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Car Wash and Detailing FAQ

Car wash and detailing services can be exciting for drivers, but you might have questions about what to expect. The local mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here with the insight you are looking for. Let’s unpack five car wash/detailing questions and their answers. 

Should I Clean Out My Car Before Having It Detailed?

In a car detailing appointment, you are paying for the interior of your vehicle to be cleaned. So many drivers wonder if they should pre-clean out their cars. The short answer is yes. There are three critical reasons you should pre-clean items out of your car before having it detailed:

  • Uninterrupted Service: You likely want the best possible service when you invest in car detailing. Sorting your items can distract from the actual task at hand: cleaning out the finer details of your car. Drivers do not need to clear out their vehicles entirely—a phone charger and some spare change are somewhat expected. However, any clothing, children’s toys, or bulky items can get in the way of your service. 
  • Personal Item Liability: Most importantly, you should remove any personal items or items of value from your vehicle before bringing your car in for detailing. Your car detailing technicians are not responsible for any lost or damaged items that you leave behind during this service. Detailers might mistakenly toss away items when clearing out any trash. It is also easy to damage fragile pieces when sorting through your vehicle.  
  • Achieving a Clean Car: Finally, there is nothing like the rewarding feeling of picking up a freshly detailed car. This elated sensation can quickly be dampened when you open up a trunk full of clutter. It is best to use your detailing service as motivation to clear out all of your unnecessary items before having your car cleaned. 

While detailers will toss away any trash they encounter while cleaning out your vehicle, it is best to pre-clear unnecessary items from your car. 

How Long Does Car Wash and Detailing Take?

Thoroughly washing and detailing a car takes time. While it might be inconvenient, it is a telltale sign that your detailer is doing a good job. Car detailing can take anywhere from 1-4+ hours—depending on a few factors, including:

  • The car wash/detailing package you choose
  • How many deep stains are in the car
  • Whether you have fabric or leather seats
  • The size of your vehicle
  • The condition of your car

Here at Chapel Hill Tire, we only allow car wash/detailing services as add-ons for drop-off appointments. This policy can prevent drivers from getting stuck in our lobbies for extended periods. 

What Can You Leave in Your Car During Detailing Service?

The more you clear out of your car before detailing service, the better. However, you do not need to sweat if you leave behind a few items. 

  • Keys: You will need to leave your keys with the car for the detailing service
  • Small Items: It can be stressful to think about clearing out every single one of your items before your appointment. Phone cords and other common, small accessories are somewhat expected and easy to work around.
  • Trash: Your car detailers will throw out trash as they come across it in your vehicle. It can be helpful to throw away any garbage beforehand, and this could prevent any mistakenly tossed items. However, you do not need to worry about thoroughly cleaning trash out of your car before the detailing service. 

As mentioned above, it is most important to clear out any personal items—especially those of value. 

Does Detailing Resolve All Interior Stains?

Car detailers can eliminate some of your stubborn interior stains using professional-grade materials, tools, and processes. 

However, this can also depend on the nature of the stain and whether or not it has set in. In severe cases, you might be able to detect faint signs of a previous mark during a close inspection. 

Additionally, if your mark is caused by an interior scratch or surface abrasion, there is no way to truly undo this damage. However, detailing services can help reduce the appearance of these marks

Can You Prevent Water Marks, Swirl Marks, and Spots After Car Washes?

Have you ever left a drive-through car wash thinking, “What is the point of paying for a car wash if it leaves behind marks?” 

Automatic car washes can prevent proper drying, which leaves hundreds of small, white hard water stains on your car. You might also notice swirl marks and leftover spots from dirty cleaning components. 

Hand washing and drying—as we do here at Chapel Hill Tire—is the best way to prevent these unsightly marks. In higher detailing packages, you will also get wax that will keep your car free of blemishes and spots for longer. 

Professional Car Wash and Detailing Near Me

Chapel Hill Tire offers industry-leading car wash and detailing services in the Triangle. You can get your car cleaned during any service appointment to have it looking and driving like new. 

Our Triangle-area mechanics serve drivers with ten shops across Cary, Raleigh, Apex, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham. We also support nearby communities, including PittsboroKnightdaleWake ForestHillsboroughMorrisville, and beyond. We invite you to make an appointmentbrowse our promos, or give us a call to get started today! 

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