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What does a professional detail cost


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#1 rmerikle

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 10:16 AM

If one were to walk into a professional detail shop and asked for the following:

Wash
Clay
Some type of Polish to prep the paint
AIO
SG - two coats
Pretty up the interior
Any detaling details that I have left out

What would it cost?
Or better asked, "What am I saving doing it myself?"

#2 DETAILKING

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 10:24 AM

Most detailers would do a standard exterior detail for under 100 bucks. This is assuming they are using mostly one step products that are very inexpensive and bought in bulk. Even if you supplied the materials, they probably don't have much experience with those products, and as we all know, there are tricks and tips to use with just about every system. You are better off doing it yourself, or if you don't have time find someone on this forum or another forum that is a KLASSE user that could do your car or you for some cash......

where are you located?

#3 RH

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 10:24 AM

Just like getting your house painted, if you ask 5 different folks, you'll get 5 different quotes.

This link has some pricing...

http://www.detail-wo...appearance.html

#4 YoSteve

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 10:27 AM

If you are located on the east coast (NYC), jason will do it for a good cost, and it'll look better or as good as any professional place :) I think he charges under $100 for the perfect shine!

#5 puterbum

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 10:59 AM

Originally posted by rmerikle
Or better asked, "What am I saving doing it myself?"

You only do this to save money? Wow, that's different motivation than most. I personally wouldn't let most "professional" detailers anywhere near my car. I do it myself because I know only I can produce the results that will satisfy me.

Okay, I won't get myself started here otherwise I might not stop;). But seriously there are other benefits from doing the job yourself besides a few bucks. Short term: professional detailer cheaper. Long term: better results than from most professional detailers, cheaper to do it yourself.

If you just want to make the car look pretty one time and don't care about it the rest of the time (GASP :eek: ) then you could go to a professional detailer, but I wouldn't recommend it too strongly. You will save money in the long term, even if you get addicted to trying new stuff like most of us are. Consider $100 every few months or $:eek::eek::eek:.00 to do it yourself for a long time (high startup cost to detail).

Just my $0.005

#6 carguy

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 11:05 AM

I'm with Peterbum here.

I haven't taken my car to a detailer because I like doing the work myself. I've considered it on ocassion though when I'm feeling lazy or I want a good job on the interior or engine bay, since I am not as excited about doing those myself.

But I would expect 9 out of 10 detailers will return my black car with more swirls than it had when I gave it to them. I would be VERY, VERY choosy in picking any detailer that was going to work on my paint, and I would use the knowledge I've gained here and from my own experence to interview them very carefully beforehand. I would prefer to check references and even find one of their customers' black cars (no matter what color car you have, ask to see a nonmetallic BLACK car they maintain.)
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#7 puterbum

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 11:11 AM

puterbum :P

BTW, great advice carguy gave with the asking to see a non-metallic black car they maintain regularly. You want to see a car they did not just do as they may have put a silicone spray on top which hides the swirls. If you don't see swirls, this stuff is probably there, unless the detailer is _really_ good.

#8 Guess My Name

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 11:19 AM

Doing it yourself saves your soul.

If you are trying to justify the expense of the products and time required I do not believe there is a price.

I think you would be hard pressed to find a detailer who would use KLASSE. They tend to buy products in large bulk form that are easy on easy off so they can do a lot of cars a day.

Some detailers may use some good products but they are more likely to be mobile ones and not the guy onthe corner with the dogs chained to the fence with 20 cars out front washing them from the same single bucket.
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My Website Which needs some detailing as well.....
My Truck Album
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#9 rmerikle

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 11:31 AM

I would agree with all of you that by doing it yourself, you get much better results then you can find at almost any shop. Since I have never actually taken a car I own to a detail shop and it seems many of you are in the "Business," I just thought it would be interesting to know what it would cost for a complete detail rather then just your basic detail at the local car wash.

BTW I live here in the San Francisco area

#10 Guess My Name

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 11:37 AM

Phew I feel better now knowing you detail your car yourself.
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My Website Which needs some detailing as well.....
My Truck Album
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#11 rmerikle

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 12:05 PM

I was testing out YoSteve's MF towel on my windows last night after applying some Rain-X. This was my first time using MF towels and I must say MF towels are amazing.

As I am doing this, a good friend of mine rolls up in is Infinity. When it comes to cars he is the exact opposite of me. The extent of his car detailing is he takes his car through those free car washes at the gas stations. If he really wants to impress the ladies, then he goes to a full service car wash.

It just amazes me how badly some people abuse there cars. You would think that with the amount of money and the amount of time we Americans spend in our cars that we would take better car of them.

#12 Josiah

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 01:51 PM

rmerikle, if you are too busy to do it yourself, or can find a detailer willing to work with you, you can talk to them and find one who is willing to give you the best shine possible. They are rare and inbetween, but if you can find a guy who is willing to put in extra work for a good shine (using Zaino or some other product), then you could always do that.

Just my 0.02 cents
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#13 sonnydaze1

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 04:06 PM

hi rmerikle, i'm in the mobile detailing business and like guess my name implied, as a mobile detailer i use products for the enthusiasts. not the stuff most shops use - it would be way too costly for them to use the supplies and materials we talk about on this forum. as it is it costs me a good chunk each month to use these supplies, but the end results are 10x better; besides that i just wouldn't feel right not using quality products. my rule of thumb is, if i wouldn't use it on my car then i'm not about to use it on someone else's. anyway, for the things you're asking about having done - my prices vary depending on vehicle size. however, the average car(like your friend's Lexus) would run you right around $200. that would include everything you mentioned as well as getting the engine cleaned, carpets cleaned, and leather seats cleaned and conditioned. oh yeah, i don't use klasse. would zaino or blackfire be ok?:D

#14 Jngrbrdman

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 04:42 PM

claying is expensive because it is time intensive. If you wanted your whole car clayed then you can expect like 40 buck an hour or something like that.

