After I parted ways with my RaceDeck Free Flow floor, there was a period of time when I was living with a bare concrete floor. Thankfully, it was only for a few weeks, but the experience left a mark on me and helped to solidify my belief that a modular flooring is a better option than an epoxy coating. These photos demonstrate the constant battle I face with water accumulating on the floor. After two weeks of having to watch where I stepped so I didn't track the filth all over the garage and into my car, I was relieved when my Swisstrax order finally arrived.
I understand that epoxy is the option some garage owners prefer, but not having to worry about where I step, or what I step in is a massive advantage, in my mind, to having a modular tile floor. My Swisstrax floor is always dry despite the constant snow that gets tracked in on the tires and undercarriage of my car.
While I do think epoxy coatings look nice, I would be constantly dancing around the garage trying to avoid slop and water and that's just not something I have any interest in doing.
After three weeks of suffering with a bare concrete floor, my Swisstrax floor arrived this weekend. Here are some photos of the install process and final result. I am very pleased with how things have come together. I need two Pearl Grey tiles and the edges weren't included with the order, so it's about 98% complete at this point. I am looking forward to putting it to good use and sharing my insights into its performance.
Here's a video I put together:
I didn't take any chances this year and installed my winter wheels in September. We experienced a significant amount of snowfall later in the month so I did the swap just in time. I do enjoy driving the SQ5 in the winter with the meaty Nokians. The gallery of photos below demonstrates the process I follow when performing a seasonal wheel swap. It is pretty awesome being able to do the swap in the comfort of my own garage with the QuickJack.
I enlisted the services of a local decal maker and had a batch of 6" x 2.5" decals made. I have only a few left. It is pretty sweet to see many of my fellow detailing and garage enthusiasts sporting the RAD logo in their own spaces! Feel free to contact me if you would like to order one for your own space.
With the support and encouragement of Carzilla, I have been working and experimenting with a variety of products from Gyeon. These videos demonstrate the application process and results of 1. Gyeon Syncro paint coating and 2. Gyeon Q2 Rim coating. I recently picked up several other Gyeon products and plan on completing a comprehensive detail on my SQ5 in the next week, once it gets dirty! Until then, enjoy these two videos:
While the owner of this sweet little Allroad and his family were vacationing down in Mexico, I saw working away on it for three days. In total, I put probably north of 15 hours into this project and I was impressed with how it came out. The video is on the long side, but it really tells the story of what I did to it. Enjoy:
The owner of the Infiniti FX35 I recently detailed dropped his first-gen SQ5 off for some RAD treatment. I didn't have the time or energy to make a video for this one, but I did do a short video for Instagram. It was a 8 hour job and the results were pretty good.
Following on the heels of the black R8, an Edmonton R8 owner popped down for a detail. I spent the entire day obsessing over this car and just before I was about to post the video, my MacBook crashed. For days I thought I had lost all the footage, but I was able to salvage it in the end. Here's the video and I hope you enjoy it:
I have never discriminated when it comes to the makes or models of cars I have detailed. I have attacked 15-year-old Toyota Corolla's with Cheerios stuffed in every fold of the back seat and I have slogged away in minivans covered with dog hair. You never heard me complain. But, now I want to treat myself. If you, or someone you know, has an Audi R8, let it be known I am offering a free exterior wash and detail. I would need the car for a weekend during the summer.
I am experimenting with a new logo, but I am not completely sold on it. It was a collaborative effort between me and a Belgian designer I hooked up with through Fiverr. Currently, I have commissioned another designer to see what they can come up with, so hopefully they can come up with something even better. In the meantime, this is the new one:
I am confident there is no place worse, no place more challenging, no place more frustrating to keep a clear clean than Calgary, Alberta in winter. Even with my garage converted into a detailing studio, I just can't keep up. But, I won't stop trying. Here's a video that demonstrates how I go about keeping a tidy interior despite Mother Nature's efforts to ruin me.
A concerned YouTube viewer raised some concerns over my wheel hub collar. From the video, it appeared my collar was cracked. I was pretty sure it was just the design, but the user went to the effort of capturing a screen shot from the video and highlighting the areas that raised his concerns, so I decided to pop the opposite wheel off to investigate. It appears that Audi has carved some notches into this specific part for some reason. Maybe it has to do with weight reduction, but who knows. I want to thank David for taking the time to reach out and share his concerns. It is very nice knowing that people are looking out for each other. Here are some photos that demonstrate the notched hub design I am referring to.
Hand washing a car in the garage may not be everyone's idea of an epic Saturday night, but I had been looking forward to this all week. The Flames were up against the Hawks and I had a dirty SQ5 that needed some love and attention. Here's a video that demonstrates how two or three hours in a garage can be quite enjoyable and productive. Enjoy.
