One of the best ways I have to manage stress in my life is to clean my car. That's what I did yesterday: I added some graphics at the end of this video showcasing the various Adam's Polishes products I used in this maintenance wash.
We have endured two solid days of blizzard weather here. The temps have dipped down to minus double-digits so performing bucket washes is not practical. It has been a stressful week due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus and I like to deal with my stress by detailing my car, so I will performing a rinseless wash tonight to sooth my frazzled nerves. If all goes well, I will be doing a video. I'm sure the project will look identical to this one, but people love videos and I could use some self therapy. I hope you are all finding ways to stay centered and relaxed during these challenging times.
Here are some "before" shots of the SQ5:
What is a better way to unwind after a busy work week than spending time in your garage detailing the interior and exterior of your daily driver? I worked late into the night on this one and finished off the finer details on Saturday morning. I even was able to catch the Flames game. This video features some new title animations I put together using Keynote. I am looking forward to playing around with the design of the animations in future projects. Enjoy:
I have washed my SQ5 countless times. I have documented many of them through the creation of videos, but I feel my most recent wash is as close to perfection as I have ever come. Here's the video:
When you wash your car as often as I do, you have to enjoy the process and appreciate the beauty of that process. This video tries to capture the beauty behind the process. I hope you find it as satisfying and relaxing as I do.
During the winter, it is not always practical or even possible to perform a traditional 2+1 bucket wash so I rely on "Rinseless Washes" to remove the winter salt and grime from my SQ5. This process always triggers some viewers, but I am 100% confident in my process and I have seen zero evidence of any damage to the finish of my SQ5's paint and I have conducted dozens of these washes. Here's a video that demonstrates how I go about performing a rinseless wash on those cold and miserable Canadian winter days.
Once my SQ5 was re-coated with Adam's Ceramic Coating, I was excited to see how the finish would behave during a thorough 2-bucket wash. I was very impressed with how the coating behaved and the video I filmed does an effective job of demonstrating this fact.
To say it has.been a while since I updated my blog is a massive understatement. I have no excuse other than I have been busy with other aspects of life. But, I am back and I wanted to update readers on what has been going on in my "car and garage life".
Project: Audi A6 Full Detail
This project involved a friend's 2012 Audi A6 that was in serious need of a thorough interior/exterior detail. We agreed on an 8-hour timeline and I set to work. The video does a nice job of demonstrating the various processes I went through returning this car to extremely clean condition. The paint remains in need of correction,. but I am hopeful I can take a crack at that in the Spring. This video has been my most popular post to date with over 120k views!
Cleaning Swisstrax Floor
Prior to the arrival of winter, I was able to perform one last thorough clean of my garage floor. I have developed my own floor-cleaning process over the past decade and I am quite happy with the process. Since we are in the middle of winter here, there is little opportunity to perform such a cleaning job. For now, I am relegated to performing vacuum and mops of the floor. I look forward to performing a very through Spring clean in a few months.
Ceramic coating my SQ5
Back in the Fall, I had a lot of fun re-coating my SQ5. I used Adam's Ceramic Coating and the process was highly satisfying and enjoyable. It is a few months into winter and I am very pleased with the performance of the coating to date. This video demonstrates all the stages I went through to get the SQ5 re-coated.
I recently met an Audi RS6 driver. Dave and I connected through Instagram and together we spent the better part of a Saturday in my garage bringing the finish of his car's Daytona Grey paint back to life. The results were stunning considering this car is now over 15 years old. He recently had SunTek PPF installed on a significant portion of his car so the shine will be fully protected from the elements. I used a variety of Adam's Polishes pads and polishes. Here's a little vid I put together. I wish I could have done a complete video, but there just wasn't time.
Follow Dave and his amazing collection of Audi avant models on Instagram: @blau_RS2
The only thing more destructive to a car's interior than a dog is two dogs. The owners of this car love their dogs and take them to the dog park daily, so it takes a toll on the interior. I spent some time bringing this A4 back to life recently, and the results were highly satisfying. I snapped these pics close to the end, so you might see a few hair fibers, but I think I removed them all by the time the job was complete.
Before and after
More after pics
Tyson Hugie put a neat little video together showcasing his recent visit to my garage and a few other aspects of his recent stay in Calgary. The video features some questions he asked me about the garage. If you are interested in watching, I have posted it below.
