Top 10 Reasons Why it’s More Important to Detail Your Car During the Winter

Why is it more important to detail your car in the winter months?

During the winter months here in Utah many of us have the mentality to think its not worth it to have our cars washed or detailed because it will just get dirty the next time we drive it. While this, in many cases is true, there are many reasons that it is very important to make sure we clean and protect our vehicles all winter long. If not, it may be something we regret come springtime.

Here are the top 10 reasons why you need to detail your car in the winter.

  1. Image and Impression

For almost all of us our car is dirtier in the winter than in the warmer months. This not only is gross but its ugly too. While it may not be the most important reason for you to detail your car in the winter, it definitely is a concern for those who have nicer vehicles. If you are someone who needs to impress clients or have an important meeting what better way to do it then showing up in a freshly detailed vehicle in the middle of winter.

Road Salt Plow Truck Utah

Snow plow loads road salt in Utah.

  1. Road Salt Destroys

Here in Utah the winter is one of the hardest things your vehicle goes through in its life. The relentless attack on your vehicle from the road salt and chemicals that are used to melt snow and ice will slowly eat away your vehicle’s exterior surfaces, including paint, plastic, rubber and metal. Even interior surfaces will get contaminated with salt and chemicals when you track them in after walking through the winter wonderland that surrounds us. Have you ever noticed that white build up on your interior carpets or mats? That is road salt that has been dissolved in water and reappears as the water evaporates. It left untouched all winter it will build up

  1. Protection of Your Vehicle

As mentioned above the winter is really hard on your vehicle. This means you should be doing everything you can to protect your vehicle. Both interior and exterior surfaces are needing extra care and attention to help them endure the constant attacks from the environment. We offer exterior, waxes, sealants and even ceramic coatings to protect paint all year round but especially during the winter months.

  1. Snow, Ice and Dirt Can Cause Damage

During the Utah winter it is impossible to avoid getting snow, ice and road grime on your vehicle. Now modern vehicles are made to withstand some of “the elements” but they are not invincible to them. The longer we let these things sit on our cars the more potential there is for damage such as scratching, corrosion and cracking.

The most common type of damage is scratches in the paint. As snow and ice slide around on the surface of a vehicle with embedded dirt within, it will cause damage. This also occurs as we “brush” snow off our cars. Unfortunately sometimes this type of scratching is inevitable but the more carefully it is done the more chances we have that we are not harming the paint. I have seen instances where people have literally gouged the paint with the ice scraper. Please do not use the ice scraper for paint. It is intended for windows only. It can also help to warm the car before starting to clean off the snow and ice to help melt and loosen up some of the ice and snow. Also having a ceramic coating install will help to minimize this issue as these types of coating are much more scratch resistant than vehicle paint. Ceramic coatings also make it harder for things to stick to or sit on the surface which makes it easier to clean.

  1. Keeping Windows Clear

One of the most important things you need while driving and operating a vehicle is to be able to see. One thing that drives me crazy and makes me angry is when I see drivers that have not cleaned the snow and ice off their windows and have only cleared a part of the windshield directly in front of the driver’s seat. This is not only a safety issue but in many states you can be fined for not cleaning the snow and ice off your car.

The issue is not with snow and ice but all the salt and road grime that builds up on the windows as well. If the windows are not washed and cleaned frequently throughout the winter it will potentially become a visual impairment problem.

  1. Ice Build Up On the Vehicle

Ice build up can be the cause of accidents if its built up in a bad place. Ice build up can happen on almost any part of the car. I’ve seen it build up on the door handles, wiper blades, side view mirrors and even backup cameras. If ice builds up in cracks or seals between panels or doors it can potentially lead to cracks or damage to the paint and other surfaces. Makes sure if there is a lot of temperature fluctuations during the days where snow and ice melt and refreeze over night that water is not pooling up or getting stuck in those areas. If it does and causes damage it can lead to much bigger issues such and paint peeling, leaks into the interior or even engine problems, etc.

