We’ve all experienced the joy of driving a brand new car for the first time. There’s something about the way the paintwork shines and how a new car smells that make it really satisfying even if you’re just slowly cruising down the street. And that’s probably why we bring our cars to detailers to get it polished and waxed from time to time, to keep it looking just like new. There’s no point driving a nice car with all the horsepower in the world if it lacks that finesse to turn heads. Think about it, a beater car modified with aftermarket parts may have the same amount of horsepower as a supercar, but does it really stir the same emotions when you see one coming down the street?
Unlike most teenagers that grew up with a love of fast cars, Darren Chang, the Technical Director of Autodetailer in Petaling Jaya, was obsessed with keeping cars spick and span. When he was a young boy, Chang learned how to wash, polish and wax his car from his father. In college, he got a yellow 1972 VW Beetle and spent most of his free time learning how to work with old paint, clean the interiors and restore the shine to chrome. Today, Chang has been running Autodetailer for 14 years and his clients’ cars range from classic vintage automobiles to the latest sportscars. Each of them trusts Chang with bringing out the best in their vehicles, making him the right person to talk to for this month’s The Peak Expert.
01 BACK TO BASICS
What you need to know about auto detailing.
NOT ALL CARS ARE CREATED EQUAL
Even though your car is brand new, the paintwork may not be 100 per cent perfect. From the time it rolls off the assembly line to when you start driving it, there are many things that can happen, forcing manufacturers to repaint certain areas of the car. Understanding the type of paint and which areas have been repainted is key to designing the right detailing package needed for your car.
CLEARLY, IT’S QUITE COMPLEX
Every car that comes off the assembly line is covered with a clear coat, which is what gives the car its gleam. When you polish your car, essentially what you’re doing is removing a bit of this clear coat, thus giving it its ‘new’ appearance. However, because polishing is an abrasive process, it may not be wise to drop off your car for a polish every month. Even brand new cars have gone through two or three rounds of polishing before it reaches your hands and up to 25 per cent of this clear coat may have been removed. Once the clear coat is gone, the paint is unprotected, starts to look dull and loses its clarity.
Due to our weather, over time, the plastic and rubber components inside your imported luxury car may deteriorate. There are ways to repair and restore this instead of just replacing the components, which can be costly. Additionally, the interior of your car is a combination of many different materials, including plastic, metal, rubber and leather; each of these elements has to be treated differently in the detailing process.