I am confident there is no place worse, no place more challenging, no place more frustrating to keep a clear clean than Calgary, Alberta in winter. Even with my garage converted into a detailing studio, I just can't keep up. But, I won't stop trying. Here's a video that demonstrates how I go about keeping a tidy interior despite Mother Nature's efforts to ruin me.
Hand washing a car in the garage may not be everyone's idea of an epic Saturday night, but I had been looking forward to this all week. The Flames were up against the Hawks and I had a dirty SQ5 that needed some love and attention. Here's a video that demonstrates how two or three hours in a garage can be quite enjoyable and productive. Enjoy.
The final in my 3-part "Prepping + Detailing" series is complete. I am very happy with the results. I didn't apply a coating like I had originally planned. I simply ran out of time and energy. I used Menzerna's Power Lock so that should give me good protection until I can find the time to apply my GTechniq C1 Crystal Armour. In the meantime, here's the third and final video:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A long weekend in the mountains resulted in a thoroughly filthy SQ5. Here's a video demonstrating how I returned my car to showroom condition after 1000+ kilometres of spirited mountain driving.
I try to focus on a new detail every time I wash my SQ5. This time, I really focused on the door jambs. I was so inspired by the work I was doing, I decided to do a video and I titled it the Decadent Detail. The SQ was pretty bad due to an out-of-town jaunt up to Red Deer to see my Grandmother over the weekend. I think you'll like the video I threw together.
Sidenote: my YouTube channel eclipsed the 700-subscribers mark.
It wasn't cheap, but I'm worth it. I picked up the iBrid from Carzilla on Monday. What a slick little tool. While I was at Carzilla, I also picked up a new tire dressing that the owner recommended. It's a spray foam that supposedly penetrates the rubber leaving a coating that should last a few weeks. I also picked up a gallon of Chemical Guys' Citrus Wash & Gloss which is my go-to shampoo. I purchased three microfibre polishing pads that will help me when correcting harder paint. All the pads I currently own are foam, so this should be a neat experiment playing around with mf. Here's some shots of my new acquisitions. I forgot to get clay while I was there. My next trip will hopefully be my last. I'm going broke o'er here.
Here's a little "before and after" video I put together after conducting a quick interior detail on the SQ5. Nothing earth-shattering here. I used Sonax Leather Foam on the seats, 1Z Einszett Cockpit Premium on the panels, dash, and console, and Invisible Glass on the windows. I also used Weather Tech's cleaner on the floor mats. The video does a pretty decent job of showcasing the amazing interior of the SQ5. The process took 30 minutes.
I tend to hold on to products I don't use. Today, I took a big step and deleted perfectly good products from my collection in an effort to streamline things a bit. I am going to take the products to work for anyone who wants them. I was at a stage a while back where I wanted to try everything. I think I'm at a point now where I know what products I like, and the days of experimenting are behind me.
Here's a set of photos that illustrate the process I have developed to quickly clean my disgustingly dirty floor mats. The process begins with a mist of water followed by a coat of Griot's Garage Rubber Cleaner. I have some WeatherTech cleaner, but I opted for the GG today. With a 1.25" RaceGlaze brush, I cleaned out all the grooves in the mat and let them sit under the infrared to dry. With my wide blue bucket underneath, it's a clean and painless process that takes about 5 minutes.
I may be forced to live with a filthy exterior most winter days, but I'll be darned if I'm going to subject myself to a dirty interior.
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
Jay Leno's Garage Advanced Vehicle Care
Thompson Graphics Ltd.
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