What Is a Car Detail? - Live And Love Out Loud

What Is a Car Detail?

For most of us, our cars are an extension of our lifestyles. We’re in and out several times a day. We pick up the kids, drive to meetings, head to the practice field, and take the family out for dinner, all without giving much thought to functionality.

Weekends may be for catch-up. You pull bags and boxes out from the vehicle, trying to clean it up. Maybe a trip to the car wash will help. Or perhaps it’s time to step it up and invest in car detailing instead.

The automobile experts at Beaverton Toyota know a thing or two about 

What Is a Car Detail?

Think of a car detail as an advanced version of a car wash. A car wash may take just a few minutes to spray a car with soap and water and clean off the dirt and grime from running around town. Detailing takes the process one step further.

A car can go through a lot of abuse as you drive it each day:

  • You face slush from the last winter storm spraying over and under your car.
  • You hit mud puddles and experience splash-back as another driver passes by.
  • You drive down gravel roads.
  • Dust from weeks of heat with no rain settles all around you.

Car detailing is about protecting your investment. In 2022, the average price of a new car has edged past $47,000. A used car’s average price increased to an all-time high of $34,291. Car detailing provides deep cleaning, minor corrections, and TLC to rejuvenate your ride and keep it looking good.

Are you ready for a car detail? What does it really entail?

Exterior Car Cleaning

While car detailing includes a car wash, that’s only where it begins. The washing and drying process is done by hand. A detailer will spray and wipe down the body of the car, ensuring they include every detail, such as the rims, door handles, and glass.

Once the car is clean, a detailer will go deeper. Those tiny rocks flying up from the road can take their toll on a car’s finish. Detailers will use a combination of claying, polishing, sealing, and waxing to clean up these minor blemishes and return your vehicle to the best condition.

Claying helps create a cleaner, smoother surface area to help increase the effectiveness of polishing. Polishing works to remove a thin layer of clear coat to remove the tiny scratches that occur over time. Sealing and waxing give your car a shiny look, while a sealant is applied to add a final layer of protection.

Interior Car Cleaning

What good is a clean outside if you open a car door and old papers, boxes, and fast-food wrappers fall out? Interior car cleaning involves making the interior of your car look as good as the outside. It involves things like:

  • Vacuuming—picks up dust, dirt, crumbs, and debris from the seats, carpets, mats, headliner, rear cargo area, and trunk
  • Stain removal and deep cleaning—starts with stain removal from the floors and mats; also works to remove stains from cloth seats and upholstery
  • Glass cleaning—cleans off the fog that can form inside on the windshield, passenger windows, and rear window
  • Leather trimming—cleanup work for trim throughout the vehicle

Car Detailing: One Step Further

Car detailing isn’t a one-time service. Instead, it’s a repeat service that helps keep your investment in quality condition throughout its life. Think of car detailing as a check-up from time to time. You can use it after a long, hard winter. Or invest in a car detail to get your car in great shape before the winter sets in.

Many drivers prefer to invest in a car detail just as they would a regular inspection. It’s a way for a trained professional to ensure your car is returned to its top condition.

Car detailing often includes engine pressure cleaning, headlight and taillight polishing, and engine detailing. You’ve cleaned the outside of the car to make it shine. You’ve scoured the inside to remove stains. Why not pop the hood and give the engine a little TLC too?

Next to your car’s paint, the engine is one of the most expensive components of a car. For some, the engine may have been the sole reason you purchased the vehicle. Muscle cars and turbochargers can be collector items; why risk anything impacting the engine?

Engine detailing is a careful process of pressurized washing and degreasing to ensure every surface is clean and in great shape. Engine detailing is a way for an expert to carefully move throughout the surface area of the engine, clearing it from contaminants, oil, and grease, and ensuring every part is in good working condition. This also gives you an inside view of where issues may be growing. It’s always easier to make minor repairs before they escalate into more significant problems.

Scheduling a Car Detail Is the Best Way to Protect Your Investment

For many car owners, having a car look as good as it runs is all a part of ownership.

Running a car through the car wash occasionally might wash off the surface dirt, but it doesn’t leave it in pristine condition as a thorough detail will. Detailing keeps the car clean, protects the paint and interior, and ensures the vehicle is no longer vulnerable to harsh elements. It also provides the chance to clean one of the essential components—your engine. It removes the grit and grime from daily operations, as well as gives you a chance to learn how well it’s performing. Minor repairs are always much easier on the pocketbook than unexpected surprises.

Regular car detailing helps protect one of your biggest investments and expenses. It saves you money in the long run by keeping your vehicle in better condition. And by cleaning and repairing your car at regular intervals, you’ll improve a car’s safety, and protect passengers’ wellness