Just because your car looks clean doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a detail. Detailing is about deep cleaning, restoring, and cosmetically perfecting the many surfaces of your automobile so that they look great for a long time. Needless to say, there’s are a lot of different surfaces in your car, and each has it’s own way of telling you when it’s in need of a detail. Read these 6 surefire signs that it’s time for a detail and then go check out your car… you might be surprised.
You need a detail when…
1. Your leather looks and feels dry.
When your leather needs some love, it warns you. Much like your hands, if you go too long without conditioning leather seats, they’ll begin to dry out and crack. The easiest way to remedy and prevent the situation is to first clean the surface, then condition it. But wait, there’s more… you have to do this regularly (again, like your hands) or else the leather surface will continue to dry out, fade, and crack. All you need is a leather cleaner and a leather conditioner to get started.
2. Your paint looks cloudy and dull.
A large majority detailers will immediately grab a high-speed polisher when their paint starts to look crappy. You don’t have to (and neither do they). High-speed machines are causing unnecessary harm to your clear coat (Read: Paint Correction vs. Preservation). In most cases you’ll just need a light hand polish, a glaze, and a wax, but before you do that I recommend trying a paint cleanser. You’d be surprised how much crud is up in your finish; a modern paint cleanser will do a great job of getting it out and breathing life back into your dull-looking paintwork without the use of abrasive polishes.
3. Your windshield is covered in smudges and rain doesn’t bead.
As drivers, it’s our responsibility to do everything in our power to increase visibility. Driving with a filthy windshield is not a good way to start. A proper window/windshield detail will not only improve the look of your car, but it can help you see the road more clearly. All you need is a quality glass cleaner, a glass towel (microfiber so it doesn’t cause hairline scratches), and a VOC free glass sealant. In a matter of no-time you’ll be seeing clear and water will bead up the second it hits the glass.
4. Your tires are faded and wheels are caked.
A lot of times the things that actually get us around – our wheels – get neglected. Tires are left to fade, brake dust begins to etch… none of it is good and it just looks hideous. Additionally, the shape of your wheels and tires can increase or decrease your car’s value quite significantly. It’s worth conditioning the tires regularly (with every car wash – and don’t use a dressing), cleaning your wheels properly, and protecting your rims from further damage with a durable oil-based wheel sealant. Oil has no melting point and therefore is much more durable and resilient in high heat (ie. near your brake rotors) than a typical carnauba-based wax is. Give it a try.
5. Your car has a very distinct smell.
Nobody likes to drive with someone who treats their car like a trash bin, so don’t. If your car stinks to high heaven, find the source and remove it by cleaning the area and using a no-scent odor eliminator. For once you should finally breathe fresh air. Trust me, over time you’ll get used to even the most putrid of odors… handle the problem and start enjoying the time you spend in your car.
6. Your paint feels bumpy and rough to the touch.
This one here is all about claying your car. Often times, without properly protecting your paint on a regular basis, you’ll get debris embedded in your paintwork. Before you think about grabbing a polisher, you must know that doing so WILL cause swirl marks. If you’re experiencing this problem, all you have to do is wash, then clay the car. Afterward you should examine for scratches and polish if necessary. Always follow up any clay/polish/glaze with a sealant or wax. The end result will be super smooth paint and an unbelievable finish.
If you’re experiencing any of the above, it’s time for a detail. Sure you could knock out all of your car’s ailments with a strong detailing prescription, but the right way to go about car care is to stay regular. If you consistently clean your car, you’ll have to clean less and less each time. If you let one area get away from you, then you’re going to have to bust out the elbow grease. Either way, we’re here to help you navigate through any detailing situation… so take these signs for what they’re worth and keep your eyes peeled. It just might be time to detail your ride.
Got specific symptoms you want the Dr. Beasley’s team to check out? Let us know in the comments or ask us on facebook!