Started as a 2016 Audi A3 Premium Sedan powered by the reliable EA888 2.0 L Turbocharged engine with a humble 210 whp to begin with. Along with the hopes of converting the car's exterior to the more aggressive Audi RS3, and converting the car's performance to the versatile Audi S3's performance in mind. The realistic goal for this build is a reliable daily for me to take this car to long roadtrips, and have a decent power to take the occasional highway showboat to gapplebee's all while keeping the exterior clean, and minimalistic to suite my style.
The first day I got the car I immediately addressed the car's exterior paint as this car is a "new to me" car, and I did not buy this brand new. The car's paint was in decent shape with little deep scratches but several light swirl marks. Overall this was a challenge I can easily overcome with my skills as a detailer.
I went to work, started to do my initial check to pinpoint which specific parts of the car I needed to focus on. Paint Prep is essential to start any detailing journey as this will help prevent any drawbacks.
I started with my pre-foam wash, I used Sonax Actifoam Energy with this I use about a cap, and a half to fill up my 32 oz. MTM PF22 foam cannon to get rid of any debris, grime, bug splatter, and etc. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to let it's magic work removing any dealer applied wax or sealant. Using my trusty Detailer's Domain Microfiber Wash Mitt to go over the car while applying the two bucket method of clean water for rinsing, and another bucket with Sonax Car Shampoo Concentrate for going over each body panel.
Now to start my chemical decontamination process with Sonax Fallout Remover which is safe for paint I sprayed each panel a couple of times to get rid of any bonded iron particles. Again, wait it to dwell and let it do it's thing this is also a reassurance step for me if it does turn into purple it's good that I'm getting rid of bonded particles on my paint that I can't clearly see. Then rinse the car again with my pressure washer to ensure that the Sonax Fallout Remover is clear and the residue doesn't dry on my car's paint. The next step is a mechanical decontamination using a clay bar or in my case to be efficient as possible I used nanoskin clay pad. I used ONR solution as my clay lube and worked my way to each panel of the body.
Armed with my Rupes LHR15 Mk 2, Rupes LHR75E Mini, and Rupes IBrid Long Neck. There is a vast assortment of pads out there whether it is microfiber, wool, or foam but I only choose 4 pads out there as I think some are just gimmicky in a way then again this is only my personal opinion. I only use Rupes Blue Coarse Wool Pad for the best cut with a decent finish, Rupes Yellow Fine Finishing Pad to clean up what the Coarse Wool Pad can not. I have the same mindset with compound, and polish but among what I have personally tested I stick with Meguiar's M110 for cutting, Meguiar's M210 for finishing, and Sonax Perfect Finish as my one-step or for my test panel. a versatile combo that can be used for almost every paint out there.
Time for the next step the most time consuming part of the process. Where I start my multi-step paint correction to bring the car's paint to it's best potential. I always start with a test panel because the most aggressive compound is not the best way to start. A 4'x4' panel on my hood with my Rupes LHR15 Mk 2 using my test panel combo with Rupes Yellow Fine Finishing Pad, and Sonax Perfect Finish this gave me an idea on how I should proceed as I got rid of most of the micro scratches. This just gives me the idea that I need to proceed with my Rupes Coarse Wool Pad, and Meguiar's M110 combo that can cut the heavier swirl marks. I do about 3-4 vertical, and horizontal pass after that I clean my pads during intervals with my Rupes Claw Pad tool but if you have access to an air compressor that would be more ideal to get all the dust from out of the pads.
As I finished through most of the bigger panels of the car (hood, trunk, four doors, and roof). I moved on the tighter spots of the car and used my Rupes LHR75E Mini