The Audi RS4 is a masterpiece of understated German engineering. On the face of it, the RS4 looks like a regular saloon, but a quick turn behind the wheel quickly reveals the deception! A wolf in sheep’s clothing, the 4.2 FSi V8 engine produces around 415 bhp and is guaranteed to keep you firmly in your seat. In the B7 version of the RS4, the engine was completely reworked and given a new cylinder block. In its new incarnation this high revving engine, which redlines at 8000rpm, was used in the Audi R8 supercar when it launched. Not what you’d expect from a saloon car!
RS4 owners tend to be passionate about their cars for the combination of performance, power and control they offer. The fact that it’s also a five-seat family car with plenty of boot space makes it a popular choice for the keen driver who needs to keep one foot in the ‘practical’ camp!
This 2006 RS4 B7 arrived at UF’s Brands Hatch based Detailing Studio for Gloss Enhancement and Engine Bay Treatment. Having completed around sixty thousand miles, the bodywork was in need of some attention to restore the Mugello Blue paintwork back to its former glory.
In order to allow for more thorough cleaning, the number plates were removed from the car.
Wheels tend to collect a lot of dirt, traffic film and brake dust, all of which require regular removal.
Initially, the car was treated with Bilt-Hamber Korrosol to remove traces of iron contamination. This typically collects around the wheel arches, on the wheels and along the sills of the vehicle and are as a result of brake pads shredding when they’re under pressure. The tiny hot particles bond quickly with the substrate they land on and begin to oxidise. As they oxidise they swell and if left untreated can cause permanent pitting which is both unsightly and expensive to repair. Korrosol works on the particles to shrink them, forcing them to break the bond with the substrate. Korrosol contains a colour change function, turning to a deep purple on contact with the particles. Once the colour is evident the contamination has been neutralised and can then be safely rinsed away without damaging the substrate.
Next the RS4 was degreased using Bilt-Hamber Surfex HD. Particular attention was paid to the bonnet, boot and door shuts and catches; areas that typically attract grease build-up. These were agitated with a detail brush to ensure all the dirt was lifted away. The car was then rinsed.
There were many water spot marks over the vehicle and on the horizontal surfaces. These were removed using Kamikaze Collection’s new Water Spot Remover.
The engine bay was also degreased, first using Meguiar’s All Purpose Cleaner and then using Bilt-Hamber Surfex HD to remove any residue. The engine bay was carefully dried using Ultra Soft Microfibre Drying Towels.
Engine bays can be a grubby job, so using the Meguiar’s APC first does a great job of removing all the baked on dirt. Surfex HD then removes the residual elements to leave the whole compartment sparkling. With the modern Audis, there aren’t any exposed electrics, so although you have to take care whilst under the bonnet, there’s no immediate danger of water ingress. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
The next stage was to pre-clean the RS4 with Ultimate Snow Foam. This high foaming cleaner lifts larger particles of dirt and grit away from the surface of the paintwork and allows it to be easily rinsed away.
Every step we take when cleaning vehicles is designed with maximum safety for the paintwork in mind. That’s why we use as many non-contact methods as possible to remove the majority of the contamination and dirt before we put a wash mitt anywhere near the bodywork. This helps to prevent incurring wash swirls which are the leading cause of paintwork looking dull and tired. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
Then the bodywork was washed using the Two Bucket Method, an Ulti-Mitt Double Sided Merino Wash Mitt and Gtechniq G-Wash Shampoo. G-Wash was also used in a separate UF Wheel Bucket with Scratchshield.
Typically, the wheels are the dirtiest part of the vehicle, so keeping the wheel wash water separate helps prevent putting dirt and grit onto the bodywork. Again, it’s just another step which keeps the paintwork safe. Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
After rinsing the car, an Aqua Gleam De-ionising Water Filter was attached to the hose to provide a pure water rinse to prevent water spot marks from forming on the car. The Aqua Gleam filters the elements that cause the water spot deposits and leaves the car sparkling and clean.
Once the RS4 had been patted dry, the paintwork was inspected under high-intensity lighting to reveal the true condition. Multiple paint depth readings were also taken on each panel to gauge the thickness of the paint layer.
