Car groomer - what to consider when choosing one
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Content from:  Torque

With so many car groomers in Singapore, how do you go about choosing the one that's right for you? Here's what to consider.

Category: Miscellaneous Advice

The thought of sending your beloved ride to a car groomer can be a scary one, especially if you've been meticulous about its maintenance.

So, why send your vehicle to a car groomer then? Well, mostly for convenience. Not everyone, even detailing geeks, has the time to spare to give their cars a full grooming routine every weekend.

The other, and more important reason, is thoroughness. Powerful pressure washers remove dirt better than plain hoses or buckets of water. And when it comes to polishing and waxing, a correctly used mechanical polisher is superior to hand-polishing.

Equipment and manpower aside, here are four other factors to consider when choosing a car groomer.

1. Price

When used correctly, a mechanical polisher will yield superior results to hand-polishing
This is the most obvious consideration for many motorists. But don't just send your ride to the cheapest car groomer.

For instance, if a groomer charges less than a petrol kiosk does for a car wash (which is already relatively affordable), you might wonder if the firm is cutting corners. Or counting on volume to earn money.

If it were me, I would wonder what else would they be willing to compromise on. There are no benchmark prices for the various car grooming services. High-end outfits may charge several thousand dollars for a service that a mid-range firm will only charge a few hundred dollars for.

But generally speaking, ceramic coatings will cost more than regular waxing, because the preparation, application and curing processes usually take much longer.
2. Products

To play it safe, you can opt for a detailer that uses well-known brands of products
The car detailing world is filled with an endless myriad of washers, cleaners, polishes, waxes, coatings, etc. Every company claims its products are better because they make your car shinier and last longer than their competitors'.

So, how do you know if the products used by a car groomer are any good?

Research the brands of products that the company uses. Some well-known brands include Meguiar's, Auto Finesse, Autoglym and Sonax. These brands have been around for a long time, so if you want to play it safe, go with a detailer than uses them.

Of course, there is also nothing wrong with trying products from newer brands. For keen DIY detailers, this is part of the fun - and the challenge of finding space at home to store them!
3. Skills and techniques

Cars must be washed and clayed before polishing, waxing or sealant application is performed
You don't judge a detailer by the number of shiny cars, satisfied clients, likes and followers on his social media account.

Ask to see problems, such as swirl marks, that they have corrected. A good detailer will be able to show you 'before & after' photos.

Checking for swirl marks isn't just done under natural light. Car groomers will also use LED torches to inspect the paintwork before and after they have worked on it.

Ask about their processes. Proper detailing involves not just washing a car, but using a clay bar to decontaminate the paint surface before it is polished. After polishing, paintwork has to either be waxed or sealed to protect it. Avoid any car groomer who says polish alone can protect the car!
4. Rapport

Your rapport with your detailer is important - after all, you are entrusting him with your car!
Your rapport with a car groomer is just as important as the skills and techniques of the staff he or she employs.

If you're a detailing enthusiast yourself, you'll know when you've found rapport with a firm. The boss will try to answer all your queries, and you'll find yourselves agreeing on various methods and solutions. Personally, I like seeing the boss of a firm working on his clients' cars, too.

Now, most importantly, is your car groomer honest?

There will be detailers claiming to be able to fix any problem. But this is impossible. Older cars, or cars with very thin coats of paint, are going to be very hard to polish without the huge risk of stripping the paint itself.

I would rather trust a car groomer who has turned away customers and advised them to get a respray because the paint is already too marred!
Here are some articles you might be interested in

Recommended NEA certified car pest fumigation & removal Services in Singapore

6 reputable car grooming & polishing service providers in Singapore

9 paint protection specialists that Singaporeans can rely on

Not sure which car groomer to entrust your car with? Check out these recommended professional car detailers!
Torque The article first appeared in the August 2020 issue of Torque. Log on to their website to subscribe.

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