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VOL. 3, NO. 3 SUMMER 2018

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CONTENTS

Letter from the Editor

Modern Detailing . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Will Your Small Business Fail or Succeed?

Switching Gears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 How one detailer took on a whole new line of work

Industry News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 History Buff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Basket Case

Open for Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Porsche or Pinto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 It’s all fun & games!

Innovations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Shining Star: Success Stories . . 18 Meet William Lara of Miami Luxe Detailing

Hall of Stains. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Horror Story: Fro Yo Oh No

Detail Doctor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Do you know the 7 Deadly Detailing Sins?

The Fast and the Curious . . . . . . 24 Everything you need to know about detailing convertibles

Comic ‘Con’Sole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 In case you thought you were the only one having to deal with disgusting car consoles

Vol. 3, No. 3, Summer 2018 Publisher: Jackson Vahaly Editor: Debra Gorgos Design: Katy Barrett-Alley Auto Detailing News is published 4 times per year and is independently owned by Jackson Vahaly. Web address is www.autodetailingnews.com

All inquiries should be directed to: Auto Detailing News 110 Childs Ln. Franklin, TN 37067 jacksonv@autodetailingnews.com

One More Thing . . . It is a hot and muggy July morning in upstate New York and I am feeling extremely motivated and inspired. Why?

Because a magician just gave out some of the best advice I have ever heard. He isn’t just any magician, but the infamous David Blaine. I got to see him live in Albany, New York. Shocking the audience with extreme slight of hand and almostsuper human feats (he swallowed an entire frog… and spit it out a few minutes later), he had a sweet moment with a person in the audience during a Q & A after the show. Sitting down on stage and recovering from having spent 10+ minutes holding his breath in a tank of water, a member of the audience asked Blaine for some advice. The question was something along the lines of, “What is the key to success?” or something like that. I wasn’t interested in Blaine’s answer because they are usually all the same, and, don’t get me wrong as all of those are wonderful answers. But, Blaine’s advice was a bit more complex yet simple at the same time. “Be okay with failing, failing, failing and failing again. Failure is your best friend.” Huh? I thought while looking up at the stage. How is failure a friend? He opined that you shouldn’t hate failing, it is a great gift. That night, I struggled to sleep, perhaps from the adrenaline of watching a magician jab an icepick through his arm live on stage. Whatever the reason, I turned on the TV to the DIY Network. A show was on featuring Dale Earnhardt, Jr. I Googled to find out more about the show and articles came up with similar headlines about how Dale Earnhardt Jr. got fired while working at his dad’s dealership. If you ever have a free minute read the story on racingnews.com with the headline: Dale Earnhardt Jr was

fired from his dad’s dealership – Sending him on a path to race cars. Dale stated that he was the best oil changer on the lot and everything was fine until a new manager came on the scene and demanded the staff stay after work for a meeting, but would not get paid. “I said, ‘That aint the way it works you gotta let everybody stay on the clock,’” Dale said in the story. “He said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Well, I’m going home.’ I came back the next day. He said, ‘You need to take a couple days off.’” The manager ended up firing Dale, even though his dad owned the place. Unfazed, Dale Sr. decided to have his son work on his sister Kelley’s vehicle. “…He paid me $100/ week more than I was making at the dealership to work on Kelley’s race car. I built a brand new car for her. We started racing at Tri-County and I started going with her to the races. …It was the best thing that happened to me. I probably wouldn’t be a race car driver today, had that not happened.” Both Blaine and Earnhardt Jr. provide stories of inspiration. Some might view getting fired as a huge blow, it can also be the best thing that ever happened or will happen to you. Some might think a partner leaving them is a failure, but some incidents are really opening doors to something better. continued ...

Copyright © 2018 2 Dollar Enterprises/Auto Detailing News All Rights Reserved.

