If you’re a not car-enthusiast, auto detailing may seem like something you’d do if you simply want to give your vehicle added shine. However, this car care regimen presents several advantages to your vehicle that you shouldn’t disregard.
For most people, car detailing and car washing are the same. But there’s actually a massive difference between the two, as more goes into a detailed car wash to ensure the inside and outside of your car is spotlessly clean. Compared to a normal car washing, which uses an automated cleaning system to take care of the cleaning, it involves meticulous hand washing by expert detailers.
It may not be a significant difference if you’re not a car enthusiast. But whether you’re a car enthusiast or not, you and any car owner for that matter should consider having their 4-wheel fully detailed from time to time. It is also necessary to regularly perform little details to ensure your car will look its best every time.
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What Exactly Is Car Detailing?
Auto or car wash detailing is a process giving a vehicle a complete and detailed cleaning to give it a better shine and restore its beauty. It can also protect its parts and paint when exposed to contaminants and harsh UV rays.
A regular car wash can eliminate dirt and dust on the exterior of your vehicle. Vacuuming its interior can also get rid of grime. However, an auto detailing takes the process to a whole new level, as your car will receive a thorough cleaning from top to bottom using specialized products and tools. A professional detailer can also eliminate swirl marks or scratches by doing light surface touch-ups to make your vehicle look almost new again.
Auto Detailing Components
The detailing of your car will include the following guidelines:
- Exterior Detailing. Detailing will start with cleaning your vehicle to ensure all dirt, road grime, debris, and other things, are removed from it. It includes vacuuming and restoration to exceed the original condition of your vehicle’s exterior parts, such as windows, wheels, and tires, among others. The detailer will use products like degreasers, wax, and detergents to accomplish this.
- Interior Detailing. The process will involve cleaning the inner components of your car such as plastic, leather, carbon fiber, viny, and natural fiber. Vacuuming, steam-cleaning, and other various techniques will be used to clean its interior cabinet. Cleaning products will depend on you. Often, car owners will buy specialized detailing treatment products for specific materials to protect it from exposure, as well as enhance its shine.
You can also complete a car detailing at home using cleaning products for cars, a DIY detailing kit, and an electric pressure washer from one of this cleanup.expert editors choice list.
According to car specialists, it is best to start tackling the wheels of your vehicle first using tire brushes or wheel cleaner. Then, move on to the exterior and use auto detailing products to protect it. The interior should be the last part you’ll detail and clean.
Most car owners believe that detailing their vehicle is as simple as spraying its tires with tire shine or replacing the air freshener. Some use most expensive cleaning equipment and tools. However, whatever products you buy and use, any car detailing project will involve plenty of patience, hard work, and utilizing the right techniques and supplies.
How Does An Exterior Car Detailing Works?
The exterior detailing of your car is not only a simple and quick wash of its exterior parts. An expert detailer will make your vehicle glow, minimize any visible scratches on its surface, and will apply a paint sealant. The process will usually include the following:
- Washing and Drying. Hands are used when detailing your car. The first thing a detailer will do is spray it with a high-powered specialized spray. He will then follow it up with thorough hand washing of the rims, glass, door jambs, and any exterior components that require cleaning.
- Claying. Any impurities and residue, as well as any traces and marks of overspray, is then removed using a clay bar.
- It’s normal for your vehicle to lose its shine if you’ve used it for some time, the process of polishing can help restore its original shine.
- A sealant or wax in some cases is applied to give your car a beautiful glossy shine.
The exterior detailing may also involve other services such as engine detailing, rim repainting, bumper repair, headlight, polishing, paint touch-up, repair of glass chip, and power washing the engine.
How Does An Interior Auto Detailing Works?
Your car should be even more beautiful and clean on the inside. So it’s no surprise that interior detailing involves more time and effort compared to exterior. Not only will an untidy interior cabin smell bad, but it will also add to your operational problems.
The switches of your car may fail because of grit and stain, while hazy and unclear windows can obscure your view of the road. If these are the cases, the interior of your vehicle will require more than washing using soap and water.
There are several ways on how to do interior detailing, but the usual process comprises of the following:
- The process begins with vacuuming the interior of your vehicle, which includes its seats, shelf, rear cargo section, headliners, and trunk. Floor mats should be tackled separately to get the most of vacuuming it. The detailer will use an air compressor on areas that the vacuum will have difficulty reaching.
- Steam Cleaning and Brushing. Mats will get a thorough scrubbing to get rid of any blemishes and stains that have accumulated over the years. While using a steam-cleaner will result in more effective cleaning. Carpets, on the other hand, are left to dry completely to prevent mildew build-up.
- Glass Cleaning. A special glass cleaner will take care of cleaning the glass to ensure it remains gleaming.
- Leather Trimming. Every leather components of your vehicle are cleaned using a leather soap, leather cleaner, and saddle soap. Excess soap is removed using a damp cloth in soapy areas, while a customized leather conditioner is used on dry leather for more efficient cleaning.
- Wiping and Re-Vacuuming. To remove any dirt and dust left in the cabin, it is vital to re-vacuum. On the other hand, clean cloth with cleaning detergent is used to wipe the windows and dashboards clean. The original shine of your car will be restored once all of these are done. You can complete this task by choosing a recommended car vacuum from Smart Vacuums.
- The last step is using a deodorant in your car to leave it with a nice, good scent.
How Much Does It Cost To Get My Car Detailed?
The average cost of a basic auto detailing can range anywhere between $50 to $125 if you have an average-sized car. The price average for vans and SUVs is usually $75 to $150, while your car can get more detail with an upgraded package that costs around $175 or more.
There are also additional services that can add to the cost such as leather conditioning, treatment using clay bar, and removal of pet hairs. Product quality can also affect the overall price of the detailing service. Check out this example of prices for professional auto detailing.
Benefits Of Auto Detailing
A car detailing comes with benefits not just to your vehicle, but to you as well.
Here are its benefits to your car:
- It can help extend its lifespan as it eliminates contaminants that may be damaging the paint, vinyl, chrome, and leather of your car.
- Car wash detail can improve the physical look of your car by restoring its original appearance.
- It helps maintain the condition of its paint as it includes the application of wax over the paint of your car to minimize scratches and add a protective barrier.
- The engine of your vehicle will run cooler since regular detailing will ensure there are no dirt, dust, and leaks on its engine.
- It can also extend your car’s resale value by making your car look as handsome as the day you bought it.
Aside from these, it can also provide you with the following perks:
- You’ll have the satisfaction and feel confident on the road knowing you’re driving a shiny, dirt-free car.
- You can save money in the long run with regular car detailing since it can help minimize repair and make the engine run efficiently and smoothly.
- It can provide you with a healthier ride by getting rid of dust particles on its ventilation or carpet.
How Many Times Do I Need Have My Car Detailed?
How often you need to have your car detailed will depend on the kind of conditions you exposed it. But, ideally, you should get auto detailing when seasons change. If you live in a snowy or cold location, or near the ocean, consider booking more regularly. If you live in a dryer, warmer area, it is recommended to have it done at least twice a year.