Covering your bases as a professional detailer is always good practice. The first place you probably start is getting insurance, right? Insurance can only help you so much, so that’s why we recommend that every professional detailer implements a waiver when working under the hood of a car.
The engine compartment has thousands of little pieces and even the slightest mishap, whether it’s your fault or not, can damage the vehicle. Implementing a waiver that not only tells the customer what action you’re performing, but it also releases liability and in turn will help you out in the long run.
Some people don’t like the idea of using a waiver because it makes you appear less competent in your work. That’s not the case at all. It’s merely a smart precaution. Especially with older cars with lots of older parts, springs, and weak hoses can easily get damaged with even the slightest pressure. Imagine you’re just rinsing a section of the engine bay and the vacuum hose has a leak and water gets sucked in and the car won’t start. That’s hardly your fault as you didn’t know there was a broken hose. If something is compromised already, you can be put at fault because you’re the service person working on the vehicle when things went wrong.
In the service industry especially, there are no guarantees. You can’t promise a customer that you’re going to get a car completely spotless or rid that smell inside completely. The same goes for the engine bay; you can’t promise that nothing is going to go wrong. Somethings are just out of your control.
Mind you that this is not an alternative to having insurance, they simply work together. That being said, this waiver won’t absolve you of poor workmanship. Even if you have the waiver, you can’t stick a power washer on full blast and gun down every inch of the engine. You’re going to break a hose or ruin some electronics.
If something does go wrong with the vehicle and it’s a result of the technicians poor workmanship, then yes you’ll be responsible. But if something goes wrong because of some unforeseeable reason, then that’s where the waiver and insurance are handy. A vacuum leak would unlikely be known by either party so you can’t claim responsibility for that one.
Here is an example of an engine detail waiver that has been in use for a number of years by the detail shop we manage.
If you have any stories or examples, please feel free to comment below!