We're no stranger to the BMW 1 Series hatchback, we've had enough of them through our studio door that's for sure. Although, the BMW in question today is the top dog, the head honcho, the daddy - the new M140i. Replacing the earlier M135i with a new upgraded engine with an additional 14bhp from the six-cylinder engine which now extenuates the power output to 335bhp - which in a hatchback is certainly not to be taken lightly. As we've featured a few M135i models previously, we'll get straight into the detail on this one.
The owner, having a great knowledge of car care (and the poor preparation procedures commonly associated with brand new cars) purchased the vehicle and requested firmly that the dealership do no physical preparation work to the vehicle other than remove the protective travel wrapping. Doing this, eliminated the dealership from inadvertently imparting marring, swirls and occasionally polishing holograms from poor technique and equipment; whilst the dealership valeting agents know very basic car care procedures, they are often preparing vehicles in short periods of time, thus rushing the job and making mistakes. This is where the owner of the M140i contacted us to cleanse, prepare and protect his brand new investment via our New Car Protection. The owner has minimized the use the vehicle had received in the week or two of ownership, simply to prevent the excess build up in the wet current driving conditions. This meant that we can focus entirely on cleansing the light build up of road soiling from its journey to us, and then ensure the car looks its absolute best with fine-cut primer polish to maximize gloss and clarity; normally vehicles prepared incorrectly and have accumulated more mileage since collection will require more attention to rectify damage.
To begin the cleansing processes the wheels and arches were pressure rinsed to remove any loose grit particles and brake dust. A wheel cleaning agent was then sprayed onto the wheel ensuring product was sprayed on the rear barrel of the wheel. A diluted all-purpose cleaner (APC) was sprayed onto the tyres and into the arch enclosure at this point also. Tyres were scrubbed thoroughly with a stiff bristle tyre brush before an assortment of wheel brushes and wheel woollies agitated the wheel cleaner to lift light brake dust and soiling. Inner barrels, spoke rears and performance M painted brake calipers were also agitated. Arches then brushed with a long-reach brush to work free any trapped grit from the fabric arch liners. After a thorough rinse of both wheels and arches, Gyeon Quartz Q2MIron was sprayed liberally onto the wheels to soak any stubborn brake dust for a few minutes - any ferrous particles remaining would cause the product to turn purple due to a chemical reaction taking place.
With the Q2Iron having dwelled for a few minutes, Q2MFoam was then applied to the entire car via a foam lance. The foam was then left to dwell for a further five minutes to breakdown and carry away any surface grit deposits. A thorough pressure rinse then followed to wash away any foam remains along with any lifted dirt.
Pre-wash complete, next was to carefully wash the car to remove the remaining dirt carefully. A two bucket wash procedure involving a Gyeon Q2MSmoothie synthetic wash mitt and Q2MBathe gently but thoroughly washed the car starting from the upper panels working toward the lower whilst ensuring to rinse out the mitt after each panel/section. Pressure rinsing the suds away, the first stage of decontamination would be to remove any tar deposits and glue remains of the protective wrap. Gyeon Quartz Q2MTar was misted onto each panel (working one panel at a time) and left for a minute or two to dissolve any tar spots present. A clean microfiber towel was then given a few sprays of Q2MTar before wiping the treated panel in order to remove a minute amount of tar particularly from the side skirt areas. Each panel treated was then rinsed thoroughly to clear away any residues. As like most vehicles (especially brand new ones) a few particles of contamination were found with an orange discoloration. This type of contamination (more commonly referred to as fallout) would be caused by metallic particles being airborne when the vehicle is in various areas such as in large industrial-based locations or near railway lines. Once these particles land onto the vehicle they embed themselves within the clear coat. Even though the particles can be microscopic they have a tendency to be very sharp, eventually corroding when exposed to rain and causing not only sandpaper-like feeling paint but orange specs being seen on the vehicles panels, of course this orange colour is due to the particles rusting. By applying Q2MIron to all exterior surfaces any ferrous particles found on the paint surface will be highlighted by the product turning a deep purple shade caused by a chemical reaction. This chemical reaction dissolves the particles to allow them to be simply rinsed away with a strong stream of water. After approximately ten minutes the Q2MIron was rinsed away thoroughly and checked for any remaining larger or stubborn particles. To finalize the decontamination stages, the whole car was then gently claybarred using Gyeon's chemical resistant Q2MClaybar. Any remaining contamination and potential over spray was carefully abraded from the paintwork and glass surfaces to ensure a perfectly smooth and clean surface. Once completed, the car was covered in a second layer of foam and allowed to dwell for a few minutes whilst it safely carried away and lifted contamination and forced any remaining Q2MTar and Q2MIron out from water traps and crevasses.
