Mercedes-Benz GLA Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long story short:
I’ve owned a brand new 2021 Black Gla45 AMG for the last 7 months since purchasing it straight from the showroom.
I know black cars are a pita to maintain so I hired a detailer to do the first paint correction from the very beginning and maintain it. great results.

Brought the car in to the dealership about a month ago to get a braking squeal issue fixed. That wasn’t the best experience either but that’s a story for a different day.
Keep in mind this is my first time owning a luxury higher end car. So when my wife went to go pick up the car the first thing she says is “they washed the car”
I get home and find this: (attached pictures) swirling and holograms all over the car.
I call and they tell me they offer complimentary wash. I tell them I was never asked or given the option to opt out so I needed them to fix it.
Service manager along with advisor who was assigned to us meets me the following day at the dealership again and they say I could’ve said no to the wash and I once again tell them I never was asked. During the conversation they admit they didn’t just wash it, they sent it to the nearest drive through car wash. After going back and forth and providing receipts from every detail I’ve had done to the car they agreed to get a quote from my detail guy to cover the repair.
I send the invoice and they agree to pay (I chose the cheapest option one step paint correction $200 so they won’t hassle back and forth)
They said they can’t pay though pay pal which the invoice was linked with. I said no problem a check to the detail guy should work.
They agree.
I send them the detail guys full name and they come back with “can’t make a check to a name, has to be a Business name”
I understand and my detail guy agrees as well so I send them the company name and waited and nothing. 4 weeks later after calling and finally getting them to pick up my call they said they need to get the check approved again.
Bruh.
Now they’re dodging my calls and I don’t know what else to do. Help!?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
Ah, the stealership strikes again! Are you a ways away from them? Why not just stop down in person and ask for the check in hand?

Sorry for your troubles. It sucks, but this is unfortunately a common issue across pretty much all dealerships and all brands. Mine pulled the ‘T’ off my TURBO badge one time on my first 45.

Could look into something like this…
or make your own.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,092 Posts
Dealer washes are common and even if you tell them no sometimes it happens and is done by the lowest guy on the totem pole.

As is said ... Black is not a color, it's a hobby.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
I don't want to cause you more upset.
But have to tell you the truth.
And among the many things that I did in my life with cars is also detailing cars. I would call it entry level, but I certainly was out there working inbetween guys that were at the professional level.

First of all, I have the obsidian black in my other AMG. Among black cars, the Obsidian is worse than most. If a bee walks on your car, you can tell the footsteps..

Anyway so

The detailing of a car that has problems (your new car doesn't have problems), includes "wheelin", meaning usage of a handheld polishing machine, with a wool velcro pad, which removes a microscopic thickness off the clearcoat, together with any impurities.
Once the wheelin is done, all but the best leave swirl marks.

But then comes phase 2

Waxin
The waxin covers effectively all swirl marks, leaving the car with a "naked" high-contrast "wet" look of the body of your car, that all go crazy for.

Problem is....

Carwashing, especially with all kinds of bells and whistles and multiple stages of shampoo, removes the wax, leaving your car with the look it got after Step 1...

So the only way to not see that look is to wax it again...

And again, and again, and again...

Once this lifestyle commences, questions arrise:
How long does this wax remain on, vs that wax.

Well: the ugly waxes stay on longer than the pretty waxes.

The champion used to be a teflon gel wax.
It was an ugly wax that was guaranteed to leave streaks. But it stayed on for several months. And once road dust settled on the car, you didn't see the streaks.
Then there was the hard carnaruba soap bar consistency wax. It was not even that expensive. But you'd hate your life working on it to put it on or for it to be wiped off. It stayed on for more than a month.

You can do a set of a wax, then a spray on showroomshine. But the showroomshine will come off at the first carwash. But you may only see a hint of the swirls, because the base wax endures.

So what to do then?
Don't get close to the car with that detailing wheel and use instead the claymagic. Claymagic doesn't leave swirls.
Don't fall for the claymagic 2.0, doesnt work.

I also tried the ceramic hybrid wax. Also a messy wax, seems to stay on like the teflon wax.

I never tried the full ceramic coating. That doesn't have any grease, wax, or any lubricating product in it and the car has to be degreased and it has to be put on under "laboratory" conditions.

But... nobody said that this product can hide anything, such as swirl marks.. like regular wax does.


In the end, yes, I buffed some sections of my C63 and yes, there is no way to not have swirlmarks on the Obsidian Black, it is more unforgiving than Clint Eastwood in a spaghetti Western.

Sorry Clint, if you drive an AMG..
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
905 Posts
Alas one time, and fortunately only one time, after being similarly put off by [Audi] dealership service, despite many similar good faith attempts on my part over an extended period of time, I had to get my lawyer involved. It was amazing what a letter and phone call from him accomplished; as if I were talking to a completely different service manager!

