It’s an unfortunate fact that over time, new cars lose their ‘new’ look. General wear and tear, liquid spills in the interior, swirl marks on the paintwork, fading trim, pitted alloy rims, all build up to render a tired and dull looking appearance. It’s disappointing for the owner but more than that, this damage affects the potential resale value. Whilst a car may be mechanically sound and carry a full service history, if the appearance is poor you can expect to receive several thousand pounds less for it compared to a similar vehicle in better condition. The more expensive the original cost of the car, the more it stands to lose based on appearance alone.
The new Boxster Spyder is a great car: stylishly aggressive looks, responsive and sturdy handling on twisty roads whilst remaining fun to drive. Powered by a 3.8 litre, flat six engine (a marginally detuned version of the one in the Cayman GT4 and the 991 Carrera S) it’s capable of rocketing the driver from 0-62mph in a matter of 4.5 seconds. The 6-speed manual gearbox gives the Spyder a slightly nostalgic feel. Even Top Gear’s Jason Barlow called it ‘a truly brilliant driver’s car’.
This particular Boxster Spyder had been purchased by a Porsche lover in Jersey as a gift for his wife. However, after just a few short miles it was deemed ‘unsuitable’ and so found itself on the market again. Quickly sold on, the new owner drove it back from Jersey and brought it directly to UF’s Brands Hatch based Detailing Studio in Kent. The Spyder had received several optional upgrades including carbon fibre interior trim and colour-coded fins on the rear panels. At an original cost in excess of seventy thousand pounds, the new owner wanted to ensure the car was properly protected as soon as possible. So, a New Car Protection Treatment was called for, along with Alloy Wheel Protection, Convertible Roof Protection, and Glass ClearVision Treatment.
Having driven a few hundred miles, the Boxster Spyder was quite dirty. Brake dust, road grime, and general fallout covered the paintwork and wheels in spite of a sealant having been applied at the Porsche dealership. The sealant hadn’t been applied well and had cured in clearly visible swathes of swirls and patchy marks over the bonnet and deck lid. So the owner requested this be removed and opted for a Nano-Ceramic ‘Ultra‘ sealant to give the Spyder a dual layer of nanotechnology-based protection and additional gloss.
Many dealerships outsource their protection treatments with the emphasis on getting the job done quickly rather than properly. It can often end badly as the poor application results evident here demonstrate. In addition, the wheels were covered with baked on brake dust which was very difficult to remove, indicating the wheels had not been protected. A good bet, then, that the brake calipers would not have been protected either. Additionally, the edges of the doors were heavily contaminated with iron deposits, suggesting the paintwork hadn’t been properly prepared prior to the sealant being applied. Unsurprisingly, the new owner wanted the sealant removed, the car thoroughly decontaminated and then treated with an effective, durable protective coating. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
Initially, the number plates were removed to allow for full access cleaning. Then the car was degreased using Meguiar’s All Purpose Cleaner at a dilution ratio of 5:1 to remove oily deposits and diesel splatters without stripping natural oils from the paintwork. The car was then treated for iron contamination using Bilt-Hamber Korrosol.
The active ingredient in Korrosol shrinks the metal particles, forcing them to break their bond with the substrate so they can be rinsed away. This non-contact method of removing the particles is much safer for the paintwork than inadvertently rubbing them with a mitt. As the minute particles are sharp, that kind of action could easily mark the paintwork. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
Whilst the Korrosol was working on the iron contamination, Ultimate Snow Foam was applied to the bodywork and wheels. This thick foam gently lifts dirt and grit away from the surface of the paintwork and wheels and allows them to be rinsed away before the main wash process.
