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  • Writer's pictureFCD

Winter Top Up Ferrari 488 Pista Spider

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

Just before Christmas Damian from @CarGuys.TV popped down in his 'daily driven' Ferrari 488 Pista in stunning Grigio Ferro with black and gold stripes that we applied full body XPEL Ultimate Plus PPF to back in August 2020.

We have seen the car in a few times since for maintenance washes, but on this occasion, it had been a while! With 10,000 miles on the clock on a 2 year old limited edition Ferrari, The Car Guys are not your usual supercar owners, rain or shine, this Pista is out on the roads being exposed to salt, mud and all the elements all year round.

Where most would be locked up in the garage over winter, this car is always out and about, tackling the Dorset and New Forest back lanes.

Initially, we had the car in for a standard, but thorough maintenance wash for the outside of the car and of course dealing with the interior as well. After looking round the car and having a chat with Damian, we actually decided the best option for this car would be a protection top up detail. With the worst of winter yet to come, how this car has been used so far, and the protection we applied back in August20 now not quite as effective, we concluded this was what was required.

First, a decontamination wash outside, not only cleaning the bodywork but also aiming to remove as much tar and other contaminant from the PPF as possible. This is done using a combination of tar and glue remover over the whole vehicle, allowing it to dwell before washing the vehicle off, as well as Iron and Fallout remover, otherwise known as ammonia.

It reacts with any fallout on iron on the bodywork turning purple after being left for a few minutes, this product is also very effective on alloy wheels.

At FCD, we have a bespoke built wash bay that was installed back in 2021, so whilst the Pista is outside, we took the opportunity to carefully jack the vehicle up, corner by corner, to give the arches a deep clean.

Of course the arches are dealt with further inside in the detailing bay, but we try to eliminate as much dirt inside the detailing studio as possible, keeping it a clean environment.

After air drying the car with out specialist 'Blo Air GT' car and bike dryer, the car can head inside for coatings to begin.

First step is to lift the car up in the air on our ramp, and remove the satin gold alloy wheels from the car, (taking care not to damage the very expensive titanium wheel bolts!) and ensure they are perfectly cleaned and decontaminated, before applying Gtechniq's C5 Wheel Armour.

This product bonds to the wheel to make cleaning easier, reduce build up of brake dust and tar spots and also helps to prevent pitting of the wheels. The high gloss black brake callipers are machine polished and also coated with C5 to ensure they bead and repel water too.

Fabric/carpeted wheel arches are vacuumed and coated with a fabric protector, whereas the plastic sections of the wheel arch are cleaned further where required, and then coated with EXO. Suspension components are degreased and cleaned before spraying a waterproof sealant to add some protection to mechanical moving parts you may not always think about, but do need to consider!

Moving onto the bodywork, our second stage of decontamination is to very carefully clay bar the PPF to remove any last bits of contaminant stuck to the bodywork that wasn't removed in the chemical decontamination stage. After this and a panel prep solution wipe down to completely cleanse the bodywork, the Gtechniq HALO hydrophobic coating designed specifically for PPF or vinyl wrap. This is going to give around 12months of protection for this particular cars usage, again making washing and maintenance easier, giving the 'beading' effect to the PPF, and it also helps to prevent staining from dirt ingression, as well as reducing yellowing caused by UV rays.

We run our detailing bay at a constant 20°C which allows this coating to cure correctly in a stable temperature overnight for the recommended 18-24hours.

We have also coated all the glass with G1 from Gtechniq, again adding hydrophobic properties to the glass, and making driving in rainy conditions a breeze, massively reducing the need for windscreen wipers.

The interior is mainly made up of alcantara and carbon fibre in this car, so again a vacuum and deep clean of the fabric and then coated with Gtechniq Smart fabric was all that was required.

As you can see this car is back to looking it's best, and it can now battle through the rest of the winter but fully protected.



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