I'm not advocating this as the initial attempt but once you have tried hard to meet all fair requests (as did I), especially in a situation they caused (as was mine), there comes a time where you have to bring out the big stick.

btw: I too ask dealerships to not wash my cars (most of the time unneeded anyway). As well as dirty drying rag-imparted scratches they often in my area use our hard water rinse and thereafter clearing mineral water spots is more work for me than would have been my typical hand wash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
...The detailing of a car that has problems (your new car doesn't have problems), includes "wheelin", meaning usage of a handheld polishing machine, with a wool velcro pad, which removes a microscopic thickness off the clearcoat, together with any impurities....
a) ...so I hired a detailer to do the first paint correction from the very beginning and maintain it...
b) ...Now they’re dodging my calls and I don’t know what else to do. Help!?
a) Paint corrections usually remove clear coat...diid you have scratches to deal with?
b) Can you tell us the MB dealer's name?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
905 Posts
Bad "paint correction" can remove too much clear coat. The concept is to "color sand" (now a misnomer as actually just the top clear coat in modern vehicles) and then cut/polish and finally wax/seal to mask imperfections from perception. Of course if very deep scratches this becomes problematic. I've presently got a couple very fine scratches that can only be seen from a particular low angle/high light intensity and so I have gone no further in aggressive polish. Sometimes you have to know when to stop.

Professionals typically use a direct drive polisher with a wool bonnet and fairly aggressive "cutting compound" (hence the term "cut") and then they buff (polish). But they do it every day and so know what to look out for in terms of how to properly use/angle the machine and being very careful with edges, etc.
We amateurs should only use a random orbital polisher with a foam/microfiber pad and start with the least aggressive compound/polish, only moving up to more aggressive if absolutely needed. "First do no harm." Oh, and avoid dealership and full contact commercial washes. ;)
a) Paint corrections usually remove clear coat...diid you have scratches to deal with?
b) Can you tell us the MB dealer's name?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
I think that a new car should not be "cut". Cutting compound should not go anywhere near it, unless it had scratches from the showroom.
If you're buying a scratched showroom car, in normal days, this involves getting a discount.

I know a guy that details new cars in showrooms, pre-sale.
NEVER gets to a new car with the wheel (Polisher). Always do a claymagic by hand, then a wax, then a showroom shine.
If there was no scratch on this new car, I think the detailer made a mistake here.
As I said, once you wheel a black car, you will have to wax it periodically, or prepare to see the polishing marks. And by looking at the photos, these are not swirl marks, they're normal polishing traces.

Test this: Ge the Malco Showroom Shine spray on wax and a microfiber cloth. Put a quick an easy coat, see if the marks are still there. They will be gone. And so will the Showroom shine, at the first carwash...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
905 Posts
I agree. A new car would have to be pretty badly off (from very poor dealership handling?) to require cutting compound. I do like Griot's "complete compound" when needed on a now 4-year old GLA however. It's one of the self-diminishing types. Of course their products, as most automotive stores, are more amateur/hobbyist slanted.

Germanic cars in particular now have very little/no "orange peal" in the clear coat from the factory, so again no reason to "cut."
I think that a new car should not be "cut". Cutting compound should not go anywhere near it, unless it had scratches from the showroom.
If you're buying a scratched showroom car, in normal days, this involves getting a discount.

I know a guy that details new cars in showrooms, pre-sale.
NEVER gets to a new car with the wheel (Polisher). Always do a claymagic by hand, then a wax, then a showroom shine.
If there was no scratch on this new car, I think the detailer made a mistake here.
As I said, once you wheel a black car, you will have to wax it periodically, or prepare to see the polishing marks. And by looking at the photos, these are not swirl marks, they're normal polishing traces.

Test this: Ge the Malco Showroom Shine spray on wax and a microfiber cloth. Put a quick an easy coat, see if the marks are still there. They will be gone. And so will the Showroom shine, at the first carwash...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
For a new car, the best thing is to clay bar it; this will clean up the clear coat of any stuff that does not wash off. I try to do this twice or at the least once a year. Top this off with a good wax or the new ceramic coating. If using a carwash, I will do the complete treatment of getting their wax treatment as part of the wash. If I hand wash many times will use a detail spray after the wash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
UPDATE:
Emailed all parties involved including General Manager. Gave a brief summary of everything with photos and screenshots of everyone’s conversations with me. Within 15 min general manager replied saying a check had been written to me and should be ready for pick up. Got the car fixed up and ceramic coated as well. The shop I took it to was very reputable and did a test for results and looked very good.
Day of pick up the car looked brand new and the owner actually admitted that the paint in this car out of all the other ones he’s done is the hardest and trickiest. But he tried everything he could , he said it out him to the test XD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Now let's see what happens after the first carwash...

