What are the Steps in Auto Detailing? – Part 1

Exterior Car Detailing

If you’re the kind of person who likes to invest in taking care of your much-beloved vehicle, then it’s only natural to want to pay for a regular auto detailing session every so often. But what really goes into auto detailing?
A thorough car detailing consists of two main phases: exterior detailing and interior car detailing. Portughes Car Detailing wanted to break down each phase, so you know exactly what to expect when you book your vehicle to be detailed with us. This segment will deal specifically with Exterior Car Detailing.

Step #1 Remove any visible dirt

We begin with an exhaustive exterior wash to remove as much dirt as possible. By allowing the soap to foam, dirt and mud are softened and lifted off the surface. Next, using special brushes and wheel cleaning products, we take off all the dust and filth from the wheels.

Step #2 Clay the paintwork

Once the wheels have been cleaned, the paintwork is washed and dried from top to bottom, using washing mitts and soft microfiber cloths. The paintwork is then clayed using an automotive clay bar that removes the tightly bonded dirt of the surface of the car, which is your car’s clear coat.

Step #3 Polish to squeaky clean perfection

If required and requested, the paint is polished to eliminate any light scratches, oxidation, and swirl marks. It can be polished by hand or by a polishing machine. This part of the detailing service is usually the most time-consuming, but it also depends on the car, its condition and how thoroughly you want it to be polished.

Hand polish – the car goes through a deep clean, clay bar, and then a hand polish product is applied. We use Autobrite’s Cherry Glaze, which is a 3 in 1 product which will make the paint smooth, glossy and protected for a good couple of months. Application is about 2 hours in total, including cleaning.

Machine polish – this is a much more thorough and intricate polishing process, applied through a Dual Action buffer, using the correct pads and compounds. After machine polished (which usually lasts for about 15-20hours of polish), the car is glazed, then sealed using Si02 coating. Later, wax is applied. The difference is in the result and durability. Light scratches (which is usually a result of incorrectly washing the car) in paint will be removed, the same can be said for swirl marks and holograms.

Step #4 Wax to get that showroom-quality look

To conclude, synthetic sealant is applied. The paint is then waxed to give it an additional protective layer using high-quality wax. This extra protection results in a noticeable, ‘new car’ shine. The remaining exterior parts, like the windows and other rubber parts, are then polished and carefully cleaned, adding the final touches in all the corners of the car’s body and exterior trim.

Step #5 An optional, yet important step

This stage involves cleaning the engine bay, which is an important process, even though a lot of people simply don’t do it. The reason for this is probably because some people don’t take much notice of what their car looks like under the hood, or that they think only mechanics should venture to clean anywhere under there.

But what most people don’t know is, having the engine bay cleaned can make identifying any engine problems easier and faster. What’s more, if the car owner is having the car detailed before selling, a clean engine bay can make a big impression on how well maintained a car is. Anyone that purchases a used vehicle will likely glance under the hood, and a clean engine bay can only increase the value.

We clean the engine bay by lightly spraying it with water, and then wiping it down with a degreaser before rinsing everything clean. Once properly dried, all silicone, plastic and rubber components are properly dressed to protect them from cracking. This is a simple process that ultimately serves to protect the car from everyday problems of wear on rubber and silicone.

If you’re interested in getting your car detailed by professionals, then book your next car detailing appointment with Portughes Car Detailing. You certainly won’t be disappointed! And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for our next segment, where we’ll be looking at interior car detailing.

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