If you own a vehicle, you have probably already heard of a full car detailing service. Namely, the professionals employed at such services will clean and condition your vehicle. There might be some small corrections that can be made – minor touch ups, but usually no paintwork, or repairs of any kind. Having done process this regularly, your vehicle will retain a better appearance and functionality, as well as a better resale price. It is meant to maintain it in optimal shape, so that in the future, it will require less work and repairing, all while giving you the best and safest ride. However, not many people know what to expect when scheduling such an appointment, especially if it is their first time. Most people know they should wash their car once per week, or something like it – yes, you read well, particularly if you drive it a lot, and on a highway or freeway.
Before saying anything else, it is worth mentioning that there are different service packages, depending on what your vehicle requires and what your wishes are (and what is the amount of money you prepared to pay). Most experts agree that this process needs to be repeated 2-3 per year – every four to six months, depending how often you drive your car and on what kind of road, how old it is, and the weather conditions. Also, the frequency will be determined by the packages – you can get different packages, depending on what your vehicle mostly needs taken care of. There are some packages which have services that are not needed that often, and others that have to be done on a regular basis, perhaps even more frequently than previously mentioned. If there are bugs that get squished on the windshield and the front of the vehicle, tree sap that leaks from trees, bird droppings, or you drive it in environment that has salty air, smog, cold or hot temperatures, rain, or even mud, your car’s exterior might need special and regular care, so that the paint will stay fresh and shiny.
Usually, the basic package consists of options like washing and waxing of the exterior of the car, vacuum cleaning of the interior, window cleaning and polishing of the internal surfaces. This is recommended to be done at least once a month, or if you drive it more often – even once per week.
Full car detailing is a top to bottom vehicle cleaning service executed by well-equipped professionals with specialized tools and products. If you are thinking of taking your car for full detailing here are some things to expect.
1. Paint care
One of the primary services offered in exterior detailing is paint care. The paint is delicate and exposed to the elements. With time, it can crack and fade, even get scratched or damaged by chemicals in bird droppings or acid rains. Reputable detailers handle the paint care with a three step approach: clean, correct and protect. Cleaning involves thorough washing and drying to remove surface dirt and grime. Clay bar application is an important part of the correction processes where the contaminants on the clear coat are removed. The process gets rid of any metal, tar, and dirt contaminants. Polishing is an optional step that removes swirl marks and fine scratches – but is highly recommended. Finally, sealing is done to protect the paint. Wax is normally used for this process and the final results are always satisfactory. Special paints or coats need special care that only a professional detailer can provide.
2. Chassis and wheels
Exterior detailing involves cleaning of both the chassis and undercarriage of the vehicle. The cleaning also extends to the wheel wells and suspension components. A plastic protectant is used on the plastic splash guards and inner fender liners. The wheels and tires are thoroughly cleaned, as well as the suspension parts, and a protectant is applied to improve lustre and offer added protection against cracking and corrosion.
3. Taillights and Headlights
Oxidation around the lights gives a car an unpleasant worn-out look. As part of a full detailing package, the headlights and taillights are polished with a special compound to restore their original look. If done well, the blurred plastic cover could be transparent once again. A special plastic sealant is also applied to the lights to further protect them from oxidation.
4. Trim cleaning
The trim complements the exterior aesthetics of a car. Full detailing involves cleaning chrome trimming and dressing vinyl and plastic trim with protectant to prevent its fading and cracking. Moreover, chrome finishes on the exhaust tips are also cleaned and polished.
5. Interior detailing
When it comes to interior detailing there are a lot of different services offered. Carpet cleaning and seat cleaning are the most important – they are laden with dust and germs, so thorough cleaning is warranted and welcome. The carpet cleaning is fairly straightforward, but seat cleaning depends on the type of seats in your car, depending on the material they are made of. Fabric, leather, and semi-leather seats all have different cleaning requirements. Moreover, staining and smudging complicate the cleaning process. Professional detailers use special products and techniques to clean the different materials and handle tough stains. Interior detailing involves vacuuming, steaming, conditioning and polishing the cabin. The trunk is also not spared – often times it can be extremely dirty and has to be properly cleaned.
6. The engine
Engine bay cleaning is often included in a full detailing service. The first step involves lightly misting the engine bay with water. A degreaser is then used to clean the engine before rinsing it. Once all the surfaces are dry, a protectant is applied on all plastic, silicone and rubber components to prevent cracking.
Full detailing services are offered by numerous professionals. However, finding the right detailer can be difficult. It’s advisable to go for reputable detailers for the best results. Moreover, ensure the full detailing package that’s on offer includes all the services you want. If you are uncertain about the detailing processes, feel free to ask and get the best value for your money.
Some services even offer paint correction, paint sealants, wheel wells undercoating, and even to clean your air conditioner and to change the filters. Of course, this has additional cost. The cost also depends on the type of vehicle.