working with all types of vehicles, meeting and exceeding customer needs and expectations, retaining clients who I have known since I started the business

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Case Studies

Autocare of Solihull operate a fully mobile vehicle valeting and detailing service throughout the West Midlands, Warwickshire and further afield.

Winter Protection Valet - Mazda MX5
Paintwork Protection - Why So Important?
Removing Scratches - Mercedes C Class
Correcting Paint Work Blemishes - Nissan Sky Line
Full Detail - Porsche Boxster
Full Detail - Mercedes E55 AMG
Paintwork Detail - BMW 335i
Exterior Detail with Contamination Removal - Audi A3

Winter Protection Valet - Mazda MX5
Winter time can really be tough on your car exterior. Paintwork and wheels suffer an increase in road grime and, with the cold weather washing can become less frequent. Click on images to enlarge them.
Mazda MX5 Winter Protection Valet (2)Before winter sets in its time to apply some long lasting protection so your car is easier to wash and there is less chance of dirt gripping your paintwork and wheels.
Mazda MX5 Winter Protection Valet (3)
Autocare wash the exterior body work using our multi wash system, rinsing then treating the bodywork with biodegradeable grime remover. Rinsing again them washing the entire car with a ph neutral shampoo, lambs wool wash mitt and the two bucket method (buckets with grit guard to avoid dragging any minute grit particles around your car causing swirl marks).

Rinsing and drying follows then the wheels are cleaned with a non acid wheel cleaner to remove brake dust and dirt. Then rinse and dry with micro fiber towels. Mazda MX5 Winetr Protection Valet

Paintwork is then treated to remove any contamination, tree sap, tar spots and industrial fall out. The cleaner and smoother the surface of paintwork and wheels enables the sealants to perform to there best.

Next we cleanse the paintwork and wheels to ensure the surface is ready to receive the sealant. Sealants are chosen for this particular valet to seal the surface from the harsh environment. Sealants are synthetic waxes formulated for long lasting protective qualities and do not contain any abrasives. They are applied by hand then buffed.

Alloy wheels are treated the same but with a dedicated alloy wheel sealant.

Paintwork Protection - Why So Important?
Keeping your car paint finish looking good for longer.
Do water droplets bead on your car paintwork?
Applying a layer of wax to your car paintwork finish creates a barrier keeping dirt, grime and other contaminants from reaching the paint finish of your car and starting a process of deterioration. Real waxes contain no abrasives. So if light scratches, tar spots etc., are not removed before the wax is applied they will still be visible after waxing. Once a quality wax is in place dirt and grime will not grip the surface so easily, washing will be much easier and your car will look good for longer.BMW 5 Series Detailing by Autocare of Solihull
After full paint finish preparation takes place and wax is applied water droplets will bead on the surface. When water beading is not evident it's time to apply wax again.
This example of a black BMW 5 series had been treated roughly in an attempt to remove bird droppings and tree sap. In doing so any protection had been removed. Although the clear coat finish had been badly scuffed in a number of places nothing had fully penetrated to the colour coat beneath. Paint depth measurements were recorded and found satisfactory all over. Although no paint finish is bird dropping proof the sooner this and tree sap is removed the better. When prompt and careful action is taken a 'full recovery' is possible. Every manufacturer will advise a car owner to wax their car at least twice a year. This means putting down a layer of protection to keep most forms of contamination at bay between waxing.
On every occassion this means washing the car paintwork (and wheels) to remove dirt and grime. The use of a clay bar to remove more embedded contaminents can reap surprising rewards. Removing 'dirt' not previously visible lying unnoticed in an even layer all over your car paint finish.BMW 5 Series Detailing by Autocare of Solihull
Depending on the condition of the surface of the finish polishing may be required to remove swirl marks etc to restore clear sharp light reflections. Machine polishing in experienced hands can dramatically improve upon what can be achieved when polishing by hand alone.

Mercedes C Class - Scratches
One of the questions I am often asked is what can you do about scratches in paintwork.

With scratches the first thing to do is the finger nail test. Run your finger nail over the scratches at right angles to them. If your finger nail catches in the scratch, even the slightest, this tells us it is too wide to machine polish out. The scratch may close up a little but alot will depend on how 'stretchable' the paint finish is.

The two photos below of a Mercedes C Class shows lots of swirl marks caused by a poor wash technique starting with using a sponge. These tiny scratches generally are not very deep in the clear coat finish and look like a spiders webb when you see the sun reflected in the paint surface. Because of how these are caused they will most likely be found over the entire bodywork so the whole car will need to be machine polished to erase them.
Click on the images to enlarge them.