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Letter from the Editor Hitting A Homerun In other news, I love this issue as I got to interview the amazing Rick Goldstein, President of Wolfsteins Pro-Series, and Matthew Williams, Matthew Williams Director of Business Development The Haartz Corporation for the cover story. I feel as if I hit a home run in getting to interview these two on convertible top care. They truly know their stuff and gave the absolute best advice and information. If you’re going to talk convertibles, these are the two to consult. There is also a great stain story on frozen yogurt, and two wonderful interviews with two detailers who are out there, putting in the hard work and finding success. A new section has been included that features pictures of dirty consoles. Some are so gross, I had to look away. I have said this time and time again,

but I truly admire the talent and muscle you put into cleaning up your customers’ messes. If you have any disgusting console photos, please send them my way. Also, keep sending in those stain stories, those success stories, and anything else you would like to share. I can be reached at debrag@autodetailingnews.com.

Jose Fernandez III

BEFORE

AFTER

Shawn Kosier

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

One more thing… And, one more thing before I go! I received a bunch of wonderful before and after photos. Those photos are included here. You all are amazing. If you are proud of your work, please send photos my way and will we get them into a future issue! Until next time,

Mike Antenucci

Join Today & Get Involved! The-IDA.com

Education | Certification | Social Media Discussions | Awards Programs | Technical Expertise | Newsletters | And more!

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VOL. 3, NO. 3 • SUMMER 2018


MODERN

DETAILING

Will Your Small Business Fail or Succeed? By Rob Schruefer

rob@onspotdetailing.com

Did you know that in the first three years a small business only has an 80% chance of survival? The next five years will also see the closure of 70% of the ones that made it for the first three years. I am not sharing these statistics to be a downer, or to tell you that your business is going to fail. The purpose is to stress the reality of owning a small business, especially a detailing business. The detailing industry is relatively easy to get into, both in terms of necessary experience/training and cost. These two factors create a bloom of detailing businesses every spring that have little to no chance of succeeding. Unfortunately, this is not due to a lack of drive, skill, or market conditions. They will fail because of a lack of basic knowledge about the business aspect of running a detailing operation. If you have not already done so,

I recommend reading the book The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber. This book offers remarkable insights into why some small businesses make it, and most fail. The book breaks down small business owners into three categories: The technician, the manager, and the entrepreneur. A successful business has an owner than can maintain all three roles. The issue that I predominantly see with detailing businesses is that the owner does not know how or is not willing to be more than the technician. Here is an example of a common path of the detailing business owner:

MEET ROB

Rob has been detailing cars for years. He has worked for a few different detailing companies and has acquired the skills necessary to make him a valuable asset to any detailing company. Rob is a fantastic detailing technician. One day a light bulb goes off, and Rob says, “I know how to do this, and I

already put in the hours. Maybe I should just start my own company.” With the urging of his friends and family, Rob’s Car Detailing is born. With big dreams, Rob gets to work. Rob works hard detailing all of the vehicles and helping the customers. The cars look great and the customers are happy with their services. On the surface everything looks great, but behind the scenes things begin to fall apart. The books are not getting done, customer leads are not being followed up on, and the business is not growing. Rob finds running the business aspect overwhelming and lets things slip because he would rather detail a vehicle than deal with the boring aspects of receivables, marketing, and development. Rob is working more hours to keep up, and becoming more and more burned out. Rob cannot take a day off for vacation or illness. Without being there Rob does not feel as though the business can operate how he envisions. Before long, Rob realizes that he has not created a business to set

himself free from working for others. Instead, he has created a job for himself which is making him less money with more responsibility. Does this sound like you? Do not worry, all hope is not lost. You can learn the skills necessary to make your business a profitable success. Unfortunately, it is impossible to teach someone how to operate a successful business through one article, but I will provide some key points every business owner should know.

WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS,

NOT IN IT

One of the most important things I ever did as a business owner was to fire myself as a detailer. This decision forced me to stay in the office creating the infrastructure of On The Spot. You need to hire the right employees and spend time training them until they are able to do the work just as well as you, or continued ...

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maybe even better. This will ensure that the business will operate efficiently and properly, even when you are not there.

