Mercedes SLK World banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been working my way around this car that we bought in February this year. It had been put through an automatic car wash many times and the previous owner smoked (missed that point as of course the roof had been down before we looked at it). There wasn't really anything wrong with it that I figured I could just polish, clean or replace some small parts to make it as close to a new car as I can.

At least the wheels had been refurbished, so they only needed a clean and seal, plus the wheel arches properly cleaned up. I'll come back to the brake calipers and disc hubs at some point to tidy them up a bit, though they aren't too bad, but the rest shows them up a bit now...

I've deep cleaned the interior mulitple times to try to get rid of the cigarette smoke smell, then I've treated it (twice) with a product called 'Airvidox' which creates Chlorine dioxide gas which is left in the car for at least 4 hours, then recirculated through the air con to clean that. Basically it kills any bacteria which make the smells, so leaves the car smelling 'neutral' rather than trying to mask the smell with another one. It does smell like a swiming pool for a few days after, but being a convertible, it's easier to air that smell away by droping the roof down.

This was the first time I used the Airvidox,, about 10 minutes after I'd set the 'pot' up in the car:



As the SLK was new to us I didn't realise that the recirculate function is cancelled when the ignition is turned off (or after 10 minutes as I later found out), so when I turned the car on after 4 hours the aircon blew the gas straight out of the car rather than recirculating round the air con. I recently repeated this treatment and was careful to set the recirculate function this time, so the air con has now had a full treatment: I left the 'pot' in the car for 24 hours this time as well since we didn't need to drive it for a few days anyway.
 

·
Administrator - Founding Member
Joined
·
92,846 Posts
Neat! Reminds me of this episode

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
After the Airvidox treatment I had to wait for some drier weather to start on the outside of the car. I took off the wheels and cleaned them throughly and treated them with some Poorboys wheel sealant, plus a little bit of some matte finish 'ArmourAll' on the tyres.

I used some Bilt Hamber 'Korosol' to remove the brake dust from the wheels first:


Then the sealant:


Then I gave the wheel arches a good clean with a diluted solution of Bilt Hamber 'Surfex' (I also did the engine bay at the same time, but I'll come back to that in a later post):


Then back on the car:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I had intended to take some 50/50 shots to show the improvement in the finish, but I think my neighbours already think I'm losing the plot polishing an already shiney car I have only this before shot of the boot lid showing the state of the swirls:



That is pretty much how the whole car looked, plus a number of scuffs and light scratches caused by fingernails/cats/bushes, that sort of thing. I have wet sanded the worst of them out as far as I dare, though in a few places I want to go back and give it another polish as I can still see some sanding marks and there are some other scratches that I think I can improve on the boot lid and bonnet.

This sequence of photos was actually the result of our window cleaner's apprentice who managed to drag his (grit covered) hose across the front wing, windscreen pillar and bonnet. At first I was sure that some areas would need re-spraying, but I didn't want to be at the mercy of a cheap insurance job, so I decided to have a go at wet sanding the worst area; the windscreen pillar:


Then wet sanded with P1000/P2000/P2500. Scratches gone, but no gloss:


After a quick DA polish to bring back up the shine and the windowcleaner was off the hook (though he did agree to do that clean and the next two visits for free):


Of course once I'd done this, my wife (it's her car really...) said that the rest needs doing. :grin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Over a period of weeks I've worked my way around the car, starting with the bonnet and front wings (fenders?) then panel by panel. As the paint is so hard I changed polish to a heavier cut 'Meguairs' DA correction compound using a microfibre pad. This really helped cut the swirls and marks, which I then refined with light grades of polish and softer pads (Menzerna FG500 and their 'finishing' polish). Topped off with at least two coats of Bilt Hamber Double Speed Wax (DSW), as it is supposed to be very long lasting and it seems to be easy to apply/buff off...not expensive either.

This was the front end after the first attempt with Menzerna polish, though I will get another microfibre pad (I've worn it out :grin:) and have a go over it with the Meguiars correction compound at some point to remove some marks that I can still see in bright sunlight:



In this shot I'd gone over the front wing (fender?) and whole side of the car with the DA correction compound and finer grades of polish before topping it off with DSW. I think the paint has more of a 'wet' look compared to the early photo, so this is my aim for the whole car from this point on...


