this product. It claims itself as the missing link between washing and waxing.

5. foam vs silicon/gel tyre shine. I have not tried any foam based shine yet, only Meguiars Insane Tyre Shine (petroleum based) and Endurance Tyre Gel (silicon based). I prefer the petroleum based, because it didn't blacken my fender area. And the blackened parts can only be polished off. Beware...

other kinds of solutions i use

1st ICT - 7 to 9 dec

my buddies have already completed 3 high keys and this is only my 1st low key, not even high key! SIAN!

anyway this ICT was meant for IHL peeps, so i met all the nice people that are studying in NTU, NUS. A small number of us are finished with studies, so we'll join the gang for a major exercise in 2011.

over the 3 days our DyS3 briefed us on the training programme and some expected events for next year and year after. In 2010 the division will be occupied with SYOG, so no military callups except for range in Sept. There's also mob manning in Mar/Apr, which they claim high possibility of activation. In 2011 there will be a major exercise.

other stuff, there was ippt and healthy lifestyle run. Plus a CO conference where we got to interact with all the key appointment holders. But my company's OC and CSM went off early... so never got to talk to them personally about my appointment. Hopefully there are no hiccups with it...

Saturday, December 5, 2009


just done a 5 hour marathon on the car, the usual polishing, sealing, waxing and quick detailing. The bottle of Autoglym sealant is almost used up, time for a new one. And also the dashboard protectant and a set of microfibre cloths...

Shine #1

Shine #2

Organised mess

Side indicator

Sometimes when one is too itchy handed... it's not so good - broken clip

Direction indicator - big bulb!

My colleague should put his 9288 beside this...