Mirror Finish by Sierra Glow

Sierra Glow creates the “mirror finish.” To really bring out the shine and get the reflection necessary to create “mirror” is not an easy feat. You need three things: 1. great polishing compounds that don’t irritate the surface, 2. slowed down gear action, orbital polishers to massage paint surface, and 3. experienced craftsman. At Sierra Glow, whether in Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Guangzhou or Singapore…we create the “mirror finish” routinely

Warranty, Wow!

Sierra Glow just doesn’t mess around when it comes to your car.  We stand behind it.  We have spent hours making it beautiful, and if you are not happy with your baby, we aren’t happy either.  That is why we have this crazy, amazing, unbelievable warranty.  We call it “No Nonsense.”

If you aren’t happy with the shine or anything else …like you have some watermarks, bring the car back to us and we will take care of those watermarks.  Had an accident, and had a panel or two resprayed…bring it back and we will redo those resprayed panels.  Got some finger nail scratches or some black rubber streaks on the door…bring it back and we will redo those doors.  How much you ask?  It’s  free of charge!  Awesome!

This short video describes our warranty.  Take a look…

 

Car Coating Layer Myth Debunked

If you are applying car coating on top of your clear coat, what are the benefits?  Maybe we should look atthis issue: are layers the best way to protect your car.  Will it stop a key or even your fingernails…actually, NO!  So, why do layers?

 

Classics

Classics are classics.  Hard to describe what they are, but when we see a “classic” we all know.  Beautiful cars need car coating to protect their shine.  Wax is not a possibility as it slowly eats away at the polish and wax, leaving the car paint dull.  Sierra Glow knows how to restore a car’s finish, and with our SG6, we can preserve this shine for years and years to come.  Fantastic!

Frustrated: Malaysian Car Wash Blues

I am really agitated and frustrated.  Can’t find a decent car wash!  have two simple requests whebrush washn I wash my car.  These are not complex, actually they are just basic.

  1. Get the car really clean (no soap residue left).
  2. Don’t do any damage (no swirls or marks)

And I am not a fussy type, but I seldom get either.

Look at this photo…washing the roof with a brush…really?

I understand that we all can’t wash our cars ourselves.  Too busy, no place to do it are the two main reasons most of us don’t wash our cars ourselves.  I have written before here about how to wash your car.  But, if you don’t go read this, the main idea is to use two buckets, ph balanced soap (not dish soap or floor cleaner) and wash your cloth often to get rid of the residue and grime and grit that will collect in the micro fibre (don’t use sponges or towels).  After washing, really, really rinse off the soap, and wipe dry with clean cloth. Better to read the post highlighted above.

But we all don’t have the time or place.  So, we have to wash our car so we take it to a car wash.

If you want to punish yourself and your car…go here.mqdefault Slap, slap and another slap.  Don’t expect your car to be very clean or to not suffer.  Yeah, these places are fast and convenient, but run your hand on the paint surface after you wash…feel sticky?

images (31)

In America, we have these kind of do it yourself car washes.  They are not too bad, the soap is a little sticky, but you have a nice spray clean, and if you run it long enough 2 to 3 minutes it does a reasonable job clearing the soap residue. The problem with this car wash it is on a timer so for a good clean you need to soap for 5 minutes…then use cloth and 2 buckets to clean and wipe, then put money in again to wash and rinse off the soap.  So, you need to run it twice, more money.  But, you can do a good job.  Problem with this is that can’t find this in Malaysia.

If you wash here in Malaysia, we use labour.  What is the training or the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) at these places.  Unfortunately, it the SOP is FAST.  So no real cleaning of the cloth.  A lot of suds…even the famous SNOW WASH is everywhere…so soap isn’t a problem….but when they wipe, it is with a cloth (usually not microfibre) and they really rub fast without taking the time to clean the cloth.  What have I seen at the car washes I have gone (usually with regret and only once)?

  1. only one washing cloth and never rinsing/cleaning it
  2. no rinsing car thoroughly before starting wash.images (32)
  3. washing from bottom to top or middle, top, then bottom (yikes, please, top to bottom only)
  4. rinsing soap off with water, then sun dry (soap residue will dry on paint as well)
  5. no microfibre,  towels or a sponge
  6. never using their hands to judge their work

this list goes on and on.

You sclean-car-windoweldom see this…a clean microfibre cloth.

