Welcome to the Cadillac XLR Forums!
  • The Cadillac XLR Net is now on instagram! Follow Us!

Practical XLR Care - Washing, Waxing and Storing Your Cadillac XLR

Rob

Seasoned Member
Staff member
Site Administrator
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
5,325
Location
New Hampshire
My XLR/V(s)
Not yet!
Below is a link to some awesome articles regarding the care, maintenance, detailing and storage of Corvettes.

The information provided in these articles can definitely be applied to the Cadillac XLR!


http://www.CorvetteActionCenter.com/tech/care/
 

Deluxe

Active Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
39
Location
Florida
My XLR/V(s)
Blue '05
There is some good general advice in the links above.

Current technology as used on the XLR is a base coat of paint with a clear-coat finish. That sounds simple but some of the premium finishes are even more complex with a specific base coat, a primary color (often with suspended reflective flakes) and a clear coat that may be tinted as well.

The clear-coat needs some attention. For a number of reasons, modern (read what is on your XLR) clear-coats are water based. This makes a softer finish that won't pit/chip as easily but will also scratch more easily. This results in a "self healing" finish; small scratches will work themselves out. Some types of spots, such as resulting from bird poop... will clear themselves over time because of water that was absorbed, then slowly dried out.

My observations:

  1. Use a polymer finish - NOT WAX. Zaino or Meguires... several other brands are also good. They all work about the same. Polymers provide a very thin coating that protects the clear-coat from both contamination AND ultriviolate radiation. Polymers last longer and can also be built up; more coats after the succeeding coat has had time to cure can be added to make a very deap finish. Very appearent on darker colors.
  2. Use a good detergent to REMOVE WAX and POLYMERS. Dawn dishswashing detergent is my favorite for that. For regular washing, use a MILD AUTO carwash soap. This is a formulation closer to shampoo and will not remove wax and synthetic finishes.
  3. 100% cotton or microfibers are the only thing you should wash with. SPONGES WILL HOLD ABRASIVES AGAINST YOUR FINISH and will dull the finish. Cotton will allow those abrasives to migrate into the cloth. ALso do not wipe in circular motions, go back and forth. Circular scratches are much more noticable than straight.
I always dry my car when I wash it using a California Blade first... just so I don't have to use a large number of towels or to squeeze out the water. Then I dry with a good cotton towel. All water has some minerals, either in the water or what it has desolved from washing. If you don't dry it off the minerals attach to the finish.

In my opinion, buffing a clear-coat finish should only be done by a reputable body shop. You can use a clay-bar and should at least once a year... but I would not recommend a buffer. Ever.
 

Popbigguy

Seasoned Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2008
Messages
705
Location
Lincoln, NE
My XLR/V(s)
2007 XLR-V RII'07 RIII'08 SA'09 CO'10 NCSC'11 PA'12 BG'13 MT'14 VBOBX'15
I agree with you up to the drying. I wouldn't use a blade on my car. What I do is: take the nozzle off the hose, run the water straight out of the hose. If you have a good coat of the polymer on your car, doing it this way the water should "sheet" off of the car, all that is left on the car are "blobs" of water. Then I take my yard leaf blower to the car. I can almost get it completely dry this way. The wet spots that are left, I take a waffle weave towel to, and there's not many wet spots left to dry!

I've read that with a blade, if you have a piece of dirt or anything, stuck under the blade, you have a chance of running a scratch down the clear coat.

I agree with the clay bar. I do mine once a year in the spring.

Chad
 

b_pappy

Seasoned Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2008
Messages
588
Location
Northridge, CA
My XLR/V(s)
2005 XLR
Amazing how car enthusiasts can even get excited and religious about their car washing methods. I'm there too, fully converted to using Adam's products. I too use an electric leaf blower and some Adam's waffle weave towels when drying.
Buffers are for the pros, but something like a Porter Cable polisher which oscillates rather than spins greatly reduces your chances of screwing up your paint. They (Adam's) have tutorials on their web site and their products are among the best out there.
Bruce
 

427

Seasoned Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
55
Location
Upper U.S.
My XLR/V(s)
2006 Silver/Black XLR
Seemz like I've had so many service appointments, I barely need to wash my XLR myself. :chuckle
 

Popbigguy

Seasoned Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2008
Messages
705
Location
Lincoln, NE
My XLR/V(s)
2007 XLR-V RII'07 RIII'08 SA'09 CO'10 NCSC'11 PA'12 BG'13 MT'14 VBOBX'15
I've read some real horror stories about the service dept. washing the cars! I'd just as soon wash my car myself!
 

b_pappy

Seasoned Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2008
Messages
588
Location
Northridge, CA
My XLR/V(s)
2005 XLR
I've read some real horror stories about the service dept. washing the cars! I'd just as soon wash my car myself!
Our local dealer network (Rydell) quit washing cars and prints out a coupon for a hand wash at the local car wash. They are pretty good, better than most, but I still do mine myself.
Bruce
 

PassionDiva5150

Seasoned Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
176
Location
On The Lake, California
My XLR/V(s)
2007 Passion Red XLR
I have the BEST local car wash, does a great job, everything done by hand, with only the best products and the cleanest rags around. Give me a call, I will get you in, its very very exclusive. Goes by the name of Darth Vader. :reddevil:reddevil Actually, when Mark is too busy, my detailers do a nice job on Passion Diva, they have had to use a clay bar on a her a couple of times (she spends lots of time on the freeway), and she always looks new.
 
