Car Detailing Myth Busted
Unfortunately not everyone knows what a proper detail is, and the mindset behind detailing is very outdated to the general public.
At Grand Sport Detailing, we are here to discuss the most common myths surrounding car detailing to give you a better understanding of what it is.
Myth #1: Car Detailing and Car Wash are the same
Fact: Services car wash cafes provides are completely different to what actual professional details provide. A proper car detailing is about 85% more than just a normal car wash you would get at a hand car wash cafe.
Compared to a proper detail, a normal car wash takes up about 15% of the whole picture that a professional detailer do. After a car wash, we follow up with a full vehicle decontamination on the paintwork that safely removes very fine above-surface contamination that can't be removed by a simple 2-bucket method wash. Not to mention these very fine above-surface decontamination cannot be seen with our naked eye. Our ultimate goal, is to now only wash and clean the vehicle but do so in the most gentle manner to avoid instilling imperfections in the paint such as swirl marks, marring and micro scratches from quick and improper washing done by automatic car wash and hand car wash cafes. We would then dry the vehicle with soft microfibre drying towels and air blow dry instead of using the (in)famous chamois "shammy".
After all that, we then follow up with an extensive paint polishing to remove below-surface contaminations such as blemishes, minor scratches, swirl marks etc to refine the paintwork to be close to brand new condition, or sometimes even better. After all those steps, we then apply a premium last step product (aka LSP such as waxes, sealants, and paint protection coatings) for short or long term protection.
Myth #2: Hand polish the car myself instead of paying a professional to save money.
Fact: Back in the 1960-70s era where base-clear coat paint system hasn't been introduced, this myth used to be a fact. Vehicle's paintwork back in the day are all single stage paint and paint oxidisation is a major issue with those paint systems. Oxidisation can be removed by polishing with hand with the right products. In recent years, after base-clear coat paint system introduced, base-clear coat paint is way too hard and it is impossible to hand polish to achieve half-decent result. Products you find on the shelf of auto stores are mainly glazes, waxes or sealants which contains fillers and resin that does not contain any abrasives to level the minor scratches and blemishes out. They simply 'fill' or 'mask' the imperfections so it looks good for a short period of time, but the effect is not permanent. Even if they do contain abrasives such as Meguiar's Scratch X, Ultimate Compound just to name a few, hand polishing with them does not remove imperfections like a machine polisher would.
Paint Correction (aka cut and polish, buffing, polishing etc.) performed by professional detailers are permanent results that will not be washed away or come back after a week or two. Treat it like a brand new paint.
A weekend warrior or car enthusiast might see the value of buying equipment themselves to polish their cars to save money. We respect the enthusiasm but however keep it in mind that the cost will be equivalent or even higher than hiring a professional detailer and the results won't be as good compared if a job is done by a professional detailer. Machine polishers, compounds, cloths, chemicals and miscellaneous products such as masking tape's cost will be about to $1500 to $2000. Not to mention you'll need to learn how to use them properly in order to achieve good results.
Myth #3: My Brand New car doesn't need paint protection.
Fact: Clear coats are only designed to resist UV to a certain extent. Long exposure to the sun's UV rays (especially in Australia) will lead to clear coat fading and failure. While European, luxury and high end vehicles certainly have better quality paint, it is by no means impervious to UV, swirls or scratches.
Waxing your car is a good way to protect to some extend but not all. We did several test with conventional wax, sealant and coatings. Wax does not protect your car from chemical etching such as bird/bat poo, sealant does a okay job as long as it haven't been sit on the paint surface for too long.
Meanwhile Ceramic Quartz Coatings were resistant to chemicals of pH 2-13, UV and even physical resistance such as micro marring and very light swirl marks. Coatings are usually considered as permanent due to their inability to be washed away from regular washes and they require proper preparation stages for the coating to perform well.
Myth #4: Cut and Polish is exactly the same as Paint Correction.
Fact: Cut and polish is not just using a paste/liquid compound that you apply using a foam hand applicator and "polish" the paintwork that many people still assume. These paste/liquid cut and polish compounds are generally not designed for clear coat finishes. They work on oxidised single-stage paints that came out from the factory in the pre-1980s. Going all the way back, cut and polish actually means you "cut" back the paint with fine grit sand paper and polish the sanding marks out with a rotary with a lambswool pad to refinish the car. Typically these combination restores the paintwork back to how it looks like when its new, therefore the popularity of the term. In the modern detailing world, a proper cut and polish is equivalent to Stage 3 to 4 Paint Correction where we wet-sand, heavy levelling with a rotary, level and finish it with a DA such as a Rupes random orbital polisher which it would be a week worth work.
Myth #5: Prices doesn't matter as long as I get a good deal.
Fact: We always hear about new detailing businesses that charges at a low rate and gets themselves busy. We respect that because we understand that a good detailer has to start somewhere.
But when comes to quality and results, its a whole different story. Good detailers charges more for a reason, a good detailer has more experience and attention to detail. To produce good results, a detailer needs to spend more time looking for little imperfections and taking extra steps in their work to achieve another level of perfection which cannot be learned overnight.
Furthermore, as a detailer progresses, they ideally invest more money into better equipment, more intensive techniques and better products. A detailer with a workshop, also has fixed overheads which are often larger meaning that his prices and work must reflect these costs.