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Easy way to shine A6?

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Old 03-22-2014, 12:53 PM   #1
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Default Easy way to shine A6?

Spring!!!

Can you experts share your tips to shine your A6? I'm no Ralph Macchio. I don't think I can do wax on & wax off all day. Looking for something like "pour this on the roof of your car on rainy day, then rain will do the rest" :-)

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:59 PM   #2
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Kev, are you in a position to send the car to a pro and permit them to do a permanent coating for you? You sound like an ideal candidate.
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Old 03-22-2014, 01:02 PM   #3
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Optimum Power Clean - tough spots like sap, tar, bugs, etc.
Optimum No-Rinse - Hose-free wash
Optimum Instant Detailer and Gloss Enhancer - Quick Detailer after washing

All you need are a few extra-thick micro fiber towels. These are nice http://www.detailedimage.com/DI-Micr...18/16-x-16-S1/

Detailed Image sells a well thought out package online which has these products, a bucket, towels etc and it's what I use. http://www.detailedimage.com/Pro-Kit...-Wax-Kit-P442/

No preference on where to shop for these, but this is just an example of what I have.

Here's my post from when I used Optimum after snow subsided:
http://forums.audiworld.com/showpost...&postcount=628

If what you want is a full-on detail, then there's no easy way. It's at least a 4-step process:
Wash/Decontaminate (strips old wax in the process)
Clay
Polish
Wax/Sealant

The investment in the proper products and tools for this makes it ideal to pay a professional who can do a proper detail. Avoid people who do a 1-step polish/wax, as those hardly do the job on hard Audi paint, nor does the wax stand a chance of lasting longer than 2-3 months.

If you are going to do your own detail, then use something like Chemical Guys Citrus Wash, then a clay bar, followed by Menzerna with an orbital buffer (Porter Cable 7424xp) OR P21s Paintwork Cleanser by hand to polish and remove scratches and swirls. Then use a decent wax like P21s or Chemical Guys Jetseal 109.

This will take several hours, so plan on 2 days over the weekend, and about 2 cases of beer.

Last edited by in2dwww; 03-22-2014 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 03-22-2014, 06:02 PM   #4
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Optimum Opti-Coat permanent treatment (Pro version applied by an installer). Great shine with no waxing ever needed.
Otherwise, after washing, for an easy 30 minute application, Optimum Spray Wax and a couple of microfiber towels and you're good to go for 3 months. All of the Optimum products are top notch.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:18 AM   #5
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Thanks for your kind replies!
uberwgn, my cut telling me I'm definitely in a position to send the car to a pro. The trick there is how can I make my wife think that I'm not spending enough money on A6.

in2dwww, You had me at "2 cases of beer". Sounds like "Optimum" is the brand I need to go with.


snagitseven, How is "Optimum Opti-Coat" working for you? I did a little research and found a local shop does that. Their site says it's $600. My A6 is 1 1/2 year old. Should I do that treatment now or try DIY with "Spray Wax" first and when it loose some shine go with permanent treatment? Is that treatment last a few years?
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by kevinsong View Post
snagitseven, How is "Optimum Opti-Coat" working for you? I did a little research and found a local shop does that. Their site says it's $600. My A6 is 1 1/2 year old. Should I do that treatment now or try DIY with "Spray Wax" first and when it loose some shine go with permanent treatment? Is that treatment last a few years?
The sooner, the better to best protect the finish before the elements and UV start to degrade the paint. My Opt-Coat Pro coupled with the Xpel Ultimate film are perhaps the best after-purchase investments I've ever made to a car. As I've reported before, the film with it's self-healing properties has avoided all rock chips and the Opti-Coat has kept the car looking like new with minimal maintenance. The Opti-Coat was done almost a year ago and has held up very well. Their claim of it lasting the lifetime of the car could very well be true. Even if it only lasted 5 years, it would be a good investment in time and longevity of the car's finish.

A couple of things to note. The installer Opti-Coat Pro is a thicker application than the DIY 2.0 consumer version. Also, once applied, the surface will seem to have a matte-like, resistance feel to it when you run your finger along the surface but will still have a very high gloss appearance. I've waxed over it to get the slippery feel back but it adds nothing to the shine and it doesn't last as long than if there was no Opti-Coat applied. This must be due to the repelling characteristics of the treated surface. In any case, waxing is really unnecessary.