M

mswaim

Guest
Yea, and when Darth don't get what he wants, he replaces that clay bar with a Hershey Bar!!!!!! :love: :bash::buttslap::slap::argue::love:
 

b_pappy

Seasoned Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2008
Messages
588
Location
Northridge, CA
My XLR/V(s)
2005 XLR
I have the BEST local car wash, does a great job, everything done by hand, with only the best products and the cleanest rags around. Give me a call, I will get you in, its very very exclusive. Goes by the name of Darth Vader. :reddevil:reddevil Actually, when Mark is too busy, my detailers do a nice job on Passion Diva, they have had to use a clay bar on a her a couple of times (she spends lots of time on the freeway), and she always looks new.

That's great. I was thinking of having a detail day before we head up there, but we'll just wait till we get there. Only Adam's products, and especially their microfiber towels please.
Let's see his schedule: make drinks, start BBQ, detail our cars, cook dinner, finish car details. Wow, you keep him busy.
Bruce
 

Lola's Mom

Seasoned Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
3,483
Location
Southern CA
My XLR/V(s)
2004 Black Raven
That's great. I was thinking of having a detail day before we head up there, but we'll just wait till we get there. Only Adam's products, and especially their microfiber towels please.
Let's see his schedule: make drinks, start BBQ, detail our cars, cook dinner, finish car details. Wow, you keep him busy.
Bruce

Darth cleans too.
(I love him!) :reddevil
 
M

mswaim

Guest
Sorry, but the Green Hills Community Car Wash is closing its doors for the Holidays. And I use Coat's Products - gotta love a car wax (cherry wet wax) that smells good enough to eat!!
 

Lola's Mom

Seasoned Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
3,483
Location
Southern CA
My XLR/V(s)
2004 Black Raven
Looks like BBB is going to be a Battle of the Car Products! :pat: :eek: because I am sure YYPD (Yo Yo P Daddy .... formerly known as Detail Guy) will have his ICE in the trunk! :lol:
 
M

mswaim

Guest
The only ice I'm going to have in my trunk will be cooling my BEER!!!!!!!

Viva Pacifico Clara!!!! :blinzel:
 

cubby558

Seasoned Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2008
Messages
2,752
Location
IL
My XLR/V(s)
'16 Z06, "06 XLR-V Infra Red-Sold, RII, RIII & RIV survivor, Mdwst Maurader
:laugh:No I don't put it on blocks; I usually pull the wheels off 2-3 times throughout the year and clean the back of the rims really well, put a coat of wax on them and then clean the inner wheel wells and put Armorall on it. I have clay barred about 80% of the car so far--I ran out of Speed Shine, so I'm waiting for my order to come in. I also have machine polished the hood, top and read deck lid. I'll finish the rest after clay barring the rest of the car and then put a good coat of wax on it before it goes into hibernation. Hopefully the weather will stay the way it is for a few more weeks, so I can move it to the storage garage--my mothers garage!!:lol::lol:

I already have the Harleys stored for the winter, so the garage has more room for me to clean Scarlett-V--then I'll have to move the snowblower in and move things around so the Expedition can come in for the winter--I need a bigger garage and a smaller house.:laugh::laugh:



So, the car goes up on blocks, huh?
 

Cadillac Tech

Seasoned Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
3,843
Location
Cicero,Indiana
There's nothing like having the inside of the wheels clean. I also like to pull the wheels off of our cars and clean them up. Sounds like you did a great job Cubby.
 

cubby558

Seasoned Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2008
Messages
2,752
Location
IL
My XLR/V(s)
'16 Z06, "06 XLR-V Infra Red-Sold, RII, RIII & RIV survivor, Mdwst Maurader
Cleaning the cars and bikes are actually the one 'chore' I enjoy doing. Cutting grass, raking leaves and snowblowing and/or shoveling snow is unenjoyable to me. Cuts into my driving/riding, golfing time!!! I'm sure you are going to be busy doing the same on your jewels and probably PhotoMoms' as well.:lol::lol:

Hope you guys can make it up this weekend--Halloween is Supa's favorite day!!:shedevil:reddevil:drink:

There's nothing like having the inside of the wheels clean. I also like to pull the wheels off of our cars and clean them up. Sounds like you did a great job Cubby.
 

ChicagoDave

Seasoned Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2009
Messages
1,289
Location
Lindenhurst, IL (Far North Chicago Sub)
My XLR/V(s)
2007 Black XLR V, 2005 Black XLR, 2018 XT5 AWD , 2010 Black CTX, 2007 SRX
You know, you all must think I'm nuts, but since your lifestyles are so different from mine, I love reading about what it's like. Because I think to a degree that we live our lives around the elements.
Have you guys had to "winterize" the XLR's yet?

This is my first winter with my XLR - but I don't plan on "putting her away" for the winter. Every once in a while, we get nice days where the roads are clear and no snow. I hope to still get my X out some of those days (not on the days that we have ZERO degrees - don't want any body panels shattering - my car or ME). With 140,000 miles on her, I treat her more as a FUN TOY that I want to enjoy year round. I understand when most of you put yours away for the winter; these cars are quite the investment. I was fortunate enough to find a very good deal with a lot of miles.

Waxing/clay barring my cars is like therapy to me ... but as I get older, it is getting more like work; but I still love the end results. That's why my last 4 or 5 cars have been BLACK... nothing like a CLEAN black car. I should try taking my wheels off and cleaning the backs of them really good (never done that before), thanks for the tip Cubby.
 

Cadillac XLR Forums

Not a member?  Join now!  It's Free!

Learn more about Supporting Membership

Win a Cadillac CTS-V!

Cadillac CTS-V Dream Giveaway

Supporting Vendors

East Coast Used XLR Parts

Top Hydraulics

Cadillac XLR Registry

Click here to enter the official Cadillac XLR and XLR-V Registry
Top Bottom