I was growing tired of the constant polishing necessary to remove the swirls that inevitably formed on the A, B, C and D pillars of the SQ5. The plastic material Audi uses is so highly prone to scratching and marring. I took the car to Thompson Graphics a few weeks ago and had them apply SunTek self-healing PPF to each of the trim pieces and now I don't have to worry about them.
I had this annoying squeak coming from the brake pedal. It worsened in recent weeks, so I had it in to the dealer and they were able to lube up the mechanism and now the squeak is gone. Thank goodness. Here are a couple of quick vids to show the before and after. The squeak you hear in the "after" vid is my shoes, not the pedal.
The dealership recently changed their service loaner policy, but I still get a loaner. What's crazy is their insurance carries a $10,.000 deductible and you have to pay extra if you want coverage for damage or a rock chip in the windscreen. Can you believe that? At least I got a nice vehicle for the day:
I finally mounted my summer wheels. This is an annual process that usually happens in early to mid-May, but this year I ended up putting it off to June for the first time ever. My Quickjack makes the process quick and easy, but I inevitably spend hours detailing the winter wheels which involves prying each and every stone out of the treads. It is a painstaking process that leaves me with blisters every year, but it simply must be done.
I enjoyed a few magical hours on Father's Day pampering my SQ5. It is currently coated with Gyeon ceramic coating and I have been trying to find the time to polish it off so I can apply a fresh coat of Adam's. I decided to layer the Adam's atop the Gyeon and see how it goes. The application process was very easy and the results are absolutely stunning. The shine coming off the Daytona Grey Pearl paint is unreal.
That evening, my family and I went out for dinner and I was very proud to roll up in my Adam's coated SQ5.
I had the pleasure of detailing a 2013 Audi RS5 last weekend. I spent around 8 hours performing an interior/exterior detail on this remarkable machine. I picked it up from the owner's house after work on Friday and drove it back to my place. I enjoyed every second of that trip. Once in my garage, I began returning it to showroom condition, which wasn't too hard considering how well this car is maintained. Although it sees regular winter usage, the owner is meticulous in the maintenance of this car. I encountered some hardened tar deposits in the wheel barrels and some mild salt staining on the carpets, but I have the tools and products to solve both of those issues. After a very thorough wash, I spent a bit of time working out some scratches in the clear with a one-step Adam's polish and their orange foam pad. I was impressed with the results and I enjoyed this project from start to finish. The owner swung by in his R8 Saturday night to pick the car up which was quite an awesome sight. The Miltek exhaust on the RS5 rivaled the sound of the R8.
Followers of my Instagram will know that I recently participated in Crown Rally 8. This was an exciting event that saw 101 awesome cars drive from Chicago to a stretch of highway along the Tennessee/North Carolina border known as the "Tail of the Dragon". This event kicked off with a launch party at a car collectors' garage in Chicago on Thursday, May 30th.
I was invited to be a co-pilot by a fellow Audi enthusiast by the name of Jason. Jason resides in Chicago and is the proud owner of a 2015 Audi R8. He extended this invitation to me some time ago and I decided to take the plunge and accept his generous offer. I flew to Chicago on Thursday, May 30th to meet up with Jason and meet the rest of the rally teams and begin an 800-mile trek South to a stretch of highway known as "Tail of the Dragon".
In typical RAD Garage style, I put some videos together that will showcase all the amazing times I had while chasing the dragon! I also constructed a webpage called "Crown Rally" that dives into my impressions of this experience a bit. I hope you enjoy the videos and visit the Crown Rally page.
After an extremely cold and busy two weeks, I was able to spend some quality time in the garage. My car was absolutely caked in dirt and grime so it was cathartic to finally perform a proper wash. When temperatures are below zero, I cannot perform a 2-bucket wash because the water freezes on my driveway creating a dangerous situation, but the weather has been much more cooperative lately. So, a number of hours was spent removing the last two weeks of winter build up. This wash took longer than I anticipated, so I ended up finishing with a quick and easy application of detail spray. Had I had a bit more time, I would have applied a coating of "Ceramic Boost" by Adam's, but I needed to go get coffee.
At this point, the car is already dirty again, but with continued cooperation on Mother Nature's part, hopefully I will be able to perform more routine washes so it doesn't get as bad as it was.
I gave my new "Foam Gun" by Adam's a try. It was quick and convenient, but in no way does it rival a foam gun that attaches to an actual pressure washer. But, since my family was asleep, using a hose attached foam system was great since it didn't make any noise. I did not use nearly enough soap, though. I had to shake it as I was spraying it to get the suds going. For what it is, it works.
