A few reasons why you should detail your daily driver.

Daily driver’s vary from the kid haulin’ mini-van to the executive’s Mercedes. Daily drivers take us to work, school, soccer practice, the golf course and haul loads of every kind to and from point a to b and b to c, etc.

The fact of the matter is whether you’ve paid a lot or a little for your daily driver vehicle, it is an investment to you. If you haul kids, groceries, golf clubs or all three your car will get dirty and take abuse. Your daily driver needs to be cleaned, detailed and protected unless you honestly don’t mind throwing money into the garbage can.

Daily Wear and Tear

Your daily driver needs the care even more than the special garage queen or show car that does not see the harsh conditions that your daily driver does. For many of us, we don’t have the option to drive a “summer” car and a “winter” car. We just have a daily driver that gets us to where we need to be when we need to be there. Our daily driver goes out rain or shine and it just has to take the beating to which it is subjected.

Some of us have no choice but to eat in our daily drivers as we hurry about our day. Our interiors take a beating from food and drink spills, dirt, kid mess, etc. The exteriors take just as much and sometimes more abuse. If we are not taking care of our cars properly they are damaged and degrade to the point of no return.

Resale Value

Daily drivers that have been cleaned and protected frequently are going to retain their resale value much more than those that have not. A vehicle’s appearance usually also is an indicator of how well the vehicle has been maintained mechanically. While this is not always true it tends to be the case more than not.

If you are looking to purchase a used car and there are two exact same cars listed with the same amount of miles for the same price and one is dirty and has paint rust and damage and the other is clean and shiny, which one would you purchase? Not only that you would probably agree to pay more for the nice clean and detailed one. Ask any used car dealer if they get more money out of a detailed car or one that has not been cleaned very well.

Risking Health

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. A dirty and undetailed daily driver literally increases the risk of making us and those who travel in our vehicle sick.

When a daily driver is maintained clean and sanitized it will decrease the chance that sickness causing germs and bacteria can survive.

The point is that everyone deserves a clean and detailed car. Even if it’s not a high end sports car or a classic show car it still can be a nice car. Contact us here at Onsite Detail today to see what we can do for your daily driver.

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.

The Little Known World of the Clay Bar

You may or may not have heard people talk about having a clay bar service or clay bar treatment done on their car. What is a clay bar and why is it important?

Today, I’m going to talk to you about what a clay bar is and does and why a clay bar service is necessary and also why it is good for your car. I will do my best to explain the what, the why and the how of clay bar treatments.

Paint and Clear Coat

The exterior of your car essentially has 3 levels of paint coats. Those paint layer coats consist of primer, then the paint (the color), then the clear coat. The primer does the same thing on a car that it would do when you paint anything else. The primer preps the surface for paint and allows the paint to attach itself to the body much better than just painting straight onto a bare surface would do. The next level is the paint. The paint is what gives the car it’s color and attraction. The final level and also level that it not known very well is the clear coat. The clear coat may just be the most important part of any of these levels. The clear coat protects the paint from the elements. Elements that may include contaminants from various weather conditions that may occur, brake dust, bugs, dust, rocks, and salt from ice melt. If you run your hand across your paint and it feels like sandpaper at all, it is contaminated.

My main focus will be on the clear coat and how a clay bar service can help it. Although the clear coat does protect the colored paint layer. It’s not invincible. This is why people put wax, sealants, and ceramic coatings on their vehicles. Protecting the clear coat is extremely important to protect the integrity of the paint. If the clear coat is not protected and ends up being weakened from the elements that I mentioned, over time it will cause irreversible damage to the clear coat and even the colored paint.

Dirty Clay Bars full of contaminants

The Clay Bar

Now to get into what brought you here in the first place. The CLAY BAR! I will go over what happens to the clear coat which leads to the need for a clay bar treatment. As you drive and use your vehicle more and more the need for a clay bar treatment will only increase. Some of the elements and contaminants that I mentioned above can actually get embedded into the clear coat. Most of those elements will be small pieces of dust, metal and rocks that will mostly be unseen by the naked eye. Washing might be able to remove some of this but there will be many dust particles and other contaminants that will be embedded into the clear coat. How do we go about removing these things? I’ll let you guess. If you guessed clay bar, you are correct. The clay bar has the ability to grab the contaminants that are embedded into the clear coat and lift them off and out of the clear coat. How about that? Science!!

