Ferrari 488GTB Maintenance Detail

The drool-worthy 488GTB is an exotic two-seater that's worthy of being celebrated with a poster on your bedroom wall

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We get the joys of visiting this stunning supercar twice a month, making sure it stays looking fantastic throughout the entire year.

Maintenance is key to keeping any vehicle looking its best, whether its a half-a-million dollar supercar or just your daily commuter. Keeping on top of the vehicles paintwork is the best step to keeping it looking like it just rolled off the showroom floor, for your entire ownership.

Throughout the previous entries we have discussed how to correctly wash your car, whether to use iron removers or wheel cleaners, along with the benefits of a pre-wash product. Such as snow-foams and traffic film removers.

Since this particular Ferrari is covered front to back in Paint Protection Film as the owner spends plenty of time at the track, showing what a Ferrari can really do! The maintenance is both easier and slightly more difficult. Rather than having to ‘check up’ on smaller things such as swirls and any wash marring, we do need to pay particular attention to the edges of the film, making sure that there is no apparent dirt build up or peeling. As well as once every third or fourth wash, decontaminate the film with either a water-spot remover or iron remover (whichever is needed at the time) as well as topping the finish with something like Nova Jet, to keep the film as slick as possible.

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Maintaining Paint Protection Films

Wether your vehicle is covered completely or just partial. These are our top tips for keeping your film looking the way it should for longer.

  1. Assess the film, just as you would your paintwork. Whether it be inspecting for any swirls, bird droppings, dirt caught behind the film or anything else that catches your eye.

  2. Start your normal wash process, wheels first.

  3. Snow foam time! To pre-soak the surface, loosening as much contamination as possible, to prepare for the contact wash.

  4. Contact washing - covered in our Professional Way to Wash your Vehicle

  5. Dry - with either your favourite drying towel, or warm-air blower (our personal favourite) for getting rid of water in those tight spots!

  6. Seal - We like to use either CarPro Elixer or Nova Jet, this is safe on all films, paintwork, plastics, glass, wheels and anywhere else on the exterior. Keeping the paintwork and or films, hydrophobic to make next time even easier!

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-J

BMW M5 Competition

‘The all-new sixth-generation BMW M5 is the fastest M car ever built by the Germans. And it's also, arguably, the greatest BMW ever’ - CarAdvice

It all starts under the bonnet, where lurks a reworked (read, more powerful) version of the outgoing F10 M5’s 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8. Power is up to 441kW (up from 423kW) while torque receives a 50Nm boost and is now rated at 750Nm, available from 1800rpm all the way through to 5600rpm.

What makes an M5 so special you may ask? Its just a 4-door sedan…

Ever since the beginning the M5 was the go-to ‘Business Man’ car. Offering one of the most luxurious interiors to make sure you can enjoy your fifth morning coffee in comfort. But, an absolute power-house to make sure you make that morning meeting, no matter how long you overslept.

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This absolutely stunning example of the M5 Competition finished in Donington Gray Metallic graced our studio for our new car protection to make the clients life a lot more simplified. As who wants to spend too much time cleaning and detailing when you could use that time to really test out the 440kW V8? (Safely of course)

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What did we do?

In this case we were tasked with the most amount of protection with in reason to cater to whatever life the car may have. Driving to and from work, the occasional spirited drive, highway travelling and maybe even a track day.

What we opted for that suited all of the above. A full paint correction to remove some minor defects from the shipping and handling process which truly brought out the metallic flake all through the BMW. This resulted in a substantial improvement in gloss and reflective properties.

To combat any nasty stone chips due to driving on the highway or a Sunday track session the entire front end of the BMW was protected with Avery Dennison Paint Protection Film, no stone-chip will ever appear on this M5. The package comprised of the front bumper bar, mirrors, fenders, bonnet and a few other high impact areas of the BMW.

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To compliment the now beautifully finished paint work, several layers of Nova Pro were added. Which will make that Sunday clean as simple as a snow-foam and rinse (its really as easy as that)

Full interior treatments followed with the range of CarPro coatings. Leather, floor mats, carpets & alcantara protected to stop premature wear and to also fight against any transfer from jeans, food spills or any other nasties.