Once completing the final rinse of the vehicle to remove any foam remains, the BMW was then moved inside to be dried entirely with warm filtered air. This means that no damage is caused to the paint; towel drying can be one of the key areas where swirls and marring can be imparted to the paint surface, by removing the need to touch the car completely eliminates the possibility of these marks being caused.
Now dried the BMW was then moved into our detailing area of our workshop and carefully jacked up and placed onto suitable chassis supports. The wheels were then removed from the vehicle ensuring the bolts and locking bolt key were placed in a safe place. Whilst the wheels were cleaned front-to-back during the wash processes with wheel woollies and other assorted brushes, some areas such as recessed spokes can often be missed as the brushes only contact the raised areas whilst still fixed to the car. Removing them ensures that no area of the wheel is missed. Focussing more on the rear of the wheels, Q2MIron was applied once again and left to soak for a few minutes. As Gyeon's claybar is chemical resistant, it can be used in conjunction with products such as Q2MIron without degrading or the need for specific clay lubricants. Once the barrels had been clayed they were thoroughly rinsed once before being blown dry and placed to one side to be coated later.
All cleansing processes completed the BMW was then given a single stage machine polishing using Gyeon Q2MPrimer. Q2MPrimer is a fine finishing polish thats contents lay a perfect surface for any Si02 coating to bond to whilst also allowing any minor marring or holograms to be removed all in a single step. Using a rotary machine polisher the Q2MPrimer was worked at a slow speed in a single set of passes per section. As there were no marks other than those caused by the claybar (primarily found on the plastic panels such as bumpers and skirts), the fine polish was used to maximize gloss rather than the need to remove harsher defects. Buffing off the polish residues with a clean microfiber the paint had become beautifully smooth and glossy - it became infectious whilst buffing.
Gyeon Q2MPrimer can have a coating applied immediately if any residues are wiped free using their panel wipe Q2MPrep, although, its was left to cure overnight in readiness for a full day of application of the Q2MOHS+. Returning to the vehicle the following morning, removing the static polythene cover, the car was de-greased using Q2MPrep to ensure that absolutely nothing could weaken the bond between Q2MOHS and paint. Turning the microfiber to buff the product to a clear ensured no streaks or patches remained.
As Gyeon's Q2MOHS+ is a three-step process comprising of two base layers of Q2MOHS followed by a single layer of Q2Phobic (only available to certified professionals), it offers great aesthetics as well as a warranted protection supplied with the Q2MOHS+ package. The first layer of Q2MOHS was applied carefully ensuring to check the panel temperatures were adequate for the installation of the coating; ceramic coatings crosslink with the paint surface and in temperatures that are very cold this crosslink can be weakened greatly, thus reducing the coatings performance and durability substantially. Using the suede applicators the Q2MOHS was applied, ensuring the coating was level and a complete coverage of the product was achieved. Multiple brand new microfiber towels were then used to buff away any residues of the coating until no smears, streaks or patching were left behind to cause potential issues and poor finish. Each panel was treated individually until the entire vehicle had received its first layer of Q2MOHS. A second layer followed once the one hour (minimum) cure time had passed, using the same application method used in the first layer the car was given its second coat of Q2MOHS. Now the car had received its two base layers, it would be required to cure for a minimum of four hours before applying its warranted topcoat (Q2Phobic).
During the time between coats (both the first curing hour and now the four hour duration) the car was continued with its protection coatings, this time focusing on all exterior glass surfaces. Using Q2MCleanse glass cleaner polish to remove any surface dirt, grease or stubborn stains the glass was prepared for its Q2Repel treatment. A dampened microfiber was used to buff away the hazed Q2MCleanse and left to dry completely. Q2Repel was then applied in a reasonably thick coating to all exterior glass whilst the windscreen and front vision windows received a repeat treatment to ensure the absolute best coverage and visibility even in the worst driving conditions. A few minutes giving the product to form a dry haze a clean dry microfiber was used to carefully buff the glass to a clear.
All exterior plastic trim such as nose grills, scuttle panel and rear wiper arm were given a single coat of Gyeon Quartz Q2Trim - a dedicated ceramic coating specifically designed for plastics and aids in the prevention of premature fading and the retention of a clean satin finish for twelve months. The scuttle extension that falls under the bonnet was also given a layer of Q2Trim along with the plastic arch liners on the front of the vehicle (following an initial wipe with Q2PRep).
At the front of the BMW the nose grills received their coating applied by hand using a large foam swab. As the design of the grills meant there were a lot of tight corners or areas where a finger couldn't get to all of the plastic surfaces, a foam swab was perfect to apply the Q2Trim whilst checking progress with an LED day-light source.
