Portland auto detailer discusses services and costs

What comes with a basic detailing package, and how much does it cost?

"For my basic detail, I wash and wax the exterior and clean the wheels and tires. I wash both the insides and outsides of the windows. On the inside, I scrub everything - the center console, the dashboard, everything - and shampoo the floor mats. I take everything out of the car and vacuum to make sure I've gotten everything out from under the seats. I usually vacuum a car a minimum of three times throughout a detail to make sure I've gotten everything.

"The price depends on the vehicle. It starts at $135 for standard automobiles and $155 for trucks or SUVs, and it can go up from there, depending on how out of shape it is when the customer brings it to me. I also do other packages that are more for basic upkeep, like washing and drying the car and doing the windows or doing a wash and wax. I'd also suggest getting your car detailed if you're planning on selling it.

"I'm not qualified to make repairs or do maintenance, but if I find something, I'll let them know."

What's your back- ground and experience in this industry?

"I've owned this shop for a little more than a year, and I worked on and off for the previous owner as well. I've got three or four years of experience, not including what I did as a kid, when I worked on my neighbors' cars. "In addition to cars, I do motorcycles, and I actually do bicycles, too. We're licensed, bonded and insured. If people aren't satisfied with the job, and it isn't very often that they aren't, they'll let me know and I'll go over anything I might have missed."

What are some of the toughest stains and odors to remove?

"Oil is really hard to get out. Really set-in stains are bad, too, like if somebody spills coffee and lets it sit for too long. The tougher stains are things like cranberry juice. Pretty much anything red, with the dye in it, is tough to get out. If it's a stain I can't remove, I tell the client right away that it more than likely won't come out, but I try my best.

"One of my worst cars was a full detail, and it was the most disgusting thing ever. I think someone had thrown up in the backseat and it had soaked in. Full details usually take a day to a day and a half, and the customer wanted the car in four hours. I had to call two other people in to help me."


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