Author Topic: Car Detailing  (Read 6918 times)

MgoSam

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Car Detailing
« on: October 14, 2013, 02:47:55 PM »
There is a place near work that just had a groupon-type deal for detailing and I am thinking of using it. The reviews are decent, but I'm wondering how often should I get my car detailed? How often should I wash it? I live in a Midwest state so snow is an issue for much of the year.

Also, besides regular oil changes, is there anything additional I should do to prolong the life of my car? It is a Camry so theoretically it should run for quite a while and it would be nice to not spend money on a car.

Thanks in advance.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2013, 03:14:58 PM »
Only time I might consider a detailing is if I'm trying to sell the car. Otherwise, I think it's overkill.

I used to be pretty bad about washing my car (maybe 2-3 times a year if that?) but I realized that some of the pollen/tree sap damages the clear coat, so now I try to do it about once every other month. I go to the self-wash place and spend about $5 to scrub all the gunk off myself, and consider it an interesting form of exercise. I also get free auto car washes with my oil change about 3 times a year (my mechanic made a deal with the car wash place right next door, so win/win for them) and use their vacs (also free) to get the grass and bits of grunge out of the floorboards then. I don't spring for waxing or any of the fancy stuff, just a scrub off the build up of road dirt and tree sap/pollen.

Oil changes are definitely good to keep up with, but don't forget tire rotation, checking the air pressure to make sure your tires are properly inflated, and checking fluids (about once a month). Change your air filter regularly (most of them are REALLY easy to do, but my husband's car has a weird setup that gives me fits... and yes, I'm the one doing his air filter changes).

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 04:02:38 PM »
The condition of your paint does help/hurt your resale value. I usually wax once a year and wash about once a money. If I'm making more money than it cost for a detail, I would spring to have someone detail/wax it once a year. Otherwise I do all of that myself as I consider it somewhat enjoyable.

The drive through car washes are murder on your paint. It will strip any wax and leave fine scratches in the paint. Do this enough w/o wax and you have clear coat peeling/dull paint and eventually rust issues. If they salt the roads, take it to a spray wash after the first rain. That stuff will eat up paint too. Be sure to spray wash wheel wells and tight spots. Usually there are flaws in all cars where they tend to rust out in the same spots. I've seen cars as new as 2004's with rust issues.

ruthiegirl

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 05:10:45 PM »
Car detailing?  I am in the 'never' category. 

Are you planning on selling it? Is it particularly dirty? 

plantingourpennies

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 06:30:43 PM »
I have a jeep wrangler, bought in 2007, its never been washed, much less detailed.

Why not just detail it yourself? Its a labor intensive so you can add value through learning the skill.

Just follow the owners manual or get to know a skilled independent mechanic-many times the low-brow shops can do damage, and the dealerships have the highest prices and the pushiest sales people.

best,
Mr. PoP

SunshineGirl

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2013, 07:05:48 PM »
I'm going to have mine done this month, because it sorely needs it, interior especially. I am even paying extra for the mobile detailing service to come to my house.

I cringe to think of spending the money, but I know I will feel it's worth it when done, and I've budgeted for it. To me, I am trying to "take back" my car after the wear and tear of children, so there's lots of deep-seated mess.

As to how often one "should" do it, no idea.

MgoSam

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2013, 08:08:33 PM »
Yeah, I am planning on running this car to the ground. I want to get the interior cleaned because it improves any time I spend in the time.

brewer12345

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2013, 09:08:22 PM »
I have to wash and clean the truck at least monthly, but mostly because I use it for hunting, camping, etc. and it gets muddy/dirty on the outside on dirt roads and we track all kinds of dirt and grit into it.  Then there is the dog hair (and the nose prints, and...).

Jamesqf

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2013, 09:50:38 PM »
The condition of your paint does help/hurt your resale value.

Something that only matters if you intend to sell the vehicle as anything but scrap :-)

Myself, I'll clean out the insides every month or so.  Outsides rarely, only if I get a lot of caked-on mud or dust.

gooki

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2013, 01:45:12 AM »
Yeah, I am planning on running this car to the ground. I want to get the interior cleaned because it improves any time I spend in the time.

Do you have a vacuum cleaner? If yes, clean it yourself. It's not that hard.

chasesfish

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2013, 04:39:27 AM »
I've paid to have it done once or twice, and I'm not proud of it.

Its not something I'd do again, just not worth the expense

TreeWeezel

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2013, 08:20:42 AM »
The point of driving a Toyota is to put as little money, effort, and thought into it as possible.  Don't even bother.  Free your mind from such shackles.

Best case scenario:  you had no dents or scratches or UV paint damage or skuzzy plastics, and now it's all cleaned up and shiny.  Well, anybody with a newer toyota will still look down on it.  And most people drive new-ish Toyota-like cars, so you can't win.  Basically, you don't hear many people talking of a "cool old Toyota" (and if so, it ain't a camry) so you don't need to save it for anything.


exranger06

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2013, 08:47:01 AM »

Also, besides regular oil changes, is there anything additional I should do to prolong the life of my car? It is a Camry so theoretically it should run for quite a while and it would be nice to not spend money on a car.