The Clay Bar Treatment Process

Keep the paint surface lubricated

As the clay bar is moved across the surface of the clear coat, you have to keep the surface of whatever area you are working on lubricated. From my experience, a few different ways to keep the surface wet to allow the clay bar to glide over the panel you are working on are;

  1. Using a showroom shine or quick detailer spray (without a wax) is probably the most popular method and is the way I’ve done it the most. This allows you to work and not worry about any negative consequences of letting it dry after you finish a section and move onto the next one.
  2. The next method is while you are washing the car and after you have gotten everything wet and sudsed up. This way can be kinda tricky, the reason being that water and soap can dry quickly before you are able to get to it. This sometimes can leave soap staining or leave hard water deposits. You make sure the whole surface stays wet the whole time until you can fully rinse and properly dry the car. Many times, doing a panel at a time is the most effective way in those circumstances.
  3. You can also use water but be careful because water will dry quicker and you may need to rewet constantly.

Sometimes as you are clay barring, you may hit a drier patch of paint. Sometimes when this happens, it can cause you to drop the clay bar. If this happens, THROW IT AWAY! When you think of what a clay bar does while using it, don’t think it stops doing that when it is dropped. It is made to make things stick to it and it doesn’t stop doing that when you drop it on the ground. When you drop it, it will then have picked up dust, small rocks, maybe glass, a shoe, small children… Okay the last two aren’t true, but everything else that it can pick up will end up doing more damage to your paint. Even if the damage is very small and unseen to the common eye. Those things will not come out of the clay bar. It is designed to grab things and not let go. So when it comes to your paint, we can be grateful for the technology of the clay bar. When we drop it, we occasionally will curse the technology of the clay bar.

Another thing that can happen if you do not use enough lubrication is paint marring. The clay is designed to grab onto contamination with proper lubrication. Without it it will grab onto the clear coat and you can damage it if you are not careful.

Overall it is a pretty simple process but needs to be done correctly and carefully. The basic things to remember while clay barring is to keep the surface wet and lubricated, do small sections at a time (about a 2 ft by 2 ft area), regularly refold and re-smash the clay bar to keep the surface of the clay bar as fresh as possible. And remember to NOT DROP it.

Clay Bar and Paint Correction Work Together

In cases when you will be doing paint correction, the clay bar treatment will be one of the first steps in preparing for the paint correction process. (After a thorough wash as well). You will want to make sure that you do a very good clay bar procedure before any compound or polish even touches the body of your car. The reason for that is found when you look at what the clay bar does. After removing all of the contaminants out of the clear coat of your car, buffing and polishing will be much more effective after having removed all of those elements. If you were to proceed without clay barring, those contaminants would be absorbed into whatever buffing or polish pad you are using. If the pad absorbs the contaminants, those contaminants can cause the buffing or polish process to not be as efficient or done as well and still make microscopic scratches. Also, if the pad and compound cannot come in contact with the areas of the paint where there are contaminants, that will also make a difference on how good of a job you’ll produce.

Clay Bar Treatments are needed on most Vehicles

In conclusion, no matter what kind of vehicle you are driving or how often you wax it or take care of it, you’ll eventually need a clay bar treatment. The exception might be a show car or car that does not actually drive out on the road. Every car gets clear coat contamination to some degree, especially over time. Reach out to us for more information on getting your vehicle in for a clay bar treatment. We’re here to help.

by Andy Stallings, Operations Manager, Onsite Detail

Is car wax dead?

With the invention of ceramic coatings as a far superior protection for a vehicle’s exterior surfaces some have said, “Wax is dead.” Is car wax dead? While I do not disagree that a ceramic coating is the absolute best protection for one’s vehicle, I do disagree that waxing a vehicle is a “dead” practice.

Brief history of Car Wax

Waxing a vehicle is almost as old as the horse and buggy. “Waxing” was first developed in the early 1800s by using animal fats to shine up carriages. As the years went on people starting using natural waxes such as vegetable wax, beeswax, and oils, as well as other synthetic things to shine and protect vehicles services. Today’s car waxes are a formulation of blended waxes, oils, and solvents which can include crude oil distillates, ethanol, mineral spirits, petroleum, and more. A step up from many waxes you find paint sealants. Many paint sealants are made up of fully synthetic longer lasting, more durable materials than natural waxes. The technology for waxes and paint sealants has come a long way and both can be great options to keep a vehicle’s paint and other surfaces protected from the elements.