  1. Snow and Ice Falling from Vehicles

While most people realize that excessive ice and snow on their vehicle is a potential safety hazard for them, they don’t think about the snow and ice that can fall or even “fly” off their vehicle while they are driving and cause safety issues for other drivers.

I have seen it many times when an individual does not clean off their car and the snow flies off in big chunks and hits other cars. Especially on turns or when driving down the freeway. I have never seen this cause an accident but I have seen it cause temporary road blindness. I have also heard of many times where ice has actually flown into another’s window and cracked or even broken the window completely. Check out this video from YouTube.

This really shows exactly what I’m talking about. I know of a few incidences where similar situations have actually caused fatalities. I’m sure none of us want to be involved in this, so please keep your car as ice and snow free as possible.

  1. Identifying Problems

As many of us know when a vehicle is dirty that’s all we see. Is the dirt and grime built up all over the surface and on windows of the vehicle. Another problem with this is that we cannot see, at least not very well, the actual surfaces of our vehicles. If we cannot see it, then how could we identify a problem if it is there. For example; if there are rust spots beginning to form or if there is a new rock chip in the windshield. We cannot address the issue and get it taken care of unless we can see it and actually know its there. Not seeing and then not taking care of these issue while they are small can lead to bigger and more expensive issues later on down the road. It’s important that we don’t let our vehicles sit dirty too long so we do not miss these small problems.

  1. Smell and Odor

As the winter progresses, if we are neglecting the interiors of our vehicles we may not realize how much moisture is accumulating inside. We don’t think much about it but we step in and out of our cars with wet and icy shoes and boots and make small deposits of water and filth over and over. If this issue is not addressed it may result in mold, mildew and bacteria growth in the cracks, crevasses and under the floor mats where the water gets trapped and cannot evaporate easily. This is obviously not healthy and this can cause some funky odors, especially when temperatures warm up.

Driving a clean car makes us happier.

  1. Health and Mood

A study led by associate professor Nicole R. Keith, Ph.D., research scientist and professor at Indiana University, found that people with clean houses are healthier than people with messy houses. Participants who kept their homes clean were healthier and more active than those who didn’t. I believe this conclusion can be applied to those with clean vehicles versus dirty vehicles as well. I know that I feel better when my “spaces” are clean and organized.

A dirty vehicle does not just mean clutter and junk but it means germs, bacteria and viruses. This puts cleanliness and organization in a whole different perspective. Along with the dirty inversion air and cold temperatures, we don’t need anything else to contribute to our struggles with staying healthy in the winter.

 

Overall, there are many reasons why it is important to keep your vehicles clean and detailed throughout the year but especially in the winter months. I have been detailing for about 12 years and have seen what happens when vehicles are neglected and when they are taken care of and well maintained. It is amazing how quickly a car can begin to have issues and “fall apart” due to the many things that are constantly “attacking” almost every part of a vehicle. If you want to keep your vehicle in tip top shape we can help maintain and protect it.

by Chris Blaisdell, CD-SV, Onsite Detail

Chris Blaisdell is the owner of Onsite Detail and has been detailing  for 12 + years.
He is a Certified Detailer-Skills Validated detailer through the
International Detailing Association. The industry leader in detailing standards.

Car Smells and Odors

Cars are amazing creations.  We get to surround ourselves with technology designed to move us and protect us from the elements and other hazards.  Unlike our ancestors who had to travel exposed, we can enjoy getting from one place to another with the added protection all while listening to our favorite music and controlling the temperature.  

However, being kept in such a confined space can be a bad thing when there is unwelcome car smells in the car.  It can come from all sorts of things, from a milk spill, to food, to cigarette ash, to some hidden offender you haven’t quite found but certainly know is there.  It can make even a drive down the street unbearable and if you have a passenger it can be embarrassing. Unfortunately we have had people tell us that others don’t even notice how bad their vehicle smells at times.