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Last but not least, the wheels. I haven’t met too many people over the years that actually enjoy cleaning weeks of brake dust from their wheels. So this will be a thing of the past, two layers of Nova Wheel. Stopping that terrible European brake dust in its tracks. This also helps protect the gloss black inlays from too much contact, the less contact you have when cleaning. The better. This will keep them glossy and the swirl impact to a bare minimum.

Thanks!
If you have any questions or are interested in having this applied to your new pride and joy. Leave a comment below!

-J

Why use Snow Foam?

When we snow foam a car, what we’re referring to is a blanket of foamed car wash detergent that completely covers the exterior of a vehicle. This is usually in a relatively thick consistency of suds that appears as if the car is covered in a blanket of snow. 

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How is snow foam generated and created?

The combination of car wash detergent, compressed air and water are the three main factors that when mixed together at optimal ratios, is what creates a thick and lustrous consistency of snow foam. Although there are a few different methods of applying snow foam to a vehicle such as using pump action compressed air bottles and hose attached detergent foaming dispensers, the most widely used and effective method of all is achieved with the use of a foam lance bottle attached to a pressure washer. 

 

Why apply a snow foam to your car?

The whole premise around using snow foam is to achieve a safer and more effective car wash result. After a certain time period, dirt, environment fallout and road grime settles, hardens and bonds to the surface of a vehicle. In many cases, trying to remove those more bonded contaminates by simply hand washing your car can prove to be difficult or even worse, lead to swirls and scratches. A snow foam has the benefit of softening and encapsulating dirt and road grime, providing a far safer and easier hand washing result. You can think of it like soaking your dirty plates and pans in soapy water that softens the stuck food particles and makes them so much easier and safer to clean without having to resort to more aggressive scrubbing and damaging the surface. 

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How do you get the best performance from snow foam?

You should think of a snow foam as a pre-wash treatment or preparation for the hand wash stage. 

It’s best applied to a dry vehicle as it will bond and cling more effectively and it’s best applied to a cool surface and out of direct sunlight as it will prevent the detergent from prematurely drying up.

In most cases, the longer you can allow the foam to dwell on the vehicle the better the results. However, you don’t want to let the foam dry on the paint as it will be difficult to rinse off. Depending on the weather, usually about 5 minutes or so is a good average dwelling time.

Perhaps the most important step of using a pre-soak foam is the rinsing stage. This is when you are able to remove the largest amount of the previously softened grime with a pressure rinse in a completely safe touch-less method. So once the vehicle has been snow foamed and pressure rinsed down, you can then proceed to your normal two bucket hand wash stage and you should find that it will be a much easier, safer and more effective wash. 

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What else is important to know?

Some car wash products that have been formulated to work well in snow foam applications just simply work better than others, avoiding product streaking and increasing suds and dwell times. 

In most cases, one-part car wash detergent to ten parts water is good ratio to mix into your foam lance but always check with the product manufacturer. A stronger mix of detergent can increase the thickness and dwell time of the foam, but it can also cause difficulties in rinsing the detergent off. Snow foaming with softer or less mineral content tap water and using a pressure washer with a higher PSI rating and more litres of water per minute expelled will usually create richer and thicker snow foam. 

In general, applying the snow foam starting from the bottom of the vehicle and working up is a more effective technique that will allow for a longer and more even consistent bond of the foam to the vehicle. 

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In the end, when used correctly with the proper understanding and technique, using snow foam for both general vehicle maintenance washes and more intensive decontamination washes is an extremely effective procedure that can largely minimise wash induced scratches and allow for an overall improved, thorough and safer cleaning result.

The professional way to wash your vehicle!

The basic premise of the two bucket wash method consists of your standard 10/15 litre bucket filled with water and your favourite car wash detergent, but then adds a second bucket filled with just plain water which acts as a ‘dirt trap’ for the contamination and debris that are removed during the wash process

A grit guard is placed in the bottom of each bucket to form a Grit Guard Wash System, and a micro-fiber wash mitt is generally used in place of a traditional foam sponge. This can also be replicated with a merino wool wash mitt, short pile wool or microfibre. The main thing to keep in mind is the more ‘pile’ or density that it has the less chance it has in inflicting any damages. Think of it as a towel you would use at home, you wouldn’t dry yourself with a thin tea-towel whereas the thick bath towel is a much more appealing idea.

