But, a new car detail doesn't stop with the paint. Through the wash and decontamination processes prior to the paint correction, we can remove all of those cheapo greasy dressings applied by the dealer, to bring plastic and rubber back to its original condition and color, nice and clean. We can use specialized chemicals to remove stubborn contamination in the form of rail dust (Iron filings) or road film and other forms of fallout from the paint and wheels. We take the time to clean the inaccessible areas of the car such as lock cylinder covers, around edges of badging and emblems, the inner barrels of wheels and even the door jambs, hood and trunk shuts as well as the engine bay itself. Half of the time, unless we point out to you what we've done, it may even be in places you never knew needed to be cleaned!
Now, what good is a squeaky clean and blindingly shiny car if you don't protect it? As detailers we have access to significantly better products to apply to your vehicle than a dealer would provide as part of their typical prep. Your detailer can go for anything from a Carnauba Wax that brings warmth and depth to the paint, up through a synthetic polymer sealant for great finish and more durability, or even a technologically advanced Glass or Ceramic coating that will protect the finish for multiple YEARS, not weeks or months. Vehicle protection technology is evolving so rapidly, that there are now coatings available for every part of your vehicle: paint, trim, light lenses, wheels, tires, glass, leather, and fabrics. As recently as 5 years ago, half of these things didn't even exist or were prohibitively expensive; now they're even available to the do-it-yourselfers! To me, personally, the protection part of a new car detail is where the rubber really meets the road. It's super satisfying to make a car look better than when it came to you and see the customer's reaction when it's done, but it's even better when you get to tell them that as long as they care for it properly, it's going to look this way for years to come.
A new car detail can seem like it might be expensive, but it really doesn't have to be. It's really the responsibility of your detailer to be honest and forthcoming when it comes to what's right for you and your car. If you're the type to run it through the automatic car wash every week or two, or let them do it at the dealer while the car's there for an oil change, I will not sell you an intensive paint correction and coating package. Why? Because in general, cars with highly refined paintwork and advanced coatings require different, more intensive care than what most people are willing to do. In those situations, I'll typically recommend either an All-In-One service, using a quality one step product that provides a light polish with fine abrasives, leaving behind a durable sealant; or I'll recommend a single stage polish and the use of a separate, high quality polymer sealant that will provide a great finish and significantly longer durability than the average wax. The nice thing about packages like these is that they save me time, which saves you money, and if you happen to get the itch to wash the car and run around it with some spray wax on the weekend, it's totally compatible with the protection product I apply.
Now, if someone comes to me with a special interest vehicle, classic car, show car, or weekend toy kind of car, that recommendation is going to be totally different and geared more toward perfecting the appearance than it is standing up to the daily abuses we put our normal vehicles through.
Full blown detailing is not right for everyone, especially after dropping a lot of coin on your brand new car. Lots of people are just fine using the gas station's $6 car wash and coin-op vacuums, and that's perfectly OK. But, if you want to get the most out of your vehicle's finishes, find yourself a quality detailing professional with good reviews in your area and establish a working relationship with them. Getting the car done just a couple times a year can do wonders for its appearance and longevity, and can significantly increase retained resale value when it comes time to move on.
This covers brand new cars, but we certainly don't only work on new ones so look out for some upcoming posts on how we take care of used cars differently than a dealership or even some private sellers do. Comments will always be enabled on these posts, and our contact form is always there as well. We primarily serve Rhode Island, but will happily answer your questions and help guide you whether it's finding a detailer in your area, or even helping you out with advice to DIY it in the driveway. Drop a comment, send an email or catch us on Instagram to see what we've been up to.