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Thread: Detailing top tips & procedures

  1. #1
    paullowther's Avatar
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    Detailing top tips & procedures

    So with the worst of the weather fast approaching and lots of other threads containing mini discussions regarding detailing I thought it might be a good idea to set up a dedicated topic.

    Basically if anybody has any detailing top tips then pop them in here.

    Best brand of product, best wax, best polish, best shampoo, best tools/cloths/sponges, ways of working, places to buy these items, good/bad experiences, interior, exterior, engine.... Bla bla bla
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    Good idea, looking forward to the responses.

    Would be good to hear about recommendations for someone with zero kit and not having to spend lots at once - what should I buy first (basics) for a small amount of money, and what can wait until later on?
    Sport 2.0 TDI 150 Sportback in Scuba Blue, alcantara/leather, advanced key, audi sound system, comfort pack w/ ACC and park assist, deselect sports suspension, auto-dimming & folding door mirrors, electric lumbar support, heated seats, hold assist, non-smoking pack, side & lane assist, reversing camera, storage & luggage pack, tech pack with audi connect, tyre pressure warning, towbar, variable headlight range control, xenon light pack

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    Auto Finesse products.

    Have a look here for a vast array of hints, tips and product advice:

    Europes Largest Resource for Detailers, Valeters and Car Cleaning

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    There is obviously lots of info and tips in the detialing thread but.....

    This is a copy of my regime which I posted in the pics thread a couple of weeks back along with pics.

    Regime was pretty simple as did not need to paint clean or polish (but still took 2.5 hours) as only a month old, but wheels pretty dirty after a lot of motorway diving.


    Used mainly autoglym products except for wash sponge and drying towel which were both dodo juice microfibre, used several other polishing cloths from various sources and an autoglym synthetic chamois for drying windows and wheels.


    1. Autoglym shampoo conditioner, two bucket method, and pressure washer rinsed and then dried
    2. Autoglym high gloss on the bodywork (very impressed)
    3. Autoglym wheel cleaner and sealed with wonder wheels spray sealant, Maguiars tire gel used on the wheels
    4. Windows - outside, Autoglym glass polish, inside Mr muscle glass cleaner
    5. Trims inside and out - Autoglym vinyl and rubber cleaner, upholstery/leather obviously still very clean so used no cleaner just a vacuum cleaner


    I will probably wax the car again before winter sets in, probably with maguiars wax,, and then do a full paint clean, polish and wax next spring.

    if you are on a budget but want the full range of gear can't go wrong with looking on eBay for a Autoglym lifeshine kit which you should be able to pick up for around £40-£50 the add tire gel and wheel sealer (£10ish) and few clothes and microfibres etc (£15ish) and you can probably fully kit yourself out for around £75 which should keep you going for best part of year or more with the exception of replenishing shampoo.

    the detailing section also has a good section on procedure to follow depending on colour and great advice on high end products.


    top tip - do not use chamois leather for paintwork, microfibre all the way
    JudderMan likes this.
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    97catalunya's Avatar
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    Yeah good thread, detailing for dummies
    I would also like to know the best way to clean the wheels without taking them off
    A3 S-Line 1.8TFSI S-Tronic Daytona Grey, Tech Pack, Comfort Pack, B&O, Parking System Plus with reversing cam, HHA, Folding Mirrors, Interior Lighting Pack, Advanced Key

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    Quote Originally Posted by paullowther View Post
    So with the worst of the weather fast approaching and lots of other threads containing mini discussions regarding detailing I thought it might be a good idea to set up a dedicated topic.

    Basically if anybody has any detailing top tips then pop them in here.

    Best brand of product, best wax, best polish, best shampoo, best tools/cloths/sponges, ways of working, places to buy these items, good/bad experiences, interior, exterior, engine.... Bla bla bla
    Sponges!!!! If your planning on using a sponge you may aswell use the frying pan scourer out of the kitchen. Next you'll be saying you use a shammy leather !

    Head over to detailedobsession to have a look at the products and tips they have on offer a really good website.

