Audi R8 BLACKBIRD: Basic Car Wash Techniques - DRIVE CLEAN

Uploaded by drive on 09.06.2012


Welcome to the first episode of Drive Clean.
I'm Larry Kosilla from, and I'm so stoked
to be here, talking about my two favorite things-- driving
cars, and of course, cleaning cars.
Over the course of my career, I've had the honor and the
privilege of maintaining some of the most priceless pieces
of automotive history.
I can't think of a cooler job.
Now, I would imagine most of you, if not all of you, have
that one special car, that car that means the world to you
for me, it's the Audi R8 Blackbird.
We're going to talk about the tips, the tricks, and the
methods that I used to properly maintain these
special cars.
So without further ado, welcome to the first episode
of Drive Clean, right here on the Drive network.
Today I'm going to show you how to properly wash and
maintain your vehicle.
Now, we're going to go over a ton of information, so check
out for a free downloadable .PDF of all the
stuff that we're going to cover.
If you're driving your car properly and you're beating
the heck out of it, it's going to get dirty.
There's going to be bugs in the front of it and there's
going to be grime all over it.
That's great, but washing your car properly is the key to
success here.
If you do it wrong, you could actually damage your paint.
So what we're going to do is we're going to walk around the
car and inspect everything prior to washing it.
So let's get started.
Before I begin, I always walk around the car and give the
vehicle a quick visual inspection.
I do this for a couple of reasons.
First, you want to find any dings, dents, and scratches
prior to rinsing and adding soap.
The water and soap will make it more difficult to see and
address any issues the vehicle may have.
To me, it's kind of like walking the racetrack prior to
actually racing.
It helps you plan your approach and avoid surprises.
Secondly, I always take notice of the heavy soiled areas,
such as the front bumper, the rear bumper, and the lower
rocker panels behind the wheels.
I want to gauge how much dirt, grease, and grime is present,
and adjust my methods accordingly.
Now the first thing you want to do is pull your car into
the shade, a cool area.
And the reason why you want to do that is because if the
paint gets too hot, your products are going to
evaporate before you get to actually use them.
They're used as lubrication, and if that dries out, it's
going to get water spots-- it's something you
don't want to do.
So make sure it's in a cool area.
Like, today, it's relatively cold outside, so we can stay
right here and there's not going to be any problem.
The first thing over here is the three bucket system.
I know most of you have heard about two bucket system--
that's where you have soap in the grit guard and fresh water
in a grit guard.
Now I know most of you heard about that.
The third bucket over here is specifically designated for
the wheels.
All the products, all the materials, everything that I
use for the wheels, is in that bucket, because you don't want
to confuse it and use it on the paint.
Alright, so the third bucket is full of the
wheel cleaning products.
Now inside here I have my dirty spoke wheel brush.
Now, I've done one or two cars with it and look
how dirty it gets.
This gets behind the wheel to agitate everything behind the
rim and pull it out.
Now here I have my fender wall brush.
That gets in behind the wheel into the fender and knocks all
the dirt down.
Now we get into the fun stuff.
I have my caliper brushes-- you can see
it gets used a lot.
So I get in there, and I agitate the caliper to bring
all the brake dust down.
And you got the round cone brush.
You can use that.
And this is my lug nut brush.
It gets into the lug nuts and agitates everything, again,
and brings it out, because sometimes you can't get your
finger into those tiny little holes.
I have my wash mitt.
Now, this wash mitt has been used two or three times on
wheels, and as you can see, it gets dirty pretty quick.
So unlike this one, which is a brand new wash mitt, this here
is going to get dirty much quicker, but it's OK.
So use this and get in there, put your hands inside the
mitt, and get to those areas you can't
reach with those brushes.
Moving over to here, we have the foam gun, one of my
favorite tools.
It's very cheap, it's about $50, $60, and you can keep up
with the big boys who have power washers.
This is a great tool.
You just hook it up to your hose right there-- boom,
One of the things you don't want to use is a sponge.
Now, the difference between a sponge and a
wash mitt is huge.
So, a sponge right here, when you're cleaning the dirt off
the top of your car, it actually doesn't penetrate or
go inside the sponge.
So what happens is if this is the surface of your paint,
you're scratching the heck out of it with these things, so
stay away from them.
These type of sponges right here or mitts are lambswool or
sheepskin and actually gets the dirt inside.
So when you're washing it and you pick up the dirt, it goes
inside, not to lay it down and scratch the paint.
So definitely, stick to these guys right here.
Another common mistake is the soaps that we use on the car.
Now, I find the cheaply, brightly colored $5 soap that
you find in auto parts store to be a little bit too
And of course, here we have dish soap.
If you're going to use dish soap, what it does is it
actually removes all the wax from the car.
It can be useful, but it's definitely not good if you
want to keep the wax on your car in place,
so be aware of that.
So what I do is I use a product that's a very, very
safe to the exterior of the paint, and then I also use a
very specific wheel soap.
So, I have one soap for the wheel and one
soap for the paint.
We're going to do that right now.
So I've added three or four squirts of wheel soap to my
designated wheel bucket.
Then I fill it 3/4 full with hose water.
Now I'll heavily rinse down the wheels and wheel wells to
knock off most of the loose dirt.
This tool here is called the spoke wheel brush.
It gently cleans the backside of the rim without having to
remove the wheel.
Next, I use a long bristled brush to clean the calipers
and release any dirt from the hard to reach areas.
The reason why I have so much water in my bucket is to help
rinse the heavy dirt and brake dust from all my
rim cleaning tools.
Think about it-- even after only one wheel, the soap water
will turn black from brake dust.
This is exactly why I never use the same wheel bucket or
wheel tools on the paint.
This black water is filled with tiny brake dust particles
that are sharp and jagged and will totally scratch your
paint if you used during the wash process.
On most rims, the majority of the cleaning is done with my
hand inside a wash mitt.
I use it to reach between and behind the spokes.
This step should occupy the majority of your time during
the wheel cleaning process.
Next, I always follow up with my lug nut brush to get into
the cracks my fingers just can't get into.
Then, I scrub the fender walls to flush the mud
and dry dirt out.
If the rims are totally trashed, what I might do is
use a little bit of rim cleaner just to get me some
extra cleaning power.
But in this case the rims aren't that bad.
So we're going to skip it, save some time and save some
products, and move on to the next step.
The tire sidewalls must be quickly scrubbed to release
embedded road grime and to have a fresh start.
But before I move to the next wheel, it's vital to rinse all
the soap and rim cleaner off before it dries and sticks to
the rim once again.

