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Discussion Starter #1
as i walk up the ramp disembarking the ferry i catch a glimpse of my recently purchased '09 Enclave hidden in between the other cars in the parking lot. i cant help but smile as i round the corner and see those beautiful lines, big, bold and shining. drowning out the cries for looks from the little honda's and toyota's surrounding it. my excitement grows as i unlock and start my Enclave. sliding into the driver's seat and closing the door shuts out the cares of the world, the cabin is simply a nice place to be. i sit and enjoy the black on black interior, chrome trim, the leather, the brushed alloy...........................................aaaaaaarrrrrrrgh! the claw of a small fluffy foo foo dog brings it to a screeching halt. now dont get me wrong, i like dogs. owners of small dogs who let them scratch up the interior not so much. the original owners being an elderly couple i assume with poor enough eyesight they couldnt see the damage little foo foo was causing. im looking at a scratch on the passenger side dash from the top of the plastiwood trim down to and across the the brushed alloy trim. now all i can think about is searching for a product that can rub out the scratch or even replacing the trim.
i live on Mackinac island where no cars are allowed, so my Enclave has to wait for me in a parking lot on the mainland and im lucky if i get to see her once a week. you may get the idea that i love my Enclave and slightly obsessed about keeping it clean and shining, you may be right. i am also fretting now because winter is approaching and she will have to bear the entire season outside. Michigan winters are harsh on cars and i wonder if anyone has tips for what i should be doing for winter washing. is it ok to wash in freezing temps? i am forced to use a touchless car wash. is there a type of wax or polish that is recommended for winters? for me, i have a large investment in a beautiful vehicle so any cleaning and detailing suggestions on reducing the damage caused by this coming winter would go a long way to retaining my sanity.
thanks.
 

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Nice post! You write an enjoyable story. I also have an 09 Enclave, original owner, and live in the Lansing MI area. Welcome! Glad another MI owner has joined.

As for products....I have mine professionally detailed every couple years or so....have never waxed it myself. A good product to use during summer, after it's been waxed (lots of good products out there)....is Meguires Quick Detailer....from time to time. I should do this more often, but time goes by and I usually just run it thru one of our local automatic car washes. Never had issue with scratches, but mine is the silver green..which is a lighter color.

Sorry to hear of the scratch on the dash. That would upset me as well, and one reason we opt. for buying new, not used. Really wish I had an answer for you on that one!
 

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There are some good sealants that would likely help keep your exterior looking nice. I would call around to a few professional detailers and see what options they have for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks very much guys. dont know of any professional detailers in my area, i think i will try a dealership close by.
 

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I would not go to a dealership for this service. Do a google search for car / auto detailers in your area/zip and you should get some options.
 

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Yes, stay away from dealers for detailing. They typically don't know what they are doing. You sound like the sort that would enjoy doing this yourself and taking pride in it. I very much doubt anything can be done for the scratches other than replacing the pieces. For the outside, as I mentioned in the other thread, a good sealant will be your best bet for keeping it protected for extended periods. I use Collinite 845 (purchased online). It can last through the winter. For winter washing, just find a drive through car wash that has those nice big blowers at the end. That should get most of the water so it doesn't freeze. The downside is they can induce scratches in the paint. I try to avoid them.
 

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For detailing, we have a tech school near here. Their automotive group will detail a car for a very good price. Also, we have a very good car wash company that will do a detail job reasonably. I would trust both of these before I'd go to a dealer...
 

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I agree with staying away from the dealers. Most around me either hire high school kids to do detailing (they don't do it correctly) or sub the work out to a detailer who actually does good work (but if you go direct to the detailer you can get a better price).

I'm lucky in that my friend's son works for one of the best detailing contractors in the area. He does a great job and hardly charges me anything ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
well thats a resounding "no" for the dealerships. thanks for the heads up. im happy i found a place with so many friendly helpful people.
 

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FYI, unless you know someone (even then it's probably rare) personally, a good detailer will not be cheap. The cheap ones will pretty much just be wash/wax. If you want someone good that can remove paint defects, you'll be charged at least $30-40/hr.
 

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I have always had an issue with cheap. I think American's are obsessed with cheap and all we know how to look at is the price. I think one needs to look at value for your money. If someone is significant cheaper then another competitor then you need to figure out what corners are being cut to reduce the bottom line and decide if those choices are worth it for you. I will pay more to someone that is competent and has a good reputation vs joe cheapo who might save me a dollar.
 

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I live by the maxim "There is a big difference between cheap and inexpensive".
 

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Those are good points about inexpensive vs cheap. The first suggests a good value, while the second implies poor quality.

I agree that far too many Americans tend to fall into the cheap trap rather than understand inexpensive value. The result is often unsatisfying mediocrity.
 

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A cheap (or inexpensive) detail will show it's true value once you wash it a couple times and the filler oils wash off and show the scratches.
 
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