    I personally use a 2 bucket method using a genuine lambs wool wash mit, i like meguires products so i use next gen shampoo. It gives a great amount of suds throught the wash and last till the end. Its about £15 for a large bottle and you can even get it in Halfords.

    Then give it a good rinse with clean fresh water and wash your buckets out. Then fill a bucket with clean warm not hot water.
    Then get yourself a decent microfibre cloth and proceed to dry the car. Keep a seperate microfibre cloth for the door/boot sills as there is always extra dirt hidden in the corners and you dont want to spread that into the cloth your using to dry the whole car.

    Then again i use turtle wax trye gel, ive tried many different types before and this seems to work the best. Apply it with the back of the sponge on a scouring pad found in the kitchen, its the best way to apply and minimise on waste.

    If i can be bothered i used a product called poorboys wheel sealant but its a good hour or 2 to do 4 wheels so i just keep a seperate microfibre to dry the wheel.

    Theres nothing special to what i do or use but it always looks in top condition and all the products i can get can be found in halfords ( except the wheel sealant- poorboys)

    Just remember to never use a sponge on the car, it will scratch your car beyond beleif.

    Lambs wool wash mit, clean water and bucket, microfibre clothes to dry with fresh clean water to clean the cloth as you dry your car off.
    JudderMan, Daveotto and McAudi like this.
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    Worth investing in a power washer and foam applicator.
    I always foam pre-wash, brings most of the dirt to the surface and then the power washer removes it before you get to the wash stage.

    Always use two bucket method and lamb's wool mitt.

    i've also got a filter that I use to rinse off with if I don't have time to dry.
    Purifies the water so it doesn't leave a mark when it dries.

  9. #8
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    Still not detailed mine yet as it was treated with something by the dealer, it's now needing the treatment as water is not beading as well. My usual wash routine is Meg's hyper wash foam applied with foam lance, gets rid of all the heavy muck, grit ,salt etc therefore avoiding the risk of swirls before I touch the paint with a mit. I then wash with Meg's gold class shampoo, lambs wool mitt and then rinse with cold water and towel dry.

    In the coming weeks I will follow this with a full wash down with auto smart Tardis, clay if needed and then apply Blackfires ice on fire kit which comprises of Blackfire paint protectant, leave 8 hrs and then apply a few coats of blackfire midnight sun paste wax with 8 hrs between coats.i bought this kit when I had my S3, it gives amazing results especially on the darker pearlescent paints, it is also quite user friendly.

    Mark
    07 S3 Sprint Blue Now Sold
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigI View Post
    Worth investing in a power washer and foam applicator.
    I always foam pre-wash.
    the most important part of my routine for sure.

    Mark
    07 S3 Sprint Blue Now Sold
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  11. #10
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    I'm interested in getting a new pressure washer and snow foam lance, is there any make / model anyone would recommend?
    2013 8V Glacier White A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI S-line Mnaual
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    Last weekend I treated the car with the SONAX Premium Class Nano paint protect, you can se here how it works:

    SONAX Premium Class Nano Lack @ Reneko autodijelovi - YouTube


    I have to say it was quite a job but the result is very good and it should last for up to 9 months which sounds much but anyway I am happy if is lasts for 6 months.

    The next thing I a going to do before the cold season is to apply this carpro flyby to the windows:
    flyby30 rain repellent coat - YouTube

    Then I am ready for winter.

    Regards,
    Tom
    Last edited by Tom75; 13th October 2013 at 08:41. Reason: spelling

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjcourtney View Post
    I'm interested in getting a new pressure washer and snow foam lance, is there any make / model anyone would recommend?
    i use the PA foam lance from polished bliss with a Karcher pressure washer with great results. The PA lance does need regular servicing though as the filter gets blocked with soap scum so basically stops working,I have just ordered a new filter. To alleviate this problem you need to run clean water through the lance after use.

    Mark
    mjcourtney likes this.
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    Hi, I would have thought that the use of a pressure washer is frowned upon these days by car manufacturers because of the delicate electronics such as sensors and radar that are fitted.

