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Old 28-05-2008   #1
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Looking after my Panda

I've had my car 10 days now, and I have a couple of questions. I posted both of these in the relevant areas of the forum, but it I know a lot of Panda people don't stray far from the two Panda sections, so thought I'd better ask here too...

Firstly, I have to take my car to some fairly insalubrious areas and I'm looking for an alarm. There was some debate when I first posted about this before I ordered and as a result I didn't factory order the Fiat one. I started a thread here but the Security forum seems to have rather less traffic than a coned off hard shoulder. Ideally I want something that will integrate into the existing fob, but it's not essential. So what alarms have people fitted to their Pandas? Sadly my budget doesn't quite stretch to the super-duper kit suggested by Chris

Secondly, my wee boy is getting ready for his first bath and, since I threw out the cheapo shampoo and filthy yellow sponge when I got rid of the old banger, I'm after some advice on how to keep the paintwork showroom shiny.

It seems from my original thread, that washing by hand is better for the paint than pressure washing. At least in the short term, but I read so much conflicting information of this subject, I thought I'd run my shopping list past you guys too, before I buy something I shouldn't. After all there are some very clean shiny Pandas here.

My cleaning shopping list is currently:

- Meguiars Gold Class Shampoo
- Sonus Sheepskin Wash Mitt
- Huge 38" x 28" Microfibre Drying Towel

- Collinite No. 476S - Super Doublecoat Auto Wax
- Foam Wax Applicator
- Ultimate Ultra-Plush Buffing Cloth 16" x 16"

Thanks in advance peoples.
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Old 28-05-2008   #2
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Re: Looking after my Panda

I can't help you on the alarm issue but i can certainly comment on the cleaning side of things.

So far the shopping list sounds good. Just remember that when washing use the two bucket method (one bucket containing wash solution and one bucket with plain water used to rinse the mitt) when washing.

With your car being new it shouldn't really need to be polished although if you feel like it i can highly recommend Autoglym Super Resin Polish when working by hand. It may also be worth purchasing a clay kit to removed bonded grime.

As for your wax, you have made a great choice. The 476S will not only leave a great finish but it will also have great durability. Two coats 24hrs apart should last a good few months
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Old 28-05-2008   #3
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Re: Looking after my Panda

I'm a social worker, I work around Wythenshawe mainly in South Manchester. Its one of the most deprived areas in the country.

I don't have an alarm just the standard immobiliser. I generally find nobody takes any interest as a rule in the panda.

I never felt so comfortable when i had my BMW 325i.

So I don't worry about it.

As for cleaning, err... I've never even waxed my car let alone dried it. The Teg gets polished but the best Pandi can hope for is a wash and rinse!
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Old 28-05-2008   #4
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Re: Looking after my Panda

Alarm. Well firstly the Panda is not a desirable motor for the car-stealing chav. Secondly, who takes a jot of notice of an alarm going off in the street these days?
If you want to feel that bit safer, buy and fit a steering wheel lock in bright yellow.
Washing, well if you want your car to last you need to get the mud and salt off the underside and from the wheelarches, so a pressure washer is ideal.
Then you blast the dirt off the body with said presure washer which, as it only contacts the body with water, does not scratch or damage the paint.
Then you wash with car shampoo. I favour a brush because a sponge can be very abrasive especially if dropped on the muckey ground.
Then pressure wash off the soap and dry with a good quality chammy.
Result, a motor that looks like new after 3 years.
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Old 28-05-2008   #5
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Re: Looking after my Panda

I'm a lazy git when it comes to car cleaning so I wanted minimal effort with the best result so the first time I did it, I used:

Holts? car shampoo I bought from Costco a couple of years back and am still working through
Non-lambswool wash mitt
Megs ClayBar to prep the surface
Klass sealant (did the wheels with this too)
Couple of layers of Collinite 476S wax.

I don't bother with the 2 bucket method as I can't really see any benefit and I also wouldn't bother with applicator pads for the sealant or wax - terry towels work just as well, imho, and either use a terry towel or microfibre cloth to buff it off (Costco is a great source of terry towels ). If I had a convenient tap, I'd use a pressure washer to soak and rinse the car and you won't have any problems unless you have the jet really close (1 cm) to the paint.

That little lot took me about 3 hours, but now I can hand wash the car with just some shampoo every couple of weeks and it only takes me 30 minutes and still looks showroom shiny. Not sure whether I'll bother doing it for this weekend though

Chris
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Old 28-05-2008   #6
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Cool Re: Looking after my Panda

Alarm you say ..well here you go..I found this one yonks ago when someone in the stilo section wanted one..and its suitable for fiats as well..

http://www.extremeautoaccessories.co...&product=10729

Best part is the price ..dont think you will beat tht anywhere..
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Old 28-05-2008   #7
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Re: Looking after my Panda

I've a Toad alarm and I honestly wouldn't recommend it... The car computer doesn't like it and it goes off all the time. It messed up major time a couple of months ago, and refused to turn off at all (by fob or by code). I ended up having to disconnect the battery to re-set it... I had the installer out and he said he had never heard of that happening before. He worked on it for some time, but it's still not working right. I've been considering getting it removed.

Your cleaning list looks fine to me, but I honestly wouldn't use an abrasive wax on a new car. I used Turtle Wax Sealant on mine when it was new to protect it. I always dry my Panda when I wash it as if I don't I end up with streaky marks. I use a load of Meguiars products on my Panda (Wax, trim detailer, quick detailer, tyre shine, etc) - So much so, that the cupboard under the sink if half filled with car cleaning stuff . Just wish I had more time...
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Old 29-05-2008   #8
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Re: Looking after my Panda

Thanks for your comments everyone! Should have posted here first really.

Certainly resolves the cleaning issues. I'm in two minds about the jet wash, as I still think that anything that minimises contact with the paint is good, but will wait a few months before doing anything other than a handwash.

It seems that the Collinite 476 (being non-abrasive) is a universally approved treatment so that's one for the shopping list too.

Just leaves the issue of the alarm. I read the thread about your alarm, WeeSmurf, and will certainly be avoiding the Toad. Hope you find an answer eventually.

Has anyone got the Fiat one? I read somewhere that it's Thatcham C2 but Fiat don't claim this.
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