Ask The Experts

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What Is Auto Detailing?

Auto detailing is the process of reconditioning your vehicle to make it look like new and then maintaining it that way. This is accomplished through craftsmanship, high grade reconditioning products and detailed work. Detailing can include a lot more than vacuuming and waxing. We clean all surfaces inside and out; then we protect and condition those surfaces to keep them looking new. Considering normal wear and tear, the goal of detailing is to make your car look as new as possible.

How Often Should I Detail My Car?

The amount of time is determined by a few different factors. The more you use your car, the more frequent detailing is recommended. Most people drive their cars daily, so that means exposures to the sun, road dirt, pollution and sometimes messy passengers. The interior should be vacuumed regularly and shampooed at least once a year. We recommend three visits a year to keep your vehicle looking great inside and out.

What Is Wax, And Why Do I Need To Apply It?

Wax is a product designed to give your car’s paint a temporary micro thin layer of protection from the environment. Wax makes the paint slippery and resilient so things don’t adhere to the paint. Pollution, dirt and grime, tree sap and bird droppings all rest on the wax coating instead of directly on the paint. Wax actually helps your car stay cleaner. Regular wax applications are an important preventative maintenance procedure, just like regular oil changes are an important maintenance procedure for your engine. That thin coat of wax does a lot to protect and prolong the life of your paint.

How Do I Know When My Car Needs Waxing?

Wax is a clear substance and is impossible to actually see. One way is to slide your hand over the surface and feel if it is slippery or smooth. Or, you can just look at the car and sense it doesn’t have that shine it once had. Painted surfaces are subject to aging from weather and chemical fallout that can their tool over a period of years. Scheduled waxing is the best way of protecting your paint.

How Often Should I Wash My Car?

We advise our customers to wash their vehicles any time they are dirty. Dirt will work to deteriorate the paint due to many pollutants in road soil. We also recommend that insect residue, bird droppings, tree sap and egg residue be removed as soon as possible to prevent damage to the paint.

Should I Hand Wash Or Use An Automatic Car Wash?

While many people believe that hand washing is safer to a vehicles finish than automatic washing, this is not necessarily true. A few years ago, The Technological University of Munich did a study for Mercedes Benz to discover which method of washing was safer for the finish of a vehicle. A few years later, the University of Texas was commissioned by the International Car Wash Association to conduct a similar test. The results were quite startling. It was found that hand washing a car 26 times and washing a car 26 times at an automatic cloth car wash, the surface of the hand washed vehicle showed damage. This was determined by taking microscopic pictures of the paint finish. When enlarged, these photos revealed deep and numerous scratches in the paint of the hand washed vehicle.

Why did this happen? It was determined that each time the hand wash sponge or mit is placed on the surface of the car, it continually picks up girt in the fibers that are not rinsed out. This grit acts like a very fine sandpaper putting scratches in the paint.

In an automatic car wash the car is constantly rinsed with water and soap. This forms a protective layer between the washing material and the paint surface which washes away girt and dirt before it can damage the finish. Is that to say all hand washing is damaging? Not at all. What both tests determined was that in order to prevent the grit from harming the finish, the hand washed must keep a hose in one hand with the water running on the area being washed while washing the vehicle surface. This will keep a protective layer of water between the mit and the paint and will rinse away grit.

Are Touch-Less Wash Systems Better?

Although the owners’ manual states very clearly not to “wash the vehicle with high pressure water, acid or harsh detergents” today’s touch-less wash systems typically use a combination of acid and high alkaline chemicals plus high pressure water to clean the vehicle. Further, if the touch-less wash system removes both dirt and road film, would it not remove any wax on the surface at the same time? Why then would you want to use a wash process that literally removes the wax off the vehicle? In addition, touch-less washes are often not entirely touch-less. How so? Go to a touch-less wash with an extremely dirty car and you will find that the attendants will attempt to pre-wash your vehicle with a brush before going through the wash. If this is not done, the car will not come clean.

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