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Automobile detailing is a process of restoring a car’s aesthetic quality by thoroughly cleaning the car, restoration of the colour and finally finishing (through polishing or such). Multiple variables determine a question of how often one should detail their car. To understand how those variables interact with each other, then it may be useful to understand the process of detailing a car. Generally, automobile detailing can be divided in two: exterior detailing as well as interior detailing. For the purposes of explanation of your vehicle, exterior detailing may be most relevant.

Examining the outer side of your automobile, there are four sub-layers: the clearcoat, the paint, the primer and the substrate. The primer acts as a connection between the body of your vehicle and the paint. Commonly, the clear coat makes up about half of the outside of your vehicle (in terms of volume). Your visual perception of the apparent cleanliness of your car is fully dependent on the structural damage done to these four layers, specifically the clear coat and the paint. What happens then is that over time, due to scratches or dents, these coats damage the layers of the car and give off this dirty appearance.

Furthermore, a chunk of these marks and scratches may originate from the poor fabrics utilized when hand – washing the vehicle. Moreover, UV beams from sunlight damage the outer layer of your vehicle. After a while, these minuscule gaps are then filled with residue and grime. It then becomes difficult to get this original shine back and only a proper car detailcan truly get that shine back. The net effect of this is that the outer paint of your vehicle just looks worn and dirty even after a thorough hand wash.

During the process of automobile detailing, a key step in the process (that is arguably the most effective manner in getting the shine) comprises the application of an adhesive substance - clay all over your car’s body. Just a personal waxing session, the clay is spread evenly over the car then pulled off. This removes the small pieces of dirt and grime and restores the shine.

The first variable to consider when deciding how often you should detail your car is how often you use your car. If it is your daily vehicle, then it means that it is much more likely for your vehicle to be exposed to the elements and as such, the exterior of your vehicle will probably suffer more damage to the elements. This will necessitate more frequent trips to your auto detailer. On the other hand, if the vehicle of focus is more of a show car or is used perhaps just once a week, then chances are that it will be exposed much less in comparison to the daily vehicle. This one will not need as much detail, and perhaps it may be prudent for you to take it for detailing once you notice a significant difference in the appearance of cleanliness in your vehicle.

Another factor to consider is where your car is parked most of the time. At home, is your car usually parked in the garage or is it parked out in the open? Similarly, whenever you are at work, where is the car parked most of the time? As mentioned previously, the exterior surface of your vehicle acts much the same way as your clothes do when left outside for a while. Just as your clothes gradually fade more and more, the exterior surface of your vehicle fades and fades more from the UV damage. This then implies that if on average, your vehicle is parked out in the elements more than inside, then it may require more frequent detailing to maintain its shine. The harsh climate of Brisbane for example might require your new car to have a ceramic coating applied to get the right level of paint protection.

The general rule of thumb, if you’re not in the extreme sides of the examples above, is to detail your vehicle every season (every three months).

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