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Discussion Starter #1
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If this violates board rules, please take it down. I'm just conducting a survey for the pro detailing industry that will be published on autopia.org (Professional Detailer General Discussion).

Who should take the survey?
Anyone who buys car detailing services regularly.

What is this survey?
About the buying habits of customers who pay for pro car detailing.

Why participate?
You'll provide valuable data for pro car detailers. And, a random person will receive a $30 AutoGeek gift certificate.

How long does it take?
15 multiple choice questions. About 2 minutes.

Where do I start?
Here
 

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There is almost nothing a car detailer can do that I cannot do as well or better, of course it takes me hours to do the same thing.

No one can care for the car more than the owner, and after years of collecting car care producats like buffers, pads, polishes, clays and spray guns there is almost nothing a car care specialist has and I dont.

Even when i have bought used/neglected cars one of my fav things to do is to bring them to life.

there is so much information available online, including how to videos and articles, that paying someone money to properly care for your car is somewhat silly to me.
 

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There is almost nothing a car detailer can do that I cannot do as well or better, of course it takes me hours to do the same thing.

No one can care for the car more than the owner, and after years of collecting car care producats like buffers, pads, polishes, clays and spray guns there is almost nothing a car care specialist has and I dont.

Even when i have bought used/neglected cars one of my fav things to do is to bring them to life.

there is so much information available online, including how to videos and articles, that paying someone money to properly care for your car is somewhat silly to me.
For many people its about the time not the desire. While I don't pay for detailing I can't fault those who do.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
 

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I do it myself as it is really the only thing I can do for my car. I get oil changes done at my indy and wouldn't even attempt anything further myself.

I guess that spending $250 on up isn't going to break the bank in terms of M-5 ownership but if I spend that kind of cash and I find something about the detail that I could have done better myself, it is not a good spend in my opinion.

Again, nobody that is getting paid to do a task will do as good a job as someone that is doing it for themselves. Just human nature. Wax on wax off.
 

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There is almost nothing a car detailer can do that I cannot do as well or better, of course it takes me hours to do the same thing.
I agree with this up to some level, as I do all the detailing work on my car by myself.

However, I ask you this:

1. Do you know how to properly wetsand a whole car?

2. Do you know how to recover leather, including repainting it and fix fissures/holes?

3. How good is your burnishing technique?

Etc etc... there are many things that a professional detailer can do better than even a well skilled enthusiast, mostly because of training and experience.
 

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I agree with this up to some level, as I do all the detailing work on my car by myself.

However, I ask you this:

1. Do you know how to properly wetsand a whole car?

2. Do you know how to recover leather, including repainting it and fix fissures/holes?

3. How good is your burnishing technique?

Etc etc... there are many things that a professional detailer can do better than even a well skilled enthusiast, mostly because of training and experience.
Wet sanding, burnishing, even repainting leather are more "restoration" items not detailing issues.

Although I can repaint/ restore leather, I wouldn't have bought my car if the leather was in that bad a shape, as for under 65K mile car (in my case), that says something about the laziness of the owner (in some cases heavy owners can cause more damage to leather bolsters which I understand).

I cannot restore rusted or fairly damaged paint, I CAN detail the **** out of every panel, material and trim that exists on my car.

I would however pay if I had a medical condition that prevented me from doing it myself. People CAN have other reasons.
 

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I think there is a wide-spread connotation of "detail" such that it means many different things to many people. For example, I had Bryan Burnworth of Peachstate Detail do a full paint correction on the M5 last Spring. He measures the whole car in many places with paint meter and carefully corrects paint defects removing the minimal amount of clearcoat as possible. I had some pretty deep scratches on the trunk (from what I don't know), the back right corner where a wheelbarrow scraped the car, etc, and he wet sanded those carefully, using the paint meter, etc, and the outcome is simply amazing. The entire car is a joy to see in sunlight now as there isn't a single spiderweb or swirlmark...just a deep LMB that you feel like you can fall into (or lick, lol).