 

SonusSwirl

 

And after washing, before you drive away, take a real good look.  If you have the experience I have, you will probably see something like this.  Now, please hold on, this is for illustration, it is never this bad, but faint swirls can be seen.  Next wash, a few more, and so on until the end of the year, you might have something like THIS.

I ask all readers of this…if you have found a great car wash, that does it right, can you please let us know.  I will investigate and if your recommendation is correct, I can drive tons of business to this car wash…as so many of us are looking for a great wash.  Thanks in advance.

 

Malaysia Car Waxing: Magic Number is 6

ssixDon’t be a fool or a clown…Maybe your magic number is 4 or 5, but certainly 6 means your car paint/clear coat is finished.  That is, if you choose to wax.  This magic number applies to waxes you get outside, not your own.  For those doing it yourself, I am assuming that you are not buffing first.  So, although not recommended to wax at all, the home jobs are (with no buffing) are more acceptable and less damaging.

Most commercial waxes go through a three step process. First, they wash.  Then, the buff and third, they apply the wax.  Often the will buff the wax on as well.  Yuk!  6 times, your car paint/clear coat will be not just damaged, but you have opened the door to oxidation. How is this possible?

Buffing or Polishing you car with high speed buffers (that’s how you get the shine) will take off a minuscule layer of the clear coat each time.  The buffing will also creIMG_0059ate hairline, microscopic cuts into the clear coat.   After just 3 waxes with this method, you can start the see the damage and your car will only shine with wax.  When after 2 month, the wax is gone, your car simply will not shine.  After 6 such treatments (maybe earlier), your clear coat has been severely damaged and most of it will be gone.  Now your paint is exposed to the elements of Asian weather: acidic rain, pollution and intense UV light.  With no protection,  the paint will start to oxidize and oxidation is the beginning of the end.

Many car owners are not aware of the importance of the “clear coat.”  This is a thin layer that almost all car manufacturers apply to the already dipped car.

Towards the end of this video, you can see the clear coat being applied after the dip.  This clear coat is incredibly important to make your car shine and to protect your car paint from all the environmental elements that will be thrown at it over its lifetime.  Without the clear coat, your paint not only is exposed but will be ruined quickly.

You can see this for yourself by looking at most trucks and vans.  Many of these vehicles don’t have a clear coat, so you can see the lack of shine and the damage.  Vans generally will be painted every year or two and the manufacturers know that names, logos, phone numbers are going on, so easier to apply these directly on the paint.  Check out a van and you will see the dull.  This is oxidation.

FYI: The next blog is about oxidation.

Back to the clear coat.  This coat needs to be protected at all costs for losing it brings damage.  That is why we are always harping on this issue, don’t wax, don’t polish.  Use car coating as this is a thin chemical layer that PROTECTS THE CLEAR COAT!  Protecting the clear coat means protecting your investment and protecting you shine.  Our car coating is simply the best as it is a one layer coating that adheres definitively to the clear coat and will remain for 5 years. The only maintenance required is to wash your car, and after each wash, your car will shine and shine.  And, the real beauty of our car coating, you WILL NEVER HAVE TO WAX AGAIN.

So, you will save your investment, save your time, never hurt your clear coat and when you sell the car, you will get a better return.  Join the Sierra Glow Revolution!

Car Coating Battle Royale

There icar race 1s a lot of buzz in the car coating industry about multi-layer coating.  Some companies are going all in on this concept that you can improve your car paint protection with not just multi-layers but the coatings extra hardness properties.  You can even select the hardness and the number of layers you want.


At Sierra Glow we don’t promote this way, and we are not a big believer in the multi-multi-multi layer approach to protecting your car paint. Below the Red Peugeot was coated (one time) by Sierra Glow 5 years ago.  Take a look, 5 years down the road, looks better than showroom condition.

My mother taught me (i can never live up to her teachings) that if you can’t say anything good about someone, don’t say anything at all.  So, at Sierra Glow we don’t criticize others.  But, we will talk til the “cows come home” about WHAT WE DO DO!!!

We use one  layer coating.  Our current coating is SG5 and the 5 stands for 5th generation.  Yes, we have been around for awhile.  As the market leader we are always working on our formula to tweak it to make it more suitable to the Asian environment.  As our chemists, Mr. Sato, is the inventor of the car coating material, we are always on the forefront of the latest and best technology.  Our customers don’t have to wait for our new formulas.  For example, our Blue Flame Treatment program is a huge success, and a larger and larger percentage of our customers are now choosing  Blue Flame.  Blue Flame is gathering more and more interest worldwide, and we were the first in Malaysia to use it.  Thank you, Mr. Sato.