There were a lot of fingernail scratches around the boot lid under the numberplate, so I took this off and gave it all a good clean and then DA polished it, so they are all gone now:



Further back view, which highlights a bit of 'orange peal' finish on the boot lid and back bumper, which I may try to wet sand out at some point as this area is well away from any potential stone chips:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Carrying on with the panels, so just more of the same...some nice reflection shots:





Just to show that the passenger side didn't get left out. :grin:



Yesterday I polished the roof panel in 3 stages, interupted with the rain, but afterwards I took some beading shots of the roof panel and also the bonnet which was waxed a few weeks ago now and has been washed 2-3 times since:



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Today I treated the roof seals to more Gummi Pfedge after the polishing session yesterday, so now all the rubber is nicely satin black. Of course I ended up going over the car with quick detailing spray and dropping the roof down. Seems a shame to hide it in the boot, but it does look shiney. :grin:



As previously mentioned I had cleaned the engine bay using dilute BH Surfex, though to be fair it wasn't that dirty anyway, so I guess the dealer had cleaned it as part of the prep. Today I went over the paintwork with quick detailer and used some ArmourAll on the black plastic to finish it off. I did all of the scuttle area and wipers too, I think it's come out well:





I've just got the brake calipers/hubs to clean and paint. The boot lid and bonnet to have another polish with the microfibre pad/compound and try to sort out some scratches/chips on the metal centre console. I'll come back to this thread with some photos from those steps, though might not be a while due to a holiday (in the SLK of course).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
This is hard to photograph, but the metal centre console has lots of small chips/scratches which I guess were caused by rings/jewelry of some sort. I'm hoping that I can remove the panel, then sand in line with the 'grain' to reduce them as I've tried finding a good used one and no joy...though it would be cheaper if the sanding works out. I just don't know if the 'metal' is just a thin 'veneer' or whether it is a few mm thick which would allow me to sand out the chips.



That apart from a small chip on the bottom spoke of the steering wheel/some leather wear on the steering wheel rim and the interior (now smoke smell free) is pretty much up to scratch now, with just a thorough cleaning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Had an enjoyable roof down drive this evening with it all gleaming from my detailing work and the interior smelling fresh after the recent treatment and more cleaning. I was making the most of the weather as we're expecting rain for the start of our 'tour' later this week. :frown: I didn't have a 'leggy blonde' in the passenger seat, just a 'white blonde' Fender Telecaster (for those who know what I'm talking about) as I go to a college 'Rock school' on a Tuesday night.

I also got round to buying a new tyre pressure gauge as I've given up trying to find my old one...my company car is a C Class, so it tells me the tyre pressures, but this SLK just has a simple 'OK' button for the runflat pressure once they are set to the correct pressure.

Turns out the rears were 50PSI instead of 38PSI and the fronts were unbalanced at something like 40 & 35PSI instead of 33PSI. Such a simple thing to adjust, but the car feels so much better now. Turns out the ride is much better than my C Class (AMG line spec with 18" runflat tyres) and of course those expensive tyres should wear more evenly now. I should have done it sooner, but my C Class has made me lazy with the dash display. :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Tom...no pictures of the Telecaster today, but I'll try to remember to take one next time I go to college. :smile:

I got back early today and as it was a nice afternoon I started doing a few small jobs I'd been meaning to go back to...just polishing the exhaust tips and having a better clean/polish around the front spoiler/fog lights, grille(s), etc. Of course once that was done I spotted some scratches in the NS front wing that were highlighted by the bright sunshine, so I had another go at that wing.

This time I used a hard foam 3" spot pad and the Meguairs DA compound, just where the marks were. It meant I could take my time and keep going over and over the marks and using the sunlight to help me spot if they were diminishing. Took a few goes and buffing off the polish in between to check, but after another all over polish with a finer grade on a softer 5" pad and a coat of DSW I got a really good result: All the little marks/scratches gone, even in bright sunlight and only two deeper marks that are barely visible (if you know where to look). I also did a small patch on the boot lid as there are some nasty scratches on the driver's side; again much improved, though I might have another go after our 'tour'.

This is a close up using the flash on my phone camera (it almost looks like the metallic red in this shot).
Remember how swirly the paint looked on my boot lid shot further back and compare it to this:



Similar shot with the flash off:


Further back:


Of course it is supposed to rain all day tomorrow, so all my polishing will be hidden under droplets and road dirt no doubt: I just wanted it to look it's best for our tour visiting some family (one is a big Mercedes fan and I know he will love to see it and hopefully have a ride in it with the roof down).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts
Made a note of the Airvidox. Got my old 2012 350 back from MB service once and it smelled like a French elevator. Sickening sweet bubble gum-like. Cleaned every surface except carpets, didn't help. Took over a year to go away. Only relief was to blow the hatch. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,101 Posts
Made a note of the Airvidox. Got my old 2012 350 back from MB service once and it smelled like a French elevator. Sickening sweet bubble gum-like. Cleaned every surface except carpets, didn't help. Took over a year to go away. Only relief was to blow the hatch. Thanks!
French elevator, blow the hatch. :biglaugh::biglaugh::biglaugh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the kind comments. We've just got back from a 5 day visit to family in the North of England, had chance to get the roof down once we got there and some nice weather. Of course it rained driving up there, so was dirty by the time we'd arrived, but further rain rinsed it off due to the wax coat. :grin:

I was impressed at the long distance comfort and even at motorway speeds we got over 36mpg.

Just hoping it's dry tomorrow as I have the day off and I'd like to give it a wash. :grin:
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top