Vehicle Detailing Service

“What is the difference between car detailing and car washing?”

We realize that for most non-car enthusiasts, the difference probably isn’t very significant. However, all car owners, enthusiasts or not, should look at getting their car fully detailed every so often, and should also perform smaller details regularly to have their car looking at its best all the time.

So, to help our customers understand the many benefits of car detailing, also known as auto-detailing, we are going to outline what you can expect when you choose to have your car detailed. Trust us when we say that you’ll never go back to normal washing!

I. What is Car Detailing?

Simply put, getting your car detailed means a top-to-bottom thorough cleaning of your vehicle using specialized tools and products. Normally, a detailer will also perform some light cosmetic touch-ups, but the process does not include paintwork or body repairs.

Car detailing involves cleaning and reconditioning the interior and exterior of the car. The aim of this is to restore the paintwork by eliminating scratches or swirl marks to make the car look almost brand new like it did when you first drove it out of the shop.

A simple car wash gets rid of dirt on the outside of your car, and if you clean the interior you might catch some of the grime with a vacuum, but car detailing takes this process much further. Every car we detail has every last imperfection buffed, polished, or vacuumed out, leaving it fit for display in any showroom.

Since there are no set guidelines, you will see a great variety in terms of the services included in a complete detail. At Washos, our complete detail package consists of an exterior detailing using clay treatment and high-end wax, an advanced interior cleaning with stain removal and leather treatment as well as dressing on all the plastics.

II. What is the difference between a Car Wash and an Auto Detail?

Now that you know what car detailing is, we are going to quickly outline the differences between a car wash and auto detailing, before going on to talk some more about why car detailing is a seriously good idea.

Aside from cost, which ranges from R50 to R80, a typical car wash only covers a fraction of the cleaning that you can get from a detail, and so only achieves a fraction of the result.

So what does a car wash include?

Most car washes take between ten and twenty minutes to go from washing to drying. A car wash can be done by hand or by machines ( a drive thru car wash) that run bristles, soap, and water to clean your car’s exterior.

A car wash tends to be a superficial cleanse while an auto detail is more thorough and restorative.

III. What are the steps in Auto Detailing?

A thorough car detailing consists of two main phases: interior detailing and exterior detailing. We are going to break down each phase so you know exactly what to expect when you get your vehicle detailed. Feel free to ask your technician if you have any questions about the process, as most of them love to share their art of detailing with others.

Exterior Car Detailing

We begin with an exhaustive exterior wash to remove as much dirt as possible. By allowing the soap to foam, dirt and mud are softened and lifted off the surface.

Next, using special brushes and wheel cleaning products, the detailer takes off all the dust and filth from the wheels; brake calipers, lug nuts, etc. The wheels are usually the dirtiest parts of the car!

After the wheels have been cleaned, the paintwork is washed and dried from top to bottom using washing mitts and soft microfiber towels. The paintwork is then clayed using automotive clay bar that removes the tightly bonded dirt of the surface of the car, which is your car’s clear coat.

If required, the paint is polished to eliminate any light scratches, oxidation, and swirl marks. The paint can be polished by hand or by a polishing machine. This can be the most time-consuming part of the detailing service depending on the car and the state of its paintwork.

Finally, the paint is waxed to give it an additional protective layer using high-quality carnauba based paste wax. This added protection results in a noticeable shine too, the kind that you saw when you first bought it!

The remaining exterior parts, like the windows and other rubber parts, are then polished and methodically cleaned, adding the finishing touches in all the corners of the car’s body and exterior trim to make the entire car sparkle.

Interior Car Detailing

All of the upholstery inside the car is thoroughly vacuumed and shampooed to remove stains and dirt. If the car has leatherwork, this is often conditioned and scrubbed to remove dirt that is deeply ingrained. Plastics and vinyl are also properly cleaned and dressed.

Lastly, the interior glass is also cleaned and polished.

An Important Optional Step

Cleaning the engine bay is an important step but a lot of people simply don’t do it. The reason for this is probably that some people don’t care what their car looks like under the hood, or that they think only mechanics should venture to clean anywhere under there.

Having the engine bay cleaned can make identifying any engine problems easier and faster. Mechanics love working in a clean engine bay, and if the car owner is having the car detailed before selling, a clean engine bay can make a big impression on how well maintained a car is. Anyone that purchases a used vehicle will likely glance under the hood, and a clean engine bay can only raise the value

However, there are steps you can take when you have your car detailed to protect some components from wear and tear. The detailer cleans the engine bay by lightly spraying it with water, and then wiping it down with a degreaser before rinsing everything clean. Once properly dried, all silicone, plastic and rubber components should be properly dressed to protect them from cracking. This is a simple process that ultimately serves to protect the car from everyday problems of wear on rubber and silicone.

Here are some Before and after shots of the Paint Correction process: