I now have three complete sets of floor liners for the SQ5. The latest addition is a set of 3D Maxpiders. I am loving them. They don't offer 100% protection from salty water overrun, but they, by far, look the slickest. Here's a video of me cleaning my new Maxpiders.
A recent spat of mild weather enabled me to do a thorough spring clean of the garage. The floor wasn't too bad, but a lot of grime and debris was lurking in the vents of the Free Flow tiles and it was time to get rid of it. The entire process took a few hours. I put a video together that demonstrates each step of the process. Enjoy.
I am in total love with my '14 SQ5, but I was excited to see what the new SQ5 looked like. I have to say, I'm still on the fence. I like many of the updates, but the lack of genuine exhaust pipes just doesn't sit well with me. I am not alone in my disdain for the mock exhaust ports on the rear fascia. Hopefully, Audi will reevaluate this move and reinstate actual tips on the '19. I'm curious to see how these new Mexican-made Q5's stand up in the quality sense, too. Here's a sneak peek video:
It's probably the most common question I get; is a RaceDeck Free Flow floor system a good idea for people who endure winter? The answer is dependent on a number of factors, but my short answer is "Yes". The Free Flow tiles provides a crucial layer of protection from the dirty water that constantly pools on garage floors during the winter. Some of the muck that drops off the undercarriage dries to the top of the tiles, but that is easily dealt with by a shopvac and mop. I can walk around my garage in my socks minutes after pulling into my garage. Another thing I appreciate about the RaceDeck is that I am not grinding gravel into an epoxy finish every time I pull into the garage. Right now, the floor of my garage is a total mess. I have a few months of compiled crud on the floor, but it's all hidden below the tile floor. I know it's there, but I don't have to do anything about it. When the next heavy chinook hits, I will perform a thorough clean of the floor and tiles. In the meantime, here's a quick little vid I posted on my Instagram account. You will hear the crackle of gravel and debris as I walk on the tiles, but the mic on my iPhone is making that sound much louder than it actually is. Just imagine doing this on an epoxy-coated floor.
The RaceDeck Free Flow system has been my saving grace since its install six years ago. Some maintenance is required, but there is no floor that will keep itself clean during the winter. Let me know if you have any questions about my floor by shooting me an email here.
I have added a Rupes LHR15 Mark II to my collection of polishers. This one came from Carzilla and it was a demo model. I saved a good chunk of change picking up the floor model and the owner of Carzilla assured me it had less than one hour of use on it. I picked up a few other supplies. I am looking forward to doing some paint polish and corrections on friends' cars this Spring/Summer.
It's been quite a while since I updated this blog. The holiday season was a whirlwind with family staying with us, and winter's tight grip on the city has been keeping me busy. After about a month of freezing temperatures, the mild weather arrived so I have been doing my best to combat the salt and mud that the nice weather generates. Keeping the exterior clean is a hopeless endeavor, but I will never let the mess infiltrate my interior!
I have two sets of all-weather interior mats. One set by Husky and the other by WeatherTech. I can't say I am in love with either of them, but they are what I have so I make the most of it. It's nice having a second set at the ready for when the other set is caked with salt residue and mud. The Husky's don't fit as well as the WT's, but they do offer more protection. The WT's have a lower profile which allows water to escape and stain the carpet. I had to remove some salt residue that had dried into the carpet. I used my Mytee Steamer and Rupes iBrid as you can see in the photos below. I used Griot Garage's Carpet Cleaner and used my steamer to open up the carpet fibres. I worked the cleaner into the carpet using my iBrid. The slideshow below should give you a good idea of the various steps I take to maintain a clean interior. I have had to perform this job numerous times in the past month or so.
Cleaning Garage Floor
I have not been able to perform a full maintenance wash of my floor this winter. Each day, my car is dragging in mud and slop and it ends up falling to the floor and seeping through the cracks in the Free Flow tiles. On particularly bad days, huge chunks of debris fall from the undercarriage and wheel wheels and compile on the tiles. I use my shopvac to clean up the mess and finish with a quick mop. It is not a particularly difficult job, it just takes a bit of time. I am waiting for some really mild weather to hit so I can actually drag the floor out to the driveway and clean the mess off the garage floor. As it is now, there is a lot of mess under the tiles, but the tiles themselves remain clean as long as I mop the floor. The slideshow below should give you a good idea of what I'm dealing with.
