autogeekonline car wax, car care and auto detailing forum Autogeek on TV
car wax, car care and auto detailing forumAutogeekonline autogeekonline car wax, car care and auto detailing forum HomeForumBlogAutogeek.net StoreDetailing Classes with Mike PhillipsGalleryDetailing How To's
 

» Detailing Classes

New Dates Available for the Autogeek Roadshow!
Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Dislikes Dislikes:  0
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 31
  1. #1
    Senior Member Scott@IncrediblyDetailed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    935
    Post Thanks / Like

    Basics: How To Clean You Exhaust Tips

    Cleaning Exhaust Tips: It’s All In The Details


    Exhaust tips are often overlooked when detailing a car. Many people just focus on the big picture: paint, wheels and windows; not realizing that one over looked area on a clean car will stick out like a soar thumb. Cleaning and polishing your exhaust tips will not only complete the look of your car, but also protect the tips from corrosion and caked on carbon build up.

    Different Types Of Exhaust Tips

    Exhaust tips are primary made of three different types of materials: mild steel, mild steel that is chrome plated and aerospace grade stainless steel. Mild steel is the least expensive and easily the most hideous. It’s very ridge and prone to cracking unlike the flexibility and durability of stainless steel. Mild steel rusts easily which makes it a poor choice to have exposed under your car where it will regularly see rain, snow and salt.

    Mild steel that is chrome plated is the next step up. It’s more durable and has the same characteristics as other chrome surfaces. It looks hundreds of times better than mild steel producing a mirror like shine. Its downfall comes in with durability, if not taken care of properly it’s prone to corroding and the coating can flake and peel.

    Stainless steel is the best material used for making exhaust tips. It’s extremely durable lasting roughly 4-5 times longer than chrome and not prone to cracking. It’s resistant to corrosion and when polished properly produces a similar mirror shine as chrome. The only downside to stainless steel is it’s cost, but if you consider its durability you will never need to replace it if taken care of properly, unlike the other options.

    Proper Cleaning Products And Tools

    There are a wide range of safe cleaners to use on exhaust tips such as degreasers, all purpose cleaners, dedicated wheel cleaners and different metal polishes. Experiment around and find out what products work best for you. I personally like to use the degreaser by Chemical Guys El Diablo and P21S Metal Polishing Soap but again a lot of different products work.

    After the initially cleaning you will need to polish the metal. I’ve tested several products and Chemical Guys Metal Shine is so far my favorite. Ever since using it cleaning my exhaust tips has been quick and easy. After polishing you can use a metal wax to help protect the tips. I’ve never had a need for this type of a product so I can’t speak to its effectiveness.

    Microfiber towels, wheel cleaning brushes and steel wool #0000 are all necessities when cleaning exhaust tips. If it’s soft enough not to mar or scratch the surface of your wheel (metal or clear coated) it will be safe for your exhaust.

    Do not use steel wool on any painted or power coated surface you will damage it. Also, be careful using steel wool #0000 on chrome; lots of lubrication is needed so you do not damage the surface. A way to check your products, tools and technique is to preform a small test spot on the exhaust tip to check the results. Pick an inconspicuous area, as there is a chance you could damage your exhaust tips.

    Let's Get Down To Business

    I had recently broken my ankle and this was the first time detailing my car since. It had been 6 months since I had washed it last and as you can see from the pictures if definitely needed it.


    Before:




    Soak your exhaust tips with cleaner and let it dwell to start breaking down the road grim and carbon build up.



    After the product has dwelled for a minute or so start agitating the surface with whichever cleaning tools you have available.



    I started with the inside and worked my way out.



    Making sure to get all the hard to reach places.



    Ready to be wiped down and polished.

    You can use steel wool #0000 during the initially cleaning step as well. I didn’t have a lot of time while making this guide so I wasn’t concerned with removing all the caked on carbon build up courtesy of the previous owner of the car. It would of taken me an hour to rub out all of the black build up you see inside the pipes. I’ll do it in the future and add the results to this guide.

    The next step is to use a microfiber towel or steel wool to polish the exhaust tips.



    Use a moderate amount of product with steel wool for proper lubrication.



    Spread the polish evenly all over the surface before you start to polish.



    Ready for the polish to be worked and bring out the mirror shine.

    Wipe off the used product and check the results. After using steel wool #0000 it’s a good idea to polish again with a microfiber towel.





    The Results:





    As you can see cleaning and polishing your exhaust tips makes a huge difference and really brings the look of the car together. By adding exhaust tip cleaning to your detailing routine you will prevent corrosion and caked on carbon build, while making cleaning next time faster and easier.

    The exhaust tips on this BMW M3 were not maintained properly for 8+ years and the carbon build up is a long tedious process to remove. Looking on the bright side they still cleaned up great for being neglected for so long.

    Cloudy day but still looks great for being 10 years old.





    Another Example:

    Recently I detailed a 2013 Kia Optima SXL. Its exhaust had not been cleaned or polished since day one. This is a perfect example of why you should routinely clean your exhaust. If left in it’s previous state it would have corroded over time leaving it a permanent eye sore.



    Before being cleaned and polished.



    After. The owner of the car didn’t even know his exhaust tip could look that good.


    This article can also be found on my blog: How To Clean Exhaust Tips Like A Pro | Incredibly Detailed

  2. #2
    Senior Member ScottB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    18,803
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Basics: How To Clean You Exhaust Tips

    Someone once shared with me a difference in steel wool 0000 and brass wool 0000. They suggested the steel wool can leave little metal shards that rust. I have found brass wool at specialty hardware stores in past. It costs more, but appears to be a little safer.

