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Choosing a Reliable Auto Detailer

Choosing the Right Auto Detailer

So you are looking for a car detailing service and need some help choosing the right one. It’s quite understandable as there are so many services offering different methods and packages. You have to choose the right automobile detailing services to clean your vehicle of dirt and grime and maintain it in excellent condition. So here are some things that can help you make the right choice.

• The first thing you need to do is check the local phone book and review potential services online to find out if they are BBB certified. You can also ask friends and family who have used their services for their experience and feedback.

• Choose your car detailing services based on the features you require. If you only need a simple car wash, a modest company is more than enough as services providing various options are usually more expensive to hire.

• Regarding prices, some auto detailing services have special days when they may offer a discount for particular people like ladies or seniors on a slow day, or a Thursday special. It's better using these discounts as you stand to save up to 20% on your detailing costs. Consequently, companies offering excellent facilities on attractive property are usually more expensive but tend to take better care of your vehicle.

• Check out the negative and positive online reviews of detailing companies in your locality. Many people are ready to voice their opinions on the internet today because of the anonymity it offers. So you get a good idea of the type of services you can expect from various detailing services.

• Look for reviews from companies that vouch for the reliability and responsibility of the automobile detailing companies. The Better Business Bureau provides reliable information about popular services and even validate their services and products.

• If you plan to repeatedly use the same company for your repairs, look for companies offering discounts for return customers. Some companies even offer their loyal customers specials like periodic oil changes or fluid checks, discounts or coupons. Remember, service is important while choosing your car detailing company and most of the time, determines your final choice.

Services offered

Car detailing companies offer:

Care of your paint

Most companies use a three step process to clean, correct and protect your delicate paint surface. They clean your car by thoroughly washing and drying the car to remove all dirt and grime. Then using a clay bar, they remove all contaminants like metal particles, dirt, industrial fallout and tar in the clear coat. If required, the paint is then polished to remove any fine scratches or swirl marks on the paint layer before waxing to seal and protect the paint, and to add some shine to it.

Wheels and chassis

Not only the car’s body but its chassis and undercarriage, including inside the wheel wells and around major suspension components like control arms, need to be cleaned. The plastic splash guards and inner fender liners are then dressed using a vinyl protectant, and the wheels are thoroughly washed and dressed in a protectant to improve their luster, and protect from cracking and corrosion.


Most detailing services also polish the taillights and headlights exhibiting signs of oxidation and then seal them with a plastic sealant. While chrome trims are cleaned, vinyl or plastic trims are dressed with protectants to prevent cracking and fading. Some detailing services also clean not only plastic and rubber but also the chrome or polished exhaust tips.


At minimum, the car detailing company should clean the vehicle’s entire carpet and seating by shampooing or using a steam cleaner. Plastic and vinyl should be adequately cleaned and dressing applied, and any leather cleaned and conditioned. Most companies’ interior detailing package is not confined to just the passenger area but also includes the trunk.

Engine bay

Most detailing services might not include the engine in their package, but is an important and necessary part of car detailing. While cleaning the engine bay, it is first misted lightly with water, cleaned with an appropriate degreaser and then rinsed. When dry, plastic, silicone and rubber parts are then a dressing is properly applied to protect from cracking.


Typically, a car detailing package costs between $50 and $150 based on your location, your vehicle and the type of services the company offers. Obviously, the larger vehicles like SUVs and vans, and upgraded packages that place more emphasis on detail cost more.

Using the best shampoos, cleaning products, equipment, and wax for your car detailing, opting to have the interior carpets steam cleaned or shampooed and cleaning of all leather upholstery will cost more. Additional services like engine cleaning, wheel detailing, and dent removal also cost more.


1. Is a no wash car wash as efficient as a car wash with water?

Yes, it is, as long as the right method is used. No wash car washes use specialized products and cleaners that are sprayed onto your car surface to remove any dirt, dust and other substances on it. However, you should do this only if you are comfortable with its cleaning process as you don’t just spray and wipe. You have to follow specific steps and procedures to thoroughly clean your car without damaging the paint.

2. What are the Best Products for Engine Compartment Detailing?

Many products are specifically used for engine compartment detailing like an engine degreaser for detailing the engine by removing stubborn dirt and grime. Rubber and vinyl protectors are essential for covering and protecting your engine’s rubber hoses. If your engine has chrome, chrome polishes are useful in bringing back its shine.

3. Which Auto Detailing Chemicals Should I Avoid?

While there are many specially made detailing chemicals that take good care of your car, some chemicals are best avoided. An example is ammonia-based glass cleaners as they can leave marks on your windscreen and windows, and laundry detergents as they are too rough for your car finish. While many companies still use kerosene to remove asphalt and other stubborn substances, it's better avoiding them.

4. Is the Type of Soap Important in Car Detailing?

As automobile detailing starts with using the right cleaning agents to remove stubborn dirt and grime, the kind of soap used does matter. The soap used should thoroughly clean the dirt but not damage your paint job.

Powder detergents are not recommended as though it may remove dirt; it can leave streaks on your paint when washed off. Its granules will also scratch your car surface. This is why it’s important you use the best shampoo or soap in the market while detailing your vehicle.

5. Do Automated Car Wash Systems Damage Cars?

This depends on the type of automated car wash system you use. Some of them damage your paint job as they use too little water or because the cleaning brushes have too much dirt stuck on them.

It is better to use the pressurized car washes that use just water and soap, and no brushes, on your car surface. No matter if you opt for a manual or an automated car wash, there is always the risk of damaging your vehicle as it all boils down to the method used for cleaning your car.

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