The people over at QuickJack put a video together demonstrating how their lift can withstand soap and water. They included some footage from a video I shot in the early summer. Worth a look:
I noticed my discussion thread on Garage Journal has hit the half-million mark for views. It's crazy to think there has been that much interest in a suburban 2-car garage. I don't update that thread very often, but I do appreciate the fact that people out there like stopping by for a look. Here's to a half-million more hits! You can add to the view count by clicking here to see recent posts.
Currently, I own a Rupes LHR 75E Mini Orbital Polisher and the long-neck iBrid. I have been so impressed with both of these machines, that I am now interested in expanding my arsenal to include the LHR 15 Mark II. This new version of the 15 has a 2500-5300 RPM range and a few convenient features over the previous model. I can either order one online through autoobsessed.com or stop by Carzilla. Of course, this will mean I'll need to shell out for some new pads and I really like the Rupes polishes that came with my iBrid, so I'll need a few bigger bottles of that stuff. Stay tuned.
It is amazing how long it takes to prepare four wheels for storage. The entire process of putting my third wheel setup right was an onerous one, but they look great. I made a video that highlights the various stages of the process. I hope you enjoy.
If you follow my YouTube channel, you will have seen that I posted a video demonstrating my wheel swap process. The weather has been extraordinarily mild this year, but I don't like getting caught off guard, so I installed my winter setup which consists of Blizzak LM-60's on 20" Hartmann wheels. This was the first time I swapped wheels on the SQ5 without having to use my floor jack at each corner. My QuickJack BL-5000 SLX made quick work of lifting the SQ off the ground. If you want to see a guy having a lot of fun playing with his car, check out the video below:
A good friend of mine is an acclaimed photographer. She is well known for her remarkable shots of Aurora Borealis. Through chatting with her, we got the crazy idea for her to come and take some shots of my garage. She was by last weekend and she snapped some very cool shots. There's more to come, but here's a little taste of what Christy is working on. I eagerly await more of these since she is a master of HDR and other cool editing techniques.
My son and I recently attended a Calgary Flames game and he was the lucky winner of a "craziest fan" moment during a break in the play. His face was displayed on the scoreboard and he took home a $200 gift card for a local sports store. The next day, I entered a photo in a Facebook contest sponsored by the local Audi dealership, and I won. I received a $100 gift card for a local restaurant and a hand written congratulations card from the dealership's marketing manager. I should probably head down to the local shop and grab a lottery ticket before this luck runs out.
I am impressed that my local Audi dealer has a few S3's as loaner vehicles. I had my SQ5 in for a 55k service and received a virtually brand new silver S3 for the day. What a fun car. Apart from some slight turbo lag at launch, the car is a rocket. I prefer the SQ5, but if the time ever comes to pick up a second car, I'd have to take a long hard look at the S3.
A friend of mine purchased a pre-owned 435i X-Drive with the exclusive ZHP package. I say exclusive since only 100 were made. It's a beautiful car. He brought it over today to have some little details dealt with. There were a few rim rash spots on the passenger rear and driver's front wheel as well as some significant scuffs in the 3M clear on the hood. I used a propane torch to correct the scuffs, and used some semi-gloss paint to touch up the rim rash. I touched up some obvious blemishes in the paint with my Rupes Mini and iBrid, but I will do a full paint correction/polish in the Spring. If you want to learn a little about the ZHP, click here.
I had a few days to detail a friend's white Nissan Murano. I spent most of the 8 hours on the interior. I performed a shampoo of the carpet with Fabric Clean by Chemical Guys. I used an ounce of the Fabric Clean and diluted the rest of my Tornador foam gun canister with water. I attached a soft bristle brush to my Flex polisher to work the foamy solution into the carpet and extracted it with my shop vac. The results were nice. I used Griot's Garage Leather Care on the seats and Cockpit Premium by 1Z on the rest of the interior panels and dash. I washed the exterior with Chemical Guys Citrus Wash & Gloss. I used Griot's Garage Wheel Cleaner on the wheels. I used a combination of different grades of steel wool to bring the exhaust tips back. All of this happened while it was snowing outside, so I was thankful for the comfort and convenience the garage provides when detailing. Here's some photos.
