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BMW Z4 - Bespoke Protection Detail

BMW have produced a previous array of roadsters over the last few decades such as the Z1, 507, Z3 and Z8 to name a few. Introduced in 2002, the BMW Z4 was put into production to replace the Z3 and continue BMW's presence in the sports roadster market. Featuring an array of engines, upgrade packages and the option of a hard top coupe later on in production meant the Z4 had something to spark the interest of anyone. Not to mention the front engine, rear wheel drive layout that made the Z4 a joy to drive during those summers days where the owner can retract the roof and have all the headroom they can possibly get. The second generation of Z4 was introduced in 2008 and in 2009 the updated design was unveiled in Detroit's North American International Auto Show. This design carried the previous coupe appearance with a metal folding roof. Most Z4s on the market today will now contain the 2Litre twin-turbo engine that can still bring a smile to the drivers face.. This particular BMW Z4 was delivered to the unit by its owner to remove some paint spotting from a neighbour’s home renovations. The rear half of the car was the area that was covered in the majority of the paint, a few odd white specs were present on the bonnet also. After discussion with the owner about what he would like to achieve from the detail, we acknowledged that he did not require such things as wheel waxing, glass sealing and a few other smaller features that would normally be found in our Protection Detail. After a little talk with the benefits that could be offered to the body, it was in the owner’s interest for us to focus our expertise on getting the vehicle back to a presentable condition once the unwanted paint had been removed. Of course we obliged..

As shown above, a few areas of heavier soiling such as lower sills and rear exhaust tips but overall a fairly presentable vehicle. After removing the front and rear registration plates a random scattering of self-adhesive Velcro coins were revealed. As these coins had no real organisation of where they were placed, also there being no Velcro coins on the plates themselves, it was assumed that the vehicle had previously had a plate change that was fixed using this method. Each coin was carefully removed from the car individually. Gladly the coins were removed cleanly, meaning very little adhesive was left behind. Any remains would be taken care of further into the detail.

The wheels were covered in a light-medium amount of brake dust, as the wheels were of a very open design it seems the owner has kept on top of cleaning the wheel barrels as well as the faces. Auto Finesse Iron Out fallout remover was applied liberally onto each wheel and left to soak for a few minutes. During this time the door, boot and bonnet shuts were sprayed with a mild APC dilution and a boar hair detailing brush was used to agitate any dirt free. After a few minutes, the Iron Out had turned a deep purple colour indicating ferrous particles being chemically changed into a water soluble state. A pressure rinse of the wheels removed the majority of the brake dust present before the wheels then received a misting of Auto Finesse Imperial wheel cleaner. Arches were given a liberal spray of APC at this point also. Using an assortment of wheel woollies, EZ Detail Mini and general boar hair wheel brush the Imperial wheel cleaner was agitated thoroughly to remove the remaining brake dust. Inner barrel, faces and rear of the wheel spokes were cleared of built up brake dust before the arches were brushed thoroughly to remove accumulated dirt and road grime. A pressure rinse to finish each corner carried away any and all lifted dirt..

Heavier soiling present on the lower sills and rear panels of the vehicle were misted with a citrus pre-cleaner applied via a hand pump sprayer. This helps to break down any surface dirt before the foam stage, giving a little additional helping hand to allow the foam to work more efficiently. As the sun had broken through on the day of the Z4's Protection Detail, it made things a little more difficult for the washing stages. To prevent the foam from drying out onto the panels the foam lance was adjusted to increase the water:foam ratios. Whilst reducing the dilution of the foam prolongs the time it takes to dry out in sunlight it reduced the cleaning ability - this is where the citrus pre-cleaner helps to give the foam that extra bite.

Any badges, grills and intricate areas were gently agitated with a boar hair detailing brush whilst the foam was dwelling for approximately 2 minutes giving extra attention to watch areas that were in direct sunlight were not drying out prematurely. A rinse with a pressure washer removed any foam and dirt from the panels before the bucket wash commenced. Auto Finesse Lather shampoo accompanied a two bucket (with grit guards) wash method and a high quality deep-pile synthetic wash mitt to gently cleanse the paint free of remaining road soiling. Once again, due to the glorious sunlight each panel was washed with the shampoo solution and immediately rinsed to prevent soap baking onto the paint. Each panel was washed and rinsed in this same way, making sure to keep the previous panels wet and cool in the process. Once washed, the BMW was moved indoors for the decontamination stages.

