The VW Golf has inspired several generations of dedicated, die-hard fans. The combination of reliability, practicality, style, quality and affordability is integral to the success of the model, but it’s the fun factor that has given the Golf its lasting appeal.
The Golf Estate first made an appearance in September 1993 but the performance estate version is a brand new offering from VW. Boasting an extra 32cm in length and the 605 litres of luggage space (the hatchback has 380 litres), the R Estate is quite possibly the most practical performance family car on the market. The additional 79kg in weight seems to make very little difference to the fun-factor: the six-speed twin-clutch DSG means shifting between gears is faster and smoother than most conventional automatic transmissions and the R Estate has an off-the-line figure of 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds. The latest generation Haldex traction control four-wheel-drive system makes for sturdy handling in even the most slippery of conditions. The four cylinder engine makes appropriately appealing noises through the twin tail pipes. Several boxes ticked…
This Golf R Estate was brand new, purchased by a detailer who was planning on making the most of all the key points of the car, from the practicality of using it for work to the pure enjoyment of driving. The customer was on business overseas when his car was ready for collection, so he arranged for the supplying dealership in Manchester to deliver the car direct to UF’s Brands Hatch based Detailing Studio for a New Car Protection Treatment. On his return to London Gatwick, the customer could then enjoy getting acquainted with his newly protected new car on the long drive back to Scotland.
As the car had been driven from Manchester it was pretty dirty when it arrived. It was inevitable that it would have collected not only the usual dirt, grime and diesel splatters, but also iron contamination. This will have happened as the brakes were applied, causing small, hot particles of iron to become airborne which land on the wheel face and sills. Left in place they bond to the surface and as they oxidise, or rust, they swell and this causes pitting in the surface of the lacquer. It’s therefore important to remove these particles before that happens and to do that we use a specialised product that shrinks the particle, causing it to break the bond with the surface. – Matt Back, UF
To remove the bonded ferrous contamination, Nanolex Wheel Cleaner & Iron Remover was used on the wheels and the bodywork. Using a separate UF Wheel Wash Bucket & Scratch Shield to minimise the chances of further contaminating the paintwork with road debris from the wheels, the backs of the wheels were cleaned with UF Wheel Woolies.
The car had been driven a long way and I was expecting to see contamination on the wheels. I needed to make sure they were thoroughly clean. The different sizes of Wheel Woolies make it easier to safely get through the spokes of the alloys and to the backs of the wheels. – Matt Back, UF
With Wheel Cleaner & Iron Remover, the active ingredient changes colour on contact with ferrous contamination. When the colour finishes developing the product and the contamination is neutralised and can be easily rinsed away.
Next the car was degreased using Bilt-Hamber Surfex HD. Non-solvent based, Surfex HD works to break down oily road deposits and also works on organic contamination, making light work of bug squash. Any remaining tar spots were removed using Valet Pro Citrus Tar & Glue Remover. The final stage of the decontamination process was to pre-clean the car using Ultimate Snow Foam, a high foaming non-contact pre cleaner. The foam lifts larger particles of dirt and grit away from the surface of the vehicle and allows it to be safely rinsed away before the main wash process.
Most swirls occur when wash mitts are rubbed against dirty paintwork. During washing the larger particles of dirt can get caught in the surface of the mitt and then dragged over the paintwork. Using a high foaming pre-cleaner effectively removes this so the surface is already significantly less contaminated by the time the wash mitt contacts the paintwork. Wash swirls are the most common cause of making paint look dull and tired, so this step is integral to preserving the appearance of the vehicle. – Matt Back, UF
With the decontamination and pre-clean stages completed, the car was washed using Two Buckets, Nanolex Pure Shampoo and an Ulti-Mitt Double Sided Merino Wash Mitt. After rinsing, an Aqua Gleam De-Ionising Water Filter was attached to a hose to give a final, pure water rinse. The car was then dried using UF Ultra-Soft Microfibre Drying Towels before being brought into the studio. Here, the paintwork was inspected under high intensity lighting.
Although it was a new car, close visual inspection of the paintwork was still necessary for three reasons: Firstly – we see a lot of brand new cars arrive directly from dealerships which have been subjected to poor washing techniques, resulting in wash swirls. Just because a car is brand new you cannot assume the paintwork is in good condition. Secondly – the car had been driven a long way before being protected so it was likely to have incurred some damage. Thirdly – if there is any damage you want to be sure it’s removed before you seal the paintwork, especially when using a nanotechnology-based sealant as they’re incredibly durable. Once cured, any defects are sealed under the coating so treating them is impossible unless you remove the coating. – Matt Back, UF
The inspection did reveal areas of light damage which required machine polishing.
To remove the swirls initially SCHOLL Concepts S17 was used on a 3M PERFECT-IT III Yellow Polishing Pad with a RUPES BigFoot LHR15ES Random Orbital Polisher. The paintwork was then given a final polish using SCHOLL Concepts S20 Black Real 1-Step Compound on a 3M PERFECT-IT III Black Finishing Pad.
To prepare the paint and wheels for the sealant, the car was first cleansed with Nanolex EX Residue Remover. This acts on silicone or polish residues to dissolve them before the solvents flash off to the leave the surface completely bare. The sealant then has a clean surface with which to form the highest possible number of bonds with the surface.
The customer had asked that Nanolex’s newest nanotechnology-based sealant, Si3D be used as a final finish. Silica-based and with an added thermoplastic component, Si3D lays down a cross-linked 3D matrix which forms chemical bonds with the surface to provide an incredibly durable, hydrophobic protective layer. As this Golf R Estate was going to be used every day for work purposes, covering many miles in all types of weather, two layers of Si3D were applied to give an increased hardness to the protective surface. The enhancing effect it had on the paintwork was truly stunning.
The wheels were treated with Nanolex Professional Paint & Alloy Sealant. Also using nanotechnology, this sealant actively repels water, dirt, oils and brake dust to keep the surface cleaner for longer. Contamination does not stick to the surface so wheels are easier to clean during regular maintenance, without the need for harsh alkaline or acid-based cleaners.
As the vehicle was going to Scotland, and with winter fast approaching, a window sealant was a must-have! Nanolex ULTRA Glass Sealant was applied. This provides a hydrophobic barrier which causes rain to bead on contact, allowing it to be more easily blown away even whilst driving at relatively low speeds. As a result, driving is less tiring during inclement weather. In addition, snow and ice do not adhere as well to treated surfaces making the morning get away much easier.
As the customer had not yet seen the car, he was excited about not only seeing the transformation but also to the prospect of the 400 mile drive back to Glasgow!
More images of the VW Golf R Estate can be seen on the UF Car Care & Car Detailing forums here.
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