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.

Auto Detailing – Save Your Knees and Find a Knee Pad Solution

A couple of years ago, I talked to a gentleman at Starbucks who was on disability. He had worked for a carpet installation company and had blown out his knees, both of them and could hardly walk, and one could not be repaired, although they tried by putting in some titanium. He admitted it did help for a while, but his knee was simply to tore up inside. You see, those that install carpets often use their knees to help pound the nails in the baseboard during installations as he explained it to me. Interestingly enough, I understand how important it is to save your knees because previously I was a tack star and later had raced street motorcycles, and also had done quite a bit of auto detailing. Okay so let’s talk shall we?

If you are in the auto detailing business you will be on your knees quite a bit cleaning wheels, under carriages, and putting on wax of vehicles which are very low to the ground, like most exotic sports cars. This means you have to get down and dirty, but in doing so you will be working in a parking lot if you are doing mobile detailing with gravel around, or you will be working on a cement floor inside of an auto detailing shop, those are very hard surfaces, and they can be quite challenging if you are in that position on your knees for long periods of time.

There are several auto detailing catalogs which have very small cushioned mats which are between six and 8 inches wide and 2 feet long with a handle on them, on one end. These work perfectly, and they are an ideal solution for an auto detailer. Best of all you can clip them to a work cart using a carabiner that rock climbers use. Another strategy is to get ahold of the type of knee pads that soccer players use from a sports store. Although they are not as good, they will save your knees. If you are an auto detailer you may put one on only one knee, and kneel down on that each time. Every few days you might wear it on the other knee, so you are not favoring one leg over the other. Always buy the fabric washable kind.

It’s amazing how simple things and proper ergonomic procedures can help you in your auto detailing this. If you are detailing aircraft, especially light aircraft, or small business jets, it is often very hard to clean the underbelly, or the bottom of the wings with one knee on the ground, either on the flight line or in a hangar on the hangar floor. Protect your knees so you don’t have to become a disabled auto detailer. Please consider all this and think on it.

Things to Look Out For in an Auto Detailing Service

We are living in a highly capitalistic world where all that entrepreneurs want is to get more money for their services. Sadly, the increased money does not translate to better quality of services. This does not mean that there are not a few good auto detailing service providers out there. Choosing the right one will however require a lot of research and inside tips; this is more so if you want to hire an auto detailing service provider.

There exists several places where you can get the information you want. You can look them up on the internet, you can ask a buddy who bought an SUV before you did or you can use the local directory listing. None of these however beats having personal knowledge of what features to look in an auto detailing service before hiring one. Here are a few tips that can be useful.

Features Wanted

This will probably be the first consideration you will have to put in mind when choosing an auto detailing service. Some people want a more thorough cleaning of their car with all the bells and nooks attached. This will include the use of specialized tools and cleaning agents including car polish, air conditioner cleaner and car wax. Of course, these services will come at an additional cost. If on the other hand what you are looking for is a modest car cleaning service, you may not be able to enjoy so much of the auto detailing features.

It is important to ensure that the expert can professionally offer all the features you want before you sign up with them. The tools and products they use should also be of high quality to ensure the best results.

Pricing

In actual sense, car detailing is not expensive. However, you may want to take advantage of special discounts offered by car detailing service. The service providers will in many cases give discounts on special days. Since this type of detailing is not something you need on a daily basis, you can use these select discount days to take you car for auto detailing.

It is also important to note that experts who offer the whole range of packages from car leather clean services to chain lubricant application might be a little bit expensive than ones who offer just a selected few of services like washing with car shampoo. You can judge the estimate charge of an auto detailing outlet by checking on its outward appearance. Impressive lawns and employees clad in expensive uniform will most probably mean a bigger slice on your wallet.

Online Reviews and Forums

The internet has enabled consumers to have a level of interaction that was not heard of there before. If you are worried about getting the best price for auto detailing products such as chain lubricants, consider hitting the internet for product reviews and appraisals of auto detailing companies in your area. Consumer forums, many of which discuss everything from car shampoo to car polish and wax,offer a load of information that you are sure to find invaluable.