AUTOMATIC CAR WASHES: BEWARE !!!!

My clients ask me often ” Which car wash should I use” ? My answer to this is always “you should not use an automated car wash” . Here is the reason , car washes are all smoke and mirrors . They project to people that they are a great way to wash , wax your vehicle conveniently . While they are convenient they are the number one reason for your vehicles paint deterioration. Let me elaborate on this more , when you take your car through a car wash , the package my say all these great things like super suds soap and ultra wax or whatever but they are pulling a fast one on you . Those soaps and waxes are really just harsh de greasers and acids that break down your vehicles finish and are meant to strip the exterior surfaces of all dirt and grime as well as any wax or sealant that you might have on your vehicle .  As for the wax , Its simply just a gloss enhancer that’s added to the “soap” that doesn’t last more than a day or two . You can test this by putting water on your vehicle a couple days after going through the car wash ,  the water will not bead like a wax job should. Further more the brushes that are used on your vehicle in those tunnel washes have been used on thousands of vehicles before yours and are probably not maintained on a regular basis or replaced as needed. With that being said , that’s the reason your paint gets “swirly” looking scratches and your paint  starts to look dull . The combination of the brushes and the harsh chemicals is a recipe for your vehicles paint to fail and lead to oxidation , chalkiness , uv damage .

I know car washes  are cheaper , more convenient and pretty fun , but they are a harsh way to maintain your vehicle. Below are some links to some easy more convenient ways to wash your vehicle easily and have fun doing it .

OPTIMUM NO RINSE CAR WASH

This product is what we use everyday here at my shop and what i recommend to all my customers , Its is easy to use , economical , and environmentally friendly. There are tons of videos on YouTube about it .

Also Foam cannon washing method is great way as well but is messy and not as environmentally friendly . It requires much more water and is less effective than the no rinse method. Please feel free to comment with any questions , Im happy to answer them . Also if you would like a free lesson on proper wash techniques contact me .

GLASS CLEANING 101: TIPS AND TRICKS FOR GREAT GLASS

Our clients often ask “how do you the glass so clean and streak free” ! The answer is our glass cleaning process:

We start by using good clean microfiber towels , I like to start the process with a waffle weave micro fiber towel, I spray glass cleaner directly into the towel . I don’t saturate the towel but make sure it is damp. I wipe the interior glass vertically , the exterior glass horizontally . Doing this will tell you what side of the glass has smears or streaks when you get to your final wipe down. After the waffle weave dampened towel , I follow that up right away with a finer gsm microfiber towel , I switch to new towels halfway through the vehicle to ensure there’s no contamination from the previous windows. I clean all the glass in that manner . We then go around and inspect the glass from all different angles , and determine what side of the glass the smears or streaks are on and with a fresh fine gsm microfiber towel remove the streaks or smears , sometimes a light spritz of glass cleaner is needed to remove any residue left on the glass. We continue to walk around the vehicle inspecting the glass until there is no more visible streaks or smears. We then follow that up with an ultra soft microfiber towel for a final wipe down that picks up any lint or fine residue left behind. This is a great method for getting spotless glass. Here’s a link to some great microfiber towels from an outstanding company ! Happy glass cleaning !https://www.theragcompany.com/glass-care/

FOR SALE: Your Vehicle , How to get the most money out of it!

When it comes to selling your vehicle , there are certain things that you should do to prepare your vehicle for its new potential owner. You want whom ever is considering buying your vehicle to be impressed, that is where a great detailer comes in!

Potential buyers don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for someone else dirty mess of a vehicle , on top of that your vehicle will most likely sale itself with a good properly done detail. A good detail should take 6-10 hours of work and cost somewhere above 300.00 honestly . If it doesn’t take that long or costs that much ask yourself “what corners did he cut to make money ” , because that is exactly what happened. You might of saved a few bucks but that type of detailer probably didn’t pay much attention to the “details” of your vehicle . Like flawless glass, great looking paint and other key points of selling your vehicle .

A fresh detail done right on a vehicle can increase its value at least 1000.00 dollars, so spending the money to have your vehicle detailed is well worth it . Spend 300-500 now and get a 1000.00  more for your vehicle than you anticipated. Here’s  a great article on detailing before selling your vehicle

https://www.kbb.com/sell-your-car/increase-your-cars-resale-value/

The questions you should be asking a detailer before having work performed

When I get a call from a new customer 9 times out of 10 the first questions all of them ask is : How much for xxxxx on my xxxxxxx vehicle? I get it . Everyone wants to save money. But there are much more important questions that you should ask and know the answer to when considering the detailer your going to use for service.  Honestly anyone can make a vehicle look good , heck you could go to wal mart right after reading this and acquire the products to “detail ”  your vehicle yourself. The difference between a professional detailer and a person who cleans cars for a living is knowledge , knowledge of there products, knowledge of your vehicles surfaces , knowledge of tools . Like I mentioned earlier anyone can wax a car , clean an interior etc , but doing it safely without harsh acids and chemicals is what separates a professional from the average  joe.  Below ive compiled some questions with answers to help you determine whether your dealing with a professional detailer or someone who just operates a car cleaning business.

