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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Birmingham, Alabama
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    hey guys since recently i`ve caught the contagious detail bug, i`ve been craving new knowledge on the topic. i figured i`d ask you guys, the professionals, some of my latest Q`s.

    1.) how many cars do you usually detail in 1 day? (average)

    2.) how long does it usually take? (average)

    3.) if some of you don`t mind, could you post your methods/products used? that would be greatly appreciated.

    4.) how much do you guys charge for your services?

    5.) how much should an average pro expect to make in a year?

    6.) do you ever regret your job field and wish you had a different type of job? (i highly doubt that)

    7.) how did you get started? what age? etc.

    8.) how did you become a `pro`? self-taught, trained, or what?

    i know these are a lot of questions that will probably need a lengthy response, but you have no idea how much it would mean to me.
    here to learn

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Post Thanks / Like
    For a true detail it maytake me several days. For my average detail ittakes me a day and I charge $200 to $400.

    My method for a detail, where one is willing to pay $200+ I start off with the engine area scrubbing and cleaning as much of it as possible. Cleaning, polishing and waxing all visible painted areas. Polishing exposed metal. Cleaning underhood sound deadening/firewall material.

    Wheel wells are cleaned, wheels are cleaned, tires are cleaned. Tar, bugs and road grime is dealt with and I then move on to the body wash. The washing stage is where a great deal of the "detail" is done.

    The body is then clayed if needed, dry off the body and the engine and then the wheel wells are dressed out and the body is taped off and prepped for cleaning and polishing.

    After the polishing stage I usually rinse the car down if needed and then continue with hand finishing of the paint. Usually a final hand polish and then final sealing.

    Wheels are then detailed as well as the trim, moldings, emblems and tail pipes. I then turn to the interior, which is sometimes done prior to the final exterior finishing. This depends on whether I am using a polymer on the paint.

    Interior is vacuumed, carpets and mats spot treated, vinyl and leather cleaned, headliner, dash and console and then treated and dressed. Plastic and wood is polished, carpets and mats finished out and then the windows are done and then given a final vacuum. As I exit the car the door jambs are finished out as well as the trunk area. Exterior glass and then a final QD and inspection.

    The products I use vary from car to car. There is no one pattern I follow on every car.

    As for being a "pro", well I never really consider myself a pro because just who determines who is a pro and who is not? I consider auto detailing to be my "profession" and in that sense I may then call myself a "pro". In reality I am "practicing" auto detailing and consider myself far from being a "master" detailer.

    Just about every "pro" is self taught as there are really no bonified schools one can go and learn the craft.

    Most detailers, guys and gals who are a one person operation, make on the average of $30,000 to $65,000.

    As for my choice of job......well I was one class away from graduating from Broadcasting school with great grades. I just up and quit when a radio company wanted to hire me but unwilling to pay me anything over mininum wage. I would not be able to provide for my family on that money and those hours. I tried it as a muscian and also a roadie and drum tech but again the money was not good and the hours sucked. Not a life for a married man.

    I opened up a self defense school while I was detailing and lost huge money in that deal plus my detailing and my family suffered because so much time was going to support both businesses. Got out of the self defense school and re-dedicated myself to detailing and now things are going strong. After all that I came to the conclusion that God has blessed me with a talent and skill in detailing so I shall pursue this as far as God desires.

    I have one person working for me at the moment but will need to hire perhaps one or two more as I am in more and more demand for the detailing aspect of the profession. Washing and prep work take too much time away from me detailing.

    Hope this info helps,

    "The Art & Science of Auto Detail"

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Post Thanks / Like
    thanks a ton for the info, you helped out so much. im available for hire BTW just need a plane ticket to Texas
    here to learn



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