There are different degrees of auto detailing. The cheapest degree may include only washing the outside, like a car wash; the next degree may be doing the interior and the boot as well and the top degree might include the inside, outside and the engine.
Then there are levels of cleanliness within these categories as well. for instance, the lowest level might be to just vacuum the carpets, but the highest level might include taking them out and really laundering them.
Needless to say the amount of auto detailing you get will (or should) be reflected in the cost. The lowest degree might be $75 and the highest degree $300 for an averagely dirty average car.
Larger and dirtier cars will be more. However, the car will be restored to its pristine condition if that is at all possible, so a decent detailing before selling your car may reap rewards.
It is not too hard to learn how to clean the exterior of a car well, but it is more of a problem to do the inside because you will require specialist tools and small vacuum cleaner heads to get into all the nooks and crannies.
You may also like to wash the rugs without removing them which can be a royal pain, if you do not have that special apparatus.
You can definitely purchase the waxes, polishes, vinyl and leather cleaners and you can even purchase the apparatus, it is merely that you may find it costly to purchase and time-consuming to use.
Cleaning the engine is more or less just a matter of blasting the grease off the engine with a quite weak pressure gun using degreaser in the (warm) water, so this means more specialist equipment.
The brushes and sponges are all fairly normal as are the liquids and detergents, polishes and waxes.
Some auto detailing firms will also take care of small repairs like a stitch that has come loose in the upholstery or a slight scratch on the coachwork.
However, I think that all firms ought to at least bring these defects to the owner’s notice even if repair is not in the price. Repairing a minor scratch on a wing can save that wing from having to be replaced in the future. Likewise with tyres, if an employee spots difficulties and reports it, it could save a blowout.
Waxing is an central issue. I think that there should be a wax included in the shampoo, because it will run into all the crevices and form a seal against rainwater. I am all for applying a second coat of wax by hand to the larger areas as well both for protection and appearance.
Do not bother applying a cheap wax by hand, because it will come off after a couple of rain showers. If you are going to do the job, do it properly using a high quality wax that will protect your paintwork from the sun’s bleaching rays, from the abrasion of wind-blown dust and from the oxidizing rain.
Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on many topics, but is now involved with auto interior detailing. If you want some suggestions on detailing cars come over to our website now at Detailing Car Interiors.