Choosing a car detailer

How to decide which car detailer is right for you.
Finding Professional Auto Detailing

Find a list of car detailers near you. Once you've narrowed down your list, check whether a detailing company is reputable by visiting the Better Business Bureau.

While the price of a car wash and detailing will vary by the amount of work you have done, you should expect to pay above $200 for a professional detail. When you're paying that kind of money, you'll want to make sure you're getting the best detail you can.

Your auto detailer should:

  • Wash your car
  • Detail your vehicle's engine
  • Vacuum the car's interior
  • Shampoo the interior fabrics
  • Apply vinyl and leather dressings
  • Clean your car's windows
  • Prep the paint surface
  • Seal and wax the car's paint

Observe how the detailer works with other customers

For an indication of how auto detailers are likely to treat your car, pay them a visit while they work on other customers' cars or trucks. Do they pay close attention to detail when they're working on a car, or does their work seem sloppy? Ask to see some of their work. Often, detailers will keep a photo album of their work specifically for these purposes.

You'll definitely want to check the detailing company's equipment. Do they have a pressure washer? A wet vacuum? What wax will be used and how will it be applied?

How often should you get your car detailed?

Detailing your car or truck once a month is plenty, unless you live in an area with harsh environmental or weather conditions where sand can cause significant damage over time. In which case you may want to give your car a wash every two weeks.

Examine your car thoroughly when the work is done

Examine your car closely after it's been detailed. Do any scratches remain on your car and have all the mirrors been cleaned properly? Double check the interior and floor mats. Most importantly, make sure the work is of high enough quality that you'd be proud to get behind the wheel.

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