I spent weeks obsessing over my winter wheel and tire setup, but I am happy to say that the obsessing paid off. I had the TSW's installed on Friday and I couldn't be happier. They look very aggressive and the red brake calipers just give it an extra touch of class. Here's a quick video I put together that showcases my new winter war wagon!
With all the prepping and detailing, I haven't had any time to capture quality photographs. I did manage to take a few shots with my iPhone at the parking garage the other night. They look alright. I really need my friend Geoff to do a shoot for me!
It's been almost a month since my 2018 SQ5 came into my life and here is a list of ten things I really appreciate about this new generation of SQ5:
I loved the old engine with its raspy growl and supercharged ferocity off the line, but I am really coming to love the new 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 and its silky smooth responsiveness. I am enjoying watching the digital turbo boost gauge light up when I mash the accelerator, too. I have been breaking her in gently, but the little jaunts I have been able to squeeze in indicate this engine is a fine piece of mechanical engineering. I look forward to seeing it perform in the mountains in a few weeks.
The first generation SQ5 was weak in the tech department. The second generation does a nice job of catching up to the competition. There were actually a few technology options I didn't select such as the collision avoidance and traffic sign recognition systems. The virtual cockpit is a sublime feature that finally brings the SQ5 to the next level in terms of cool tech. I can scroll between various speed/tach layouts and customize the side readout to audio, telephone, car systems, etc. Finally, Audi has made it possible to store your smart phone in the centre console instead of hiding it away in the glove box. There's even two USB ports in there! The addition of Apple Car Play means I can have the car read and send texts remotely. But, by far, my favourite innovation is the reminder the car gives me that my smart phone is still in the car. I can't count the number times this thoughtful features has saved me a walk back to the car.
I really like the diamond stitched leather seats in the SQ5. They are the perfect combination of sporty and sophisticated. I almost went for the red leather interior package, but I am very happy with the black leather with contrasting white stitching.
Since I opted for the 21" summer performance wheel and tire package (again!), I am once again in search of a winter wheel and tire setup. I have decided against going the replica wheel route. While I was happy with the performance and look of the two sets of Hartmann's I had on my previous SQ5, I want to go with something a bit more unique. I have been feverishly researching all kinds of after market wheel options, and I have ultimately decided to go with 20x8.5 TSW Sprint wheels in gloss gunmetal. I am moving away from Blizzaks and going for the Nokian Hakkapelliita R2's. I'm curious to see if these Nokians live up to all the hype. Since my SQ5 came equipped with the P-Zero Pirellis, I'm worried that they will wear out prematurely like the set that came on my previous one. Whatever the future holds in store for the P-Zero's, I'm hopeful the Nokians will prove to be an effective four-season tire like they claim to be. This will mean I shouldn't feel the need to source a third set up for the unseasonable weather we can experience in these parts.
click to enlarge
I am purchasing this wheel and tire package through Tunerworks. I am looking forward to how they look, but I am really looking forward to seeing how this setup works with the Quattro system once the snow starts flying!
It has been just over a week since taking possession of my 2018 SQ5, and the obsession has already begun to take hold. I am infatuated with this SUV. I only have 250 km on it, but I love it more and more each time I get behind the wheel. I am very happy with my colour choice. I have polished the Daytona Grey Pearl using Jay Leno's Garage newly introduced line of polishes and I am very impressed with the quality of the finish. I have always been a fan of Audi paint, and this car is no exception. I still have some work to do in terms of coating the paint with the GTechniq system, and I am aiming at the weekend to complete that stage. After that, it will just be a matter of detailing the exterior since we have been experiencing some foul weather. I have put together two videos that demonstrate some of the processes I have been using over the past week to dial her in. Feel free to "like", "share" and comment.
The plan has changed somewhat since my last post. A buyer has come forward for my current SQ5 and that has put pressure on my original timeline. Because the new Q5 factory in Mexico is not clear on when they will be able to fill custom colour orders, I have cancelled my "Nardo Grey" order. As much as I loved the idea of having a Nardo SQ5, the timing just won't work. I contacted my dealer and they tracked down a Daytona Grey model that is currently in transit and it should be here mid-September. It is the identical spec as the one I was going to build, except it has black instead of red leather interior and it has the 21"s that I was going to avoid this time around. I still have my current SQ5 until the end of the month, when the buyer and I will finalize the deal. In the meantime, I have been watching every video I can find on the 2018 SQ5. I plan on taking delivery of the new one with as much of the factory coverings still in tact, and I will perform the "new car prep" myself.
I kicked my summer break off by detailing a friend's 2016 BMW 435i ZHP. He has had the car for about a year now, and he takes pretty decent care of it, but it needed a bit of love. He's out of town for a week so he left it with me to work my magic. Here's a video that demonstrates the process I followed.
On May 31st, I pulled into the garage and as the door was going down the right-side spring snapped. It was startling loud to be honest. So, I panicked a bit and ended up calling a 24-hour garage door repair service. They responded quickly by sending a two-man crew. But, things went downhill from there. The two technicians attempted to clamp the broken spring together. I am no garage door expert, but these guys didn't seem to know what they were doing. After an hour of messing around, they informed me they needed to fetch a part at the shop. This was around 9pm. I said to my wife as they were leaving, "They aren't coming back". After an hour and a half I called the dispatcher. He told me he would touch base and get back to me. An hour went by, and no call-back. I called, but my call went straight to voicemail and that was the last contact I had with "The Garage Door Company".
