New car? Paint, glass, wheel, leather and fabric protection

Ceramic paintwork protection

Here we explain why you should choose Goring Car Valet to prepare and apply paint, glass, wheel, leather and fabric protection over the dealership’s offering.  Opinions expressed are based on extensive knowledge and experience gained in this business since 2006.

Whilst we refer to new cars, the same principles regarding protection systems apply to used cars too.

Having selected their new vehicle, very often a premium marque, customers are often steered by the dealership toward purchasing additional products such as Gap Insurance, Scratch and Dent Insurance as well as new car protection – for paint, glass, wheels, leather and fabric.  The belief is often that because the brand is premium the new car protection will be of similar high quality, without considering alternatives provided by specialists such as ourselves.

Before you agree to the dealership’s protection system please read on.

The human factor

Whilst all new car protection systems will do the job they are intended to do (although some are better than others), sadly the same can not always be said about the person carrying out the application of the system to your new vehicle.

Some dealerships will have an in-house valeting team directly employed by them; others may use external subcontractors as a simple and cheap solution for their valeting requirements.  If an external contractor is used they will often be paid on a piece-rate basis.  Regardless, dealerships will often task the individual with preparing and treating 5 or more vehicles in a day.

BMW M140i
BMW M140i

It is not uncommon for new car protection kits to find their way to popular online auction sites or even car boot sales!  This is not so surprising when you consider that a low-paid, over-worked employee may try to make some additional cash on the side by compromising quality or, in some cases, not applying the coatings for which you have paid.

Any new car protection system being applied will only work as the manufacturer intended if due care in preparation and application is shown.  If the worker is setup to fail then your car will not receive the protection you had hoped (and paid) for.

Here at Goring Car Valet, we will allow up to a day for application of Diamondbrite or Silex Professional Coatings.

BMW M140i
BMW M140i

Quality of workmanship

Before you tick the box that says you agree to the application of new car protection it is worth asking a few questions of the salesperson.  For example,
Is the correct preparation carried out?
Are industry-recognised best practices employed?
Is the person carrying out the preparation process suitably trained and experienced?
Do they use good quality preparation equipment, consumables and products for your brand new vehicle?
Are the appropriate products used throughout the preparation process?
Is every effort made to prevent scratching, or introducing swirl marks or “spider-webs” in the fresh, unprotected paint?

You will notice we keep repeating the word “preparation”, as this is absolutely vital if the new car protection is to be effective.

BMW M140i
BMW M140i

How long will it take?

Timings stated below relate to one technician which is the way most dealerships operate; Goring Car Valet invariably operates with two so timings are significantly reduced.
On average the minimum time required for preparation and application is 5 hours. This will vary according to the protection system being applied and to which vehicle surfaces.
All protectants need to bond directly to clean surfaces, free from defects and contaminants. For a brand new vehicle this preparation should take around 2.5 hours to prepare to the minimum standard.

BMW M140i
BMW M140i

Surface preparation

Surface preparation will vary according to which protection system is being employed and according to which surfaces are being treated.

The paintwork

Imperfections in the paintwork should be removed, ensuring all surfaces are free from wax, silicone and grease, the protection will only bond to clean paint.  This should include a gentle but comprehensive wash followed by tar and glue removal, and iron and bonded contaminant removal to remove all contamination.  Machine polishing may be required for the removal of any defects (swirl marks or spider-webs) in the paint.  Finally, the surfaces should be cleaned with rubbing alcohol immediately before a paint sealant is applied.

Exterior plastics

Some protection systems include protection to exterior plastics, these are protected following proper decontamination and removal of any silicone gels that have been applied to allow effective protection.

Exterior glass

The glass requires embedded contaminants to be removed which is followed by polishing with an alcohol based glass polish which should leave all glass crystal clear. It can then be protected externally.

Carpets and cloth upholstery

For a brand new car, the interior should only require a thorough vacuum.  However, if the vehicle has been driven there may be a need for light shampooing which would need to be dried prior to protection being applied.

Leather upholstery

Some protection systems include protection for leather surfaces. These should be cleaned to ensure they are free of dirt or dressings prior to the application of protection.

Alloy wheels

Some protection systems include alloy wheel protection. To apply this correctly, the wheels must be completely clean and free from grease or silicone.  In an ideal world, the wheels should be removed from the vehicle in order to gain full access.

The application process

As with preparation, the application process will vary from system to system, and the surfaces to be treated.  The application to interior and exterior surfaces for most protection systems will take between 2 and 3 hours.  This allows for working methodically through the entire car and for the products to cure as required by the manufacturer.

The price

Check how much you are being charged, which is not as easy as it may at first appear.  This is particularly the case if leasing the vehicle when a dealership claims they are “throwing in the protection free of charge”.  The salesperson will “chat with their manager” whilst you wait in the showroom, and miraculously they come back to you with a deal which “gets you into the vehicle you want today” that also comes “inclusive of gap insurance and paint protection” and all within the monthly budget they somehow extracted from you!  Also check whether it is just paint protection being offered, or whether it includes other exterior surfaces as well as the interior.

BMW M140i
BMW M140i

Valeting facilities

Take a look at the dealership’s valeting facility; is it consistent with the welcoming luxury on display in the showroom?  The facility should be bright, clean and tidy. Is there a reason why the valeting bay is tucked away out of sight, along with the valeting staff and the work being carried out on customers’ cars?

Quality control

When you pick up your new car, in the excitement you may overlook the paintwork and fabric protection.  Check the product has been applied; check that water beads and rolls off the vehicle’s paint and glass.  On the interior, spray some water onto the fabric seats or carpets – the water should not soak in but form beads.

It is not unheard of for customers who have paid good money at the dealership to find no protection system has been applied!

Using Goring Car Valet

We are open and honest about our services and pricing. Our van, equipment and cleaning materials are clean and organised. We are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about what we do and keen to provide you with good advice and the best possible service. And when working on the customer’s site we work in a tidy and organised manner.

If you have got this far, you just need to decide whether you would like to choose Diamondbrite or next-generation Silex Professional Coatings to protect your new car.  Oh, and perhaps cancel that element of the order with the dealership!

And do not forget, “new” does not have to mean brand new. The protection systems we offer are suitable for cars up to 5 years of age or more.  The key difference with used cars is that they generally require considerably more preparation to restore the paintwork to a condition that maximises the benefits of the protection.

If you have already booked your paint protection with us, you can relax, safe in the knowledge we have explained everything to you.  Should you wish, you can watch us at work throughout the process through your window at home and ask questions about preparation, application and ongoing care whilst we work on your driveway.

In case you are still not convinced you can read reviews from Google here.

If you have any questions at all about paint, glass, alloy wheel, leather or fabric protection, please contact us for free advice on 01903 785626.