TRUST YOUR PEOPLE TO DO

THEIR JOB

The hardest thing for any detail owner to do is trust an employee to provide the same quality service as they would themselves. Every business needs employees who are trusted to perform daily duties without supervision. Proper training, oversight, and motivation will ensure that all employees uphold the high standards of the company even when the owner is not present. By showing trust in your employees they will in-turn work harder to not break that trust.

PLAN AHEAD

It is important to look at the bigger picture. What does the future hold for

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you and your company? Do you have a desired income level? Do you have an age at which you would like to hand the business over to your son or daughter? Looking ahead will allow you to plan the next one, two, five, or 10 years for your business. This provides the opportunity to set goals or benchmarks to mark success along the path.

DON’T FEAR

CHANGE

In the detailing industry, technologies, products, and techniques are constantly changing. Staying up to date on the newest innovations in tools and chemicals can provide breakthroughs in efficiency and quality. As your company grows, there will also be changes in processes and employee roles. Being willing to facilitate change within your company will prevent stagnation and allow employees and the business to flourish.

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VOL. 3, NO. 3 • SUMMER 2018

JOIN THE

COMMUNITY

There are two different communities that you should be a part of: The detailing community, and the local community in which you operate. The detailing community has lots of resources in the form of forums, webinars, and trade organizations such as the International Detailing Association (IDA). Networking with detailing professionals at shows and events will provide insight and knowledge, and is well worth the cost of travel. Local organizations such as networking groups, or the chamber of commerce will get your business out there and allow you to meet other business owners in your community. Making business and personal connections are invaluable tools in the success of your business. These are just a few examples of principles to incorporate to help your

detailing business succeed. There is also no single path to creating a successful and profitable detailing business and no one knows your goals better than you. Although, the ultimate goal is to always do something you love, and being paid well to do it. Both of these are achievable with hard work, dedication, and a readiness to step outside of your comfort zone. Be open to cultivating a positive work environment and willing to take risks when necessary. Allow yourself to build a business that can operate without you, and provide you with the freedom that you dreamed of when you began your business. This will ensure that you beat the odds and see continued success in the detailing industry.

Rob Schruefer is the owner of On The Spot Detailing out of Columbia, Maryland. He proudly serves on the Board of the International Detailing Association and works tirelessly to ensure that detailing business owners receive business development support to help them achieve their goals.


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Nitty Gritty

Switching Gears How one detailer took on a whole new line of work

Chris Evans has worked in the automotive and cleaning industry for almost 15 years. From being a truck driver for a GM supplier to being a mobile detailer, to being an event specialist for Nissan Titan, he has held his fair share of job titles and has lived in his fair share of the

Detail Shop Manager of TRS which stands for Total Recon Solutions. And, while auto reconditioning services have always been around, its place in the auto appearance industry is becoming its own entity and detailers have an opportunity to expand their offerings, or career

United States. Recently, he moved to Anaheim, California, to take on an emerging line of work. Called auto reconditioning, he is now the

paths. Evans recently took the time to share his story, as well as his new career trajectory with Auto Detailing News.

Why and when did you decide to be a detailer? Chris Evans: It all started in 1988 on my mom’s 1978 Ford Pinto. It was the only way I could convince her to let me drive it to the local store to impress a girl. No, I never got the girl, but what I did get was an understanding that girls pay attention to guys in cars. So, it was a done deal for me. I looked at it like this: I’m impressing the ladies, I’m one of the cool kids and I’m making money. Yea, detailing was the job for me from there on.

What was the industry like for you when you started? CE: As an amateur it was easy in those days. Trying to become a professional was a little more difficult. See, I was born and raised in the ghetto on the West Side of Chicago, so my options were limited. I stayed with it and worked with what I had available to me. For example: I once used the Fire Hydrant to wash cars. Someone had opened it so us kids could play and cool off; I went to get a buck-

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et, a bottle of “Joy Dish Washing Detergent” and my mother’s window cleaner and charged $3.00 a car. As time went on and customers wanted more, I had to step it up to meet the demand. So, with time and practice and of course burning the hell out of several cars, I developed and refined my skill set. So special thanks to all those customers who gave me a pass when I was kid, as I definitely messed up their cars.

