Do you wish your car looked as good as new? You can find what you’re looking for through detailing, but first, you must choose whether to do it yourself or hire a professional.
Regular car detailing helps prevent your vehicle from getting into disrepair and is beneficial in general. Detailing can increase your safety and keep your resale value up. For instance, headlights and dirty windows reduce visibility.
In this article, CarMats will talk about car detailing, as well as its costs, benefits and drawbacks.
What is Car Detailing?
The process of bringing a car back to like-new or better-than-new condition is known as detailing. The exterior and interior are treated for dings, chips, cracks, aging, and wear in addition to washing away dirt, dust, and grime. This goes beyond simple surface cleaning.
In contrast to an automated car wash, car detailing is always done by hand, leaving behind a spotless vehicle that appears to have just left the assembly line.
In order to protect and enhance the paint, exterior detailing primarily focuses on removing scratches, fixing swirls and chips, and fixing rust and oxidation. Following a thorough exterior wash and water rinse, the exterior detailing procedure entails:
- Paint claying: Paint is cleaned of any washing-related residue using a clay bar.
- Polishing: Clear coat layers are stripped away to remove scratches and swirls.
- Waxing: Use a wax coating to add a final shine and layer of protection. You can also get a ceramic coating or PPF (paint protection film) to protect your car even more from things like UV rays, acid rain, rocks, bugs, and bird droppings.
To address significant flaws like oxidation and stains, paint correction can also be done. Detailing the outside of a car usually takes between two and four hours, but true paint correction requires machines or sandpaper and can take more time.
Other exterior detailing procedures include
- Paint and trim touch-ups;
- Exterior glass cleaning;
- Headlight polishing;
- Engine detailing;
- Tire cleaning.
Typical interior finishes include:
- Beginning and ending the job with a vacuum. An air compressor can be used to reach the smallest, trickiest crevices. An air compressor can be used.
- Clean the carpet, floor mats, and upholstery with steam or shampoo.
- cleaning and conditioning leather.
- Clean the glass inside.
- cleaning the interior to remove dust and pollutants.
- Air freshening.
How Much Does Professional Car Detailing Cost?
A 2020 study by Mobile Tech RX found that the average cost of car detailing was $160. The cost varies according to the car’s size and state. Vans and SUVs might cost $50 more. Professional auto detailing businesses usually offer different service packages with prices that range from $20 to $200 or more.
What Are the Benefits of Professional Car Detailing?
- You save time by using professionals. A well-kept car typically needs professional detailing once every two to four hours. If you do the same detailing project yourself, it might take you at least twice as long. Some businesses will come to your home and detail your car if you don’t want to leave it at the detailing shop!
- Professionals help you save money on more complex services like paint correction and engine detailing that require specialized detailing equipment.
How Much Does DIY Car Detailing Cost?
Because there are countless options for cleaning agents and tools, such as car buffers and upholstery steamers, DIY car detailing can cost as little or as much as you’re willing to spend.
For instance, the cost of a car buffer ranges widely, from affordable to expensive. An upholstery steamer typically costs between $100 and $120 (this Bissell best-seller costs $120). A car detailing kit, like this one from Meguiar’s, is a convenient place to start when it comes to the interior compounds, cleaners, and clothes.
They save money because the tools and cleaning supplies have multiple uses. You, however, must decide how much your time is worth.
What Are the Benefits of DIY Car Detailing?
- If you’re willing to spend the money upfront on the supplies, DIY car detailing can help you save money.
- Prioritizing the dirtiest areas of your car allows you to decide whether to perform a full or partial detail. Additionally, you can remove spills and scuffs right away.
How Often Do I Need to Detail My Car?
The majority of professionals advise detailing your car at least twice a year. The best way to stop dirt and damage from accumulating is to detail approximately every six months. Furthermore, to protect your paint from scuffs and contaminants, you should apply a coat of car wax at least twice a year.
Depending on where you live, you should detail your car more frequently. If you live near the ocean or in a place where the roads are salted in the winter, you may need to detail your car more often to keep it looking new.
Ideally, you should detail your car every three to four months. The best way to prevent additional wear and tear on your car from coastal conditions and winter weather is to do this.