This article was recently published on the Auto Detailing Network!
When you’re looking around the information superhighway it can become very confusing when looking for automotive services. It’s even more difficult if you’re the proud owner of an Exotic vehicle. Tires and maintenance can be as simple as setting an appointment with the local Ferrari Aston Martin or Porsche Dealer. But when it comes to something as simple as a hand wash or detailing work for your baby it can get confusing. If you do an Internet search for exotic auto detailing and washing you would think you could pinpoint a couple of companies that work on these types of vehicles. What you will come up with are many choices and companies that claim to work on exotics especially if you live in a large metropolitan area. Just because there is a picture of a Lamborghini doesn’t mean they have ever worked on one. This article is intended to help you narrow it down a bit. The comments and suggestions in this article come from over 20 years of experience working on these types of vehicles.
If you think about it exotic vehicles have made significant advances in the last 30 years. Interiors have become much nicer with soft glove-type leather, exotic woods, and carbon fiber pieces that trim everything out. You even have lighted door sills, electronics, navigation, and information screens that make you feel like you’re sitting in a fighter jet. With interiors like these do you really want just anyone spraying cleaners and conditioners everywhere? Outside the vehicle you have much nicer paint finishes some done by hand with claims to self-healing like the Nissan GTR. More carbon fiber pieces and panels are being used outside the vehicles. Even special ceramic composite brakes or CCBs are becoming more common and are a $10,000 option on a lot of exotics these days. These advancements come from racing technology so do you think anyone that calls themselves a detailer is qualified to handle one of these cars? I have witnessed people trying to just move one of these vehicles and they can’t figure out how to put the car in reverse or even start one up. This statement may sound strange to the person driving a minivan however if you own a vehicle with the F1 racing style transmissions you know what it is I’m talking about.
We won’t be getting technical with this article. It’s going to be simple. The Internet is full of articles that break down the detailing process and are product-specific. You really don’t want to get hung up on products and processes. When you find the right Detailer or Reconditioning shop they will know just what to do. You are going to want to stay away from the Car Washes and high-volume Detailers and Shops. These types of businesses tend to use products that are cost-effective and give them good results across the board. They won’t necessarily give your car the finish that it is deserving of. The company you will choose will correct the problems your car is experiencing and then protect it. These cars are looked at by these types of shops as cream puffs. They really aren’t. We spend more time polishing a supercar than we do the minivan or daily driver in our shop. These type of cars need to be flawless and is why you need to find someone who understands this and has a good eye for every little detail. Look at the Ferrari F430. The designers understand that the motor is a work of artwork. Why else would they place a piece of glass over the top of it for people to see it? You need someone who will clean and polish the motor bay just as well as the exterior or interior of the vehicle right down to the stainless steel hose clamps and exhaust system.
There are several different ways to find a qualified auto detailer to pamper your vehicle. You can start with the internet. Just remember that it’s easy for someone to make a website and showcase high line automobiles. If you attend local car shows you can ask the owners who are showing their cars that they would or are using for their detail work. Or you can call the dealer they may have a good recommendation for you. You may even have a local Car Club with owners of cars similar to yours that meet up and go on drives. These clubs will and should have a couple of good recommendations for you.
Your biggest concern first should be is… if the company I hire has insurance. Business liability insurance. You would be surprised how many do not. Accidents happen you should be protected. Ask for it! If they don’t have it then you don’t want them working on your vehicle period. The second should be referenced. Can they provide them? If they are as good as they say they are then it shouldn’t be that hard for them to provide you with one or two. It’s really easy for a person to be educated or Internet smart when it comes to detailing. It cant take the place of true experience and training. If they’re working out of a fixed location you can stop by and see firsthand what type of work and vehicles they work on. San Antonio Texas isn’t a hot spot for exotic or high-end cars like Southern California is but you will find two or three there being worked on all the time at our shop. The third should be the amount of time the person has been in business. The longer they have been in business means the more experience the person should have. Something else to consider is, do you want the work to be done on your property or at a reconditioning shop? This is up to you and you’re level of comfort with someone working in your garage making a mess or leaving your vehicle at a shop out of your site. You’re going to want the company you chose to have all the equipment necessary to do the job you desire. Like buffers steamers extractors etc. If you want the wheels taken off the car so the fender wells and brakes can be detailed then they should have a lift or jacks and jack stands to do the job. They should also know where the jack points are on your vehicle.
Prices will vary from one region to the next. If you’re looking for a high level of expertise then you must be willing to pay a premium for it. Depending on the condition of your vehicle and what you want done you can expect to pay from $400.00 to over $1000.00 You can expect the job to take anywhere from 1/2 a day to up to 3 days again depending on what it is you want done.