Thanks in advance.
There are MANY other maintenance things that need to be done to car over it's life besides just oil changes. Transmission fluid changes, coolant changes, spark plugs, air filter, fuel filter, tire rotations just to name a few. Check your owner's manual and look at the maintenance schedule for starters. I like to go a little above and beyond what the manual says for certain things though.

prodarwin

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2013, 08:52:03 AM »
I washed my car this past weekend.  Reason was that the outside was so dirty that when I brushed against it, I became very dirty as well.  That said, it's a Saturn and they have semi-indestructible paint.  My Japanese cars required far more attention to the paint.

I usually do a reasonable detail once every year or so.  Keep the car in good condition, because you WILL want to sell it before running it into the ground.  A clean/good condition Camry with a busted transmission is still worth a lot more than one with a busted trans and shitty paint.


Eric

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2013, 10:52:36 AM »
Why not have your butler or maid clean if for you?  It's not like the silverware needs to be polished everyday.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2013, 12:11:16 PM »
So, I decided against that deluxe detailing I had planned to get and spent less than half what I would have spent to buy a fantastically-rated shop vac for cars and a upholstery stain remover that works FAR better than anything I've tried before, as well as various other car-grooming supplies.

FinancialIndependenceTime

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2013, 03:16:44 PM »
Quote
There are MANY other maintenance things that need to be done to car over it's life besides just oil changes. Transmission fluid changes, coolant changes, spark plugs, air filter, fuel filter, tire rotations just to name a few. Check your owner's manual and look at the maintenance schedule for starters. I like to go a little above and beyond what the manual says for certain things though.

This is just the basics I would consider to keep your car running for many years to come.

Rural

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2013, 06:17:25 AM »
My car is being washed right now, same way it always gets washed. This only goes to show that meteorologists aren't perfect (forecast was for sun today).

I do clean the crap out of it when it starts to pile up, and shake off the mats. It gets a wipedown on the inside if we track mud in, too, so the mud doesn't get on us later.

I have stuff I want to do, and car washing isn't on the list. Same for my money.

Note: no ice on roads, hence no salt. If frozen water falls from the sky, we stay home around here (other than buying up all the milk and bread from all surrounding stores, apparently).

ZiziPB

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2013, 11:33:27 AM »
Quote
So, I decided against that deluxe detailing I had planned to get and spent less than half what I would have spent to buy a fantastically-rated shop vac for cars and a upholstery stain remover that works FAR better than anything I've tried before, as well as various other car-grooming supplies.

Seriously?  My car is spotless inside and I clean it myself every few months using my regular vacuum cleaner and cleaning supplies I have on hand.  The only "special" cleaner I decided to buy was leather cleaner/conditioner as the car has leather seats and I don't have any leather furniture in the house.   Your really don't need any specialized products for your car.

For upholstery stains, carpet stain spray works really well.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2013, 01:46:13 PM »
I wanted a vacuum I could store near my car. And I did get some fantastic stain remover. Tuff Stuff, I think it's called. Works better than anything I've ever used.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2013, 01:07:01 PM »
I wanted a vacuum I could store near my car. And I did get some fantastic stain remover. Tuff Stuff, I think it's called. Works better than anything I've ever used.

Yes! That stuff is great... use it with a good bristle brush and stains come out easily. I have a nice little garage shop vac too. It comes in handy. See, for less than a detail, you invested some useful equipment to get the job done yourself, for a fraction of the cost. That is a win.

For windows there is a foam spray called Clear Glass I think? I use regular glass/surface cleaner for the dash, door panels, etc. A roll of blue shop paper towels work well with those products. And if you really want to gag the kids out, one of the tree air fresheners will do the trick.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2013, 01:10:54 PM »
That was my thinking, thank you for the "good job," Mr. M. Even though I spent money, it was way less than the detail would have been and will help me keep the car much cleaner in the future. It may be rationalizing, but I'm not in a debt emergency or anything, so the "spend less to achieve the same thing and have a positive future impact" was, while not badassity, a fairly responsible decision, I thought!

I am amazed by the Tuff Stuff. I just used it on a few well-worn stairs (carpeting) and it cleaned up so well!

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Car Detailing
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2013, 03:11:26 PM »
Quote
So, I decided against that deluxe detailing I had planned to get and spent less than half what I would have spent to buy a fantastically-rated shop vac for cars and a upholstery stain remover that works FAR better than anything I've tried before, as well as various other car-grooming supplies.

Seriously?  My car is spotless inside and I clean it myself every few months using my regular vacuum cleaner and cleaning supplies I have on hand.  The only "special" cleaner I decided to buy was leather cleaner/conditioner as the car has leather seats and I don't have any leather furniture in the house.   Your really don't need any specialized products for your car.

For upholstery stains, carpet stain spray works really well.

I'm not sure if a "shop vac for cars" is more specific but I will say IMHO any wet dry vac is SO worth the  money. We use ours all the time. Double worth the money if you have a really hairy dog :)

(edited to fix typo)