I had my first opportunity to apply Adam's Tire Armor and I loved it. I sprayed the product onto the tire and then an applicator to spread evenly. It was incredibly easy to apply and the tires looked great. Because we are in the midst of a major "melt", I don't anticipate the tires looking good for very long, but I am thinking Tire Armor is going to be my new "go to" tire dressing.
I am excited to share a very unique and inspiring garage story with you. I have been a fan of Greg and Nancy's space since they began sharing it on Garage Journal back in January of 2016. They have purchased a private storage condominium suite at "The Place" which is located in the St. Louis area. The Place has a motto: "For when your passion outgrows your garage" and it is one example of a steady movement that is spreading across North America. People in need of more space, but not in a position to expand or move, can purchase a suite where they can enjoy extra space while also becoming part of a collective community. These facilities usually have a common space where people can host social events or just hang out. Greg and Nancy have done a tremendous job of appointing and finishing their condo and I was excited when they agreed to allow me to feature their space on my blog. I furnished Greg and Nancy with some questions about their car condo experience and I have no doubt you will enjoy their responses along with the photos that effectively showcase the high quality of planning and execution that went into its completion.
Name | Greg & Nancy
Location | The Place, Chesterfield, MO –
Unit | 25
What attracted you to the idea of a car condo?
I came by an interest in cars honestly as we averaged about 15 cars at any time, scattered around our house (in the driveway, in the garage, in the front and back yards) at any given moment while I was growing up. But as much as I could blame myself alone, my wife certainly had a part in it as well. She was driving a manual Toyota MR2 Turbo when we were dating and always liked fast cars. Our 10th wedding anniversary was spent at Mid-Ohio, taking a 3-day driving course. Although we both loved cars, I was only expecting us to just each have a single nice car that fit in our small 2-car garage. The turning point happened when my wife was fighting through cancer. Part of our discussions as we sat talking during chemo sessions was that she should buy her “bucket list car” when she beat it. Once she was declared in remission, she found her dream car; a 2009 Porsche 911 C4S PDK. However, she didn’t want to sell her VW EOS, so now we had 4 cars, and with our daughters getting to driving age (meaning more cars to be acquired in the near future), our little two car garage was not going to cut it. Expanding the house garage was not an option, due to the small lot. We considered moving to a bigger house/garage, but didn’t want the larger yard and maintenance. My wife saw an advertisement for The Place and the rest is history.
Cleaning floor mats is something I take pride in. Because winters in my world make it virtually impossible to maintain a clean exterior, I take solace in the tidiness of my car's interior. I heard it once said that the floor mats are the windows to a car's soul, so I spent a couple of hours cleaning up the floors of my SQ5. Here's the process I follow when my mats and carpet need some cleaning.
As you can see, there is a significant amount of salt residue that has hardened to my floor mats. When snow melts on my mats, the salty run-off can leak out on the front corners of the mats. I have some strips of microfiber towels positioned to combat that run-off which prevents the salt from penetrating my carpets. The mats and the microfiber needed a good clean.
Using my long blue bucket as a catch basin, I spray the mats down with warm water. This results in a bucket of very dirty water. Next, I spray the mats with a couple squirts of Adam's Rubber Mat & Liner Cleaner. This is a highly effective spray liquid that, in combination with a green medium-bristle brush, made quick work of the leftover residue and buildup. A final rinse in the blue bucket and the mats are hung to dry on my "mat wall".
I have met a lot of guys through the garage and Audi worlds and while everyone has their own unique personality and story, everyone I have come to know demonstrates a high degree of attention to detail. This garage story is no exception. Located approximately 40 km southwest of Chicago, this Orland Park triple garage demonstrates how a well organized and executed garage can enhance life in the 'burbs, and support the activities that come with raising three active kids. My thanks to this garage owner for allowing me to share his garage story with my audience and for approaching my questions with such attention to detail.
My wife and I purchased our home in Orland Park, IL, USA in 2006. It was a spec house that was already built, but never occupied, so we got to start from scratch, but that also meant that there were certain things about the garage that I couldn’t build in, like I might have wanted to.
