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View Full Version : Working in the sun? How HOT does your car's paint get?



Mike Phillips
Jun 26th, 2008, 08:53 AM
Working in the sun? How HOT does your car's paint get? (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24930)

The topic of working on a car in direct sun comes up from time to time, there are some companies that claim you can use their products in the sun. That's kind of vague because there's a HUGE difference between working on your car in the sun in the morning when it's cool out and working on a car in the sun at noon in Arizona in August where temperatures can easily surpass 160 degrees.

So next time someone claims their product can be used in direct sun, ask them to be more specific, ask them how hot the surface can be and their product can still be used safely and key word here, still be usedeffectively on the very hot surface they're claiming their products can be used on.

(We're betting there will be a pause with a lot of hemming and hawing in the answer). :D


Just for the record, even if a product can be used on a hot surface in the sun, this same product will ALWAYS work better on a cool surface in the shade.

The below was taken from the 2nd Advanced Class we've coordinated through our forum, note that these pictures were taken in Irvine, California, (a coastal city where temperatures don't get extreme), and they were taken in May, not even summer yet. Still, look how hot the paint became while the cars were sitting in the parking lot of our Corporate office.


Advanced Class #2 - Pictures & Comments (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24044)


It was a beautiful sunny day at Meguiar's Garage! Check out the temperature differences for the different colors of paint sitting in full sun, especially the difference between the temperature on a white car as compared to a black car.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/755/2AdvClasstemp001.jpg


White car - 110 degrees
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/755/2AdvClasstemp002.jpg


Silver Metallic - 129 degrees
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/755/2AdvClasstemp003.jpg


Green Metallic - 165 degrees
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/755/2AdvClasstemp004.jpg



Silver Metallic - 154 degrees
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/755/2AdvClasstemp005.jpg



Black - 168 degrees
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/755/2AdvClasstemp006.jpg



Our demo car was parked inside Meguiar's Garage since early morning...
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/755/2AdvClass006.jpg



Even out of the sun on a warm day the surface temperature can still be warm.
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/755/2AdvClasstemp007.jpg



Additional Information

What temperature ranges are best for applying cleaners, polishes, and waxes (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2999)


:)

Mr Mustang
Jun 26th, 2008, 09:20 AM
^and that's why I dont get to resume work on my car until september, outside washings

pampos
Jun 26th, 2008, 09:43 AM
So how it translated a 95 degrees air temperature away of direct sunlight on a black car ?? : )

TxZ71
Jun 26th, 2008, 09:53 AM
Even after only 20 minutes in direct sun here in West Texas, the surface of my truck is too hot to touch. And I can definately relate to the hot surface even in the shade. You guys have it good for detailing out there on the coast.

pampos
Jun 26th, 2008, 10:03 AM
I have the same problem here in Cyprus in less than 5 minutes in direct sunlight...Today i was applying some glaze on my car(it was out of direct sunlight all day long) and the glaze was drying almost at once,also the QD did so....

danponjican
Jun 26th, 2008, 11:44 AM
That's egg frying temperatures!

TxZ71
Jun 26th, 2008, 11:47 AM
I agree. I can't even think about using Quik Detailer when my truck has been out in the sun for 10 to 20 minutes because the QD will dry on the surface within seconds and just smear like a wax. I hate that because I love to use the QD often.

new2detailing
Jun 26th, 2008, 12:22 PM
I agree, even when the product states "use in sun or shade" I always try to use it in early morning or at dusk. Otherwise the flash time for "any" product is greatly diminished.

pampos
Jun 26th, 2008, 01:15 PM
I agree. I can't even think about using Quik Detailer when my truck has been out in the sun for 10 to 20 minutes because the QD will dry on the surface within seconds and just smear like a wax. I hate that because I love to use the QD often.

I used QD on shade and the car was on shade all day long :D

Andy M.
Jun 26th, 2008, 01:30 PM
You could also check out this video.

Meguiar’s Complete Video Guide (http://www.meguiars.com/video/index_flash.cfm?playURL=rtmp://meguiars.flashsvc.vitalstreamcdn.com/meguiars_vitalstream_com/_definst_/WaxClinic_Part2.flv&VideoName=Barry%20Meguiar's%20Wax%20Clinic%20-%20Part%202)

Andy
101impala

danponjican
Sep 15th, 2008, 10:41 AM
I just thought I would share this video of polishing on a panel that is measured to be 155F.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJPph-aCsIk

Ryan L.
Sep 15th, 2008, 05:56 PM
Great video and even better buffer swirls, never seen any buffer swirls so perfect!! What do you gain posting your own videos on another manufactures forum and showing horrible technique to people that are trying to learn the art of paint polishing? Are you just that bored?

:chuckle1:chuckle1:chuckle1:chuckle1

Mike Phillips
Sep 16th, 2008, 07:19 AM
I just thought I would share this video of polishing on a panel that is measured to be 155F.




