Why ‘flirtations’? Well, to the uninitiated, and first-time customers, our services are often just casual involvements with their cars. But we like commitment, so when a one-off job becomes a regular customer we like to develop a relationship that is beneficial to both the customer and their car.
Storms Ciara and Dennis, and subsequent periods of inclement weather, have played havoc with our schedule this month. We have been dodging the showers, taking cover under our canopy when it was not too windy to use it, and thoroughly enjoying those rare periods of dry, calm weather.
Throughout the website, we often mention that a particular service includes a multi-stage wash. Here we describe and show the various stages of washing the bodywork of a Range Rover Vogue.
When a vehicle’s paintwork is as dirty as shown here it is important to minimise physical contact with it. The use of insufficient water (often the case at supermarket car washes) or using inapprorpiate washing materials or techniques will cause micro-marring or deeper scratches.
We therefore pressure wash off all excessive dirt from paint, glass, wheels, wheel arches and door openings prior to bathing the car in snow foam. Snow foam is the equivalent of you taking a relaxing, foam-filled bath only in this case, it softens and loosens any remaining dirt.
At this stage, depending on the extent of the dirt, the car may be pressure washed again with snow foam reapplied. This is followed by careful hand washing using a wash mitt, with the snow foam providing lubrication and thereby nearly eliminating the risk of micro-marring. Note, we do not use a sponge as any dirt or grit can become trapped in its pores causing serious scratches.
No matter which level of valet we carry out, we always include washing door and boot shuts and edges, areas often overlooked by other valeters/car washers. Door edges of Range Rover models, due to their design, can become very dirty. The same applies to certain models from other manufacturers.
Once clean, the car will be pressure washed once more then carefully dried with a soft, waffle-weave drying towel. We do not use a chamois leathers or other cheap cloths as these too can be the cause of tiny scratches to the paintwork.
When the vehicle is dry it will be finished with a sealant or wax depending on the service selected by the customer. In this case, as part of a maintenance valet the car received an application of spray sealant. This coating ensures that dirt can be more readily washed off when the car is next valeted.
A couple more SUVs
The Range Rover Sport P400 is a very nice addition to our customer’s fleet, and regularly receives a maintenance (Bronze level) valet to keep it in tip top condition.
The Jaguar F-Pace received a Gold valet in challenging weather conditions – the temperature was just a little above zero. With plenty of warm water we got the vehicle clean and waxed. The interior was also valeted, with all traces of the owner’s pet dog removed, leaving the car in a condition to optimise its sale price.
Before and after
We are often faced with interiors that can at best be described as challenging. Sometimes this can be down to abuse the car has received; other times it can be due to the low-grade materials used by the manufacturer, in particular the quality of carpets.
As any one who has used us will know, we are always keen to crack on with the job, so often forget to take pictures before. So here is a couple which show the transformation that can be achieved.
This Dacia Duster had been well used by the family, with drink spillages on the seats and much mud in the rather poor quality carpets. We carried out a full Platinum interior valet which included shampooing all upholstery and carpets. Although we could do nothing regarding the wear and tear to the carpets the result was transformative.
The Vauxhaul Insignia was a tough one; there is certainly no disguising a mediocre job with this colour upholstery! We learned from the customer that she had had the car valeted by another company around a year ago and, almost unbelievably, they had pressure washed the interior!
Needless to say, we did not use our pressure washer on the interior. We did, however, thoroughly shampoo and steam clean all the upholstery and carpets, as well as shampooing all other soft fabrics such as door cards, headlining and parcel shelf. Steam cleaning these other surfaces would likely cause permanent damage.
When we steam clean or shampoo the interior of a car, we take time and care to remove as much moisture as possible with our powerful extraction machine. This results in the surfaces being slightly damp when we finish, but you will not need waders!
Something a little more sporty
The Aston Martin Vanquish here received a Gold level combined exterior and interior valet. As the car is kept garaged no specialised processes were required, but if your convertible roof is in less than perfect condition allow us to transform it.
The Mercedes AMG C63s here also received a Gold level combined exterior and interior valet. Whilst the car had been maintained to a reasonable level, we spent much time removing polish residue from nooks and crannies. We hope this eye for detail is one of a number of factors that sets us apart from our competitors.
It will soon be time to get your top off
It may be difficult to picture right now, but with March almost upon us, there is the chance we will have some warm, sunny days, so no better time for getting your convertible soft top in order.
We last cleaned and reproofed the roof of this VW Golf around 3 years ago. Since then it has had much use and been kept outside. It usually resides on the leeward side of a large hedge which can generate exceptionally damp conditions.
As can be seen here, the roof became significantly affected by algae, moss and lichen. Following extensive cleaning and reproofing, the roof was returned to something approaching its former glory.
If you have a convertible soft top, we recommend it be cleaned approximately once per year. Whilst this service may appear a little pricey, it is much cheaper than a new roof, and subsequent annual visists by us are usually less costly than the initial treatment.
A new car each month
This Lexus UX was first valeted by us a few months ago when we carried the full Gold level exterior and interior treatment.
It now receives a maintenance (Bronze) valet around once per month. This frequency ensures the car is maintained to a high standard, and the customer can enjoy having a ‘new car’ every month.