Premium Automotive Detailing Services
St. Louis, MO
Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between a detail and a regular car wash?

Most car washes offer some form of basic detailing that involves cleaning the inside/outside of a car, a vacuum and some form of wax. An experienced and passionate detailer is going to be much more gentle to your vehicle's fragile components while restoring them to the best condition possible. Most car washes employ methods that are focused on finishing the job as quickly and as cheaply as possible to keep the line moving, but a seasoned detailer employs paint-safe washing & drying methods and won't inflict swirls/scratches to your vehicles delicate finish. I don't use greasy silicone based dressings and you'll never see any leftover wax on trim or leftover polish residue in bodylines. Here's an example of a quick wash and wax that one of my clients wanted cleaned up:
All of that white on the door trim is where someone mistakenly got wax on it and it has stained. This can usually be removed, and I tape off trim lines when working with products that can stain.‚Äč

I take great efforts to preserve as much of the vehicle's clearcoat as possible by measuring paint thickness before beginning any work, and I employ a different method on every car I see depending on what is best for that specific vehicle. I also take preventative measures to make sure nothing is going to damage your vehicle. My methods are safe and are only used with the owner's best interests in mind because I want the vehicle to look better than when you got it.

What's the best wax for my car?

Wax and other paint protection products such as paint sealants and coatings are all similar in their effect but can be different in their application, appearances, and especially their price points. While there are products that are marketed as better on certain color cars, the reality is that no product is going to overcome paint that isn't properly polished and taken care of. A freshly polished car even with no wax on it looks better than many other cars out there. When considering what wax or what product works best for you, consider how often you will be able to reapply it vs. how long the product lasts, and if it is something that is easy to use and works with your budget. I use a variety of products from Meguiars, CarPro, Menzerna, Blackfire, Sonax, and more.

What is "paint correction"? Is that the same as buffing a car?

Basically, yes. Paint correction is the process of refining paint to be smooth and uniform again, which removes swirl marks, shallow scratches, water spots, and other etchings. Gloss and clarity are achieved through having smooth and defect-free paint free of contaminants. This produces the "wet paint" effect that everyone loves.

To illustrate this how much different paint looks when corrected, I taped a panel down the middle to show a before and after. One side has been compounded and the other is untouched. The compounded paint, even though it can be even more refined, already looks much more rich and clear. The difference is easy to spot.

Why should I get a brand new car detailed?

Even brand new cars come with defects due to shipping and unloading processes at dealerships. You might notice on white cars that there are brown specks on the paint that don't come off after a wash - these are embedded contaminants that should be removed. Here is an example of a car that left the lot with two miles on the odometer:
You can see that there is damage present from where the dealership employee removed the shipping material too aggressively. There is also leftover adhesive. Sometimes this damage can be covered up with a glaze or wax that the dealership puts onto your car, but more often than not it's a better idea to skip the dealership in regards to any detailing work and leave it up to a dedicated detailer.

How good are dealership washes and details? What about their paint protection products?

Like everything else in life, there's a bit of a gray area with dealership detailers. There are some extremely talented people working in some dealerships, where other ones just have employees that are there to clock in/out and aren't that concerned about the final product. The unfortunate side to dealership detailing is that they are under considerable cost and time restraints, so they are often focused on moving the vehicles in and out as quickly as possible. That means there are often missed spots or overaggressive methods used to remove contaminants or dirt from the surface. I always treat my clients' vehicles like I would my own and I'm able to devote more time and effort into every detail.

I wouldn't recommend any kind of paint protection products from dealerships unless the work is sourced to an outside detailer that has experience in paint coatings and current technology. Every product I've ever seen from a dealership is simply a paint sealant or synthetic wax, which are easy to apply. These products end up costing you hundreds and sometimes thousands more than it would if you applied it yourself or took your vehicle to a detailer. They also don't improve your vehicle's appearance in any meaningful way. The interior protection plans are sometimes worth it for the warranty but are still very expensive for the benefits they provide. The best type of paint protection that is available is a clear bra or paint protection film. Next to that, a ceramic paint coating is a good option to keep your car protected for years without needing to rewax or reapply.