How often do you look at your car? Like, really look at your car. Yes, you give it once over every time you drive it, but how keen is your inspection? This isn’t about a ‘health check’ for engine oil or radiators and electricals. Those are very important to the status of your car, because you want it to run smoothly and keep you safe. While we don’t want to admit it, lots of accidents are caused by driving sub-par vehicles. So routine reviews are crucial.
This is a different kind of evaluation though. Assess your car through the eyes of a potential buyer. The closer your car is to ‘new’ the better the price. And this isn’t necessarily a factor of age. Visit any vintage car show and you’ll realise century-old cars can sparkle more than something newly driven out of the showroom. It’s all in the maintenance. And once you find the right garage, you’ll probably become a regular.
The mistake many car owners make is to focus on the big picture. They invest thousands of dollars pimping their cars, from custom number plates to chrome wheels. These are great, but keeping your car spotless is a far more effective approach. After all, even shiny wheels can get scraped or dented. Frequent detailing will keep your car beautiful throughout. It will also prevent the accumulation of rust, dirt, or damage. The best paint job can be ruined by a single gritty scratch, something you can escape by visiting the right detailer.
Drive-by or drive-in
Many of us opt for drive-through car-washes because they’re quick and convenient. However, their mass-market structuring means they often buy cleaning materials in bulk. The detergent may be harsh and end up washing out your car’s colours. The brushes may be too abrasive and ruin your paint work. And most automated car-washes don’t work on the inside of your car. They don’t tackle bad smells, and might even create them when water gets into the car while washing, and doesn’t fully dry out.
Consider getting a custom detail instead. Some packages are pre-selected while others are more tailored, allowing you to ask for the specific cleaning choices you prefer. Ordinarily, a custom wash covers exterior wash and wax, and it’s a good idea to do this every three months. It’s more thorough than anything you could do at home. A good detailer will wash with safe detergents, rinse at high pressure, dry by hand using chamois or microfibre, then wax using high quality polish. The inside of the car might get a quick clean.
But because polish is about a pretty outer surface, the inside won’t get too much attention. It can be dusted and vacuumed, and the ash trays or bins could be emptied, but there won’t be any shampooing or rinsing unless you request it separately. On the outside of the car though everything gets glossed up, including mud flaps, tyres, wheel caps, external plastics, and exterior rubber bits. The windows will be cleaned too, both outside and inside. Washing and polishing your car can sometimes look as drastic as applying a new coat of car paint.
Wash, wax, wonder
If you like, you can seal in the wax using a paint protector. It creates an effective coating against road lime, bird poop, flying gravel, acid rain, and harsh sunlight (ultra-violet protection is built in). For added convenience, check that your detailer offers mobile services. They can drive all around Brisbane to the place and time of your convenience, washing your car at home, in the office car park, or at an outdoor event. Check their booking policy.
Some travelling detailers need a day’s notice while others show up in minutes. You might be asked to pay for your booking, but some cleaners don’t require a call-out fee. Quality mobile detailers have a healthy network of branches and franchises so they won’t charge you extra if you live far away. They’re sure to have someone near you, and they don’t factor in their fuel fees. They also bring their own water and electricity, making it cheaper for you. Another factor to confirm is their employee policy. These detailers will be working within your space.
You want to be sure they’ll be treated if they hurt themselves in your vicinity, or if their car experiences problems in transit. Find a company whose team is fully insured, both for their safety and your peace of mind. Nobody likes feeling responsible for someone else being injured, and if they get hurt while performing a service for you, it’s hard not to blame yourself. Also, if environmental conservation is important to you, you could source someone who follows local water restriction standards and uses ‘green soap’.