1) Are they IDA certified or do they have any professional training?

A professional detailer should have formal training like any other profession at a trade school or as an apprentice with an experienced detailer. In my opinion they should also be IDA certified . Heres a link to the IDA:

http://www.the-ida.com/

2) Are they using chemicals to clean your vehicle , if so what kind of chemicals?

Auto detailing has come leaps and bounds in terms of how we SAFELY clean and protect vehicles today, but some detailers refuse to adapt to these newer methods because they have been doing it a certain way for so long or there older method is faster but harsher on your vehicle. Heres an example: If you have water spots on your vehicles exterior and they say they use acid to remove them, RUN run away now. hydroflouric acid is what was used to remove  water spots in the early 90’s . While it will remove the spots , it also breaks down your vehicles clear coat finish , etches your glass and if not used properly can cause irreversible damage to multiple surfaces. Not to mention how bad it is for health in general . Today we have much safer products , designed to safely remove water spots with out inducing vehicle damage or jeopardizing the longevity of your vehicles clearcoat.

3) How are they cleaning your vehicle carpets and upholstery?

If your vehicles interior is not in to bad of shape , a professional detailer will not have to use harsh  chemicals to clean your interior back to like new condition. These chemicals are extremely bad for pets , children , and yourself. If your vehicle does require chemicals and extraction , you should also ask if they rinse out your upholstery after initial extraction to remove the chemicals there carpet shampooer has injected. A professional detailer should have both a steam cleaning system and an extraction carpet shampooer. 9 out of 10 vehicles that come through our shop for interior detailing are cleaned with only European steam cleaning machines , no chemicals needed. This steam technology revolutionized the way interiors are cleaned , they keep your carpets dryer , clean just as effectively as a deep extraction and sanitize your interior at the same time. So in short if you don’t want to get your vehicle back with wet carpets full of harsh chemicals that your unknowingly exposing your loved ones to,  make sure to ask how your vehicles interior is going to be cleaned and if they don’t mention the European steam method they probably are still using harsh chemicals and only have an extractor if not just a shop vac and scrub brush.

4) What kind of protection are they using to protect your vehicle after cleaning?

This answer can largely apply to how much you are spending on your detail but a professional detailer should have several different options to give you . Most detailers still use carnuba wax , while it does give your vehicle an initial shine it doesnt do much in the way of protection , it lasts about a month or two tops. They should also have a sealant option , these are a great upgrade from wax and last longer , typically 6 months . Here at my shop we do not offer wax , we include a ceramic based sealer in all of our detailing jobs.  A professional detailer should have your vehicles and your best interest at heart. They should be able to explain how important it is to keep your vehicles protected year around not just giving you a shiny vehicle that lasts a month or two . I dont how you would feel but if it were me i would feel ripped off.

5) How long have they been detailing professionally?

Like any other profession , you wouldn’t hire just anyone to work on your house right? I hope you would want to know how long they have been working on houses , there background in it etc. Same goes for detailing . A professional detailer should have at least 5 years of experience working at a private detailing shop not a dealership. Dealerships provide minimal training to there detailers and provide limited equipment and products while pushing the detailer to go as fast as they can , that combination does not create a quality , knowledgeable detailer. They should have worked under a true professional detailer who has been doing this for at least 10 years.  The detailer you choose should be confident in what there doing, what there using and like any other professional industry always be improving with the newer advancements in there industry. If they are using the same old techniques and products they have been for twenty years I would encourage you to look else where.

Whether   you choose to use our shop for your detailing needs or not , I feel as a professional detailer it is my duty to inform the public on what proper, safe detailing should be . I hope this helps you make an educated , more informed decision about who you choose for your detailing needs.

 

Why brand new cars need detailed too.

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 .

IMG_0475 IMG_0476 IMG_0477

CERAMIC COATINGS VS WAX

“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 . 

The Art of correcting soft paint

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.

Damp polishing takes years to get good at , but it is  a great method to use on softer paints like Porsche’s and Subaru’s. It keeps the vehicles paint safe while achieving maximum potential . It takes patience and steady arm speed and pad rotation.  You can see in the pictures below , the results are outstanding ! They were achieved safely with the integrity of the paint intact now we can ceramic coat the paint and add more layers of protection to preserve the finish .auto detailing redmond oregon auto detailing redmond oregon auto detailing redmond oregon  porsches detailing redmond oregon

“WINTERIZING YOUR VEHICLE”

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. 

When life kicks you in the teeth.

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.

The different types of detailing and detailers

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 !