If you’re new to an area, or just finally getting around to looking for a detailer for your car, there are certain things to consider during your search. Your car or motorcycle is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make. Protecting that investment is as important as protecting your home. Unfortunately, some people and businesses claim themselves to be professional detailers, yet they simply don’t have the proper equipment, adequate skills, or don’t dedicate the time necessary to detail correctly. Trusting your vehicle to such people can do much more harm than good, either immediately or down the road. It is important to choose the best place to accommodate your needs and to maintain a healthy relationship with them just as you would a trusted plumber or any other skilled tradesmen.
Location – A detailer’s location is important because it determines how willing you are to travel to them. The facility’s appearance and trustworthiness (would you park your vehicle for any length of time there?) are important factors to notice and consider. Those who work out of their homes may offer a price that detailers with facilities cannot match. However, if detailing is just a hobby or side work to them, you can nearly guarantee that they are not well-versed in what is new in the market or what best suits your vehicle. Taking time to learn and follow the ever-evolving industry of car detailing requires countless hours of research and dedication that those unwilling to make a true career of detailing undoubtedly don’t have. When you come to a facility that specializes in detailing, you’ll be giving yourself a peace of mind that your vehicle is safe at all times, kept inside out of the weather, and that you’ll receive a level of professionalism that many others can’t compete with. Honesty regarding the products, tools, and what’s new and trending are easily discussed with a professional detailer. Detailers shouldn’t be keeping any secrets from the customer about products what they use on their car. They should be as clear and open as possible by ensuring the customer of the service and product they are receiving. Ask for pictures of prior work. or what something does. Truly dedicated detailers love to talk and educate their customers about proper detail techniques.
Tools – The tools that your detailer uses for your vehicle should be discussed when making an appointment or stopping by the facility. A professional should have professional tools. Using Rupes or Flex brand tools are a must when considering which detailer to trust. Cheap store-bought polishers with gimmicky pads or bonnets should never be used on a prized vehicle. Ask your detailer about the tools they use and why they use the ones they do. Unfortunately, many of the vehicles that are brought to professional detailers are a result of uneducated amateurs using the wrong tool for the job.
Guarantee – Always look for a guarantee. Many detailers won’t talk up a guarantee specifically for their work, but they will stand behind their work or fix an issue if an issue arises. A detailer can only do so much when it comes to bodywork, and because of that, it is important to listen to a detailer when they discuss concerns with you. If you’re in the market for a new coating, for example, ask the detailer about warranty claims on that specific coating. A good detailer will stand by the product they are installing and take care of any concerns you have in-house without withholding information about the brand of coating itself. It is important to ask questions; never feel like you’re asking too much or wasting time! The detailer works for you, the customer. Never leave wondering about unanswered questions.
Cost – Cost is the trickiest part of the detailing world since it relies on so much more than what you see. Obviously, the better the product the more cost is going to be associated with the detailer on their end. That’s not a bad thing. While you should be concerned about getting the best service for your money, you also need to accept that cheap chemicals and tools are not efficient for detailing. If you spend more, make sure you spend smarter. Ask a detailer why they charge what they do, it’s a fair question. When you spend more on your detailing service, you are also purchasing the peace of mind that the professionals working on your vehicle have more knowledge and are more skilled than those who are considerably cheaper. The facility, if it has a waiting area or other services, is going to increase the hourly rate that is determined to set the price for detailing. Feel comfortable spending what they charge and get a feeling for the actual people working on your vehicle. The appearance of those employees and their manners towards are obvious, upfront ways to evaluate character.
Research – Lastly, but most importantly, as a potential customer it is very proactive to do your research on the detailer. Read their reviews, talk to anyone you know has had their vehicle worked on by the detailer before. If they have vehicles on display, walk around and evaluate their work. If you have concerns with something you see, ask! Maybe something wasn’t worked on yet or didn’t receive the same package you’re considering for your vehicle. Doing this may be the best way to judge where you would be most satisfied as a customer. If they have tiered packages, ask about the differences between each and how each vehicle is finished. Ask if they use shiny sprays or factory appearing creams. Professional detailers love what they do and love to talk about it, especially if they are talking to someone who loves cars, trucks, or motorcycles as much as they do. A professional detailer is an absolute wealth of knowledge when it comes to vehicle refinishing, detailing, plastic care, ceramic coatings, or paint protection film. Ask, ask and ask some more! If the detailer truly loves what they do, and they the experience and background required to be great in the skill of detailing, they’ll gladly fill your head with knowledge before you bring your car back to get it cleaned up and ready to be shown off.
Throttlestop fits all five of the requirements listed above, and we love to talk about detailing! Our team boasts a combined two decades of experience in the field; we live to detail! We research all of the new processes, different products coming to market, and stay educated through different avenues because we never want to stop learning and innovating. Come into Throttlestop and take a look around. Ask us questions! We’d love to take the time to check out your car, truck, or motorcycle and make you as comfortable with us as possible. We have events throughout the year where we are present to chat, answer questions, or just hang out and talk racing. Feel free to give us a call to set up an appointment or stop in during our business hours. We’re glad to take the time.
-Andrew Marvan, Detail Manager at Throttlestop
Andrew Marvan, “Marv” for short, has been detailing high-end luxury automobiles and motorcycles for nearly a decade. After moving from the fast-paced dealer life where he started, Marv now focuses on his strengths toward paint reconditioning. The vehicles he has worked on have won numerous awards at concours and other shows throughout both Wisconsin and the nation.