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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Reading through forums and there seems to be a general consensus that letting the dealer detail your car is a big no-no.

Has this been blown out of proportion? Is it a bigger deal with a Phantom Black car than say a Meteor Gray?

I expect my car to come into the dealer next week and I'm a little reluctant to tell them 'don't detail' and then hand her over to another 'professional detailer' who I have no personal familiarity with.

What are your thoughts on this?

I'm in Austin, TX. So it'd also be good to know if anybody out there has personal experience with the dealer in town or a particular detailer.
 

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I let the dealer do my Meteor Grey. It had fine swirl marks visible in the sun. There were scratches visible near the sunroof towards the front windscreen. A long scratch on front bonnett near right headlight cover.

The inside of the car was also dirty in places - roofliner had some black marks (easily removed at home), seats had course grit in between seats (easily removed).

Nothing was particularly life threatenig and all was easily corrected later but it's just plain sloppy and frustrating.

I did not complain or speak to my dealer about the delivery problems. After all, what are they going to do?

It depends on the dealer of course... but if your fussy I'd skip the dealer detail (and will certainly be next time) to play it safe.

However - if you're a typical car purchaser you may not even notice.
 

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I've also wondered about this... I'm picking up my car in a month or so (I hope). What do the stealers actually do to the car when they detail it? How does a freshly arrived car look like?
 

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I have enough marks on the car from the initial dealer detail that i will politely ask them to never wash it again when i bring it in for service. I'm sure some are better than others but why take a chance.
 

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yes, just hang out some time and watch them do somebody else's car...it will answer your question (and give you shivers)
 

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Pre-delivery Inspection = detailing?

If you see these cars when they arrive off the ship you would be horrified. The first demo I saw after they took the wrappers off it was covered in dust, grubby marks, and some residue from what they used to call Rapguard.

Audi had this thing called PDI which mean't pre-delivery inspection and later changed name to perfect delivery inspection. There were lots of detailing procedures to remove surface contaminants, and buff out minor scratches.

So, the bottom line is you DO want the car to be detailed.

I share everyone's concern that in the hands of a idiot paint can get damaged by careless cleaning. I was particularly picky when I picked mine up but the dealer did a first class job.

My only suggestion is go to your dealer and let them know....a couple of times... "look after my car" and "don't give it to the kid to clean" You could also take a look at cars awaiting delivery to other customers to see how well your dealer prepares the cars - its not a bad indication.

On the plus side, the clear coat is scratch resistant and swirl marks can be buffed out. The real issue with the clear coat is its poor chemical resistance particularly to bird crap.

just my 2 cents...LOL
 

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If you insist on having it detailed, you can provide your own microfiber towels for them to use. That's where the problem is. They use the same muddy towels over and over and that's what causes the swirls.

Hopefully they won't dry your wheels and tires first, and then proceed to dry the body of your car like they did mine before I ran over and stopped them....:rolleyes:
 

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If you insist on having it detailed, you can provide your own microfiber towels for them to use. That's where the problem is. They use the same muddy towels over and over and that's what causes the swirls.

Hopefully they won't dry your wheels and tires first, and then proceed to dry the body of your car like they did mine before I ran over and stopped them....:rolleyes:
Bloody hell. That's a rookie mistake that you really shouldn't expect a main dealer to make.
 

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The Austin dealer detailed mine, and for the most part it wasn't bad. Yes, this is the OCD anonymous, and I am a charter member with my Phantom Black beauty. Since my car supposedly had hail damage, they probably went over it with a little more care, so I didn't notice any glaring issues. Moving forward, I will opt out of any detailing because I am handling all of that myself. After I took delivery, I washed it and waxed it twice to get my own paint protection started, and as my neighbors will attest, OCD doesn't come close to describing it. Nobody will take better care of my car than me...:D
 

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Def check with your dealer regarding the detailing. I was fairly concerned that there would be imperfections caused by the detail work done at delivery with my car. However, it was absolutely perfect. When going over everything with the dealer prior to delivery. I made it clear that I was pretty worried about the delivery detail work. However, my salesman advised that the guy that did the work at my dealer initially had his own detail business. Still skeptical, I resolved to wait and see.... The car came out perfect. I watched the detail guy drive it up & then check every inch of the car himself while I watched from inside. Another salesman walked up to the car & put his finger on the window while chatting to someone; the detail guy started yelling at him to get away from the car & then spent a few minutes cleaning the window off. Awesome! Anyway, I've had some real issues getting cars cleaned at dealers in the past. So def not something to take lightly, just talk to your salesman, and if necessary meet the detail guy & make a decision.
 

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It all depends upon who you happen to get

The bottom line with all of this is that it really depends upon who you happen to get to detail your car at the dealership. You could buy your car from a large, top notch dealership and be unfortunate enough to get a detailer who's not meticulous about things. On the other hand, you could buy your car from a small, low volume dealership and get a detailer who's as good as they come.

So, unless you've had prior personal experience with the detailer, there's really no guarantee on how the quality of the detailing is going to turn out. I think that's why a lot of folks on here (myself included) have chosen not to chance it at the dealership, and just hire our own professional detailers that we're familiar with or come recommended by others.
 

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Could someone please explain what's actually being done when detailing a car? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Appreciate all the info guys. You've all made a valid case here. Now the search for a good detailer here in Austin.
 
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