By Don Paradis, CD, Obsessive Auto Detailing LLC, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

I was recently detailing a regular customer’s brand-new truck. My customer had purchased it the day before and wanted to have me out ASAP to detail it and apply a ceramic coating. Working as a mobile detailer, there are often curious neighbors that come by and ask questions. One asked why I was detailing a brand-new truck. Being brand new, it surely must be perfect, right? When I was done detailing the truck, the neighbor came back by and remarked how the truck looked even better than when I started.

A common inquiry I receive from new customers is why do we need to fully detail every vehicle, even brand-new cars, before starting a maintenance plan. “It is brand new, it just needs a quick wash.” “I don’t need any protection applied, it is brand new.” “The dealer prepped the car.” “The dealer included paint protection or fabric protection in my financing.” “New cars have clear coat paint, they don’t need wax!” “They waxed it at the factory.” These are all common misconceptions.

Not only is it important to detail a car when it is brand new, it is the ideal time to start off right with a proper detail and protection products. There are many reasons why a new car should be detailed, let’s cover some:

1. New cars arrive from the factory with zero protection applied to the exterior or interior. As professional detailers, we have the correct products to maintain your car for its entire lifetime.

2. Car dealers typically don’t apply any protective products to new cars. Most of the products sold by dealers, such as paint and fabric protection, are insurance products (warranties) with no or limited protective properties.

3. New cars are seldom prepped properly. Things like sticker residue from the plastic shipping wrapping are often left on the paint and wheels. If not removed, the sun bakes it into the paint causing permanent damage. Most of our customers have us remove dealer stickers, door cups and door edge protectors, and other things added by dealers that can cause long-term damage if left in place. Many cars arrive to the consumer with swirls, scratches, marring, or other paint defects that need correction.

4. Regular washing doesn’t remove the contamination found on new cars. They are shipped by boat, train, and on car carriers before reaching the consumer. They are covered with environmental contaminants, tar, road film, iron fallout, sap, bird droppings, water spots, and other substances that all need proper removal. Many of these things are not visible to the eye after a wash but are present on the paint, glass, and trim and need proper removal to avoid long-term damage.

5. Vehicle interiors need protection from fading, dirt, spills, and stains. Interior surfaces including plastic, leather, fabric, and carpeting should all be treated to maintain and protect their appearance. Off-gassing from new car materials and plastics needs to be cleaned properly. Off-gassing is especially visible on the inside of vehicle glass and the windshield in the form of a fog or haze.

6. Black plastic trim, chrome trim, and headlights need protection. This will help prevent fading and yellowing.

7. Brake dust is corrosive and needs to be cleaned from the wheel faces, inner wheel barrels, and calipers to prevent etching and unsightly damage. Brand new brake pads generate heavy amounts of dust during initial break-in. This is especially important to clean properly in cars with metallic brake pads.

8. Detailing on a regular basis leads to higher resale value. The difference between a three-year-old car that was consistently detailed and one that was only detailed before resale is evident and impacts the value of the car.

9. New cars have dirt buildup in overlooked areas. Such areas include window tops and edges, door sills and door frames, trunk frames, moonroof tracks, panel gaps, around emblems, trim gaps, inner wheel wells, and inner wheel barrels. Over time this buildup embeds into the surfaces, making full removal difficult and sometimes impossible. As professional detailers, we take care of these overlooked areas.

10. Detailing a new car makes it look better than new. Many people think brand new off the dealer’s lot is the best a car can look. This isn’t true; in fact, I can’t recall working on a brand-new car that didn’t need something fixed or improved. A properly completely professional detail will always enhance, protect, and further maintain the appearance of the vehicle.

About the Author: Don Paradis, CD, is the owner of Obsessive Auto Detailing LLC, an Opti-Coat Ceramic Coating Authorized and Certified Installer. They provide mobile auto detailing, ceramic coating, paint correction, and restoration services in Las Vegas, Summerlin, Henderson, and North Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.