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How Does It Work?

Much like you would wash your car with a single bucket and sponge, you begin by dunking the wash mitt into the first bucket filled with your car wash detergent solution, and then proceed to washing the first panel of the car. In general it’s best to start with the roof and then work your way around and down the vehicle washing one panel at a time.

The real difference with the two bucket method, is that after you wash a panel of the car, you then rinse your wash mitt in the second bucket filled with plain water, running the mitt along the surface of the grit guard to release the dirt you’ve accumulated on the wash mitt. Then after squeezing out the remaining water from the mitt, once again dunk it back into your first bucket filled with your car wash detergent solution, and proceed to washing the next panel of the car.

So in essence, the real difference between the two bucket method and the older single bucket method is that after you wash each panel of the car, you then rinse and squeeze your mitt out, before proceeding to the next panel. 

car wash hack - double up on your wash mitts, use one for the top section including tops of doors etc and a secondary mitt for the dirtiest panels! Like the rear bumper, side skirts, wheel well edges

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Why Use the Two Bucket Wash Method?

Every car enthusiast knows the heartache of pulling your vehicle into the sun and seeing the paint covered in swirls and scratches. The two bucket car wash method is all about providing a safer car washing experience, that largely reduces the swirl marks caused by improper or out dated car wash methods.

It’s important to understand that the vast majority of swirls or spider web pattern scratches are inflicted on car paint due to dirt being pushed around on the surface of the paint during the washing stage of a vehicle.

So when you reduce or eliminate that dirt from your car wash process by using this two bucket method, you avoid those swirls marks and keep your paint looking and behaving it’s best.

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What Else is Important To Know?

As well as releasing the dirt from your wash mitt, grit guards also trap that dirt beneath them and keep it at the bottom of the bucket, not allowing it to recirculate back onto your wash mitt. 

Unlike most traditional foam sponges that push dirt along the surface of the car paint, microfibre wash mitts collect dirt within their fibres away from the surface of the paint, so it’s not making direct contact with the paint and inducing swirl marks. 

When your car paint is hot, it also becomes softer allowing swirls and scratches to be inflicted far more easily. So always try and wash your vehicle in a cool shaded area, or first thing in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is at its lowest points. 

If your car is washed regularly, the vast majority of dirt will be looser settling dust. So always be sure to give the vehicle a good thorough rinse down with your hose or pressure washer to remove as much dirt as possible before you begin the hand wash stage. 

Dirt, pressure and circular motions equal swirls. So never press down with force on the paint with your wash mitt, just allow the mitt to glide along the paint with no added pressure, using straight back and forth motions.

What are the different types of Paint Protection?

Paint protection has been around almost as long as cars have existed. There are several types of Paint Protection including Waxes, Sealants and new innovative Glass & Spray Coatings.

The first form of paint protection products were natural occurring waxes mixed with oils and solvents to create what we know today as a traditional car wax. These products are generally more associated with high levels of gloss, working with the paint to produce a warm, radiant wet look on the surface. They don’t tend to last too long, but give a complete aesthetic transformation. Waxes are very easy to apply, and are a great starting point in the realm of paint protection.

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The next evolution of paint protection came in the form of paint sealants. These are more synthetic man made products that can vary quite a bit in their ingredients, but are largely based on what we know as polymer technology. To explain it simply, polymers comprise of more advanced multi-linked molecules than provide sealants with longer durability, whilst still providing high levels of gloss and slickness. Most sealants can be applied by machine or hand, and are an easy way to achieve a good level of protection.

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The latest and newest form of paint protection are glass coatings, which can be also referred to as ceramic or Nano coatings. Once again, coatings can also vary in their ingredients, but for the most part, they tend to be silica based solutions that create a protective glass coating on the surface of the vehicle.

These Glass Coatings are negative in charge, meaning they don’t attract dust like regular Waxes and Sealants, and have a much higher repellency to water and contaminants. Their composition creates a much longer durability, resulting on average 2+ years. Their molecular structure also provides extremely strong chemical and physical resistance – mitigating swirls and scratches on the surface, whilst repelling even the harshest of contaminants.