Interior Detail Before and After

Interior Detail Before and After

Our Interior Detail Service  

Here at Onsite Detail our Interior Detail service has saved many a driver, and passenger, from having to face such an unwanted situation.  Our Interior Detail cleans and sanitizes every surface inside the vehicle, from steam cleaning the cracks and crevasses to shampooing carpet and upholstery.  However, it isn’t just us saying our Interior Detail service is great. Many of our clients have reviewed our services and have reported back satisfaction for helping with car smells.  This blog will look over what people have had to say as well as review our process for helping with bad car smells.

The Cleaning Process

Our Interior Detail is often a recommended first step to rid vehicles of unwanted interior odors.  Car smells that linger come in two forms- something you can throw away easily, and something you have to deep clean or extract.  When the detailers first clean the inside of the car, they clear out any debris and vacuum the car. Our detailers have shared with me that sometimes the bad smell in a car is as simple as food that rolled under the seat and molded, or a piece of trash that got to sit in the car long enough to stink.  These are usually as simple as tossing them in the garbage and making sure there is nothing “odor causing” remaining.Help those air fresheners out

Unfortunately not all bad odors are this easy to remedy.  Some of them get into the carpet, fabric or the leather and won’t come out no matter how nicely you ask them too.  I’ve had clients call in saying they tried to treat it themselves with steam cleaners or soap and water and it still comes back to haunt them.  Some have used so many air fresheners and sprays to try to get rid of it but in reality it’s just a temporary cover up. A lot of smells are so embedded in the car that the client can’t get it on their own, like cigarette smoke or a pet mess.  How do those get worked on?

When our detailers come and clean the inside of the car it helps to determine the different possible places where the smell might come from or what’s causing it the nasty odor.  Our detailers will vacuum, steam, shampoo, and scrub any cloth surface of a car and extract mats to get to deeper layers. For smells like cigarette smoke their steam cleaning can get it out of vents and crevices that might be holding onto it, as well as clean surface layers where the smell might linger.  Surfaces like cup holders, windows, and headliners are also cleaned entirely. If a smell has a risk of sticking around even after our service, we provide Odor Bombs for $25 each, which can be released in the car overnight and help eliminate anything that stays by killing and destroying any odor causing baterias.  

While we cannot guarantee the smell will be eliminated, over 90% of the time we are successful in cleaning out the smells after an Interior Detail and almost 100% with Odor Bombs in the worst cases.  

That’s not a claim we are making up either.  Here is a sample of reviews that address bad smells directly to back us up!

What Our Customers are Saying

Richard was a customer who needed lots of help with his new car.  Here is what he told us when our detailers finished the job!

Just purchased a car from a private seller. Definite heavy “kid stains” and a terrible smell that I thought must have been from a dairy spill. Welington and George from Onsite Detail came, spent over 3 hours on the car and did a fantastic job. They took out the spare tire which is stored in the interior under a floor cover and found the source of the smell!! Kids’ food molded over and other unidentified “stuff”. [I]t was ugly… I’m sure it’s probably standard for them to do that, but I’m sure some companies wouldn’t bother cleaning the spare tire compartment. I honestly wouldn’t have looked to check and would have been dealing with that smell still!”  -Richard

Among our most common bad smells are dairy-related ones.  Two reviewers, both named Dan, shared with us how we helped them with their situations.

I had a kid spill a half cup of milk in my car on the floorboard. I went home that night and scrubbed it good with soapy water. A month later a water bottle leaked in the same spot and brought all those sour smells back. I called Onsite Detail and they came to the rescue. The customer service was really great. Andy was very professional and knowledgeable. He cleaned it and now it smells like roses! I’ll definitely be using them again.” -Dan

 

So my daughter spilled milk in the back of our car and got on a the seat and floorboards. We immediately tried to clean it with a shop vac and wet rag only to find out later it had that horrible sour milk smell. We called Onsite Detail and they were very responsive and came to bail us out. They got the milk and smell out and were very professional to work with. I have used them since and trust them with my vehicles.” -Dan

Even if there isn’t a specific smell, there is a special benefit to having a car smelling nice.  Ashley and Alex show us how happy this makes them in their reviews:

