WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CAR WASHING AND DETAIING?
Maintaining your car’s showroom-ready condition can be a somewhat difficult task. You have to consistently set aside money, time, and effort to ensure that your vehicle looks good inside and out. More often than not, you will need the help of car detailing experts to help you keep your car ready for the road.
But is there a difference between availing of car wash services and auto detailing services?
Know what you’re dealing with
Most car owners don’t realize that a car wash and a detail job mean two vastly different things, and this affects their attitude towards proper car care. Some car owners are skeptical to seek professional help because they think that detailing prices are much too expensive and unreasonable. Why spend more than fifty bucks for a wash when you can do the job yourself?
The truth is that washing and/or vacuuming your car at home won’t cut it, if you want to maximize your car’s useful life to the fullest. Your car needs more than just regular appointments with buckets of water and soap to ensure that it will stay in tiptop condition for the long run. Plus, your vehicle is a sound financial investment that you have to consistently maintain, or its resell value will be next to nothing should you decide to turn it in for a newer model.
Detailing your car means checking every nook and cranny to get rid of accumulated dirt, grease, dust, soil particles, and all the other bad stuff that can eventually eat away at the metal parts or simply mar the natural beauty of your vehicle.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DETAILING MY VEHICLE?
Every car is different, but in general, a thorough detail will leave just about every surface of the vehicle improved; from beautifully glossy and slick feeling paint to UV protected, low sheen rubber and vinyl, cleaned and conditioned leather and sparkling chrome. The difference is dramatic and not one that can be achieved by valeting.
When you consider how expensive it would be to respray your car, detailing represents very good value for money. We can preserve the original paint while often achieving amazing results.
For a good variety of examples of what can be achieved, our gallery includes a selection of the cars that we have detailed and below is a summary of just some of the benefits:
- Removing marks and reducing fading in paint – rejuvenating paint by removing/reducing existing fading, swirls, scratches, etching, etc. and at the same time ensuring it stays in better condition for longer
- A stunning looking finish – Detailed cars really do stand out. From Fiestas to Ferraris, our customers are often surprised at how much better their car looks even if they have been regularly looking after it themselves
- A car which is easier to clean and tends to stay cleaner, longer – the slickness brought about by extensive decontamination and protective treatments keeps the dirt from sticking quite so easily
- Providing long term protection – By removing contaminants which can eat into the finish (leather, chrome, vinyl, paint, etc.) and then where appropriate, sealing it, your car will stay in top condition for longer
- Helping to retain the value of your car – a well presented car will always sell better and a detail takes things to the next level with cars often looking better than new and standing out from the rest.
HOW LONG DOES A DETAILING SERVICE TAKE?
Our Full detailing services can take between 4 – 10 hours depending which of the 2 detailing packages you choose, type of vehicle, size & condition of your car. Our Premium detail or a vehicle that requires extra attention on the interior or multiple stages of polishing on the exterior may take up to a couple days . A specific estimate can be provided the day of your appointment. Shine & Style Custom Auto Detailing Spa is a high quality, low volume service company. That means that we schedule only a few cars a day in order to give your vehicle the extra attention it needs to ensure our quality level of work. In order to best accommodate all of our customers, we recommend scheduling at least a few days to one week in advance.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD A VEHICLE BE DETAILED?
At least once per year. Detailing has proven to be effective in getting you a better resale/trade-in price. So, if you are planning on selling/trading your car, make sure to have it detailed within a week of selling/trading it.
It is usually when selling a vehicle that most people consider detailing. But, by that time (an average of 5 years) the vehicle has too much wear and tear to restore it to a like new condition. That’s why we urge our customers to think of auto detailing as a maintenance program the same as changing the fluids, getting a tune-up or rotating the tires. Most people don’t realize that in most cases, it is less expensive to replace the engine than to replace a “factory paint job”! We recommend at least 2 to 5 times a year depending on your driving and car washing habits and how you store your vehicle. Is it parked inside or outside most of the time? Do you wash it every other day or maybe only once a month? How do you wash it? Do you spend so much time in your vehicle that you feel like it’s your home? These are just some of the determining factors that we consider in recommending what maintenance schedule is best for you.
WHEN IS THE MOST CRITICAL TIME TO GET MY VEHICLE DETAILED?
Don’t forget the winter months are the most crucial time to detail due to the rapid changes in temperature, road construction, salt and other elements that are especially hard on your vehicles exterior. Not to mention that the magnesium chloride they are using on the roads these days is proving to be even more harmful than we thought to the exposed surfaces of your car. While it’s easy to rationalize that “it’s just going to get dirty again anyway”, properly applied sealant is your only defense! Plus it makes it easier to wash off all that harmful grime.
DO YOU HAVE SERVICE PACKAGES AVAILABLE IF I WANTED MY VEHICLE DETAILED MORE OFTEN?
Yes, after your first detailing, we would be glad to design an auto detailing maintenance plan specifically for your vehicle.
WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE MY VEHICLE BEFORE I BRING IT IN FOR SERVICE?
Please make sure you have plenty of gas. If you car is electric please charge it fully before you drop it off. We use the heater and air conditioning system of your vehicle to dry the carpets after extracting them and the engine must be running.
It is also a good idea to remove your personal items from inside your vehicle. This will save us time and it is less unlikely that your items will be lost during our cleaning process.
Don’t worry so much about removing items from your glove box or center console. We remove those items for you to clean inside compartments then put everything back in immediately.
If you do not have time to remove all personal items we understand. In that case we put everything in a storage bin while cleaning your interior then put items back inside your car.
