BMW M235i by High Definition Detail

BMW, BMW M235i, High Definition Detail

This BMW M235i was the winner of a Piston Heads competition and benefitted from a deep clean by Shane Webster of Barnsley based High Definition Detail.

The car arrived covered in road grime and embedded with all sorts of contaminants ranging from dead insects to tar spots. The first step was to walk around the car

to check for any existing damage or previous repairs which would need extra caution. Being young and driven with care, the BMW was in pretty good nick.

BMW, BMW M235i, High Definition Detail

The first stage was the pre-wash to remove loose dirt, and soften the more stubborn detritus to make it easier and safer to remove during the main wash.

Shane used Angelwax Fast Foam as his pre-wash of choice - it created a thick foam which dwelled nicely and exhibited some genuine cleaning abilities.

A detailing brush was used around the window rubbers, panel shuts, trim lines, and emblems to loosen the dirt hiding in all the crevices - it pays dividends later.

BMW, BMW M235i, High Definition Detail

Once the pre-wash had been rinsed Shane started on the wheels and arches - these are normally the dirtiest part of a car so should be tackled early on.

TFR was used to get the inner arches clean, while a combination of non-acidic wheel cleaner and Ferrous Dueller - a fallout remover - was used on the rims.

Though you can't normally see under the arches unless there has been a bit of an accident, professionals always clean them as part of good practice.

BMW, BMW M235i, High Definition Detail

Above you can see the Ferrous Dueller reacting with the iron deposits on the wheels and turning purple. Most of the deposits are from the brake pads.

A specialised wheel brush is used to get between the spokes. These wheels are painted and lacquered so caution is still needed to avoid causing damage.

Accurate and thorough cleaning takes time and patience, and the results below show that it was all worth the effort - those calipers are positively glossy.

BMW, BMW M235i, High Definition Detail
BMW, BMW M235i, High Definition Detail

After the wheels, it is time for the main wash. This time Shane selected SiMPLY Shampoo by Autoperfekt - a quality, concentrated automotive shampoo.

The three bucket method was employed - one for the wash, one for rinse, and one for wheels - all of which contained grit guards for that extra bit of protection.

Some detailers use microfibre noodle mitts, but the majority like to use real wool pads like this one - which draw dirt and grit away from the paint.


A lot the damage is done to cars during the drying phase, so Shane is extra careful and uses three vast, super absorbent drying towels on this relatively small car.

Decontamination was next, removing the deeply ingrained contaminants. A Clay pad used with Angelwax Uber-Lube was employed first to minimize marring.

Fallout remover was next, and this car had a lot of contaminants as you can see from the bleeding purple marks on the paint work.

BMW, BMW M235i, High Definition Detail

Hand polishing was next, using Wolfgang Total Swirl remover applied by a foam pad. It is a very light abrasive which predominantly enhances gloss.

Though it will be done again as a final touch, both surfaces of the glass was cleaned, which also removes any residue after claying and polish splatter.

Machine polishing would improve the paint further but this would have added days to the service. The improvement by hand was very good. Now for protection.

BMW, BMW M235i, High Definition Detail

Shane used Siramik SCMist - a spray sealant - as the first layer of protection. The product will outlast most waxes using polymer technology.

The ultimate gloss comes from an organic wax, and this was no exception. Shane used his own HDD development wax on the car.

With wax the key is to apply as little as possible, but to be consistent, ensuring nowhere is missed. Below is the finished result - with some great reflections.

BMW, BMW M235i, High Definition Detail