How Often Does Your Car Need A Detail?May 18, 2018
Car detailing is where a car goes through a thorough cleaning, both outside and on the inside. The goal is to take the car as close to dealership quality as is possible. At one time or the other, you may have taken your car to a garage for detailing. It could have been to take care of some lingering odour from that one time someone threw up in the back seat, or to remove a chocolate stain from the time someone left a half-eaten Mars bar in the sun for too long. Car detailing also takes care of dust, crumbs, and any other unwanted particles that could be lingering in the interior fabric that you cannot remove by yourself.
So what exactly happens during a detailing?
If you are not a car enthusiast, the difference between a car wash and a car detailing may seem insignificant, but that should not keep you from taking your car for detailing. The difference mainly, is that a wash generally cleans dirt that can be easily removed, while a detailing deals with everything else, plus the added advantage of protective finishing for your car.
To better understand the benefits of this, we shall divide the detailing process into two sections;
With detailing, special care is taken when cleaning out the interior of the car. All the fabric elements are first vacuumed to remove dust and debris. They are then shampooed in painstaking detail to get rid of any stains and dirt that might have escaped the vacuum cleaning process. With extremely stubborn stains, they might use specialised cleaners and a little more patience to make sure that they are sorted out. After the fabric has been cleaned out, they wipe all the dashes and cubby holes, including cup holders. They also polish them to make sure they have a modicum of protection from the sun. Carpets are then cleaned with the same amount of care, to remove mud, dust, and anything else that may have been stuck there, such as pieces of gum.
The other aspect of interior detailing is the cleaning of the engine bay. This is something many people take for granted, and yet something that most appreciate. A tidy engine makes it a lot easier to detect problems and fix them. It can also give the impression that you take good care of your car, increasing its resale value. The engine bay is washed by lightly spraying it with water, and then wiped down with a degreasing substance to remove all the excess oils and grease. When it is dry, all the silicone, rubber and plastic bits are then properly dressed to prevent them from cracking during every day use.
When it comes to exterior detailing, the process always starts with a proper wash, to remove as much dirt as is possible,with soap and water. The detailer then takes care of the dirtiest parts of the cars, the wheels. Here, they use special brushes and cleaning products dedicated to the cleaning of wheels. They then start from the inside going out, beginning with the brake callipers and the lug nuts, ending with the rims and tires. The wheel base is also thoroughly cleaned to remove any mud that may be lingering in there.
The car is then dried with towels from top to bottom, before being taken for polishing. The polishing process is to eliminate all the scratches, signs of oxidation or rust, and any swirl marks that may be on the car at that time. Depending on the state the car came in at, this process could take up to two hours. The final step on the bodywork, after the polishing has been done, is to apply a coating of wax. This gives your car a protective coating using high quality natural canuba based wax. Other parts of the car, such as windows and side mirrors are then cleaned with a fine cloth and polished.
And how often should you do this?
Most experts agree that the best for your car is to have it detailed at least 2 to 3 times in a year. This equates to once every four to six months. This is however entirely dependent on the type of car, the type of driving being done, and of course, the type of car owner you are. Someone who constantly washes and cleans their car will take more time between detailing appointments for instance. That being said, as a rule of thumb, detailing should be done twice a year at the very least. If you are looking to sell your car, it is advisable that you take if for a detailing, to get it as close to showroom status as possible. This will improve its resale value dramatically.