A Deeper Look at Auto Detailing & Why Your Car Needs It
Maintaining a car is a lot of work. Oil changes, brake tests, replacements of various parts – it’s a never-ending process when owning a car. In fact, so much work is required to keep a vehicle functional, that it’s easy to overlook a particular fix. But there is one task you should remember – auto detailing. Although the purpose of detailing may seem purely aesthetic, there are additional benefits to consider. Not only are these advantages good for your car, they’re helpful to you personally as well.
A Detailed Look at Auto Detailing
The activity is a mystery to some. When people ask what is car detailing, a common assumption among those who have never had their vehicle taken in, is that it involves the splashing of bright paint, vinyls and decals. In other words, they confuse it with customization – the practice many street racers embrace. However, auto detailing in its essence, is a thorough cleaning of a car with the intent of making it look its best down to the very last detail (hence the name detailing). The process involves both the exterior and interior of the vehicle.
The first thing people notice about the car is its exterior. That’s why detailers devote much of their time and attention to a vehicle’s body, ensuring it looks its best. They want it to look as good as it did when it was brand new. Restoring its gloss by means of a paint job is a common focus since the car surface loses its shine with the passing of time. In addition to repainting the car, a detailer will also work on the windows, wheels, tires and rims to make sure they look their best. Dirt, grease, rust – they all disappear during the exterior stage – with the help of degreasers and detergents – to ensure a car looks its cleanest.
They say outer beauty is nothing without beauty within. That’s something auto detailers agree with. Therefore, it comes as no surprise when detailing experts spend much time cleaning the inside of a car, perhaps spending more time inside compared to the exterior. A standard practice is vacuuming, to remove all the dirt and dust that has accumulated inside a vehicle over time. In addition to vacuuming, there is the cleaning of car seats and door interiors. The materials used in vehicles differ, whether they’re made of leather, plastics, vinyls, or carbon fiber composites. No matter what’s used, detailers work hard to remove the stains and blemishes to ensure that interior looks brand new. Common cleaning tools include steam cleaners, liquid/foam solutions and brushes for scrubbing. When used in combination with each other, detailing professionals are able to provide a deep clean that you may not be able to do on your own.
Auto detailing requires a multi-step process. Both the interior and exterior clean up of a vehicle have their own steps. With that said, the way one company does it may vary when compared to another, so it’s likely to find a slightly different approach adopted by others if you were to shop around. However, the majority of detailers use similar tools to arrive at that sparkling finish.
Common Exterior Process
- Wash & Dry – The exterior detailing process typically begins with a high-powered spray wash, followed by a thorough handwashing with a mild soap. Afterwards, comes the drying.
- Clay – The next step is clay work, where the detailer uses a clay bar to remove any traces of overspray, and other contaminants the wash couldn’t remove on its own.
- Polish – It’s normal for a car to lose some of its shine, so restoring its original paint complexion is necessary. This is the polishing stage.
- Seal – Generally, the exterior process ends with the application of sealant, to give the car a glossy shine. Detailers can go farther, by applying wax to surface.
Common Interior Process
- Vacuuming – When dealing with the interior of a car, the first step of detailing starts with the use of a vacuum. All areas of the car receive a cleaning, including the glove compartment and trunk.
- Brushing/Scrubbing/Shampooing – This is where the grind work comes in. The mats and carpet upholstery receive a thorough brushing and scrubbing, to remove the stains and deep blemishes that have accumulated over the years.
- Wiping/Re-vacuuming – The next focus is on the interior surfaces, such as the windows and dashboard and door panels, which the detailing expert will wipe down (along with a cleaning agent). This will restore the shine to a car’s interior.
- Deodorizing – Finally, as a finishing touch, the detailer will spray the inside of your car to ensure it has a pleasing odour. They will usually offer you a choice of scent.
A Clean-Looking Car Can Take You Far
When it comes to appearance, the benefits of detailing are obvious. We’ve all had those times where we ran out of time to clean our car or take it for a wash. It was embarrassing. However, when it was sparkling and appropriately scented, the urge to take others for a ride was strong, and there was probably a stream of compliments. So the results of cleaning your car are well understood. However, there are other positive things that arise from having your car detailed.
Promotes Good Health
You may think your car can only hold a maximum of five passengers, but that’s not the case. Your vehicle carries millions (perhaps billions) of microscopic occupants. Whether you like to picture it or not, germs and allergens flourish in cars. The accumulation of dirt, dust and debris (including food crumbs) inside a car’s cabin filter, carpet upholstery and seats, allow microorganisms to circulate in your vehicle. Car detailing involves the removal of these particles (by means of vacuuming), and the sterilization of interior surfaces with the use of cleaning solutions. So if you’re prone to sniffling and sneezing, relief may come from the work of a detailer.
Increase Your Car’s Resale Value
You’ll have an easier time selling your car if it looks crisp. You see, a shiny and spot-free vehicle is much like a person going in for a job interview. The applicant can be the perfect person for the position, but the employer won’t see that if this individual is poorly groomed. Likewise, a car coated with dirt and grime, or a vehicle with a drabby-looking interior won’t resonate well with prospective buyers. Your vehicle’s resale value can increase by a considerable amount, and a clean appearance could push an apprehensive buyer to say “sold!”.
Reflects on Your Professionally
The section above made mention of job interviews. Well, your employer looks at more than just your work. In addition to your dressing, grooming and overall demeanor, it’s not unusual for a prospective employer to look at other things – your car could be among them. While a car covered in dirt won’t necessarily dissuade an employer from hiring an individual, such a sight could leave a slightly negative impression on their mind. So always consider the fact that someone may have their eyes on you.
Sweating the Details
Auto detailing is not a necessity, but it’s certainly worth your time. Your car is a reflection of you, and others may form some of their impressions of you based on how your car looks. So it makes sense to invest some cash and time into detailing. A normal car wash will only go so far, but a thorough detailing can remove the tough stains and blemishes which stubbornly remain on (or in) your vehicle. You won’t regret it once it leaves the shop looking glossy!