Before you take a trip to the wash or decide to have your car professionally detailed, it is important to understand the processes that go into detailing. Depending on what you expectations are when having your vehicle cleaned, you may want to go with a professional detail. Every car detailers processes are different, however there are certain pillars of auto detailing that remain consistent across the industry. We are going to break down these pillars and explain each step of the detailing process so that you know what to look for and know what to expect when getting your car detailed.
Removal of Contaminates
All professional details begin with the washing phase. The wash phase begins with a rinse and then application of soap to the entire exterior of the car. Soap is applied through either a foam cannon, or through direct application with a washing mitt. The purpose of applying the soap early on is to remove as much contaminates that are embedded in the pain as possible. During this phase, a majority of the exterior contaminates will be removed. When the soap foams, dirt and mud are softened and pulled from the paint. This stage also is typically done at the same time as the wheels are cleaned. Detailers will use special brushes and wheel products to remove built up brake dust and road grime from the wheels and tires.
After soap application and washing, the vehicle is then rinsed to remove the soap and trapped dirt. Even after the wash phase, there will still be some contaminates that are stuck on the paint. The next step in the decontamination phase is to clay bar the exterior of the vehicle. Clay barring is actually just as it sounds. The detailer will use a clay bar combined with an aiding solution to remove any remaining dirt in the paint. The clay bar is used to remove surface dirt in the paint and glass surfaces.
Surface Defect Removal
If required, the paint may need to be polished to eliminate light scratches, oxidation, and swirl marks. Over time your car will build up scratches and defects in the paint surface. These imperfections may be in the form of RIDS (Random Isolated Defects) or surface swirls. Depending on the severity of your cars exterior, you may need a multi stage correction to remove the surface imperfections. Most surface imperfections can be removed with a single stage of polishing, however some cars may need more attention. Surface defect removal involves using a polisher and polishing compound to remove the surface swirls. Once the surface defects have been removed, the car is ready to be protected by either a wax or ceramic coating.
It is pointless to have your car cleaned and the exterior defects removed if you are not going to protect the paint afterwards. There are several options when deciding how you want to protect your cars exterior. The most popular choice for protection is waxing, because it is the cheapest to apply. Wax may last one to six months depending on the wax compound used. The higher end option for protection is ceramic coating, which bonds to your vehicles paint and can last up to 2 years if the vehicle is properly maintained. Ceramic coating can also be applied to the glass surfaces to protect the glass as well. The draw back of ceramic coating is that it can be very expensive, and takes longer to cure than wax.
When choosing an automotive detailer, it is important to understand all of the processes that go into detailing a car so that you can know what you want to get out of your detail. Taking the time to look into a companies processes can ensure that you are getting the most out of your money. At Reliable Auto Detailing, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about the auto detailing process.