MY VEHICLE IS NEW. DOES IT NEED TO BE DETAILED?
We frequently receive phone calls from customers who have recently purchased a new vehicle. When asked what detail service they would like, they often reply “well, it’s a brand new car so it doesn’t need much”. Unfortunately that statement often proves to be a bit off base.
Just because your vehicle is new doesn’t necessarily mean the paint finish is flawless. Often times when a vehicle leaves the factory there are many paint imperfections that are missed by quality control personnel. Some of these imperfections are dirt specks, run lines, wet sanding marks, pig tails from a D/A sander, and hologramming from improper polishing techniques.
If the vehicle is shipped from out of state or travels by train it can be subject to many contaminants along the way with no protection. Then when it arrives at the car dealership many times the vehicle is washed improperly by inexperienced lot attendants causing scratches and swirl marks. Ideally before you take delivery ask them not to wash your vehicle.
Here is how our New Car Detailing service works. Just schedule an appointment for an exterior wash. First we will gently wash your vehicle, then we will put it under our lights and start our quality control inspection.
If we find any paint imperfections we will give you an onsite estimate for our paint correction service. If not then you will be on your way with our maintenance recommendation for your vehicle.
We also offer new car protection services at a fraction of what the dealers charge and the protection products we offer are much higher quality compared to the products used by the dealer. Often times dealerships will offer a “lifetime paint sealant” and say if you purchase this you will never have to wax your car again.
These so called lifetime sealant packages are usually accompanied by warranties, unfortunately most consumers don’t realize that these warranties require you to have the sealant re-applied every six months to a year along with gentle maintenance washes by hand and prohibit you from polishing or waxing your vehicle.
Because customers rarely, if ever, return to have the sealant re-applied or their vehicle washed by hand this is easy money for the dealers. We have customers come in our establishment frequently and say “but I purchased a lifetime sealant from the car dealership, why does my paint look so bad?”
This is because they are often left with the false expectation that a “paint protection program” will mitigate paint damage from (scratches, swirls, bird droppings, tree sap, acid rain and washing your car abrasively using a (brush or automatic car wash tunnels) in some way and this is simply not true.
This idea of a paint sealant or coating that will protect your vehicles paintwork forever is a great one and we wish it were true, but unfortunately there is no such product on the market.
However there are some paint sealants and coatings available that will last well over one year with our regular maintenance washes. We import our paint sealants and most are German made. These are the finest paint protection products available.
We know you’re proud of your new car. Protect your investment with our sealants for exterior paint, wheels, leather, fabric guard, and rain repellant coatings.
WHAT IS A CLAY BAR AND HOW CAN I TELL IF MY VEHICLE NEEDS THE CLAY BAR TREATMENT?
You drive your vehicle down the road there are many contaminants that attach to your paint surface. You can tell by running your hand across your hood or the lower part of the vehicle behind the front tire. If it feels gritty like sand paper then your vehicle is in need of clay bar treatment.
Clay bar is a flexible putty like substance used along with a lubricant or detail spray to remove microscopic contaminants from your paintwork making it extremely smooth in preparation for polishing and waxing.
Because these contaminants cannot be removed by just washing your vehicle it will never technically be clean until it receives clay bar treatment.
Clay bar treatment is the first step in our paint correction process and is the most effective way to remove road contaminants. Using a clay bar can be somewhat abrasive therefore we always recommend having us correct your paintwork afterwords.
ARE AUTOMATIC CAR WASHES DETRIMENTAL TO MY VEHICLE’S PAINT FINISH?
All automatic car washes are abrasive and will eventually scratch and swirl your vehicles paint finish. Automatic car wash facilities spray harsh chemicals on your vehicle removing wax or any protection you may have on your vehicles paint surface. They are also known for scratching, etching and swirling your paintwork or clear coat, damaging exterior parts along with rubber moldings, license plates and antennas. We would never recommend taking your vehicle through an automatic wash tunnel.
Unlike an automatic car wash, at Shine & Style Custom Auto Detailing each and every hand wash or detail service we provide is tailored to suit your vehicles make and model. After our paint correctionprocess we can maintain your vehicle’s paint finish all year round with our unique scratch and swirl free wash process. This is the only way to keep a perfect finish.
After we are finished correcting our customers paintwork some decide to go through the automatic car wash out of convenience and come back here once or twice per year to have it corrected again. Some have their vehicle washed here exclusively.
ARE YOU INSURED FOR DAMAGES CAUSED BY YOU OR YOUR EQUIPMENT?
Shine & Style Custom Auto Detailing is fully insured for any damage caused by its workmanship or cleaning materials/equipment. Our cleaning materials are Eco Friendly meaning non-toxic, biodegradable, no bleaches or chlorine. We are extremely careful with our customer’s property. We perform a pre-cleaning inspection of the entire vehicle which highlights any pre-existing problem areas (i.e. tears; worn areas; stains which have discolored fabrics, leather or vinyl; dents, scratches, cracked or damaged glass. We review the inspection form with the customer and have them sign the form.
WHAT FORMS OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Cash – no Checks accepted.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOURS
Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 6pm and Saturdays from 8am – 1pm. Please note we do not schedule any full details past 2:30 pm.
HOW DO I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?
Currently all appointments are made via phone or by emailing us. Online booking will be available soon!
DO YOU ACCEPT WALK -INS?
In order to better serve you and to allocate the right amount of time needed on making every detail perfect we accept appointments only. Very rare we accept walk-ins or same day appointments.