Glass Coatings give a rich wet look on the surface, giving the paint more depth, and providing an incredible high gloss finish on any colour.

The emergence of glass coatings have also brought fourth Spray Coatings, which puts all of this new technology in an easy to Spray & Wipe product which can last up to 6 months. They can be applied to almost every surface of the car’s exterior and on top of any wax, sealant or coating.

Spray Coatings are by far the easiest method of Paint Protection, and are becoming more and more popular due to their simplicity of use, and impressive results.

Why should paint protection be applied?

Paint protection was designed to address the need for extending the life and appearance of automotive paint, which does require a little upkeep form time to time. The greatest benefit of having a paint protection product applied to your car is that it acts as a sacrificial layer to take the punishment of things such as U.V. damage, traffic film contaminates, and environmental fallout. So without this layer of protection, all those environmental contaminations would be directly damaging and wearing into your paint or clear coat rather than attacking that protective layer.

The other great benefit about having a quality paint protection product applied to your paint, is that it makes the upkeep of the vehicle far easier and a much more pleasurable experience. Water beads right off, and contaminants don’t stick to the paintwork as easily. This results in your car being cleaner for longer, and when you do Wash & Dry the car, it is so much easter.

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Beyond that, the benefits of waxes, sealants and coating are that they also add to and increase the visual appearance of paint, in the way of amplifying gloss, saturation and depth.

There are an array of different forms of protection, with different benefits. In summary, Waxes are generally reserved for more of a show car, creating a high level of gloss. Sealants are a more durable version of waxes, giving great aesthetic enhancements but focusing more on durability, and Coatings & Spray Coatings are new forms of paint protective technology that encase your vehicle in a layer of glass, giving great levels of chemical/physical resistance and a huge aesthetic enhancement.

Purchasing a vehicle? Try this!

Everyone loves the idea of buying a new vehicle, whether it be a classic, a new daily or just something that you have had your eyes on for quite some time. Something to spend endless weekends tinkering with in the drive way, finding those new features you didn’t know it had or for our import friends - maybe some food from 20 years ago shoved into the seat rails! it can be a fun and daunting experience at the same time.

The stress of vehicle purchasing can be difficult, especially with factors such as finance, growing registration costs, maintenance it may need. Problems it may already have?! (Trust me, we’ve all been there, my current BMW proves that to a tee)

Here are a few factors that can make the purchase a lot smoother for you, some may be blatantly obvious and some you may have overlooked in the past. I’ll split them in to a few categories, new/used. Used will come at a later date, thats a big topic alone!


New Vehicles

  • Do your research! This is critical, not specifically on the make or model. This is usually well decided before you even walk into a dealership. But speak with your contact there, rather than just asking for specs, 0-100km/h times. Look into servicing costs, whats included in the warranty, does the dealer want to just up sell you on everything or do they have your best interests in mind? What are the finance terms?

  • Always ask for the best possible deal, there is always wiggle room on pricing. No matter what the vehicle may be. Look on carsales, gumtree, carsguide for the make and model with as close specifications as the one you have seen at the dealership. You’d be surprised how the pricing fluctuates around the country. Speak with your dealer about matching it, you could definitely save yourself a few bucks off the sticker price.

  • If you decide on a demo, look over the vehicle. This is definitely an obvious one, but a lot of things do get overlooked. Generally the demo has anywhere from 100km-2000km on the clock. Its seen some washes & details. Check the vehicle for any marks, anything covered up. I’d recommend speaking with your local detailer, get them to come with you for the inspection prior to signing any paperwork. Check over the paintwork, the interior. Is there any stone chips?Is there any scrapes on the bottom of the bumper bars? Are the door jambs or badges caked in polish residue? Are there any burn throughs from polishing? A quick 20-minute inspection could save you hours of headache, or your detailer days of pain!

