Frequently Asked Questions
Why is detailing a necessity?
Your car accumulates numerous particles that can harm the finish. Pollutants, mud, salt, dirt, sand, bugs, tar, rain, sun, etc. are extremely harmful to the paint. Detailing leaves microscopic layers of fine wax particles that provide a deep shine and forming a clear chemical bond that protects the paint and its original clear coat. Detailing guarantees longevity to the paint and retains the value of the vehicle. Professional detailing is not just a luxury, it is an investment that has become a necessity!
What is the difference between detailing and washing?
Washing removes loose contaminants, dirt and grime. Detailing removes blemishes, oxidation and etching marks that are caused when contaminants penetrate the surface. Rub your hand across an upper surface. If it is rough, you need to detail your car. It prevents the paint and its clear coat from deteriorating. Retain the value of your car; have it detailed by one of our technicians this week.
My vehicle is new. Does it need to be detailed?
We frequently receive phone calls from customers who have recently purchased a new vehicle. When asked what detail service they would like, they often reply “well, it’s a brand new car so it doesn’t need much”. Unfortunately that statement often proves to be a bit off base.
Just because your vehicle is new doesn’t necessarily mean the paint finish is flawless. Often times when a vehicle leaves the factory there are many paint imperfections that are missed by quality control personnel. Some of these imperfections are dirt specks, run lines, wet sanding marks, pig tails from a D/A sander, and hologramming from improper polishing techniques.
If the vehicle is shipped from out-of-state or travels by train, it can be subject to many contaminants along the way with no protection. Then when it arrives at the car dealership, many times the vehicle is washed improperly by inexperienced lot attendants causing scratches and swirl marks. Ideally before you take delivery, ask them not to wash your vehicle.
We also offer new car protection services at a fraction of what the dealers charge and the protection products we offer are much higher quality compared to the products used by the dealer. Often times, dealerships will offer a “lifetime paint sealant” and say if you purchase this you will never have to wax your car again. This idea of a paint sealant or coating that will protect your vehicles paintwork forever is a great one and we wish it were true, but unfortunately there is no such product on the market.
However, there are some paint sealants and coatings available that will last well over one year with regular maintenance. We import our paint sealants and coatings from the U.K. and most are German made. These are the finest paint protection products made. We also offer sealant for your wheels, leather and fabric guard and rain repellant windshield coatings.
I am selling my vehicle. Can you make it look new again?
We hear this quite often. While having your vehicle detailed just once in its life time right before you sell it will help its first impression on a potential buyer, most likely by this time your vehicle has deteriorated, interior soiled, exterior oxidized, and the clear coat damaged.
We can, however, remove most of the stains inside and polish out most of the oxidation on the exterior; but, unfortunately your vehicle will never look as nice as if it had received detailing and maintenance in the past. This means you’ll probably get much less than you’re asking for. If the clear coat is damaged or peeling off then the vehicle would have to be repainted. A high quality paint job can cost several thousand dollars as opposed to a few hundred a year to properly maintain your vehicle’s factory finish.
Not only does having your vehicle detailed hold its value throughout its lifetime, but it also provides a more enjoyable driving experience. A clean vehicle can portray self confidence and a high level of professionalism. It is one of the most important maintenance services for your vehicle.
Why should I have my vehicle detailed during the winter or when it’s raining?
Contrary to some belief, winter is a very important time to have your vehicle detailed. We all know it’s nice to enjoy your shiny paint, wheels, and glass when the sun is out without contaminants on their surfaces. Some of these contaminants include but are not limited to mud, road tar, grit, grime, salt, acid rain and industrial fallout. When these surfaces are protected with sealant or wax most of the contaminants are repelled away from these surfaces. Any contaminants that are not repelled away are actually sticking to the sealant or wax, not the paint surface therefore can be removed much easier than if your vehicle is not protected. A vehicle without a fresh coat of paint sealant or wax is exposed to the brutality of the elements. Exposure to adverse conditions can doom your precious paint to oxidation, scratches, swirl marks and corrosion. By the time summer rolls around your vehicle is in bad shape. The detailer will have to spend more time cleaning and polishing your vehicle. Its definitely more cost effective to maintain your exterior throughout the year plus you get the luxury of always having a clean car. In order to maintain your vehicle’s finish properly you must have it polished and protected at least twice a year with regular maintenance.
