Some car lovers won’t think twice about splashing out on quality car grooming and detailing. We provide some details of what you can expect from these services.
Most car owners are regular folk who may spend a weekend to wash, vacuum and polish their cars; some may send their cars for the odd car wash if time is tight. Those who take extra loving care of their car, or wish to restore it to showroom quality in order to fetch a better price will look to specialised car grooming and detailing services.
If you want a good job done, there are no shortcuts — a reputable car groomer or detailer will have the necessary professional set-up and technical know–how to conduct a thorough cleaning, protecting or detailing of your car. There are so many so-called groomers out in the market, but beware of fly-by-night operators that offer attractive discounts but cut corners. You want to pamper your ride, so don’t decide on a vendor by only comparing prices; instead, dig deeper into the various packages to know exactly what you are paying for and the results you can expect.
To get rid of the car’s surface dirt and grime, a groomer will wash and clean the bodywork including the wheels, and get into awkward and hard-to-reach areas to clean off any soiling or debris.
After the initial washing and drying and prior to waxing and polishing, your car’s paintwork will be given the claying treatment. This involves using a clay bar, which removes unwanted contaminants, such as iron filings, tar spots, and industrial fallout (eg dust-like metal particles from the car’s paintwork). Such impurities can cause the paintwork to feel rough and give off a dull appearance over time.
Apart from a thorough vacuuming of the interior, some groomers will — depending on the level of service you have paid for — will go into an extensive wash and clean of the car’s upholstery, trim, carpets and headlining.
Though a professional grooming service will satisfy most car owners, car detailing takes car care to the next level for the more meticulous car owner.
The car paintwork will undergo a paint rectification or correction process that aims to restore and optimise the paintwork. Imperfections (eg swirl marks, scratches, blemishes, etc) are removed and polished to leave a flawless finish. If you have the means, you may consider a ceramic coating for your car. This is a type of sealant that bonds to the car’s paint and acts as a protective barrier. Compared to waxing, this is harder and lasts much longer. If you are particular about the brand of products used, search for workshops that carry and use your preferred products. Some well known brands like Meguiar’s, Autoglym and Sonax have been around a long time and are widely used by reputable workshops.
As the name suggests, car detailing is about the details: cleaning and possibly restoring every surface possible in the car. A good detailing service will clean, polish and condition any material surface, from leather and wood to plastic and graphite. The vendor will dress up the dashboard console, degrease the doorjambs and panels, and blow out the air ducts. The detailer could even dismantle certain car parts to access and clean obscure areas, such as the suspension, arch liners, and brake components.
Good detailers are confident of their skills and techniques, and will not hesitate to explain their processes and procedures when asked, especially by like-minded car enthusiasts. Be wary if they skirt around your query or give half-hearted answers — you don’t want someone like that handling your car!
SPECIALLY FOR AA MEMBERS
So you were inspired by this article to get your car detailed, and now you want that ‘just detailed’ look to last as long as possible. Here’s an effective product for you to maintain the appearance of your vehicle between visits to your detailer or dealership, and it’s available at all three AA outlets.
The Gtechniq Basic Maintenance Kit contains all the items needed to keep the exterior and interior of your vehicle looking pristine until the next detailing session. It contains:
- 1 x Gtechniq GWash 250ml
- 1 x Gtechniq Quick Detailer 250ml
- 1 x Gtechniq Tyre Dressing 250ml
- 1 x Gtechniq Zero Scratch Microfibre Drying Towel
- 2 x Gtechniq ZeroR Scratch Buff Cloth
- 1 x Gtechniq Branded Kit Bag
Price: $78 for Members; $83 for Non-Members (while stocks last)