How did the job offer and your move out to California come about? CE: This position came about from one of the relationships I have developed within the International Detailing Association (IDA). A good friend recommended me almost a year ago when the company, TRS, was looking to expand in Ohio. Even though TRS withdrew from Ohio we stayed in touch, got to know each other better and with acquiring a new location, one of the owners asked if I would entertain the thought of relocating to California to take on one of the |

VOL. 3, NO. 3 • SUMMER 2018

facilities. After rolling out the red carpet for me, viewing a few different locations, we went to church and then to dinner to finalize our agreement.

How is Auto reconditioning different from detailing? CE: The simplest explanation I can give is this: Reconditioning is more along the lines of repairing a vehicle. Things like headlights, bumpers, deep scratches, burn marks, dying carpet and sets. They both have correction and protection aspects of them.

Where in California are you located? CE: I’m in Anaheim California; at the Manheim California facility.

Do you see the structure of this new line of work as something that might be of interest to other detailers? CE: Absolutely. This industry is made up of more than just detailers. As Renny

Dole stated in most interviews I’ve seen, “We have a very high percentage of college graduates in our industry.” So as professional detailers, we have other skills and talents that we incorporate into our detailing careers. For instance: We have people like Renny who is team leader for Air Force One; Justin Labato, who is the youngest Board member ever for the IDA; and Kevin Davis who is the inventor of The Detailer’s Helper. And, those are just a few of the more public figures in the industry. But there are so many others [out there]! Like the immediate past IDA president Michael Dickson who has 37 years as a supplier of detailing products at Ohio Auto Supply, Prentice St. Clair who is one of the founding fathers of the IDA. You would be amazed at the skill, talent and passion the industry is producing. So, for detailers who have an interest in the corporate side of detailing; those opportunities are there as well.


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EVENTS CALENDAR

Industry News Towel Pros expands with four distribution centers

Northeast Regional Carwash Convention (NRCC) OCT 1-3, 2018 Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, NJ www.nrccshow.com

2018 SEMA Show OCT 30-NOV 2, 2018 Las Vegas Convention Center www.semashow.com

Car Wash Show™ Australia OCT 30-NOV 1, 2018 Etihad Stadium, Melbourne www.acwa.net.au

Robert Regan, owner of Towel Pros Microfiber Specialists of Santa Barbara, California, is expanding his business with the opening of four distribution centers in New Jersey, Texas, Washington and Florida. According to a press release, Regan, who also is a third grade teacher as well as owner of Santa Barbara Auto Detailing, started Towel Pros in 1995. “I understood early in my detailing career the importance of using soft, absorbent material for cleaning automobiles and precious surfaces, something that was durable but did not leave lint or microfine scratches,” he stated in the press release. “With Towel Pros, I perfected the durable, absorbent microfiber fabric, which is capable of absorbing seven times its weight in soil or liquid, making it ideal for cleaning surfaces like car paint, glass, metal, countertops, vinyl, and ceramics that are susceptible to fine scratches, holograms, smudges, streaks, and water spots.” Justin Labato launches training center in Melbourne

2019 Mobile Tech Expo JAN 10-12, 2019 Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida www.mobiletechexpo.com

Autogeek’s 2019 Detail Fest & Car Show MARCH 9-10, 2019 Location: TBA www.autogeek.net/detail-fest.html

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AUTO DE TAILING NEWS

Justin “JL” Labato (CD, SV, RT), president of the International Detailing Association (IDA) has officially launched one of only four Detailing Success “Extreme Detailing” Training Centers in Melbourne, Australia, a press released reported. The 1-day, “Extreme Detailing” courses focus on certifications in the use of Double Black’s “Game Changer” car care line, Inspiration ceramic coating, the proper operation of Flex power buffers, and the application of Glassparency glass protection. Detailers from the Eastern

ITW Evercoat names new Director of U.S. Sales James Cooley has been named the new Director of U.S. Sales of ITW Evercoat. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Evercoat is a division of Illinois Tool Works Inc. Cooley will be responsible for strategically leading the U.S. sales organization for the Evercoat® brand of collision repair products and the Auto Magic® brand of professional car care products, a press release stated.

