Car detailing is much more then a car wash. It is a total vehicle meticulous cleaning to make your car shine and protect it. Many people overlook having their car detailed because of the expense. On the contrary though the benefits of the service are increased resale value and a vehicle that lasts longer. In the article below I will address what to expect from a detailer, how much they charge, and how to choose the best company. I will also share my experience with the places that do car detailing near me.
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What is Car Detailing?
Detailing your car is when you have it professionally cleaned on the inside and the outside. Although it’s unusual for cars to pick up mud and dirt to the point where they are unrecognizable, the grime will build if you leave it too long without sprinkling water over the exterior. When detailed a professional will meticulously clean every aspect of the car using proven techniques and high quality cleaning products.
Detailing involves a deep cleaning of both interior and the exterior. The car detailing near me offers services for interior only, exterior only, or full service which includes both. Then they have different packages for basic and upgraded service.
What to Expect on the Exterior and Interior of your Car
Before you search for car detailing near me, it’s good to know what a good detail shop will do. Here is my general experience on what you should get from a full service detail:
- Hand Wash and Dry: They will hand wash your car with a high end soap using non abrasive materials to scrub the panels. This is to clean debris and dirt off the automobile. They will dry the vehicle with soft towels and make sure there are no water spots or swirls.
- Clay Bar Treatment: Next, they will clay bar the car. A clay bar is a piece of clay that picks up very fine pieces of debris that the soap didn’t catch.
- Sealant: A sealant will be applied, often a wax to create a protective layer between the paint and the air. Waxing makes the car glean, but is really to protect the paint.
- Windows and Mirrors Cleaning: High end glass cleaner will be applied to all glass surfaces. They will ensure there are no streaks or haze left on the glass. The car detailing near me also applies a water repellent to the windshield for better visibility in the rain.
- Chrome Polishing: If your car has chrome on it, which is more typical on classic cars, they will use a high end chrome cleaner to shine it.
- Rubber Seal Conditioning: Rubber seals around your doors and trunk will be cleaned and a conditioner applied,. This prevents the rubber from aging and cracking. It will also help prevent future leaks.
- Tire Dressing: A chemical agent is applied to the tires to make them shine black . They will degrease the rims and polish them. If you have disk breaks and calipers are exposed, they shine those also.
- Vacuuming: The cabin will be vacuumed first in a good once over manner. Under the seats will be blown out with an air compressor. The second time they vacuum after the interior is cleaned as to get any dust that is settled in the vehicle.
- Floor Mat Shampooing: Floor mats are removed, brushed, shampooed, and then air dried. This is to avoid mold and mildew.
- Carpet and Upholstery Shampooing: First they will brush all your carpets. Then shampoo them. Some places may steam clean. They will only select products that are compatible with your cars requirements. Once this cleaning is done, the doors get opened and the vehicle needs to air dry.
- Vent Dusting: A vent duster tool will clean out the vents and the ventilation system. This is to remove allergens and environmental contaminants that you may be breathing in while driving.
- Wipe Down: This is a meticulous wipe down of all interior surfaces. They will use a special high end cleaner that will leave surfaces shiny. Everything gets wiped down: steering wheel, dashboard, gauges, doors, center console, door jams, etc. They will even take off knobs and buttons, clean them, and clean the areas around them where dirt builds up.
- Windows Cleaning: Windows and mirrors will be cleaned. They will remove any haze and leave a streak free shine.
- Leather Protection: If you have leather, suede, or vinyl it be treated with a protectant to keep your car protected against spills.
- Upholstery Protection: Carpets and upholstery are sprayed with a protective solution to protect against spills and dirt build up.
- Deodorizing: When Everything is complete they will deodorize the vehicle with a perfume or an air freshener.
All of this is done not only to make your vehicle stand out from the crowd but to protect it so that it lasts. Whether it’s the paint, wheel trims, or seat fabric, any buildup of dirt on these surfaces will cause the materials to break down. Once this happens, it’s a bigger and harder job to save your car.
The Benefits of Car Detailing
There are tons of advantages that you experience when you invest in a car detailing service:
- Long Term Saving: While you have to spend more on vehicle detailing than a car wash or valet service, the money is an investment that reduces your expenses in the long-term. Car operating fees are high, especially when your vehicle breaks down regularly and requires extensive repairs. A quality detailing business should prevent maintenance issues as their services remove the small-yet-damaging problems that lead to vehicle problems.
- Increased Resale value: Conventional logic says that a car isn’t an asset that it loses a big chunk of its value as soon as you drive it home from the dealership. However, although this is true, you can make your vehicle more profitable by ensuring it’s clean. Clean cars demand a higher resale value as aesthetics is a huge reason why people buy vehicles. Also, the fact that it’s not dirty highlights that it’s trustworthy and reliable.
