Introduction to Detailing

Detailing isn’t quite as simple as you think…

Auto detailing is the performance of thorough cleaning, restoration, and finishing of a motor vehicle, to produce a show-quality cleanliness and polish. Detailing can be performed on a vehicle’s exterior and/or interior.

One answer is detailing is about going above and beyond simplistic car care or cleaning. Needless to say, a detail is not just an extravagance, but an investment. It has been proven time and time over that having a detail carried out on your vehicle prolongs its finish and in some instances, increases the value of your vehicle.

There are three main stages to Detailing: Cleaning, Preparation and Protection.
This is generally broken down into two categories: exterior and interior. There are products and services that focus on these two areas specifically.

Exterior Detailing

Exterior detailing involves cleaning, and either restoring or exceeding the original condition of the surface of the car’s finish (usually a paint with a glossy finish), chrome trim, windows, wheels, and tyres, as well as other visible components on a vehicle’s exterior. A wide array of detailing products and techniques is used, based on the vehicle’s surface type and condition, or the detailer’s preference. Products include, but are not limited to: detergents and acid free PH neutral degreasers (to break down dirt and soil), detail clay (to remove embedded contaminates), waxes and polishes (to resurface and then improve reflectivity), as well as a variety of applicators, brushes, and drying towels.

Interior Detailing

Interior detailing involves a deep cleaning of the whole interior cabin. Vehicle interiors of the last 50 years comprise a variety of materials, such as synthetic carpet upholstery, vinyl, leather, various natural fibres, carbon fibre composites, plastics, and others, which necessitates the use of a variety of cleaning techniques and products. Vacuuming is standard, and upholstery stains may be removed using steam cleaning, liquid and foam chemicals, as well as brushes. Additionally, some nonporous surfaces may be polished.

Reasons to Detail Your Car

There are several reasons to detail a car beyond increasing resale value. There are many reasons to detail a car, but not all of them are purely cosmetic. Proper detailing improves and maintains the health of your car in much the same way as changing the oil and spark plugs. While detailing takes a lot of effort, the overall benefits to reliability, safety and beauty are all worthwhile.

Paint Health

Proper decontamination, polishing and waxing greatly extend the life and appearance of a car’s paint. Your paint protects the metal underneath. If allowed to degrade over time, rust and corrosion can wreak havoc on your car with potentially devastating results. Trying a detailing package specifically dealing with paint is a good place to start.

Road Salt

In areas that experience seasonal snow fall or frost, road salt can be one of the best reasons to regularly detail your car. Deposits of salt and mud can build up in wheel wells and under the chassis. Given enough time, these deposits can eat right through your paint, causing damage to the chassis that isn’t easily repairable.

Improved Lighting Ability

Part of proper detailing is making sure your headlights and taillights are clean and free of damage. Even mild deposits of dirt and grime on your lights can cause large reductions of available light, which can be potentially dangerous at night or in harsh weather.

Interior Condition

By regularly cleaning your interior, you get rid of bad odour’s, protect surfaces from fading and help prevent cracking and discoloration of the dash panels. Not only does this greatly improve resale price, it also adds a great deal of comfort for the driver while displaying a hygienic appearance.

Wheels and Tyres

Oils, solvents, brake dust and other chemicals frequently encountered during normal driving can have a negative effect on your wheels and tyres. By properly detailing them, you not only keep them looking good, but you also reduce the risks of cracking in the tyre sidewalls or issues/failure of the wheels due to corrosion.

Proper detailing not only helps to keep your car looking great, it helps to keep it running great both inside and out. This not only improves value and safety, but also personal comfort and pride in your car.