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VOL. 3, NO. 3 • SUMMER 2018

“We are very pleased that James has joined ITW Evercoat”, said Steve Levine, Vice President and General Manager of ITW Evercoat. “During his career, James has demonstrated sales excellence through his collaborative approach with customers. He will be an asset to us as he leads our U.S. team of sales professionals who are focused on being strategic partners with our customers.”

Seaboard are welcomed to attend and receive their certifications. Labato’s RT designation qualifies him to train and certify new detailers according to IDA standards. He has in the past year, held two unofficial detail training events, but is now officially designated a Detailing Success Training Center, backed by the IDA. The Double Black line is a rapidly expanding private label car care line manufactured and distributed by P&S Sales for Doyle who is known internationally as the “Detailer of Air Force One” having restored the original presidential jet Air Force One over the past 15 years from complete deterioration to an annual preservation event involving other multimillion-dollar historic aircraft housed at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. Labato is currently a 2018 team leader and has served or been selected for the team for the past five years.


Detailer finds lost shoe, restores faith in humanity Columnist Gwen Rockwood of the Cedar Republican “Rockwood Files” had just about given up all hope of ever finding her lost, beloved sandal. “I’d nearly convinced myself it had fallen out of a car door when we stopped for gas, which meant it had been abandoned at a Conoco in Des Moines, Iowa,” wrote Rockwood. “After six months, I almost threw away the lonely [remaining] shoe, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It was my favorite pair – the perfect blend of comfy and cute – and I’d bought them during a fun shopping trip with four of my five sisters-in-law. So, I hung onto the solo sandal a bit longer.” Two months later, and eight months since the sandal went

missing, Rockwood’s husband bought her a detailing gift card for her birthday. Rockwood took her car in for a detailing and was impressed with the detailer’s talent, but that’s not all. “Someone who has a PhD in nooks and crannies went into action. In addition to sparkling clean cupholders and a gleaming dashboard, the car detailer also left behind a surprise on the passenger seat – the shoe. Rockwood was more than overjoyed that the shoe was found. She even danced when she got home. “It wasn’t just about the shoe. It also was validation sometimes, even when circumstances don’t seem to be going our way, there’s always a chance the thing we want will turn up,” she wrote. “Something will shift which makes things possible which weren’t possible before. Perhaps sometimes what we need to do is just wait and hang

oming! C s w e N g in il a t Keep Auto De DDRESS?

A F O E G N A CH w at re to let us kno

Industry

onto hope and a bin of single socks until things work themselves out.”

NEWS

I’ll take a white wine and a wax, please?

more enjoyable.” Customers would be limited to two drinks only and customers would have to be at least 21 to gamble and/ or drink. The business already has lottery machines onsite in the waiting room.

Fast Eddie’s Car Wash and Detail Center of McHenry, Illinois, is hoping it can soon offer wine, liquor and video gambling to its customers, the Northwest Herald reported. Owners Joe and Kim Doherty stated that customers can wait up to four hours for their cars to be cleaned, depending on the package chosen. “After two years of perfecting this plan, we feel video gaming at Fast Eddie’s would provide a great diversion for those who would like to game,” the owners stated in a letter to McHenry City Council members. “It would make their wait time with us

Detailer’s kind gesture makes headlines A detailer came through for a teenager in Riverton, Wyoming, after her cause was vandalized. According to the Star Tribune, high school continued ...

