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How much for a detail?
We get this question daily and it can be answered about as precisely as asking your doctor "How much to fix my stomach ache?", or your local auto mechanic, "How much to fix that knocking noise?". The problem is further compounded by not knowing what your expectations are. It's natural to want to know how much something costs, but when it comes to detailing a car, we need considerably more information before giving you an answer. Here are the factors that will influence the costs as well as the recommended services:
1.) Where is the vehicle parked at night?
2.) How often do you wash your vehicle?
3.) Do you take it to the car wash?
4.) Do you accept dealership complementary washes?
The answers to these questions give us a lot of information about your maintenance habits as well as physical condition of your car. A car that is washed at the car wash will have a dull finish. In the sunlight, it will be covered in scratches and swirls. A car that is parked outside at night instead of in a garage will be wet in the morning due to morning dew. When a car is already dirty, that dew will intermingle with the dirt and dry out in the warm sun causing it to be baked on to the finish. Repeat this process daily and your paint will be caked in hard dirt and contaminants in no time.
In general, a frequently washed car tends to be in better condition than one that is neglected for long periods of time. however an improperly washed vehicle or one that uses the local car wash (hand wash included) will show signs of neglect with the appears of swirls commonly referred to as cobwebbing.
Those free dealership car washes when you take your car in for servicing need to be avoided at all costs.