Specialists recommend changing the pad on your dual action polisher when it starts to wear and you see a hazy build-up in the pad surface.
Typically, you should expect to change buffing pads every 25-50 car washes, although this can vary depending on how often and aggressively you use the machine. If you have been using your machine for quite some time, you may even need to change the pad with fewer car washes.
So, how long do polishing pads last? It’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. The lifespan of your pad can vary based on several factors, including the type of pad you’re using. More aggressive or coarser pads tend to wear out quicker and will need to be replaced more frequently. Additionally, if you’re switching between different types of polishes and other abrasives, a pad change is necessary, as different materials serve specific purposes.
Ignoring the signs of wear on your pad can result in uneven polish application, creating swirl marks or even causing scratches. This not only detracts from the aesthetics but could also harm your vehicle’s paintwork. A fresh pad ensures that you get an even application and reduces the risk of any damage, making it a critical step in keeping your car looking its best.
Why is it essential to change the pads on my dual action polisher?
As you use your polisher, the pad becomes worn. As a result, the ability of the pad to make safe contact with surfaces is reduced. As a result, it can lead to swirls or other paint damage inflicted on vehicles as they are polished.
Even using the best dual action car polisher, the felt pad will begin to pile up with paint and residue. If this is not cleaned off regularly, these residues can work it’s way down into the polisher itself, causing damage to its internal components. Just put, changing out your pads during each detail will ensure that your DA polisher always runs at maximum efficiency.
How do I know if my pad on dual action polisher is wearing out?
The most common symptom that the pad on your dual action polisher is wearing out is that the pad is fading in color. In addition, the pad can have a “lighter spot” where use is most frequent or have less definition on edges and be more rounded than when new.
Besides, the polisher is harder to push when in use. It can be due to pad build-up, but it also could indicate your pads are wearing out and need replacement.
One more symptom is the lack of polishing power. Many other factors can cause a decrease in performance, but if you’re using a new compound or polish and it suddenly isn’t working like it used to, this is likely the problem. After using your polisher, the paint surface may no longer look as smooth as it once did.
How do I change the pads on my dual action polisher?
The first step to changing the pads on your dual action polisher is to make sure you purchase the correct pad for your machine. There are many different brands and models of DA polishers on the market, and each has a slightly different configuration of backing plates and accessories.
Once you have confirmed that your replacement pad will fit your polisher, you can remove the old pads by simply pulling them off the backing plate. For stubborn pads, you may need to use a flat head screwdriver or an awl to pry up one corner of the pad before pulling it off. Next, inspect the platen and clean off any remaining residue with a rag and cleaner.
Now slide your new pads onto the backing plate, making sure to line up the hook-and-loop fasteners, so they fit snugly against each other.
When inserting screws into your new pads, only tighten them slightly. If you tighten the screws too much, you may strip out the hole in the pad, and it will become unusable. After installing your new pads, go back over each one with a rubber mallet to seat them firmly against the platen. Therefore, learning how to change polishing pads effectively is a minor but vital step in keeping your car in tip-top shape.