    I also highly suggest P21S Polishing soap on metals. It works extremely well at removing tarnish and all that dirt. I have noted that you need to follow up with a light metal polish to really bring back the bling-bling. I use one in the Wolfgang Metal line with nice results and P21S makes one also.


    Scott

  3. #3
    Senior Member WAXOFF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Just south of the Burgh
    Posts
    1,283
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Basics: How To Clean You Exhaust Tips

    +1 on the P21S.
    2011 Compass Latitude Bright Silver/ 2017 Nissan Rogue SV AWD Premium Glacier White
    REFLECTIVE IMAGE DETAILING

  4. #4
    Senior Member swanicyouth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Limerick, PA
    Posts
    9,330
    Post Thanks / Like

    Basics: How To Clean You Exhaust Tips

    That's a great write up, Nick should re-locate this guy to Stuart and give him a job. I also use the Daytona Brushes to clean the inside of the exhaust.

    Recently, I've been thinking about doing something sort of nuts. My BMW M has the four factory chrome exhaust outlets, like the ones in the write up above (S54).. I wash the car so much that the outside is always clean (exhaust tip). However, after the first drive, the inside starts getting dirty again and stained.

    I've thought about what to do to combat this. Short of installing an electric engine in the car, I thought about Opticoating the inside of the exhaust tip.

    Does OC hold up to high temps?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Scott@IncrediblyDetailed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    935
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Basics: How To Clean You Exhaust Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by killrwheels@autogeek View Post
    Someone once shared with me a difference in steel wool 0000 and brass wool 0000. They suggested the steel wool can leave little metal shards that rust. I have found brass wool at specialty hardware stores in past. It costs more, but appears to be a little safer.

    I also highly suggest P21S Polishing soap on metals. It works extremely well at removing tarnish and all that dirt. I have noted that you need to follow up with a light metal polish to really bring back the bling-bling. I use one in the Wolfgang Metal line with nice results and P21S makes one also.
    I'll have to look into this. I've never had the issue of the metal shards. I feel like if you wiped it down with a microfiber or polished again with a microfiber it would remove the shards. I don't think steel wool #0000 is going to penetrate the surface of chrome or stainless steel if used correctly so anything would just be sitting on the surface or mixed into your used product.



    Quote Originally Posted by swanicyouth View Post
    That's a great write up, Nick should re-locate this guy to Stuart and give him a job. I also use the Daytona Brushes to clean the inside of the exhaust.

    Recently, I've been thinking about doing something sort of nuts. My BMW M has the four factory chrome exhaust outlets, like the ones in the write up above (S54).. I wash the car so much that the outside is always clean (exhaust tip). However, after the first drive, the inside starts getting dirty again and stained.

    I've thought about what to do to combat this. Short of installing an electric engine in the car, I thought about Opticoating the inside of the exhaust tip.

    Does OC hold up to high temps?
    Are you sure they are chrome? I would think on an M model they would be stainless steel.

    Here's your opti coat answer:

    http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/...tml#post698713

  6. #6
    Senior Member HateSwirls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    3,612
    Post Thanks / Like
    A while back I started to clean my exhaust tips, very black, nothing worked to clean them.
    Then I thought of this product I used many years ago called No.7 Polishing Compound so I went to my local hardware store and bought a can, five bucks.
    I took a terry clothe towel and put a little on the towel, didn't have to rub hard, let the polish do the job, so easy to do.
    Just don't buy the rubbing compound, too hard to work with.
    With the No.7 it cleans and polishes all in one step.
    Works wonders I tell you.

    Back in the day that's what I used to polish my SS paint.
    Oh how things have changed since then.
    cajundetailingbykevin.com
    vpcajun@gmail.com

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    17
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Basics: How To Clean You Exhaust Tips

    The engine in my Audi kicks out an insane amount of carbon. I tried many cleaners and polishes to keep the exhaust tips shiny. The best polish I found is Optimum Metal Polish. It makes the surface so "slippery" that the carbon washes off with the wash water I use for the rest of the car.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    325
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Basics: How To Clean You Exhaust Tips

    I was wondering if anyone followed up their cleaning regimen with a wax or sealant on the tips. Having just done mine and the whole polished stainless exhaust should I think about this step or just leave it in its polished state?

  9. #9
    Senior Member erichaley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Lincoln, NE
    Posts
    844
    Post Thanks / Like
    Great write-up! What do you do for mild steel exhaust tips?
    2013 Honda Accord Touring - Crystal Black Pearl/Black

  10. #10
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stuart, Florida
    Posts
    41,424
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Basics: How To Clean You Exhaust Tips

    Very, very nice write up and photography Scott.

    Very professionally done.

    Bold headings, lots of white space to break up paragraphs and pictures. All this makes an article inviting and easy to read and that is the goal... get people to read the article.


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member
    CD-SV, RT
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
    Twitter
    Instagram


    Click on a book to get your own copy.



Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Best Way To Clean Dual Exhaust Tips?
    By mycarmycar28582 in forum Auto Detailing 101
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 01-10-2016, 05:37 PM
  2. Steel or bronze wool to clean exhaust tips?
    By KS_Detailing in forum Auto Detailing 101
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 10-20-2013, 11:27 PM
  3. How To Clean Exhaust Tips by Machine with Wolfgang Metal Polishes
    By Mike Phillips in forum 2009 to 2017 - How to articles by Mike Phillips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-27-2013, 11:10 AM
  4. How to keep exhaust tips clean between polishings
    By WRXINXS in forum Auto Detailing 101
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-12-2013, 02:09 PM
  5. Best way to clean and polish exhaust tips?
    By mcpp66 in forum Ask Mike Phillips your detailing questions!
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-13-2011, 09:48 AM

Members who have read this thread: 2

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

» February 2019

S M T W T F S
2728293031 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 12