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cheerleader ‘Elisabeth Carey’s’ car was spray-painted with a derogatory term (her name was changed to protect her anonymity). Carey, who was inside her high school at the time her car was being vandalized had no idea about the spray paint and ended up driving home. That is when detailer Jimmy Mena of Freemont Auto Reconditioning noticed the car. Unable to flag her down, Mena, who came to Wyoming from Los Angeles, took to his Facebook page asking if anyone knew the driver. Eventually Carey’s father heard about the Facebook post and reached out to Mena who ended up cleaning up her car and the graffiti for free. “To me, it’s bullying,” Mena said

Industry

in the story. “I don’t stand for that bullying sh--.” Carey said in the story that she is forever grateful for Mena’s detailing talents and kindness.

Economy is strong, states SEMA Overall, the U.S. economy continues to look strong, according to a SEMA market report. The SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) written by Kyle Cheng, was published this past June. “Despite rising gas prices and ongoing political uncertainties in international trade,

NEWS

consumer confidence remains high. Consumers have room to maintain, and even increase, their spending in the near-term.” Cheng stated that the unemployment rate in May was down 3.8% thanks to the addition of 223,000 new jobs. “Additionally, businesses look well positioned for growth and sentiment looks strong,” the report stated.

History BUFF Basket case

THE

24/7 DETAILERS ROUNDTABLE 12

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AUTO DETAILING NEWS

Who’s wild about wicker? Anyone? Well, it isn’t just for baskets and patio furniture because back in the day, cars were made of the woven wood. Dating all the way back to 1897, the French produced the Hugot with a body made entirely of wicker (there was also a 3½ horsepower motor if anyone was wondering). Next, came the 1898 Wartburgwagen, made in Wartburg, Germany, by the Eisenbach Company. However, it wasn’t until 1914-15 that wicker vehicles became a bit more road ready. The Electriquette debuted in Los Angeles and was electric powered and with a body made of wicker. They were rented out to attendees of the San Diego Exhibition for $1 per hour. Next was the 1915 Gadabout Model G out of New Jersey, which had a shockabsorbing wickerwork body. Other models came and went and the last known manufactured wickerbased vehicles were the Fiat Jolly from the late 1950s and the 1966 |

VOL. 3, NO. 3 • SUMMER 2018

DAF Kini. “It was a novel ‘Riviera’ style adaptation by Carrozzeria Ghia of the conventional Fiat 600,” according to the oldwoodies. com. “Wicker was used for both front and rear seats. They are often seen with a canvas surrey top.” As for the DAF Kini, it was, a “royal beach car that Michelotti designed on the basis of a DAF 44 to serve as a beach run-about at Porte Ercole, the Italian summer residence of the Dutch Royal Family,” according to

oldconceptcars.com. As for the history of wicker, according to wickerworks.com, “The word wicker is believed to be of Scandinavian origin: wika which means to bend in Swedish, and vikker meaning willow. Wicker is not a material, but rather an overall classification of furniture woven from any one of a variety of materials [such as] cane (rattan), willow, bamboo, reed etc.”


Industry

NEWS

Open for Business

Manheim, Pennsylvania In what was once an airplane hangar and flight school now sits the brand new Ceramic Pro Auto Spa which specializes in high-end detailing and nanoceramic coatings, Lancaster Online reported. Owner Matt Kelly (along with co-owners Megan Henry, Ryan Schriver and Shea Stevens) partnered with Peter Diebitsch, who is the founder and CEO of Ceramic Pro Americas, this is the first in what they hope to be many Ceramic Pro shops. The next one is planned for San Diego, California. Diebitsch is a Swedish entrepreneur, the story reported, who launched and continues to own eight successful businesses in Northern Europe before moving to America.

Wood River, Illinois “Matt has always been one of the best detailers in the nation,” Diebitsch said in the story, “and one of the first to embrace Ceramic Pro technology. His experience, dedication and ambition made him a logical choice to be the man behind the first Ceramic Pro Auto Spa.” Kelly said around $400,000 was spent renovating the 7,500 building. Everything from a new roof to ripping out the asphalt had to be done before opening day which took place last winter. Along with a waiting list of customers, community events, from a dog and car show to a carnival, are hosted at the shop. Kelly said he is doing this to be a part of the community.

