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Old 08-14-2008, 10:40 PM   #1
08blkastra
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2008 Astra XR
Default Gotta give the paint job some credit

Here in Maryland today, we had a short but intense rain/hail/thunder storm. And all in all, with the hail flying at my car in excess of 30+ miles an hour (assuming this only cause the rain and hail was at pretty much at a 90 degree angle to the ground), I only ended up with one minuscule scratch (less than 1/4 of an inch big) on the passenger side of the rear bumper. I'd say that was extremely good under the circumstances. It is small enough I should be able to buff it out with some good compound rather easily.

Chalk one up for being impressed (yet again) with this car.

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Old 08-14-2008, 11:10 PM   #2
bitz_dv
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Default Re: Gotta give the paint job some credit

Not on my silver xr5, its all scratched up and pitted on the front bumper from road debris.

...
I used to beat up cars, then I got a Saturn.
-Bitz

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Old 08-15-2008, 07:16 AM   #3
cschmidt1956
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Default Re: Gotta give the paint job some credit

Seems like the Silver cars are having a problem.

My Black Sapphire paint has held up well with no chips and seems to take bird droppings and such pretty well. I DO have 3 coats of good wax on the car already and will be doing a clay bar and wax this weekend.

The depth and thickness of the paint is very good on mine, and I am very pleased so far.

...
2010 Chevrolet Camaro LT2/RS V6
2008 Saturn Astra XR 3 Door - Sapphire Black (Gone but NOT forgotten!)
2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Brilliant Black Metallic
1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue GLS, Black

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Old 08-15-2008, 07:35 AM   #4
GM Sky Man
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Gotta give the paint job some credit

Chris,
I have to ask the stupid question - but does having multiple coats of wax help your paint finish? I was always told that the paint needs to breathe and the more wax you put on a vehicle, the more you are sealing the surface and not allowing the surface to breathe. Also, I have been told that waxing excessively can actually hurt your paint finish. That is why they only recommend doing a wax job on your car at most 2 times per year.

Can anyone shed more light on this topic? I am all for adding more protection to a car, but I have always been told at car shows and by professional detailers that adding more wax is a bad thing.

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Old 08-15-2008, 08:48 AM   #5
BNM449
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2008 Astra XE
2000 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: Gotta give the paint job some credit

I have a Black Sapphire '08 XE as well; one thing you have to know about paint is whether it's a multiple coat of one colour like in the old days, or whether it's a " basecoat-clearcoat" in which only a thin layer of colour is applied and then a heavy clearcoat is what you actually apply the wax or polish to.

I'm pretty sure the black Sapphire is a base/clearcoat type, so the legend and lore about the paint "breathing" probably does not apply.

The biggest problem with waxing is a build up of haze and white residue that gets in the crevices and stays there; also getting it on the plastic parts like the mirror housings is a problem.

I'm going to have mine "Diamond-Kote" -ed like my wife's 2000 SL; that finish still looks like new.

AND: Saturn sells a REALLY CHEAP and REALLY SEXY hood deflector made for the Astra; I only paid $70 for mine and the tech put it on for me -- it looks awesome and forget about any chipping of the leading edge of your hood!

So remember: any products you apply are going onto the CLEARCOAT; not the colour-paint itself; so select accordingly!

~N~

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Old 08-15-2008, 10:03 AM   #6
cschmidt1956
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Default Re: Gotta give the paint job some credit

GMSky,

Anytime you touch the surface of a Car you risk damaging the paint or at least the gloss on the finish.

I work in an area that routinely has smoke stacks that blow out whatever and also downwind from a major road reconstruction of the local Highway system. On a daily basis, I see fresh contamination on the top of my car. I sure can't wash it every day, and in some case can't even weekly.

This is a picture of my wife's Olds Intrigue:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...t/100_0529.jpg
This is a 1999 model with original paint, and a car that was used for her work traveling as a District Manager for 2 years. This picture was taken last year back in October just after my Winter Time prep and wax for this car. I think it has held the test of time quite well.

I wax my vehicles at least 3 times a year, with panel touch ups if needed due to bug or tar removal.

