John, Supaguard is a paintwork film treatment that is applied to the clearcoat. It's applied wet and needs a very, very clean car before it is applied. It provides a layer of protection on top of the clearcoat that is resistent to dirt and other contaminants. It's also got UV filters to stop paint fading. The other benefit is that it makes the paintwork slightly more resistant to stonechips.
In theory it makes your car easier to wash as less dirt clings to it. It's great if you want a car that is easy to maintain in terms of keeping it clean and fairly shiny. But I'm not a fan of paint films as you can't really put wax or polish on them. I prefer to detail my cars using more traditional methods: wash-clay-cleanse-wax as I believe this results in a much deeper shine. Decent waxes (i.e. ones that contain a fair amount of carnauba wax) also make the paintwork more resistant to stonechips.
Had my SLK 230K superguarded but found that the car needed to be polished to get that nice shine, the SLK350 was not superguarded and looked better 3 years down the line, complete waste of time and money.
I have no experience of supaguard, but as an alternative method of detailing, I use Meguiars detailing clay on my BMW (I am close to ordering an XF). The clay removes contaminants and the paintwork, when felt with the fingers is far smoother than can be achieved using even the best polish. The car is then polished in the usual way, the theory being that the sooth surface achieved remains clean for longer. It appears to work well and the results are impressive. I understand that Meguiars is used by people who show their cars. It is stocked by some motor factors.
I have a feeling that if I buy an XF, itmay not be such a chore regularly polishing it to retain its looks.
You can get the Meguiar's Smooth Surface Clay Kit from your local Halford's (assuming you're in the UK). It's a great starter kit for claying your car. You really ought to cleanse the paintwork after claying with a good cleaner AND wax it at the end. Claying your car will strip off anything on top of the laquer coat.
One other thing: you need to wash the very thoroughly before claying it and use plenty of lubricant whilst claying it. A tiny speck of grit in the clay will ruin your paintwork so learn the basics from forums around the Internet before you begin!
You would normally clay your car just once or twice a year. The resulting finish should be better than when you collected it from the showroom but remember that you'll need other bits and pieces as claying is just one process in detailing your car.
My detailing routing in the following thread may help whet your appetite and give you an idea of the the bits you'll need to do around the claying and some recommended products that I have used personally over the years:
Thank you very much.
I read your earlier post and then called in to Halfords and bought some shampoo and polish, both by Meguilars, but did not see the detailer kit. However since reading your last post and following the link back to Halfords, thank you, I have ordered it for collection. I will do as you say regarding the preparation and look forward to seeing a difference.
Many thanks again,
I was very nervous about claying my previous car (a Porsche Cayman S) and did a lot of research on Detailing World before I took the plunge. But i'm glad I spent several weeks researching the subject as the results were truly incredible.
The bodywork had a glass-like finish and after the paintwork had been cleansed and coated with two coats of P21S Carnauba Wax, the car was in better condition than when I collected it from the showroom. It also stayed cleaner for longer and was easier to wash.
I can already tell that my XF badly needs to be clayed as the paintwork is not as smooth as it should be. The net result of this is that it gets dirty very quickly in the wet weather we've had recently. Dirt clings to rough paintwork very easily.
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