Car Protection

Car wax or sealant is not a permanent solution to protect a car. Most car wax will last anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. Most sealants will last 3 to 6 months. Some claim to last up to a year. Obviously this depends greatly on what the wax or sealant goes up against. Depending on where your vehicle spends most of its time and how its cared for will enhance or reduce the durability of a wax and sealant.

The pluses of waxes and sealants are that they are layerable, meaning you can put multiple coats of wax or sealant and layer right on top of each other. You can apply them each time you wash your car if you want.

Car Wax with foam applicator

A newer product to the market is the invention of ceramic sprays. These tend to be more like sealants and less like an actual ceramic coating. To be honest I think the use of the word “ceramic” is more of a marketing ploy playing off of the success of coatings.

Vehicle ceramic coatings have been extremely popular and have changed the detailing world. Truth be told there are various forms of ceramic coatings using Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) and Silicon Carbide (SiC). The biggest distinction between the two is that SiC based coatings chemically bond to the paint. Silicon Carbide forms during this bonding process. It cross links with the vehicle’s clear coat and then remains this way for the life of the paint. With SiO2 coatings, many times referred to as glass coatings or quartz coatings, are made up of nano-particles of Silicon Dioxide suspended in a resin. Some SiO2 coatings are helped by regular application of toppers.

Cost vs. Benefit

So when it comes to making a decision on what is the best choice to protect your vehicle, there are various factors that should be considered.

1. Budget

This is a big factor to consider. Only you know (or you should know) if your budget does or does not allow (all at once) for a complete paint restoration service and ceramic coating installation to be done on your vehicle. If it does not you’re better off going with the wax or sealant applied regularly. That way you don’t break the bank. But if you can afford it then getting a ceramic coating installed may be one of the best things you can do for your vehicle’s protection.

2. Age and Condition of Paint

Another thing to consider is the age, condition and type of paint you have on your vehicle. If your paint is past the point of no return, as in you already have clear coat failure or so many rock chips it now looks spotted, you probably would be better to not worry about a ceramic coating because the paint is already so damaged that a coating will only be protecting ruined paint and bare surfaces.

Now if you have a new vehicle that you really want to keep it top shape a full paint correction and ceramic coating is absolutely the way to go. New paint and clear coat are going to need protection and why not give it the best.

3. Vehicle Use

Is your car an old daily driver that is only meant to get you from point a to b or do you have a luxury vehicle that makes smile as you walk up to it and see it shine. Honestly we have installed ceramic coatings on many different types of vehicles. Some brand new and other older and just needing some love.

4. Conditions/Elements

Where is your vehicle parked most of the time? Where is it driven? How do you care for it? Do you plan on taking your car through automatic brush washes or give it the care of hand washing? All these things and more are to be considered if wax.

5. Cost over time

Another thing to consider which many people don’t think about is that when you apply wax or paint sealant to your vehicle over a 2 to 3 year period, you may be spending as much or something close to what you would on a one time paint correction and ceramic coating installation. Again this varies greatly depending on frequency, coat of materials used, if you do it yourself or hire a professional detailing service, etc. If you do the math you may be surprised.

6. Personal Preference

Ultimately it comes down to personal preference. If you love your vehicle and you want to protect it you will choose what works best for you. There are many who enjoy taking half the day washing and waxing their own car. Others don’t want to or don’t have time to spend doing that and they would rather the process be as easy and quick as possible. A lot people hire professionals to do it for them.

It is up to you if you want to protect your vehicle from what it takes on or not. It’s also up to you how you want to accomplish that.

Is Car Wax dead?

So is car wax dead? Nope. Not a chance. Car wax and paint sealants still have a place in the automotive detailing and protection world and probably will for a long time to come.

Feel free to contact via a call, text (801) 412-9274 or e-mail, clean@onsitedetail.net, if you have any questions or if you would want to schedule a service for your vehicle.

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.