Wax as with Oils are a personal thing. ANY quality wax will protect, just like a Quality Oil and filter will do for the same as the engine. Some waxes are much better at protecting, shine, ease of removal, and lack of powdery residue. Most residues are the polishing or cleaning agents in the wax. Something I try and avoid when I wax my cars.

I try and buy the highest Carnuba Wax content that I can and avoid anything that contains silicone in my wax. My personal favorite is Zymol Carbon Wax for my Black vehicles. This wax is 34% Carnuba Wax and it goes on very thin. It comes off easy with NO residue left behind. To seal it, a light mist of detail spray or just plain water helps to bring the gloss out even more. As always, following the manufacturers recommendations help.

Paint breathing. I think it does to some extent. This happens during the curing process and some folks say to wait at least 1 month to 3 months after a respray. Not an issue with a vehicle that hit the port almost 1 month before I bought it. No telling how many days it sat before it was shipped to the States.

While I am not a professional detailer, My cars show well for themselves and I also get tasked a few times a year to help detail some of my friends exotics (If an Alpine Renualt A-310 can be called Exotic!)

...
2010 Chevrolet Camaro LT2/RS V6
2008 Saturn Astra XR 3 Door - Sapphire Black (Gone but NOT forgotten!)
2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Brilliant Black Metallic
1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue GLS, Black

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Old 08-15-2008, 10:25 AM   #7
GM Sky Man
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Default Re: Gotta give the paint job some credit

Chris,
Thanks for the information. I might have to go seek out Zymol wax you mentioned. To date I have been using a product called Quickshine. I have had nothing but praise for the product as it goes on like water, but then buffs off clean. And from the manufacture, it is goes on positivly charged so as to not attact contaminents.

BNM449 - do you have a picture of that bug deflector? Our Saturn dealers do not seem to have that for the Astras. Thanks.

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Old 08-15-2008, 10:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: Gotta give the paint job some credit

Quote:
Originally Posted by BNM449 View Post
AND: Saturn sells a REALLY CHEAP and REALLY SEXY hood deflector made for the Astra; I only paid $70 for mine and the tech put it on for me -- it looks awesome and forget about any chipping of the leading edge of your hood!
saturn.com doesn't list this part under accessories for the Astra. Do you have a picture available?

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Old 08-15-2008, 02:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Gotta give the paint job some credit

I'll get a pic over the weekend and figure out how to post it up...

It was in a regular dealership part-bag with "Astra" and the part# right on it, looked like "from the factory".

The brand on it is marked "Formfit" in tasteful small white logo.
The kit included a number of clear silicone-looking "jelly beans" for spacing between the deflector and the hood ( they appeared to be peel-and-stick), and four clips (two each side) to clip it to the hood.

The tech did a nice careful job installing it, took him about 25 minutes, and they only charged me for the piece, not the install!

Will get pics!

~N~

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Old 08-15-2008, 10:17 PM   #10
BNM449
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Default Re: Gotta give the paint job some credit

From my gerbil-powered 56k dial-up home computer ... I dug out my sales receipt, and the part number is:

PF37HG

hope that can hold you over until I use my employer's server to send you a pic!

~N~

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Old 08-18-2008, 07:40 AM   #11
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Default Re: Gotta give the paint job some credit

I bought my Astra back in Feburary. I was driving across Michigan in a blizzard and the car was only a month old. I didn't go more than 50 mph the whole way across the state. Coming around a corner on 14, I came right up on a plow that was clearing the shoulder of all places. Out of nowhere a hail of rocks goes airborne and right across the front of my car. I had chips on the bumper, hood, lights, grille, windshield, pillars, and even some on the back of the roof.

The insurance adjuster cut me a check for 700.

I took the car to one of the insurance company's preferred shops. When all was said and done, the company had shelled out 2600 dollars.

They had to completely refinish the hood, replace the headlights and grille, fill chips in the bumper, pillars, and roof, and replace the windshield.

Unfortunately, the windshield never looks the same after it has been replaced. one of the 2 plastic rails that cover up the roof rack mounts kinda sits a bit funny where it meets the windshield now.

Oh well,

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