So while I might have called what Bryan did a "detail", I think his level of professional attention falls well beyond the backyard owner who doesn't perform these services (i.e. who has no clue how much clear they're removing, etc) on 3-4 cars per week. In Bryan's case, he was rated one of the top 9 detailers in the country, and was recently hired by Bugatti to paint correct their Veyron Super Sport prior to it appearing in recent car magazines. I'm curious how many M5 board members could properly paint correct and wet sand a Veyron with it's optional $300,000 carbon fiber finish?

So it's all in semantics of what a "detail" means...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
More results. Thanks again for all who participated. Should be useful data for the pro detailing business.

 

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There is almost nothing a car detailer can do that I cannot do as well or better, of course it takes me hours to do the same thing.

No one can care for the car more than the owner, and after years of collecting car care producats like buffers, pads, polishes, clays and spray guns there is almost nothing a car care specialist has and I dont.

Even when i have bought used/neglected cars one of my fav things to do is to bring them to life.

there is so much information available online, including how to videos and articles, that paying someone money to properly care for your car is somewhat silly to me.
As VacMan mentions this really about time for many of us. I'll add that although I love to detail my cars, physically its more and more of a trade off, too. I've got a bad back so it's all about tradeoffs...the joy of a job well done versus the necessity of taking sufficient medication which precludes the joy of driving my clean car.

Right now I've got a broken wrist (more h/w than the front belly pan of my E39 :tonquesmilie:) so all is moot. I won't be able to drive a stick safely until January-ish so my car is off to the body shop for some light rust work and a rear bumper respray...
 

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I can wash and clean my car no problem.
But correcting something like this is beyond what I'm willing to tackle.

To This:

Actual reflection from passenger side front door after 2 stage correction.

I can appreciate the skill involved for proper paint correction.
You also have to look at the lost opportunity cost of your time.
If you can earn more than the charge of a detailer in the time it takes to complete - you are ahead.

Even if I could learn to do a two stage paint correction - it would be many many hours, and I would still probably take 3 times as long as a pro and most likely not get similar results.

For outside paint correction? Detailer for sure.
When you wash, strip, clay, wash, dry, polish, glaze, lsp/wax the hours start to add up quickly.

I generate more enjoyment for actually driving my car than polishing it.

:M5launch:

Jet Black is awesome for about 2 weeks after a paint correction!
 

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As VacMan mentions this really about time for many of us. I'll add that although I love to detail my cars, physically its more and more of a trade off, too. I've got a bad back so it's all about tradeoffs...the joy of a job well done versus the necessity of taking sufficient medication which precludes the joy of driving my clean car.

Right now I've got a broken wrist (more h/w than the front belly pan of my E39 :tonquesmilie:) so all is moot. I won't be able to drive a stick safely until January-ish so my car is off to the body shop for some light rust work and a rear bumper respray...

Totally understand what you mean by time and physical effort.

May be I havn't found a detailer that would at the least give me the perception that he cares about the car and would never cut any corners (or paint) to do a quick job.
With professional tools, it is very easy to give the car a "like new" finish but it is equally as easy to polish/cut too much paint.

I probably would be comfortable with someone doing the job in front of me.
 

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Kind of an amusing survey. One flaw is that once someone said "myself only" they should not be able to skew the results with their other answers...

As mentioned above, "detail" means entirely different things to different people. I have a new X5, and when I take it to the dealer they offer a "Complimentary detail"..(no thanks)..but how can you compare this with a strip, clay bar, swirl remove, two levels of polish, and then wax/nano/zaino???

(Never mind that the dealership uses whatever towels, swirl-city, and thick soft filler wax to make it look OK for a week.....)

My 'every 2-3 months' detail is a wash, maybe clay, and zaino... 2-3 hours, maybe spread out over two days.

My weekly detail is wash, 303 on all rubber/plastic.

My every 6-9 months is what I cited above.

I'd pay ~$25 a hour for each....if I could trust them. (Hey, let me ask- is this a reasonable rate for this work??? I know detailers like to get paid for their 'expertise', but if I have the expertise I am just looking for labor....)


A

PS While I will repetitively go over a panel, with whatever I am using, and monitor the scratches to see how it is progressing, a Pro might take a rotary buffer and just hit it once, hard. Time is money.
 

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e39m5 agreed but i still cant get my car to look as good when matt at detailing dynamics does my car i pay 70 bucks an hour
 
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