Polished Bliss: BMW M3 CSL


Professional Detailer
Well this was an early start for me on Wednesday morning (5am to be exact) as i travelled just south of Glasgow to do a full Zymol detail on this M3 CSL:

When i arrived it was evident that it had been a while since its last wash as the car was pretty grubby and i'm pretty certain that it had seen a track day or two as it was covered in tar & rubber, one of the worst cases i've seen for a while...

Anyways, onto the wash process:

A safe de-greaser was applied to the door shuts/fuel cap/arches & tyres before the car was foamed with an APC through the foam gun:

This was left to dwell for 10 mins as i filled my 2 buckets. I then rinsed the car at high pressure to try and get off as much of the dirt and grime that was bonded to the paint & wheels.

As i was washing the car i could instantly feel the paint was mega rough through the mitt, mostly down to tree sap and tar, so once it was washed i soaked the car with a tar and glue remover and let it do its job:

This was then wiped clean with a Mf and i then clayed the car with Zymol Lehm Clay & lube, followed by a final rinse and dried with a waffle weave towel.

Next up were the wheels, they were cleaned firstly with a non acidic tyre and wheel gel but this didnt really shift the more stubborn dirt so i moved on to an acidic cleaner cut 4:1 (water:product) and agitated with an MF mitt and wheel brush. Lastly they were sprayed with tar and glue remover to remove the big tar spots remaining.

wheels before:

wheels after:

Wash/clay/wheels process total work time: 3 hours

Once the car was inside i could clearly see rotary holograms all over, this was more than likely from the bodyshop as when i took paint thickness readings there were several areas that had received paintwork - these areas measure from 150 - 360 microns. The rest of the car measured anything from 78-150 microns, the bumpers were mega thin, ranging from 35-60 microns - i would have to decide on what to do with these later on....

The carbon roof measured around the 80 microns mark.

I tried for nearly 20 mins to capture the holograms on camera but due to the colour of the car it was nearly impossible so i gave up, the paintwork itself wasnt very swirly at all, it was more the holograms that were going to be the biggest problem as some were quite deep.

After a test patch i settled for the usual compound @1800rpm's on a polishing pad - this removed all defects completely at the first attempt - happy days :)

When it came to the bumpers i tried Zymol HD cleanse with the PC & a polishing pad twice and this practically filled everything, just deep random scratches remaining - although it annoyed me knowing the defects were still there really, i wasnt prepared to remove paint from what were already very thin panels on a very expensive car, the owner was also more than happy with this :)

The rest of the car was then HD cleansed and followed up with Zymol Vintage.

While the wax was curing i started work on the interior, which was a bit grubby too:

First off, i gave the car a thorough hoover (including the roof lining) after i'd dusted out all the crevices/vents etc. All plastics/vinyl were then wiped down with APC & I HD Cleansed the glass.

There was also a small coffee stain on the drivers seat that needed removing:

I lightly sprayed the alcantara with apc and gently rubbed with a mf cloth before extracting with the wet and dry machine.


The plastics etc were then treated to Zymol Vinyl, the rubbers around the doors were given Zymol Seal, door shuts were polished and sealed with an all in one product and i used HD Cleanse on the carbon fibre parts.

The matts werent shampoo'd as the owner has new ones along with a new steering wheel to go in next week so he wasnt fussed :)


The arches and tyres were dressed and the wheels were sealed. The exhaust tips were left as they were as after doing a test patch i was pretty convinced they wouldnt polish up completely and would end up looking worse :)

The car was given a final wipe down with Field Glaze and then rolled outside into the sun for the after pics:



one of my favourite cars! excellent detail - cant believe the owner let the car get in such a state!


Sir Scouser Benitez
Clark can you give me some example products of the below list please:

'HD Cleansed the glass'


'non acidic tyre and wheel gel'

'an acidic cleaner cut 4:1 (water product)'

'Field Glaze'

I think adding some of these products to my collection would be great!!!

And yes.......excellent detail....top draw.....really makes me want to run outside and blitz my car....right now!!!

Cheers M8


Registered User
Is that tobacco/ash in those pics? Who the heck still smokes inside their car like that?

Call me OCD, I smoke but no-one smokes inside my car including me. If I'm driving for so long I need a cigarette, then it's time to stop for a break anyway.


Polished Bliss
Product choice through the Auto-Brite lances is irrelevant; all APCs, shampoos and degreasers foam like mad when applied using them. In the above case, Clark used Megs APC cut 4:1 in the lance's bottle. And yes, compared to the Gilmour, the Auto-Brite lance creates a much thicker, clingier foam. :)