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I'm awful at taking care of my car's exterior. How about you?

I have a used 2005 Subaru Outback XT. That's the turbo charged model. They made about 5000 total in all the years it was made...2005-2009. They dropped turbo on Subaru's after that except for the Impreza (WTX and STi) and Forester models which have the exact same chassis...only the exterior is different. The reason I bought this used car is for the power when needed AND the best all-wheel drive system in the industry (I could include a youtube video of exactly why this is true...but decided not to).

So, what I care about is what my car is capable of doing in the real world...both on streets and out in the woods and mountains and snow and ice. It's essentially a front-wheel drive car in normal conditions with 75% of the power going to the front wheels and 25% to the rear. Anytime something causes one of the wheels to slip or loose it's grip, the computer completely takes the power away from it and supplies it to all the rest.

And the turbo model gets only 1 mpg less than the non-turbo model. Another thing about this car is it has a clutch and a manual transmission. That is something I must have! They made less than 2000 of these and I actually have one. Frankly, my car is a fairly rare beast. And I'm sure I'm one in about 2000 that care about what this car is.

Driving normally never engages the turbo. That only happens when you step on the gas and the RPM's go over 3500. That way the car knows if you are just giving it some gas OR needing to charge past a slow moving truck. The feeling of turbo is crazy cool. It feels as if the car is being yanked by a rope ahead of you.

Well, I keep my car's guts in great shape. I replaced my stuts when the time came with KYB brand struts...not the lousy Monroe struts (they truly are inferior). I put synthetic oil in it so I only need to change the oil every 7500 miles. And I make sure all the other working parts work right.

BUT I am terrible at taking care of the outside of my car. It was pretty trashed when I bought it. To me that's just the exterior...not what truly counts. I hadn't washed my car all summer. There were tree sap spots and bird poop spots and bug crap spots. I felt I should finally do something about my car's external appearance...so I tried to wash it. That didn't work.

Then I took "bug goo remover" and scrubbed the bad spots. That did nothing even with repeated tries. Then I took pure napthalene and scrubbed the spots...nope! This told me what I needed to know. The stuff had eaten into the paint and wasn't just on the surface. Let's have a look at what my car looked like after all these attempts.

subie before

This stuff didn't work at all...and this was tried after I first washed it!

didn't do crap

So then I realized I had a real problem. I went and bought a buffer ($25) and used this stuff to buff out the stains.

the buffer
what worked

Then I washed my car again...dried it off with a towel...and viola! A nice clean shiny car again. I'll have to wax it in the next few days to prepare her for the winter. But she looks pretty swell. This is really a special car, though maybe there are only 2000 people who own one and know it. She can go anywhere and under any weather conditions.

and done

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