There are a high number of high spec 4x4's roaming around the roads over recent years. Whether you're looking for luxury, image, practicality or saftey it goes without saying that the market is well catered for. The BMW X5 was introduced into the market in 1999 and ever since they have grown in size and popularity to make these one of the best German SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) that is available today. This 2012 model in Carbon Black brought in for a Maintenance Detail after a journey to Virbier, Switzerland. Covered in road grime, grit and even mud from an excursion over the Swiss border, it's clear to see this was going to be a very slow and careful detail to prevent any damage being caused to the recently corrected paintwork. So, onto the detail..
The licence plates were firstly removed from the vehicle and placed to one side along with all fixing screws and caps. Once removed, a fair amount of accumulated dirt was revealed from both front and rear.
With the licence plates removed, the wheels were the next step. Covered in brake dust and a heavy amount of grit-filled mud, the wheels were firstly sprayed with a citrus pre-cleaner and left for a few minutes to soak. A pressure rinse removed the bulk of the mud from both faces and inner barrel of each wheel. A generous misting of Auto Finesse Imperial wheel cleaner was then applied and agitated with an assortment of wheel brushes and woolies, allowing access to the barrels and spoke backs. Once satisfied all areas were agitated thoroughly, a pressure rinse carried away the remainder of brake dust and dirt lifted. At this point the arches were sprayed with an APC and a long-reach soft bristle brush cleared any build up, arches were then also pressure rinsed.
With the wheels and arches done, the next step is to pre-soak the heavy road soiling covering the lower and rear panels. To do this a citrus pre-cleaner was sprayed liberally onto the panels via a hand pump sprayer and left to soak for about a minute before a layer of foam pre-wash was blanketed over the entire car. This was left to soak for a further 2-3minutes. A thorough rinse with a pressure washer removed the remains of the foam along with any loose surface dirt and grit, making the physical bucket wash safer as it reduces the amount of harmful contaminations that could potentially drag along the paint surface (causing marring and swirls).
As the X5 has previously undergone a correctional detail that was finalised with a ceramic coating, Gyeon Bathe+ was chosen as the wash shampoo for its slickness and temporary protection characteristics. Using the two bucket method and a high quality synthetic wash mitt, the vehicle was carefully washed down starting from the higher panels such as roof & bonnet, working downwards. Little-to-no pressure was applied to the wash mitt during the washing, this ensures that the dirt being lifted is not unnecessarily pushed into the paint and dragged to cause swirling. After each panel wash washed with the Bathe+ solution (half panel for bonnet, roof, upper & lower doors etc), the wash mitt was shaken into the clean water bucket to loosen any grit particles trapped in the wash mitts fibres, thus not re-transferring back onto the paint.
A final pressure rinse cleared away any wash solution along with the lifted dirt before an open-hose rinse allowed any standing water to sheet away from the panels. This creates a self-drying effect where the coating that has previously been applied to the paint causes the water to simply roll off rather than cling to the paint.
The X5 was then moved inside to be dried. As the purpose of the Maintenance Detail is to pro-long the condition of the vehicle, the way in which it would be dried would be touchless. A warm, filtered blast of air would be used to blow water remains from the paint surface and also clear standing water from badges, grills and other intricate areas. By removing the towel from the drying process, it also removes the risk of any particles trapped in to towel (or laying on the paint) from coming into contact with the paint, potentially causing swirls or scratches. Fully dry and drip-free..
With the vehicle now safely dry, Gyeon Cure was misted into a clean microfiber cloth and spread evenly over the paint. Flipping the cloth to buff away any remaining residue to leave a streak free gloss, Gyeon Cure offers similar benefits as a quick detailer although being designed to work alongside coatings, the self-cleaning and sacrificial properties helps to prolong the life of the coatings by offering a boost of protection of its own.
The wheels were misted with a light spray of quick detailer and any dust and water spotting was buffed away with a clean microfiber cloth. The tyres were then dressed with Gyeon Tire for its stunning 'as new' tyre look, subtle and understated whilst offering great durability. Arch liners were then misted with Auto Finesse Dressle to finalise each corner perfectly.
With the paint and wheels complete, the plastic trims such as mirror bases and bumper grills were dressed and protected. Auto Finesse Dressle made easy work of the complex hex-design bumper grills and air ducts. Gtechniq T1 Tyre&Trim was used to dress the mirror bases and rear spoiler trim. All glass (including roof) was then cleaned to a streak free finish using Auto Finesse Crystal.
Final little detail to complete the exterior was to polish the stainless exhaust tips back to a high shine using Auto Finesse Mercury metal polish by hand.
The interior was in very god shape, only light crumbs and debris was needed to be vacuumed away whilst there was next to no dusting on such areas as the dashboard and door trims. The owner does such a good job at ensuring his vehicle doesn't get full of debris. The boot area still had the original striped carpet finish that we had carried out from its previous visit. Dashboard and door trims were wiped down with Auto Finesse Dressle for its factory satin finish. All glass was then cleared of light streaking from the up-down motion and an air 'fresh' fragrance was added. A very well looked after BMW X5 in a very lustrous Carbon Black..
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