Do Car Dealerships Detail Cars? [With Other Pertinent Info!]

Has the interior of your vehicle become a bit messy from summer road trips or hectic commutes to work? Perhaps you are wondering if you should take your car to a dealership for quality detailing service. What are the advantages or disadvantages of getting a detailing service? We've researched these questions and have found substantial answers for you! 

Yes, auto dealerships offer detailing services for cars and trucks. The average time allotment per car varies from two and a half to four hours. Several variables contribute to the amount of time required to detail the car while ensuring quality work, including the size of the car, the materials of the interior, and the condition of the car when the professionals started the detailing service. 

Are you interested in learning more about the car detailing process? The pros and cons of detailing? Perhaps you are wondering if it would be helpful to partially clean your car before taking it to the dealership? Please continue reading this article; we will expound upon each of those questions with well-researched results. 

A worker doing some detailing work on the back windshield of the car, Do Car Dealerships Detail Cars? [With Other Pertinent Info!]

What is a full detail on a car?

Generally, a full detail service on a car is performed at an auto dealership or a business specializing in detailing cars with trained auto professionals.  The service entails washing the car's exterior in an automatic car wash and then scrubbing, sealing, and waxing the car by hand. 

The interior of the car will receive extensive vacuuming, using several attachments to remove all dirt and debris. The center console and the dashboard will be thoroughly scrubbed, washed, and treated with the appropriate sealers to protect the materials. 

The detailing professional will clean the windows and any glass components with steam and professional-grade glass cleaners. In some cases, they will apply a glass protectorate to prevent future smears and stains.

If your car has leather seats or interior features, they will clean the leather with cleaners designed specifically to remove dirt without damaging the integrity of the leathers' aesthetic. 

Lastly, the car will be perfumed with a fresh, clean scent that should last for several weeks, if not longer. Word of caution--if you or others who drive your car are sensitive to scents, you may want to omit the perfuming step of the detailing service. 

Are you interested in learning more about detailing services for cars? Read our article "What Does “Detailing A Car” Mean?"

Is it worth getting a car detailed?

Getting your car detailed at least once per year will help it retain its value and provide several other benefits to improve your relationship with your car and daily commute.

  • Firstly, getting into a clean and fresh car before heading to work does wonders for improving one's mood.
  • Secondly, if you have to carpool or give a coworker an unexpected ride home from work, you are prepared with your freshly detailed car.
  • Thirdly, maintaining a crisp and clean interior will improve resale and trade-in values. The cleaner the vehicle, the better those online listing photos will look.
  • Fourthly, you will help support a local auto dealership that builds professional relationships in the neighborhood and invests in your local economy!

What's the average cost to detail a car?

The average cost to detail a car, stated by the company, Detail Time, varies based on a few important factors. This includes the size of the vehicle and the condition of the vehicle's exterior and interior when brought into the shop. Also, the prices could vary based on where you are located as the prices of goods and services vary from geographic locations around the globe. 

The basic detailing service is usually the best option for small-sized cars, and those services range from $60-$150. Suppose you choose to add on a service or two; you should expect to pay over $200 or more. Always ask for a realistic quote before committing to add-on services. 

If you own an SUV or large van, it is best to expect to pay within the range of $100 t0 $250 for quality detailing completed by trained professionals. The detailing services' sizable increase in price compared to a smaller vehicle is because the larger vehicle requires increased cleaning products, electrical energy, employee time, and water resources. 

Should I clean my car before getting it detailed?

According to Car Wash Magazine, it is advisable to clean out all trash and remove any items from the car that could be in the auto professional's way while they are detailing.

Remove all items from the center console, backseats, and side pockets. You will want to have those areas easily accessible for thorough cleaning. Also, check under the seats; if you have anything stored there, take it out of the vehicle. 

If you keep emergency supplies or any gear in the trunk, it is best to take it out and place it in your home for safekeeping while your vehicle is undergoing services. Word of caution — do not leave valuables in the car. The dealership will not want to be liable for those items. 

Interested in learning more about how to improve the scent of your car's interior? Read our article, "How To Effectively Deodorize A Car".

Does car detailing remove scratches?

Typically, the basic car detailing service will only include cleaning, polishing, and finishing the exterior and interior. Especially when you book a basic detail service — scratch or deep stain removals will not be included. If you have visual areas of concern and wonder if the detailing service will address those issues. 

Stop at the dealership in person to book the appointment and have a professional look at those areas to see which add-on services would remove those scratches. Or, if the scratches are severe, you may need to take your vehicle to a body shop for a quote and a paint job.

A worker doing some detailing work on the car door

Does car detailing remove stains? 

The basic detailing service will clean the exterior and interior of the car--via several professional-grade cleaners to remove dirt and debris that could also remove small stains. However, if you have deep stains that have been present in the seat's upholstery for a long time, those most likely will not come out with a basic detailing service.

Expect the auto professionals to offer a deep stain removal add-on to remedy that issue. Generally, most dealerships have professional-grade stain removers that can remove even the toughest stains with ease. 

Additional thoughts

The vast majority of car dealerships offer several options for detailing services ranging from $60-$300 or higher depending on the car's make and model. Those services are not cheap!

How to extend the benefits of a car detailing service

Suppose you take your car in once or twice per year for a thorough detailing service.  Most likely, you would like to maintain that clean and fresh interior to ensure that you receive your money's worth. Consider collecting all the trash once per week and wiping the car's interior with an Armor wipe and car shammy to maintain a clean and tidy car. 

Click here to view the Armor All Car Interior Cleaner Protectant Wipes on Amazon. You can use these handy wipes for cars, trucks, and even motorcycles.

Click here to view the Premium Mini Chamois Shammy at Amazon. 

Suppose you are a bargain shopper. Search for online coupons, follow your auto detailer or dealership on social media to watch for sales and promotions. When you book your detailing appointment, ask about current promotions and if they offer a frequent shopper program.

Beware of online car detailing scams!

Unfortunately, untrained workers advertise car detailing services online via platforms such as the Facebook marketplace for an alarmingly low rate. These services will not offer the same level of expertise or quality of products used in a professional detailing shop or dealership.

Also, taking your car to someone who is untrained using unprofessional cleaning products will not help you preserve the value of your vehicle. 

In closing

Car detailing services offer a considerable number of benefits to improve your car's exterior and interior aesthetics.  We sincerely hope this article has helped you gain clarity regarding car detailing and how scheduling those services regularly can help protect your investment.

Please visit VEHQ again soon for more informative content to help you become a better-informed car owner! Consider reading the following articles to further your car ownership knowledge base:

Do Car Dealerships Change Oil Before Selling?

Do Dealerships Register Cars for You? [and How Long It Can Take]

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