One of the most common questions asked by car owners is the difference between car detailing and car washing. Many people think that these two processes are similar. Car detailing goes beyond just washing a car.

It involves thoroughly cleaning the cars inside and outside. Washing a vehicle, usually does not include automated systems, but detailing does. However, the process of car detailing does not include body repairs and paintwork.

In this article, you learn everything about car detailing and why you need to do it every so often. 

Components of Car Detailing

  • Interior Car Detailing

Interior detailing involves cleaning the inner parts of your car. This process is an essential part of preserving your car’s beauty. The parts that are cleaned include carbon fiber plastics, leather, plastics, natural fibers, and vinyl.

The techniques utilized during this process include vacuuming and steam cleaning. By the end of interior car detailing, the inside of your car should be sparkling clean.

  • Exterior car detailing

Exterior detailing involves washing the surface of the vehicle thoroughly to eliminate as much dirt as possible. First, soap is allowed to foam In the car, a simple strategy that is used to soften the dirt and mud, so it is easily lifted off the car’s surface.

The detailer then uses special brushes and other products to take the dirt of exterior surfaces, including wheels, lug nuts, brake calipers, and more. Interestingly and as expected, the wheels are the dirtiest part of the car.

When the car’s wheels are done, the detailer washes the paintwork thoroughly using microfiber towels and washing mittens. What follows is the claying of paintwork using an automotive clay bar. The bar removes any dirt that is bonded to the car’s surface.

Next, the polisher examines your car for any minor scratches. If there are any swirl marks or light scratches, the vehicle is polished either by hand or using a machine. This is the most time-consuming part of the process, especially if the car’s paintwork is not in good condition.

After the polishing, your vehicle is waxed to add on to the paint. Waxing is one of the best ways when it comes to looking after your car. There is always the question of which is the best wax for your car. Today, you can rely on reviews over the internet to narrow down your options.

Most detailers use carnauba based paste wax for this purpose. When waxing is done, the detailer will polish and clean the remaining surfaces, including windows.

What you have at the end of an interior and exterior car detailing is a sparkling clean car.

The importance of car detailing

A complete car detail leaves your vehicle clean, but what are the other benefits?

1. Personalized service

During detailing, the detailer will assess your vehicle in particular, and thus, they are likely to discover any problems. If there are any found, the detailer offers a solution tailored to your car. This benefit does not come with a regular car wash.

2. An increased car value

Keeping your vehicle in top-notch condition maintains its value. This process is, therefore, most vital if you are looking to sell your car in the future. Also, it is crucial to do an auto detail if your car is old. You cannot achieve the results of a car detail from a car wash, so consider this process an investment in your vehicle.

3. Extra protection

The method of external detailing involves waxing, which protects your car’s finish from oxidation. A regular car wash does not include waxing.

Cleaning the Engine

Cleaning the engine is part of the car detailing process. However, many people do not do it because they care about what the exterior of the car looks like and not its engine. However, there are advantages to cleaning the engine as well. For instance, a clean engine is more comfortable to diagnose compared to a dirty one.

If you are looking to increase the value of your car before selling, then you have to consider cleaning the engine bay. The engine will leave an impression about the state of the vehicle. Just think about it, any car buyer is likely to take a peek under the hood. 

So how is it done?

Cleaning the engine is not a complicated process. The detailer begins by spraying the engine bat with water, then wipes it using a degreaser. Next, the detailer rinses the engine bay. When it is dry, the detailer dresses the plastic, silicone, and rubber components, so they do not crack or wear and tear.

The information above captures the essential things that you need to know about car detailing. However, an actual car detail can teach you so much more about your vehicle and might be more enjoyable to watch and understand, especially if you are a car enthusiast.


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