In the shop this week we have several 2018 vehicles here for detailing services . Why does a brand new car need detailed you ask? Its a great question and one that needs to be answered in explanation.
When cars are built at the factory , they are just that built, assembled , and shipped that is it. No wax , no leather conditioning , no protection . They then travel to and from all over the country on trucks or ships , along the way they are exposed to all kinds of different environmental contaminates . Such as UV exposure , acid rain , rail dust , road materials , etc etc. Then there is the people along the way getting in and out of the vehicle , moving the vehicle , potentially damaging the new vehicles paint , interior , glass etc.
Once they reach the dealership , most dealers don’t spend more than an hour preparing the car to get on the lot . There lot boy rips the plastic covers off , washes the vehicle and puts it on the lot. In essence your are buying a new to you but abused along the way vehicle. This is the reality of the auto industry.
You just spent 10’s of thousands of dollars on your new vehicle , wouldn’t it be wise to invest in protecting it right from the start? That’s where a good , certified , detailer comes in . Dealerships will sell you on a new car protection package that is 9/10 times complete B.S. to be honest. They are typically these low end paint and interior sealants that are marked up ludicrously. They only last a few months at most. A good , knowledgeable detailer will be able to offer you better protection at a better price and maintain your vehicle throughout ownership . The Audi in the pics below has less than a 1,000 miles on it , it doesnt even have license plates yet and you can see in the pics the damage that has occured already just from the above mentioned circumstances. In short if you want to keep your new investment in as good as shape as the day you bought it , bring it to a private detailer , and have it protected the right way with good products. That is why you should have your brand new car detailed .
“What is the difference between a ceramic coating and a wax job” . This is a question im being asked more and more . Ceramic coating are starting to become more and more popular among car protection and for good reason , they are the future of how vehicle protection.
Lets talk waxes and sealants first : Even the best waxes in the world protect your vehicle for a maximum of 3-4 months , they diminish with every car wash , every passing day . They look great initially but within about a week or so the luster starts to fade, so does the protection. Paint Sealants usually are polymer based and last 6-12 months , again diminishing with every wash , drive , etc . The benefits of these are short term but they are a cheaper option.
I consider waxes and sealants old technology when it comes to vehicle protection. Vehicle protection technology has advanced 10x in the last 5 years , from sio2 9h rated coatings , to material (aluminum,plastic,glass ) specific coatings that are engineered to protect only that . We have a plethora of different coatings to give consumers total vehicle protection both inside and out.
Ceramic coatings are initially more expensive , but provide much better longer lasting , chemical resistant , uv protection . Not to mention the gloss from a ceramic coating is incredible compared to traditional waxing . There are coatings on the market rated anywhere from 2 – 10 years ! Not months , YEARS ! Here in my area (Central Oregon) we have a lot of environmental contaminants that are horrible for your vehicle such as : UV rays, de icer, cinder , environmental fall out , road salt etc. Waxes and sealants will not protect against these things for more than a week or two. At my shop we only use ceramic based products for this exact reason . I do not feel that it would be in my clients best interest to get just a wax job in this environment. It will not hold up to all these elements working against it.
Ceramic coating provide basically extra layers of clear coat , they make your vehicle much easier to clean , prevent damage , and are affordable . They keep your vehicle looking new year after year rather than for 3-4 months . To me a couple hundred bucks more to upgrade to years of protection rather than months of protection is well worth it .
In the detailing world when it comes to polishing paint , soft paint is a detailers worst nightmare. Some describe as trying to polish pudding. It takes a lot of practice , technique and proper equipment to polish it safely and efficiently.
The current shop project, this 1997 Porsche Boxster is no exception . Porsche’s are known for soft paint, some of the softest in the industry. For this project after measuring the thickness of the paint and doing numerous test spots to determine what pad and polish would be the safest. I determined that damp polishing would bring the severely neglected paint back to its maximum potential in the safest possible way . Damp polishing goes against what most body shops and detailers are taught there whole career, most are taught to use a high speed rotary polisher with an aggressive wool pad and aggressive compounds. This method heats the paint up very quickly and removes the vehicles clear coat harshly. Damp polishing is a technique that uses water, spray wax , or rinse less wash sprayed on the pad of choice to aid in keeping the heat to a minimum. With the damp pad and low speed polishing we are able to polish soft paint safely and not potentially cause clear coat failure from heating up the clear coat and thinning it down to the point of no return.
I have alot of clients this time of year who ask “why should i do the outside of my car in the winter its just going to get dirty”. While that is true, the answer to that question is simple. PROTECTION, with all the bad chemicals, salts, cinders and everything else on the road your vehicle needs to be protected. Thats where a ceramic sealer or carnuba wax comes in . Also it is not good for for your vehicles exterior materials to be left in chemicals, salts, cinder etc , as these harsh things will break down your vehicles plastics , chrome , glass , and paint. This leads to expensive repairs and rust damage.
My recomendation is to protect your vehicle before the first heavy snow of the year . Wash your vehicle after each passing storm and have your undercarriage rinsed at lease once during this time of year to prevent rusting and corrosion of your supension parts, frame , underbody etc.
Even though you dont get to enjoy the wow factor of a nice shiny exterior for very long during this time of year it is still a idea to have it protected for the harsh weather.
This morning i find myself struggling in certain aspects of my life and it hurts. I try my best i really do . I have learned though that every circumstance has to run its course and its not always in your best interest to try to manipulate that course. everything happens for a reason and it will get better with time. Patience and understanding are things i struggle with in these type of circumstances. But they are necessary to stay sane and not become overwhelmed. I constantly try to improve my life in all aspects and become better than the day before . When life kicks you in the teeth is when you suck it up , put one foot in front of the other and keep marching toward your goal. Its then an only then that you find out just how much youve grown and how far you have come. You will become a better person , friend, significant other because of it . In situations like this I always have to remind myself “theres a bigger plan in the works for you ” just be patient. Keep working towards what you want in life. I truly believe that you get waht you put in and people get what they deserve. Just my 2 cents for the day.
Lets be real here , basic detailing is not that hard , thats why we see all these new shops and craigslist detailers pop up every year. The initial investment is not super expensive to get into . If you have cleaned your own vehicle , with a little more practice and research (at least 3-4 youtube videos lol ) you to could claim to be a “detailer” .
These type of detailers have no formal training , have never worked under an experienced journey man level detailer . Thats the scary part , they usually buy the cheapest products and equipment they can to keep the cost low and profits high. What they dont realize is that some of those products , even though they do the job at the time of the detail are actually harmful for some of the materials in your vehicle in the long run. Heres an example: using an unbalanced all purpose cleaner on leather is a big no no , even though the a.p.c. cleans the leather it also penetrates the pores of the leather and begins breaking down the structural integrity of the leather immediately , thats why your leather gets dried out and starts cracking 6 months after you just had your vehicle detailed.
In my opinion a true detailer , has at least 10 years experience, has formal training or has worked under and experienced detailer for at least 5 years.
A good detailer knows the ph scale and how it works in conjuction with all the different materials your vehicle is made of . A good detailer always practices the “least aggresive method” to get the desired results. They consistently improve there techniques and methods with your vehicles safety in mind. A good detailer buys the proper tools to do the job correctly. They invest time and money into learning the safest methods , products and procedures to preserve your vehicles condition properly .
In short you get what you pay for , do you want the mcdonalds of detailing or do you want the steakhouse of detailing? You might pay a bit more but the flavors are totally different. The mcdonalds detailer is cheaper , fills you up for the moment but is unhealthy in the long run. The steakhouse detailer is more money but the products are better and healthier for your vehicle now and in the long run. Choose wisely !
I care for every vehicle that comes to our shop for service like I would want my vehicle treated , not because I own the place and want to make a great impression on my customer but because im a car guy. To me a car guy , a true car guy respects everything auto relalted , we might have our preferences of brands, makes , models , etc but at the end of the day we have a special place in our hearts for this niche.
I got the “car bug” at an early age , my mom was epileptic and could not drive , my dad wasnt around alot. We had this guy that lived in our neighborhood who had a really loud old car , it was red oxide primered and us kids would hear him fire that thing up and run out to the street to see what was making that sound. He would gives us rides in it every now and then and do burnouts and doughnuts with us . Its one of my best childhood memories. The car was a 1966 Chevelle Super Sport. The first time he told us what kind of car it was , it was instantly burned in my brain 66 chevelle super sport . I must have said it a hundred times that day . I would tell everyone that i got to ride in a 66 chevelle super sport. That was the day I began to fall for cars.
My love for cars today is just as great as that day if not greater . I have a place in my heart for all of them. My employess poke fun at me because sometimes i talk to the cars we are working on or stand up for one when others make fun. If a vehicle is giving me a tough time , I talk to it and assure it im here to make them better. Maybe its a mental thing but to me it seems to work better than getting frustrated with it.
To sum this topic up , I treat all cars like my own because , well frankly I love cars always have , always will. They have given me this oppurtunity to do what i love and get paid for it. Without them i would probably be stuck in a cubicle somewhere hating my existence, so for that I show them appreciation by the treating them all like there my 66 chevelle super sport!
Lets face it vehicle interiors are tough to clean, they are small tight areas that are hard to reach and take alot of effort to look nice , even with the proper tools interiors are still the hardest part of a vehicle to clean and maintain.
We are in are cars and average of 2-3 hours a day at least ! Our cars our like our mobile homes or offices , we do almost everything out of them. Keeping them clean is very important to our health , and to the value of your vehicle . Those kid messes in the rear area and the coffee you spilled last wednesday contain all sorts of bacterias and enzymes that cause headaches , nausea , congestion , and all breakdown the materials you interior is made of.
A great interior detail should consist of cleaning and SANITIZING the entire interior , I see all to often vehicles that are “detailed” but not sanitized, this is the most important step in the interior detailing process. I always say just because it looks clean doesnt mean it is , without the use of proper sanitizing such as steam or enzymes that breakdown molds, bacterias and ohter organism that live in your interior your not truly getting a “clean ” interior you are getting a “cleaner” interior than you had prior. At my shop we use european steam and live bacteria killing enzymes to properly clean your entire interior.
Some tips to help maintain your vehicle between details:
Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer with you use it reguraly on your hands
If something is spilled in your vehicle clean it up with hot as you can tolerate water. Lightly agitate the surface DO NOT scrub hard .
Vacuum you vehicle at least once a month
Heres some pics of recent interior work we performed:
Last week I took the oppurtunity to take some advanced training with Renny Doyle who is one of the top three detailers in the entire world, he offers training in all aspects of detailing from the new detailer who has never touched a polisher to even more advanced , experienced detailers like myself.
We learned some great techniques throughout the week and how to safely clean, polish and protect your vehicle to get it to its maximum potential! I also earned several ceritfications including my certified detailer and skills validated certifications from the International Detailing Association as well as a ceramic protective coatings installer certifications and Flex polisher certifications.
It was a great experience working with a world renowned detailer and honing in my skills and now being able to take those skills , train my employess on them which in turn will translate to even better finished products for you , our clients!!!! Thank you Renny and all of our clients for the business.