There’s a big difference between a car wash and an auto detail

The responsibilities that come with owning a car is immeasurable, especially if you treat it like an extended member of your family. It needs to be cleaned. It needs to be serviced. It also needs to be detailed, something that some people are not that familiar with. Well, we here at TopSpeed are ambassadors of the automobile, and for us, it’s important to share the gospel of automotive care to as many people as we can reach. I’m going to do that today by highlighting the importance of auto detailing and what it can do for your car in the long term.

I once heard someone say that detailing is just a more expensive form of a car wash. While that may be true on the surface, it doesn’t paint a clear picture on the real benefits of detailing. The key to understanding the advantages of detailing is to think of it as a long-term version of a car wash. Over time, when the trim, rubber, plastic, and the paint of your cars begin to show their age and mileage, no form of car wash will be able to make them look as clean as polished silverware.

That’s where detailing comes into the picture.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Auto detailing comes with its share of benefits, the most obvious of which is that every corner, nook, and cranny of your car is thoroughly cleaned. Note that this isn’t just washing the body of your car or vacuuming the interior. Auto detailing is a skill in it of itself and detailers go through a lot of hands-on training to understand all the nuances of the job and the all the included minutiae that comes with it.

When you have your car detailed, the first thing that’s always done is for you to create a list on the things you want done to your car. This “to-do” list may include something as big as repairing dents and pimples in your car’s bumper or something as seemingly trivial as eliminating an unsavory odor in the cabin. Detailers don’t discriminate in the kind of job request you ask them to do because chances are, as far-fetched as some of these requests may be, they’ve done something similar before. Suffice to say, cosmetic item that needs to be worked on in your car will be done professionally to make it look good as new.

This inevitably leads us to the next point about auto detailing. You know the saying that how your car looks reflects on how you look? It may not be a universally accepted axiom, but it does touch on two things that a lot of people believe in: vanity and hygiene.

Obviously, you want your car to always look good. Car washing can accomplish that to some degree, but everyone knows that having your cars washed isn’t a long-term fix. Mother Nature only needs to open up her clouds and the money you spent on a good car wash is going to get, well, washed away. As far as those car bruises, car washing doesn’t make them go away, unless the car wash is using an insanely high-pressured water pump. But that creates a different set of problems and is another story altogether. On the other hand, a simple auto detail should clear those dents and scratches in no time.

Finally, there’s always this thing about putting up your car for sale. In the event that, for one reason or another, you find yourselves forced to sell your car, it’s very important that you have your car detailed so you can maximize the value of your car. A lot of second-hand car buyers pay less attention on how the car runs compared to how it looks and smells. Would you want to sell them a car that smells like spoiled milk, or would you want to sell them a car that smells like a freshly laundered pillow case? I know what my answer is. All the same, do you want your car looking like it’s been through hell, fire, and brimstone or do you want them to look about as close to showroom-quality as they can get? Yep. The answer’s obvious, isn’t it?

If you’re considering selling your car, have it detailed first before you put it up on listings. You not only save yourself the trouble of explaining why the car turned out that way, but prospective buyers will appreciate you more, knowing that you took great care of your car when it was in your possession. That kind of care and attention-to-detail resonates, especially in the second-hand car market.

And to slam home these points, put yourselves in the other side of the handshake; you’re the one in the market for a second-hand car. Would you want to buy a car that’s been through the ringer or would you want a car that is brimming with shine and confidence?

Auto detailing, everyone. It’s awesome.

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