With the help of Simon’s Shine Shop, Chicago’s premier hand car wash and auto detailing shop, we’ve compiled a list of our Top Auto Detail Fixes of 2010. All stories listed are actual experiences from customers at Simon’s. If you have similar stories or want to share your detail experiences, feel free to do so by commenting on this post!
#8: Explosive Wine
Late summer in Chicago means hot and humid. A customer had left a bottle of wine in their car during a 97 degree day in Chicago and came back to find a good portion of their rear seats dyed red. Luckily, we received the car only a few hours after the incident and began scrubbing and shampooing the effected areas. After a few hours of hot water extraction and cleaning, you couldn’t even tell wine had spilled at all.
#7: Caution! Construction Zone
It happens all the time. Your neighbor’s house is being renovated and you seem to be making sacrifices. A customer came in, car covered in cement overspray, and in dire need of help. After carefully removing the cement and claying the surface for impurities or left over debris, we continued to buff and wax the surface to be sure none of the cement caused any damage. Needless to say, it was a good thing the customer took before pictures because afterward he would’ve had a hard time explaining what happened to insurance.
#6: Sticky Paint
Unless you’re strictly a garage person, you’re probably familiar with sap latching onto your car. In most cases, the sap is left on for a while until you’re reminded of it and get a car wash. Problem is, after a while that sap can invade your paint and etch your car’s finish. A customer came in with a roof full of sap, some etched and some still sticky. Clearly he needed a new parking space, but that’s not our job. A few ours of delicate removal with a tar remover, buffing of the effected areas, neutralizer and a little wax for protection and it was good as new.
#5: Mud Under the Hood
If you’ve ever taken your truck off the beaten path and made your own, you know the toll your engine takes. A Jeep rolled into the shop, clean on the exterior from previous washes, but when we popped the hood for an engine clean it was caked with dried dirt and dust. Luckily, we had a steam cleaner on hand and loosened the dirt from the various engine surfaces and were able to clean it up. The owner said he hadn’t seen his engine in over 2 years and once we reintroduced them, he was stunned with the results.
#4: Dinner Party Disaster
Some people use rubber bands and some use boxes; either way, transporting food from one household to another is always tricky. In this specific case, we received a Tahoe with a good inch or two of mom’s homemade chili under the third-row seats. Although it smelled wonderful, we began removing the seats and carpets for extraction. It honestly looked like they were on the way to a family reunion (and the other side was invited), but nevertheless we returned the car with no sign of the special recipe inside.
#3: Sunroof Surprise
There was about a 4 week span in which we were thinking about introducing a new service entitled “Sunroof Surprise” due to the sheer number of waterlogged car’s we treated. Most of the time, we end up removing and shampooing the seats and carpets and then completely dry them out to prevent mold and bacteria growth. To our surprise, accidentally leaving a window or sunroof open in the rain is quite common, but is still no match for proper car care and auto detailing.
#2: Too Much Fun
On any given day, you might be living the effects of last night. In this case, a designated driver was left with a gift when driving his friend home from a party. He rode in, windows all down to ease the smell of his friend’s dinner lying on his passenger seat. After picking up the mess and using an odor remover to combat the smell, we shampooed (multiple times) and dried the seat. At the end of it all and with no proof or memory from the previous night, his friend did not believe that he had done such a thing to his car.
#1: Watermelon, Please
Quite possibly the rarest and most interesting scenarios we were put in was finding the source of a stomach wrenching odor. It turns out that on the ride home from the grocery store, a swift left turn and a leaky watermelon had a brand new Mercedes smelling like a baby’s diaper two weeks later. Seepage from the watermelon had stemmed below the seats and into the foam cushions. We removed the seats and had to remove the effected area. We shampooed the path of watermelon juice and refilled the padding to remove the smell from the car.
2010 has been a good year for detailing endeavors, and I’m sure 2011 won’t come up short. Please feel free to comment if you had any similar scenarios this year.. and if so, how you got them fixed!