Many people don’t know the difference between “washing” and “detailing” a car. In simple terms, yes, they both clean the car, however it’s not as simple as that. They have many aspects that aim for a different goal. This blog will go over the differences between car washes and auto detailing.

What’s Involved with a Car Wash?

When it comes to a typical car wash, the general setup consists of a tunnel setup where vehicles can either drive through or be automatically pulled along a track where brushes, soap, and water are applied. The drying process usually consists of employees using a towel or a giant blow dryer. The end result is a car that at first glance can appear mostly clean for a relatively cheap price. The service may also include an undercarriage wash, wheel cleaning, or a clear-coat protector for an extra cost. Since the cleaning process isn’t too deep, car washes have to be done more often.

Cons of Car Wash

What’s involved with Auto Detailing?

The cleaning process with auto detailing is more complicated compared to that of a regular car wash. For starters, auto detailing most likely involves the method of handwashing rather than the use of an automated system. There is more care and services provided to the car with detailing. A car detail is not only focused on cleaning the car but also reconditioning and occasionally restoration, such as light cosmetic work. Professional auto detailers take the car’s care and longevity into consideration when working on a car. It doesn’t just focus on the outside, but also on the inside. A regular car wash often only vacuums down seats, floors, and mats. Whereas a detail will vacuum and shampoo to take out stains and odors. When it comes to the exterior of your car, auto detailing most likely provides the following services:

  • Washing
  • Waxing
  • Bug removal
  • Buffing
  • Cleaning and dressing tires
  • Cleaning the engine
  • Ventilation decontamination
  • Headlight restoration
  • Fixing scratches or marring in the paint or wheels

When it comes to the interior of the car, auto detailing usually involves:

  • Vacuuming the interior and trunk
  • Cleaning windows and mirrors
  • Cleaning door jambs
  • Steam cleaning
  • Cleaning the dashboard, console, and vents
  • Cleaning and dressing interior leather, vinyl, and rubber
  • Spot cleaning the interior roof
  • Shampooing the seats, mats, carpets, and door panels
What’s Involved with a Car Wash

Cons of Car Wash

An automatic car wash can damage your car’s paint with scratches and swirls. Due to the countless number of cars that entered the car wash before you, the dirt and sand left on the brushes can scratch your paint. Since the cleaning isn’t that deep, it may require cleaning more often.

Cons of Auto Detailing

The deep auto care provided with auto detailing comes with a higher price than that of a simple car wash. The time length of car detailing is longer than that of a car wash as it could take several hours or as much as a day.

Both car washing and auto detailing do the important jobs of preserving your ride’s exterior and improving its resale value. The difference is the level of cleaning and care. While a regular car wash can be good in a pinch and provides a cheaper fast alternative to a full detail, some might consider the added benefits of a total car detail worth spending a little extra money on. We hope this blog helped you understand the differences between a car wash and auto detailing. If you are looking for exceptional auto detailing experts to detail your car, give Donald’s Automotive Detailing Specialists a call today at (760) 315-2287 or visit our website here.