|Auto detailing in this country has many faces. You have the regular DIY fraternity who love to do everything by themselves.Among them are your serious detailers who know what they’re doing, and you have your weekend grease monkeys whose idea of detailing is a car wash with cheap car shampoo followed by a simple waxing job done the good old fashioned way, by hand. Then there are those who think they know what they’re doing. Driven by the love for their rides, none of them are fundamentally wrong but, if you are a car fanatic or merely someone who loves to keep his/her car in immaculate condition, you need to get some professional help.|
Some may argue that it’s always easier to just give their cars a new coat of paint every few years; if this is you, then this article may not be right for you and you may stop reading here. For those who understand the true value of preserving the original paintwork and finish of your car, then please, read on. During manufacturing and assembly, your car undergoes a series of complex painting processes that involve dipping the chassis into a paint bath, computer aided spray painting and clear coat applications etc to ensure the best paint adhesion and finish. Said paint will last a long time and remain corrosion free, provided the right care is taken to keep it well protected throughout its service life, which in turn assures higher residual values in the pre-owned market, while giving you the pride of ownership of a pristine example of the car you drive. In a tropical climate such as ours, keeping our cars in pristine condition requires a level of dedication best left to the perfectionists. After all, with so much going on in the daily grind of our lives, car detailing is a luxury that sadly remains low on our list of priorities but high on our wish list. Now, a car nut will tell you that he or she can’t simply drive around in a banged up, poorly maintained old jalopy as it reflects his/her image. So by heavens, what are we to do?
Sonax Malaysia, established since 2010, has been at the forefront of Auto Detailing excellence
Recently, I was invited by Mohd (Matt) Reza of Sonax Malaysia to give Sonax professional detailing a go at my car. Sonax products are manufactured in Germany since 1950 using proprietary nano/hybrid technology. Sonax manufactures products to detail every inch of your car from the inside out, including the engine bay, earning Sonax Malaysia the recognition as “The Official Authorized Detailer for Porsche Malaysia”. Every new and pre-owned Porsche that is delivered to its proud owner will have been detailed beforehand by Reza’s Sonax team of Professional Detailing Specialists. It’s been a while since I’ve had my car detailed by a professional, and a real one at that so, I agreed. Herr Reza is a keen detailing enthusiast whose love for detailing started when he was a teenager watching his father and elder brother detail their rides. I guess as the saying goes, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. Reza explained the details of the Sonax package which included pre-inspection, claying and washing, swirl mark removal (or Paint Correction), clear coat leveling, polishing, waxing, Sonax Polymer Netshield (watermark protection) and finally, the Sonax Profiline Nano Paint Protect coating technology system.
When I arrived at the new Sonax-Nanocool Center in Glenmarie*, I was immediately impressed by the setup. An inspection bay had special LED lighting to aid inspection of my car’s paintwork. Every inch of my car was put under the microscope and before long I was presented with a diagnostic report of the problem areas on my car. John, Sonax’ detailing and coating specialist, explained to me what he was about to do, and what couldn’t be done on some parts of the car where the paint had been nicked. Having satisfied me with the report, John then proceeded to the first step; paintwork claying.