  • Even for a brand spanking new vehicle, take your time to look over it. If you are wanting to go down the protection path, whether it be DIY or taking it to a professional, ask your dealer not to wash or prep the car prior to delivery. This can be a bit of back and forth, but it will make everyones life easier. Your paintwork will be exactly how it left the factory, you will be the first person to make any sort of contact with it. This may seem like a small thing, but buying a brand new car and your the first person to ever wash it? C’mon that’s a milestone.

  • Research again! 90% of this process is doing some googling or asking some friends and family. Things like window tinting shouldn’t cost $700 from your dealership.. Yes its enticing when its placed onto a finance deal making it an extra $4 a week or something. Look at local businesses, see what benefits they have and what will suit your needs. Most window films are very similar, but go with someone and a brand that has a proper warranty. One small recommendation is SunTek which has a true lifetime warranty. Rather than something overly expensive that boasts a warrantable film but you can only clean it with their $24 bottle of window cleaner? Same goes with any paint or interior protection, we have seen quotes of up to $5,000. For something that is done in the space of 3-4 hours? Talk to your detailers, ask them their opinion on what will suit your needs. How you will look after the car, how you will drive the day. At the end of the day its their job to help you reduce your time spent cleaning as much as possible.

no one wants to see this on a brand new vehicle…

no one wants to see this on a brand new vehicle…


This is such a popular topic, we will be touching on this a lot more in the future. Along with a good guide to buying used vehicles, along with some new how-to’s both in video and blog format to suit everyone. Some like watching, some like reading. We aim to please.

What is Paint Protection Film?

Here’s the whole point of Automotive Protective Films: It keeps your car looking better for longer. That’s it. That’s what this is all about. Car Paint Protection Film is the most comprehensive form of defense you can establish between your car and all that can damage your car’s appearance. Because of Paint Protection Film’s high impact resistance, its application will protect your paint from chips and scratches caused by rocks and road debris. The urethane film is resistant to corrosion and acidic contaminants, meaning that it creates a line of defense from chemical stains and etching caused by bird droppings, bug splatter, or mineral deposits and acid rain. It does not oxidize with exposure to the sun, and will guard your paint from fading caused by UV rays. The top layer of a quality film is made up of elastomeric polymers that return to their natural shape after being stretched or disfigured, giving the film a “self-healing” property. That means when light scratches are inflicted in the film, it absorbs the damage and returns to the texture and properties it had before the incident.

Now, let’s remember, while Paint Protection Film is powerful and it’s benefits are numerous, it is not a cure-all when it comes to keeping shiny cars shiny. Nothing will make your car bullet proof. There are rocks that can puncture a Clear Bra. If bird droppings or bug splatter are allowed to sit on film for a long period of time, it can damage the film. After applying Paint Protection Film, you will still have to wash your car. There is no one-stop-shop solution to perfect and unending gloss. That’s not what Paint Protection Film promises. Rather, Paint Protection Film promises that after application, when the forces of nature fight against the depth and clarity of your car’s paint, the paint will fight back. You will add value to your car by protecting it from damage you could not have avoided otherwise. In the words we used earlier, Paint Protection Film keeps your car looking better for longer.

Iron Removers vs. Wheel Cleaners

Iron Removers;

Brake dust contains iron particles from the brakes creating friction against the rotors. Products like CarPro Iron X, Concours Purge, and Auto Finesse Ironout and General Fallout Remover will chemically react to these iron particles and dissolve them. The product is let to sit on the wheels for a certain dwell time between 2-10 minutes. While the chemical reaction takes place, the wheels will start to turn purple. This is the product dissolving the iron particles. You should use a brush to help agitate the dirt and spread the product to help it work. But in some cases, you can get away with a touch-less wheel clean. Iron remover wheel cleaners have great benefits with coated wheels.

Wheel Cleaners;

Some wheel cleaners are on the acid side of the scale like Meguiars Wheel Brightener. Wheel cleaners that are acid based should not be used on polished aluminum or anodized wheels. They are however safe on clear coated and painted wheels. The wheel acids do a better job at eating away the brake dust than alkaline products do, but using them continuously isn’t a good idea. It’s a much better idea to use a neutral PH product for your regular maintenance washes or slightly on the alkaline side. You can use the acid for heavily oxidized wheels that have a lot of water spots on them. The acids will help break down the minerals left behind from the water.