It’s also very important to keep the interior of your vehicle clean all year. The contaminants from the road can easily get inside and stain your carpets, seats and upholstery. The interior of your vehicle can also create health issues. Over time food particles, mold, mildew, skin oil, and pet hair will turn into bacteria and grow inside your vehicle causing you and your family to get sick. We have had some mini vans in our shop that actually contained the bacteria level of an entire daycare center. Just like your vehicle’s exterior. It’s all about cleaning, protection and maintenance.
I lease my car, why should I care about my car?
Chances are, you’ll care when the lease ends. If you check your contract, you’ll find that you’re probably responsible for the appearance of your vehicle when it is returned. If the paint is dull and lifeless (because it was never washed, polished or waxed) you could be hit with a reconditioning fee ranging from $500 to $2,000! Take care of your investment!
Do You Offer Gift Certificates?
Yes, gift certificates may be purchased for any service or dollar amount of your choice and may be used up to one year of its purchase.
What is a CLEAR COAT?
“Clear Coat” is a name given to the multi-stage paints used today. A “base coat” (frequently water based) is applied with a pigment (color). Then, a top layer of clear paint is applied over the top of the base coat to add depth, brilliance and provide protection for the base coat. Clear Coats still require the same care as the old single state paints. Just because the topcoat of paint has no pigment in it doesn’t make it impervious to environmental conditions. Topcoats of clear paint still oxidize, and the softer paints used today also allow contaminants to easily embed in the surface. These softer paints require modern formulations and technology to protect them against damage.
In short, the need for proper care and maintenance of clear coat paints is just as important as years ago. Actually, because of their softer, fragile nature, they really should be maintained BETTER than the older single stage paints.
What does detailing do to a Clear Coat Finish?
Let’s first define Clear Coat Finish: today’s modern Finish consists of a dull layer of paint called a Base Coat. It provides the color on your car. Over this base, a clear layer of paint is applied. This is called a Clear Coat. It provides the shine and protection. The result is a two-layer painted surface known as a “Clear Coat Finish”.
When the Clear Coat Finish becomes dull, it requires special attention. Our detailing technicians apply high quality fine surface polish and wax to remove the elements that dull the Finish. When detailing is completed, the Clear Coat Finish has been cleaned and properly restored.
What is the difference between paint sealant and wax?
Paint sealant forms a clear chemical bond that protects the finish of the vehicle and maintains that new car appearance. It is guaranteed to keep its shine for at least one whole year with proper maintenance.
Waxes leave microscopic layers of fine wax particles providing deep shine and protection. With regular maintenance and care, the deep shine can last between 3 to 12 months depending upon the quality of the wax and car storage. We use only the highest quality wax in the industry today.
What is the difference between waxing and polishing?
Polishing is designed to bring out the gloss. Waxing is for protection. Polishing is what makes the wet-look, deep gloss possible, especially effective on dark-colored cars.
How long a wax lasts depends on a variety of factors such as the environment and how the surface is prepared. Our detailing experts are trained to meet your needs and requests.
How often do I need to wax or polish my car?
It depends on the environmental elements your car typically endures. If your vehicle is kept garaged on a daily basis, then a polish or wax can last as long as four to six months. If your car is kept outdoors under harsh conditions, then it will need to be waxed as often as once a month. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend that a light colored car be polished and waxed at least every two to three months. Dark colored cars on the other hand, will usually require more frequent and specialized attention.
What is a sealer or glaze?
When applied before waxing, a sealer and glaze helps hide minor scratches, spider webbing, swirl marks and other surface imperfections. It enhances clarity and shine, while giving darker colored paints that deep, wet look. If left unprotected, a sealer and glaze will not last long. It therefore needs an immediate coating of protective wax to truly have long lasting benefit.
What is a clay bar?
Auto detailing clay bars are used to remove embedded contaminants from painted surfaces. With today’s soft paints, any contaminants that sit on your paint can quickly become embedded. These contaminants aren’t easily removed, even by washing or waxing.
If you can feel bumps in the paint after washing and drying or waxing, chances are you’ll need to have it clayed first. In most cases, the wash ‘n wax program you see at the car wash facilities do not include claying. Our full detail package includes claying services.
What causes swirl marks?
