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'm excited to be featured on the second in a series of videos produced by YouTube sensation, Pan the Organizer! His "Pan & the Organizers" series features viewers touring people through their detailing themed garage spaces. I am enjoying reading through the comments left by Pan's viewers and feel very proud that people seem to dig what I have created.
The best part of being featured on Pan's channel is the amount of feedback from his viewers. I will admit to reading each and every comment and I am so impressed with the amount of positive feedback my garage has received. Here's a sampling. Click image to enlarge.
Brandon Burrell is a remarkable dude. He says he enjoys "tinkering" in his garage, but what he does is so much more than tinkering. He has created a number of amazing custom vehicles over the years and maintains a strong social media presence that allows him to showcase his passion for everything custom with thousands, perhaps millions of followers. I was humbled when Brandon mentioned my garage was part of the inspiration behind his own garage. As you will see, he has created a space that is truly special and unique, and is the perfect environment to create and play with his toys. It has been cool getting to know Brandon and I am really enjoying following along with all his amazing projects, especially his current "cRAMbury" build featuring a 2019 Ram. I am confident you will enjoy his story as much as I have.
Name: Brandon Burrell
Location: Asheville, NC
Type: 2-car attached
Dimensions: 19' x 22'
Date of construction: Late-2014
Brandon refers to his garage as a "two civic" garage because of its modest size, but lack of acreage hasn't stopped him from accomplishing some remarkable custom builds. Located in a suburban area consisting of 600 homes, this garage is currently home to Brandon's #cRAMbury build which promises to snap necks at this year's SEMA show. He enjoys tinkering on his and friends' vehicles, detailing, and displaying various automobile paraphernalia along with his extensive array of Adam's Polishes products. I am pleased that Brandon agreed to this blog feature. I haven't known him for a long time, but in our conversations I have found him to be an incredibly down-to-earth car guy with an incredible eye for detail and his "automotive portfolio" demonstrates a ridiculously high level of vision, creativity and execution.
What projects have you tackled in your garage?
I currently park my #cRAMbury build in it. I use the garage to tinker on mine and friends' custom vehicles, detail my vehicles and some others from time to time. We have built three full custom Honda Groms, a custom motorcycle trailer (with speakers, lighting, etc), a Subaru WRX that was at the 2016 and 2017 SEMA shows, a 2015 Tundra that was at the 2017 SEMA show and a custom lifted golf cart in this garage.
Like most Canadians, I have a love-hate affair with Canadian Tire. On one hand, it is so convenient to drop by the local store and browse the aisles for whatever you may need. On the other hand, they have been known to stock their shelves with products of questionable quality. Whatever the case may be, I cannot help but get nostalgic when I stroll my way past the wall of car cleaning products at my local store. I remember scouring this wall as a young lad in search of the latest, greatest product that was going to help me perfect my car's finish. In fact, it wasn't until about six or seven years ago, when my obsession began to take hold, that I began sourcing products from other stores and sites on the Internet.
That means the Canadian Tire automotive cleaning products aisle has been a part of my life for the better part of 30 years. For that, it still gets my respect.
If you take a close look at these two photos, you will see some pretty decent products for sale. And, you'll see some not-so-good ones as well.
A few weeks back, an order of Adam's products arrived on my doorstep frozen solid. I contacted the team at Adam's and they put together this care package of replacement items along with some other goodies. They do know how to treat their customers. Here's a look at what I came home to last Tuesday.
I still have to follow up with the staff at Adam's to ensure the other items that I received in my frozen order escaped physical and chemical damage. I'm assuming that they are fine since the team at Adam's didn't send replacements for those products but I will double check. At any rate, I am fortunate to have the support of Adam's behind me and I know these products will find a lot of use once I get back to my regular detailing routine.
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".
Our friend came by last weekend to photograph my garage. Heather is super talented and I am very pleased with the final results of her work. Here's a little gallery highlighting her talent and the beauty of my place!
I was expecting an Adam's order to arrive on January 24th, but FedEx lost track of the package on the 21st and didn't recover it until the other day. In that time, the weather took a drastic turn for the worse. Had this package arrived on the 24th, everything would have been fine, but the package arrived on my doorstep frozen solid. I put the various items in a warm bath to thaw them out. The All Purpose Cleaner bottle burst, but I was able to salvage 80% of the contents and use an extra bottle I had laying around. The label on the aerosol Window Cleaner was ruined due to the spillage, but it works. The worst part of all involves the Ceramic Spray Coating bottle. I thought everything was fine, but when I awoke this morning, I was shocked to discover that the entire contents of the bottle had leaked through a tiny crack and completely saturated my workbench (no pics - too dramatic!). I have contacted the team at Adam's to see what they can do to help me get my life back on track. I'm afraid that the chemical integrity of some liquids has been compromised by the freeze/thaw cycle. I'll let you know how it goes...
16 oz liquids
Aerosol Window Cleaner 19oz
Which of these products do you think have been compromised by the freeze/thaw cycle?
Last weekend, a good friend came by to snap some photographs. She is quite talented so I am very eager to see how they turned out. She sent a few teaser pics and they look great. I even convinced my family to pose for a few. My plan is to use her shots to update my website. Since I had the garage tidied up, I did a new tour video because the last tour video is a couple of years old and things have changed a bit since then.
I was fortunate to receive a care package from Adam's Canada yesterday. It was chalk full of amazing goodies. Here's some pics and I included a breakdown of the order below. I'm very excited to play with all the products, especially the Foam Gun and the Ceramic Spray. Just need this weather to warm up. Many of the liquids arrived frozen (see Car Syrup below) so I had a bit of cleaning up to do since a few of the bottles burst their seals. No big deal.