Fast forward:
You will forever have to wax this car after 1, 2 or 3 carwashes. And the originator of the problem wasn't the dealer.
Also, once the wax is washed off and marks show again, don't bring it yet to another detailer. You just have to continue to wax the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Now let's see what happens after the first carwash...

Fast forward:
You will forever have to wax this car after 1, 2 or 3 carwashes. And the originator of the problem wasn't the dealer.
Also, once the wax is washed off and marks show again, don't bring it yet to another detailer. You just have to continue to wax the car.
I’m not sure if you have done some research but you don’t wax a ceramic coated vehicle, in fact by coating it, it helps minimize scratches. The process isn’t the same as a wax, it could be but just to explain it to you briefly here’s how I got my car done by the shop:
1-strip the car from waxes and sealants.
2-decontamination
3-clay bar
4-two step paint correction
5-apply ceramic coating
I purchased a 6 year coating, so even if it wears off within 3 years there won’t be anything underneath that will come up.
Will there be some scratches after washes still?
Yes very minor,
will it be to the extent of swirling,hazing, or holograms? Definitely not. The pictures I attached are after the dealer car wash, I know for a fact they weren’t there because I inspect it every time after my detailer washes it. As soon as it came back from the dealer I instantly took pictures. So yes the originator was indeed the dealership. I highly suggest doing some research first before assuming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
I'm aware of the dregreasant properties of the ceramic prep.

However, I think you're the one that jumped to the dealer conclusion.
Here's the other possibility:
Your first detailer likely buffed and waxed the car, then your dealer washed the wax off and you got to see how a buffed car looks like without wax.
As far as the rest, looks like you bought long time protection so .. you're covered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm aware of the dregreasant properties of the ceramic prep.

However, I think you're the one that jumped to the dealer conclusion.
Here's the other possibility:
Your first detailer likely buffed and waxed the car, then your dealer washed the wax off and you got to see how a buffed car looks like without wax.
As far as the rest, looks like you bought long time protection so .. you're covered.
Ah I see what you mean, I just remembered and went back to your first few posts on my thread. I remember having a few questions but didn’t have time to reply to anyone. So my first one is : why would a detailer, quoting what you said, “Once the wheelin is done, all but the best leave swirl marks”
Wax the car after “wheelin”? That seems like a very bad unprofessional job to do the job right. Just like clay barring a car, right after comes paint correction. Because clay baring a car will leave scratches Same as “wheelin” does. After paint correction comes Waxing and sealing or in my case Ceramic coating. That is the proper way to correct and protect your paint.
mid we were to use your technique then yes I fully agree the swirling and scratches will come back up after a wash and the wax comes off. Do I make sense? Basically rule of thumb is: don’t just wax Right after “wheelin”
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
I don't think there is a rule.
You wheel a car, it's hard work. You have to hold that heavy, vibrating polisher at just the right angle and pressure, for hours.
You're not a robot, some marks will happen, even to the best. Its also the color of the paint. Black is worst and Obsidian is one of the worst of black.
Another problem is that the room in which you work, the surface may seem fine, but bring the car out to strong sunlight, it's not fine anymore.
You can't wheel the car outside. Small particles of sand may get blown onto the car by the wind.
So it's like a sort of blind man's game, or you have excellent indoor lighting, catered for wheeling.

As far as claymagic, it's a very soft bar of clay, it cannot scratch anything, it cannot swirl anything. It's like a stick of butter.
But:

To correctly operate the claymagic bar, you have to spray showroom shine, as you clay, to help the clay glide on the car. While the clay can't scratch the car, the particles of sand the clay already snatched from the car, can scratch the car.
So you want a lateral action with the claymagic bar, no downpressure and you help it with the wax spray.
Every two-three turns of the clay bar, fold it over. As you fold it over, it hides the previously yanked impurities and won't scratch with them.

And worst of all? If while you were claying, you sneezed and as a result you dropped the clay on the ground, you must throw it out. If you don't and just try to fold it over, those grains it got from the floor, eventually come out and scratch the car. Many don't throw the bar out..

In other words: could someone that has a bad technique with the claybar scratch a car? yes. But someone with a good technique? no.
The way to measure a claybar success is by feeling with the tips of your fingers. If paint feels smooth, you're good.

As far as paint correction:
Back in my day was a sales term. People used it designation: wheelin, wheelin and waxin, etc.

There are expensive cars out there that have real and correctable problems. Cars that sat under a tree and were affected by tree sap. Cars that got hit with acid rain, etc.