Swirl marks are actually microscopic scratches in the finish. They are essentially scratches that have been put into the top layer of the paint. These scratches then act as tiny prisms, bending the light and creating a dull rainbow effect. These are often caused by the use of a buffer with the wrong type of polishing pad and/or wax/polish. Automatic car washes also can cause swirls, especially on clear coat paints. Another culprit is hand application or removal of product using a harsh material, or pads and cloths that have picked up micro abrasives from falling on the ground or improper storage. To avoid swirls, thoroughly wash all dirt particles from your finish before applying polish or wax. And always use a micro fiber towel, because its nap draws any contaminants on the surface up into the towel instead of letting them scratch the sensitive paint. At VIP Mobile Detailing, we take extra precautions to ensure that we do the job right.
Tell me about oxidation
Most modern car finishes consist of a base coating that contains the color, topped with a protective clear coat that is designed to keep the pigmented paint from oxidizing. This outer clear coat adds UV protection that helps prevent the sun’s rays from drying out the base paint. Oxidation was an obvious problem ten years ago because you quickly saw the color fade. Now that the outer layer is usually clear, oxidation is less obvious, yet it still occurs. The sun dries out top paint layers and natural oils are lost. If these oils aren’t replaced, the paint oxidizes and the surface gradually becomes duller and duller.
Even more than yesterday’s paints, today’s clear coat finishes look faded whenever the surface becomes contaminated by airborne pollution, acid rain, industrial fallout, and countless other factors. If the contamination isn’t removed frequently, it reduces the reflective quality of the finish until it looks dull and lifeless. If the contamination is left on the car for some time, it can begin to etch into the thin clear coat paint layer and expose the base coat to direct UV rays and even greater damage. Once the clear coat protection is gone, the car usually requires costly repainting.
**The overspray is recent; we can safely remove the contaminants and restore the structural integrity of the finish. In some cases, the overspray may have already penetrated into the clear coat. At which point, repainting may be necessary.
What is the difference between paint correction, polishing and buffing?
Paint Correction is a professional term for polishing. They both are similar except for paint correction covers all areas above and beyond general degradation. This includes removal of all imperfections including deep scratches, swirl marks, oxidation, etching, paint overspray, run lines, orange peel, and most surface damage. Many of these issues can be resolved using advanced wet sanding and polishing techniques.
Buffing is a generic term often confused with paint correction or polishing. When we as professionals hear the term buffing, to us it means just a quick shine by hand or any average machine with usually an abrasive wool pad, high grit compound, fill in glaze, silicone or wax. Not a good combination. This highly unskilled approach to try and improve a vehicle’s finish is usually performed in a home garage or low quality establishment and the results are always worse than before they began.
Unlike buffing, not just anyone can execute paint correction. This technique is a labor intensive process and must be performed by a master technician that has several years of experience. There are also certain products that must be used to achieve paint correction. These high quality polishing products are developed using Nanotechnology and contain super micro abrasives. They are carefully selected and imported from around the world. Each of these fine products are used for different levels of paint correction and the technician must be familiar with how to use each product individually. The art of safe, modern and proper polishing techniques is what separates the true professional detailer from all the rest and is a skill set that is mastered by very few.
What is the difference between carnauba waxes and synthetic polymer paint sealants?
Carnauba wax is produced by the Brazilian tree of life. This wax is preferred by car collectors and car enthusiasts because of its rich, warm glow. It transforms the paint into a deep, liquid pool that shimmers under changing light conditions. A carnauba based wax will protect your vehicle from UV rays, heat, moisture, oxidation and environmental contamination. An application of carnauba wax usually lasts from 6 to 8 weeks. If your paint is corrected first expect even more durability.
Synthetic paint sealants are kind of the anti-carnauba. They are more durable, easy to apply and there is nothing natural about them. Synthetic paint sealants are made of polymers, which are composed of tens of thousands of synthetic particles that are linked together. When a synthetic polymer sealant bonds to your vehicle’s paint, it forms a rigid shell. They are glossy and slick, but do not have the warmth and depth of a carnauba wax. Synthetic polymer paint sealants will last from 4 to 6 months. However, a growing number of enthusiasts simply refuse to choose. Instead, they coat their vehicles with a layer of synthetic polymer sealant for long lasting protection and then top it off with a layer of carnauba for a dazzling shine, commonly referred to as “stacking”.