Liquids (16 oz)
Ceramic Spray Coating 9H (8 oz)
Limited Edition Red Standard Foam Gun (32 oz)
5 Gallon Detailing Bucket with Grit Guard Insert
Pro Tire Hex Grip Applicator (For Tires & Trim)
I am happy to announce an exciting partnership with Adam's Polishes. I am amassing a full arsenal of Adam's products and have already been putting them to the test. I am loving their performance so far, and I really love the way they look on display in my garage. I can see why this company has such a strong and dedicated following. The products are top notch and the marketing team really knows what it is doing in terms of cooking up excitement.
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:
I put a good twelve hours into this gorgeous FX 35. I just love these cars. I was extremely happy with the end result. Here's the video:
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 am in the process of planning out an exciting detailing project that will culminate with a Gyeon coating using their new "Syncro" system. I have no experience using products from the South Korean company, but I have only heard great things. The Syncro system is a two stage process that combines two base coats of their durable Mohs ceramic coating with a durable and flexible top coat of Skin.
I want to thank the owner of Carzilla for suggesting this coating and I look forward to applying it to the Daytona Grey paint on my SQ5. In addition to the Syncro system, Carzilla also supplied me with 1000 ml bottles of Prep, Iron and Wet Coat to ensure I enjoy optimal performance from the Mohs and Skin coatings.
It is no secret to anyone following my work that I have grown quite fond of Leno's Garage products. Recently, a sizeable shipment arrived just in time for summer. I have a number of exciting projects lined up for my summer break, and these products will play instrumental roles in all of them.
I had the opportunity to speak with Troy, the owner of Auto Obsessed in Edmonton recently. Our conversation was focused on the line up of OBSSSSD premium detailing products. I was overjoyed when a sampling of these products arrived on my doorstep a few days later. I am eagerly anticipating putting these products through the motions in the coming weeks and months.
- Paint Finish
- Leather Cleaner
- Leather Conditioner
- Auto Wash Shampoo
- Touch Up
- Wheel Cleaner
- Tire Satin Finish
Here's a little teaser video I shot starring the new OBSSSSD arrivals. I look forward to sharing my impressions of each of these products once I have had some time to experiment with them.
The team at Leno's Garage has created a discount code and I am hoping my fellow automotive and detailing enthusiast friends will use it. You will save 10% off your order by using "RADGARAGE" at checkout at www.lenosgarage.com. I want to thank the team at Jay Leno's Garage and I hope this code will drive some business their way because they have been very supportive of me and my detailing obsession.
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.
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.
The final in my 3-part "Prepping + Detailing" series is complete. I am very happy with the results. I didn't apply a coating like I had originally planned. I simply ran out of time and energy. I used Menzerna's Power Lock so that should give me good protection until I can find the time to apply my GTechniq C1 Crystal Armour. In the meantime, here's the third and final video:
It's been almost a month since my 2018 SQ5 came into my life and here is a list of ten things I really appreciate about this new generation of SQ5:
I loved the old engine with its raspy growl and supercharged ferocity off the line, but I am really coming to love the new 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 and its silky smooth responsiveness. I am enjoying watching the digital turbo boost gauge light up when I mash the accelerator, too. I have been breaking her in gently, but the little jaunts I have been able to squeeze in indicate this engine is a fine piece of mechanical engineering. I look forward to seeing it perform in the mountains in a few weeks.
The first generation SQ5 was weak in the tech department. The second generation does a nice job of catching up to the competition. There were actually a few technology options I didn't select such as the collision avoidance and traffic sign recognition systems. The virtual cockpit is a sublime feature that finally brings the SQ5 to the next level in terms of cool tech. I can scroll between various speed/tach layouts and customize the side readout to audio, telephone, car systems, etc. Finally, Audi has made it possible to store your smart phone in the centre console instead of hiding it away in the glove box. There's even two USB ports in there! The addition of Apple Car Play means I can have the car read and send texts remotely. But, by far, my favourite innovation is the reminder the car gives me that my smart phone is still in the car. I can't count the number times this thoughtful features has saved me a walk back to the car.
I really like the diamond stitched leather seats in the SQ5. They are the perfect combination of sporty and sophisticated. I almost went for the red leather interior package, but I am very happy with the black leather with contrasting white stitching.
It has been just over a week since taking possession of my 2018 SQ5, and the obsession has already begun to take hold. I am infatuated with this SUV. I only have 250 km on it, but I love it more and more each time I get behind the wheel. I am very happy with my colour choice. I have polished the Daytona Grey Pearl using Jay Leno's Garage newly introduced line of polishes and I am very impressed with the quality of the finish. I have always been a fan of Audi paint, and this car is no exception. I still have some work to do in terms of coating the paint with the GTechniq system, and I am aiming at the weekend to complete that stage. After that, it will just be a matter of detailing the exterior since we have been experiencing some foul weather. I have put together two videos that demonstrate some of the processes I have been using over the past week to dial her in. Feel free to "like", "share" and comment.
Who is Rick?
I'm just a suburban dad who loves garages, Audis, and detailing so much he blogs about them.
Custom Decals YYC
Geoff Wilkings Photography
Jay Leno's Garage Advanced Vehicle Care
OBSSSSD Premium Products
RaceDeck Garage Floors
Thompson Graphics Ltd.
In addition to showcasing my own garage, I enjoy sharing other amazing garages. Here are some spaces that I have featured on my blog:
Tyson's Acura Museum
Larry's Charlotte Showroom
Chad's "Next" Makeover
Gully's Dream Garage
Orland Park Audi Oasis
Cory's Industrial Arts Studio
Brynjar's Icelandic Garage
Pat's Controlled Chaos
Greg & Nancy's Place
Brandon Burrell's Toy House