$600 is high for a mid-sized sedan. Here in the Boston area, not known for it's low prices, the quotes I received were about $350-$450 to prep the paint and apply OC Pro to all of the painted surfaces including the wheels (I actually paid a discounted $300 since my installer did the film earlier). I guess it could be more if the paint was in poor shape and needed extra prep time. Shop around.
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- 2002 allroad 2.7t - 13y/50K mi and still like new
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:22 AM   #7
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Personally, I use Turtle Wax Ice Spray on wax. It's cheap, easy to apply, and leaves a great shine. I also go over the car with Meguiar's ultimate and a orbital once in a while. Here are some pics of my car after I washed and waxed it a week ago.

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Old 03-23-2014, 10:49 AM   #8
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^^^ Those are some sticky tires.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:27 AM   #9
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^^^ Those are some sticky tires.
Lol, there the new Pirelli Zeros …Here are some picks from my house on earth…
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by snagitseven View Post
The sooner, the better to best protect the finish before the elements and UV start to degrade the paint. My Opt-Coat Pro coupled with the Xpel Ultimate film are perhaps the best after-purchase investments I've ever made to a car. As I've reported before, the film with it's self-healing properties has avoided all rock chips and the Opti-Coat has kept the car looking like new with minimal maintenance. The Opti-Coat was done almost a year ago and has held up very well. Their claim of it lasting the lifetime of the car could very well be true. Even if it only lasted 5 years, it would be a good investment in time and longevity of the car's finish.

A couple of things to note. The installer Opti-Coat Pro is a thicker application than the DIY 2.0 consumer version. Also, once applied, the surface will seem to have a matte-like, resistance feel to it when you run your finger along the surface but will still have a very high gloss appearance. I've waxed over it to get the slippery feel back but it adds nothing to the shine and it doesn't last as long than if there was no Opti-Coat applied. This must be due to the repelling characteristics of the treated surface. In any case, waxing is really unnecessary.

$600 is high for a mid-sized sedan. Here in the Boston area, not known for it's low prices, the quotes I received were about $350-$450 to prep the paint and apply OC Pro to all of the painted surfaces including the wheels (I actually paid a discounted $300 since my installer did the film earlier). I guess it could be more if the paint was in poor shape and needed extra prep time. Shop around.
I just had initial meeting with local shop. They suggested $600 Opti-Coat Pro and $75 for yearly inspection every year. I think I need to but couple of buckets, microfiber towels and spray wax.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:54 PM   #11
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$75 annual Inspection? For what? That's ridiculous - the only thing he will inspect is your wallet. The Opti-Coat Pro is a permanent shell and if installed properly, unless you get body damage afterward, there's nothing further that needs to be done or renewed (unless he screwed up the application in the first place). I would run, not walk to find another detailer who charges a reasonable amount as this guy is trying to pad the cost like a plaid jacketed, stripe tied, cigar chewing, used car salesman. Arrrrgh.
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:28 AM   #12
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Opti-Coat is permanent, meaning it will act as a second clear coat. Before it is applied, the surface not only needs to be surgically clean, any imperfections (scratches, swirls, holograms, all bird and bug residue, sap and tar, and fallout) must be corrected so that you do not seal-in those problems. Granted, Opti-Coat can be wet sanded or polished off, so it won't be the end of the world, but you will need perfect paint for the best results.

As for application, it's only done once. If you take a buffer to the car afterward, you will risk slowly abrading away the Opti-Coat. If you do want to "wax" the car after each wash, then I suggest you stick with the Optimum Instant Detailer product. I have Chemical Guys Hybrid V7 and Optimum products. I have read that CG HV7 does not bond well to an Opti-Coat surface.

I now wash my cars with Optimum No-Rinse and skip the drying phase. I use multiple, perfectly clean and plush micro fiber towels to spray on and wipe down the wet car with the Optimum Instant Detailer. Spray the towel and then spray the surface for a final wipe-down. It will flash dry in 30-60 seconds. After about an hour, the surface will be cured. Thus, I've skipped the drying step and it saves a ton of time. I still do one section at a time, even though ONR, by some miracle, keeps hard water at bay. I've never been left with hard water spots on the car from ONR.

Chemical Guys Hybrid V7 looks good on a silver or black car, but in addition to applying the product, you need to wipe it down again until it flashes (disappears). This takes twice as long as Optimum ID.

If the car is really gross, I do not use ONR. I will use a two-bucket method and wash the car with Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Clear (1 cap to 4 gallons). In the spring, when the pollen is abundant, I will grab my Gilmour Canon and use Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow Foam for some dwell time before I gently attack with a micro fiber wash mitt.

