LuxInterior HalfDork
Jan. 27, 2017 2:12 p.m.

After four decades of owning beaters, I finally bought my first new car - a very shiny black '16 Focus ST. It's the twin of one in the pic. I've owned a few cars with decent paint, but nothing like this. Damn, it just... gleams. I love it, but now I'm totally stressin'. If I cover it with swirl marks by washing it incorrectly I'll probably cry.

I've been reading up online: two bucket wash technique, fuzzy microfiber wash mitts, grit guards... Is that enough? How do I avoid berking this paint? Is pressure washing the car at the local DIY car wash in the winter a bad idea? What would GRM with a shiny new car do?

akylekoz Reader
Jan. 27, 2017 2:20 p.m.

I sold my very pretty Buick GN due to pollen and bird E36 M3. I prefer metallic brown or blue cars now.

I'm about to look at a black Magnum RT, by now it's probably pre swirled and scratched so I don't have to cry.

D2W Reader
Jan. 27, 2017 2:24 p.m.

Black looks awesome when clean and polished. How do you keep it that way? Wrap it.

LuxInterior HalfDork
Jan. 27, 2017 2:37 p.m.

In reply to D2W: I just got it back from the tint guy last night. It now has clear bra on the nose, hood, headlights, rockers, mirrors.

KyAllroad UberDork
Jan. 27, 2017 2:49 p.m.

Never take it out of the garage.

Seriously, I've had a black car and a black truck. Dumbest color EVER!

eastpark Reader
Jan. 27, 2017 2:57 p.m.

Nice car! Try to not stress too much about it and enjoy your first new car. Congrats!

LuxInterior HalfDork
Jan. 27, 2017 3:00 p.m.
eastpark wrote: Nice car! Try to not stress too much about it and enjoy your first new car. Congrats!

Thanks! I was beginning to think that I'd accidentally posted to the Very Very Afraid of Shiny Things subforum

Furious_E Dork
Jan. 27, 2017 3:12 p.m.

Sweet car man! The only two vehicles I've owned with legitimately pretty nice paint have both been black and I'm sorry to say it absolutely SUCKS keeping them clean and shiny. Black is a gorgeous color on a lot of cars, but after spending a whole afternoon washing and waxing, they're dirty again by the time you're 10 ft out of the driveway

Brian MegaDork
Jan. 27, 2017 3:24 p.m.

Assuming it's the same premium black they had back in '13, it's nice. A friend has one and it took one hell of a body shop to match it up after he had a fender bender.

As far as living with a black car, I bought mine at 4 years and 36k, so it was covered in swirls and a decent scratch when I got it. That said, it was the car I wanted, and it just happened to be black. Only red is lower on my color preference list.

Jay_W Dork
Jan. 27, 2017 3:32 p.m.

I feel your pain. I use microfiber and clean buckets and that blue ice turtle wax stuff wipes down way easier than say Zymol or any other waxes I've tried. So it'll show the dirt. Only way around that is to not drive it.

irish44j UltimaDork
Jan. 27, 2017 3:39 p.m.

My last six cars have been black (as are three of my four current cars). They way I deal with them is simply not to care. Washing them just shows up any scratch, ding, or swirl mark. For a short while I tried to be really good about wash, wax, detail, etc.....but then decided that it was a fruitless effort unless you REALLY like doing that kind of stuff (I don't) lol...

dean1484 MegaDork
Jan. 27, 2017 3:49 p.m.

My truck is black.

Couple of dents. Some oxidation on the hood. It is perfect.

I hate new cars with perfect paint.

APEowner New Reader
Jan. 27, 2017 3:52 p.m.

What I've done is use the self serve car wash whenever the car is dirty. Wax it by hand every couple of months and when it gets to the point that I'm not happy with the results of the wax job anymore I pay someone to detail it. You won't win any car shows with that technique but the car will always look nice and you won't be a slave to the finish.

Rusnak_322 Dork
Jan. 27, 2017 4:17 p.m.

at one time I had a black Audi, a black Miata NB and a black F150.

I hired this local detail company (2 guys) that came to my house, they set up a tent and had a water tank in their trailer - they went to town on all three in one day. they made the crappy swirl marks go away and they looked perfect. For like 20 mins. even sitting in the garage the dust gets on them. it is an ongoing PITA

I have a black 2013 Mustang GT vert now and of course, that is also a royal pain. but I plan to find someone to detail it this spring.

Tom_Spangler UberDork
Jan. 27, 2017 4:31 p.m.

I've had more black cars than I can count, including my current SHO, and I am a washing/detailing guy. To be honest, I just do my best while accepting that it's never going to be perfect. In the spring, I usually give my cars a light buff, claybar them, and apply a coat of wax, then throughout the summer and into the fall, they get 2-3 more hand washes and coats of wax. In the winter, they are going to get nasty. I live in Michigan, it's inevitable. I run them through an automatic car wash (horrors!) any time it looks like we're going to get a few nice days, and then in the spring I repeat the process.