- Safety: In extreme cases, the rust that forms as a result of not detailing your car regularly can lead to safety issues. Cleaning the windshield to remove haze reduces glare and provides you a better view of the road. When the headlights are cleaned they shine brighter and illuminate the road better. When a water repellent is applied to the windshield it helps you see better in the rain.
How Much Does a Car Detailing Service Cost?
It depends on the company and the type of package you choose. On average, you should expect to pay north of $100, with the top of the range detailing companies charging $250 . The size of your vehicle will also boost the price. At the car detailing shop near me I pay $200 for a 4 door Mercedes C450 AMG to get the works.
To be confident that you’ve picked correctly, you should look for the features above (clay bar, etc.) and check whether they perform their services by hand. The best car detailers don’t rely on machinery as it’s too impersonal and doesn’t have the desired result.
Mobile Detailing is Sometimes Less Expensive
You may be surprised, but mobile detailing is sometimes less expensive. These companies don’t have the overhead like you local detailing shop. A mobile detailer will come to you and do a full detail wherever the vehicle is parked. While mobile detailing is less expensive you should expect the same level of service and not a cheap detail job.
Choosing the Best Local Car Detailing Near Me
There are alot of things to consider when picking out the best local company. Services rendered, vehicle specialties, price, location, availability are just a few things. Here is how I went about choosing a car detailer near me:
- Vehicle Types Serviced: What kind of vehicles do they do? I don’t take my corolla to a place that does Mclarens. I don’t take my classic ’65 Corvette to some local auto detailer. Check to see what kind of vehicles they typically service.
- Services Offered: Maybe you have excessive pet hair or perhaps you want your headlights restored. Some detailers will fill your paint chips for touchups and scratches. These are extra services you may need to check and see if they offer.
- Read Reviews and Testimonials: What are past customers reporting? Look at pictures people posted. Read the good and the bad reviews. Look for people who post before and after photos of their automobiles.
- Pricing: How much do they charge versus how much can you afford. Do the prices seem reasonable against competing companies.
- Location and Availability: Can I conveniently my car to them? Can they drive me back? Is mobile detailing available?
Car Detailing Near Me – Final Thoughts…
Everybody loves to drive around a shiny car and detailing can do that for you. The truth is though that it isn’t just about aesthetics. Detailing is about showing your vehicle some love, protecting it, and making sure it lasts a long time. having trained pros do the cleaning for you is not the same as you doing it yourself. They use prove techniques and take care of the little things that you will miss. Finding the right company for your vehicle is important because you want a good job done, but you don’t want to over pay. This is what i have learned from the places that do car detailing near me.
In a general term, a full detail implies that all (or most) areas of the vehicle are cleaned (detailed)… exterior wash, wheels and wheel wells cleaned and dressed, door jambs cleaned, windows, interior vacuumed, interior surfaces wiped down, etc.Should I tip the guy who detailed my car? ›
Tipping isn't mandatory, but as with tipping waiters and waitresses, it is encouraged and appreciated. Providing a tip for your auto detailer shows your appreciation for the service, especially when the quality of the job done is exceptional.How do you detail a car step by step? ›
- Step 1: Wheels. Always, always, always start with the wheels. ...
- Step 2: Pre-Cleaner, Stage One. Always use a pre-cleaner. ...
- Step 3: Snow Foam, Stage Two. ...
- Step 4: The All-Important Two-Bucket Method Contact Wash. ...
- Step 5: The Decontamination Stage. ...
- Step 6: Drying. ...
- Step 7: Polishing. ...
- Step 8: Glaze.
The standard tip for a car detailing service is 15%. If you're not sure how much to give, best practice is 10-15% of the total cost. For example if an auto detail costs $100 then leave a dollar or two as thanks (and because it's still technically called "tipping").How much is a typical detail? ›
Basic car detailing service should include a wash, wax, interior vacuuming, interior polish, window wash, mirror and trim cleaning and tire cleaning. You can expect to pay $50 to $125 for an average sized vehicle and $75 to $150 for an SUV or van.How long should a basic detail take? ›
The amount of time required to detail a car will depend on the detailing services you choose. A quick interior detail might take two hours, while a comprehensive exterior detail might take two days. If you wonder why detailing time can vary, it depends on what needs to get done.Should I get my car detailed or do it myself? ›
Although you may think that performing car detailing yourself will save you money, having it done by a professional actually saves you in the long run. When you detail your car yourself, you still need to purchase the brushes and products for each section of your car — which can add up.Should I detailed my car before selling it? ›
You can increase your resale value by having your car fully detailed by professionals prior to selling. A full interior and exterior car detail will have your car looking showroom good so you can get the most value out of it.How much does a car wash cost? ›
Car wash prices vary depending on amenities, location, and other factors. On average, a single automatic car wash costs between $10 – $25.What do you clean first when detailing a car? ›
It is recommended that you clean your wheels and tires, first. If you wash and rinse your car first, then the water must sit on the car's surface as you clean four tires. While you are cleaning the tires, water spots could accumulate where you just washed.