Mercedes paintwork before Autocare machine polishingMercedes before Autocare machine polishing
One panel had a few scratches caused by a pets claw and another panel a long scratch caused by passing too close to a roadside bush.
The next two photos show after Autocare have machine polished these panels.
Click on the images to enlarge them.

After Autocare machine polishingafter Autocare machine polishing
All the swirl marks have been erased. The long scratch turned out to be not as bad as I had originally thought. No two scratches are exactly the same and so this makes it difficult to precisely predict what is achievable with machine polishing. This pets claw marks were infact very deep but not too wide to close up. These have not completely disappeared but are no where near as visible.

Nissan Skyline - Correcting paint work blemishes

This particular Sky Line had to be perfect as three days later it would lead the cavalcade at Silverstone playing its part in breaking the record for the most Skylines in one place at the same time.
Nissan Sky Line Machine polish and waxNissan Skyline Machine polish and waxNissan Sky Line Full Exterior Machine Polish and Wax

There were numerous blemishes where the paint shop had to flatten drip marks etc. So this would need a complete machine polish and wax to every panel to ensure it looked its best for this very special occassion.

Starting with a rince then wash to the bodywork following the Autocare multi wash system, two bucket method and lambs wool wash mitt. Drying was by micro fibre towel. Next I was anxious to know the paintwork depth. The digital paint depth guage measurements would be citical to the success of this project. The Sky Line had received a complete respray in recent days and before polishing started it is vital to know exactly what the depth of finish is to determine which blemishes can be corrected without compromising the clear coat finish. If ever the clear coat finish is too aggresively mopped or wet sanded the appearance and colour of the finish will, in blotches appear different and the only answer is to respray.

The measurements were fine in this case so I went straight to masking off the delicate areas and choosing mopp head and polish grade combination. Continuing through the polish grades finishing with the finest to bring out a clear reflection. Then apply by hand a cleanser (contains no abrasives just gently cleans the surface and prepares it so the wax bonds fully). Topped off with my favourite Carnauba wax to maximise colour intensity and gloss. The results you see in the five photos took over 8 hours to complete.

Nissan Sky Line Machine polish and waxNissan Sky Line Machine polish and wax

Full Detail - Red Porsche Boxster
followed by Mercedes E55 AMG
then Contamination removal treatment - Audi A3

Porsche Boxster before Autocare valet red Porsche Boxster before Autocare valet Porsche Boxster before Autocare valet
As you can see the outside of the vehicle was in need of some 'tlc' but the lady owner, who made it clear she would not be parted from her 'baby', had kept the interior very clean.

First job was to vacuum the soft top roof with a special brush attachment to remove any loose debris. Then treat the fabric with a dedicated roof cleaner and leave to soak. Rinse the cleaning fluid which has now had time to loosen the dirt and inspect for any remaining dirt or staining and retreat if necessary. I can now leave the roof, I will be applying a reproofing treatment to repel water and the ingress of dirt but this will be later as a more even coating is achieved when the hood is dry.

Next job was to rinse the exterior bodywork again and treat with a grime remover to loosen any stuck dirt before rinsing once more. Then wash exterior bodywork with ph balanced shampoo and lambs wool wash mitt. The door boot and bonnet shuts follow and then hand scrub wheel arches. Dry all bodywork, door and boot shuts with microfiber towels.

Cleaning the alloy wheels comes next. This can be a slow job removing all the brake dust, tar spots etc but at the end it always looks well worth the effort.

Next a close assessment of the paintwork then to work with the clay bar. It's important to remove any and all contamination however minute since it can adversely affect the end result. 'It's all in the preparation'.

Next stage to machine polishing. The condition of the paintwork needed only very fine polishing to achieve the desired result. Then clean up the paintwork with a cleanser to ensure the chosen carnauba wax will adhere thoroughly and last longer. As you can see from the reflections in the paintwork the result is pleasing.Red Porsche Boxster valeted by Autocare, machine polish, Carnauba wax
Lastly the alloys wheels. These are polished then sealed with a brake dust repellent to slow down the bake dust sticking and corroding the wheels.

The interior comes next not forgetting the door and boot shuts to be polished by hand and adjacent rubber seals cleaned and treated. Plastics and vinyls are dusted with special attention to the air vents, switches etc. then all treated with anti static cleaner which leaves a matt factory finish. Thorough vacuum comes next, carpets, mats, seats and boot (there are two storage areas on this Boxster one front and one rear), followed by shampoo to carpets and mats. The seats are leather so cleaning first. The cars exterior does not show its age but the leather seats are worn and so cleaning must be done carefully with dedicated leather cleaner. To store the leather suppleness and reduce future cracking a leather conditioner is applied. Then the roof linning is wiped clean along with all the mechanism. Rubber seals are treated at the top of the screen. On to the glass not forgetting door mounted mirrors and those under the sun visors. Lastly the leather upholstery has a conditioner applied. Important to regain suppleness and reduce cracking.