Also, we don’t spray the coating on the car.  This is by design as we could spray it on.  But, we want to make sure the coating is smoothly and evenly applied on every inch of your car.  We know we do this as we can see our coating go on.  We also know it is evenly applied, and we avoid the typical problems of a spray.  By coating by hand (sponge) we know our coating is going on evenly and with enough protection.  We don’t want the coating to be too thick, as it would be a waste of money and would form a visible grayish layer of unnecessary coating.  If too much or too thick, your shine can be less radiant. Our coatings are uniform at 5 micron thick…this is very thin, as thick coating does not provide any additional protecting.  Some might think that if i put on one 5 h and one 9 h, I will now have 14 h on my car.  Sorry, it doesn’t work that way

Remember, .Car coating will not stop a bullet, a juvenile delinquent with a key, a stone flying off a cement truck or even watermarks or bird poo (if left too long on your car).  No amount of thickness will prevent that.

Sierra Glow was the first to offer 5 year guarantee in the Malaysian market.  Many thought we were crazy to do this.  But now that we are over 7 years old, it has proven thousands of time to be a great decision.  Cars are not coming in after a Sierra Glow treatment and asking for refunds, more than likely, then return with a new car or a wife’s car requesting Blue Flame.  We couldn’t be happier, and we know our customers are happy too.

In earlier posting i have written extensively about the 5 H, 7 H and 9 H.  A pencil hardness classification hardly helps understanding and a 9 H while good is no defense against a flying stone on an Asian highway.

(Mom, if you are reading this, please note, I didn’t follow your teaching to the letter, but I tried, really tried to talk about what we do and not about our competition.  I hope you are pleased).  No point running down the competition or creating a battle royale, just say what you do and why you do it.  Enough said.  Thanks

 

 

 

Waxing is so yesterday…

Basic logic and rational thinking are not always easy especially when history, culture or outhouse1habits are involved.  More importantly, many stay in the dark because they simply don’t know.  When cars replaced horse drawn carriages, there were many who rejected the car.  Too noisy and dangerous when compared to the known safety of the horse.  Many of these people didn’t jump on the “car bandwagon” for many, many years even after Henry Ford began mass production.

When electricity was invented and the light bulb started lighting homes, there were many who simply rejected this invention.  They preferred the candle light.  When home furnaces replaced pot belly stoves for heating a home, many said no.  And even when indoor plumbing came replacing the well and the outdoor toilet, believe me, many were not quick to accept.

The notion candlelight one would reject these 19 and 20 century developments seem absurd and outright silly today.  Who would want to go outside to use the toilet?  To make my point more modern, who would like to use a slide rule or an abacus when you have a calculator or a computer.

When it comes to you car, are you really still waxing?  Maybe more than 95%  or even more of all car owners still wax.  Is it because they don’t know about car coating?  or Is it that they are following in the history, culture and habits taught to them by their parents.  Car paint must be waxed, right?   Many believe: there is no alternative to wax…wax is it!!!

At Sierra Glow, we meet a lot of our first time customers who only recently learned or heard about car coating.  When they explored this, they discovered that Sierra Glow has a lot of favorable reviews and our prices seemed more reasonable.  But, they had only heard about Sierra Glow and car coating quite recently (within the year).  So, it is obvious to us that we have a lot of work to do to explain what car coating is and why you shouldn’t wax or polish.

Car Coating is cheaper, last longer (5 years), protects your car paint and clear coat and is environmentally friendly.

Expensive:Wax and polish can cost between RM 200 and 400 per wax.  I have atoilet money friend who confided in me that she recently paid RM 900 for a polish and wax.  Really? I still can’t believe that.  But wax only last 2 to 3 months…so you do the math.  5 years, one time fee compared to wax charges x 4 (per year) x 5 years.  Doesn’t make economic sense.Wax if you want to waste your money….

No Real Protection:  Wax really offers no real protection against water marks, UV rays and oxidation or bird poo.  It is wax not a protective, hard covering.  So, even though it shines, it will not protect your clear coat. Also, since most wax companies will IMG_0061“buff” your car before applying, there is actual damage to the sensitive and thin layer of clear coat each time a polish with machine polisher are used.  Be careful about wax companies using these polishers in the process of waxing your car…damage and swirls are often the result.  The photo shows swirls left on this blue car caused by waxing only 4 times!  These scratches or swirls let UV light attack the paint and this will result in oxidation.  Don’t wax.

