DriveSmart’s goal is to provide leading automotive industry news, tips and tricks that can benefit everyone! Not many truly know about the worth and process of a car detail service. So, to better understand the many benefits of car detailing, also known as auto-detailing, let’s outline what to expect when you choose to take your vehicle to a car detailing near me.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- What is Car Detailing?
- What is the Difference Between a Car Wash and an Auto Detail?
- What are the Steps in Auto Detailing?
- What are the Benefits of Getting Your Car Detailed?
- How Much Does a Car Detail Cost?
I. What is Car Detailing?
Car detailing can be classified in a variety of terms when it comes to the services included in a complete detail. A typical detail package will have two parts:
- Exterior Detailing – This involves the vehicle’s body treatment and a high-end wax.
- Interior Detailing – This involves removing stains, treating leather upholstery as well as cleaning all the visible surfaces.
A good car detailing service gives your car “fresh” newer look. A common misconception is that a car wash station is comparable to a car detailing service. Well yes, a car wash is technically a detailing service but, that is not the “detailing service” we will be diving deeper into.
II. What is the Difference Between a Car Wash and an Auto Detail?
Aside from cost which typically ranges anywhere from $10-$40, the average car wash only covers a fraction of the cleaning that you can get from a detail and can only achieve a fraction of the result that you would receive from a car detailing service.
Most car washes take between ten-to-twenty minutes to go from washing to drying. A car wash can be done by hand or by machines (a drive thru car wash) that run bristles, soap, and water to clean your car’s exterior. As a result, it will get a nice shine and sleek look.
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However, this is not true exterior car detailing! The word ‘detail’ is what matters in auto detailing. A car wash tends to be a superficial cleanse while an auto detail is more thorough and restorative. Putting it into perspective, having your car detailed means a top-to-bottom thorough cleaning of your vehicle using specialized tools and products.
III. What are the steps in Auto Detailing?
As stated above, car detailing is broken down into two main phases: exterior detailing and interior detailing.
An exterior detail will usually start with an extensive wash to remove as much dirt as possible. The special soap used will lift dirt and mud off the surface. This is usually immediately followed up with the use of special brushes and a wheel cleaning product.
Good detailers will take off all the filth from the wheels, including the brake calipers, lug nuts and anything else visible. The wheels are usually the dirtiest portion of the car and will always give a “wow” effect when clean.
After the wheels have been cleaned, they shift focus to the paintwork after carefully washing and drying the vehicle’s body from top to bottom (most often using washing mitts and soft microfiber towels). Once the car is dried off, the detailer will conduct a clay bar buffing. Any clear coat imperfections will be filled in in order to make them virtually vanish all together.
If required, the paint will be polished to diminish any light scratches, oxidation, and swirl-marks. The paint can be polished by hand or by a polishing machine. This step is usually the longest step for detailing services depending on the car.
Finally, the paint is waxed to give it an additional protective layer using high-quality paste wax. This added protection results in a recognizable shine – the one you saw when you first bought it!
For interior detailing, the service depends on the vehicle’s upholstery. However, the process is usually a standard one which entails thoroughly vacuuming and shampooing the interior in order to remove stains, smells, and dirt.
If the vehicle has leather work, extra car care goes into the conditioning and scrubbing to remove dirt that is deeply ingrained. Leather interior must be handled in a specific delicate manner in order to avoid scratching the leather with any dust, dirt or other debris that may be sitting within the wedges. Plastics and vinyl are also properly cleaned and dressed along with the interior glass, which is cleaned and polished.
IV. What are the benefits of getting your car detailed?
A complete car detail will bring your car to its best-current-condition. You can then perform mini touch-ups to keep your car looking as good as new. Keeping your car in good condition will help maintain or restore the value of your car to the fair market value.
This is particularly true for older or classic cars. It is especially important if you’re looking to sell your car in the future. You simply cannot get the same results from car washes. A good detailer will bring your car to its original beauty and increase its resale value. Having a regular exterior and interior detail can increase your car’s resale value by ten percent!
V. How much does a car detail cost?
When you go for an auto detail quote in order to find out the actual cost of an auto detail, you can expect to pay between $75-$150 for a standard sized vehicle and between $100-$200 for an SUV or van. These essential detailing services should include everything mentioned above. Depending on the service provider, there may be an upgraded package with extra detail services such as engine bay cleaning.
These packages will typically include a higher quality cleaning along with specialized equipment for vintage cars, boats, motorcycles or RVs. Always feel free to ask your detailer service specialist any questions about their process! Most of them are proud of their process and will explain it. Simply having someone explain the differences between packages should give you an idea of what to expect.