The initial decontamination stages are carried out with minimal contact with the paintwork in order to preserve it. Ultimate Snow Foam is the final part of the pre-cleaning stage and this takes care of the larger particles of contamination which have the potential to scratch paintwork if they’re caught in a wash mitt. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
The Spyder was then rinsed before being washed using the Two Bucket Method, an Ulti-Mitt Double Sided Merino Wash Mitt and Nanolex Pure Shampoo. After the suds were rinsed away, an Aqua Gleam De-ionising Water Filter was attached in-line with the hose to give the car a final pure water rinse. The Spyder was then dried and brought into the detailing studio where the paintwork was closely inspected under high-intensity lighting.
The paintwork itself was in very good condition, but the sealant had been poorly applied which gave the appearance of the paintwork being swirled. Polymer sealants tend to be significantly softer than silica-based ceramic sealants so they’re easier to remove. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
Using a FLEX PE14-2 rotary machine polisher with a 3M PERFECT-IT III Yellow Polishing Pad and Menzerna Super Finish Plus 3800 the car was machine polished to remove the polymer sealant. The car was then washed again to remove any traces of polish and silicone residue. After drying, the bodywork was given a final, light polish by hand using PolishAngel Esclate Lotion. The paintwork was then ready for the ceramic sealant.
Using a soft applicator cloth wrapped around a detailing block (for better grip), Kamikaze Collection Miyabi Coat was applied and left to cure for around twenty minutes before being buffed off with ultra-soft microfibres.
Miyabi Coat is really easy to work with: it behaves more like a wax than a typical ceramic sealant. You apply a coat to each panel and then buff all of it in one go, rather than working a panel at a time. This feature is particularly handy as silica-based sealants are optically clear, so when working on white or light coloured vehicles when it can be tricky to see where the sealant has been applied. Miyabi Coat buffs off easily but it leaves behind an absolutely incredible shine. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
Once Miyabi had fully cured, a layer of Kamikaze Collection ISM Hydrocarbon Coating was applied over the top to further enhance the water-beading function.
Water-beading looks nice – everyone likes to see water roll into balls and run off the surfaces, but the practicality of it is what really counts. Rain carries environmental and industrial pollution out of the atmosphere and this lands on your car. The hydrophobic barrier encourages that contaminated water to run off the car, rather than dwell on it. Puddles and wet roads splash dirty water up onto the car, so again, the hydrophobic action of the sealant encourages that water, and the dirt it carries, to bead away from the treated surface. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
The glass was cleaned and then sealed using Gtechniq G1 ClearVision Smart Glass to form a hydrophobic barrier that encourages rain to bead and blow away, even when driving at relatively low speeds. This reduces eye strain and fatigue for the driver when out and about in bad weather.
The wheels and the brake calipers were protected using Gtechniq C5 Alloy Wheel Armour. C5 forms a strong chemical bond with the lacquer, so it will not burn off when the components heat up, neither will it wash off in the rain. Water, dirt, and oils are all repelled and C5 also inhibits brake dust from adhering to the treated surface. As a result, treated wheels are easier to keep clean and there’s no requirement for strong acidic or alkaline wheel cleaners.
Due to the heat resistance offered by C5, it was also applied to the exhaust tips to help keep them soot-free.
The bodywork was protected using plastic film before the fabric convertible roof was sealed using Gtechniq I1 AB Smart Fabric Coat. This sealant coats individual fabric fibres, rather than laying a uniform coating over the whole surface. As a result, I1 AB does not affect the feel or texture of the material, however, it does leave a highly hydrophobic effect, protecting fabrics from stains from rainwater or accidental spills. The ‘AB’ indicated an antibacterial function, so treated fabrics are more resilient to mildew growth – a common problem particularly for soft tops if they’re stored in the shade or in a dark garage.
The last step was to give the tyres a coat of Gtechniq T2 Tyre Dressing to leave a natural, clean satin sheen.
With the car protected in this way, careful and regular cleaning will mean the car retains the ‘as new’ appearance for considerably longer than if it had not been protected. Just as well, as I doubt the owner will be looking to trade it in anytime soon – particularly with it looking like it does now! – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
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