Saturday, May 12, 2012

VW R32: Optimum No Rinse Wash

I'd always scoffed at 'no rinse' car soap, but a combination of positive reviews on detailing forums and tiredness of having to wash the R during odd hours at a local coin-operated car wash finally convinced me to at least test it out.

Details below the fold.

Anywhoo, I decided to try out Optimum No Rinse Wash, Optimum Poli-Seal, and Optimum Opti-Seal from Optimum Polymer Technologies. I purchased these from a Canadian distributor,
  • >Optimum No Rinse Wash (ONR): I followed the recommended dilution, 1 oz. (approx. 29 mL) ONR in 2 gal. (approx. 7.6 L). The R was slightly to moderately dirty, probably more slightly than moderately. I washed one section at a time, from top to bottom, with a MF mitt until clean, then dried with a MF towel before moving to the next section. This worked quite well. I'm not sure how it would work on a really dirty car, but I'd be willing to give it a cautious try, after a quick rinse at the DIY. I didn't notice any new scratches or anything from using ONR. 
  • Optimum Poli-Seal: As the name suggests, this is a polish with some scratch-removal and sealant properties. Again, applied, one section at a time, using a MF applicator, let a slight haze form, then buff off with MF towel. Ease of application similar to Einszett Glanz Metallic Polish. 
  • Optimum Opti-Seal: Opti-Seal is a straight sealant and the easiest wax/sealant I've ever used. It arrives in a spray bottle. Basially, for each section I'd spritz twice, spread Opti-Seal over section with MF applicator, and let it evaporate off. No buffing required. I think it will take me some more experience to better gauge the amount to use, but so far it's been very impressive. I still have to see how long it lasts. 

Saturday, May 05, 2012

VW R32: LED City Lights and DRLs

Earlier this week I replaced the LED city/parking lights on the HIDs with new ones. Only the passenger's side had actually died, but I decided to replace both because the old LED on the driver's side was noticeably dimmer than the new ones.

See below the fold for additional information.

Prior to importing my R32 to Canada I had the city/parking lights wired to the ignition so that they would work like DRLs, a Canadian requirement. Why didn't my 2004 VW R32 have DRLs? Actually, the 2004 R32 did have DRLs stock... with the stock halogens. I'd originally disabled the DRLs in preparation for installing OEM HIDs (I'm still irritated that VW decided that only 2004 R32s sold in the United States would have halogens -- everywhere else in the world they were sold the R32 came with HIDs). 

Anywhoo, I'd decided having the city lights work as DRLs was a much better choice than having the HIDs suffer at partial power while running in DRL mode (not good for HID life, I gather). So... the original LEDs lasted almost 11,300 miles and 42 months. That's not bad, I guess? I don't know what the life span is supposed to be, but at $8.50 each I'm not too disappointed. Disappointment will be if I subsequently learn they're supposed to last 100,000 miles and 10 years.

The city/parking lights are below the high beam bulb.

City light LEDs on, in poor light.

City lights LEDs and HIDs on, in poor light.

By the way, if you're looking for 2004 VW R32 stock bulb types/sizes, follow the link.

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