Those get done in 3-4 stages. THAT can be called a paint correction too.
For instance: There is such thing as a very coarse "cutting" compound. You clean the problem with it, yes, there will be swirlmarks. But then there is step 2, a fine grain cutting compound, designed for swirl reduction. And then a step 3, the McGuiar Mirror glaze.
I tried wax removal using a pad for the buffer made out of a sponge material and using high speed. Came out very good, but any mistake and would have burned the clearcoat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I don't think there is a rule.
You wheel a car, it's hard work. You have to hold that heavy, vibrating polisher at just the right angle and pressure, for hours.
You're not a robot, some marks will happen, even to the best. Its also the color of the paint. Black is worst and Obsidian is one of the worst of black.
Another problem is that the room in which you work, the surface may seem fine, but bring the car out to strong sunlight, it's not fine anymore.
You can't wheel the car outside. Small particles of sand may get blown onto the car by the wind.
So it's like a sort of blind man's game, or you have excellent indoor lighting, catered for wheeling.

As far as claymagic, it's a very soft bar of clay, it cannot scratch anything, it cannot swirl anything. It's like a stick of butter.
But:

To correctly operate the claymagic bar, you have to spray showroom shine, as you clay, to help the clay glide on the car. While the clay can't scratch the car, the particles of sand the clay already snatched from the car, can scratch the car.
So you want a lateral action with the claymagic bar, no downpressure and you help it with the wax spray.
Every two-three turns of the clay bar, fold it over. As you fold it over, it hides the previously yanked impurities and won't scratch with them.

And worst of all? If while you were claying, you sneezed and as a result you dropped the clay on the ground, you must throw it out. If you don't and just try to fold it over, those grains it got from the floor, eventually come out and scratch the car. Many don't throw the bar out..

In other words: could someone that has a bad technique with the claybar scratch a car? yes. But someone with a good technique? no.
The way to measure a claybar success is by feeling with the tips of your fingers. If paint feels smooth, you're good.

As far as paint correction:
Back in my day was a sales term. People used it designation: wheelin, wheelin and waxin, etc.

There are expensive cars out there that have real and correctable problems. Cars that sat under a tree and were affected by tree sap. Cars that got hit with acid rain, etc.

Those get done in 3-4 stages. THAT can be called a paint correction too.
For instance: There is such thing as a very coarse "cutting" compound. You clean the problem with it, yes, there will be swirlmarks. But then there is step 2, a fine grain cutting compound, designed for swirl reduction. And then a step 3, the McGuiar Mirror glaze.
I tried wax removal using a pad for the buffer made out of a sponge material and using high speed. Came out very good, but any mistake and would have burned the clearcoat.
Yes I know the process and looks like you do too now that you explained but that wasn’t my main point.
I’m very meticulous about my cars paint, being a $64k car I believe I should be, even if it was a civic (which I’ve owned before this) I was still very wary about anyone washing my car. Now with this car I looked for the best of the best, I didn’t care what it would cost. I had them do a test on the hood under direct sunlight and saw the clean slick mirror finish I wanted. That was before any wax or sealant was applied to the area that was tested. So with the shop showing me that in person, I decided to leave the car in their shop for two full days and have it corrected and coated. There’s no way they hid swirls underneath that would be very unprofessional and I could get the same job done hiring a crackhead downtown and then have him follow up with a wax. All for $5 including tip.
So no when I bought the car I made sure I took good care of it and had it prepped and ready for me by the shop. There is no possible way the scratches were there before the dealership took the car through a random car wash. That is my point to your comments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
I'm aware of the dregreasant properties of the ceramic prep.

However, I think you're the one that jumped to the dealer conclusion.
Here's the other possibility:
Your first detailer likely buffed and waxed the car, then your dealer washed the wax off and you got to see how a buffed car looks like without wax.
As far as the rest, looks like you bought long time protection so .. you're covered.
Are you really trying to say that the holograms and swirls from OP’s first set of pics are what a car should like after buffing/polishing, and would be an acceptable job? Didn’t they happen from the car wash anyway? That’s a lot of explanation to say I’m an amateur detailer at best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Are you really trying to say that the holograms and swirls from OP’s first set of pics are what a car should like after buffing/polishing, and would be an acceptable job? Didn’t they happen from the car wash anyway? That’s a lot of explanation to say I’m an amateur detailer at best.
Exactly that’s what I’m wondering too lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
Are you really trying to say that the holograms and swirls from OP’s first set of pics are what a car should like after buffing/polishing, and would be an acceptable job? Didn’t they happen from the car wash anyway? That’s a lot of explanation to say I’m an amateur detailer at best.
I am not trying to say anything, you're not supposed to see a car that is being worked upon (detailed), until its finished.
When it's finished, you won't see any of that. If you remove the finishing layer (the wax), by ... say... a highly degreasing carwash, then yes, that's how it will look.
So you fix this by adding back the layer that you washed off, you wax it again.
Truth is that other than ceramic coating (which although long lasting am not sure how well coats pre-existing marks, as compared to wax), once a car gets wheeled, it will have to be waxed.

The details are not the problem here. People can give you the right information, but it's your choice whether to take it, or ignore it.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top