Maintenance Auto Detailing

When most of us think of vehicle preventative maintenance, the first things that come to mind are: oil changes, fluid changes, and tire rotations. These maintenance items are very important to maintaining our vehicles for the long term. Vehicles are expensive. On average, people purchase a vehicle once every ten years or so. We do routine and preventative maintenance to keep our vehicles running properly and looking their best. If you neglect to do preventative maintenance, your vehicle may fail mechanically and certainly will not look very good over time. Auto detailing is no different. Frequent detailing will help keep your vehicle looking it’s best, and prevent pre-mature degradation of the interior and exterior surfaces. It can even help to keep the value of your vehicle higher over time. Make it a habit to have your vehicle detailed each time you do an oil change or other preventative service. If you wait until your car looks like it needs to be detailed, you have waited too long. At that point, damage to the surfaces has already began to occur. Once this damage occurs, the vehicle will need repair and restoration; which is expensive and can de-value your vehicle. Remember, preventative maintenance on your vehicle is important for it’s mechanical and cosmetic longevity. Make auto detailing part of your regular maintenance plan. In the long run, your car will look great and maintain it’s value. As always, please contact us if you have any questions.

Auto Detailing Process

The process involved in detailing a vehicle is the most important factor in achieving amazing results. Yes, the equipment, products, and materials used to detail a vehicle are important, but it’s the process that matters most. An effective process is something that is developed and refined over time. Most of the steps of an auto detail, build on each other. In other words, you need to vacuum and dust the interior first, before you can start cleaning the surfaces. The results achieved during each step of the process, are dependent on how well the previous step was completed. We have perfected our process during our 20 plus years of experience detailing cars. Our process is thorough and meticulous and always produces exceptional results. We have added steps to our process that many people never think about. We clean and polish stainless or chrome exhausts tips with every detail. We also carefully wipe down infotainment screens with a special cloth that leaves them streak free, and we set the HVAC vents so that they are all uniform. It is small details like this, that sets our process apart. Finally, the steps of the auto detailing process are only as good as the person performing the steps. We are fanatics about auto appearance, and strive for perfection with every detail. We treat your car as if it were our own, and are always careful and respectful. In summary, whether you are detailing your own vehicle or choosing a professional to detail it for you, it’s the process that matters most in achieving exceptional results..

Mobile Auto Detailing Benefits

I think most people agree that we buy goods and services because of a real or perceived benefit. Mobile auto detailing is not different. Here are some of the benefits of having your car regularly detailed at your home or office.

Convenience– Having your car detailed at your home or office means that you do not have to drive anywhere to have your car cleaned and protected. You can simply enjoy the things you like, while we do all the hard work.

Safer– With all the harmful pathogens we can encounter in public and the risk of driving, mobile auto detailing can be a safer alternative.

Value Added– Having your car detailed regularly, can help it to maintain it’s value. A neglected car’s surfaces can quickly be damaged, lowering it’s value. Dirt and soil are acidic and the sun is damaging. Having your car cleaned and protected can help to mitigate the harm caused by both.

Experts– We are experts at what we do. We have two decades worth of experience detailing cars, and two years experience working in the used car business. We will respect your vehicle and treat it with the utmost care. We only use the best equipment, products, and supplies to detail your vehicle. We treat it like it’s one of our own cars.

We feel there are very real benefits to having your car professionally detailed at your home or office. As always we hope you have enjoyed the information. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Mobile Auto Detailing in the Covid Era

I know we all have virus fatigue at this point, and I know everyone is tired of hearing companies talk about how they are responding to Covid, so I will be brief. Mobile auto detailing is an excellent way to help “stop the spread”. Because we come to you, you do not have to leave your home to have your car detailed. You can simply leave us access to your vehicle, and ideally the key too. The cleaning process will help to eliminate germs that are on and inside of your vehicle. Once the work is complete, we can simply email you an invoice; from which you can pay with a credit card. The bottom line is your car will be meticulously cleaned and detailed and you do not have to come in contact with anyone. Please reach out to us if you have any concerns about are process or procedures during the pandemic.

How Often Should I Detail My Car?