The basic premise of a 3-step job involves compounding painted surfaces, then polishing/glazing it, then finally waxing or sealing it. While this is usually a legitimate restoration procedure, this should not be done often, as the compounding stage will inevitably thin out the clear coat too much.How do detailers get cars so clean? ›
The common exterior process includes: Washing and Drying – Unlike a car wash, detailing is done by hand. The first step involves spraying the car with specialized spray that is high-powered, followed by thorough hand washing on the rims of the car, door jambs, glass and all exterior parts that need cleaning.How much should I spend on a car detail? ›
While car detailing is more expensive than car washing, it's still available at a reasonable price. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $300 to have your car detailed.How often should you do a full car detail? ›
Most detailing experts recommend that you have your automobile detailed roughly every 4-6 months. That being said, you can never have your car looking too nice. If you are someone who sees the true value of their car and it is your prized-possession, don't let us tell you how often you should have that baby shining.How often should you get the inside of your car detailed? ›
The average vehicle
I would actually recommend getting a car detail 2 to 6 times a year. We have many clients who get a detail done every month to keep their vehicle(s) to where they want them to be. This would be a very in-depth interior and exterior cleaning and protection.
Detailing your vehicle is absolutely worth it, and not just because it saves you from washing your own car. Regular detailing will have valuable benefits for your vehicle, from classic cars to daily drivers.Does car detailing remove scratches? ›
Car detailing can hide minor scratches through polishing, waxing, and sealing, but it cannot help with deep scratches. For repairing such a car scratch, you need to get professional services for your car's paint.How much does a car detailing business make? ›
Your gross earnings could be between $1000 per weekend or up to $4,000 per month. Talk about some extra income! Keep in mind that the average cost for supplies per car is about $5-10.How long does it take for a detailed car to dry? ›
The drying time after shampooing seats in summer the waiting time can be a matter of 20-30 mins. In winter, the car heater must be turned on to allow the seats to dry and drying time can take up to 1 hour.Can detailing damage car? ›
When an inexperienced person tries auto detailing, there's a high chance of damage to the vehicle's paint. This DIY process can lead to showing spots up in the paint, especially if the person uses poor-quality products. A DIY auto detailing can also lead to a car that wasn't cleaned properly.
If your car is full of items, such as papers, personal items, or bags, your detailer will spend more time taking them out. This mess will reduce the time for the actual detailing. You might not get the best service as a result. You should take the items out of the gloves box and any other storage spaces in your car.Is it worth detailing an old car? ›
Keeping a car clean and shiny is likely to increase its resale value (though mileage, mechanical condition, accident history and other factors can drag the value down). Car detailing can also provide a psychological benefit that boosts the owner's pride of ownership.At what mileage do cars lose value? ›
Above 100,000 Miles
Your vehicle will be less desirable to car buyers if it has more than 100,000 miles on it, even if it continues to run well. Vehicles with overly high mileage are more likely to require expensive repairs, which makes them a risky investment.
30,000-40,000 miles: Most manufacturers' general warranties expire in that range, and the first major maintenance is usually due. Selling before reaching those benchmarks may get you the best price for your car.At what mileage should a car be replaced? ›
Typically, putting 13,000 to 14,000 miles on your car per year is viewed as “average.” A car that is driven more than that is considered high-mileage. With proper maintenance, cars can have a life expectancy of about 200,000 miles.How much should you tip on a $25 car wash? ›
If they did a great job, you should tip 20% - 25% for their good work. For assembly line car wash services, it's recommended you tip $5 - $10 for each person who handled your car. What does Reddit say? For a $25 car hand wash, $3 - $5 is a solid and acceptable tip.How many times a month should you wash your car? ›
According to Ganther, if the weather's not too harsh where you live, washing your vehicle every two weeks is a good rule of thumb. However, if you apply a coat of wax at the end of each cleaning session, you may be able to wash it less often.Is it cheaper to go to a car wash or wash at home? ›
Home wash is cheaper than the car wash. It costs you nothing, but the initial purchasing of the supplies but demands more time and labor. Washing your vehicle from your home requires only your leisure time, patience, physical endurance and some tools.Why do detailers wash wheels first? ›
Wheels & tires first
You'll want to clean these before the paint because they're typically the dirtiest part of your vehicle. Plus, if you wait to clean them until the end of your wash you'll run the risk of splashing dirt & brake dust back onto the clean paint.
