Auto Detailing – What Does It Involve?

Auto detailing is not the same as washing your car. When you have your car auto detailed, they will clean your car inside and out. When finished, your car will look as if it is brand new. Some of tasks involved in auto detailing include polishing, waxing, and cleaning of the interior and exterior of the car along with removing debris and stains. To become an auto detailer you need to have a keen eye for the tiniest of details.

Exterior auto detailing

When detailing the exterior of your car starts by cleaning your rims and wheels of dirt and dust. Once this is done, the detailers will treat the tire sidewalls and polishing the rims. If there is any wax residue is left around the chrome plates or decals on the vehicle it is carefully wiped away. They may even treat the windows with a rain repellent. They will also clean the engine using degreasers or by steam. The underside of the rails and hood are polished after being cleaned. They will wash, clean, and wax the exterior of your car, including cleaning the lights.

Interior auto detailing

When detailing the inside of your car they will thoroughly vacuum your car, including the upholstery, and mats. This part of the job can include using a number of different products. It depends on the condition of the inside of your car. They can use rug shampoo, spot cleaners, and upholstery foam cleaner. If the car has cloth seats they may use a wet/dry vacuum on them to help remove most stains. It also makes your seats and carpet look new, with the exception of existing physical damage. The vinyl areas inside your car like the console, dashboard, and door panel trim are cleaned. Then they are treated with conditioner in order to keep the vinyl pliable. The gas and brake pedals are also cleaned. They are not conditioned to prevent your foot from slipping off the pedal. The covering over the speedometer, gas gauge, and other gauges are also cleaned. To ensure that the slats of the heater and air conditioning vents are clean they often use Q-tips. Q -tips also are used to clean the seams in the console that collect dirt and dust. All of the interior glass is thoroughly cleaned and washed, making sure that there is no film or streaking that can reflect impair the driver’s vision from nighttime headlights or low angles of sunlight.

Cost of auto detailing

Auto detailing can range from $100 to as much as $275. It depends on the size of the vehicle, the package you choose, and if you want to add any extras such as a special conditioner. Some shops may base their price on how dirty your vehicle is.

What is Auto Detailing?

The polishing, waxing and cleaning of an automobile on the inside as well as the outside is called auto detailing. The auto detailing should be thorough enough to consider the automobile of show quality when the work is done. There are at least a couple of reasons why people have such intense car cleaning done and that is to satisfy themselves or to show the car. To bring your car to an auto show its appearance has to be flawless. Auto detailing, if done correctly, can preserve the car thereby giving it a longer life. It also increases the value of the car in the event of a sale.

Professional detailers are usually the ones that do the best job. Many are franchise operations while others are independent ones that work out of their garages, vacant parking lots, or other unused places and do not have permanent business addresses. There are bout fifty thousand of them in the United States however; this kind of work is not exclusive to the United States. In the United Kingdom auto detailers are known as “car valets” and the work they do is known as “car or auto valeting.”

There are many auto detailing supplies necessary to do the job. For the exterior, you have to make the paint shine, the chrome trim shine, the windows should be clean and scratches should be removed, and the wheels and tires should also be cleaned to look as if they were new. The supplies used by auto detailers include: ordinary detergents, specific detail clay, a variety of waxes and polishes, special cloths and applicators made of various fibers and consistencies.

There are three things that auto detailers do when detailing an automobile and that is to clean, polish and protect the automobile. It has to be cleaned of all the clinging dirt and debris such as bug carcasses that have adhered to the car, heavy dirt and tar and all other contaminants that have been picked up over time and may harm the exterior of the car. A thorough cleaning ensures that all of the clinging dirt and droppings are cleaned and there is no sign of them ever being there. Auto detailing is beyond a simple washing.

Although there is not as much to clean when auto detailing the interior, it is just as precise. They concentrate on the cleaning of the upholstery, carpeting and in particular the passenger side of the car. Vacuuming is a standard procedure in detailing the interior. Much of the interior is steam cleaned. A liquid cleaner and various brushes are used to remove stains from carpeting and upholstery and the non porous surfaces are polished.

Body work such as painting the car, mechanical work on the car and upholstery repair is not included as part of auto detailing. Although, some will do some engine detailing such as steam cleaning or pressure cleaning, degreasing and using degreasers to clean beneath the hood.

What to Look For From Your Auto Detailer

Auto detailing is one of those things that people think is easy to do. It isn’t. In fact, a proper auto detail can add hundreds of dollars to the value of your vehicle. We’re not talking a quick window clean and carpet vacuum, either. We’re talking the whole package: interior shampoo, vacuum, upholstery treatment, exterior cut, wax, wash, and polish. This is the difference between having a bath in a lake versus having a shower, washing and conditioning your hair, shaving your beard, and exfoliating your skin.

For your car, it’s automotive nirvana, and it’s your responsibility as a good vehicle owner to treat your car to a pampering every now and again.

What Makes an Auto Detailer Worth Your Hard-Earned Scratch

A good auto detailer doesn’t look at your car or truck as a dollar sign, but rather as a canvass by which they can exact their brand of art. With that in mind, it can be nearly impossible for the untrained eye to identify a passionate auto detailer from one who’s just looking to separate you from your wallet.

Keep your eyes open for a few indicators that the detailing shop performs quality work, such as:

  • Plenty of other vehicles being worked on, finished, or awaiting their appointment. While this is less of an indicator than others, especially in seasonal markets (such as the northern USA and pretty much all of Canada), it’s always a good sign to see other people using the same shop you’re considering using.
  • Samples of previous work, testimonials, or photographs of vehicles the detailer has worked on. Every automotive enthusiast worth their weight in car parts will gladly write their detailer a testimonial if the work performed was high-quality. Always ask for before/after photos, testimonials, or samples of work that shop has performed in the past.
  • Look online for positive reviews. This one is a no-brainer, and also the easiest to do prior to choosing a shop.

What to Expect from a Good Auto Detailer

Aside from using high-grade components and compounds on your car, you should expect your auto detailer to take great care of your vehicle while it is in their possession. As well, you can expect to leave your vehicle with the detailer anywhere from a few hours (if only getting an exterior or interior job) to a day or more (for a complete interior/exterior detail).

More importantly, you should be able to develop a level of trust with your detailer that is reflective of the service that they offer you. Don’t be afraid to point out imperfections if you feel that the service you requested should have taken care of it. Most good detailers will appreciate your feedback and will correct their oversight.