Need a Car Detailing Service? Here’s What to Look For

Written by a Guest Blogger

When we hear the words auto detailing, most of us think of it as just a simple car wash. But is that all? No way. The professional car detailing industry brings in more than $9 billion in revenue in the United States alone – that’s more than just suds!

Car detailing can happen on the outside and the inside. Exterior detailing refers to cleaning and restoring your car’s original look, focusing on the paint and glossy finish. Exterior cleaning also refers to cleaning the windows, tires, wheels, chrome trim, and other components that you see outside the car.

Interior detailing involves the cleaning of the inner cabin. Over the past 50 years, interiors of automobiles have been made from a number of materials ranging from natural fibers to vinyl, plastics, leather, and others. Different products and methods are used for cleaning, based on the type of surface and its condition.

Mistakes Car Owners Make When Choosing a Car Detailing Service

  • The first and foremost mistake is quickly choosing a package without comparing the prices offered by different service providers. In addition, too many service providers charge customers the full cost of the package, even when all the services in it are not used.
  • Another mistake is not choosing the right type of cleaning service. Each car requires a different cleaning technique. This is of great importance, especially when it comes to the interiors and the paint job. A chemical cleaning service might cause irreversible damage to the car.
  • Though mobile auto detailing may seem convenient for busy people, it may end up spoiling the car.

Choosing a Car Detailing Service

Self-Service: The self-service car wash has been the most popular car wash service ever. There are several self-service spots that you can use by paying a small fee. They provide you with a water jet pump and a foam brush, and a few even give you towels to wipe your car dry. Though it might be good for your budget, it may not be ideal for your car in the long run.

Hand-Wash Service: This is a service that is carried out by people who are trained to wash cars by hand. After the car is cleaned, it is completely rinsed and wiped down with non-abrasive towels. You can find such services at shopping malls and parking garages. This does save you the time and trouble of washing your car by yourself, but it could make a big dent in your pocket if someone were to carelessly make a scratch on the paint.

Automated Car Wash: Automated car washes are chosen by people who constantly travel on salt or sandy roads or in areas where their vehicles are exposed to abrasives. This is also the quickest and easiest option to clean your car in a scratch-free manner. These car wash providers use soap, brushes, and cloth friction to clean your car; this is the best way because it’s a touchless system. The water and soap get sprayed by high-pressure hoses in all directions and make your car squeaky clean. The best part is that after the wash, the car is sent through a blow-dry system that prevents it from getting scratched. However, there are a few things to consider while planning to give your car an automated car wash.

  • Pricing: Look for a car detailing service that provides coupons or special offers. There are a few places that provide offers on their least busy day of the week, for example, a 20% discount on Wednesdays. Try to schedule an appointment on those days. Another way is to compare packages, quality of service, and pricing to find the best option.
  • Features: There will be times when you just need a simple exterior wash and a vacuum. In such cases, don’t go looking for service providers that give you extensive packages. Instead, look for one that provides reasonably-priced smaller packages.
  • Reviews: Moving into a new neighborhood and looking for a good detailing provider? Try asking the family next door, or looking up reputed sites for reviews on nearby providers.
  • Affiliations and General Considerations: It’s always better to select companies that are affiliated with reputed organizations. The Better Business Bureau is dependable and provides the best information when it comes to car detailing services. Also find out if the service provider gives coupons, discounts, and special offers like oil changes or fluid checks to return customers.

As there are a few situations where your interiors or exteriors could get damaged during the detailing process, it’s important to go to a professional who provides a warranty on services. By being aware of the pitfalls to avoid, and by taking a closer look at all the services that your provider gives you, you can easily make your choice and drive your car into the place where it can shine.

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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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