Car detailing is an intensive process that makes a vehicle look as good as, or even better than, new. The best auto detailers use professional products and equipment to hand wash, wax and buff the exterior and clean and protect the interior. Getting your car detailed regularly will help it keep looking great and increase its resale value.
While many people are familiar with the term “detailing,” very few know what it actually entails. Essentially, it’s the most thorough cleaning possible to restore a vehicle to its best condition, any enhancement to deal with minor defects, and protection to maintain that condition for as long as possible.
The first step is a deep clean of the entire vehicle. This includes everything from the exterior, such as washing and wiping down the paintwork and chrome, to the interior, including shampooing the carpets and leather surfaces and vacuuming the mats and seats. It also includes scrubbing the wheel wells and exhaust, and removing any contaminants such as tree sap or iron fallout from the metal panels.
After the vehicle is thoroughly cleaned, the decontamination and enhancement processes can begin. These typically deal with the surface of the paintwork, primarily by either chemically spraying a solution on the areas to be treated or physically using automotive clay to remove any bound contaminants such as tar and iron fallout. The goal of these processes is to produce a smooth surface free from any marks and scratches.
Once the car is completely clean, it can be protected with a clear coat, wax or sealant to reduce the effects of oxidation and other environmental factors. The tires and the trim can be dressed to enhance their appearance and help them resist fading due to UV exposure, while a protective film can be placed on the windows to prevent them from fogging up or yellowing.
Several companies provide car detailing services, but the most reputable ones are independently run shops that focus on this specialty. They will typically have a separate location from a regular car wash and employ highly skilled technicians who are trained in the art of hand-washing, waxing and buffing. They also have specialized tools and machines for the job, such as high-pressure nozzles with a recirculating water system that allows them to conserve water.
There are also several products available that a car owner can use at home to keep their vehicles in top shape, such as cleansers and waxes, as well as scratch fillers, tar removal, and other maintenance products. Some of these products come in kits that include wash mitts, sponges, foam applicators and drying towels.
A fully-detailed car that’s maintained regularly can help to improve its resale value, so it’s worth spending the money to get your vehicle professionally detailed on a regular basis. This will help you to keep it in better condition for longer and can help to avoid costly repairs that can result from neglect or improper care. auto detailing near me