William came to the rescue! My car is exceptionally clean and smelling amazing. He was so sweet and great to work with. I highly recommend Onsite and ask for William! Thanks again” -Ashley

 

My kids make plenty of spills all over our back seats that are fabric. They were able to clean every spill making it look and smell like a new car again. Thanks again Onsite Detail!” -Alex

In summary, keeping your car smelling clean and fresh is an important part of keeping you and your family and friends happier and healthier.  Our service has helped many people achieve cleaning and eliminating even the worst smells, and we are ready to tackle yours too! Get the nasty odors and smells taken care of before the weather heats up and makes them worse! Call or text us or fill out a request form today.  We look forward to serving you and your vehicle!

by Miranda Hughes, Onsite Detail

New Year’s Resolutions 10 Ways to Help You Keep Your Car Clean

It’s the time of year where we do our best to shed bad habits of the old year and build on the new.  Some people go all out with big goals, like traveling the world or working out like it was a full-time job, while others go for smaller things like keeping their room cleaned more regularly or having one less sweet a day.  In the end we are all ultimately going for the same thing- improving ourselves and accomplishing our goals including better ways to take care of ourselves and our surroundings.

With that in mind, how many of us consider taking care of our cars as part of our New Year’s Resolution?  I don’t just mean keeping up with regular oil chances and adjusting tire pressure- I mean taking care of your car, keeping it clean and protected.  Our cars do a lot of work for us, getting us to jobs, visits, errands, and vacations. Yet not many of us take a lot of time to keep it clean as a form of maintenance and prevention.  This may seem trivial, but taking care of your car can lead to benefits you may not have considered, from keeping your car healthy to taking care of yourself. Among these ten ways to help keep your car clean, you will also find reasons this Resolution will help you in our new 2019.  Thankfully all of these ideas are absolutely possible with help from Onsite Detail, even for those who don’t have the time, energy, or ability to do them (because let’s be real, the majority of us are busy people)! Without further ado, here are ten ways to keep your vehicle clean for your New Year’s Resolution!

Mercedes Engine Detailed Utah Onsite Detail

Mercedes Engine Detailed by Onsite Detail

  1. Engine Cleaning

Our vehicle engines do a lot of work for us, and deserve to be treated well so they function better and last longer. Aside from necessary mechanical maintenance, cleaning out engine areas and detailing it does more than make it look new- it can help the engine run better and more smoothly removing all the caked on dust, dirt and debris. It can also potentially help reveal any potential mishaps coming your way.  One client had an engine detail service done by us to help maintenance workers find a leak later that day. Others just find peace of mind knowing they can open a hood and be able to tell the difference between dirt and damage. Doing this a few times a year is an optional but effective way to keep your engine in check!

  1. Hand Washes

Who likes a dirty vehicle? Well, maybe those off-roading guys wear the dirt caked on their vehicle with pride but most of us would rather be driving a fresh shiny car or truck down the road. Not only does it feel and look great but it is also better for the vehicle itself. Leaving dirt and grime on a vehicle for long periods of time can damage the paint, plastic and other parts of the vehicle, sometimes to the point of no return.

Sometimes people call me and ask why a hand wash is preferred over an automatic car wash.  And to that I have quite a few answers! For starters, car washes can cause swirl marks and micro scratches to appear in the paint with overly aggressive methods and dirty brushes. In the long run that will cost more to correct and repair.  For another, hand washes can be more thorough and detailed, and our hand washes include all the details most automatic car washes are not equipped to get including under door handles, door jambs, mirrors, wheels, wheel wells, and rims. Even if we are not doing the hand wash for you, hand washing your car can feel empowering, as well as help you notice any nicks and dings you may have missed before that need repair from a body shop!

Paint Sealant Application

  1. Protection

Paint sealants and waxes are more than just making your car shiny, though that is a benefit!  Protecting a car’s paint and other surfaces can help prevent oxidation and other damage to the clear coat, plastic and metals. Some waxes can hide blemishes if applied properly as well.  Doing this every 2 to 6 months means it’ll be easy to keep to your resolution while also preventing long-term damage that will cost big bucks to repair if ignored.