In hindsight, I'm very glad they bailed because I called Creative Door the next morning, and they had all the spring specs on file since they are the company that originally built and installed the door. They custom-fabricated the springs on Saturday and a crew came out Monday morning to install them. I have to give a massive shout out to everyone at Creative Door. Just impeccable service and the $274 price tag was very reasonable.
My two weeks of holidays have come to an end. I really enjoy the vacation time we teachers get, and I was able to accomplish quite a bit in terms of the garage and SQ5. I performed an extensive detail on two friends' cars as well as a thorough detail on my own. I had the opportunity to experiment with almost all the products sent to me from Jay Leno's Garage and I have to admit, they are spectacular. I am still in the process of collecting my thoughts on their performance and I will be posting my review shortly, so stay tuned for that. I helped a friend swap over to his summer wheels using my QuickJack, and I also swapped over to my Spring/Fall setup.
The extra time allowed me to create videos that comprehensively demonstrate the extent I go to when maintaining my ride. Check them out if you have the time:
I finished up a 8-hour detail of a friend's Kia Sorento. I am quite pleased with the results. I was a bit pressed for time, so there's no video for this one. Just a few photos. This SUV is used to transport a dog so lots of time was spent vacuuming. I have a Sonax pet hair brush that does a pretty effective job of loosening the hair, so the vacuuming went well. This SUV is not garaged, so there was a lot of tree debris on the inside and outside which took up a bit of extra time. Enjoy the slideshow.
Leather | Leatherique Rejuvenator Oil
Carpet | Tornador Foam Gun loaded with diluted Griot's Garage Carpet Cleaner
Doors | Jay Leno's Garage Interior Detailer
Dash and Console | Jay Leno's Garage Interior Detailer
Wash | Jay Leno's Garage Vehicle Wash
Wheels | Griot's Garage Heavy Duty Wheel Cleaner
Tires | Jay Leno's Garage Tire and Trim Care
Plastic | Jay Leno's Garage Tire and Trim Care
Glass | Jay Leno's Glass Cleaner
Wipe-down | Zaino Gloss Enhancer
My YouTube channel has eclipsed the 1000-subscriber mark, which amazes me. I love sharing my garage escapades and enjoy the comments I get from viewers all around the world. You can check out my channel here.
I performed an epic detail on a friend's Volvo XC90 this week. I was able to put almost all the products I received from the team at Jay Leno's Garage. They performed remarkably well. I am still trying some of them out and I will be sure to share my impressions on the JLG line up in a few days. In the meantime, here's the video I made showing the Volvo transformation.
I have three sets of winter liners for my SQ5, and none of them are able to prevent salty water from staining my black carpet. Using a variety of products and equipment, I am always able to restore the carpet but it is such a drag having salt residue on my floor for so many months of the year. How do ordinary people cope? I don't even want to know.
The process involves a thorough vacuum followed by a liberal dousing of Blitz all-purpose cleaner. I let that dwell and then use my Rupes iBrid to work the APC deep into the fibres. Then, I just use a microfibre cloth to dry the area. If any salt has really hardened, I use my Mytee steamer to loosen it up.
I was tired of having my polisher arsenal stored away and out of sight, so I mounted them on the Craftsman pegboard above my workbench. I want to add one more polisher to my collection, but that will have to wait until Father's Day. I also moved my pad collection from my 56" Craftsman to two of the drawers beneath my workbench. Here's a few pics:
A few weeks ago, the Director of Business Development for Jay Leno's Garage contacted me and offered to supply me with some detailing products to see what I thought of them. I am going to be detailing two SUV's next week, so these products are going to be put to the true test come Monday. I plan on doing a video of both jobs. I am really looking forward to it. In the meantime, I have to say I'm quite impressed with the packaging of these items. They look real good on my main shelf! Stay tuned for next week's Sorrento and XC90 details using these Jay Leno's Garage products.
Tire and Trim Care
Microfiber Super Drying Towel
Plush Microfiber Towel
Microfiber Wax Applicator
Blue YoYo Wax Applicator
2 x Black YoYo Applicator
Honestly, I don't know how any retailer can be so consistent as Auto Obsessed. I made my online order late in the day on Saturday, and the package arrived Tuesday before lunch. That's just incredible. I am giving their OBSSSSD line of microfibre towels a try. I ordered twelve and I expect big things! One thing I really appreciated about these towels right out of the box, is the tags are not sewn into the edges, rather they are easy-to-remove stickers. Slick! I also ordered some bags for my Metro Vac 'n Blo vacuum cleaner. I had totally forgotten you need to replace vacuum bags. The new bag has doubled the suction power of my awesome little vacuum. Here's a shot of what I ended up ordering.
Headed over to my favourite local detailing retailer, Carzilla today. Picked these items up. I have two detailing projects lined up for next week. Both of them are family haulers. I have an order from Auto Obsessed scheduled to arrive very soon also. Now that I look at this photo, I wonder if that yellow Rupes pad is too small for my Rupes Mini. I'll have to check on that.
I spent an hour attending to the exhaust tips on the SQ5 this morning. I put a video together that demonstrates the products I use and the process I follow to eliminate the build up of carbon soot on the tips. This is an on-going battle with this car.
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.
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:
Who is Rick?
I'm just a guy who loves his garage, Audi, and detailing so much he blogs about them.
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RaceDeck Garage Floors
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