5 Reasons to Detail Your Car Before Selling It

Despite the recent snowy weather in our beautiful Utah state, we at Onsite Detail cannot deny an important time of the year is approaching.  March means spring is coming, daylight savings approaches once more, and Saint Patrick’s Day promises to give us a bit of luck and fun before the hot summer days are here.  However, while we look forward to all those events too, us Onsite Detail workers know another important time is coming: car sales time. Make sure you detail your car before selling it.

In the last week alone we received a ton of calls from people looking to sell their vehicles over the weekend, and it got me thinking about all the ways our company can help people make their sells a little easier.  So for this blog I’m going to share five reasons to detail your car before selling it and why it is beneficial and can make your sale go smoother!

ksl.com cars for sale

  1. Makes Photos Look Better

It’s hardly a secret that posting photos of something you want to sell online makes it more appealing to people.  Some sites like KSL.com and Craigslist even suggest uploading pictures to increase sales while you’re making a post!  

If your car is cleaned and waxed for a nice shine, it can make your post stand out from the rest.  Having photos of a clean interior can also appeal to the viewer, since they’ll be able to see they won’t have to worry about sticky cup holders or stains they would have to deal with.  Our services can help your online post catch the eye of a potential buyer and help make the sale with a like-new cleaning!

  1. Helps Remove Trickier Things

Cars are very personal things, and are often treated as such.  Pets are allowed to ride in them and those who enjoy smoking may do so in their vehicles.  This isn’t a bad thing, but it can make selling a vehicle a bit harder if someone has an allergy or there is a lingering smell in the car.  

However, pet hair and cigarette smoke are tricky things to remove.  Our Interior Detail, however, can help with both of those! We do shampoo and steam cleaning to get every surface of the interior and help flush out bad smells that hang around, and can throw in an Odor Bomb to help with especially lasting scents.  Have a pet that sheds a lot? We can add Pet Hair Removal to your service and make it like new again. Buyers with allergies will thank you!

  1. Shiny Engines Feel More Trustworthy

No matter how shiny the outside may be, if the hood opens up to reveal a greasy, dirty engine, it can be off-putting to a potential buyer.  We psychologically associate dirt with disease and disrepair, so a dirty engine can cause someone to think twice about buying.

Our Engine Detail not only degreases and washes the engine, but also shines it up and dresses plastic and rubber for added protection.  One client used our Engine Degrease service and found a leak in the engine that was quick to patch but would not have been seen without it!  Our popular Full Combo Detail comes with an Engine Detail as well as interior and exterior cleaning, so it’s worth considering to detail your car before selling it.

  1. Decal Removal

I have had a few people call recently asking about removing decals from cars they just purchased, especially work vehicles.  Removing them on your own can mean leaving unwanted residue, ugly scuffs, incomplete decals, or time and frustration you really can’t afford to spend.  

At Onsite Detail we can remove decals at an hourly rate, and since it often gets coupled with a Wash & Wax it will help make your car sales floor ready!  Save yourself some agitation and let us take care of the details, selling a car can be frustrating enough as is.

  1. Restoration Can Make the Sale!

While the outside of a car can’t tell us everything, if it looks newer or at least well-kept we are more likely to trust its quality.  While we can’t do a new coat of paint, we can take care of the other things you may not have considered to make it appear well-kept. Plastic and rubber fading?  Try Plastic Restoration! Unwanted swirl marks or light scratches distracting your customers? We do Paint Correction or Buffing & Polishing. Headlights fogged up?  We can take care of that with Headlight Restoration. Our services aren’t just limited to washing and shining things, so feel free to call and ask for anything specific you’re looking for!

The bottom line is. If your car looks, feels and smells better you’ll get more money out of it. That’s why you want to detail your car before selling it. If you want to know the approximate value of your car, check out Kelley Blue Book.

Don’t just depend on a lucky clover to make a good sale just detail your car before selling it!  If you’re looking to sell your car we can help, as reviewer Melissa stated:

“We recently had Onsite Detail detail our van as we are trying to sell it and I couldn’t believe the results. It looks like a brand new car!! These guys are the best! I will go nowhere else to have my cars detailed.”

Call or text us today if you’re want to detail your car before selling it. 801-412-9274. We are more than happy to help.

by Miranda Hughes, Onsite Detail