Think of it this way-- you always start a wheel with a
rinse and end a wheel with a rinse before moving
on to the next one.

I only rinse down the paint after all four wheels have
been cleaned.
This insures water does not sit on the paint any longer
than is absolutely necessary.
This is how water spots can occur.

It's also important to rinse down the paint in a cool,
shaded area or out of direct sunlight.
Work from top to bottom, and give the undercarriage a quick
rinse while you're down there.

Now, I'm foaming the paint with a tool that can be used
with any regular garden hose.
I'm doing this to continue removing loose dirt in
preparation for my wash mitt foam gun technique.
At first, I allow the foam to grab the dirt and pull it away
from the surface of the clear coat before I ever use the
wash mitt
Now if the car has been completely foamed, I use a
clean wash mitt and the two bucket method to safely remove
any remaining dirt.
This technique is the safest and least aggressive way to
remove dirt from the surface of your paint.
The technique is pretty simple.
You shoot the foam gun into the wash mitt as it glides
over the surface of the paint.
The foam is providing lubrication between the clear
coat and the wash mitt and drastically reduces fine
scratches that commonly occur during the wash process.
After every few strokes, I rinse the wash mitt in clean
water to release dirt that is trapped in the mitt's fiber.
Then, repeat the process until the entire surface is cleaned.

Much the same as the wheels, I start the paint washing
process with a rinse, and end the paint washing
process with a rinse.
Notice that the hose is set on wide shot or shower mode.
There's no need to use a hard stream of water here because
all the dirt should be gone by now.
The way I see it is paint is like skin.
It has pores like skin, it breathes like skin, and it
needs to be maintained, just like skin.
Most people know that washing your car improperly can cause
scratches, but what I've discovered is that drying your
car improperly can be just as bad.
When I'm drying a car, I like to use a much different and
safer method I call hydrating your paint.
The process is actually pretty simple.
For this, I use a clean, damp microfiber towel folded into
fours with two quick squirts of Hydrate.
This liquid works with the surface water to add a layer
of lubrication in between the clear coat and the microfiber
towel, making it 10 times safer than
conventional drying tools.
For example, it's not uncommon to miss a small section of
dust and dirt during the wash process.
It happens all the time.
But if this does happen, the microfiber towel will be there
to safely pick up the dirt without causing scratches.
This trick alone will save your paint from the common
wash and dry swirls that slowly ruin your shine.

There's nothing worse than driving away from a car wash
and seeing water pour your mirrors, your lights, your
wheels, and your rear bumper.
It causes water spots and drip marks and
it's just super annoying.
So if you have access to compressed air it can be
really helpful, but you need to remember a
few important points.
First, always check the air pressure before
using it on your car.
Secondly, dial the pressure at the tank for the lowest
effective rate to avoid paint and badge removal.
Lastly, hold the gun about eight inches away and slowly
move in as more pressure is needed.
This way you will avoid any dangers of
using compressed air.
Now, If you don't have a compressor, that's no problem.
Once you've removed most of the water, get in your car and
go for a quick spin around the block to flush out the
majority of the water.
But remember, your tires are cold and wet, so go easy.
Afterwards, just come back and finish up with
a clean, dry towel.
Applying tire shine adds depth and contrast to the overall
look of your car.
Now, I do believe that some cars simply look better
without it, but in this case, the R8 looks amazing with a
slight shine.
Tire shine is commonly found in two different
forms, liquid and gel.
I prefer the gel because it's much stickier, longer lasting,
and more importantly, it's a safe, water-based product that
won't dry out your rubber.
Simply squirt it onto a foam applicator pad and massage it
into the tire.
Wipe down any rim smudges and double check your work prior
to hitting the road.
All right, guys, we finished the Sunday basic wash.
If you want all the information, visit
and download your free .PDF to figure out all the steps
involved to make this car look beautiful.
But before I let you go, I want to show you some of the
coolest features the R8 Blackbird has to offer.
The R8 Blackbird is completely insane.
It's equipped with over $70,000 worth
of electronic equipment.
We have four GPS units, a satellite tracking device, and
of course, what car doesn't need Wi-Fi internet?
There's an assortment of lights, sirens, foghorns, and
of course, laser jammers, laser emitters, and the always
necessarily brake cutoff switch.
However, one of my favorite things
is the exhaust silencer.
If you're going through town you need to be quiet, that's
the button you push right there for
Knight Rider stealth.
Nobody hears you coming.
Now the one thing that's on all the forums is the IWG, and
that stands for the infrasonic wave generator.
Now that's this button right here.
Now if I push that and your in front of me, I can't confirm
nor deny what it does, but I can tell you this-- it's
pretty cool.
Well, that's it for me.
The only thing left to do is to drive the
hell out of this car.