Thank you for sharing, it just makes us look good.

If you watch the video, the technician in the video points out how other manufactures of car polish and waxes recommend that you work on a cool surface in the shade.

Thank you. That is correct. That is what we, Meguiar's, a manufacture of a wide spectrum of paint care products recommends and it's great to have other people give us due credit and recognition for this sage wisdom.

Now follow me on this and it will all make sense...

Even if a product can be used on hot paint in direct sun.... wouldn't it still work better on a cool surface in the shade?

Of course it would!

Meguiar's has been around as long or longer than any car polish manufacture still in business today that you can name. (Any takers?) These other company's are Newbies to the industry and there's nothing wrong with that my point is we've been teaching people to work smarter, not harder long before they came onto the scene. So they can borrow that phrase from us but they can't claim they've been teaching that philosophy longer than us.

Make sense?

(You see I'm not cutting down the technician or the company in that video or any technician or any video or any other company, I'm just framing up the big picture for the point being made in this reply. I have to include this little snippet because so many people read forums and the either on purpose or without thinking out the bigger picture they take what's written out of context. I"m not cutting anyone down, I'm making the point that we've been teaching people how to buff out paint longer than anyone in at least the U.S. market today and a part of what we teach people in this industry is to work harder, not smarter. There's a very long history and precedence for this fact.)


So again, here's the point, Meguiar's has throughout it's entire automotive history put our focus on education, that is educating the people that use our products on how to do the jobs that require our products. We walk the talk and this forum is just another example of our focus on education.

Part of putting the focus on education is teaching people to work smarter, not harder and that circles us back to the point at hand...

Even if a product can be used on a hot surface in the sun, wouldn't that same product work better on a cool surface in the shade?

The answer is "Yes"!

So why would we teach people to work harder?

Answer: We wouldn't and we don't.


We teach people to work smarter, not harder and that means working on a cool surface in the shade. By doing this you keep the temperature down and your product of choice will perform better because the ingredients are not trying to evaporate and dry off the surface as you're trying to perform a task.

There is no benefit to working on a hot surface in the sun. If there is, then I personally don't know about it and anyone that can name a true and helpful benefit that is the result from working on a hot surface in the sun please feel free to post the benefit and then back it up in detail with written words in detail, (not just a fluffy one liner), so the rest of us will be convinced you're right.

That said, we understand that in the mobile detail industry, and even at body shops, sometimes people are forced to work directly in the sun due to lack of space or no cover. We understand this, but it doesn't change the fact that the best way to work on automotive paints is to work on a cool surface in the shade.

As for the technician in the video and the video itself? Thanks for giving us credit for dong the right thing and that's to teach people to work smarter, not harder and when you can work on a cool surface in the shade.

Also, there's a huge difference in working a small spot on the side of a car versus buffing out the entire car including the horizontal panels in the sun.

A HUGE difference. For a pro, (and I know a few), they can make any product look easy to use on a small spot on the side of a car in the sun.

Also, can I get a witness?

How many time on this forum has someone posted they're having problems with a product and the advice given on this forum is to shrink down the size of the area they're working on.

If you're a new member to this forum, or a new lurker to this forum, then you can take my word for it or go through my posting history and you'll find dozens, if not hundreds of recommendations to people to shrink down the size of their work area for all kinds of reasons.

Here's a recent example (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27189). (Second post, 2nd bullet point down)
Here's an example (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20874) in a how to article. (first bullet point addresses size of work area)

Look how large an area he's working in the video?

(Hint... it's a small area)

Just some point to ponder...

:)

Mike Phillips
Sep 16th, 2008, 07:24 AM
Also just to note,

The photos in the first page of this thread were taken from our Advanced Class #2 (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24044) on Wet-sanding, Cutting & Polishing paint. (Education).

What the pictures on the first page of this thread don't show are these two pictures from page 2 (http://http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24044&page=2) of the thread,



Our demo car was parked inside Meguiar's Garage since early morning...
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/755/2AdvClass006.jpg



Even out of the sun on a warm day the surface temperature can still be warm.
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/755/2AdvClasstemp007.jpg



That's right... we parked our demo car in the garage so our students could work on a cool surface in the shade. (Cool surface being relative as this is Sunny Southern California!)


:)

bluecadillac
Sep 24th, 2008, 01:35 AM
i always do my car in the am so i can take lots of time and get it done nice

new2detailing
Sep 24th, 2008, 12:12 PM
I do not have a garage or an enclosed space to detail, so I try to plan to detail in the early am to avoid working with hot panels. Whether or not a product works in directly in the Sun or not, I do not want to bake in the Sun or overstress myself. If that means a detail extends to 2 mornings, then so be it. I am a casual detailer who will do a paid detail occasionally, so I try to do it on my terms.

ZoranC
Sep 24th, 2008, 01:54 PM
Reading too deep into things is a sure proof way of ending up misinterpreting message as meant into something completely different, taking the ball and running it for many yards, but in the wrong direction.

