The summer car show/meet season is in full swing nationwide. So, to keep up the tradition established by my automobile enthusiast predecessors, I am taking my white 2008 Volkswagen Passat wagon to various car shows in Wisconsin.
I’m displaying my pride and joy and making new friends along the way.
My biggest headache each year is to figure out how to make my wagon stand out from other entries in an auto show. Sure,washing the car is a good start, but over the years, I have learned that having a clean car is not always enough to impress my fellow automobile enthusiasts.
The next step is to detail the vehicle. Again, I am dumbfounded because there is no one right way of doing this. So, the two questions that keep popping up in my mind are “where do I start” and “what should I use to get the best possible result?”
And the more people I asked, the more answers I got.
Then, while I was doing some online surfing, I came across the new premium car care kit from Barrett-Jackson. Yes, this is the same Barrett-Jackson that sells all of our dream cars but could they make my Volkswagen shine as brilliantly as the cars that cross their auction block?
After a few days of waiting, the delivery man dropped off three packages in front of my garage. After opening all three boxes, I realized that I had enough materials to start my own mini detailing shop in my garage.
I ordered: wheel cleaner, glass cleaner, rapid detailer, interior protectant, leather cleaner/conditioner, tire shine, liquid wax, wash and wax, scratch and swirl remover, and chrome and metal polish.
Even though I had the complete Barrett-Jackson kit, I decided to use wheel cleaner, glass cleaner, interior protectant, tire shine, leather cleaner/conditioner, and wash and wax on my Volkswagen.
Wash and Wax
The first step in any automotive detailing process is the wash and wax. This step removes all the dirt and small debris from the paint and results in a smooth, clean finish.
Compared to other wash and wax products I had used previously, the Barrett-Jackson wash and wax was more powerful and concentrated. After giving my wagon a complete wash, the paint finish was extremely smooth and the color shined brighter than it ever did before.
I was already impressed with the results. The shine was so beautiful, I didn’t even feel the need to use the liquid wax.
Over the years, I have heard many people say “all glass cleaners are the same.”
However, all glass cleaners are not the same. Depending on their formula, some make the windshield and other glass panels nearly invisible, while others leave a clear streak or thin hazy film.
My experience with the Barrett-Jackson glass cleaner was a bit mixed. The bottle claimed: “the glass cleaner leaves no streak marks and dries without any powdery residue.”
After my first application, the glass cleaner didn’t leave any streaks or powdery residue, but there was a thin hazy film across the windshield.
I think the cold temperature was the culprit here because when I reapplied the cleaner later in the day, it resulted in a near invisible windshield.
Overall, the Barrett-Jackson glass cleaner did its job. To get a near invisible glass result, remove any dirt or water spots from the glass, apply the cleaner in a shaded area, and thoroughly wipe the windshield with a microfiber towel.
Leather Cleaner/Conditioner & Interior Protectant
Cars equipped with leather interior face the same issues that humans deal with. If the interior of the vehicle is not protected from the sun’s damaging UV rays, the leather can wrinkle, discolor, and even prematurely deteriorate.
The Barrett-Jackson leather cleaner/conditioner protects the interior of the vehicle by shampooing and cleaning the leather. This results in a smooth, supple, and soft to the touch leather. This, with the interior protectant, will keep the inside of your car looking as beautiful as the outside. My experience with the leather cleaner/conditioner and interior protectant was very positive. After using these products just once, the interior of my Passat looked like it just came out of the factory.
Additionally, the beige leather looked healthier, richer, and brighter than it did before.
Wheel Cleaner & Tire Shine
The rims and tires easily get dirty and it can be time consuming to keep them clean.
However, one thing is for sure: the more you drive, the dirtier they get.
The only way to keep these items clean is by periodically washing the rims and shining the tires. The wheel cleaner is water based, so if the rims on your vehicle are powder coated like mine, then the cleaner will not damage the finish of your wheels.
The Barrett-Jackson tire shine works beautifully and results in a deep “wet look.” It also does a good job of removing the brake dust.
My faded black walls looked brand new after just one application of the tire shine. Overall, my experience with the Barrett-Jackson wheel cleaner and tire shine was really positive. I would recommend it to anyone who loves their wheels and tires as much as I do.
The Barrett-Jackson wheel cleaner and tire shine are environmentally friendly and bio degradable.
Chrome & Metal Polish
Finally, we are at the end of the washing and detailing process of my Passat. Now we just have to take care of the chrome and brushed aluminum trims on the car. For many, cleaning the chrome is a bit over the top, but for an automobile enthusiast like me, cleaning the chrome and aluminum trim is the icing on the cake.
After washing and drying my wagon, I noticed small water spots and swirl marks on the chrome molding, on the side of the car, and front grille. To remove these “imperfections,” I applied the Barrett-Jackson chrome and metal polish and within seconds, the water spots and swirl marks were gone.
Overall, I was satisfied with the end result of my chrome and brushed aluminum trim pieces. I would recommend this to anyone who has a lot of chrome or metal bits on their vehicle.
So, was I able to achieve the same results on my wagon as the cars that cross the Barrett-Jackson auction block?
Well, yes and no.
In order to achieve the professional results of the cars that cross the auction floor, one needs to spend a lot more time with the detailing process than what I did. I love my wagon, but unfortunately, keeping her in the same league as those exotics is a tall order for me.
So, to the “yes” part of the answer: after the two and a half hour process of cleaning, protecting, and detailing my car, I was really impressed with the end result. I am sure people who do detailing for a profession will definitely achieve similar results to the those at the Barrett-Jackson auctions.
I highly recommend the Barrett-Jackson premium car care kit.
Available at Wal-Mart, Pep Boys, Menard’s, Benny’s, Amazon.com, and Home Depot.
*The rating scale of Automoblog is based 1-5 with 5 being the best.