Audi TT Ultra: Crystal Serum Shine For A Mythos Metallic Black
The Audi TT first burst on to the scene in 1998 and have employed diesel powered variants since 2008, In November of 2014 Audi released the latest generation of their super-efficient diesel models, the TT TDi ‘Ultra’. Powered by an 181bhp 2-litre engine and managed through a six-speed gearbox, this front wheel drive sports car handles every bit as tidily as its petrol cousin, achieving 0-62mph in 7.1sec with a top speed of 150mph. Safe to say, this diesel is a bit of – a monster!
The owner of this TT Ultra spec’d in special order Mythos Metallic Black had previously brought his Aston Martin DB9 to UF’s Brands Hatch based Detailing Studio for restorative work and had been delighted with the results. Having read about the benefits of protecting a new car from the start his new acquisition was duly booked in for a New Car Protection Treatment.
Dealerships offer paint protection systems and whilst some of them are adequate, if they are not applied correctly their efficiency is significantly reduced. Any swirls that have already been introduced into the paintwork are invariably left and subsequently become sealed under the coating. Commercially a dealership’s priority is getting the job done as quickly as possible – whereas the emphasis should be on careful decontamination, preparation and then protection. A New Car Protection Treatment takes at least a full day once you take into account the sealant curing time – longer with some sealants! – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
Initially the number plates were removed to facilitate thorough cleaning.
The first stage of any successful new car protection treatment is a thorough decontamination of all the different substrates. To begin with an application of Valet Pro Citrus Tar & Glue Remover was used to ensure any residue from the protective transportation wax was removed. Next Gtechniq W6 Iron & General Fallout Remover was applied. This clings to bonded metal particles, breaking their bond with the paintwork by shrinking them and allowing them to be easily rinsed away.
You wouldn’t automatically think of a new car having iron contamination, but many new cars are transported by rail on the way from the manufacturer to the dealerships and metal particles from the train wheels can bond onto the car’s surfaces. As they can be very damaging, it’s essential to ensure they’re removed before sealing the wheels and bodywork. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
Next the car was degreased using Gtechniq W5 Citrus All Purpose Cleaner to remove traces of oils, road grime and diesel. After rinsing the TT Ultra was pre-cleaned using Ultimate Snow Foam with a Kranzle-adapted Snow Foam Lance attached to a Kranzle K-1152 TST Pressure Washer. This produces a thick, cleansing foam which clings to the bodywork and wheels, lifting larger particles of dirt and grit away from the surfaces, allowing them to be freely rinsed away. This minimises the chances of incurring scratches during the main wash.
Each step of the decontamination process is designed to keep the paintwork swirl-free. Using non-contact methods to remove adhesives and tar, iron particles, grease and larger particles of road debris. Most swirls happen when a wash mitt is placed on to a dirty car and then rubbed around. The mitt catches all the particles and effectively turns the mitt into a sanding pad, scratching the particles back and forth over the surface of the car. If the bulk of the contamination is removed beforehand it becomes far easier to wash the car safely! – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
The TT Ultra was then washed using the Two Bucket Method. This keeps the Wash water separate from the rinse water. Both buckets have Scratch Shields in the bottom. A UF Ulti-Mitt Double Sided Merino Wash Mitt is dunked into the soapy wash water then transferred to a panel that is then washed. The dirty mitt is rinsed in the clean, plain Rinse water and the mitt rubbed across the Scratch Shield in the bottom of the bucket to release the particles collected from the car. The particles drop to the bottom of the bucket and the Scratch Shield helps to keep them there. The mitt is then wrung out before being dunked back into the soapy wash water and the process repeated. A separate UF Wheel Bucket with Scratch Shield was used to clean the alloy wheels, with UF Wheel Woolies to reach to the back of the wheel.
Once clean the car was rinsed free of suds before an Aqua Gleam De-ionising Water Filter was attached to the hose to give the car a final, pure water rinse. The filter effectively removes the impurities in normal tap water that leave unsightly white spots on surfaces.
Aqua Gleam filters are really handy – once a car has been rinsed using purified water, there is no need to towel dry, even if is inadvertently left in direct sunlight. The car can be left to air dry and there won’t be any calcium water spot deposits when you come back to it! – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
Once dry the car was brought into the studio where it was initially inspected under high intensity lighting to check the true condition of the paintwork. Multiple paint depth readings were taken from each panel using a PosiTest DFT Paint Depth Gauge.
You would expect a brand new car to give fairly uniform readings over the whole bodywork and mostly that is the case. However the readings can reveal secrets the dealership has been keeping from you. We have in the past seen brand new cars with significantly thicker paintwork on some panels and this is indicative of a repair, so the car has been damaged before the customer took possession of it. Paint depth readings can reveal a hidden history so we always take measurements, whether the car is in for a New Car Preparation or a Full Paintwork Correction. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
To ensure the paintwork had the best depth of shine possible prior to applying the sealant the TT was given a light refining polish using a combination of a 3M Black Polishing Pad with Koch-Chemie M2.01 Hochglanz Anti-Hologramm applied using a FLEX PE14-2-150 rotary machine polisher.
Then the bodywork and wheels were cleansed using Gtechniq Panel Wipe to ensure the surfaces were completely bare of any polish residues. This will allow the sealant to form the maximum number of bonds with the substrate to ensure it forms the toughest, most comprehensively protective coating possible.
To protect the paintwork Gtechniq Crystal Serum was selected. This innovative sealant offers the latest in nanotechnology advances, providing an effective barrier against extremes of pH. The coating forms a dual layer of protection: the base layer has a hardness of around 7h to provide flexibility; the top layer has a hardness of 9h. The combination of tough over coat with flexible under-layer contributes to the reduction of swirl induced hazing. Once cured Crystal Serum is virtually impervious to harsh wash chemicals, industrial and environmental fallout. The hardness of the coating makes it difficult to remove if the application isn’t completed properly. In order to be fully effective Crystal Serum it must be applied in tightly controlled conditions. For all these reasons Crystal Serum is available as a service only through Gtechniq approved detailing studios.
As well as being highly protective, Crystal Serum also leaves a stunningly reflective surface!
The wheels were protected using Gtechniq C5 Alloy Wheel Armour. This tough, heat resistant coating does not burn off as the wheels heat up during driving and instead provides a hydrophobic, oleophobic (oil repelling) barrier making it more difficult for brake dust, dirt and grime to adhere to the surface. This makes the wash process much easier and negates the requirement for harsh chemicals. To complete the look, the tyres were dressed using Gtechniq T2 Tyre to leave a natural satin sheen.
The glass was sealed using Gtechniq G1 ClearVision Smart Glass; a hydrophobic coating which causes rain water to bead on contact with the surface. The beads blow away even when driving at relatively low speeds, reducing the need for windscreen wiper use and making driving less tiring during bad weather conditions.
Fully protected the final look was nothing short of spectacular! Between the Mythos Black Metallic Paintwork and the shine imparted by Crystal Serum, the TT Ultra sparkled like a black diamond!
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