Exterior Car Detailing
Exterior Detailing consists of treating the painted surface of your car. In approaching the treatment of paint correction we use a five step process to achieve this. The process includes washing, surface prep, polishing, protecting, and maintenance of your vehicle.
To start, we wash the car’s paint surface of any dirt, grime, and contaminants that it may have. We then follow up by buffing or polishing the car, removing all minor scrapes and scratches and rejuvenating its appearance. A protective coat, whether a carnauba-based wax or car sealant, is applied to the vehicle after polishing, creating a layer of protection from elements and added luster. Lastly, but most importantly, it is the maintenance of this cleaning as often as possible that keeps your vehicle exterior looking like a show room finish.
Although paint restoration is our primary focus, there are a number of other areas that we also cater to. We clean the inside of the rim and wheel well, and treat the headlights by removing oxidation buildup. We remove the grit and grime from door jambs and the engine bay. We thoroughly clean and dress all hoses and rubber and plastic trims. This helps to enhance the appeal, repel dirt, and keep hoses lubricated to prevent drying out. A more detailed outline of how we clean, correct, and maintain your paint is as follows:
To begin we start the exterior detail by washing the vehicle of any excess build up that may be on the surface, within crevices, trim, and window seals. This can involve but is not limited to the removal of surface contaminants such as tree sap, tar, dirt, grit, road grime with the use of powerful degreasers and removers. At this stage we also tend to door jambs, interior of rim wells, wheel wells, and engine cleaning.
The collection of dirt grit and grime is common in the door and trunk jams of automobiles. If unattended it is usually the first area of the car that road contaminants penetrate the paint. In addition to paint, if unattended rubber hoses are can rot and dry out losing their functionality all together. The removal of dirt and grime from door jambs help prevent paint erosion and eventual decay in places hidden from common view.
Cleaning the Engine is the symbol of a well maintained vehicle. Aesthetic appeal added, it additional extends overall longevity to the life of your engine and vehicle. By cleaning the bay it prevents rust and clogging. It also lubricates hoses, belts, and wire encasings preventing dry rot and helping your mechanic spot potential problems more accurately.
Step2: Surface Prep
After washing the vehicle there are areas that may reveal themselves on the surface that require extra attention. In the case that the wash itself cannot remove most if not all of the buildup on the surface we use special degreasers in designated areas to give extra attention to removing containments. For an even more effective surface prep we apply a clay bar.
The clay bar removes surface contaminants from paint, glass, and fiberglass that regular surface washing does not accomplish. It goes further than traditional washing as clay bar actually pulls industrial fallout off the surface. The more contaminants that are removed from the surface the better it reflects light leading to better appeal and closeness to its factory paint.
Step 3: Buffing/Polishing
Buffing and polishing is an effective practice used to achieve a refurbished paint surface. With the use of buffers and polishers the removal of scratches, swirls, and oxidation is accomplished. The use of these tools is the most effective way to correct the paints clear coat finish without actually repainting the vehicle.
Orbital Polishing/Variable Buffing
Orbital Polishing and Variable Buffing is the solution for vehicles that may have swirls, medium to heavy oxidation, and/or light to heavy scratches. By applying heat and friction with abrasive and nonabrasive compounds polishing and buffing removes a layer of clear coat. This removes oxidation, showing a cleaner, defect free layer. As the compound and polish removes scratches and irregularities it conditions the surface to look as it once did from factory.
Oxidation on the surface of headlights is just as common as it being on the vehicles paint itself. With the use of variable speed buffers headlights can receive oxidation removal just as paint does. This leads to Improved visibility and efficiency from headlights and also adds appeal that was once lost. As with the paint a protectant is applied to ensure oxidation and headlight haze does not return.
Step 4: Protecting
At this step of the paint cycle we will be protecting the paint with a coat of either wax or paint sealant. This ensures a uniform amount of coverage and protection to the vehicles paint. Outside of the paint, wax and sealants are applied to trim, chrome, windows, rim and wheels to protect as well.
A sealant is a synthetic blend of enhanced polymers that does more than a traditional carnauba-based wax can. The enhanced make up of a sealant allows for anti-static properties that repel water, oil, dust, road grime and other contaminants. It provides superior surface protection and deeper gloss look to your clear coat. Sealants protect for half a year up to a full year depending on the conditions surrounding the vehicle giving it the industry edge in surface protection.
Although not as durable as sealants carnauba based Wax provides a protective layer to vehicle paint and clear coat. Applying wax provides both protection against elements and gives a deeper gloss look. Waxing, being not as strong as sealants should be done at least every season. Waxing should be routinely scheduled as there is no definitive measurable for how much wax has worn off. For optimal results waxing every month is recommended.
Plastic and Rubber Trim Conditioning
With oil based properties trim conditioning gives a deepened revitalized look to all plastic trim on the exterior of the vehicle. It also repels rain and contaminants for a full season. Trim conditioning is recommended for vehicles with a generous amount of exterior plastic trim on vehicles such as the Toyota FJ Cruiser, Chevy Avalanche, and Jeep Wrangler.
Wheels and Rims
Tire dressing is applied to all clean surface tires. In addition to tire dressing sealant can be applied to rims to prevent brake dust and road grime from adhering to the surface keeping them cleaner longer and prepping the wheels to be easier to maintain.
Step 5: Maintenance
To have a consistently clean vehicle maintenance is required. After an initial detail keeping a detail fresh can be maintained by following a schedule according to its driving conditions. By regularly washing and protecting the vehicle you can ensure a clean and well protected car year around. With our use of quick detailers and spray waxes we accomplish this.
Quick Detailer/Spray Wax
Used as a maintenance product, quick detailer and spray wax and application allows for easy deployable cleaning and protection agents. Quick Detailers are used to remove light contaminants and touch up areas of the car that may have dust, smudges or trails of streaking Spray Waxes are used on clean vehicles that have already been waxed but need touch ups on heavily exposed areas of the vehicle. These areas mainly being the hood, roof and trunk of the car are kept clean well protected with its regularly scheduled use.
The End Result
After receiving one of our exterior detail packages you can drive off knowing your car has been given in-depth attention with professional products used by professionals. The added benefits of an exterior detail include but are not limited to:
- Rejuvenated Appearance and attractiveness
- Added longevity to your vehicles paint
- Improved resale or current value
- Protection long term against UV rays, water spots and other elements
- Restored clear coat and gloss appeal
- Removal of oxidation in headlights allowing more light to pass through
- Prevent Dry Rot of hoses in door jambs and inside the engine bay
- After cleaning it becomes easier to clean the next time