If we go back to point as meant it is very simple: Here is something you can use in the sun when you have no other way.

Not because you want to work harder, and not smarter, but because that is all you have, whether you like it or not. Nobody polishes in the sun because they enjoy it that way. We do it because that is all we have and we have to deal with it.

If I had a dollar for every time somebody tells me it is much better out of the sun I would have had a garage by now. Considering I still don't I have to deal with what I have and will therefore appreciate any product that lets me work in such conditions because what is other option that is offered to me? Not do it at all until I have garage? That is not an option.

For quite a number of regular Joe Schmoes like me out there that is the reality of deaily living and we appreciate what help us dealing with facts of reality. We carry water in the bucket, we string the extension cord through the window of our apartments and we polish in the sun, and here in Southern California moment sun is up long enough that you don't have to deal with morning mist it is also up long enough that that paint is hot. And by the time you can finish with washing and claying and are ready for polishing it will be hot even more. If one decides to polish only out of the sun then polishing will never happen.

Mike Phillips
Sep 24th, 2008, 02:32 PM
Good point Zoran, and I left out enthusiasts when I wrote this,




That said, we understand that in the mobile detail industry, and even at body shops, sometimes people are forced to work directly in the sun due to lack of space or no cover.

We understand this, but it doesn't change the fact that the best way to work on automotive paints is to work on a cool surface in the shade.



It should have read like this,

That said, we understand that in both the mobile detail business and in the refinishing industry, (body shops), as well as for enthusiasts, sometimes people are forced to work directly in the sun due to lack of space or no shade cover.

We understand this, but it doesn't change the fact that the best way to work on automotive paints is to work on a cool surface in the shade.

It also doesn't mean that a product formulated to work in direct sun on a hot surface won't work better on a cool surface in the shade.

:)

AeroCleanse
Sep 24th, 2008, 02:53 PM
Good point Zoran, and I left out enthusiasts when I wrote this,



It should have read like this,

That said, we understand that in both the mobile detail business and in the refinishing industry, (body shops), as well as for enthusiasts, sometimes people are forced to work directly in the sun due to lack of space or no shade cover.

We understand this, but it doesn't change the fact that the best way to work on automotive paints is to work on a cool surface in the shade.

It also doesn't mean that a product formulated to work in direct sun on a hot surface won't work better on a cool surface in the shade.

:)

And what if you can't get into shade?

Mike Phillips
Sep 24th, 2008, 03:00 PM
And what if you can't get into shade?

Then as I've posted hundreds of times... you do the best you can... you shrink the size of your work area down, you use your product heavier or wetter than normal.

Never said you couldn't work in the sun, just tried to explain that even if you have a product that's formulated to work on hot paint in the sun it's still going to work better on a cool surface in the shade.

If that's true, (and it is), then if you can work on a cool surface in the shade then you should work on a cool surface in the shade.

If you can't... then hustle!

For what it's worth, as a mobile detailer I've buffed out cars in the sun. Didn't like it, made EVERYTHING harder, can even dig up the pictures on 35mm to prove it.

:)

Markus Kleis
Sep 24th, 2008, 03:03 PM
And what if you can't get into shade?
Wear lots of sun screen, drink plenty of water, and match your expectations accordingly! No product (that I am aware of) is optimally used in the sun...so as Mike is trying to convey, you *can* work in the sun if you *have* to...but realize it likely won't be the best of experiences regardless of the products you choose.

That's my take anyway. :rofl:

AeroCleanse
Sep 24th, 2008, 03:20 PM
Wear lots of sun screen, drink plenty of water, and match your expectations accordingly! No product (that I am aware of) is optimally used in the sun...so as Mike is trying to convey, you *can* work in the sun if you *have* to...but realize it likely won't be the best of experiences regardless of the products you choose.

That's my take anyway. :rofl:

I'll be evaluating the product in question, and see what results I get.

ZoranC
Sep 24th, 2008, 03:24 PM
Good point Zoran
Thank you! :)


If you can't... then hustle!

I loved that movie! :dp:

ZoranC
Sep 24th, 2008, 03:25 PM
I'll be evaluating the product in question, and see what results I get.
Seeing for oneself is always the best approach.

AeroCleanse
Sep 24th, 2008, 03:59 PM
And it doesn't get as hot here as it does in AZ or SoCal

wazid
Dec 31st, 2008, 01:52 AM
Applying carcare chemicals on a hot surface on the car is a classic mistake, also in Sweden.
Thinking of how the concentration of chemicals increases when the water evaporates, it is not surprising that one can get problems with the surface on the car.

I also measured the temperature of a car paint last summer. 67 degrees Centigrade (152 Fahrenheit) on the hood, which is blue metallic, and 83 degrees Centigrade (181 Fahrenheit) on the steering wheel!
That is hot!

But right now it is more of a freezing problem in Sweden;-)

//David