The paintwork did have a lot of wash swirls and there were numerous random deep scratches (RDS), but this was hardly surprising considering the car is ten years old. There were quite a few stone chips too which needed some attention. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
To correct the stone chips, the manufacturer’s paint code was supplied to ChipEx who mixed the touch up paint to precisely match the colour of the vehicle. The ChipEx Paint Chip Repair System involves carefully applying the supplied paint into a stone chip to fill in the hollow left by the stone. After allowing it to dry briefly, the surface is wiped lightly with a cloth impregnated with blending solution to remove the excess residue. If required this is repeated and once dry, the bodywork can then be machine polished as normal.
The paintwork damage was corrected using RUPES LHR 12E BigFoot Duetto with a Flexipads Microfibre Cutting Disc and Menzerna Heavy Cut Compound 400 (previously FG400). For the door panels, the angular body trim near the bottom required the RUPES LHR 75E BigFoot Mini to get into the tight curves.
The boot typically picks up a lot of scratches, from fingernails and rings making contact as the boot is being opened and closed. This boot lid was no exception and I needed to concentrate the machine polishing action to really make an impact on the appearance of these random deep scratches. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
The boot was corrected using the FLEX PE14-2 with a FLEX M14 Backing Plate Extension, a FLEX Yellow 1 Inch Backing Plate and a FLEX Orange Heavy Cut 2 Inch Spot Pad. The smaller pad makes correcting tight spaces much easier.
After rinsing to remove any polishing dust residue, the paintwork was then refined using the FLEX PE14-2 Rotary Machine Polisher with a 3M Blue Polishing Pad and Menzerna Super Finish Plus 3800.
Refining hard paintwork always takes a bit longer, but it’s crucial to really getting depth and clarity into the paintwork. You can have the glossiest wax or sealant, but if the paintwork hasn’t been properly prepared then the shine just won’t pop out. – Derek Ginger, UF Detailing Studio
With the paintwork now gloss enhanced, the next stage was to wipe down the bodywork and wheels with Gtechniq Panel Wipe. This removes all traces of polish and residues, leaving the surface ready to receive a layer of sealant. In this instance, Gtechniq Crystal Serum Black had been specifically requested by the customer. Crystal Serum is an innovative nanotechnology-based sealant which provides superior levels of resistance to extremes of pH and wash swirls. Once cured, Crystal Serum is so tough it requires machine polishing to remove and as a result, is available only as a service provided by Gtechniq-authorised studios. Gtechniq is so confident in the performance of Crystal Serum they guarantee the coating for seven years!
In order to enhance the hydrophobic function, once Crystal Serum has cured, a layer of Gtechniq EXO Ultra Durable Hybrid Coating is applied. Together these products provide an incredibly hydrophobic, durable protection and spectacular shine.
The wheels were protected using Gtechniq C5 Alloy Wheel Armour. This nano sealant is resistant to high temperatures and does not burn off when the wheels are hot. C5 provides a water and oil repelling barrier which also inhibits the build-up of brake dust. Treated wheels are easier to maintain and negate the requirement for harsh wheel cleaners.
The glass was cleaned and then sealed using Gtechniq G1 ClearVision Smart Glass. This hydrophobic coating encourages rainwater to roll into beads on contact, allowing them to be blown away even when driving at relatively low speeds. Ice and snow do not bond as readily with treated surfaces, so for bad weather and wintery conditions, G1 is an ideal solution.
The interior of the RS4 was in good condition and had clearly been well looked after. The dashboard was detailed using Gtechniq C6 Matte Dash AB to leave a non-glossy, dust repelling finish. The fabrics were treated with Gtechniq I1 Smart Fabric AB, a water-repelling barrier that helps to prevent staining from liquid spills. The ‘AB’ indicates both C6 and I1 have an antibacterial function – ideal for those sticky little fingers!
The final step was to dress the tyres with Gtechniq T2 Tyre Dressing, leaving a natural satin sheen and completing the look for the newly invigorated RS4 B7!
The customer was very keen to ensure he maintained the final appearance of his RS4, so requested a ‘maintenance care pack’ for when he collected the vehicle. UF ensured he had all the products he required to keep the RS4 looking as spectacular as the day it left the detailing studio.
UF Detailing Studio – Award Winning Detailing. Call 0333 800 8004 to discuss your requirements and arrange a free vehicle appraisal.