JP Autobody and Detailing Inc is opening its newest location in Wood River after finding success in nearby Jerseyville, Illinois, the River Bender reported. Owned by Justin Pruitt, JP Autobody started out in 2014 and offers window tinting, spray in bed liners, ceramic paint coating and traditional detailing as well. Pruitt has a team of technicians including Michael Mielke and Zach Zieke and window tinting technician Michael Talley. “Our biggest success is our auto detailing,” Pruitt said in the story. “We offer several different types of detailing packages perfect for everyone’s budget.”

Springwoods, Texas Yelm, Washington Auto Bright Car Detailing is now open for business and owned by Eric Rolfe, Nisqually Valley News reported. “After a little bit of time detailing in Olympia, I began to enjoy the ‘before and after’ of it all,” Rolfe told the newspaper. “I really like being able to see something that is not perfect and be able to change it.” Rolfe operates out of Attwood Yelm Auto Sales. “There’s a lot of detailers out there that are trying to make their money to get to the next vehicle,” Rolfe said in the story. “I don’t work like that. I

spend as much time as necessary on that vehicle, so I can make my customer happy.” Telling the newspaper that he will spend 10 hours on a vehicle if necessary, Rolfe thinks a happy customer is his best marketing strategy. Rolfe recently had a customer bring in a truck that was covered in scratches. “It was a monster,” admitted Rolfe, who applied three states of paint restoration. “He jumped on my Facebook page and gave me a five-star rating and won’t stop telling his friends about how awesome his truck looks,” Rolfe said in the story.

Springwood Auto Detail opened for business on May 30, 2018, a Community Impact story reported. Along with a variety of hand-washing and detail packages, the business also offers hand waxing, headlight restoration, and interior and exterior cleaning of personal, commercial, fleet and recreational vehicles. The business’s website states: We are locally owned and operated. Our owners are on-site every day to make sure your vehicle is cleaned to our high standards with exceptional customer service.

Irvington, Virginia Medical Lake, Washington A former Cenex gas station is now an auto detailing business called Wright’s Miracle Auto Reconditioning Service, the Cheney Free Press reported. Owner Rick Wright said auto reconditioning has always been a passion of his, but now it is a profession. Because it is a Miracle Auto Reconditioning Service (MARS) franchise, Wright had to undergo

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AUTO DE TAILING NEWS

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extensive training including 35 classes. “The business will tackle just about any kind of detailing and restoration. An early 70s Chevy Blazer sits in a bay with major work having been done to repair extensive issues with rust. And out under the back canopy sits a faded red and white speed boat, probably close to 50-years-old, that will get all buffed up and newly gel-coated and resold,” states the story.

VOL. 3, NO. 3 • SUMMER 2018

Tim and Tiffany Wolfe officially launched their mobile detailing business, NNK Shine, last May, according to the Rappahannock Record. “[Tim] always had this idea on having a mobile detailing business, wanting to really focus on the boat aspect of it considering the area where we are living,” Tiffany Wolfe said in the story. “We saw that no one was really doing it on a professional level in this area.” Tim received his professional certification from the Detail King Auto Detailing Training Institute in Pennsylvania.


IT’S ALL FUN &

GAMES

Porsche or Pinto?

___ 1982 Honda Gold Wing Aspencade ___ 1971 Chevy 3 quarter Ton Pick Up Truck ___ 1988 Porsche Boxster

It’s no secret that detailers know their cars. But, let’s put the skills to the test.

___ 1970 Cadillac Seville

Can you tell the make, model and year of each vehicle posted below? Answers are on the bottom of the page. Good luck!

