Atlanta auto detailer gives car tips
Nelson Williams, owner
The Detail Store
1000 Crosstown Drive, Peachtree City, Ga.
Q: What comes with a basic detailing package, and how much does it cost?
A: "There really isn't a basic detailing package. Some customers want the exterior cleaned, polished and waxed. Some want the entire interior of a vehicle cleaned, and others want just a certain section done, like the seats.
"A full-detail package means the outside is washed, polished and waxed and the interior is shampooed, cleaned and conditioned. The trunk is also vacuumed and cleaned. Conditioning means we clean the leather seats and apply a conditioner that helps preserve the leather material and keep it soft and supple.
"The cost depends on the size and condition of the car. I don't have a set price. Full service typically runs $175 to $200 for a four-passenger sedan. For an SUV, it would be more. A full-service detail usually takes about eight hours. We don't do off-site work."
Q: What are some of the toughest stains and odors to remove?
A: "Pet urine, gasoline, spoiled dairy products and decomposed grass are probably the worst. Dyes in things like strawberry drinks, orange sodas and some crayon colors can't be removed - you might as well get the carpets or the seats redyed because you can't shampoo it out. Once, I had an individual drive his SUV from the Georgia coast back to Atlanta with a cooler of shrimp and scallops in the rear compartment. The ice had melted and the liquids were leaking out. We kept the car for three days.
"The car's condition is important if you're going to try to resell the vehicle. You can ask top dollar for a vehicle that looks and smells nice. It also may sell quicker. To keep everything fresh, a full detail should be done about once a year. I'd have the car waxed and the leather seats and carpet cleaned once every six months. This all depends on the usage of the vehicle."
Q: What's your background and experience in this industry?
A: "The company has been here about 12 years. I've been doing automobile detailing and car washing for 12 years as well. There's no state or federal government licensing for this work, but we've had some training from our suppliers. We're insured, and we'll provide a satisfaction guarantee for the work we perform. If something isn't done to the customer's satisfaction, we'll do our darnedest to make it right."