Using ONR for the first time is nerve wracking. It gets the mind going about scratches and skeptical nonsense. But after the first pass, you'll be sold. After a few washes, you'll get a pattern down and discover ways to save more time.

If you're looking for a time-saver, Opti-Coat will negate any need for waxing and polishing ever again, nless you have a fender-bender.

The best part... you never need to wax again, but you can always, "wax" the car as an excuse to get away from the wife for a few hours and finish that case of beer.

Last edited by in2dwww; 03-25-2014 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:28 PM   #13
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in2dwww,
I ended up buying the package you recommended at Detailed Image. And i also got DI Brushes EZ Detail Brush & Chemical Guys Premium Blue Heavy Duty Wheel & Rim Cleaner.
I will do the washing first and see if I can take Polish and Wax/Sealant next time.
BTW, when I spraying wax, should I avoid spraying glass and rubber parts? or do you do masking tape?

thanks!
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:30 PM   #14
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in2dwww,
I ended up buying the package you recommended at Detailed Image. And i also got DI Brushes EZ Detail Brush & Chemical Guys Premium Blue Heavy Duty Wheel & Rim Cleaner.
I will do the washing first and see if I can take Polish and Wax/Sealant next time.
BTW, when I spraying wax, should I avoid spraying glass and rubber parts? or do you do masking tape?

thanks!
This is wordy but informative... sorry. Read on!

Optimum No Rinse will clean the entire car (paint, glass, trim), but it's good that you got the extra wheel cleaner and wheel woolies.


Next step is to wash your micro fiber towels in the laundry with very little detergent (1 tbsp). The towels are clean when new, but these towels are what will glide over your paint, so be sure they stay surgically clean so they do not introduce scratches. If I drop a micro fiber towel on the ground, I throw it away.

It will take a few washes to figure out the best way to attack... do the wheels first with your wheel cleaner. Put the car in the shade or park it back in the garage. If the car is filthy, go ahead and rinse off the bird crap, remove leaves, and hose off any dirt behind the wheel wells before you get started. Otherwise, if the car just needs a regular wash (and this may sound scary), go ahead and start washing with the method below.

With the bucket prepared to the right ratio, I'd suggest soaking the wash mitt/thick micro fiber towel before getting to work. When you start washing, the wash mitt/thick micro fiber towel should be wet, but not overly dripping. Remember, the fluid in the wash mitt/thick micro fiber towel will provide the lubrication and the layer between the wash media and the paint. The wash mitt/thick micro fiber towel will trap the dirt released by the polymers in the ONR and suspended by the water. Lubrication between the mitt and the paint is what you need to prevent scratches. If in doubt, never wring it out. And do not apply any pressure!!! Let the weight of the wash media do all the work. Applying pressure will increase your chance of scratches. Simply drag the wash media over the surface.

For tough areas, such as bird crap, you can prepare a spray bottle of 5 parts water, 1 part ONR and pre-treat the areas before you attack. Pre-treating tough spots takes only 15-30 seconds. If the spot is stubborn, hit the bucket and come back with a fresh pass. It's going to depend on how robust your paint finish is at this point. If you're in dire need of a professional detail, you'll know because you'll have tough areas all over the car and they will all be hard to clean up. A proper wax/sealant that is still in working order will allow you to clean up the spots with very little effort when using ONR. Optimum Power Clean works well, but you'd need to rinse with a hose.

Lately, I've been starting with the rear window and working my way from the rear of the roof to the windshield. Since this is your first time, glass is the best place to start. I do a 2'x2' section before I flip the wash mitt/thick micro fiber towel. After a 4'x'4' area, I go back to the bucket and agitate against the grit guard, then go back to another section on the roof. Basically, the rear window is my rule of thumb for coverage before I go back to the bucket. I also overlap the c-pillar, about 2" of the trunk lid, and the top 6" of the side windows.

The strategy is to keep the wash media as clean as possible for as long as possible. So start with the cleanest areas before working to the dirtiest areas. Therefore, I've had best results and minimal time by going in this order:

1st wave (remember, always do a 4'x'4' section then go to the bucket):
Rear window
Roof
A-Pillars
Hood
Headlights
Windshield

Dry or Quick detail these areas. Then...

2nd wave:
Trunk Top (only the horizontal plane, do not go near the tail lights or Audi badge/license plate)
C-Pillars
Rear quarter panels

Dry or Quick detail these areas. Then...

3rd wave (perform on 1 side of the car, then proceed to the other side):
Side Windows
B-Pillar
Side Mirrors
Rear Doors
Front Fenders
Front Doors

Dry or Quick detail these areas. Then...

