Pro detailer Ken Wilson. Click image to enlarge
Article and photos by Russell Purcell
Keeping up appearances
Wash Tips from a Pro
Owning a car or truck is a significant investment, and as such, proper steps should be taken to preserve its value. While most consumers recognize that regular oil changes and scheduled service calls are important to ensure the reliable operation of their vehicles, very few people pay much attention to the maintenance of the car’s external surfaces or interior. Most believe that the occasional visit to the car wash should suffice, and if they have any change leftover, they may vacuum out those errant fries that have been under the seat since last summer. In reality, detailing is one of the most valuable services your vehicle requires.
I recently paid a visit to the shop of master detailer Ken Wilson in an effort to get a better understanding of what it takes to keep a vehicle looking its best. Ken is an automotive enthusiast himself, so he knows how much his clients enjoy their automobiles. As a result, he is meticulous in his work, and the end results are truly stunning. Over the course of an afternoon, Ken and I discussed his industry, various products, the needs and wants of his clients, and most importantly, how the average consumer can detail his own car with far less effort than expected in a couple of hours.
Once you get familiar with the various steps involved in a thorough detail it will become a regular part of your car’s maintenance plan, and you may find you even enjoy it. There are basically four steps to detailing the outside of the car: washing, claying, polishing and sealing/waxing. Washing and vacuuming should happen at least every two weeks, while the other three are required as needed based on environmental conditions and/or time factors. Interior detailing should also be a regular activity to reduce the effects of exposure to the sun, dirt and dust, as well as prevent the intrusion of odours, moisture and mould.