What You Should Know About Auto Detailing

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Aside from washing and waxing a car, auto detailing includes a host of other processes that aim to improve the overall look of your vehicle. However, this process does not repair major defects like deep scratches and dents, which require a trip to the body shop.

Detailing requires the right equipment, a hyper-focused work ethic, plenty of patience and a shitload of practice. Here’s what the pros use to make it all happen.

Interior

The interior of an automobile is a complex system of materials and can be challenging to clean. Detailers are trained to use a variety of cleaning products and techniques, including vacuuming, shampooing and steam cleaning. They can also remove carpet stains and restore leather upholstery. Some of these services may be available for an additional cost, while others are included in a full detailing package.

Interior detailing can take as little as an hour or up to a day, depending on the condition of the car and the expertise of the detailer. It is recommended that a car be detailed every three to six months, especially in areas where UV rays can cause leather and vinyl to fade.

A well-run auto detailing facility will offer a comfortable waiting area for customers, with coffee, magazines and pleasant music. Many customers enjoy watching their cars being worked on, and this is a great way to build customer trust.

Exterior

Unlike the basic washing you can get at a drive-thru car wash, an auto detailing facility uses multiple tools to clean a vehicle’s exterior. These steps include cleaning the wheels, undercarriage, and body, clay bar treatment (to remove embedded contaminates that washing alone can’t), and polishing (to improve the shine of clear coat).

Once this is complete, the detailer will apply wax to the vehicle’s surface to protect their work. Some shops also offer paint protection film to prevent future scratches and stains.

A well-maintained vehicle is attractive and increases the value of a used car, so regular cleaning and detailing is important. It also makes it easier to sell a car in the future.

Tires

It’s important to clean your car tires to prevent fading, cracking, and discoloration. A high-quality tire shine is one of the best ways to restore that fresh look and protect your investment.

To determine which product is the best, we tested a variety of sprays, gels, and foams by applying them to freshly-washed tires and leaving them in direct sunlight for two weeks. We rated each product on ease of application, drying time, initial shine, durability, and finish after a wash.

We also considered how much each product weighed, as well as how it smelled. Some products have strong chemical odors that can be difficult to work around in enclosed spaces, such as garages or workshops. Others have milder scents that are easier to tolerate.

Wheels

Wheels that look dull or covered in brake dust aren’t just an eyesore; they also negatively affect the performance of the car. Dirty wheels, for instance, increase the amount of friction between the car and the road, which can cause the tires to wear down more quickly.

When washing wheels, it’s important to use a dedicated wash bucket and microfiber wash mitt to prevent soap or dirt from splashing onto other parts of the car. This can scratch paint and other surfaces.

It’s also a good idea to use detailing clay to remove deep-embedded grime from the wheels and lug nuts. This can help protect the clear coat of the paint and reduce the risk of rust or corrosion. In addition, regular auto detailing can help prevent fading and deterioration of plastics and upholstery. This can minimize the risk of costly repairs or replacements and increase the resale value of the vehicle. This is why it’s worth investing in auto detailing equipment.

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