“This baby’s got a few surprises left in her, sweetheart.” – doing some professional detailing to make a 19 year old paintjob look better than new

Getting the paint to look RIDICULOUSLY gorgeous. Like, illegal levels of gorgeousness, in most US states.

As a gift to myself for having survived yet another academic semester and the CSBS (chickenshit bullllllllSHIT <— this link is not safe for work, to be very clear) thereof, I decided to really go all-out and start to take care of my car’s paint and exterior the proper ways, from now until forever (which is ~approximately how long I have planned on it lasting, ad infinitum).  This involved me spending money (a thing I really don’t have enough of, ever . Damn school to the inferno forever and ever, amen), but for the preservation of my car, this seems a noble goal. So I wanted to do this right, and looked up ideas from German-made car owners – 1) because they really love their cars; 2) because their cars are manufactured in similar ways; and 3) because VW and Audi are owned by the same company, so they steps in detailing a car to a professional degree are likely going to be similar.  So I found the proud owner of an Audi and his VERY detailed guide to detailing like a professional, and after cross-checking it with things on Volkswagen-specific forums, I knew which products I wanted to do this job properly.

Plus, given there was dried tree sap or resin on the hood, I wanted to clean the car properly and fully before polishing, glazing, and waxing it.

the dried resin is slowly coming off

the dried resin is slowly coming off

So, as my finishing-the-spring gift to myself, I got the following gear to make this happen, and properly:
* p21s deluxe detailing kit – included the right kinds of shampoo, polish, wax, and wheel cleaner all in one package
*3M Imperial Hand Glaze
* p21s deluxe wax applicators – I want to do this the right way, so I went with their applicator product to use with their wax.  Yes. p21s is a German company.  They make the best cars, so I figure they make the best car care products, too.
* Griot’s paint cleaning clay – Griot’s is a luxury car type of company, and everything I read online pointed me towards their products as well.
* Griot’s Garage microfiber towel – so I wanted the proper sort of towel, as well.
* Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover – when I initially bought the car, it looked like some VERY old dried tree resin or sap was on the hood in a few places.  A smorgasbord of internet research has pointed me to this product, and to let it soak for 10 minutes instead of the directions telling me 1 minute.  We shall see.

the cleaning product array

the cleaning product array

The car was fairly clean to begin with, I try to wash it every two weeks or so.

driver's side, pre-detailing

driver’s side, pre-detailing

The process outlined by the Audi owner above took a while, but I would wager it was worth it; please check out the requisite photos of the stages and then the finished and detailed MFALCON:

stock wheel covers, pre-cleaning

stock wheel covers, pre-cleaning

The wheel cleaning product, whatever it was, definitely wasn’t pleasant to get on my skin…

nighttime cleaning of the resin and wheelcovers

nighttime cleaning of the resin and wheelcovers

did so right after krav maga, for that extra arm workout

did so right after krav maga, for that extra arm workout

… but given how easily it got the wheels and wheel covers VERY clean, I suppose that makes a lot of sense:

wheels after cleaning and waxing

wheels after cleaning and waxing

The final product, at first glance, might not necessarily look THAT much nicer without seeing the pre-detailing photos:

driver's side, post-detailing

driver’s side, post-detailing

… but here is the side-by-side comparison, and I still can’t believe how fantastic I got my beloved 19 year-old car to look, after nearly 4 hours of detailing work:

side by side comparison, left is pre-detailing

side by side comparison, left is pre-detailing

She might make better time on the Kessel run, with a detailing job of THIS magnitude!

she'll make better than .5 past light speed, with THIS waxing job

she’ll make better than .5 past light speed, with THIS waxing job

… “SWEETHEART??!?”

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