When it comes to removing stains, many vehicle detailers employ steam cleaners.
Polish should be used before wax, as it helps to restore auto paint that has lost its shine due to oxidation. Car polish does this by removing a very fine layer of the paintwork so the appearance of scratches is minimized as they settle into the coat. Car polishes vary in terms of their levels of abrasiveness.What do detailers use to make cars smell good? ›
Ozium was created in the 1940s as a sanitizing spray, but it eventually caught on with car people. Dealerships use it to freshen used cars. Car detailers use it. Car owners use it to keep their cars smelling nice.Do detailers remove stains? ›
Using specific products and tools and following defined processes, detailers can successfully remove tough interior stains while increasing sales and customer satisfaction.Is ceramic coating good for your car? ›
Yes, a ceramic coat is good for your car. With paint correction completed prior to application, it can improve the shine of the vehicle's paint, block UV rays, and provide a protective coating that can last years.How much does a detail increase car value? ›
Car detailing is one of the easiest ways you can increase the value of your used vehicle. Pristine vehicles command 10 to 20 percent more in value than the same car in ragtag condition. Sometimes, that difference can equate to thousands of dollars.What is included in a full car detail? ›
The job includes a complete interior cleaning to remove stains, odors, and dirt from all surfaces. The exterior is polished to remove light swirls and restore gloss before waxing. Some full-detail packages include engine cleaning, too.How many pads do you need to detail a car? ›
As a general rule of thumb, I use 1 pad per panel, which comes out to about 4-6 pads per car. This means if you are performing a two step polishing process, I will use 4-6 heavy correction pads and 4-6 light correction pads. I use each pad on the hood, trunk, front quarter panels, sides, and the rear quarter panels.Is detailing just cleaning? ›
No. Good detailing starts with a good car wash, but it goes far beyond that. It's like the difference between dusting your home and doing a good spring cleaning. Both are important, but that spring cleaning goes a lot further.How often should you vacuum your car? ›
A thorough vacuum every couple of weeks (or at least once a month) should suffice. Vacuum the interior of your car twice! Vacuum once to get the surface dirt out. Then, beat the seats with something like a tennis racket to bring embedded dirt to the surface and vacuum again.How often should you detail your car exterior? ›
Still, experts recommend doing it 2 to 3 times a year for the best outcomes. However, if there has been significant rain, continuous damp weather, or you frequently travel, you may want to consider detailing the exterior of your car more regularly.
Consumer Reports recommends an undercarriage wash once per season and even more frequently if you regularly drive off-road. Car care product manufacturer Dr. Beasley's goes one step further, suggesting a cleaning as soon as possible after driving on salted roads.Does a full detail include engine bay? ›
In addition to a thorough exterior cleaning, the wheels, wheel wells, and engine bay are cleaned, too.How often should you detail your engine? ›
Regular engine cleaning is as important as washing your car's exterior and undercarriage. If you give your engine a good cleaning 1-2 times a year, you should be on your way to having a vehicle that not only looks beautiful, but runs smoothly too.Should you detail your engine? ›
Engine bay cleaning is a must for any car. If you clean your car engine regularly, you can identify problems that can affect your vehicle's performance. Plus, you can prevent dirt, gunk, and other debris from damaging your engine's appearance.How do detailers clean the engine bay? ›
Simply spray Eradicate onto your engine (spraying more onto areas with a bigger build-up of dirt and grime) and allow it to sit for around 4-5 minutes. Then use a detailing brush to agitate certain areas in order to cut through the grease and grime. Do not let it dry out on the surface.How many times a year should you detail your car? ›
To really maintain your car's outside appearance, it's a good idea to schedule an auto detailing session and wax application at least twice per year (every six months or so). Think of detailing as a “spring cleaning” for your vehicle.How do car detailers stand out? ›
- Use Videos to Highlight Differences and Benefits of Your Car Wash. ...
- Explore Different Visual Content Car Detailing Marketing Ideas. ...
- Boost Sales with Storytelling Marketing. ...
- Connect with Customers on Social Media.
According to research from Yelp cost guides, an average (rudimentary) car detailing session costs $175. However, detailing can cost anywhere from $98 to $300+ per session, depending on the services you request (waxing, steam cleaning, polishing, etc.). The cost can also be influenced by vehicle size and location.How long does it take to detail the inside of a car? ›
If the interior is brand new, a quick vacuum and basic cleaning can get the job done. However, if the vehicle has seen a lot of wear, a full clean will take 5-8 hours to bring it back to new.