I've had this car for 5 and a half years - 140k+ miles and it's parked on the street in NYC almost every night. Also, it's never been machine polished as long as I've owned the car, just semi-regular washing/waxing with the occasional claybar treatment. Before the second Passover seder I went over to a friend's house and we did the following:
- Mild paint cleaner (I clayed it 6 months ago so we didn't go super-aggressive on this step)
- Swirl and scratch remover applied via Porter-Cable random orbit + foam pad (This step was 100% my friend)
- Thoroughly cleaned & waxed all the door shuts/jambs/wheels/tire dressing (This was all me while he polished the paint)
- Final wax with some fancy boutique carnuba wax (I forget the brand). Here are the pics. I forgot to take "befores" but there were a bunch of light scratches/swirls/hazing/etc... that's basically gone now. The NYC bumper damage and various dings look better too
The difference is DRAMATIC, especially on the rear bumper which has been ravaged repeatedly by braille parking (not by me, lol).
Only things I want to do now to finish off the reconditioning are to replace the fog lights (both have holed lenses) and some paintless dent work. Who knows when I'll feel like spending the cash on those things though