Auto Detailing Inside & Out
Everyone likes a clean vehicle, but a wash and a vacuum areas far as most of us go. While normal washing provides a superficial cleanse, auto detailing is a deep cleansing that includes stain removal, odor removal and the application of products that protect and preserve the vehicle for months to come. Auto detailing can have a stunning effect on a vehicle’s condition, and it even maintains resale value. In this article, we’ll talk about what to expect when you get a complete auto detailing job, inside and out.
What Is Auto Detailing?
Auto detailing is a multifaceted process that starts with a deep and thorough cleansing of carpets, upholstery and hard surfaces inside the vehicle. On the exterior, detailing includes a wash and wax, but can also focus on minor paint touch ups. Restoration can also be a part of auto detailing, bringing back carpet and upholstery to like-new appearance. The last stage may be the most important: the application of chemical shields to many parts of the interior and exterior to protect paint, chrome, wheels, vinyl and upholstery. This preserves the condition of your vehicle and helps to maintain resale value.
Why Detailing is Important
Your vehicle is a major investment that deserves to be protected, and many of the factors that deteriorate your car’s appearance can be combated with regular detailing. Most of us drive our cars every day, week after week, year after year, through cold weather, snow storms, heat waves, and of course, lots of rain.
All these elements take a toll on the exterior, gradually deteriorating the paint finish and metal parts. Detailing mitigates this onslaught by removing corrosive, ground-in grime and arresting the corrosive process before it gets worse. Protective chemicals are applied to seal out further corrosion, but these wear off after a few months, so it’s important to detail your vehicle regularly to keep it looking great.
The interior also comes in contact with its fair share of grime; food and drink spills, body oils, and plain old dirt that blows in or is tracked into the vehicle. Vinyl, carpets and upholstery break down more quickly as these abrasive contaminants are ground in. The sun’s ultraviolet rays do their share of damage, as well, breaking down vinyl and leather surfaces and causing upholstery to fade. Professional detailers use industrial products and equipment to remove ground-in dirt, then they apply sealants that keep dirt and UV rays from causing further harm.
How is Detailing Different than Ordinary Cleaning?
As you might guess, auto detailing is about the details, cleaning places that are hard to reach or simply overlooked. For example, wheels, wheel wells and suspension components are often neglected during a simple car wash, as are vent louvers, crevices at the edges of seats and so on. Auto detailing addresses these areas, and it can also work wonders on a paint job, eliminating dullness and light scratches and restoring the vehicle’s luster.
Part of the reason professional detailing can so dramatically transform a vehicle’s appearance is that the pros use equipment most of us don’t have; specialized brushes to remove brake dust from wheel components and the undercarriage; vacuum attachments that reach interior nooks and crannies that traditional vacuums can’t access, and steam cleaning machines that remove deep dirt from upholstery.
Exterior Detailing Techniques
Now let’s take a look at precisely what happens when you bring your car or truck to APR for detailing.
After a thorough cleaning,technicians use a clay bar to lift contaminants from the microscopic pores of the paint. Damaging chemicals in the atmosphere gradually work their way into paint surfaces, and this technique gently scrubs them free, revealing the original sheen beneath. If your vehicle has minor paint mars and scratches, technicians can carefully buff these out. Paint detailing, alone, can make a striking difference in the vehicle’s appearance.
Wheels and Undercarriage
Wheels and undercarriage take on layers of grime from a constant barrage of dirt, mud, salt, and anything else you happen to drive through, but these areas can be difficult to clean. Professional detailers can access these areas and remove contaminants to prevent ongoing corrosion.
Oxidation will eventually rust your car’s steel and chrome parts, left unchecked. Detailers will polish these areas, removing corrosion and bringing back the original shine.
Windows and Glass
Windows become soiled over time from environmental chemicals and flying dust. Detailers clean glass thoroughly, returning it to like-new clarity.
The engine bay is often neglected because most owners don’t pop the hood except to check the fluids or investigate a problem. But it’s important because regular cleaning can make it easier to find and address fluid leaks. With regular detailing, the engine and engine bay will stay cleaner, potentially increasing your vehicle’s resale value in the future.
Interior Detailing Techniques
It’s worth mentioning that the cosmetic value of interior detailing, alone, is enough reason to have it done. Most of us forget just how vibrant the upholstery and hard surfaces once were inside our vehicles, and the results of interior detailing can be dramatic. The chemical protectants used by technicians assure that these areas continue to look great for months to come. Let’s explore the specifics…
Eating, drinking and even sitting can leave contaminants and stains trapped in the fabric of your upholstery. Detailers will restore the upholstery by deep cleaning these areas, then spraying it with a chemical that protects against stains and ultraviolet radiation.
Auto carpet stains can be very difficult to remove. Not only are food and drink spills annoying, but make up, oil and gum can be nightmares to clean. Auto detailing specialists use an arsenal of chemicals and steam cleaning machines to do a better job than most of us can do at home.
Vents, Consoles and Other Crannies
There are nooks and crannies inside your car that can be really tough to access with ordinary cleaning tools. The spaces between seats and center consoles are notoriously difficult. Auto detailersuse specialized tools and vacuum extensions that make quick work of hard-to-reach dirt and grime. They use special brushes to clean vents, removing dust that can affect interior air quality.
It’s safe to say that foul odors can have a very negative effect on your driving experience, and the longer they hang in there, the tougher they can be to remove. Deodorizing sprays and applicants are used in the final touches of a professional detailing job. For really persistent odors, technicians may also use ozone treatments, which destroy odor causing agents at the molecular level—even pet odors.
Keep Your Car Looking Young
Regular detailing extends the life of your car’s paint, wheels, vinyl and upholstery. Professional grade protectants seal out damaging elements for up to six months after the procedure. If you love your ride, this is one of the best investments you can make in your car or truck’s resale value—and your driving experience.