This stunning german super saloon is a regular visiter to us for general washdowns and tidy ups. This time however, after many discussions with the owner, we were finally given the go ahead to get this car looking how it should.
The car was started by cleansing the freshly refurbished wheels free of light brake dust from both faces and inner barrels. A citrus pre-wash was used to cleanse the wheels whilst an ssortment of wheel brushes and wheel woolies allowed all areas of the wheels (including calipers) to be cleaned thoroughly without causing any damage to the paint.
The cars number plates were then removed from the car carefully and placed to one side. The car was then covered in a a layer of foam pre-wash and left to dwell for 5-6mins to break down and loosen surface dirt that had accumilated over a few months of washing but no real protection. A 1" detailing brush was used to agitage dirt and grime from intricate areas such as badges, grills and window seals. A pressure rinse before moving onto the two bucket with grit guard wash method, a high quality wash mitt and shampoo solution gently cleaned all surfaces of the car whilst minimising any additional damage being inflicted. A rinsedown once again and the car was then inspected.
A very substantial amount of tree sap was present on the car and was very much attached to the paintwork after not being removed straight away. The whole car was treated with a solvent tar and glue remover to soften the sap and also remove a fair amount of tar spotting around the car also (including door shuts). Some specs of sap needed a little more aggression to remove so a microfibre wetted with tar remover wrapped around a finger was used to thoroughly but gently agitate the sap from the paint. The whole car was thoroughly rinsed to remove any tar remover and any excess water was dried away from the vehicle to prevent the next decontamination step being diluted on the paint surface.
The whole car was then covered in fallout remover and left to dwell for 4-5mins until any chemical reactions turned a deep purple colour indicating ferrous particles being disolved. After thoroughly rinsing the car once again, smoothing the paint work whilst still wet to tests for smoothness, it was clear the third and final step for decontamination was going to be essential on this M3 as the paint still felt rough to the touch. A surface prep towel was used to effectivelly remove any remaining contamination to ensure the panels were as close to 100% contamination free as possible. The car was then covered in a layer of foam once again to carry away any and all lifted contaminents before a thorough rinsedown and the car being brought indoors.
Dried down with a combination of drying towel and warm filtered air, the M3 was then masked up to protect any delicate trim or rubbers from polisher damage. Various badges were removed completelly from the car if possible to gain the best finish.
A paint thickness gauge was then used to assess the history of the paint, indicating that the bonnet had been previously painted as the reading showed 500microns in some areas where as the rest of the vehicle measured 150-180microns where readable.
The car was then corrected of swirls, wash marring and lighter scratches with a two stage machine polish with an assortment of polishes, pads and machines to acheive the desired results using an IPA wipe to check progress as the panels were completed. Any re-polishing was done before moving onto the next panel and re-wiped free of polish residues and oils. Deeper damage was improved upon but not removed completely due to the nature of the job at hand.
Once the polishing was complete for both stages, a final buff of residues was carried out.
The car was ready to be waxed and protected with the Auto Finesse's premium waxes.. This includes Desire and Illusion waxes, a first coat of Desire and a second coat of Illusion leaving 1 hour from removing the first and applying the second. This combination was chosen as it a great way to gain a decent durability whilst still having a dripping wet appearance.
All honeycombe grills and arch liners were dressed with Autofinesse Dressle spray dressing. Easier to manage trims such as wing 'M' emblems and tyres were dressed with Gtechniq T1 Tyre&trim for its durability and stunning satin finish.
The wheels and doorshuts were then wiped free of dust with a quick detailer using seperate cloths for each application. The glass was then cleaned free of polish dust and splatter before being sealed in a durable hydrophobic product to increase visability during wet conditions, maximising driver saftey. All interior glass surfaces were then polished free of finger prints and general dirt also.
A final buff with a plush edgeless microfibre and the car was ready for collection by its very pleased customer. The finished example..