Before decontaminating the paint, any standing water was partially dried away to ensure the tar and fallout removers gain maximum efficiency as there will be no water to dilute the products on the panel. A dedicated tar remover was applied to the lower side panels and lower rear panels and left to work for approximately 30-60seconds, a microfiber cloth misted with the same tar remover was then used to gently massage the tar spotting away. Any stubborn tar spots were given a second treatment to ensure all spots had been removed. As said earlier, the car had a few paint specks over various panels of the car. Some of these spots were removed during the wash stages but a few still remained. These were carefully taken care of by dampening a microfiber cloth with the same tar remover and carefully smoothing the paint-covered areas until the spots were lifted. As the paint was water-based like the majority of paints available to the public, a solvent tar remover was adequate enough to remove the minor specks. Only a few larger spots remained, these were slightly thicker than the ones removed with the tar remover so these would be taken care of shortly using a different method.

Auto Finesse Iron Out was then applied to any painted surfaces via a hand pump sprayer and left to dwell for around 10 minutes. Similar to the process on the wheels, any ferrous particles present would be indicated with a change in colour of the Iron Out. A deep shade of purple would appear during any chemical reactions to highlight the contamination being turned into a water soluble state that can be easily rinsed away with a pressure washer..

Once approximately 10 minutes had passed, the BMW was then brought back outdoors and thoroughly rinsed to remove the Iron Out remains alongside the chemically removed fallout contamination. During the rinse, extra attention was given to rinse the product from intricate areas such as badges and body gaps before the Z4 was moved onto the third and final stage of decontamination. A surface prep towel (clay bar alternative) was used to remove any remaining contamination. As the BMW was only a few months old, there were very little areas that the towel needed to be used upon, although the stubborn specks of paint that weren't removed in the first decontamination stage were easily lifted without applying excessive pressure potentially causing marring. Once the entire vehicle had been clayed with the surface prep towel, a second foam application allowed any lifted contaminants to be carried away without the need to re-wash. Also the foam has a greater ability to work its way into the body gaps to push out any trapped Iron Out that the rinsing may not be able to reach. This second foaming was diluted down in the lance as this stage would be to carry away lifted contamination rather than soften and carry away heavy soiling. A few minutes of dwell time and the foam was rinsed away thoroughly..

Moved back indoors out of the still brightly shining sunlight, the Z4 was then dried down completely using a combination of drying towel and warm filtered air to ensure those annoying pest drips were blown away. Once as much water had been dried from the vehicle, Auto Finesse Tripple3 all-in-one polish was used to cleanse, boost gloss and leave a perfect base for the wax layers to adhere to. Using overlapping circular motions, the Tripple was worked in by hand using the soft finishing side of a dual-foam applicator. The residue for the polish was then gently and effortlessly buffed away using a fresh microfiber cloth to reveal slightly glossier metallic grey paintwork, not to mention the increase in slickness that the panel was to the touch.

Deciding on the wax to apply for this Protection Detail was left to us by the owner. After swaying between a few options, we decided that Swissvax Onyx would give the car a good few months of protection without compromising the appearance. Two coats of Onxy were applied to all painted surfaces leaving approximately one hour between the removal of the first coat and application of the second. Thin, even coats were applied in each. During this hour, more finishing touches were carried out and completed to pass the time..

The wheels were misted with a few sprays of quick detailer and buffed free of dust and water spotting before Gyeon Q2TIRE was applied to the tyres to restore that desirable 'as new' look. Arch liners and any plastic trim within the arch areas were then misted with Auto Finesse Dressle. There were very little areas of plastic trim on this roadster, the nose featured a few hex-mesh styled grills that were also misted with Dressle to restore the factory satin finish and help to prevent these grills turning dull in the near future. Any excess was wiped away with a microfiber cloth. Wing mirror bases and roof trim were dressed with Auto Finesse Revive gel and any excess was immediately removed to prevent streaking or patching. All glass surfaces received a few mists of Auto Finesse Crystal glass cleaner and buffed away any water spots and dust to leave a streak free finish. The final touch to complete the exterior of the BMW was to remove the light amount of emission staining on the exhaust tips, a gentle massage using Auto Finesse Mercury metal polish on a foam applicator pad was enough to bring the tips back to new.

To finish the Protection Detail, the interior was given a thorough vacuum to remove dust and crumbs from all surfaces. An interior detailing brush was used on any gloss-finish interior trims to prevent any marring from harsher bristle brushes. To protect the interior plastics, Auto Finesse Dressle was sprayed into a microfiber and spread evenly over the dashboard and door trims. Dressle leaves a beautiful satin finish without leaving the horrible greasy feeling that other interior dressings leave behind. All interior glass was then cleansed with Crystal before an air fragrance was added to the fabric upholstery. One completed BMW Z4 (bespoke) Protection Detail..

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