People will tell you that they own BMWs for “pure driving pleasure” but for many of us it really disguises a dirty secret. When we are not happily swooping along some twisty mountain road or carving up a tricky negative camber at a track day, we crave the dirty pleasure of washing, polishing and pampering our ultimate driving machines.
There is a lot to be said for the “mindfulness” of creating gleaming clean wheels and reflecting on reflections in the reflection of a beautifully polished BMW. We don’t care that people dismiss some of us as border-line obsessive compulsive.
As such, we were a very attentive audience for the car care gurus from Jay Leno’s Garage to spread their version of enlightenment on a hot and humid evening at the first BMWDCM meeting for February 2020. It did help that we had full bellies from some excellent pizzas and soft drinks served a little earlier.
The back story was that famous American car collector and former “late night” host, Jay Leno, wanted products to clean and maintain his enormous car collection. Just like any of us, after a few years, a collection of tried and proven products was assembled. In response to the repeated “What do you use to clean your cars?” question Jay Leno was eventually persuaded to package the whole lot up into a range of car care products with his name on it. The gurus emphasized that this is the ONLY automotive product that Jay Leno has actually permitted to use his name.
The sparkling clean wash bay at Shannons Classic Car Auctions provided a perfect stage for these masters of grime to demonstrate both the Jay Leno’s Garage products and a few tips and techniques needed to turn dirt into dazzle.
Having chosen President Graeme Bell’s BMW X5, fresh with grime from a return road trip to Bathurst, it was a “real life” test for the Jay Leno team.
They started out quietly by gently spraying their “Wheel Cleaner” product on each wheel. As we watched, the clear liquid magically turned the black brake-pad dust into an oozing purple sludge.
It was then time to bring out the big guns. Armed with a domestic-use Karcher pressure washer they started out by using the high-pressure nozzle to carefully wet down the whole car to blast away the “big chunks” of grime and generally soften the dried bugs and dirt. They also took the opportunity to wash off the purple sludge from the wheels to reveal shining alloys (albeit with a little gutter rash!)
The Jay Leno guys then switched to a “snow foam blower” head unit and filled it with about 1:5 mix of Jay leno Garage “Vehicle Wash” and normal water. Helpfully, the guys let us know that the adjustable Karcher unit they were using is about $30 at Bunning compared to nearly $80 for a similar unit elsewhere. Within about 90 seconds the car was covered in a blizzard of soapy suds. An interesting tip was that they left their “Microfiber Washing Mitts” on the windscreen so they could load them up with some suds at the same time.
It was then, on with the microfibre mitts and a quick rub-down of the whole car. No buckets need, just a bit of “elbow-grease” and a step-ladder to reach the middle of the roof.
A switch back to the high-pressure nozzle and the Karcher finished off the performance with a flurry of flying foam to reveal a sparklingly clean X5. Who would have guessed that it was actually white under all that dirt?
The Jay Leno team then set to work with “Matt Detailer” and “Tire Shine” to revive the grey plastic trim and frame the sparkling alloys in glossy black tyres.
As an encore, the Jay Leno team then used their waterless spray-on/wipe off “Eco Wash” to clean the grubby bonnet of their own tradie ute. Excellent for those who live in an apartment or other places with difficult access to a garden hose.
The crowd cheered. Well almost! After a warm round of applause, members huddled around to see who would win the raffle for some Jay Leno Product kits. Sadly, I didn’t.
I did get some very useful tips and hints from the evening and happily trotted off to Bunnings to invest $29.95 on a snow foam blower for my beloved Karcher.
Apart from some eager buyers on the night, BMWDCM members were provided with a discount code for ordering Jay Leno Garage products direct from the Australian website at jaylenosgarage.com.au.
By the way, their products smell great. Their interior cleaner captures “new car smell” perfectly and should be sold at the perfume counter at Myer. The other products range from a very authentic PK chewing gum smell through to a very tasty mint. Weird, but strangely good.
A big thank you, once again, to Shannons for the generous access to their fabulous showrooms … and car wash bay. Thanks also to the Jay Leno team who sweated through a hot and humid night to demonstrate their products and for generously sharing their expertise.
Ewen McConchie | Member #70
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne