Audi S5 Sportback - Paint Correction & Ceramic Coating | IGL Quartz+
Updated: May 25, 2021
They're many ways to detail a vehicle. However, paint corrections and ceramic coatings is a completely different level of detailing. For those who are crazy about their vehicle, this level of service restores your paint and provides years of durable protection. It's important to know exactly what goes on behind the process. The point of this entire blog post is to walk you through the stages on what we do during an entire paint correction & ceramic coating process. This should give you an idea on the work and the amount of time it takes.
Here we have a 2018 Audi S5 Sportback. This car was previously a dealer vehicle before being sold off the lot. What's mind blowing about this particular vehicle being that it's brand new, is that the paint was in terrible condition and was poorly taken care of by the dealer. This entire vehicle was filled with heavy paint swirls and surfaces scratches. After discussing to the owner on what needs to be done, the overall goal of this vehicle was to restore the paint to a near showroom finish and protect it with a ceramic paint coating.
Each vehicle always begins with a full hand wash. This involves wheels, tires, fender wells, exhaust tips, and all paint surfaces. A slightly more aggressive soap is used that's design to strip any old waxes and sealants. After the first washing stage is complete, the vehicle goes through an iron removal and clay-bar decontamination to ensure all exterior surfaces are free from any iron particles and bonded contaminants, leaving the surface smooth to touch. We then use forced air to remove any remaining water in between mirrors, emblems, and other areas. This step alone could take 2-3+ hours pending on the vehicles condition.
We now move the vehicle to a garage to prep the car for the paint correction stage. The term paint correction is removing paint defects such as light oxidation, swirls, and scratches. A two-step correction was needed in order to restore this paint back to an exceptional condition. These next photos below, you can see the condition of this paint under lighting which is nothing pretty to look at.
To give you an ideal on what a two-stage correction is, it's basically going over the entire vehicle two times with a machine polish. First, we use a heavy cut compound which is designed to go after heavy defects. This stage usually takes the longest due slower section passes and keeping the area we're correcting small. The goal here is to try various compounds and pads using the least aggressive method that works. Every vehicle is different and will require a different combination. We want to remove defects safely while also trying to preserve clear coat as much as possible also. Second stage, we use a finishing polish and finishing pad to remove any hazing due to the first stage. This step enhances the gloss & what truly brings out the high gloss mirror-like finish and clarity. It's normal for the compound stage to leave some slight haziness behind. A fine finishing polish will removes this no problem. Check out the before & after pics below.
The paint correction process alone took us 7 hours one day and another 4 hours the next day. Here's a few more pics of the finished panels to give you an idea on what the paint should look like. Majority of paint defects removed and we were able to restore this paint back to life. About 90% of defects were removed.
After completing the correction stages, forced air is used to remove all dust on the vehicle. The vehicle then gets an entire wipe down using IGL Precoat which removes all polishing oils and residue to prep the paint for coating. A clean surface is vital to ensure a proper bond to any surface before applying a coating. The owner wanted a 3-year protection on this paint. We used IGL Quartz+ which provides phenomenal results and extremely durable protection, while offering extreme gloss and insane hydrophobic properties. Each vehicle always gets two layers to ensure even coverage on all painted surfaces. First layer is the base coat to cover each and all painted surfaces. After three hours of cure time, the second layer is applied, repeating the same steps.
After we're 100% sure that the coating is completely leveled and after our final walk through, we recommend letting the vehicle sit for four hours indoors, this will allow the coating to fully cure for about 12 hours. This entire process took a total of 20 hours to complete. You can now enjoy the beautiful finish on this Audi S5.
Something to note, the ceramic coating only plays a small role during the entire process. It's the prep work that makes your vehicle look amazing, the coating is there to further enhance the gloss, offer years of protection, and makes your vehicle much easier to keep clean,
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