A common question I receive is: How often should my car be detailed? The answer depends on several factors, including: how frequent and how far the car is driven, how it is stored during the day and at night, and how frequently it is washed. A car that is driven only on weekends, will not need to be detailed as often as a car that is driven daily on a long commute. Conversely, a car that is never stored in a garage, will need to be detailed more often. As a general rule of thumb, detailing your car twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall, is a good idea. This assures that the paint will have protection on it at all times, and the interior’s surfaces will not get soil build up. The twice a year rule assumes that the car is preferably hand washed at least once a month. Automatic car washes are better than nothing, however, they can cause scratches in the paint. If your car is a garage queen, that is only driven on weekends, you should detail it once a year. Asking yourself a few simple questions about how your car is driven, stored, and maintained can give you a general idea of how often you should be detailing your car. Another rule to remember is: once your car looks like it needs to be detailed, it is already too late. As always, please contact us with any questions. We are here to help.

Mobile Auto Detailing Technician

Reflections Auto Salon is an in demand mobile auto detailing service here in Northern Virginia.  We are frequently booked a couple weeks out in the spring, summer, and fall.  Because of our high level of service and quality, finding top talent to better serve our customers is not easy.  I am extremely conscious of the high level of service demanded by our customers.  To this end, not just any candidate will be a good fit for Reflections Auto Salon.  Ideally, the right candidate would possess the following attributes:

  • Effectively speak and understand English.
  • Be punctual and cognizant of customer’s time.
  • Be friendly, and interact with customers well.
  • Extremely motivated and focused.
  • Able to follow a detailed process.
  • Be in top physical condition.
  • Possess a Virginia drivers license, clean driving record and criminal history.
  • Have a working knowledge of modern automobiles, electric power tools, and small engines.
  • Be able to drive a manual transmission.

If this sounds like you, we want to hear from you.  We are looking for individuals who possess these attributes, and want to help us grow.  Please contact us through this website, or see our job listing on Indeed.

Detailing Confidence

Think about the last time you bought a product or service. Why did you choose to buy that particular product, or purchase a service from a specific company? Was it because of the price? Perhaps, it was because of superior customer service. More than likely, it was because you had confidence in the product or the company that provided the service. Confidence. is in fact the number one reason why people purchase a product or service. Apple products are purchased because individuals have confidence that the quality and performance of their products, will be good. Price, although important to people, is usually further down on the list of why specific products or services are purchased. A service such as mobile auto detailing is no different. When looking for a mobile auto detail company to care for your prized car, you want to have confidence that the company will deliver quality service. Asking family, friends, or co-workers for recommendations is usually a good place to begin. If these people have been satisfied with a particular company’s service, that should give you confidence that you will be as well. Online reviews can be another source of confidence. If an auto detailing company has positive reviews online, chances are they provide a high level of service to their customers. This will help you to have more confidence in choosing a specific company. Most likely, the company that your friends or the online community recommends, will not be the cheapest. You will receive a better value by getting better service and higher quality. So remember, next time you are looking for a product or service, make sure you choose carefully based on the level of confidence you have in the product or service.

Car Wash vs. Auto Detailing

I believe there is some confusion between a commercial car wash and an auto detail.  Some believe that taking a car to a commercial car wash is the same as having it professionally detailed.  The following information will help you to understand the difference, and make an educated decision on which service is best for your car.

At a car wash, cars are routed through a tunnel where mechanized cloths and brushes, detergent, and water jets are used to clean your car.  After your car travels through the wash tunnel, car wash employees may be present to dry your car.  Some car washes also offer interior services that are done after the wash process; either in front of the facility or on a conveyor belt in another area.  Interior work usually consists of a quick vacuum and wipe down of interior surfaces.  The process, as mentioned, produces a relatively clean car at an economical price.  The main problem with this process, is that it is not thorough and the tunnel wash can cause damage to your car’s paint.  The mechanized brushes and cloths are usually the source of paint damage, however, it can also occur during the drying process.  If the towels used by the car wash staff are not clean or have been cross contaminated by the wheels or other dirty areas, damage can occur.  These types of issues may not be typical of every car wash, however, I frequently observe it on customer’s cars.  If you are really enthusiastic about the appearance of your car, a commercial car wash is not likely to exceed your expectations.  Please keep reading to see how the auto detailing process is different and offers many more benefits to you.

