My wife's friend has an 8th gen Civic with 78k on the clock. Probably gets washed once a year and was pretty grimy when I got it. Did the standard work through this weekend, nothing too extreme as the paint was still in good condition.
I should probably introduce myself a bit in here although I've been around Vortex and other forums for awhile. I used to detail cars on the side (as well as my own) during my college years and still take up a job here and there through word of mouth. I use A LOT of Meguiar's Professional line products and have always yielded great results. I picked up a brand new 2012 GLI last Thanksgiving and being my first new car, it should be easy to keep up to par instead of my previous adventures. My prior car was a 2005 Toyota Matrix XR AWD that had 20k on the odometer when I got it. I spent just about 20 hours on the paint alone to get it to my standards, crazy endeavor but it paid off. Maybe I'll throw pics of that job up sometime in the near future but for now here is what I did for the friend and tools used.
After I finished the interior work I tackled the engine bay. For my own precaution and just cause I'm probably overly cautious in general I covered the battery terminals with plastic to keep them from getting too wet. Then I rinsed it down lightly with the hose, spray Simple Green everywhere and let it sit, brushed lightly where needed, and sprayed down again. Then some Meguiar's #41 cleaner to most reachable parts for a nice finish.
Next I gave the car a good washing with a little Dawn dish soap. I only use Dawn when giving a car a breakdown wash to get any cleaners, waxes, etc. off. Most car wash soaps today come with waxes in them and all this additive crud. I tend to stick with a simple Mother's Gold to get the job done normally.
Then I took the clay bar system to it to remove any contaminants in the paint. It's amazing how a clean looking car can still have so much stuff built up in the paint over time. Plus it goes a long way to having a nice smooth surface to work off of later on.
Finally I went over the car twice with the G100 DA Polisher. First time with Meg's #80 Speed Glaze Swirl Remover on a 8006 foam pad then #26 Tech Wax on a 9006 buff pad. In exterme cases I've used the #83 which takes a lot of elbow grease and work but really clears up sun webbing, most light scratches, etc. Followed this up with PlastX on the head and taillamps, and window cleaning (including the little edges that tuck up into the seals), and tire spray. End result:
Nothing too crazy but thought I would use this to introduce myself here and offer any tips, advisement, help, or even gain a little more knowledge myself.