If you’ve ever watched the famous MTV show “ Pimp my ride” , you’ve heard Xzibit talking about the importance of detailing your car. Most people can’t buy every tool they need off the store shelves and have their car detailed perfectly.
Instead of going through all the stress of getting your car detailed on your own, consider having your car detailed by a pro so you can wow and turn heads when next you take a ride in your car. Here’s everything you need to know about having your car detailed.
The appearance of your car can help make a great first impression or make people have the wrong impressions about you. Your car doesn’t have to be the most expensive in the parking lot to make a good impression, a neat look, well-trimmed wheels and shiny body color is all you need to give your car the premium look most of the time.
Driving a dirty looking car with bad body paint can kill your look and have people taking glances, and not in a good way. This is why you need a car detailing expert, no matter the type of car you drive.
The Big questions(s)
Car detailing doesn’t always come cheap, so ask yourself some questions before deciding to engage the services of an auto detailer. Do you want a full detail or just the interior/exterior? Are addons included or do you have to pay for that separately?
Sometimes the price of a full detail might be relatively cheap when compared to the interior and exterior packages, but since it’s something you’ll get a lot of use of for many months, you can call it a good investment.
Add ons or no add ons ?
When detailing your car, make sure you specify some areas that need additional cleaning or service. It could be pet hair removal, smoke removal, engine bay dressing, bug & tar removal. Whatever the additional service you need, make it’s well communicated, Auto detailers can do a lot of magic, but they aren’t miracle workers without the proper instructions.
Services just for you
There are a lot of great things that the auto detailer can do for you and your car. The basic services include: washing& drying, claying, polishing and sealing
Most of these services are generally affordable and won’t cause a dent in your wallet. Other more detailed services that you can get include paint touch-up, leather/vinyl repair, headlight restoration, wheel repair, AC vents cleaning
Ratings & Experience
It pays to invest a good auto detailing shop to bring out the best in your car. You don’t want to invest in a top dollar auto detailing shop only to have your car looking like it came out of the barber shop.
When you do spend that kind of money on your car, make sure the auto detail shop you choose has the experience and good reviews before you leave your car in their care.
What is Car detailing?
Car detailing is the process of reconditioning your vehicle’s interior and exterior using specialized tools and products. In other words, car detailing means a thorough cleaning of your car from inside out to give it a look like it’s just arrived from the showroom. It’s a lot more than just washing your car with soap and water, It involves focusing on the tiny details in your vehicle that takes it from oh oh to wooow
Differences between a car wash and detail?
For so many people, that extra dollar you have to spend to get your car detailed looks like a rip off since you’re just getting your car washed, but is it?
Unlike getting your car washed, the surface contaminants on your car are thoroughly removed by a procedure called claying; this process takes away any excess dirt and grime off the surface of your car. In addition, polish is also applied after this, and the tires and wheels are also properly cleaned.
The interior of your vehicle is also vacuumed as well, with great attention on the plastic parts usually damaged by ultra violet rays. The engine of your vehicle will be checked for any parts covered with grease and removed when found, painted parts are also waxed and dried, followed by application of a conditioner.
The main difference between a car wash and details is: a car wash is meant to clean day-to-day dirt from your car which you can do even by your own self while detailing involves enhancing your vehicle’s look from inside out by using specialized tools and products to get a renewed look
Benefits of car detailing
Regular or day to day use of your vehicle coupled with the constant change in weather conditions can affect the look and condition of your vehicle. Auto detailing help to restore your vehicle’s appearance to that original showroom look. Benefits of auto detailing include
Auto detailing preserves the value of your vehicle
If you have any intention to sell your car in the future, detailing your vehicle helps keep the exterior and interior in top great condition; the paint job, dashboard, carpets, tires, wheels, seats are all kept in top condition.
Improved interior comfort
Detailing your car lets you breathe in cleaner air in a comfy environment.
Value for Money
When you take your car to a detailer, you’re assured every stain, dirts, scratch, swrils and dent are taking care of including any unpleasant odor from your vehicle
Better Fuel Economy
Cleaning of your engine helps to improve the gas mileage of your vehicle. A well cleaned vehicle also offers reduced wind resistance, which results in less power required you’re your vehicle’s operation. A well cleaned engine free of dirt and will also perform at its optimal levels.
Car detailing helps remove any possible safety hazards your vehicle may have been susceptible to. Clean windows enhance your vision while driving.
What’s included in a car detail?
Exterior Car Detailing
For most people who like to boast about their cars, the exterior is the most important. Exterior detailing of your vehicle isn’t just a quick wash of the exterior part of your car; a good detail will make your car shimmer at the envy of all around you.