Claying in essence, removes the dirt and grime that get lodged in micro pores on the clear coat surface of a car over time. Sonax has a Spray & Clay product that does what it says; spray on, clay off. One swipe with the Sonax Spray & Clay bar and you will be surprised as to just how much dirt resides on a car’s surface, dulling the paintwork. The claying process is the first of several crucial steps of any correct professional detailing job. After claying, John and his colleague proceeded to wash the car with Sonax concentrated, pH-neutral and Phosphate free “Red Energy” car shampoo. Yup you heard it right, even cars need pH-neutral shampoo as the acidic/alkaline content of cheap car shampoos damages your car’s clear coat and strips away all wax protection with prolonged use. Also, the acidic residue left behind in nooks and crannies of the car that aren’t properly rinsed off, will slowly and surely corrode the car’s clear coat and metal surfaces. Ladies and gentlemen, consider yourselves warned…
Before washing off the car, John used Sonax X-Treme Wheel Cleaner Full Effect, a powerful but safe, acid free rim cleaner (safe even for chromed rims) that quickly and effectively removes burnt in brake dust and other road impurities to clean out my weathered looking rims. The results were astonishing! Simply spray it on a dry rim, leave it to work for a few minutes, spray off and that’s it. No harsh brushing or scouring needed to bring back the factory shine on those wheels. After the car wash, John applied Sonax Rubber Protectant on the tires and what a difference it made to my faded tires! Reza explained that the Rubber Protectant was a non-glossy type, which gives the tires a long-lasting deep-sheen and fresh new look without the oily bling of an unnatural short-lived glossy shine, much like how a tire should look when new. I was impressed.
The whole process thus far was completed in just under two hours, and now the real detailing began. John and his colleague proceeded to mask the non-painted parts of my car with a high quality masking tape. With the pre-inspection report close by, the duo began the painstaking part of my car’s polishing and detailing process, which was to even out the clear coat and remove the dreaded swirl marks (a.k.a. spider webs) from the surfaces of my car. I left with a colleague for lunch, and when we returned an hour and a half later the car was already done getting polished. Reza showed me the results of the polishing job under the piercing and uncompromising beams of his LED lights in the inspection bay. Truth be told, Spiderman had left the building! In its place was a smooth, wet and deep gloss of the clear coat shining back at me, a result of using the carefully staged processes and application of Sonax’s Nano Technology Profiline Polishing Compounds which are all Silicone (filler)-Free providing a true polished finished without unnecessarily thinning the clear coat of my car.
Next up were the plastics on the outside of the car, namely the front grill, wiper stays, door trims etc. For this, he used the Sonax Profiline Plastic Restorer Gel Exterior NanoPro. This product maintains unpainted plastic surfaces by deploying nano-particles that penetrate plastics to the microscopic nano level for long-term protection, producing a deep non-glossy (matt) finish reminiscent of new plastics. Super! John even detailed the honeycomb front grill for me; even I wouldn’t bother to do that on my own. This product is great for tired looking plastics worn out by exposure to the elements, and is a no-brainer if you intend to sell your car!
Moving on, John proceeded to detail the interior of my car with Sonax Interior Cleaner, a cleaner that gently yet thoroughly removes stubborn dirt and stains from interior trim, roof linings and most if not all surfaces within the car, leaving a fresh fragrance in the process. My car has a dark interior, and even then I could see the difference. While John was cleaning the interior, his colleague proceeded to blow off any polishing compound residue left behind with a high pressured air gun, a detailing brush and a microfiber cloth. Reza even took it upon himself to clean out my wiper blades, something that no run-of-the-mill detailer would bother to do for you. That’s also another reason that I believe in Reza and his work; he is a hands-on guy who is into detailing not so much for the money but to feed his passion for perfection.
Sonax is your answer to complete and A-to-Z Auto detailing
The final wow factor came when John brought out the cotton buds, the kind normally used to clean out our ears. He used them to clean out and polish in and around the badges on my car with a dash of Sonax Extreme Polish + Wax # 3 NanoPro. I’ve had my cars detailed on numerous occasions over the years, and this is a level of service you can only find with high-end detailers. As mentioned, Reza and his team work on Porsches all the time, so it figures that if you engage his services you will get a quality level of work done on your car that would be demanded by and which would satisfy Porsche. As it was getting dark and I had an appointment, I reluctantly deferred the Sonax nano-coating treatment to another day.
*Sonax-Nanocool Center is located at Lot 9, Jalan U1/48, Seksyen U1, Temasya Industrial Park, 40150 Shah Alam.
Part 2 coming soon – Sonax Profiline Nano Paint Protect Coating – My Sonax Adventure comes full circle.
Sonax Auto detailing images
Reviewed by: Greg Yang