Any excess product was then wiped away with a microfiber to ensure an even finish on the plastics treated. At the point of protecting the plastic arch liners, the fabric sections of the liners were given a vacuum to remove collected dust and debris.
Due to the engine compartment being untouched and unopened until this point, there was very little that was needed. Simply spraying Q2MPreserve into a microfiber towel and spreading onto the larger plastic covers such as the airbox, electrical box and engine cover itself. After a few minutes the excess was buffed with a dry side of the microfiber to reveal an over-satin finish that looks even greater than before.
As part of our New Car Protection we then turn our attention to the alloy wheels by firstly laying them safely on the ground under our lighting, they were wiped free of any dust and de-greased using Q2MPrep once again. Starting on the inner barrels, a moderate thickness of Q2Rim was applied to the barrel itself, rears of the spokes and the center hub ensuring an even coverage before multiple brand new microfibers were used to remove the excess. The wheel was then checked with a handheld lighting source to ensure no streaks, smudges or build up of product were left to cure. Once the barrel was completed, the wheel was turned over in order to repeat the process on the faces. The center caps of the wheels were misaligned with the 'M' emblems before beginning the wheels, a few seconds to remove and straighten them ready to be fitted back onto the car later.
Moving back to the BMW itself, the center hubs of the brake disk rotors were looking pitted and slightly stained. A small amount of metal polish restored the machine finish and removed the imperfections before a liberal amount of Q2Prep was used to remove as much metal polish residue as possible. At this point the brake callipers were also prepared ready for coating. These too were given a single coat of Q2Rim to prevent excess build up of brake dust.
With the 'accessories' and finishing touches complete, it was time to apply the final topcoat of Q2Phobic to the two layers of Q2MOHS. Firstly the car was cleared of any dust with a lambswool duster prior to applying a thick layer of Q2Phobic panel by panel and taking extra care to ensure all residues were removed. A Check using a handheld light source highlighted any areas that needed any additional buffing before moving onto the next section. This continued until the whole vehicle was treated with the topcoat. Now all coating was completed, we re-fitted the wheels to the vehicle securely. As we aligned the BMW center cap logo with the 'M'emblem earlier, we placed the locking retaining bolt on the same line directly above the who badges. Not only is this a little detail that most over look (as lets be honest - not many will ever notice) but it also helps to locate the locking bolt faster if you use this location as standard practice. Once fitted the tyres were dressed with Gyeon Q2MTire.
To complete the coating procedure, the entire BMW was then cured under infrared lamps for ten minutes per section/panel; infrared lamps can speed up the curing process of Gyeon Quartz coatings if heating the panel to sixty degrees for ten minutes, otherwise the natural cure time would be a full twenty four hours before the vehicle could be exposed to the elements.
During the time of force curing the coating, the interior was addressed by carrying out a thorough vacuum of floor mats and carpets. Whilst the floor mats were removed from the vehicle they received two mistings of Q2FabricCoat - Gyeon's own fabric protector. Using a gloved hand to massage the product into the mat ensured that all of the fibers were coated in order to maximize water repellent properties encase of any spills. The mats were then left out of the vehicle for a few hours to prevent the interior becoming saturated with the odour of the Q2FabricCoat. All dash and door trim were gently wiped free of dust using Q2MPreserve alongside a soft bristle detailing brush to gain access to button recesses and joints. The leather, having extremely minimal use, needed no cleaning prior to its protection. Normally Q2LeatherCoat would be applied to the leather upholstery, on this occasion the client requested the protection be upgraded to Gyeon's latest Q2LeatherShield for the best and longest protection available for the red leather trim. Q2LeatherShield was applied in a single thick coat to all leather surfaces including seats, armrest and door upholstery before being left to dry naturally leaving zero residue.
Interior glass was then cleaned using Gyeon Q2MGlass to remove any smudges, finger prints and general build up. Exterior glass was also cleaned to remove any remaining Q2Repel and ensure a perfectly clear finish.
After a few hours, the infrared curing had completed the final step would be to give the panels coated with Q2MOHS+ with a sacrificial maintenance spray. Although the Q2MOHS+ was force cured with infrared it takes a further seven-to-fourteen days to fully harden. During this time the coating is most prone to water spotting, applying the Q2MCure maintenance spray not only prevents this issue but also adds its own protection and gloss. The car was then lowered from its chassis supports and the wheel bolts were torqued to their desired setting. The floor mats protected with Q2FabricCoat were then replaced into the interior.
After a very thorough protection from top to bottom, headlights to tail lights, trims to tyres - this BMW M140i is now protected in a full Gyeon Quartz bubble with a warranted protection for the exterior paint and has certainly been given the greatest possible start to its life...