The most common exterior detailing process includes:
- Washing– Unlike a car wash, detailing using specialized high-powered spray followed by hand washing the door jambs, rims , glass and all exterior parts that requires cleaning
- Claying – this is done using a clay bar to remove impurities, residues and that cannot be removed with normal detergents.
- Polishing – polishing helps get rid of scratches, swirl marks and helps keep the paint from getting dull.
- Waxing/Sealing – waxing is done for those who want to give their vehicle an extra shine, to give the car a glossy shine, a sealant is applied.
Interior Car Detailing
The most common exterior detailing process includes;
- Cleaning of Surfaces – this involves cleaning the dashboard, door pockets, rear view mirror, door trims, glove box and ash trays, steering wheel and polishing of plastics and rubber trims
- Vacuuming – This takes out all the dirt from the interior. It takes away the dirt from the seats, carpets, dashboards, AC vents and hidden corners in the vehicle.
This is usually done twice to get better results
- Carpet Cleaning – cleaning the carpets regularly helps to get rid of germs and improve the aesthetics of the vehicle.
- Window Cleaning; helps to get rid of streaks on car windows
These are additional services not covered in the exterior and interior detailing packages. Although some companies offer some of the services together with interior packages, they are usually stand-alone services can increase the cost of your auto detail.
These services include
- Wet Sanding and Paint Correction $80/HR
- Thermal Fogging: $50
- Bug & Tar Removal: $20/HR
- Convertible Top Cleaning: $60
- Clay Bar: $50
- Engine Bay Dressing: $50
- Headlight Restoration: $25
- Tail Light Restoration: $20
- Vehicle Deodorizer: $10
- Wheel Polishing: $60/HR
- Decal Removal or Install
- Pet Hair Removal
- Even if you have the dreaded Minivan with Dog hair and excessive kid mess, we can make it look like new again. – Starts at $100
- Road paint / Overspray – Starts at $200
- Throw up, Urine, Smoke removal – Starts at $100
- Paintless dent repair
- Sand down headlights from 800 grit to 3000 followed by a 3 stage polish and coated to protect for up to 5 years – Starts at $99 per headlight with detail.
- Leather / Vinyl repair -Starts at $200
- Wheel repair / Powder coating
- Curbed or bent wheels – Starting at $200 a wheel
How Much Does Car Detailing Cost?
An online survey reported that participants paid $40-$90 for a basic wash, $155-$160 for a mid-range auto detail, $100- $300 for a standard auto detail, a deluxe auto detailing typically costs $150-$500 while the show room detail package can cost between $500 – $1000 depend on the car make and size
The cost of getting your car detailed depends on these factors:
a) Vehicle Size
The major factor that determines the price of your auto detail is the size of your vehicle. Usually, the bigger the size of the vehicle the higher the costs of the auto detail. While a basic package for an average sized car can cost $100 the price can go as high $150 for a van or SUV
There are many packages that you can choose from when getting your car detailed. Different packages have different services having different prices depending on what’s included in the package. Full interior, premium detail and car show detail all have different prices
Add-ons are separate from the services.So, the more add-ons you have, the higher you will have to pay
For example : a level 5 interior& Exterior detail with paint correction and sealant application for a Cadillac costs $1000 in clio, Michigan , while a full detail with paint correction and ceramic coating for a Mercedes S550 cost $850 in Hammonton, New jersey
How to choose a car detailing service
Once you’ve decided to get your car detailed, the only obstacle now is choosing the best car detailing service for your car.
To get the best out of your auto detail, quality is the most important factor to look out for. Quality and experience play an important role in the outcome of your auto detail. We’ve compiled a checklist of the important factors when choosing the right service for you.
Services, whether you need an exterior or interior detail, the services offered by the detailer should be first on your list.
Price Look for companies that fit into your budget. Also, try to compare prices with other detailers around.
Reviews It’s always wise to read reviews before buying a product/service.
Mobility : bearing in mind that a full auto detail may take between 3-6 hours, with mobile car detailing you don’t need to take your car to their garage.
How long would it take to detail my car?
Most experts recommend 4 to 8 hours to get the job done right.
Full Interior: Includes shampooing carpets with extractor, deep cleaning of all doors, dash. Blowing out between and under seats. Starts at $249
Full Detail: Interior, Wash & Wax, plus protection package for Mag Chloride and Salt – Starts at $299
Premium Detail Full Interior, Detailed Wash, Polish paint, 365 day paint sealant – Starts at $399
Car Show Detail Full Detail + 3 stage paint correction to restore paint to mirror like finish – Starts at $599
Engine Detail: this includes steam cleaning, degrease, and power wash your engine to make it look new again. Starts at $99