What Cars Can Benefit From Detailing?

A common misconception is that only a certain category of vehicle can benefit from frequent detailing. It is true that the benefits are diminished if the vehicle is neglected and the surfaces have begun to deteriorate. Typically, once a vehicle’s surfaces start to deteriorate, it will need to be restored. Rarely, except in the case of a very desirable car, will restoration make economic sense.  Most vehicles, whether late model or a Radwood style vehicle can benefit from frequent detailing. The key is to start off with a vehicle that is either a year old or less or has been consistently cleaned and protected over it’s entire existence. Detailing removes soiling from the interior and exterior surfaces before it can do damage to these materials. Secondly, the auto detailing process protects your vehicle’s surfaces using protectants, waxes, or sealants. Advanced product chemistry makes applying protection to your vehicle’s paint or interior surfaces more efficient. If you do decide to detail your own vehicle, keep in mind it does require good equipment, a refined process, and good quality products and materials.  As I have mentioned in other posts, detailing your vehicle should be part of it’s regular maintenance schedule. A good rule is to detail your vehicle with every oil change; for most people this occurs twice a year. If you stick to a schedule, your vehicle will look good for many years; making it more of a pleasure to drive and helping it to hold it’s value. Remember, you don’t need to own a new vehicle for detailing to make sense. The only requirement is you have a car that has been well cared for and a plan to keep it looking great. As always, please reach out if you have any questions.

 

Fall Auto Detailing

Fall is a beautiful time of year here in northern Virginia and the Washington D.C. area. The weather is typically great for detailing your vehicle. Detailing your vehicle is important this time a year. Vehicles typically have dirt and sand on the interior from summer vacation and bugs and road grime on the exterior. It is good practice to remove this soiling before it can do damage. It is also important to make sure your vehicle is protected for the coming winter. In northern Virginia we typically see some type of winter weather, such as snow and/or sleet. Road crews apply salt brine solutions and sand to the roadways. If you are driving your car during the winter, your vehicle’s paint needs to have adequate paint protection. Most people do not clean their vehicles as much during the winter months, because of how cold it can be. This fact makes the application of a good paint sealant even more important. A paint sealant will help to prevent road grime from bonding to and damaging your vehicle’s paint. Even though the sun is not as strong, a paint sealant will protect your paint from UV radiation. Finally, a paint sealant makes cleaning your vehicle’s exterior easier. Remember, fall detailing is important for the reasons mentioned above. Taking some time to clean your car’s interior thoroughly, cleaning the exterior paint of road grime, and applying a paint sealant will help to keep your vehicle looking great. As always, please reach out if you have any questions about this post or any other.

Concourse Auto Detailing

As many of you already painfully know, the 2020 concourse season has seen individual events cancelled or others delayed for months. Fall is an ideal time to have an outdoor car show in Northern Virginia, so it’s exciting to anticipate the ones that are scheduled. The vehicles that are present at concourse events, are some of the most finely detailed vehicles that you will ever see. The most impressive, in this detailer’s opinion, are original vintage vehicles. These cars have not undergone an expensive restoration, but rather have been frequently and properly detailed for their entire existence. Frequent auto detailing is the basis for maintaining your vehicle’s appearance for the long term. There is detailing that is done in direct preparation for a concourse event, however, the best cars should already be in phenomenal condition, if proper detailing was done often. There are a few important reasons why frequent auto detailing is such a big factor in keeping a car pristine for decades. First, soil is acidic. When soil dwells on the surfaces of your vehicle, those surfaces degrade and become damaged. Those same surfaces are degraded further by sunlight and moisture. Frequent auto detailing ensures that the surfaces are not only clean, but protected from UV energy and moisture too. If you find yourself at a concourse event over the next few months, and are admiring those pristine vintage cars remember; it was most likely years of frequent auto detailing, that kept them in beautiful condition. As always, please contact if you have any questions about this article, or would like to offer feedback.

Tire Detailing

Despite being one of the most important parts of your vehicle, tires are often neglected in the detailing process. Tires, like many other parts and surfaces of your vehicle, require routine maintenance and detailing. This is important for the performance, safety, and appearance of the tire and the longevity and performance of your vehicle. Keeping your tire looking it’s best, requires some regular and simple steps. Avoid scrapping your tires along curbs. This can not only make the sidewall look dull, but can also weaken the integrity of the tire, if the damage is bad enough. To clean your tire’s sidewall, simply use a mild detergent and a microfiber towel. This process does require some pressure to effectively remove old tire dressing and road grime. Avoid using harsh cleaners. These products are not good for the tire, you, or the environment. If you like your tires to have a rich-black look, use a high quality dressing made for tires. I like to apply the tire dressing to a circular foam wax applicator pad, and then apply to the tire sidewall. Avoid applying dressing past the sidewall, and onto the tread. Finally, check the air pressure in your tires when you detail your car. Use a high quality tire gauge, and make sure the cold pressure matches the placard on the inside of the driver side-front door jamb. Having the proper air pressure will prolong the life and appearance of your tires and more importantly, allow your car to be safer and perform optimally. A few simple steps is all that is needed to keep your tires looking their best, and performing great for years. As always, if you have any questions about this or any other post, please contact us.

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 our 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.