The garage is a 3 bay and is attached to the house. Unfortunately, it did not have a floor drain or a water run, so I’ve had to make do without those things, since I didn’t think to address these needs before I finished it. I’ve outfitted the back wall and one side wall with SlatWall that I purchased from Menard’s in a slate gray color. This has proved to be durable and quite versatile over the last 10+ years. In the time since, various modular wall storage slats from Gladiator and others have become popular, but these were not widely available when I finished mine, so I went with the melamine slatwall. No big regrets here.
Since my house serves my wife and I and our 3 children, as well as various extended family at various points, we knew that having a lot of storage in the garage was key. My dad and I installed 6 Gladiator wall cabinets across the back wall, in conjunction with a workbench, with two tool carts that slot into it. I then got two large cabinets and another tool cart that I’ve fashioned into an island of sorts to block up the space, as we only use 2 of the bays for das autos.
Lately, I've been obsessed with watching Retro Reviews on Motorweek. It is like traveling back in time to when all I did was read Motor Trend, Road & Track and Car and Driver magazines. Here are some incredible reviews of classic Audis:
1983 Audi Quattro
"It's from West Germany" - amazing. Only 500 of these made their way to the US. I've never seen one in the flesh. The 2.1L 5-cylinder put out 156 horsepower and they called it exotic! My 1986 Dodge Omni GLH Turbo had 146 horsepower! Somehow, I can't see my GLH garnering almost $50K at auction like this Quattro.
1993 Audi 100CS Quattro
The dog of a 2.8L V6 propelled it to 60 mph in 12.7 seconds, but it looks so good through the cones. I'd love to have a mint version of this sweet wagon. I love the supple white interior on this test model and the body design is just superb with the broad taillights across the back. I find it funny that Motorweek chose the Range Rover County LWB as a comparison vehicle. There must not have been many AWD wagons on the market back in the early-90's.
Back in junior high school, I had a buddy whose dad loved European cars. This was in the late-80's when most dads in the neighborhood were rocking big American luxury sedans. The first real experience I had with Audis was when his dad traded in his Volvo for an Audi 5000 CD Quattro. I lost my favorite car magazine to a bet because I didn't believe him when he told me his dad's car had a 5-cylinder engine. I thought all 4-door sedans had high displacement V8's, like any red-blooded Canadian kid in the 80's thought.
Recently, I stumbled upon this MotorWeek Retro Review of the quirky and awkward Audi V8 Quattro. I was curious why it wasn't dubbed a "5000" model. I enjoyed this retro review and it got me thinking more about the history of the Audi 5000/100 model.
At the beginning of the piece, Jon mentions that Audi is back on track after, "Years of negative publicity". This comment piqued my interest. I don't have any first-hand memories of dark times regarding Audis, but after some digging I quickly learned that, starting in the early-80's, the company became shrouded in controversy involving claims of unintended acceleration linked to a number of injury accidents. It's still not quite exactly clear what caused these incidents, or to what extent Audi was libel, but from what I have read it seems there was nothing actually wrong with the Audi 5000. That didn't stop CBS's 60 Minutes from airing a damning episode which devastated the company's North American sales numbers. It later became known that 60 Minutes falsely demonstrated the unintentional acceleration by having some "expert" pump air into the transmission. This, and a pile of class-action lawsuits, was enough to cause sales numbers to plummet from 75,000 units in 1984 to 12,000 in 1991. I'm still reading about this scandal, but here's a pretty decent summary of the story. One commenter on the Reddit forum claims the phrase, "I'm Audi 5000" meaning "I'm outta here", stems from this controversy.
Do you remember anything about this period of Audi's history? If so, leave a comment below.
I am excited to share this charming garage from Reykjavik, Iceland. Brynjar Hartharson is a mechanic who works primarily on GM cars. He has created an impeccable detailing environment he uses to care for his cars and the cars of others. I have been a fan of his space since I first caught wind of it on his Instagram. It was instantly apparent that Brynjar and I have similar tastes in many regards. Like me, he is an avid hobbyist detailer, obsessively pampers his German car, and prides himself in maintaining a very neat and organized workspace. I am thankful he agreed to answer my questions about his garage story and I was extremely flattered he mentioned my garage as one of his design inspirations. I am confident you will be as impressed with his space as I am. So, off we go to Iceland!
I have always been passionate about cars, dreaming of one day buying my own house with a garage. After I stumbled upon The Garage Journal in 2011, I spent a lot of time looking at garage projects and getting inspiration for my own in the future, I had designed the basic layout and look in my mind long before I had a garage.