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A COVID Cleanup Story featuring my 2018 GMC Yukon


I spend a ton of time in my car for work.  With that, it is frequently washed, but I struggle to find the time to really take care of my cars before I get rid of them and move on to the next one.  I purchased this 2018 Yukon over a year ago, and its story is no different than my last two vehicles in that it has not been properly corrected or protected during my ownership.  Well, that finally changed.  All it took was a positive COVID test!  Fortunately for me, my symptoms were as minor as you can get, so I had a perfect opportunity to take care of some projects like this one while I was locked at home.

First, I got to work cleaning up the wheels and tires.  Fortunately, these brakes put off almost no brake dust, so wheel cleaning is quick and uneventful.  Afterward, the entire vehicle was covered with a foam pre-soak to loosen up the dirt and grime that had accumulated over the week on the road.  My go-to shampoo over the years has been Meguiar’s Hyper Wash.  After a few minutes of soaking, I pressure rinsed the vehicle and applied P&S Bug Off to the entire front end, mirrors, windshield, and leading edge of the roof.  The bug remover was allowed to dwell for a short period of time before it was rinsed with a pressure washer which easily removed all except the most stubborn bug residue.  I then worked my way around the car applying foam to one side then hand washing with a Cyclone Premium Wash Mitt. Once the entire vehicle was washed, it was rinsed yet again, and then the third round of foam was applied to act as a clay lubricant.  My Speedy Surface Prep Towel made for lighting fast work of the decontamination, even with this much surface area.  One final rinse, then it was time to dry with a combination of towels and air.

GMC Yukon covered in shampoo

The paint was truly clean and free of anything that might have been masking its true condition.  Time for the moment of truth.  Upon close inspection, the paint really was not in bad shape.  There were normal wash-induced swirl marks, but far fewer than I anticipated.

Swirls in GMC Yukon paint

Now, this car sees a lot of use, as I said.  My goal here was not for perfection, but just improvement and a boost in gloss.  A series of tests revealed that this paint was infused with diamonds.  No, I am not talking about the metallic flake in the paint, I am talking about how hard it was to make any sort of improvement.  I ended up relying on Lake Country Microfiber Cutting Pads paired with Jescar Correcting Compound.  Despite the relatively aggressive approach, the finish was as clear as if I had used a fine polish.

GMC Yukon paint after correction

I’ve grown used to expecting the plastics like b-pillars and taillights to be significantly worse than painted areas, and this vehicle was no exception.

tailights of GMC Yukon

Fortunately, these cleaned up nicely!

taillights of GMC Yukon after correction

Progress was quite slow, but the results are always worth it.  With the correction phase wrapped up, I proceeded to wipe down the vehicle with Gyeon Prep to ensure there was no residue before I began applying the coating.

GMC Yukon paint after correction

I opted for CarPro’s CQuartz UK 3.0 to protect the finish.  I had been a major fan of CarPro’s coating line many years ago and was excited to give this a shot.

CarPro UK Coating

The application was a breeze.  The product spread easily, and I was able to see where I had applied it while I was working.  I went for 2 coats, one right after the other, as recommended by CarPro.  Ease of use is a huge deal for me when it comes to reviewing coatings.  This was one of the most pain-free coating installs I have done.  Well done, CarPro.

Close up of GMC Yukon paint after correction

After hours of work, it is always exciting to pull the car outside for final inspection.  The soft lighting of the golden hour was perfect for two things.  First, this type of bright but indirect lighting is absolutely ideal for finding any coating high spots.  Second, the car looked insane in this perfect light!  Check out that shine.

GMC Yukon finished product

It felt great to finally get my second home all cleaned up.  I got to use a few new to me products, all of which were an absolute pleasure and will be deserving of their own write-ups to follow.  I will also plan to follow up with updates on the performance of this coating as it will surely not have an easy life with the number of miles I accumulate in all seasons.  I am writing this about a week after completing this detail and I have already added 1,500 miles to the car (which cleaned up so easy with the CQuartz UK on it!)  Now I just have to try to keep this thing clean!

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Zach McGovern
Attention To Detailing Peoria
Peoria, IL

4 comments on A COVID Cleanup Story featuring my 2018 GMC Yukon

  1. Greg Pautler says:

    Glad to hear you are well and the Yukon is looking outstanding!

  2. Gerald Pfeiffer says:

    Looks amazing!

  3. Al Schmidt says:

    Thanks for posting this Zach! Detailed Yukon’s always look good to me.

  4. Ron Ayotte says:

    One word…

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