View Full Version : Getting trails / holograms

Oct 9th, 2006, 02:52 AM
Hello fellow detailers!

I am getting real frustrated right now, feel like just throwing everything away and never ever washing the car again but will give it another chance if I only could get some good advice...
I will try to post this question in a well formed manner even if I just feel like screaming...

So, background: Black car, metallic BMW 750 from 1995. Condition? Good. I've detailed it a couple of times the last year and I started out with removing scratches and such with heavier polishes/rubbing during last autumn.

Well, since the paint is in good condition all I wanted to do was to remove those swirls and any lighter contaminants. Clayed and used M80 and also eventually tried the swirl free polish (M82?).
And what is the problem really? Well, I am getting holograms! Or, well, I think that is how you would describe them! More or less it's like a line of sunshine that is moving around the paint of you move your head. And during my tests I saw that the line is actually coming from the center of the buffer, foam pad. So, if I move the buffer in a straight line to the right I would get a hologram-line centered through that area.

Trying different things like varying the speed, pressure and shifting to other pads didn't work any better, I tried the #82 with the 9006 pad also, no real difference. The only thing that might have helped was moving the buffer in non-straight lines but that felt like it was just hiding the obvious trails - that if I moved over from the other side I would see the holograms from that direction instead.

So, what did I try to do to get rid of them at last? Well, I used the Cyclo and well, yeah, the trails got a lot better but on the other hand, the paint lessened a little bit in clearance (as it always does for me when using the Cyclo, the rotary just beats it 2 times over when it comes to leaving great results) but at least I didn't have the obvious hologram trail.

Sorry, I do not have any pictures and even if I had brought the camera I think the effect would have been really difficult to capture on a camera.

So, first of all, did I make myself clear enough?
If so, what am I doing wrong here?

I get so irritated with these kind of problems since I put a lot of time and effort into getting it to look good but nooo... Can't even get past the test-spot stage with a perfect paint!

Kind regards,

Mike Phillips
Oct 9th, 2006, 08:10 AM
The problem is when you're using a rotary buffer, you have a pad spinning against the paint in a circular direction and it is this circular contact together with your pad and product that are instilling fine scratches called swirls or buffer trails, or holograms.

It's the nature of the beast.

It is possible to produce a swirl free finish using a rotary buffer, but it's also very hard and some factors you don't have any control over, such as the paint system itself. Truth is, some paint, (resin), is more polishable than other paint systems.

Your post is similar to other posts on this same topic,

Person buffs car with rotary buffer
Person expects swirl-free finish in bright light
Person gets frustrated because they don't get the results they expectSwitching over to a different machine, i.e. a different type of mechanical action of movement is the best way to get the results you want, thus the reason dual action polishers have become so popular.

The Cyclo should be capable of removing the swirls left by the rotary buffer as it is a dual action polisher that offers an oscillating action versus only a rotating action.

If the Cyclo is not working, this could be a sign of either the paint system you're working on is very easily scratched, or your pad and product choice, and even technique for using it are not dialed-in.

Here are two threads that address this topic in depth that we posted highly detailed answers to years ago that address the frustrations you bring up, we implore you to read each of these threads from beginning to end and then you'll have a great understanding of the battle you're in.

Not how both of these articles are in the Hot Topics forum.

How to avoid swirls and holograms? (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4966)
Need HELP! - How to avoid holograms? (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4929)

Here's another good one...

Can a Rotary Buffer like a Makita or DeWalt be as Idiot-proof as a PC? (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6680)

There's so much good information in the Hot Topics forum (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=80)...