FAQs

Click on the questions below to learn more.

What is Detailing?

Detailing has different meanings to different people. Some view it simply as a thorough cleaning, while others view it as a time and labor intensive service that involves machine polishing using nano-abrasives to remove defects and to refine the finish to a level that in many cases is better than when the vehicle is new. At Concours Auto Detailing, we take the latter approach to provide our clients with the absolute best finish and surface preservation possible with the level of services that are required.

Why have my car detailed?

Increased value: By properly maintaining both the exterior and interior of a vehicle, the value can be significantly increased. Over time the finish of your vehicle will experience oxidation, swirls, light scratching, fading, as well as a buildup of contaminants that are harmful to the various surfaces. By having your car professionally detailed, you will restore the original beauty, and preserve and protect it into the future. If you compare two identical vehicles, one that has been professionally detailed and machine polished while the other has not, the difference in resale value is typically in the thousands of dollars for most vehicles. When comparing very expensive luxury cars and exotics, the difference in value that comes from professional detailing can be staggering!

Protect your investment: This directly relates to increased value. Let’s face it; most vehicles depreciate rapidly, especially when they’re neglected. Protect your investment by having it properly maintained by a premium service offered by Concours Auto Detailing. If you were investing $50,000 in the stock market, you would want to hire an experienced money manager with a track record of proven success to handle your account and maximize your return on investment. When you drive that new expensive vehicle off of the lot, you know that it will immediately lose value. So in order to get the most return on your investment, it is wise to have the appearance professionally maintained in order to retain as much value as possible.

Project a professional image: The condition of the vehicles we drive says a lot about the type of person we are. It’s no different than how we care for our houses, our landscaping, or our personal appearances. Beautifully prepared cars project confidence, professionalism, and just makes us feel good when driving (or admiring) them! Swirls or spider webs on the surface of the car are thousands of micro-scratches that have a very negative impact on the overall appearance. They are more noticeable on darker colored vehicles, and can easily be seen in direct sunlight or under the lights at night while in a parking lot.

What Are Swirls? What Causes Them and How Do You Correct Them?

While there are many causes of swirls, the biggest culprit is improper washing and drying techniques. They can be avoided for the most part once you learn how to properly wash and dry a vehicle, as well as which materials to use. One trip to the automatic car wash (also referred to as swirl-o-matics), or a quick wipe down with the wrong kind of towel can quickly destroy 15 hours of machine polishing. Even if the local car wash or dealership offers a hand-wash, it doesn’t mean that they are using proper methods or materials, and in many cases can do more harm than good. It is very important to us that we educate our clients on how to maintain the new finish we have just provided. We will spend time on education after the service is complete, and even provide a detailed set of care instructions to help you maintain a clean and swirl-free finish.

The only way to properly and permanently correct swirls and other light defects is to level and refine the finish with either a rotary or random orbital polisher (we use both) combined with a variety of abrasive polishes. If the defects are moderate to heavy, it will first require a leveling of the surface through more aggressive compounds, followed by finely polishing or jewelling with a finer combination of polishes and pads to bring out the absolute best in clarity, depth, and shine. The defects are corrected by actually removing an extremely small amount of clear coat and creating a perfectly level surface. This process takes time and advanced skills, and will yield amazing, and permanent results.

A “quick fix” that is commonly used by many resellers and inexpensive detailing services is to apply glazes that use fillers to temporarily hide the defects. The car may look good, but it will return back to normal after just a few weeks. We only use body shop safe polishers that have no silicones or fillers.

Do you only work on exotics?

No, here at Concours Auto Detailing, we work on all makes and models and at all levels of detailing. While we are known as exotics specialists, we still do a lot of basic detailing services on daily drivers. We have a strong customer base of BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, etc. We showcase the exotics in our work and in our photos because (a) that’s our specialty, and (b) people love to look at exotics! So regardless of what kind of car you drive, or what level of detailing you’re looking for, please give us a call.

Do new cars require detailing?

The simple answer is yes! Two things can be accomplished by having your brand new car professionally detailed. First of all, most vehicles are delivered off of the lot with swirls and light marring either from the factory, or from the dealer’s prep department. We have seen many very expensive luxury vehicles and exotics come this way too. Even with light defects, the finish only represents 85% – 90% of its true gloss potential. By proper machine polishing, the finish of your brand new car can be taken to a whole new level. It’s no different than buying that beautiful new 50” plasma TV. It looks great, but if you have it ISF calibrated when you buy it, you will extract that last bit of clarity and color rendition, and you will then be confident that it looks as good as it possibly can.

Secondly, you should start with proper surface preservation and protection when the vehicle is brand new. These are services that the factory or dealer simply can’t provide. Why not ensure that your vehicle remains beautiful as the day you bought it, and stays protected from the elements into the future?

Why Concours Auto Detailing?

Concours Auto Detailing was created for owners of fine automobiles who share the same passion for the art and beauty of cars that we do. It is this passion and appreciation for esoteric autos that inspire us to create some of the most beautiful and well preserved vehicles in Central Virginia. We offer comprehensive yet flexible detailing and paint reconditioning packages to suit our clients’ needs, and we do it with unequalled quality and professionalism.

We are continuously researching the latest products and techniques, and networking with the absolute best detailers in the country to ensure that our detailing knowledge and skills are always improving. We work on a limited amount of automobiles so that we can focus on each vehicle and customer’s specific needs, and take the proper amount of time to get the job done right. The boutique level of services and skills that we provide simply cannot be achieved by volume-based detail shops.

Concours Auto Detailing was established for those looking for the absolute best detailing and paint reconditioning services available.

Can I hire you to travel to me?

While we prefer to restore your vehicle(s) to their original beauty in our own studio, we also understand that there are circumstances that would require me to travel to work within your facility. If you have valuable collector cars that you prefer not to transport, or if your collection is out of the country, we can make the necessary arrangement for me to travel to you. Both Domestic and International travel is available. Please contact me directly at jeff@concoursautodetailing.com to discuss rates, travel fees, and schedules.