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    ValetPro Citrus pre wash works really well as an alternative to snow foam, can be applied with a hand pump sprayer.
    A3 Sportback 2.0TDI S-Line 150ps, Daytona Grey, Comfort Pack, Privacy Glass, SD Sat Nav, Through Load, Aluminium Pedals.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuke2u View Post
    Hi, I would have thought that the use of a pressure washer is frowned upon these days by car manufacturers because of the delicate electronics such as sensors and radar that are fitted.
    i did did read somewhere not to directly jet wash parking sensors, so I stay clear of mine and anything else electronic.

    Mark
    07 S3 Sprint Blue Now Sold
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  17. #16
    mjcourtney's Avatar
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    If we're not supposed to jet wash them then someone should really tell all the Audi dealers!
    2013 8V Glacier White A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI S-line Mnaual
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  18. #17
    RossR's Avatar
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    You should keep a minimum distance with a pressure washer, but that applies to paintwork in general. The sensors are not that delicate. They subject them to rain with 300km/h winds.What does it take for a car to become an Audi? - YouTube

  19. #18
    mjcourtney's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. After reading around i've decided to go for some of the ValetPro Citrus Pre-Wash and a garden type hand pump spray bottle. People on detailing forums seem to agree it's better than snow-foam. I only use the pressure washer from a distance to soak the car and knock off any bit clumps of mud etc.
    2013 8V Glacier White A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI S-line Mnaual
    SE Suspension, Tech Pack, B&O, Comfort Pack, Electric folding mirrors, Park Assist, TPMS, Interior Light Pack

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    Good choice, does a great job.
    A3 Sportback 2.0TDI S-Line 150ps, Daytona Grey, Comfort Pack, Privacy Glass, SD Sat Nav, Through Load, Aluminium Pedals.

  21. #20
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    Some impressive advice here. So are saying taking it to the Albanian guys in Tesco's car park is not the best method?
    paullowther and McAudi like this.
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  22. #21
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    Right... resurrecting this thread. In an effort to do something about the filthy state that my car is currently in (!), I've ordered the following from amazon based on reviews, reading, recommendations etc:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (x2)
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I'm sure there will be many people saying I've bought the wrong stuff, or should have bought something else, or whatever, but I literally have zero car wash kit, so thought I had better get some basics!
    Sport 2.0 TDI 150 Sportback in Scuba Blue, alcantara/leather, advanced key, audi sound system, comfort pack w/ ACC and park assist, deselect sports suspension, auto-dimming & folding door mirrors, electric lumbar support, heated seats, hold assist, non-smoking pack, side & lane assist, reversing camera, storage & luggage pack, tech pack with audi connect, tyre pressure warning, towbar, variable headlight range control, xenon light pack

  23. #22
    JohnnyM100's Avatar
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    Or go to

    http://www.cleanyourcar.co.uk

    Great selection of premium stuff as they specialise in this. Am not affiliated with them but been a customer for years.

    Oh, and get a grit guard for the bucket.

    John.
    Schizophonic likes this.
    Enjoying my 8V

  24. #23
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    I've read places that just say those grit guards are a waste of time and a gimmick though
    Sport 2.0 TDI 150 Sportback in Scuba Blue, alcantara/leather, advanced key, audi sound system, comfort pack w/ ACC and park assist, deselect sports suspension, auto-dimming & folding door mirrors, electric lumbar support, heated seats, hold assist, non-smoking pack, side & lane assist, reversing camera, storage & luggage pack, tech pack with audi connect, tyre pressure warning, towbar, variable headlight range control, xenon light pack

  25. #24
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    On the subject of pressure washers... My father and I have both had a number of Karcher pressure washers - all have developed faults relatively early in their lives and I have subsequently heard that karcher's reputation for robust quality washers has been used to market cheap rubbish for the Sunday car washing consumer. I'll never buy another. I bought a Kranzle washer 2 years ago and I'm delighted with it. VERY robust - proper metal - no plastic. Proper brass pump (frost proof) and very compact, AND best of all amazingly powerful for its size. Expensive but you get what you pay for... I thoroughly recommend this washer.

  26. #25
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    No end of problems with my Karcher... Will be replacing with something different at some point....

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    Never had a problem with my Karcher in 5 years.

