The Fiat 595 Abarth is undoubtedly one of the most stylish hot-hatches available. Cheeky, sporty, fun, are all adjectives that have all been used to describe the look and the experience of driving one and it’s easy to see why. Of the Fiat 500’s the 595 Abarth is arguably the model with the most character, and, like the Mini Cooper hatchback, crosses the gender divide, appealing to both male and female audiences.
As is always the case, the detailing process began with full decontamination and pre-clean, so initially the car was treated for iron contamination using Valet Pro Dragon’s Breath. This product reacts with iron particles found in brake dust and, through a chemical reaction turns the contamination into a water soluble solution. The colour change feature demonstrates the presence of the contamination and when the colour has fully developed the solution is ready to be safely rinsed away.
Next, using Bilt-Hamber Surfex HD, the Abarth was degreased with particular attention paid to the boot, bonnet and door shuts.
The shuts and door catches are susceptible to grease buildup, so it’s imperative to clean these areas on a regular basis, otherwise you can end up with a thick, black, sticky mess that simply attracts more dirt. By using a degreaser and a detailing brush, you can dislodge any buildup and rinse it away easily. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
To tackle the squashed bug remains, tar spots and tree sap, Valet Pro Citrus Tar & Glue Remover was applied and allowed to dwell. The citrus-based cleaner dissolves the sticky bonds quickly and allows them to be rinsed away without the need for scrubbing at the paintwork. After rinsing, the car was then treated to an application of Ultimate Snow Foam. This pre-cleaner is applied using a specially adapted Snow Foam Lance attached to a pressure washer, in this case, a Kranzle K 1152 TST. The high foaming solution lifts larger particles of dirt and grit away from the surface of the car, enveloping them within the foam. This can then be pressure-washed off before a wash mitt touches the car.
Every step of the decontamination and pre-cleaning process so far has been conducted using non-contact methods. Most swirls and scratches which dull paintwork occur as a result of poor washing techniques where dirt already on the surface is scraped back and forth with a wash mitt. Removing as much of the contamination as possible first reduces the chances of incurring such damage. – Derek Ginger, UF Detailing Studio
The Fiat Abarth was then washed using the Two Bucket Method, a UF Ulti-Mitt Double Sided Merino Wash Mitt and Gtechniq G-Wash. Using UF Wheel Woolies to thoroughly clean between the spokes of the alloys, a separate UF Wheel Bucket with Scratchshield was used for washing the wheels.
Traditionally, the wheels are the dirtiest part of the vehicle and collect the majority of the grit. Keeping the wheel wash water separate helps to prevent contaminating the bodywork wash water and so, protects the paintwork from swirls and scratches. – Derek Ginger, UF Detailing Studio.
After the car had been thoroughly cleaned, the suds were rinsed away and the car was given a final, pure water rinse using an Aqua Gleam Deionising Water Filter. This unit attaches to a hose and neutralises the compounds in the water responsible for water spot marks. The car was then patted dry using UF Ultra-Soft Microfibre Drying Towels.
Once clean and dry it was possible to inspect the condition of the paintwork thoroughly. The results were startling.
I was really surprised at just how badly damaged the clearcoat was. There was practically no gloss left, reducing the black paint to a dull grey. I suspect the vehicle had been taken through a mechanised car wash at some point. After taking some paint depth readings and assessing the consistency of the paintwork, I opted for a strong cutting pad and compound combination. I used the RUPES Duetto polisher because it provides great results on severely marked paintwork, and I switched the backing plate for a thinner, metal Kamikaze Collections one to further enhance the cutting action. Even so, the correction process took a long time. Derek Ginger, UF Detailing Studio
So, using the RUPES LHR 12E BigFoot Duetto, a Flexipads Microfibre Cutting Disc and Menzerna Heavy Cut Compound 400 (previously FG400), the paintwork was corrected.
The refining stage was completed using the FLEX PE14-2-150 Rotary Machine Polisher, a 3M PERFECT-IT III High Gloss Polishing Pad and Menzerna Super Finish Plus 3800.
To protect the paintwork the customer had requested a specific ceramic sealant: Gtechniq Crystal Serum. This nanotechnology-based coating is inherently very durable, resistant to wash swirls and extremes of pH: perfect for hard-working cars! Prior to applying the coating, the bodywork and wheels were wiped using Gtechniq Panel Wipe to remove any silicones or polishing residues which could interfere with the bonding process. Then, after applying a few drops of sealant with a pipette onto an applicator pad, the sealant was carefully applied to the bodywork, working one panel at a time.
Working with Crystal Serum you have to be careful to ensure the application process is performed correctly, first time. For example, rogue water drops will interfere with the coating. Additionally, the ambient conditions must also be controlled in order for the sealant to bond effectively and cure properly. Once cured it is so tough it requires machine polishing to remove and Gtechniq is confident enough in this product they guarantee performance for up to seven years. However, it must be applied by a Gtechniq-authorised studio so they may be assured it has been correctly applied. – Derek Ginger, UF Detailing Studio
Whilst Crystal Serum was curing, the glass was cleaned and then sealed using Gtechniq G1 ClearVision Smart Glass. This hydrophobic coating repels water, making driving easier during bad weather. The water repelling function means snow and ice will not adhere as strongly to treated surfaces, making early starts much easier on frosty mornings!
The wheels, having also been cleansed using Panel Wipe, were then coated with Gtechniq C5 Alloy Wheel Armour. This nano-ceramic sealant has a high heat tolerance and so will not burn off when the wheels become hot. The coating repels water and dirt, resists harsh chemicals and environmental fallout and helps prevent brake dust buildup. Wheels stay cleaner for longer and are easier to maintain during the weekly wash.
With Crystal Serum cured, a layer of Gtechniq EXO v2 was applied. This coating provides an enhanced hydrophobic function, repelling dirty rain water, industrial and environmental fallout, helping to keep the surfaces cleaner for longer. Contamination will not bond as readily to the treated surface so washing the car will be much easier, reducing the chances of incurring swirls and scratches. EXO v2 also adds a supreme candy-gloss shine which, on a black car, looks particularly stunning!
UF Detailing Studio – Award Winning Detailing. Call 0333 800 8004 to discuss your requirements and arrange a free vehicle appraisal.