For starters, do you have the slightest idea what car detailing is?
He was caught unawares.
Car detailing is a specialised auto service that involves cleaning a car and restoring it to its best possible condition through systematic procedures. Detailing a car is similar to taking your vehicle to a car wash, except that it's a far more intricate process, requiring special techniques and tools.
What Does a Full Car Detail Include?
A full car detail is achieved when contaminants—both visible and invisible— are removed from the vehicle's interior, which has been polished back to its original, blemish-free state. It includes thorough and deep cleaning of all (or most) areas of your car – tyres and wheels, exterior paint, door jamb, seats and mats.
Full car detailing is generally divided into two parts: exterior and interior detailing.
Exterior detailing involves cleaning and restoring a car's outer surface to its original condition. It employs a combination of special techniques and high-quality products tailored to your car's surface type and condition. What’s the goal? To get your vehicle looking new again! And to accomplish that, it may include services like:
- Washing – the first step to exterior detailing, and it involves washing and drying the car by hand using specialised products.
- Paint Claying – involves using a clay bar to remove any residue, including micro contaminants, left after washing the car. This step is necessary to ensure that the waxing process is effective.
- Waxing – involves the application of a sealant or wax to add a protective layer to the car's paint and give it a shiny look.
- Headlight Polishing – a polishing compound is applied to the car's headlights to make it smooth and clear.
- Engine Pressure Cleaning – uses a pressure washer at low pressure to wash the car's engine.
Other exterior detailing services include bumper repair, trim repair, tyre detail, and so much more.
Here, the emphasis is on deep cleaning the entire interior of the car. Interior detailing requires more attention than exterior detailing since the interior surface consists of several materials, including leather, carbon, plastics, and others. This is a painstaking job that may require unique cleaning techniques, tools, and products for each material.
Some of the services included in interior detailing are:
- Vacuuming – car parts like seats, rear cargo area, and trunk are all vacuumed to remove stains from them.
- Brushing – scrubbing off dirt from floor mats and other surfaces.
- Steam Cleaning – done when and where the stains on car seats and surfaces are irremovable by vacuuming alone.
- Leather Trimming – leather car parts are cleaned using soap or white vinegar.
Other interior detailing services include glass cleaning, polishing, perfuming, and many others.
How Much Does a Professional Car Detailing Cost in Australia?
The cost of a professional car detailing is greatly influenced by factors such as the vehicle's size and condition. A large car is likely to cost more than a regular sedan, and filthy interiors may need more effort to restore to its spotless and odour-free state.
You can get detailing beyond a regular car wash for $60 to $75 in Australia. For a more extensive cleaning, $150 would be sufficient for a car that’s still in pretty good condition. And for higher detailing services that cost around $300, you should have a cut and polish treatment that gets rid of exterior wear and tear.
Below are the average reported costs for a professional car detailing service around the Australian States:
- New South Wales: $150 – $250
- Queensland: $150 – $320
- South Australia: $250 – $270
- Tasmania: $145 – $215
- Victoria: $150 – $380
- Western Australia: $120 – $300
Those are round figures. To figure out the exact amount you pay for detailing, compare quotes from different shops and their client feedback. Remember that the best price is not always the best deal. So pay attention to the services offered and ask what products and equipment are used. This would give you insights into how meticulous the shop is with their detailing process.
Cleaning and Detailing Tips for You
You could decide to carry out your car’s detailing yourself. However, professional auto detailing is always the better option as cleaning off creases on the outside and dirt from your car's interior requires meticulous care and expert tools.
If you feel up to the detailing task yourself, below are few tips from pro detailers that will prove useful. Alternatively, you can read our comprehensive DIY detailing guide here.
1. Choose the right time to detail.
Washing and waxing your car under direct sunlight can cause the water on the car surface to evaporate quickly and leave residues. Also, dark-coloured cars can absorb so much heat and affect some of the chemicals used for car detailing.
2. Remove the dirt from the inside.
Before you clean the exterior, clean the inside. You can start by removing conspicuous dirt from all interior storage spaces and under the seats. Also, take out the foot mats and dust thoroughly. Better yet, wash them with soapy water.
3. Clean the Dashboard, Sill and Door Openings
Use a damp cloth to clean the dust off the dash and controls sills and door openings. You can also use a paintbrush to clean out the rims of the instrument dials. Avoid using a spray on the dash.
4. The Science of Washing
Why do I say ‘science’? Simple, law of gravity – water, soap, suds, and all the liquid you apply will all trickle down. So the smart way to wash your car is to start from the roof, working your way down to the sides, front and rear. That way, you don’t retrace your track. Also, using detergent to wash your vehicle could cause the peeling away of its protective layer. So make sure to invest in good car wash soap.
Before waxing, rinse off the car and allow it to dry completely. Afterwards, apply the wax in straight lines, using a microfiber cloth then leave it to dry before polishing it.
6. Wheels and Tyres
Use a stiff brush to remove dust and dirt from the tyres and the wheels. There are special wheel cleaners which help remove grime with ease. Some even containing sealants that help maintain your wheels’ appearance.
7. Cleaning the Glass
This should be the last and final step as the windows tend to pick up dirt from cleaning other car parts. Glass cleaners for automobiles are the perfect tool for cleaning glass. When cleaning, make sure that the windows are wound down to enable you to clean the top hard-to-reach edges.
Learn More about Car Detailing Here!
For more useful tips and car-related info, let me invite you to visit our blog. If you need special tools or auto spares to DIY detail your car, please don’t hesitate to send us request. Yes, you’ve read it right; instead of searching for car parts/tools/accessories yourself, you may now request us to locate it for you. This service is free; so try it and start receiving quotes now!
By Damilare Olasinde