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January '17 Winner
A big well done to Andy Boorman for winning our January show and shine. Andy recently took delivery of a brand new Porsche Macan GTS and decided to detail it himself rather than pay for a dealership applied treatment. We've noticed a significant jump in the number of people opting to do this recently, which is great to see. Andy's write up clearly shows that this is a perfectly reasonable approach, with the end result being a far better initial detail than would otherwise have been the case. Nice one Andy, enjoy it!
"After an informed telephone call with the Polished Bliss team, I quickly realised the common perception that new cars will be delivered with pristine paintwork may be a myth; it appears this just isn't always the case. Paintwork often goes through a gruelling journey as new cars are transported from the factory to the dealership, with a significant amount of contamination being deposited along the way. The risk then increases at the dealership as cars are stripped of their protective wraps, quickly washed and then protected with low quality sealants that offer little resilience or longevity. Following this call I was quick to instruct my dealership not to prepare my new Porsche Macan GTS in any way, and to leave all the protective wraps in place. Fortunately, the sales executive had an in-depth knowledge of detailing and was happy to honour the request.
The mid-winter timing of the delivery was far from great, but having waited seven months to get my hands on the GTS model I knew I had to crack on and get the detailing work done if I was to start to enjoy the car knowing it was well protected against the salty road conditions. The Polished Bliss team offered some great advice on how best to tackle the metallic Volcano Grey paintwork, satin black RS Spyder summer wheels, bright silver Turbo winter wheels, red brake calipers, suspension/underbody areas and the GTS black leather interior. Following the standard decontamination process, I decided to use a polymer sealant to pop the flake and then finish off with a carnauba wax to add further gloss and depth. This was ideal, as the car isn't a daily driver, and optimal looks are more important to me than durability.
Having collected the '911 on stilts' as some refer to this model, I drove the GTS from Porsche Tonbridge to home in north-west Kent in the pouring rain! The typical English winter weather had not been kind to me, and by the time I got home the car was covered in salt and grit. If I started washing it in this condition with a wash mitt and soapy water, I would undoubtedly put swirl marks into the paintwork. The aim was to use non-contact measures to remove this covering of grime prior to washing the car, thus ensuring the paintwork was protected from damage. The first task was to remove the protective film wraps and even on these was clear signs of ferrous material and contaminants. I then hit the car with the first avalanche of snow foam and rinsed it off a few minutes later to clear as much of the salt and grit as possible. Next up was a thorough degreasing treatment using Bilt-Hamber Surfex HD at 5:1 to remove any leftover traces of transport wax and adhesives, followed by a second avalanche of snow foam via my pressure washer to clear any lingering residue.
The next step was to remove all of the ferrous contamination. The Polished Bliss team had recommended Gyeon Q²M Iron for this. Surprisingly, apart from the wheels and sides of the car, there was not a great deal of reaction from the IRON, indicating that the wraps had done their job quite well. After another avalanche of snow foam and a further rinse, the car was washed using the two bucket method, a Microfiber Madness Incredisponge and a small drop of Auto Finesse Lather. To complete the wash process the wheels were cleaned with a PB Spoke Back Woolie and a fresh wash mitt. After rinsing again, the car was towel dried with an Auto Finesse Aqua Deluxe Drying Towel and then moved into the garage to inspect the paintwork for damage under temporary flood lighting set up with oil heaters to assist the planned late night of polishing. Close inspection of the paint revealed an area of persistent surface contaminants on the tailgate. These were quickly eradicated by wiping the tailgate down with Auto Finesse ObliTARate and then claying the area carefully. Needing an energy boost, I nipped inside for dinner to steel myself for the long polishing session ahead.
Suitably refreshed and fed, I started by polishing and sealing all of the external paintwork by hand (including the struts) using Carlack Complete. Being polymer-based, this goes on very easily, and as soon as you buff it off you can instantly see the popping of the metallic flake. Next up was the addition of Auto Finesse Spirit with an Auto Finesse Waxmate XL applicator pad. For this step, I cheated and kept returning the wax to a warm water bath, which I'd set up by one of the oil heaters. After the initial residue removal with a PB Deluxe Buffing Towel, I buffed the finish again with a mist of Auto Finesse Finale and a PB Luxury Buffing Towel to ensure complete removal of all smears. I then retired for the night since it was approaching midnight and I wanted to do the final paintwork inspection in daylight. In the morning, the obvious wow factor was clear for all to see; even my neighbour popped his head over the fence to inspect the finish, having heard the dulcet tones of the GTS sports exhaust as she was reversed out of the garage. The Spirit carnauba wax had delivered an amazingly deep, wet looking gloss with a warm glow in the sunlight, with the metallic flake standing proud thanks to the sealant basecoat.
Fortunately, my winter wheels had been delivered ahead of the car, so I was able to prepare and protect them over Christmas with Gyeon Q²M Prep and Gyeon Q² Rim. I also used Auto Finesse Satin to impart a natural sheen to the tyre walls well in advance of fitting them to the car, better still I was able to do this in the luxury of a warm kitchen! However, I still had to follow the same process for the brake calipers and black exhaust tips. Fortunately, the ambient temperature was a bit kinder to me and the use of a hair dryer for a few minutes after each application hopefully assisted with the initial curing of the Gyeon Q² Rim. With each wheel removed in turn, I also took the opportunity to spray the suspension parts and undercarriage areas with an underbody wax. Hopefully this will pay dividends, but I will still top it up when I change to the satin black RS Spyder summer wheels (as supplied with the car). These are still waiting indoors to be protected with Swissvax Autobahn (to preserve the satin finish), but fortunately I have a bit of time on my side to tackle these before spring.
Finally, Nanolex Urban was used to seal the exterior glass, providing a hydrophobic barrier for better wet weather visibility. Auto Finesse Dressle was the choice for all the engine bay trims; following the advice on the Polished Bliss website, I just sprayed it on and left it for half a day to dry fully. Unfortunately, the rubber all weather mats were not at the dealers when I collected the car, but these were promptly delivered the next day so all I had to do was remove the seat protection, install the mats and wipe over the GTS black leather with Dr Leather wipes. To my relief, I'd completed my first new car protection detail; hopefully all will be good now until the spring, with just regular Auto Finesse Avalanche and Citrus Power treatments prior to two bucket washes with Auto Finesse Lather being required to get me through the winter with minimal risk of paintwork damage. During the first wash and rinse post completion, road grime came off the paintwork, glass and wheels with ease!"