Washing, polishing and protecting a E91 330D Touring
I did this job a few weeks ago, but havent unfortunately gotten around to writing about it.
I got contacted by a friend who had some terrible spots left from Tershine Refract V1 (a Si02 spray sealant). He had sprayed this on the car last summer and had some awful drying streaks and high spots left from the sealant. The spots had even survived the Swedish winter. So my friend asked me if I could help him remove the spots. I said I would give it a go.
This was the result after washing, polishing and protecting the car.
I unfortunately don't have any pictures before the job. I blame myself, being new this blogging and documenting everything I do, but what i'll do is explain the entire process i used on this car.
Part 1: Decontamination
The first part of this job was to decontaminate the engine bay, wheels and paint. I started with the engine bay, by first giving it a rinse, then using my IK 1,5 hand foamer filled with Bilt Hamber Surfex HD diluted at 10% to spray over the entire engine. The engine bay was then scrubbed with detailing brushes, wheels brushes and different kind of brushes to get into all the nooks and crannies. The engine was then rinsed down. Important when rinsing the engine bay that you keep your pressure washer nozzle at a distance and only lightly rinse down the engine. Just enough to remove the soap. You should not be using the water to remove dirt, it should be the chemicals and your brush work.
After the engine was done, I closed the bonnet, and started on the wheels. Firstly the wheels were sprayed with water to remove the initial dust layer. The tire walls received some Bilt Hamber Surfex HD at 10% dilution and were scrubbed until the foam from the tire was white. The wheels themselves were sprayed with Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel and left to dwell for 5-7 min. While they were dwelling i used a Valet Pro detail brush to agitate the entire wheel. After 5-7 min the wheels were rinsed with water. The wheels where inspected for any leftover iron or tar spots. Tar spots on the wheels were spot treated with Tac System Tar Zero and a soft tar sponge. The wheels were then rinsed again.
Over to the paint. The car was first sprayed with Tershine Dissolve (petroleum degreaser), up to the windows and all the way up on the backside of the car. I then used Bilt Hamber Surfex HD at a 10% ratio in my snow foam lance, and covered the entire car with Surfex, adding it over Dissolve to let them both dwell longer. After another 5 minutes the car was rinsed down. I then filled the snow foam cannon with Koch Chemie Gentle Snow Foam (GSF) (following the dilution on the bottle) and filled up a bucket with Gentle Snow Foam as well (following the dilution on the bottle). The car was snow foamed with GSF, and with the car covered in GSF i proceeded to hand wash the car with 1 bucket with a grit guard and grit guard side board to scrub my two wash mitts.
After hand washing the car, the car was rinsed again. The next step involves using my iron remover, Bilt Hamber Korssol, which requires a dry car as per the instructions. So the car was dried with a large microfiber towel before the entire car was sprayed with Korossol. The product was left to dwell for 5-7 min before the product was rinsed off. The car was then inspected and spot treated with Tac System Tar Zero and a separate tar sponge to remove any remaining tar. The car was then rinsed again before the car could be clayed.
If you were not going to polish your car, you would stop here before the claying, use a wipedown product and lay down your protection on the car. Clay medias do unfortunately cause micro marring, meaning small scratches, and you will have to polish your car after claying it.
I clayed the car with my Sealclean Clay Sponge and Optimum No Rinse (ONR) diluted to a clay lube at 15 ml to a litre. I always start claying the windows to brake in the clay sponge. If you are wearing a plastic gloves (which you should be using anyway, HMS!!!) you can drag your hand over the paint, and you can actually hear where the paint needs claying as it will sound like you are lightly sanding metal (though do not worry you are not actually sanding it). Use loads of clay lube and don't use any pressure on the clay spong while dragging it in straight lines over the paint. This was done to the entire car.
After claying the car, Tac System Oil Zero was used to remove any oils or residues left from the wash. The decontamination phase of the car was now finished and we can now move over to paint correction.
Part 2: Paint inspection and polishing
The car was then inspected. From what i could see the decontamination had removed some of the spots from the Refract, but there were still quite a lot of streaks left. I unfortunately haven't managed to complete my product collections when it comes to polishing, so i only had some yellow rupes foam pads as polishing pads and Sonax Perfect Finish and Sonax Cutmax as my polish and compound. I did a test spot on the bonnet with both Perfect Finish and Cutmax, and Cutmax seemed to remove 99% of the residue and this would good enough for this job.
Plastics and edges were then covered in masking tape to avoid unwanted polish residue on both pads and in edges or plastic. I only have a DA machine with a 125 mm backing plate, so for the smaller areas Cutmax was used with a polishing sponge and hand polished to remove any residue from Refract, and this seemed to work well. After each pass Cutmax was buffed off, and this continued around the car. I used a total of 8 yellow Rupes pads on the car.
After a few hours of polishing the car was done, and another round of Tac System Oil Zero was used to remove any polish residues to have a completely clean slate to lay the protection on.
Part 3: Protecting paint, glass, wheels and plastic trim.
Now the car was ready for some protection. I wanted to use something easy, but something which would last, and something that was easy for my friend to maintain, so i decided on Turtle Wax Ceramic Spray Sealant. I hadn't tried it before, but i have seen loads of good reviews of the product, and i have tried Turtle Wax Carnauba Sealant which is the polymer/wax version of the same spray, and i like this sealant a lot.
I used one microfiber towel to apply the product and one to buff off the product. In total i used 4 microfiber towels for the entire car. 2 to apply product, and 2 to buff, with flipping to different sides of the buffing towel as i went along. I also applied the Ceramic Spray sealant on the side windows and glass, lights, and on any plastic trim on the car. I must say, this product was super nice to work with, one spray per panel, smells good, and buffs easily off. Definitely a keeper to have in ones collection.
I even applied the sealant to the wheels, using the same technique. For the tire walls CarPro Perl was used undiluted, left on the tires for 10 minutes before buffing of the excess product.
For the front windshield i used Gtechniq's G5 glass sealant, which is a product i love, as it's super easy to apply, leave on the glass for 15 min and buff off. If you are good at not using your wiper blades this can easily last up to 3 months .
Since i was using a ceramic spray sealant, the car was then left to cure for 24 hours as per the instructions before my friend took it home again.
This was a super fun project and i can't wait to work on my next car! What i learnt here though is that i need a bigger range of polishing pads for my 125 mm polisher, and i also need a smaller polisher, maybe one with a 75mm backing plate.
Turtle Wax Ceramic Spray Coating was a joy to apply, and is something which i will definitely use again.
I only had one day to work on this car, but in the future i would maybe like two days as to not stress to much because it was getting late.
Hope you have liked this post! I will be making more of these whenever I have new project car. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me and I can see if I can answer them for you!
Most of the products I have used you can find in my product list.
More than just the car - EntireCar