Finish off with a matt dressing to the tyres.
Porsche Boxster valeted by Autocare, machine polish, Carnauba wax  Porsche Boxster valeted by Autocare, machine polish, Carnauba wax Red Porsche Boxster valeted by Autocare, machine polish, Carnauba wax

Full Detail - Mercedes E55 AMG
Detailing by Autocare of Solihull - Mercedes E55 AMGDetailing by Autocare of Solihull - Mercedes E55 AMGMercedes E55 AMG _ Detailing by Autocare of SolihullDetailing by Autocare of Solihull - Mercdes E55 AMGDetailing by Autocare of Solihull - Mercedes E55 AMGDetailing by Autocare of Solihull - Mercdes E55 AMG
Paintwork Detailing - BMW 335i
BMW 335i Detailing by Autocare of SolihullBMW 335i Detailing by Autocare of SolihullBMW 335i Detailing by Autocare of Solihull

Audi A3 Exterior Detail
with contamination removal

Audi with rail dust before Detail by Autocare Most cars suffer from some sort of contamination to the paintwork at some time during their life. Industrial fall out, tree sap, tar, hard water spots etc. It is vital to safely and correctly remove these contaminents before the process of oxidation starts ruining your paintwork.

I was contacted by a gentleman who had recently purchased the Audi A3 in this case study. He was already aware of the 'staining' of the exterior of his car and felt that this seriously detracted from the overall appearance of his new purchase. The previous owner had told him this was due to frequent parking in a local railway station car park. I agreed with the new owner to inspect the vehicle and suggest a remedial course of action. As you can see from the photos it looks as if the whole car has some sort of 'brownish' staining on it. When you run your finger tips over the surface it feels gritty. Small sharp nudules (iron filings) appear embedded in the surface. This confirmed the contamination had arisen in the station car park.

Audi A3 Rail dust contamination before Detail by Autocare If left untreated this contamination would, once mixed with our mild acid rain, turn into rusty brown dots, Unfortunately no matter how much washing and polishing by hand you do, it is unlikely to improve things.

In this situation this rail dust is not selective where it adheres to, roof, bonnet boot lid even headlamp lenses. The sun catches the speckles in the paintwork. Windows, rubber seals and alloy wheels too. The pictures capture the mist like staining on the upper panels and window glass, especialy evident outside the wiper arch.
Audi rear window rail dust valeted by AutocareAudi with rail dust before Detail by Autocare Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Washing and Contamination Removal
Audi contamination bar staining removed Detailed by  Autocare The rectification process started with a thorough wash to the exterior bodywork, wheels and arches. Using ph neutral shampoo, lambs wool wash mitt and the two bucket method to ensure there would be no loose grit carried around the bodywork. This was followed by a specialist commercial only available solution to loosen the long standing contamination. Product training comes into its own here. Next came the contamination removal bar stage using various grades. This is the safest way to remove most types of contamination, tree sap, industrial fall out etc. You can see in the photo the brown staining on the bar after it has been lifted from the bodywork. Great care is needed in order to avert these tiny filings as they are lifted away causing scuffing to the surface. Continuing with all the remaining exterior, windows, rubber trim, alloy wheels etc.
To remove all the contamination it took over 4 hours and 5 separate bars. To finish this stage another wash for the exterior bodywork and dry with a micro fiber towel.

Machine Polishing
To fully restore the paintwork to better than showroom finish a full machine polish was next. Prior to agreeing the work extensive digital paint depth measurements were taken and recorded to ensure the Audi's paintwork was suitable to machine polish. This is a key step in the process as visual checks can only tell you so much. Simply, without this information to guide you, alot of damage can be done in inexperienced hands. Paint depth measurements are on going throughout the polishing stage to ensure the very minimum of clear coat finish is removed so as not to compromise the clear coat. Various grades of polish were tested to find the best possible combination to achieve the desired effect. It is polishing that gives your car the glossy reflections you see not the waxing. A few small scratches were closed up and alot of swirl marks polished out.
The Final Result
Audi A3 After Machine polish and 55% Carnauba WaxAudi A3 After Machine Polish and Carnauba WaxAudi A3 After Machine polish and Carnaba Wax

The final result was protected with 55% Carnauba wax which adds a depth of shine too.

The Audi owner commented "It's like a new car. Thanks once again for for a great job" (Mr S. Birmingham)