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Detailing Checklist – Did Your Detailer Do a Good Job?

Detailing Checklist – Did Your Detailer Do a Good Job?

Detailing Checklist – Did Your Detailer Do a Good Job?
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Most people would gladly pay for the cost of professional detailing services and entrust their car to experts who know exactly what their car needs. But how can you be sure that the auto detailer did everything right? Did you get the quality detailing service you paid for? Wouldn’t it be convenient to have a list you can tick off as you check your car right after it has been cleaned? Look no further, because we have put together a list for you.


Detailing Checklist: What You Should Be Aware Of


1. Painted surface

The cleaning process should have taken out all visible contaminants on your car’s surface like dirt, tar, bird droppings, tree sap and many others. Fine scratches and swirl marks should be corrected by polishing and buffing.


Inspect your car’s exterior outside the wash bay where you can easily see flaws under the sunlight. Check for water spots and scratches that your car may have gotten from automatic brushes or from wiping with dirty towels.


2. Wheels and tires

Your car’s wheels and tires, together with the plastic splash guards and inner fender liners, should be completely clean and coated with protective wax or dressing.


3. Glass surfaces

Check for streaks, water spots, scratches and other impurities on all the glass surfaces – windows, mirrors, and windshield. Windows should be clean on both sides. Roll down the windows and check if the edges are clean.


4. Lights

Headlights and taillights tend to become cloudy and hazy over time due to UV light, road debris and oxidation. If not cleaned properly, car lights can pose a safety concern because of decreased visibility. Car lights after a detailing session should be clear and free from any signs of oxidation. The build-up of moisture from inside the lights needs to be treated by removing the lights and cleaning them from the inside.


5. Rubber surfaces

Rubber components such as wipers and door frame weather stripping should be clean and in good condition.


6. Trunk compartment

All the areas inside the trunk compartment should be clean – the inside of the lid, outer lip, water channel, well where the spare tire is kept (if there is one), carpet and other matting.


7. Dashboard and console

Your car’s dashboard, console, glove compartment, door panels, and instrument panel should be dust-free including the vents in between buttons. Door pockets should be vacuumed. Inspect whether the finish of these surfaces is too glossy or greasy because of the residue left by some cleaners.


8. Steering wheel

It a part of your car that your hands always come in contact with when driving. It needs to be disinfected, cleaned and applied with vinyl protectant.


9. Carpets and floor mats

These should be taken out of the vehicle and cleaned separately. Check for dirt and debris underneath the mats and on the foot pedals. Some detailers apply a coating of an Armor All-like product to floor mats that make it shiny. This substance can be slippery and can stick to your shoes and car pedals which can be very dangerous while driving.


10. Seats

Simple vacuuming of seats won’t get rid of stains on fabric seats. Seats should be treated properly to remove grease stains and other hard-to-remove blemishes. Were the areas in between and under the seats vacuumed? Were the center console and ash tray emptied and cleaned?


11. Headliner and sun visor

Areas overhead accumulate dust over time and should not be overlooked when cleaning.


12. Grillwork, air dam, and bumpers

The crevices and elaborate details of these parts need extra attention and should be spotless. Metal parts must be spotless and shiny.


13. Exterior trim (rubber and vinyl)

Keeping your car’s chrome, vinyl or plastic trim spotless and dressed with protectant will prevent them from fracturing and fading.


14. Gas cap compartment

Gunk on the gas cap can fall into the gas and plug the gas filter or fuel pump. See to it that all grease is removed in the gas cap compartment.

15. Door/trunk jambs

Jambs contain the parts that connect your car’s doors to the body. Making sure these are clean will decrease the likelihood of rust forming.


16. Engine bay

There should be no sign of grease, grime and rust should be seen on all surfaces inside the engine compartment including the inside of the hood, valve covers, battery terminals, and small crevices.


17. Undercarriage

The undercarriage and chassis are often neglected when cleaning vehicles. Build-up of dirt and debris can cause damage to the wiring and bolts under the car if not attended to right away. Your car’s detailer should cover this area during the detailing process.


18. Engine function

There have been cases where engine trouble like sputtering, loss of power and loss of signal from the engine computer were experienced after a car wash. Test engine functions that may be affected by the cleaning of the engine components at the detailing shop and call the attention of the detailer if any problem comes up.


19. Car odors

Your car shouldn’t have an unpleasant smell after a detailing session. The interior sometimes is not dried off properly, leaving a rancid smell.


20. Use of sealant or wax

Make sure that sealant or wax is applied to the different surfaces of your car after washing. These provide long-term protection against harsh environmental elements.


Our expert auto detailers at DetailXperts can cover all of these items and more. Schedule an appointment now to have your car assessed and professionally detailed.

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September 2017
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