For years, I contemplated the purchase of a roof box for my car. I resisted the urge to purchase one because the need wasn't strong since our family of three doesn't haul huge amounts of cargo. But, now that my son is getting bigger and we are traveling to various hockey tournaments, I decided to splurge. I picked up a Thule Convoy box at Canadian Tire back in November. I removed the crooked Thule decals and applied some "Vorsprung Durch Technik" decals down the side and a along Quattro gecko on the back. I am considering having a friend do a full vinyl wrap, but all in good time. I am enjoying the appearance and functionality of my new roof jewelry.
Storing a big roof box had always been a concern of mine. I purchased some wall mounts from Rhino Rack and they are perfect. I had to do some re-engineering of the wall, but I am happy with how things turned out.
I can handle snow. I can handle the dirt and muck that comes with snow, but I can't handle the gravel that the City feels the need to spread all over our roads. Today, an oncoming car kicked up a bunch of rocks as it passed by and my windshield suffered its first chip. I took it to Crystal Glass and they filled the chip for $40. You can still make out where the contact happened, but it's virtually gone. I tried to take a clear "after" shot from inside the car but my camera struggled to find its focus on the impact area. The final two shots do a fairly decent job of showing the outcome.
Before - inside looking out
After - inside looking out
After - outside looking in
Overall, there is so much that I absolutely love about the second generation SQ5. The exterior styling, performance and interior are all beyond reproach. That said, there are a few things that irritate me. They aren't major, but they just don't sit right with me considering the amount of money this thing cost. I have a feeling a few of these shortcomings are due to the highly expensive settlement the Volkswagen Group made with various world governments. Regardless, here is a list of five things I love and five things I don't.
Five things I love
Heated steering wheel
At first, I thought it was gimmicky, but I don't think I could own a vehicle that doesn't have one. It's such a luxury on a cold winter day.
Directional rear indicators
Overall, I am very impressed with the exterior and interior lighting packages on the SQ5. I particularly like the directional rear indicators. Watching them flash when I lock the car never seems to get old.
Heated/cooled cup holder
Another unnecessary option, but I'm amazed how many times I have used it. I mostly use the heating function since I like my travel coffee mug hot. They could have made both cup holders heated/cooled. My wife and I sometimes compete for the only heated/cooled cup holder.
Yeah, I know the Ford Escape comes with this option, but it doesn't take away from the fact that it is convenient. There have been many occasions in which I have used it. Usually when I'm loaded up with the little guy's hockey equipment.
I really enjoy the ambient lighting throughout the SQ5's cabin. It makes driving at night more visually dramatic and interesting. I keep it set on "Audi Sport" so the color scheme changes day to day. The family and I get a kick out of it and it lends the cabin a more sophisticated appeal.
Five things I don't love
Lack of flat-bottom steering wheel
When you equip your SQ5 with the winter package, which is standard on all SQ5's destined for Canada, Audi deletes the flat-bottom steering wheel. Apparently they haven't figured out how to add the heating option to the flat-bottom wheel. The round wheel is very nice and I love the way it looks and feels, but as much as I have tried to convince myself it is as cool as the flat-bottom one, it just isn't. Sad.
Cheap wheel maintenance kit
The maintenance kit that they threw in the trunk is a collection of the cheapest tools I have ever set eyes on. The plastic case they come in is even more embarrassing. The wheel anchor on the first generation SQ5 had a quality feel to it, but the new one is made out of pathetic plastic. I wish I would have kept the kit from my old one. Honestly, I would be surprised if Audi's cost on this bag of junk is more than 5 euros.
The two blank buttons on my console are a constant reminder that some other SQ5 drivers are driving around their countries with more things than me. It's an insult. I'm still trying to figure out what goes in these two spaces. I think one is the on/off button for the auto-park feature which isn't available to Canadian buyers, which takes me to my next point...
Unavailable features for Canada
Where are my front directional indicators? Where is my auto-park function? Where is my dynamic steering option? These, and a few other features, were available to buyers from other countries. Apparently, the Audi Canada brass decided we didn't need such features.
No exhaust tips
Sure, it was a chore keeping my exhaust tips clean on my previous SQ5, but is eliminating them altogether the best solution Audi designers and engineers could come up with? There's no getting around the fact that the faux exhaust idea is lame.
I recently performed a "no rinse" wash on my SQ5. The weather here has been cold and sloppy so a no-rinse wash is about all I can do to keep my car clean. Here is a video I put together demonstrating my wash process when it is too cold to use my typical 2-bucket wash system. In addition to cleaning my SQ5, this video shows how I quickly clean my garage floor ahead of performing the no-rinse wash.
I spent weeks obsessing over my winter wheel and tire setup, but I am happy to say that the obsessing paid off. I had the TSW's installed on Friday and I couldn't be happier. They look very aggressive and the red brake calipers just give it an extra touch of class. Here's a quick video I put together that showcases my new winter war wagon!
With all the prepping and detailing, I haven't had any time to capture quality photographs. I did manage to take a few shots with my iPhone at the parking garage the other night. They look alright. I really need my friend Geoff to do a shoot for me!
Who is Rick?
I'm just a guy who loves his garage, Audi, and detailing so much he blogs about them.
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