4th wave
Rear tail lights
Rear Bumper
Front Bumper
Lower Side Skirts (filthiest part of the car)

Overlap is key when you start. For instance, when washing the hood, be sure to get the top 2" of the front fenders. This ensures that you don't miss a spot when washing. Be sure NOT to overlap when you are near really dirty areas ((underneath doors and side skirts) (rear bumper and rear quarter panel)).

After you wash each section, you can either dry it off with the waffle weave towel, or you can fold the micro fiber towel in half two times, prime the towel with two sprays of the quick detailer, and wipe down the clean, wet roof.

As for the Optimum Quick Detail spray, that's your last step or it can be used while drying. For your first wash, you might want to dry the car with the waffle weave towel first just to make sure you didn't miss anything. You can use the Quick Detail spray when the car is dry and clean.

The Quick Detailer can be used on glass, but I don't think it's necessary. Stoner's Invisible Glass works the best, and any glass cleaner would likely remove the Quick Detail spray coating if it hasn't cured.

I haven't used the Quick Detailer spray on the rubber trim around the windows, but I do use it on the brightwork, tail lights, head lights, badges, and wheels.

Be sure to take before and after pics!

Here are a couple videos with some good techniques.

ONR:

Chemical Guys (this guy is using a different product but he has good information about rinse-free washing):
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:41 PM   #15
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in2dwww,
I ended up buying the package you recommended at Detailed Image. And i also got DI Brushes EZ Detail Brush & Chemical Guys Premium Blue Heavy Duty Wheel & Rim Cleaner.
I will do the washing first and see if I can take Polish and Wax/Sealant next time.
BTW, when I spraying wax, should I avoid spraying glass and rubber parts? or do you do masking tape?
thanks!
Depends on the type of wax. I only use Turtle Wax spray wax. Ice for my car and black for the others. From my experience, Ice is fine on rubber and glass (in fact I prefer it on the glass). Since it is clear, it does not show up when dry. The Turtle Wax Black ,on the other hand, goes on black and stays black when dry…Ok for black paint work and but kind messy with the plastics/glass/rubber etc.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:51 PM   #16
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Thanks, guys! very good info!

in2dwww, I think I am getting it. Couple of things though. The package comes with Sponge not microfiber mitt. Is this sponge http://www.detailedimage.com/Lake-Co...t-Sponge-P293/ ok?

About ONR, Do you use only rinse free? or I need somethng else for summer wash with hose?

thanks again.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:55 PM   #17
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Thanks, guys! very good info!

in2dwww, I think I am getting it. Couple of things though. The package comes with Sponge not microfiber mitt. Is this sponge http://www.detailedimage.com/Lake-Co...t-Sponge-P293/ ok?

About ONR, Do you use only rinse free? or I need somethng else for summer wash with hose?

thanks again.
Many people use that grout sponge with ONR, but I use that sponge just for the really dirty areas. I think the kit you ordered will have a few micro fiber towels. The thicker side of the towels with the black border will be fine for the roof, trunk, hood, doors, etc - but use the sponge for the rear bumper and the side skirts.

The problem with the sponge is that it's more expensive than the towels, and I throw anything away if I drop it on the ground while washing the car... so I have backup towels on hand. The benefit to the sponge is that it's easier to clean afterward than the micro fiber towels.

The waffle weave towel should only be used to dry the car, and the best way to use it is to fold it a few times and pat the car dry. You can skip the drying step and go straight to the Quick Detailer and a micro fiber just after ONR. However, some people will use the Quick Detailer with the waffle weave when drying the car. I think the towel is too large and doesn't provide even coverage when using the Quick Detailer. The waffle weave comes in handy for the door jambs and it holds a lot of water.

For a summer wash, if you live in the desert, then you'll have a lot of dust. The best thing to do is use a really thick micro fiber towel and make sure it's super soaked when washing. If you live in an area that rains a lot, there's nothing to worry about unless you have a lot of road spray/grime on the car. I think you have a 22oz spray bottle in the kit. Fill the bottle with a 5:1 ratio of water to ONR (5 parts water ; 1 part ONR). Then use that solution to pre-treat the entire body panel prior to washing - just like in that video.

For the most part, you can also use that 5:1 ONR spray bottle with a micro fiber towel to wipe off bird crap or any random contamination between washes. Just fold the towel and prime it with 1-2 sprays and then spray the area to clean. Then gently wipe off the contamination.

ONR is very versatile. There are many different ways to wash the car using the different micro fiber towels and sponges. Some detailers even use ONR as a clay lube because of it's lubrication properties.