Klayfish UberDork
Jan. 27, 2017 4:42 p.m.

First, congrats!! As a former FoST owner, I can assure you that you're in for fun. Look into the Ford Racing ECU tune. It keeps the factory warranty in tact and gives you something like 360lb/ft tq. It turns that car into a monster.

I've had plenty of black cars and used to be into the car show circuit (not to the extent trophy chasers are, but I went to plenty). Like others said, keeping black "perfect" is nearly a full time job. But use common sense. All the things you listed are good. Fuzzy microfiber wash mits, proper soap, don't scrub too hard, etc... Just keep it reasonably clean and when you want to go nuts and do a full on detail, then you can.

I really like Zaino Brothers products, when it comes to waxing, polishing, etc... They're a bit pricy, but worth every penny.

iceracer UltimaDork
Jan. 27, 2017 6:02 p.m.

My very shiny black '13 Fiesta is holding up very well after 3 yrs.6 months with no special care.

Car wash when it gets dirty. It is garage kept, so that might help.

Seems present day paints hold up very well. My ZX2SR red was still shiny after nearly 10 yrs.

G_Body_Man SuperDork
Jan. 27, 2017 6:44 p.m.

Full synthetic sealant, regular washes, and clay bar every few weeks.

MDJeepGuy Reader
Jan. 27, 2017 6:53 p.m.

I had a guy do paint correction and a ceramic coating on mine. Looks great, rinses off any dirt, but it was $1500. Lasts 4 years though.

Looks brand new and has never been washed in 2 years.

Nick (Bo) Comstock UltimaDork
Jan. 27, 2017 7:10 p.m.

Nice car! I love black, it's my favorite color. I am one that really enjoys the instant gratification of cleaning and caring for my paint.

Opti HalfDork
Jan. 27, 2017 7:19 p.m.

the camaro was black, but it was repainted during my ownership, so I got to start fresh.

I never stressed swirls too much, just did the best I could to avoid them with the two bucket method and kept good wax on it.

about once a year Id clay it and do some correction, and it nevet got very bad. Most of the really swirled cars i see are from years of bad car washing techniques, or one fateful encounter with a buffer and a goon.

If i had a brand new car, Id try some of this dry car wash, like chadwicks triple play, the vette guys rave about it, supposed to be super fast, leave a good finish and you just spray on and wipe off, its supposed to suspend the dirt and preveny scratches when you wipe it off. Ive never used it but i want to give it a go.

Streetwiseguy PowerDork
Jan. 27, 2017 7:24 p.m.

Run it through the filthiest brush type car wash you can find, then have someone crank a door open it the side of it. Once the pain subsides, you can relax and enjoy.

I am of the crowd that hates owning shiny clean paint...thats wrong. I love shiny straight stuff, but hate the stress of dealing with it.

My 4 year old daughter used a rock to scratch her name in the quarter panel of my shiny Camaro about 17 years ago. It took the stress away.

You'll need to log in to post.

Also on Grassroots Motorsports

Wing It: Simple Talk on the Complex Subject of Aerodynamics

11 hours ago in Articles

Whether sleek, boxy or somewhere in between, all cars interact with the air while racing down the track.

2018 Acura TLX V6 A-Spec

13 hours ago in New Car Reviews

Acura is introducing something new for the 2018 model year: the Acura TLX V6 A-Spec. It's the highest trim level ...

You Need This: $1600 Street Racer Ford Festiva

18 hours ago in News

It already has a GRM sticker and everything.

You Need This: 1989 Suzuki Swift GTi

19 hours ago in News

For sale: one of Suzuki's under-appreciated hot hatches.

Buyer's Guide: Chevy Cobalt SS

20 hours ago in Articles

All the information you'll need on GM’s entry in the sport compact wars.

Project SVT Focus Gets Caught Up on Maintenance

1 day ago in Project Cars

Once again, some off-road action sent our project focus under the knife.

You Need This: Clean, First-Year E36 BMW M3

1 day ago in News

The mileage is high, but this 1995 BMW M3 looks clean in the photos.

How to Set That One Fast Lap

2 days ago in Articles

Whether autocrossing, qualifying or time trialing, Tommy Archer knows how to post that one fast lap.

I Raced a Bike Through a Mall

2 days ago in Articles

No, it wasn’t a dream, nor revenge against holiday shoppers.

You Need This: C Prepared Ford Mustang for $14,900

2 days ago in News

This 1988 Mustang could be your turnkey entry into autocross competition.

Get Your Subscription Combo Deals!

2 days ago in News

Get both our magazines for the price of one!


Grassroots Motorsports Magazine

Subscribe Today

Also get your instant access to the digital edition of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine!

Learn More