How It's Done

Q. What is automobile "Detailing" and what is actually done to the car?

A. Often called Re-Conditioning, detailing is the process of "supercleaning" your car and protecting its finish, inside and out.  The Last Detail begins by gently washing the car with the mildest possible soaps and a lambswool mitt.  The wheels and tires are thoroughly cleaned and are treated to protect them.  In the interior, we clean your carpets, mats, seats, dashboard, door jambs, headliner, and trunk.  Leather is cleaned and softened.  The automobile's paint is rubbed out with a liquid compound and we hand apply a pre-selected finish coat to protect the shiny results.  Your chrome is carefully polished and the entire vehicle is inspected by our Quality Control Specialist.

Q. Why is detailing becoming so popular?

A. According to a Motor Vehicle Marketing Association Facts and Figures study done in 1999, the average price for a new car sold in the United States was $27,600.  At the same time, the average age of a passenger car in the US was 7.6 years.  Other industry studies point to the fact that both of these numbers are increasing!  In other words, cars are kept longer and they are costing more to purchase.  As a result, professional cosmetic maintenance of an automobile becomes the logical way to protect this important investment.

Q. How often do you recommend that I have my car detailed?

A. How often your car is detailed is a function of a number of factors including the climate where you live, the type of paint and interior materials used in your automobile, and the car's color.  Generally, black cars and those with dark pigmented paint require more frequent detailing than lighter colors.  We recommend a three times per year maintenance program with twice annual visits an absolute minimum.  The darker cars mentioned above should be seen quarterly.

Q. What is the best way to protect my car's finish?

A. As your car’s paint is the first line of defense against the abuses of everyday driving. Scorching sun can fade and crack it, harsh detergents can strip away its luster, and temperature extremes can cause it to peel. In hardly any time at all, your cars finish can be left looking washed out and weather beaten. That is why we offer several excellent ways to protect your paints finish, from pure, hand rubbed Carnauba wax to specially formulated paint sealants.  Professionally applied paint sealants not only cover the paints surface but actually penetrate into the pores for added strength to resist cracking, flaking, and peeling. The protective layer formed by professionally applied sealants also seal out dirt, air, and water, so your cars new finish won't fade, oxidize or lose any of its luster.

Q. What colors are the hardest to keep looking now??

A. Base coat / Clear coat, black and any color with dark pigmentation such as red or navy blue are the most difficult colors to maintain, We recommend that owners of these cars have them detailed more frequently.

Q. How long does it take to detail an automobile?

A. It takes the better part of a day using a crew of trained professionals to get your car looking the way that we want it to. Smaller cars with lighter finishes that have been maintained regularly are easier to clean than those that have been neglected, since each of our professionals has a specific job function, it's difficult to total the hours that we put into your car.

Q. Can I wait for my car?

A. We do have customers who bring cars in for detailing and then wait for them.  It is best if you give us advance notice that you will be waiting so we can expedite your car.  We offer a Free Shuttle Service by appointment.  Detailing can require up to five hours or more. Remember, Quality Can't Be Rushed.

Q. Can you touch up door dings and scratches?

A. If you bring a can or bottle of the correct touch-up color, we will be happy to do this for you.  Make sure you request this service when your car is scheduled.

Q. What Is "overspray" and why Is it so expensive to remove?

A. Overspray Is a paint condition occurring when chemicals In the air such as paint, acid rain, insecticides, or other pollutants land on the paint of your car and adhere to it.Removing this condition is like detailing your car two or three times!The droplets must first be carefully removed from the paint by a skilled professional. Then the underlying material must be recleaned, polished, and waxed.Overspray work is often reimbursed by insurance companies and you should check your policy If you have such conditions.

Q. What can I do to preserve my paint, chrome, and rubber?

A. In addition to regularly scheduled detailing and hand car washing; you should avoid opportunities for damage to your paint. Often you will park your car near a sprinkler system not knowing that It will come on during the day and the result is water droplets all over the car that are then burned into the paint when the sun comes out.The same problem applies to cars that have been rained on and then left to dry in the sun.Whenever possible, wipe off a wet car, particularly if it is going to be sitting in sunlight.Salt from the air in coastal climates or from roads in winter climates can be quite damaging to your paint.Frequent hand washing and wax protection plus prompt salt residue removal will protect your car's finish.  Bird droppings and insects can be quite acidic and should be removed to prevent spotting. A cloth dipped in hot water and placed on the area will soften it enough for easy and damage-free removal. The best defense against hazards is frequent preventive maintenance in the form of automobile detailing.

Q. Is there any guarantee on how my car will turn out when you detail it?

A. At The Last Detail you get this guarantee: If you are not happy, we will make it right!