I've seen places offering full details for under $100. Why are your prices higher?
Simply put, time. I specialize in paint corrections, a facet of detailing that focuses on carefully and safely polishing away defects in paint to return a car to like-new condition. A true detail will start with the wash and decontamination stage, then proceed to carefully prepping and taping off of trim and other parts that could be damaged, measuring paint thickness levels throughout the car, and often performing multiple polishing steps to ensure a flawless finish. These steps take time, in some cases two or more days. Do not trust your cherished vehicle to someone who claims to be able to do all this work in a few hours. They will skip steps, damage trim and moldings, and often leave holograms, also known as buffer trails, all over your paint. I take the time to do the job right, and don't rush my work just to get to the next car. I do not leave polish or wax residue in emblems, crevices, and door jambs, another telltale sign of someone cutting corners and rushing a detail. In short, I emphasize quality and pride in my work, along with an appreciation for fine automobiles, and it comes through in the finished product.
What are swirl marks and where do they come from?
Swirls, or spider-webbing, are tiny scratches on the surface of a vehicles paint(for an example, see the Before and After page) that dull reflections and take away from the overall look of the car. Most cars have these marks, but they are more noticeable on darker colors and under certain lighting. Swirls are commonly caused by improper washing and drying techniques. This can mean not using a separate rinse bucket while washing, trying to cover too large an area before rinsing the wash media, or using old bath towels to dry the car. Automatic car washes with revolving brushes are also a major culprit. After a correction detail, I work with you and offer advice on proper car care so swirls don't return as quickly or as deeply as before.
Do new cars need to be detailed?
YES! In most cases, that "new" car has been sitting outside on the lot exposed to the elements with little or no protection to speak of. I have seen new cars already etched from water spotting and bird droppings. A car that has sat on the dealership lot for a while has probably seen several careless wipedowns with a dirty towel in effort to keep it "clean," resulting in light marring and swirl marks. Many vehicles come in at ports, then are loaded onto open trailers or transported by rail to their final destination. As a result, new vehicles can come into contact with heavy fallout and pollutants at any step between assembly and delivery. Dealerships are usually concerned with speed and turnaround, and don't spend the time to ensure optimum results. While a dealership may sell a dozen new cars a day, YOU only buy one. Why not get it detailed correctly from the start?
What is the difference between a wax, a paint sealant and a coating?
Carnauba waxes are made from natural wax produced by a Brazilian palm tree. These waxes are known for their depth and the wet, shimmering look. For this reason, they are popular on show cars and "Garage Queens." Their downside is that the durability of carnauba waxes can generally be measured in weeks before another application is needed. Paint sealants, on the other hand, are synthetic waxes with durability that lasts for months before needing to be reapplied. This makes sealants ideal for use on daily drivers.
Recently a new breed of automotive protection has emerged called "coatings." Coatings are also synthetic protection but differ from sealants in looks, protection and longevity. Some coatings have been proven to last for two years or longer, and they make maintenance much easier due to their incredible dirt-releasing properties. They are also ideal for new car owners since their protection is unparalleled and can prevent costly cosmetic repairs in the future. I offer CQuartz Finest, CQuartz UK and Cquartz Classic coatings and will happily make a recommendation for specific applications.
What does it mean to polish a car?
Most modern automotive paint is made up of several layers, with the outer layer being a clearcoat, or in some cases a tintcoat. The color coat obviously provides the color, but the clearcoat provides UV protection and the gloss that you see. Over time, swirl marks, scratches, etching and various other imperfections will develop on this outer layer and reduce some of the paint's initial shine. Modern OEM and aftermarket paint systems were designed to be polished to restore much of that original shine. When paint is polished, the paint is essentially being leveled to the same height as the lowest part of the defect being removed. Look at it this way: swirl marks are really just microscopic valleys in paint, tiny scratches. In other words, when you see a swirl, you're seeing missing paint. What polishing does is level the peaks of remaining paint until there is uniform depth again. While polishing does remove paint, it is on a scale of thousandths of an inch. Of course, there is a limit to how aggressive polishing should be and how many times it should be done on a given vehicle, and for this reason I take paint depth readings many times throughout a detail. Once defects are removed, care should be taken to not instill swirls and scratches back into the paint.
Why should you have your car polished?
Most detailers will choose to cover up the swirls and blemishes in your car's paint with wax. Some will go further by filling in those defects with a glaze. While this will disguise the problem, it does nothing to fix it and after a few washes, the fillers are gone and all the defects return. Polishing in fact REMOVES these defects and gives you a clean slate to work with. A polished surface will stay looking detailed much longer because it is the TRUE surface of your car's paint. And with good maintenance habits, your car can look freshly detailed for much longer since there are no fillers to wash away and leave it looking like it did before the detail. I use a wax to protect the surface, not hide it.