The BMW 730 Ld is in a class of its own when it comes to luxury. A powerful 3-litre turbo diesel engine, expansive interior cabin bedecked with high-tech gadgets and a suspension that gives the sensation of gliding rather than driving, it’s a favourite among the private and executive car hire sector. This example, however, was privately owned and, having read about the protective benefits of nano-ceramic sealants, decided it was time to give his car the best protection available. As the car wasn’t new and would, therefore, undoubtedly have collected a few swirls and scratches along the road, the 7-Series was booked into UF’s Brands Hatch Detailing Studio for Gloss Enhancement and Alloy Wheel Protection, and with winter weather fast approaching, a Glass ClearVision Treatment.
With use, car paintwork, wheels, trim, etc, all pick up blemishes – it’s unavoidable. Using a nano-sealant to protect each surface can help prolong the aesthetic appearance of the car and preserve its resale value. Treated surfaces repel water, dirt and contamination and are also more resilient against freezing temperatures, UV fade and harsh chemicals. So, having a ceramic coating applied before winter really gets going is a good idea. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio.
Prior to being protected, the car first needs to be treated for a variety of contaminants. To start, Gtechniq W6 Iron & General Fallout Remover was applied to the bodywork and wheels.
W6 contains an active ingredient which changes colour on contact with iron particles and works to shrink the bond between particle and substrate. The contamination can then be rinsed away easily without the need for scrubbing at the surface with a wash mitt – an action which often causes swirls and scratches.
Next, Gtechniq W5 Citrus All Purpose Cleaner was applied. Acting as a degreasing solution, W5 removes diesel splatters and oily deposits which, if left in place may later interfere with the final sealant. Particular attention was paid to the filler cap, boot, bonnet and door shuts all of which are particularly susceptible to oily grime build-up. To ensure tar deposits, bug remains and other adhesive contamination was removed, W8 Bug Remover was applied and allowed to dwell, breaking down the sticky residue to allow it to be more easily rinsed away. Then, Ultimate Snow Foam was applied. This high foaming pre-cleaner encapsulates larger particles of dirt and grit within the lather, lifting them away from the surfaces of the car. The foam and dirt can then be rinsed away before a wash mitt comes into contact with the paintwork. A second application of Ultimate Snow Foam was used as a lubricant for a clay mitt. This mitt removes any remaining contamination which may be firmly bonded to the car, leaving the surface of the paintwork smooth to the touch.
Decontaminating the car using non-contact methods is essential for preserving the appearance of the paintwork. By using products which have active ingredients to remove iron, oils and adhesives, it means there is no need to scrub the paintwork with a wash mitt – the leading cause of wash swirls. By the time the clay mitt is used, the surface is free of as much contamination as possible, reducing the chances of particles being caught in the mitt and subsequently rubbed across the paint. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
With the decontamination stage completed, the 7-Series was washed using the Two Bucket Method, an Ulti-Mitt Double Sided Merino Wash Mitt and Gtechniq G-Wash Shampoo. G-Wash is a pure shampoo, rinsing clean, without leaving residues which could interfere with the bonding of the sealant. The car was jacked up at each corner, in turn, to allow for thorough cleaning of the wheel arches. To ensure the paintwork did not become contaminated by the debris under the arches, the wheel wash water was kept separate from the main wash water, using a UF Wheel Bucket and long handled Wheel Woolies.
When the car was clean, the suds were rinsed away before an Aqua Gleam De-ionising Water Filter was attached in-line with the hose to give the car a final, pure water rinse. The 7-Series was then carefully dried using UF Ultra-Soft Microfibre Drying Towels and brought into the studio where the paintwork could be closely inspected under high-intensity lighting.
Bright lights show up any blemishes in the paintwork. As the ceramic sealant is extremely tough and could require aggressive machine polishing to remove, it’s essential to ensure swirls, scratches, stains, etc, are all eliminated prior to applying the coating, as once cured these marks would be permanently sealed beneath. In this instance, the scratch-resistant German paintwork, combined with the owner’s careful wash techniques meant the paintwork was in relatively good condition with only a few swirls and a couple of random deeper scratches. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
To tackle the blemishes, a RUPES LHR12E Duetto and for the contoured sections a RUPES LHR75E Mini were used with the appropriate RUPES Green Polishing Pads.
Hard paintwork requires something with some bite to it, so I settled on Menzerna Heavy Cut 400. Menzerna compounds are designed for German scratch resistant clear coats and in this instance worked perfectly. It easily removed the blemishes, didn’t hologram the paint and left a really nice gloss that only needed a small amount of refining. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
To refine the paintwork, a FLEX PE14-2 was used along with a 3M PERFECT-IT III Black Polishing Pad and Menzerna Super Finish Plus 3800. With the gloss levels now at maximum, the paintwork, wheels and trim were wiped with Gtechniq Panel Wipe. This cleanser removes any traces of silicones or polish residues that may inhibit the coating from bonding with the substrate.
The coatings work by forming a chemical bond with the paint, wheel surface, plastic trim – whatever they’ve been applied to. The chemical bond is incredibly strong, essentially the molecules in the coating attach to the surface they’re applied to and become a permanent part of that surface. This process gives ceramic coatings their endurance, their longevity and their resilience to industrial and environmental fallout. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
To protect the paintwork, Gtechniq’s Crystal Serum was applied. This coating cures as a dual layer: the lower layer cures to a hardness of around 7H (pencil scale). This gives the coating some flexibility, allowing it to expand and contract with changing temperatures and also acting as a shock absorber. The upper layer cures to a hardness of around 9H and this provides a tough scratch resistant surface.
It’s a very clever system – consider this: if a substance is hard, it becomes brittle and is, therefore, more susceptible to impact damage. If it has a softer layer underneath, the coating is able to flex rather than snap, so it’s less likely to mark.- Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
In order to be fully effective, Crystal Serum is required to be applied in tightly controlled conditions, with low humidity and reasonable ambient temperatures. In addition, once cured the coating requires intensive machine polishing to remove, so it’s essential no errors are made in the application. For these reasons, Crystal Serum is available as a service only through Gtechniq-approved detailers. Once in place, Crystal Serum carries a manufacturer performance guarantee of seven years, one of the longest guarantees in the industry.
The customer opted to upgrade to Crystal Serum Black. This includes applying a layer of Gtechniq EXO Ultra Durable Hybrid Coating over the layer of Crystal Serum to provide greater slickness and hydrophobicity. EXO also enhances gloss to provide a truly dazzling shine!
The external plastic trim was coated with Gtechniq C4 Permanent Trim Restorer to protect against the elements and against UV fade. As with Crystal Serum, C4 forms a permanent bond with the plastic so will not wash off in the rain or during the weekly wash. A single coating will last up to two years.
Alloy wheels are an expensive component and are on the front line when it comes to tough conditions. To protect them, Gtechniq C5 Alloy Wheel Armour was used.
This nano-coating is resistant to extremes of pH and extreme temperatures. As such, C5 will not burn off and instead provides lasting hydrophobic and oleophobic protection for up to twelve months. Treated surfaces are easier to maintain as dirt, oils and debris are repelled as is brake dust, negating the requirement for harsh wash chemicals and stiff wheel brushes which could scratch the surface of the wheel.
Driving during winter presents its own set of problems – darker nights, rain, sleet, snow and ice. To help keep the windscreen clearer, Gtechniq G1 ClearVision Smart Glass was applied. Hydrophobic, this coating encourages rainwater to bead on contact and allows it to be more easily blown away even while driving at relatively low speeds. Driving during poor weather conditions is then less tiring on the eyes. As G1 is hydrophobic, snow and ice will not stick as firmly to the treated surface, so early starts on cold mornings are easier and much quicker.
As a final step to complete the overall appearance, the tyres were treated with Gtechniq T2 Tyre Dressing. This leaves a natural satin sheen that perfectly complements the glossy paintwork. The result was stunning, doing real justice to the luxury liner the 7-Series truly is.
UF Detailing Studio – Award Winning Detailing. Call 0333 800 8004 to discuss your requirements.