With my permission, Quickjack is using photos of my garage for their online marketing of the QuickJack lift system. It is pretty cool to see my garage getting this kind of exposure. Here's a screen shot from the Quickjack.com website. They have introduced a character named "Jack" to answer questions about the system. I wonder if Jack's physical appearance should have been based on me, but I'll leave that for you to decide.
It took me the better part of two full days, but the polish and coat of the SQ5 is complete. I spent all of Tuesday this week polishing it with my various polishers. I found my new Rupes iBrid to be an amazingly helpful little tool. It was effective in getting into the little spots that are too small for my Mini Rupes. My Bigfoot Mini was amazing as well. I did ruin a few pads with it, though. Not sure what happened, but a few pads simply gave out. I may have to conduct some research into the issue. I used Menzerna's Medium Cut 2500 polish and the results are terrific. No need for any follow up in my opinion. Once all the paint was looking pristine, I spent a few hours on Wednesday coating the paint with GTecnhiq's C1 Crystal Lacquer nanocoating followed by a coat of EXO V2. The paint glistens and should be well protected as we head into winter. I had plans on doing a video, but I just didn't have the time given how labour-intensive this job was. Here are a few photos of the project.
Since purchasing my BL-5000SLX QuickJack lift, I have been putting it to the test quite regularly. I have taken the wheels off a number of times to gain access to the wheel wells and I have been able to perform some touch ups on the paint around the rotor hats. It has been a helpful tool as well as a cool one. My friend, Geoff popped by a little while ago with his camera gear to snap some shots of the QuickJack in action and here's a little slideshow that demonstrates how it has helped me raise my detailing game. The photos give you an idea of how I have the system set up. Like I have said before, it works great for my needs and it is a purchase I am very happy with.
I bribed my photographer friend, Geoff to snap some more shots of my garage. This time, I wanted to focus on some of the work I perform in the garage (detailing, wheel swaps) as well as some of the main equipment I use. The QuickJack got quite a bit of camera time, and I'm very eager to see how the shots turned out. Geoff sent me this teaser pic, so I hope the rest are just as cool. Stay tuned.
My raised aluminum TREK sign arrived and I got it perfectly placed on my big grey wall. The logo was in a shiny red and the letters have the brushed aluminum look to them. The red of the logo clashed with the red of my stripe below so I pained the logo the same grey as my TV wall. I think it looks much better, plus I didn't want the TREK sign to be the focal point of that wall. If you are looking for a sign such as this, I suggest you hit up Joe at Enthusi-works. He is great to work with and can just about make anything your mind can conjure up. You may even see some photos of my garage in his various listings. Here's how things turned out.
Monday marks my return to work after six weeks of summer vacation time. I have enjoyed every minute of my holiday, but now I must focus my efforts on educating the youth of our world. This summer saw a number of small, yet significant improvements to the garage. Most notably, the newly stained cedar carriage door. I love how the stain brought out the unique grain of the cedar. I added tile to the boring space above the car door and dialed in my organization. I was able to complete a number of intricate details on the SQ5 and was able to produce a few videos that depict the processes I follow. I will end of the summer with two "night shots" of the garage. Farewell, summer.
The art of auto detailing is fully featured in each of these five videos. Check them out:
1. Splash! Car Detailing - Modified Audi A3
2. Dr. Kuko Car Detailing - Audi S6 Full Detailing
3. Detailer's Domain - Audi RS4
4. Revolab - Audi S5
5. Sr. Detailing - Audi S4 Avant
I recently removed a shelf I was using to store jack stands. I relocated the shelves to the top of my tire racks. I plan on adding a raised aluminum "Trek" sign to this wall space. Here's a few shots that illustrate the evolution of this part of the garage.
Who is Rick?
I'm just a guy who loves his garage, Audi, and detailing so much he blogs about them.
Geoff Wilkings Photography
RaceDeck Garage Floors
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