December’s delights

Mini convertible roof during deep clean and reproof

Yet more wind and rain this month, with a little added chill, made the month just as challenging as others recently. Our trusty pop-up canopy saved the day on a number of occasions, and to those customers that we had to reschedule as the weather was too extreme, a big thank you for your understanding.

Due to the festive period it has been a shorter working month than usual, so we have limited this article to just a few vehicles that stood out from our regulars.

A Mini Miracle

On a rare, warm, dry day at the beginning of December we were able to tackle this 2010 Mini convertible roof.  

The customer had advised us that it was brown, so we knew that we had to do the best possible job with just the deep cleaning and reproofing stages; the recolouring stage is only available for black and blue soft tops.

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Imagine our dismay when we arrived and all we could see was dark green and black from algae, speckled with various other shades of green, grey and yellow from a variety of lichen species.  

As with all such jobs, we try to manage both our own expectations as well as those of the customer.  The customer fully understood the situation and realised it had been left far too long, and was simply looking forward to seeing any improvement.

And so we started the cleaning process…

The cleaning solution was brushed on and allowed to soak in for around 10 minutes.  

It was then a matter of plenty of elbow grease. The roof was scrubbed with a variety of brushes.  The brush bristles need to be suitably stiff but not too stiff as to damage the fabric. With many years’ experience we know the sweet spot. This part of the process requires both persistence and patience; the wrong approach would easily create holes in the fabric.

Following the initial scrub, the roof was pressure washed to remove all the loose grime. Note that we use a high flow rate but at a relatively low pressure so as not to damage the nap of the material.

So often we will arrive at a job and see that someone with no knowledge has gone at the roof with a pressure washer and done irreversible damage – lines where the fibres have literally been stripped from the fabric.

The scrubbing and rinsing processes were repeated 4 times with additional cleaner being applied where required. Some more pictures of work in progress…

Once thoroughly clean and towel-dried, the roof took another hour or so to fully dry in the weak December sunshine.

We also gave the remainder of the outside of the car a good clean to remove all traces of the green sludge!  All parts of the roof that are visible when open, along with seals and drainage channels were cleaned too.

And then it was time to apply the reproofer. And when this had dried, the results were rather impressive – the customer’s words, not ours.

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This BMW 645i had been rather neglected in recent years, with greenery growing in every nook and cranny of the bodywork as well as a large accumulation under the bonnet. If you have to leave your car for an extended period it is wise to avoid parking underneath trees.

We carried out a combined Gold interior and exterior valet to return the car to a more pleasing condition. Even we were surprised at how well the carpets, and the interior in general, came up. It required much hard work on our part, but does reflect the underlying quality of the materials used in such premium vehicles.

BMW 645i after gold interior valet
BMW 645i after gold interior valet
BMW 645i after gold exterior valet
BMW 645i after gold exterior valet

A few more from Germany

The BMW 330i coupe had also had a tough time recently, being used as a rural runabout.  We carried out a combined interior and exterior valet to make it a little more respectable.

The Mercedes E300 required a very good valet inside and out. This we carried out, including removal of iron contamination from the pearlescent white paintwork.

The VW Transporter is becoming a regular; the customer likes the design of the wheels but dislikes cleaning them!

Mercedes E300 convertible Silver level valet
Mercedes E300 convertible Silver level valet
VW Transporter following regular valeting
VW Transporter following regular valeting

The Platinum effect

This 2014 Mercedes E220 was looking a little dull, and the customer simply wanted it to sparkle again.  Many motorway journeys in recent months had taken their toll.

We carried out our Platnium level exterior valet, starting with the wheels followed by a multi-stage bodywork wash.  Iron decontamination was then carried out, clay barring to remove other stubborn contaminents, and finally tar spot removal. A quick final rinse and the car was dried in preparation for the machine polishing.

Our Platinum level exterior valet includes a single stage of machine polishing.  Based on our extensive experience, we will assess a number of factors such as the age of the paint, paint thickness, manufacturer, extent of scratches and swirl marks as well as customer expectations.  We will then experiment with various pad and polish combinations to provide the desired results.

Lease return Q3

No before shots of this Q3 as superficially it did not look too bad.  However, once we got stuck in we identified the lack of attention the car had received over 3 years from the supermarket car “cleaners”.

Interior-wise, only the obviously visible areas of seats and carpets had been cleaned. As ever, we set about removing the dirt and dust from the more inaccessible areas as well as the quick-wins. The exterior bodywork was heavily contaminated with tar, and the wheels were black – only the faces of the spokes had ever been cleaned. After the use of much iron remover and serious brushing the wheels were pretty much like new.

The Gold (plus) valet we carried out on the leased car here ensures that our customer will receive minimal penalties due to the condition of the vehicle.

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