The Subaru WRX STi, or Scooby as it is affectionately known, has a reputation for being a bit of a monster on the road. Subaru’s rich and impressive history in the World Rally Championships has made the WRX STi the Richard Burns wanna-be’s choice of transportation.
This Subaru was much loved by its owner and had been driven in all sorts of weather, so had collected its fair share of road debris.
Additionally the carbon emissions from the large exhaust had stained the clearcoat turning the white paintwork an unsightly yellow. To have this corrected the customer booked it into the Ultimate Detailing Studio for a Gloss Enhancement Treatment.
It’s quite a common problem with white cars, Subarus in particular. The problem is the particles emitted through the exhaust contaminate the clearcoat and cause discolouration. Add in the normal effects of UV plus industrial fallout and it’s easy to see why a white car would turn yellow! – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UDS
Before the correction could be carried out the paintwork and wheels required thorough decontamination. First the car was sprayed with Valet Pro Dragon’s Breath. This removes bonded iron contamination without compromising the clearcoat. The colour change function indicates contact with ferrous particles which, after a few moments can be easily rinsed away.
Next the Subaru was degreased using Valet Pro Classic All Purpose Cleaner, with special attention paid to the bonnet, boot and door shuts where grease tends to collect and attract additional dirt. After being rinsed away the car was given a pre-clean treatment using Ultimate Snow Foam to remove any remaining larger particles of dirt and grit.
As the paintwork was going to be machine polished, washing with a shampoo containing gloss enhancers would have been pointless. Valet Pro’s Concentrated Car Shampoo is a great, straightforward cleaner that removes dirt and grime easily. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UDS
After rinsing the cleaner away an Aqua Gleam De-ionising water filter was attached to the hose to give a final, pure water rinse. The filter neutralises the minerals in normal tap water to eliminate the white deposits left behind by normal tap water and leave the paintwork with an extra sparkle.
Inside the studio the Subaru was inspected under high intensity lighting and a number of paint depth measurements were taken from each panel using a PosiTest DFT Paint Gauge. In addition to the yellowing issue the paintwork was covered with swirls and scratches; quite a common issue particularly for soft paintwork which can be easily marked if washed incorrectly.
Japanese paintwork is notorious for being really soft, so taking multiple paint depth readings before starting to machine polish was vital. Having done so I discovered not only was the paint very soft, but it was also incredibly thin. My selection of pad, polisher and compound was critical to make sure I had enough cut to do the job, without burning through the paint or leaving holograms. On paint this thin you really want to avoid a secondary refining stage if possible so I opted for the RUPES UHS One-Step System. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UDS
The RUPES UHS One-Step System consists of the UHS Polishing Foam and UHS Easy Gloss Compound which work together with the RUPES BigFoot LHR15ES to resolve paintwork issues quickly, without mess and without the need for a second step refining process. The pads are available in three sizes to fit all of the polishers that RUPES offer.
The BigFoot Mini LHR75E is perfect for getting into tight spots – the smaller head fits into tighter areas and also deals with curves better than the larger machine. It’s a very handy tool to have in the box! – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UDS
The UHS System removed the yellowing from the paintwork as well as the scratches and swirls, restoring a glossy white finish. To preserve the shine the Subaru was given two layers of POLISHANGEL Master Sealant. The unique blend of natural carnauba with crystal-clear ceramic sealant provides a durable finish that reflects light perfectly.
The wheels were protected using POLISHANGEL SuperSport PTFE Wheel Wax. This heat resistant wax helps repel dirt, oils and water whilst inhibiting the build-up of brake dust. The wheels stay cleaner for longer and are easier to clean during the weekly wash. To finish the look the tyres were dressed with POLISHANGEL Honey, a long-lasting tyre dressing which gives a natural, satin-look finish which does not sling off.
When the customer collected his car he was delighted with the results. Having previously been told the yellowing couldn’t be removed he was over the moon to see the discolouration had been successfully eliminated. A clean and sparkling Subaru made a loud and impressive exit from the Brands Hatch Paddock gate!
More images of the Subaru WRX STi can be seen on the UF Car Care & Car Detailing forums here.
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