  1. That One Odd Spot

Sometimes life happens and you end up with tree sap, tar, scratches or some other kind of unwanted blemish on your vehicle.  While some are willing to shrug and live with it, it can still will be bothersome whenever you see it. You paid a lot for your car, so why let something like that demoralize you?  Taking the time to remove the blemish is much like taking care of those rock chips on your windshield- not only does it feel good to take care of, it can prevent potential long term issues later. Take care of these small issues as they happen and before they before a big problem for you. If you don’t have the time or the knowledge of what to do we are happy to help you out!

  1. Child Seats

This obviously does not apply to everyone, but those with child seats in their car know that the children who sit in them, no matter how precious, can and will make messes. You may be tempted to “not worry about it” because it’s just going to get dirty again, but a child’s car seat left uncleaned can be a breeding ground for germs, molds and bacteria. Not only is it nice to not put your child in a sticky gooey car seat but it will also keep them safe from those nasty illness causing things. We at Onsite Detail can take care of that with our thorough Child Seat Cleaning service, so you can keep your kid’s areas sanitized, neat and tidy!  This doesn’t mean just vacuuming them either, we go as far as steam cleaning and shampooing the car seats to take care of stains and grime.

  1. Vacuum and Wipe Down

Keeping the inside of the car clean is important for personal well-being.  Dust and dirt can easily get on the headliner and in our seats, and being surrounded by uncleanliness can make us feel down on ourselves.  Taking the time to dust, vacuum, and wipe down the inside of your vehicle not only gives you a sense of control over the car, but also takes initiative on helping ourselves feel better.  Taking even twenty to thirty minutes every few weeks makes this a worthwhile endeavor!

Auto Detailing Utah Carpet Shampoo

Interior Carpet Shampoo

  1. Interior Detailing

Some of us lose track of time and our cars’ interiors take the toll to the point that vacuuming and wiping down the inside won’t be enough to get the job done.  Maybe there was a spill or accident that has begun to leave a smell or the basic cleaning can’t take care of the finer details or get much dirt or grime out of carpets or seats.  Taking a day to do a full Interior Detail might be the way to go. Not only does it take care of long-term grime, it gets in the parts of a car you may not even think about like pockets, crevices, and under seats and the mats.  Not sure you have the time? At Onsite Detail, we offer an Interior Detail service that takes about two hours on average, and with us going to you, that’s almost no time at all! It makes it easy for you to get the interior detail done and still get everything else done you need to.

  1. Clay Bar Treatment

Clay bar treatment is a process that detailers use to remove contaminants from the vehicle’s paint and smooth it out.  In short, it takes care of many things a regular hand wash cannot! Not only will your car’s exterior look better, it will feel better too.  Why not take the extra step to ensure all the contaminants are removed from your car’s paint? Your car will look and feel great. You will feel great as well.

  1. Pet Hair Removal

Many of us have furry family members that we bring everywhere with us.  However, that can lead to lots of pet hair being left behind in your vehicle!  Pet hair is not only unsightly, it can cause people with allergies to struggle.  Taking care of pet hair can be satisfying since you can see the results of the work quickly!  It also helps pave the way for putting down covers to keep pet hair off at a later time. You and your pet will be happier for it!

  1. Annual Packages at Onsite Detail

As was said early on, many of us are super busy.  We may not have the time or resources to take care of our cars to great lengths, or even to consistent ones.  However, to make your Resolution happen we have a special service: annual packages. Setting these flexible services up means paying up front but taking 20% off the the services you want done for your vehicle for at least a year, as well as consistent appointments to have us come and take care of your car.  Call our office for more information, we would love to set one up to make your New Year’s Resolutions happen!

These are just a good handful of ways to keep your car clean this year, with benefits to yourself to keep in mind when moving forward.  We at Onsite Detail wish you a Happy New Year, and we look forward to detailing your vehicles all through 2019 and beyond!

by Miranda Hughes, Onsite Detail