Environment:  Wax companies play down the fact that their is oil within the wax compounds, and many of the compounds used in wax has negative impact on our environment.  Since we have to repeated wax to have a car maintain its shine, these compounds are entering our eco system.  Make sense to eliminate this…Don’t wax.

There are many reasons why car coating outshines (excuse the pun) waxing and polishing.  But, the proof is your own eyes.  Come to Sierra Glow or spend some time looking at our facebook pages or websites to see what we can do.  It is nothing short of amazing, but to us, it is an everyday event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Car Detailing: Identifying the problem

Car paint can have a lot of problems.  From water marks to swirls, from orange peel to blistering, there are literally hundreds of issues Sierra Glow faces in our car detailing business.  We see all kinds of car paint issues.  The most common blemishes are two: water marks and swirls.  This post will focus on swirls.

What are swirls?  These are marks made either by a rotary polisher, sponge, cloth when either washing or waxing your car.  If there is a small (even microscopic particle) on your cloth or sponge, it can be sharp and actual cut the clear cur.  If you have made a circular motion, you will leave a swirl.  If you are waxing or polishing your car, you often make circular motions to buff to to make the paint shine.  What happens when their is a gritty particle embedded in the cloth.

Most swirls are caused by polishing or waxing your car.  Yes, damage is happening at an incredible rate in car wash business in Malaysia.  The washers are not well trained, they don’t use two buckets to wash…they don’t understand the importance of washing from top to bottom.  They use dirty cloths.  I have even seen these car washers wash the wheels and then proceed to wash the hood of the car.  What a disaster!

I use to go to a car wash place at Hartamas in KL.  Wow, Don’t go there.  My car had so many swirls after just a few washings.

The key to dealing with swirls is the ability to identify them, to actually see them.  Seeing swirls is not easy, it is a learned skill.  A bright lift or sun is important for beginners.  With a bright light or the sun, you can move your head in angle that puts the sun or the light directly as a reflection on the paint.  By looking at the edge of this light, you can see the swirl.

If you have swirls, get rid of them as these are razor thin cuts promote oxidation and discolouration.  These cuts have opened your clear coat and your paint to COMPROMISE.  This means, the paint problem can grow and become increasingly serious.

If you would like to learn how to identify the swirls, to see them clearly, watch the video.

Sierra Glow does “Buff” Better

Great Car Coating is the  final outcome of the work at Sierra Glow.  But, before we get to call our car coat “Great” we have to buff the car paint to a mirror – finish shine.  Even a new car will not really have a mirror finish shine.  Often we find minor to major blemishes on new car paint.  Before Sierra Glow puts on the car coating, we must put on a shine that is blinding!

To do this is no easy task.  It has taken us a long time to perfect our work.  Our polishers are highly trained and the best in Penang.  But, they have some help.  Two important trade secrets are:

Sierra Glow only uses Gear Action Orbital Polishers by Compact Tools.  These polishers are far from ordinary.  They buff at a speed and in a motion that will not overheat the car paint.  This is important for two reasons.  One, if the car paint gets to hot, many problems can be the result…especially the burn and the wave.  These are permanent marks made into the paint.  Also we will not get the dreaded “halo” that many of the amateur car wax companies create for car owners.  These halos are awful.  Second, because the heat is low, we are able to work gently on the blemish while we do no damage to the clear coat.  Many car detailers rev up their rotary polisher and create halos, excess heat and wipe off the clear coat.  This is NOT the way to car detail.  At Sierra Glow we have the best in polishers.

Second, we have great compounds.  Actually we have 6 different compounds and we even sometimes blend two or three of our compounds to make a special formula.  Why six?  Paint comes in various hardness.  Yes, some paint like on the Proton are quite soft, so a abrasive polish would be terrible and give really bad results.  Other car paints like the BMW has a harder paint.  So, we match what we need to do with the type of paint we are dealing with…a use the correct polish.  And, of course, as we are almost finish and we want to really buff out the mirror finish, we have to use one of our finishing compounds.

That’s why I always say that polishing is an art and a science.  But, you need even more than that, you need “feel.”  It is really amazing how much our professionals use their hands and their sensitive fingers to measure the smoothness and the gloss.  They can feel when they have achieved success. Really.