You'll be lucky to find a shop that will apply Klasse for you. I have yet to find one that uses it. They haven't discovered it yet I don't think. :rolleyes:

In the end you will probably pay about 150 - 200 bucks to have that kind of treatment done on your car. To do it yourself you will save all of that. If you take into account actual product useage then you will probably spend about 5 bucks of your Klasse. You might spend about 5 bucks of your clay bar depending on how much your car needed it. You might spend about 5 bucks of your other detailing stuff doing up the interior as well.

Of course, if you don't have any Klasse then you will have to buy it and the same for everything else. I think that if you invested $100 in some detailing supplies and only detailed your own car then you could do your car every week for 6 months without a problem. If you decided to make a business out of it then all you would have to do is charge one person for a detail and you will have paid off half of your investment.

Professional detail shops have their uses but if you have the desire to do it yourself then you can save some big bucks and make even bigger bucks. ;)
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#15 jazzyjack

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 04:58 PM

There are some pro detailers on this forum and I would trust them to do a great job. However this is not the case most of the time. Just go to a detail shop and take a look around. Ask questions and you'll quickly see the weakness!

As about products used on the car, take a look at the person or persons doing the work. They look like they just got out of the gutter most of the time. TRUST... no way baby!!!!!

I'm out...
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#16 Every Little Detail

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 05:02 PM

You guys are really tough on Detailers, but I would agree that many of them are butchers. However having said that if you find the right shop or get recommended to a mobile detailer these guys can work miracles with the right professional chemicals and tools including a rotary which used in the right hands can leave an amazing finish. I would charge between $110 and $140 depending on the size of the vehicle for those services not including detailing the engine that would be another $35. I don't use Klasse/Zaino or Blackfire they are all just polymers offering great protection. I use a polymer from Production Car Care and recently a polymer from Valueguard both offering just as good or better protection. Remember the trick is preparing the surface so it is flawless before the final step of waxing or sealing that is what determines much of the shine.

#17 BW

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 06:00 PM

Don't expect most detailers to use Zaino or other "boutique" products on your car... usually some generic bulk product. I've heard of detailers that use Klasse and Valu Gard. though.

#18 YoSteve

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Posted 07 December 2001 - 08:00 PM

Every Little Detail, I think that if any of us were to go to a professional detailer such as yourself, we would not be in it for the Klasse or Zaino or any other sealent.

Like you said, it's the prep before the sealant that does the trick. This is what we would be going for because it's the most time consuming and difficult part.

I would even be willing to say, hey do the prep and then you're done. Most of the problems people have is if the prep work is bad, they seal it the best temporary make up can offer and it looks great for as long as the makeup lasts. But then it's ruined. Course that's a worse case scenario, but you get the idea.

I would only go to a autoint approved detailer (or a highly reputable referred one, where I could see examples). If I had a car that needed serious prep, I might consider, but lucky for me prep is easier on my newer car.

#19 Every Little Detail

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Posted 08 December 2001 - 07:34 AM

Yo Steve,
Couldn't agree with you more. When I bought my vehicle (2001 Pontiac Aztek keep it to a dull roar I'm the only one that has to like it) I wouldn't even let them move the car. I negotiated my deal, signed all the paper work then insisted they move it from the showroom outside, I then chalked the tires and told them if they moved it the deal was off. It was raining steadily that day and told them not to wash or chamois the vehicle or the deal was off. Went back the next day the car was wiped down and had been moved. My salesmen wasn't there and I almost had to kill the manager to get out of the deal. Two weeks later I successfully bought the same vehicle at another dealership from the showroom and they followed my instructions to the tee. Most service people that deal with your vehicle couldn't care less it is just a bucket of bolts that has to be cleared off the lot. Same principle holds true to alot of detail shops it's just a job 40hrs. a week to pay the bills, much of the time pride has nothing to do with it

#20 YoSteve

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Posted 08 December 2001 - 10:03 AM

ELD, sometimes I despise dealers. I just feel that if salesman were nice they would generate so much more business.

I had some troubles when buying the Passat. This guy was going to charge me full sticker price, and he even took money from my credit card to ship the vehicle (said it was for a credit check on the phone) When I alerted his boss, he pointed and yelled and called me liar, like a principle yelling at some kid (didn't help that I looked like some kid ;)) but that wasn't the point. We worked the price down to invoice and I was like, see ya! Never set foot in that place again.

When I finally got my car at another dealer, I was promised everything haha. What I got was charged for keeping the salesman late, and the next time I came in there was no free rental or pickup or anything I was promised way back when (thanks I get for buying the priciest car in the lot.)
Also a tip (for everyone else), when getting financing really check their math. I took in my phat calculator and beat out their computers. They were like here's you monthly payment and I was like um that's too high, and they were like, but that's the interest and the payment. I told them the calculator doesn't lie. He then said, so you don't want the accidental death insurance added to your payment. Hahah duh! Some people have some nerve, he did say no one's ever calculated their own payment before haha. So it does pay to do your homework; I did get it at invoice.

I hate dropping my car off and doing a crap shoot, so I will probably never go to a detailer, only cause of my lack of control over my baby.

Jason is stopping by next summer and he can do our other cars, but not the Passat ;)




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