Choosing a detailer should be an educated decision made based off doing research on what your local area has to offer. You will probably find that detailing businesses are not in short supply in most cities and it can be overwhelming to choose one. We want you to keep in mind that not all detailers are created equal and there are a few things you should consider before making the commitment.
Hiring the right automotive detailer should be just as selective as the process used to pick out the vehicle you want detailed. You would never go to a random dealership and buy a car without doing your research first, would you? You would consider some of the following questions: Is the dealership reputable? Do their vehicles match your personal style? Is their product of the highest quality? Is the dealership knowledgeable about its services and products?
These are the same key questions to ask before hiring a detailer, and taking a few minutes to research local detailers can save you from damages such as scratched or burnt paint and most importantly , having to find another more qualified detailer to fix the mistakes of a bad detail job.
As Grand Rapids’ premier detailer, we want you and all of our customers to be fully informed about what to look for in a detailer.
Your detailer should have a valid business license and garage keepers insurance. Ask your detailer to show you their certificate of coverage for garage keepers insurance if they do not have it on display.
Business License Lookup: State of Michigan LARA (Licensing Department)
Your detailer should be certified by the International Detailing Academy (IDA) which requires rigorous skill testing and skills validation by recognized professionals in the industry. It is the most reputable academy there is and requires continuing education to maintain certification. They are the only nationally recognized academy.
Paint Correction: You will find that the Grand Rapids market is saturated with automotive detailers who offer similar services and make the same claims. A good majority of them do not have a specialty, meaning they will detail almost anything (RVs, boats, motorcycles, etc.). This should be alarming to a customer, as it is unlikely the detailer has expert knowledge in all those different areas. For the owner of a high-end car who wants the scratches removed from the paint, they need to consider that the paint job on a luxury car is very different from the paint on a sailboat and it should be handled as such. If you have a rare, custom, exotic, or classic vehicle, you need to find a detailer who specializes in their unique finishes.
Nano Ceramic Coatings: Ceramic coatings are the newest technology in the automotive detailing world and too many people claim to be proficient in applying them. Many coating companies will allow any self-proclaimed detailer to sell and apply their coatings and unfortunately, most of them are not skilled in applying coatings because they were not required to receive any training/education on the products. What is even more unfortunate is that these ceramic coating companies do not regulate who can sell/apply their products. Revive is a Gyeon certified ceramic coating installer which is a privilege given to very few people who have mastered the skill of automotive detailing.
Revive believes that the environment a detailer keeps reveals much about the quality of their work. A dirty facility that is not properly ventilated and cleaned daily can be compromising to the paint if paint correction is being done. Any grain of dirt that makes its way into a paint correcting machine’s pad can cause micro scratches in the paint’s surface which will leave the paint looking dull and lifeless. A clean detailing space should always be a priority for a detailer and if you enter a dirty facility, run for the hills!
(Insert picture of a dirty detailing shop here)
Body shops are NOT detailers! They might offer the services but they do not specialize in correcting paint, and in most cases, they cause more scratches by trying to correct the paint’s defects by using rotary machines. The rotary machines are very aggressive and penetrate through the clear coat much quicker than non-rotary polishers such as the Rupes Bigfoot. This may sound like a good thing, but quickly burning through the clear coat creates thousands of micro scratches that will remain in the paint. This does not make sense as the paint correction process is to remove scratches and not to create new ones.
Another reason to avoid body shops is because they tend to employ those who have not received training in detailing (paint correction specifically) and tend to be more focused on quantity and not quality. They tend to complete a “full detail” job in one day when in reality, it should take multiple days and many hours of careful work to achieve a properly corrected paint job. A qualified detailing business requires their staff to have certifications in detailing as it’s a specialized art form that requires education and training done by professionals.
To reiterate tip # 3 – body shops tend to be very dirty places.