You really should consider having at least 2 of these thick towels for the ONR washes:
http://www.detailedimage.com/DI-Micr...18/16-x-16-S1/

ONR will trap all the dirt into your micro fiber towels and grout sponge. The best way to clean the towels is to throw them in the laundry with detergent. I have a ton of micro fiber towels that I've collected over time and I use a dedicated micro fiber detergent. Tide works well if you have it, but just make sure the towels are thoroughly rinsed before you dry them. If there's detergent left in the towels, they don't dry to a soft touch. The benefit to the grout sponge is that you don't have to put it in your laundry.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:27 PM   #18
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Thanks, in2dwww!

Let me clarify one of my questions earlier. I wasn't planing on putting wax/Quick Detailer on glass or rubber part but I was wondering if I spray wax/Quick Detailer on place like A-Pillars, should I be careful not to get them into black rubber part or glass.
Thanks again.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:55 PM   #19
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Thanks, in2dwww!

Let me clarify one of my questions earlier. I wasn't planing on putting wax/Quick Detailer on glass or rubber part but I was wondering if I spray wax/Quick Detailer on place like A-Pillars, should I be careful not to get them into black rubber part or glass.
Thanks again.
Overlap on the A-pillar and other areas with the Quick Detailer spray from Optimum will be fine. A carnauba/yellow/white wax will be a bad idea.

I wouldn't go with a Turtle wax or anything of the sort without doing a full decontamination, clay, polish, and wax. The main reason being that waxing without proper decontamination because 1) it's a waste of time; and 2) all you'll do is seal the fallout under a fresh coat of wax.

The ONR will work wonders and the quick detailer will last between washes.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:50 AM   #20
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To the OP - What I would suggest as an equally good and much more cost effective product to Opti-Coat is a silicon Quartz coating like C-Quartz (G-techniq and a few others make something similar)

You can purchase it yourself for about $50 and install it yourself. You should get 2 years of protection, and I like the shine better with C-Quartz over Opti-Coat.

Opti-Coat is basically a second clear coat - which is why they say it will last forever (although I am skeptical and this claims have not yet been proven).

The Silicon Quartz coatings are of a different class that have special hydrophobic properties to help shed dirt and water. They last about 2 years. I applied mine myself and it was easy to do so. If you want you can use a boosted product on top of it (ReLoad is what the C-Quartz manufacturers make) which is literally a 5 minute application after washing). reload lasts about 2 months, extends the life of your C-Quartz, and gives an insane amount of slippery surface / shine.

Now I am not saying Opti-coat is not a good product, it is. But the difference to me is given Opti-Coat is a second clear coat, in a few years, you will want to buff out your surface to enhance the shine - and if you do so, you will need to reapply opti-coat. You can of course not polish it out and the protection will remain, but the two years of weathering will be there resulting in less enhanced shine.

It just depends on what you want in your finished product. Me, I like my cars looking brand new so I typically buff / polish the paint every two years. Thus C-Quartz fits my needs perfectly.

As to the other routine, when I do wash my vehicle I use:

* Washed with IronX Snow Soap or Chemical Guys Clear Citrus via a foaming lance
* Detailed with CQuartz, Reload, PERL, Ultima Tire & Trim Guard
* If I am in a hurry, I use Optimum No Rinse for a quick wash
* I also never towel dry my car - instead I use a leaf blower to blow the water off. And with C-Quartz / Reload it just rolls off extremely easily

it is important to use something like Iron-X before applying any coating and then clay baring the car as you will want the surface imperfection free
__________________
2013 A6 3.0t Premium Plus, Garnet Red / Black / Black Headliner, 19" Sport, Side Assist, Cold Weather package

Upgrades:

* X-Pel Ultimate extended hood / fenders (approx 24"), full front bumper, headlights, mirrors and rear bumper trunk loading area
* S6 sport pedals
* DLS OA10D Subwoofer, JL XD 600/6 amp, Audio Control LCQ-1 OEM integration, six channel signal processor and equalizer, fully dynamatted rear deck where the sub is mounted
* Cocomats
* 19" Avant Garde Wheels with Pirelli All Season Tires
* For winter - 18" Elbrus I02 wheels with Michelin X-Ice XI3 tires
* Llumar Air Blue 80 Tint

* Washed with IronX Snow Soap or Chemical Guys Clear Citrus via a foaming lance
* Detailed with CQuartz, Reload, PERL, Ultima Tire & Trim Guard




Last edited by Maverick61; 04-02-2014 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:50 AM
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