2012 Audi A4 - Stage 1 Polish - Pictures Pictures Pictures

I recently quit my day job to finish my college degree and focus more on detailing. I'm not trying to start my own business or anything, simply trying to do a few cars here and there to get my by until I finish school. Anyways, enough with the life story and onto the subject at hand. I did a stage 1 polish on this 2012 Audi A4 recently. I'll walk you through step-by-step of everything I do when doing a stage 1 polish.

First, some close-up shots on the car. Seeing how this car is only a 2012, it was in fairly good condition. The owner just bought the car from Classic BMW and wanted a more thorough cleaning as well as some protection on the paint. Some dealers claim to put their own form of "protection" on the cars that they hold in inventory, but me personally...I don't ever trust the dealers.

Some dirty water spots from the rain we've been seeing in Dallas lately...

Personally, I'm a huge wheel person. The first thing I look at are the wheels. I always start with the wheels, engine and exhaust first.

I cleaned the wheels with P21S Wheel Gel Cleaner and the tires with P21S Total Auto Wash.

Cleaned the face of the wheels with my microfiber mitt:

Got in between the spokes with my wheel woolie:

I got the inner barrel with my EZ Brush:

Can't forget the emblem and brake calipers:

Just like the instructions say, hit the wheels with the highest pressure of water:

I also hit the exhaust with 0000 steel wool and the wheel cleaner, believe it or not:

And the result:

Onto washing the car. Always always always use 2 buckets. One bucket is only water, the other is water and shampoo (my weapon of choice is Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Gloss). On this type of job, I need to remove whatever "protectant" is on the car, so CG's Citrus wash does just that. There are other brands and shampoos that will do this, just FYI.

Rinsed the car to get the dirt loose. I ran out of prewash foam, so I wasn't able to foam the car before hand. Instead, I simply rinsed the car thoroughly first and was extra careful when washing.

Used my sheepskin mitt to wash the car:

Hit the emblems with a brush to agitate the dirt that my wash mitt can't reach...

Don't forget this spot:

Brought it in the shade to dry it with my Waffle Weave drying towel.

These were the results after the wash (still have a ways to go):

After drying, I ran my *clean* hand against the paint to see how much dirt was contaminated into the paint. It felt pretty smooth, which is expected from a fairly new car, so I went with my fine grade clay bar. Using too aggressive of a clay bar can cause marring, and well...we don't want that for obvious reasons.

This is what the clay picked up:

After claying (shouldn't look much different but you can be the judge):

Began the polishing process. I used Menzerna SF 4500 on a blue Lake Country Pad on my Power Cable buffer using the Zenith technique.

And the results:

As much as I love my iPhone it doesn't do a very good job, imo, of capturing the finer details. In other words, the car looked much better in person after applying the polish than it does in the pictures but again, you guys can be the judge.

After wiping the car down, the waxing, or sealing, process began. While carnauba wax gives off a better shine, sealant lasts longer and gives off a great shine as well. I always use Chemical Guys Blacklight for sealant:

Applied and letting it cure:

And after wiping it off, here are the results:

Applied PoorBoys Tire Gel to the tires and coated the wheels and exhaust with Wheel Sealant:

Gotta get the lights in there:

Thanks for reading/looking [:D]


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I'll just mention that it's hard for us to judge if the result is better or not. You need to use the same before and after angles and lighting.
I think it was somewhere in here, someone had mentioned putting a line of Fine Line tape on a florescent light for reference. Good idea IMO.

Nice looking job.
Any way you can clean up around the rings a bit better?
Emblems are a PITA and this is where an orbital comes in handy vs random orbit (your PC).

Just noticed to original posting date.

damn you guys.