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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Audi Soft Paint - Making Generalizations about Hardness and Softness

    Audi Soft Paint - Making Generalizations about Hardness and Softness


    I would have to say that any Audis I've worked on trend towards clears on the hard side but I ran across an exception to the trend and this is why I think it's generally a bad idea to generalize about the hardness of a specific manufacture or model because paint technology is always changing and manufactures can and do change paint systems.

    Anyway, sometime back in approximately 2006 I was holding a TNOG, which is a Thursday Night Open Garage at the Training Garage at Meguiar's Corporate Offices and a couple of guys brought down two similar Audis both with the same problem and that was soft paint.

    Both of these cars had the factory paint on them, at the time they were brand new cars owned by Audi Enthusiasts. The problem they were having was finishing out without micro-marring the paint, this was before SMAT products like M105, UC, SwirlX or M205 were introduced.

    I've never been able to locate pictures of the cars when purposefully searching the MOL forum but found them today by happenstance while looking for some articles I wrote on fresh paint.

    Without further ado... below is one of the Audis, I've yet to find a picture of the other one but it would have been the same year and color but I think it was more of a stationwagon looking vehicle, but I could be wrong. (I'm not an Audi expert).


    Here's the thread,

    M09 & M80 Equivalent?


    Here's the conversation from pages 2 and 3 and I kid you not, the paint on both of the new Audis was so soft it would scratch if you simply looked at it the wrong way...


    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    Mike, given my fairly extensive experience with Audis I found this very surprising.

    What year was it and was it (to the best of your knowledge) OE paint or a repaint?

    My general experience has been that with a D/A type machine even #80 is, if anything too mild for the factory Spies-Hecker paint used by Audi during the model years with which I'm familiar.

    I'm wondering if there's been a change of some kind; this sounds like the way some of their "corporate cousins" from Porsche and VW have been lately.

    Don't mean to put anybody on the spot, just curious...this is the other end of the scale from the '00 and '01 Audis I currently have; even their repainted areas (baked Spies-Hecker paint, but of course it's different stuff than they use at the factory) are hard enough that #80 barely corrects anything by D/A and leaves no micro-marring even with an 8006 pad.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Factory paint, I don't remember the make and year, I do remember spending a lot of time dialing in a system for the owner to use to achieve a flawless finish, his expectations are very high and the finish on his car was actually very, very nice, but not perfect. We ended up finding the combination of M09 with a W-9006 finishing pad on a rotary buffer followed by M66 on the G100 with a finishing pad to produce optimum results.

    Here's the car...

    Photos Courtesy of MeguiarsOnline.com




    I think these are Alcantara Seats, the look is cool but they are hard to work on if you ever get stains or ground in dirt from wear-n-tear via normal use.

    I always name my photos and back in 2006 I named these,

    2BlueAudiSensitivePaint01.jpg
    2BlueAudiSensitivePaint02.jpg
    2BlueAudiSensitivePaint03.jpg

    Mike Phillips
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  2. #2
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    Re: Audi Soft Paint - Making Generalizations about Hardness and Softness

    Good article Mike,

    I have yet to figure mine out other than leaving it covered in the garage so I can't see the thing. Keeping in tune with the thread, this is what I would call soft paint and a breeze does scratch. A different black one I have doesn't do this, it's easy to maintain.

    The pic below looks gray, it's the only angle, light I could get to show in a picture. My avatar is the actual color. It is hard to see but they are there for sure, whatever you might call them?? I don't know.

    I have to work pretty hard with different MF compositions, LSPs and wipe techniques to avoid this.

    It's really interesting that each LSP acts differently and requires different techniques for each one. I've yet to settle on one product. I guess I like the challenge. I also want to try UPGP for just the wipe on and walk away to see what it does.

    Here is the common result with this particular car.


  3. #3
    Senior Member A4 1.8tqm's Avatar
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    Re: Audi Soft Paint - Making Generalizations about Hardness and Softness

    Good point Mike, I know my Audi's paint is fairly hard but that doesn't apply to all Audi's. I think that's Nagaro Blue on the B5 platform S4's...

    ...Would you say the trend is that certain colors from a given Manufacturer will be softer/harder than the "norm"?

  4. #4
    Senior Member dougaross's Avatar
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    Re: Audi Soft Paint - Making Generalizations about Hardness and Softness

    My Ibis White 2008 Audi seems to have quite hard paint as did my Black 2003 A6
    Doug
    2008 Audi A6 S-line

  5. #5
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Audi Soft Paint - Making Generalizations about Hardness and Softness

    Quote Originally Posted by A4 1.8tqm View Post

    ...Would you say the trend is that certain colors from a given Manufacturer will be softer/harder than the "norm"?
    Since you're not working on the color coat but working on the clear coat I'm not sure the color of a car is a factor, unless the manufacture has to use different types of clear for different types of colors. That sounds like a complicated paint system but it could be...



    Quote Originally Posted by dougaross View Post
    My Ibis White 2008 Audi seems to have quite hard paint as did my Black 2003 A6

    I'd say that all the Audis I've worked on except these two blue models have very hard paint. That's why at the time of the TNOG when these cars arrived with their owners explaining the problems they were having it caught me by surprise.

    This is another reason why it's so important to do some testing before applying any kind of compound or polish or even a cleaner/wax over a car's paint.

    Do some testing, see how the paint is reacting and make sure your products and process are working before buffing out the entire car.


    Mike Phillips
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  7. #6
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Audi Soft Paint - Making Generalizations about Hardness and Softness

    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  8. #7
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Audi Soft Paint - Making Generalizations about Hardness and Softness

    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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