    On the detailing front I'm paying serious consideration to having the car delivered to me with all of the protection/covering put on in the factory still on it, thus saving the Audi "expert" cleaning dept putting scratches and swirls all over it.
    I'd either remove the protective items and detail it myself or have it delivered to a detailer with the protection intact.

    Saw some pics of a £150k Porsche Turbo delivered with lots of scratches on it, caused by Porsche's valet co.
    Horrific to think that after paying for your new car and speccing it the way you want they have the cheapest valet co clean them before handover.
    I'd have taken it back, but it was booked into the best place to put it right.

  28. #27
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    Thought this might be of interest:

    Audi S3 Sportback Quattro – New Car Protection Plus | Ultimate Finish's Car Care & Car Detailing Blog

    Shouldn't really have swirls if the car hasn't been washed post painting, but they somehow appear (although swirls appear very easily on black).

  29. #28
    steeve's Avatar
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    First tip from me is never use polish. By its very nature polish is abrasive. Why would you want to put something abrasive on the surface of new paint?
    The white powdery residue left by 'polish' is mainly clay. The clay is the carrier for what little wax or even silicon thats in the polish. The smaller the particles of the clay the less abrasive it is. Thats the stuff that gets in the grain of black textured plastic.

    Use a wax or a glaze, I use Zymol Glasur but there are many that are better or worse than this.

    Pressure wash your car before you start to remove as much muck as you can. Obviously take regard to all those warning notices regarding nozzle vehicle distance.

    I always use the two bucket method, both with gritguards.
    Use a wash mit not a sponge, as a sponge will keep rubbing that fine grit on the surface of your car. A mit wont.

    Now most car shampoos will remove at least half of your wax each time you wash your motor, so after a couple of washes all that lovingly applied wax or wax residue from your 'polish' will have gone.

    So use a wash that doesnt take much if any wax off such as Zymol Clear. You can find that your quality wax is good for six months.

    Now you all do it dont you? Add a bit more shampoo than the bottle says, wax gone even quicker, use less than the bottle says never more. So something like Clear may look expensive but as you only use a small amount it doesnt work out that way.

    Pressure wash off the soap then rinse using a water filter perhaps the Raceglaze one which is very good. So all those water dribbles dont leave calcium marks on your precious paintwork.

    Then dry using a drying cloth in preference to a leather. My final thing is to use compressed air to clean the water from all those seams and joints.

    Oh, dont forget under the bonnet too.......

    I too used to get my new car delivered 'unmolested' but after having an R32 with paint contamination I sadly agree to the dealer cleaning it but not waxing or polishing it. Worked OK so far.
    Steeve

  30. #29
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    Loads of options for wax safe shampoos... Dodo Juice Basics of Bling, Dodo Juice Born to be Mild, Britemax Cleanmax, Autoglym Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner. The list goes on and on. I think you have to really go overboard to seriously damage the wax or sealant layer. That's why they make stuff like this: G3 formula by Farécla - Products & The System : Prepare for when you really want to get the wax off!

    With winter approaching the two favourites for long lasting protection have got to be:
    Finish Kare 1000P Hi-Temp Sealant - Clean Your Car
    or
    Collinite Super Doublecoat No. 476S - Clean Your Car

    Have a google. Or wander on over to Detailing for more detailing chat.

  31. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 97catalunya View Post
    Yeah good thread, detailing for dummies
    I would also like to know the best way to clean the wheels without taking them off
    Personally I use these as in my opinion there's nothing better out there
    PB Luxury Wheel Woolies | Metal-Free Wheel Cleaning Brushes

    If these are on the pricey side for you the this is a great alternative but just be careful with some delicate wheel faces
    EZ Detail Wheel Brushes | Ultra Flexible Nylex Wheel Cleaning Brushes

    Hope this helps
    2010 S3 Sportback
    Miltek cat-back non res / soon to be wrapped!!.....
    **Message for parts enquiries in Kent**

  32. #31
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    I have a mixture of Angelwax Dark Angel, Zymol Carbon but front and rear have Collinite 476s then some Cquartz Hydro over the top should see me thru winter

 

 

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