When your car is detailed by a qualified shop or mobile detailing company, it is usually hand washed.  Each section of your car is carefully washed with the gentle touch of the human hand.  The wheels, wheel wells, and tires will also be carefully cleaned by hand.  The paint is gently dried with quality towels that never touch any other area of the car.  When your car is detailed, the paint will either be hand waxed or polished and sealed with a machine polisher.  This process will both protect and enhance your car’s paint.  Paint protection is important because it prevents UV damage and keeps contaminants from bonding to the paint.  Polishing and waxing services are sometimes offered at car washes, however, it is frequently done incorrectly and with little attention to detail.

When the interior is professionally detailed, the same care is taken.  Brushes and various vacuum attachments will be used to get into cracks and crevices.  Hard surfaces, such as vinyl, plastic, and leather will be carefully cleaned.  Care must be taken because certain interior surfaces can be damaged with the wrong cleaning process.  I have seen plenty of badly scratched touch screens, which are expensive to replace.  Only water-based UV protectors should be used on interior hard surfaces, which have a natural matte shine.  Thick and oily products applied at some car washes,  can attract dust and create a glare effect on the dash.

In summary, when you have your car professionally detailed, you will notice the difference.  More time will be spent on the key areas and greater care will be taken not to cause damage.  The benefit to you is that your car will look like new for many years.  Sure, auto detailing is more expensive than a car wash, however, the value is many times greater.  Please feel free to ask us any questions you may have regarding this topic.

Mobile Auto Detailing At Your Location

Our goal is to make our service convenient for the customer.  We will come to your home or office and meticulously clean, polish, and protect your car; saving you time.  While your car is being detailed, you can be working or doing other things you enjoy.  Reflections Auto Salon is based out of Ashburn, Virginia.  Our service area is generally within a 20 mile radius from Ashburn and includes: Leesburg, Sterling, South Riding, Herndon, Reston, Chantilly, Oakton, Vienna, and the surrounding areas.  We do sometimes get requests from individuals who are out of these areas.  In some cases we will travel, however, because of the cost of fuel and the time needed for travel, we charge a travel and fuel fee.  The fee varies depending on the travel distance.  In general, any location within the capital beltway takes additional time because of the traffic that can be encountered.  If you have any questions regarding our service area or travel fees, please fee free to contact us anytime.

Car Detailing Products Decoded

A lot of confusion exists regarding auto detailing products.  The internet has spawned many websites and detailing forums that sell products, and discuss them.  Forums contain endless opinions on which products are the best for a given task.  All of this information can be very confusing when you are simply trying to keep your car looking it’s best.  The bottom line is, most of the best products are very close in performance.  In fact, if you examined the chemical formulations of the products, most would be nearly identical.  As discussed in previous articles, the process is more important than the specific products being used.  In addition, the simple fact that you are taking the time to maintain your car’s appearance or paying someone else to do so, is most important.  Neglecting the appearance your car is a recipe for disaster.  Once the surfaces are damaged, it can be very difficult or impossible, to fix them.

A simple strategy for selecting products and materials is best.  Ask a detailing professional what he or she recommends.  Most professional caliber products can be obtained from online retailers or directly from the manufacturer.  Most online retailers of car detailing products carry good quality products and may contain information on their use.  Just remember that the differences between the best products are marginal.  As for wash mitts and towels, simply make sure you have access to new or very clean materials.  It is also important to separate towels by task and never cross contaminate.  For example, you would never use a wheel towel on painted surfaces.  Interior towels should be reserved only for interior detailing.

Unless you have the experience,  knowledge, and equipment to handle more complicated auto detailing tasks, such as polishing and waxing, it is best to leave those tasks to a professional.  You can, however, do simple car detailing tasks such as washing and interior cleaning, with basic products that are available online or at most auto parts stores.  The bottom line is, do not get too caught up in the web that is car detailing products.  Take a simple approach to choosing products and follow a good process.