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Audi A3 1.9 Tdi

Detailed: 1st May 2006

Audi A3Well the bank holiday sun came out, and it finally gave me a chance to fully detail Sarah's (the better half's) Audi A3. This car is used daily and has covered 80,000 miles in the 5 years it's been on the road and never garaged. The guy we bought it off must have also driven through a bush with it as it was covered in hairline and some deeper scratches.

It came from a friend so we knew how well mechanically it had been maintained and importantly that all the paint was the original. He does put his cars through the car wash as well which wouldn't have helped, but i knew under all the muck and grime, marring and scratches there was some beautiful Audi paintwork bursting to be brought back to life.

Here are the products we used:


Sonus Gloss Shampoo
Microfibre wash sponge


Sonus Black Detailing Clay
Sonus Glyde Clay Lubricant


Machine Polished using Porter Cable
Taped with 3434 masking tape
Sonus SFX-1 Restore Polish - Yellow SFX-1 Pad
Sonus SFX-2 Enhance Polish - White SFX-2 Pad
Sonus SFX-3 Final Finish Polish - Blue SFX- 3 Pad


Pinnacle Signature Series II Wax
Sonus Detailing Spritz
Tyres and Black trim Sonus Tyre and Bumper gel

dirty front

You can see in the above picture, down the side some of the scuff marks scratches and general mess.

Someone nabbed the last set of wheels so these are pretty new and as such in good condition.

The first thing was to give her a wash down, for this I used Sonus Gloss shampoo, a microfibre sponge and the patented two bucket method. This alone made the car look a whole lot better, but really showed up the marks.

The car was absolutley covered in scratches, embedded dirt and general light hazing, really detracting from the shine. One example of the sort of scratches is highlighted in the following picture, there must be twenty or more scratches similar to this (although not as large) on the car.  Even though the clear coat is reflective, you can see how hazed the paint is, and how flat the finish.

The next job was to remove 5 years of embedded contaminants from the paintwork. For this I used Sonus Black Detailing Clay, this is a fine clay and actually when shaped becomes a lighter grey which is nice as it is always good to see what's coming off. The clay was lubricated with Sonus Glyde. The photo below shows the amount that can off from literally one pass (it would help if I learnt how to focus the camera)

The next job was to mask the whole car up with 3M 3434 Blue automotive masking tape. I then connected up the Porter Cable, using a yellow SFX-1 Yellow Restore Pad and loaded it with SFX-1 Restore polish. The great thing about these polishes and pads is they are designed to work together. I dialled in speed 3 to spread the polish before turning up to 5 and finally 6 lifting off the pressure at the end. I then wiped down the panel using a Sonus polishing towel, the tight weave made it an absolute breeze to remove the residue from the polish.

I was blown away with just how good a job the Sonus SFX-1 Restore polish alone was doing. Sure the deeper scratches were still there but significantly improved, with finer scratches being totally removed. This wasn't what really stood out for me though, it was just how wet and three dimensional the paint looked even before any other steps were undertaken.

I tried Poorboys SSR 2.5 on a Swirl buster pad and there really wasn't much difference in the compounding ability although the Sonus definitely gave a wetter look to the paint.

Scratch, what scratch? as you can see the scratch from above was totally removed

Anyway, I then gave the car a once over with Sonus SFX-2 Enhance polish and SFX White Pad, although this made no real noticeable improvement to the remnants of the deeper scratches on the tough Audi paint it did help add depth and extra gloss to the paint. To finish my days graft, I applied Sonus SFX-3 Final Finish Polish with a Blue Sonus SFX-3 pad. This really is the icing on the cake and made the clearcoat pop and add depth to the paint that I could never have hoped for when I began.

It was unbelievable the transformation but light was fading fast so i took a couple more shots although they don't really do the finish justice. I then called it a day and hoped for some sunshine the following day.

Well you guessed it, it rained lightly overnight...which was nice, but the sun was threatening to break out. I spritzed the car down with Sonus detailing Spritz using an ultra plush polishing towel to remove the water marks and general crud left by the rain. I then went round and applied a coat of Pinnacle Souveran II, which did exactly as it says on the tin and gave the car a dripping wet transparent shimmer.

Then the magic began.....the sun came out. The moment the sun hit the car I was blown away with the finish, people talk about flakes popping but I honestly didn't realise the paint on our Audi was so metallic, it even lead Sarah to ask 'Is it meant to do that'.

And now, lots of money shots, enjoy!


Out of direct sunlight the car looks dripping wet and highly reflective. It has real three dimensional depth yet allows the flake to burst in full sun

Yep, I know what you are thinking and you are right, that is the same door that had the long scratch shown at the beginning of the write up.

All the rubber and plastics were finished off with Sonus Tyre and Bumper dressing which is now my absolute favourite dressing as it makes blacks ultra crisp and can be layered to create various levels of shine.

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