Coating Farm Swindon - Accredited Ceramic Detailer.
Valeting versus Detailing
Some people will not identify any difference between valeting or detailing a car however in my view there is a distinct difference in the process which I will try to clarify in this article.
The dictionary defines auto detailing is the act of performing a thorough cleaning, restoration, and finishing of a motor vehicle, to produce a show-quality cleanliness and polish. Detailing can be performed on a vehicle's exterior and/or interior whereas valeting is defined as just cleaning the bodywork and interior of a car as a professional service. Detailing will involve doing minor bodywork repairs to improve its appearance.
Car valeting is the process of cleaning, polishing and waxing an auto-mobile in order to achieve an as-new look. This usually includes cleaning the wheels & shuts, washing, polishing and waxing the bodywork, dressing exterior plastics and tyres, polishing bright work and polishing the glass.
The cleaning process should also include the use of a clay bar to remove unwanted contaminants from the paint such as iron filings, industrial fallout, tar spots and tree sap, which all cause the paint to feel rough and dull the appearance of the paint.
The exterior process includes a variety of chemicals, tools and accessories in order to reach awkward areas, clean off as much soiling as possible and leave the car looking as near to the condition the day it left the showroom as possible.
The interior would be vacuumed in all areas including, dash, centre console, seats, carpets, luggage areas and vents before a variety of chemicals and tools are used to wet clean any soiled areas such as upholstery, trim, carpets and head linings.
So where does ‘detailing’ differ?
As I have just stated car valeting offers a very extensive method of cleaning your car and ensures you are left with a car that's a pleasure to drive and a joy to look at.
So what more can be done. The main difference I believe is the paint rectification/correction process in order to get the paint looking its best i.e. free from swirl marks, scratches and other blemishes that spoils the appearance. The prime objective of car detailing is to fully enhance and restore the vehicles paintwork by eliminating light scratches and swirl marks that have been inflicted over time and that reflect the light in such a way that they give an unsightly cob webbing effect on the surface of the paint or clear coat
These contaminants are removed through the use of machine polishing, usually a fixed
rotary polisher or a Dual Action polisher, used on delicate paint or for the refining stage which is combined with a selection of abrasive polishes and pads designed to remove defects, polish the surface and leave a flawless hologram and swirl-free finish.
Personally I don’t believe that car detailing is simply enough just to have a set routine such as; washing, clay bar, polishing and waxing, but must include cleaning areas not usually cleaned and repairing parts which may be damaged, requiring paint repair, getting it back to a showroom/factory finish
I am sure many people see cheaper roadside car cleaning enterprises as a valeting service which is a truism to some extent however these low cost businesses cannot be defined as car detailers as it is not their mission to remove marring or swirling etc., in some instances they may even exacerbate the problem by creating more damage using dirty cleaning sponges, mitts and cloths..
The fundamental difference between the two, Valeting and Detailing, is the attention to detail involved in the latter.
At Marque2Pro Detailing our process will include most of the following
to achieve that new look finish:
Our detailing service is designed to fully enhance and restore the vehicles paintwork by eliminating light scratches and swirl marks that have been inflicted over time and that reflect the light in such a way that they give an unsightly cob webbing effect on the surface of the paint or clear coat.
Before this is undertaken though, the exterior has to be thoroughly washed and cleaned in order to remove as much dirt and as many contaminants as possible. The first step of the exterior detailing process is usually to snow foam the vehicle completely and allow it to soak, this helps to soften up any dirt and lift it off from the surface prior to pre-rinsing. Whilst soaking, a soft bristled detailing brush may be used to agitate areas like the window rubbers, plastic grills, trim details and badges. The foam, along with the loosened dirt and grime is thoroughly rinsed off.
Before washing the paintwork, wheels and wheel wells/arches are usually cleaned as these tend to be the dirtiest and most contaminated parts of a vehicle. Specialist brushes and wheel cleaning products are used to remove grime and baked on brake dust from all areas of the wheels and wells/arches including suspension components, brake calipers, around lug nuts .
After the wheels and arches have been thoroughly cleaned, the paintwork can then be washed from top to bottom using plush wash mitts instead of sponges and soft micro fibre towels in conjunction with the two bucket technique and grit guards, which all help to prevent any damage (in the form of light scratches and swirl marks) from being inflicted.
After washing, the paintwork is clayed using a specialist automotive clay bar and lubricant which gently removes any bonded surface contaminants that washing alone cannot remove. This is an important step in the car detailing process as these contaminants can hinder the polishing process and prevent a top quality finish from being achieved.
After the paintwork has been properly cleaned and prepared it is then polished to remove any light scratches, swirl marks,hazing, oxidation and other surface imperfections. This is usually done with a rotary or dual action polishing machine as they allow the polish products to be thoroughly worked into the surface and broken down and so generally create better results.
The polishing process is usually a multi-step task, as differing abrasive grades of polish are used to correct and refine the finish.
After being polished and corrected of any imperfections, the paintwork is then protected and sealed. A pre-wax cleansing product prepares the paint for high quality natural carnauba based paste waxes and synthetic polymer sealants providing months of tough, long lasting protection and create an incredible shine.
As an alternative to wax we can also apply a 10H ceramic coating that will provide years of protection.
Once the paintwork has been sufficiently polished, enhanced and protected, the other exterior parts are then dealt with. Windows and glass are polished and protected, as are any metal and chrome parts. Rubbers, plastics and vinyls are revived and dressed to help bring them back to life and protect them from the elements.
The engine bay area can also be properly cleaned (if requested), during the car detailing process, using a range of cleaning products and brushes.
An interior detail comprises of all upholstery being vacuumed and thoroughly shampooed to remove any contaminants and stains, while also brightening and freshening it up. Headlining is cleaned, leather is thoroughly scrubbed to remove many dirt from deep in the grain and is then conditioned and protected. Plastics, vinyl and trim are cleaned and dressed using appropriate products to revive and protect them from the sun, then the interior glass is also cleaned and polished to give a crystal clear, smear free finish.
As an optional extra during this Covid pandemic we can provide a Thermal Fog and Deodorising service
The interior detailing process is also very involved and time consuming as every area including even the smallest vent and switch are properly dealt with using a wide variety of brushes, swabs and micro fiber towels to remove the smallest dust particles from the tightest of areas.