___ 1985 Mercury ___ 1988 Cadillac Allante

b

c

d

e

f.

a. 1970 Cadillac Seville b. 1971 Chevy 3 quarter Ton Pick Up Truck

a

c. 1982 Honda Gold Wing Aspencade d. 1985 Mercury

VOL. 3, NO. 3• SUMMER 2018 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS |

15

e. 1988 Cadillac Allante f. 1988 Porsche Boxster


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PRODUCTS FOR PROFESSIONAL AUTO, BOAT AND MOTORCYCLE DETAILERS. Car accessories from Coast to Coast International

|

AUTO DE TAILING NEWS

Color Bond Paint of Media, Pennsylvania, announces the addition of four new colors: 3195 Lexus Night Fall Mica 3196 Mercedes Porcelain 3197 Mercedes Crystal Gray 3198 Magenta Red

Reconditioning training program from Auto Magic® ITW Evercoat, makers of the Auto Magic® brand of professional detailing products has announced the release of an updated version of their industry-leading “6 Stages of Reconditioning” training program. The training program is a complete start-to-finish guide to professionally detail vehicles. From Pre-Wash to Final Inspection, the program provides techniques, product recommendations, and a trouble- shooting guide designed to save the detailer time and money while providing outstanding results. This training program is available through Auto Magic distributors. For additional information or to schedule a “6 Stages of Restoration” training session, visit www. automagic.com and search for a distributor in your area.

Coast to Coast International (CCI) now offers a new line of Grille Overlays, Center Caps, Door Handle Covers and Wheel Skins to help protect and beautify vehicles. CCI is a manufacturer and distributor of automotive parts and accessories and is based out of Tampa, Florida.

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Four new colors from Color Bond Paint

|

VOL. 3, NO. 3 • SUMMER 2018


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Terry Cloth Detail Towel

Steering Wheel Covers 500 case / Universal fit SWC500 $39.99

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Microfiber Detail Towel

16” x 24” - 12 case VSKMF1624 $13.99

3.5lbs. - 16” x 17” - 12 case VSKT350B - Blue $17.50 VSKT350W - White $17.50 VSKT350R- Red $17.50 VSKT350G - Green $17.50


SHINING

STAR

Success Stories

Meet William Lara of Miami Luxe Detailing By Debra Gorgos

debrag@autodetailingnews.com

William Lara isn’t one to sugarcoat his struggles. At one time, he was strapped for cash, strapped for inspiration, and wondering if the future held any kind of financial freedom and success that wasn’t tied to a chastising and controlling boss. Always having had a passion for classic cars, William often looked back on his youth, in which he helped out at a neighbor’s car wash. Paid it tips, he enjoyed the work, but didn’t think a future in such a trade was possible. Along the way, he held several positions – in retail, in loss prevention

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AUTO DETAILING NEWS

– and was drowning in the minutia of it all. Although he felt disconnected, all hope was not lost, because a sign was sent from the career heavens. And that sign, was a YouTube video featuring detailing icon Renny Doyle. “I watched one of his YouTube videos, and a light went off,” William said. “I suddenly felt like: This is what I am meant to do. I am supposed to be detailing cars.” However, even after this professional wake call was delivered, William talked himself out of it, and went back to 9-5 misery. “I got nervous because I didn’t know how to become a detailer. I also didn’t think I could live off of the money I would make.” |

VOL. 3, NO. 3 • SUMMER 2018

But, William didn’t give up altogether and decided to email the infamous Renny about how to become a detailer. And, then, to his amazement, Renny replied. Despite a schedule full of detailings, meetings, interviews, trips, speaking engagements and family matters, Renny took the time to send William a note of encouragement, outlining the steps he should take to make his dream come true. “I couldn’t believe it,” William said. “This man I was watching on YouTube, who I looked up to, sent ME an email.” Around that same time, William went to school for autobody and collision repair. “I thought this was the path I needed to take to work on cars and

also make money. But, the truth is, I wanted to be a detailer, but convinced myself I couldn’t make enough money.” In the meantime, William got married and found work with yet another horrible boss. And, although he was making good money, he started pressure cleaning and bought himself a polisher and a bunch of other detailing tools, and watched more and more auto detailing YouTube videos. And, in 2016, with the encouragement of his wife, Katrina, he got a ticket the 2016 SEMA Show. It was at this show that everything fell into place. “I met Renny in person,” said William, “And then Justin Labato (the current president of the International


Detailing Association). And, they made me feel so welcome at the Show. They took their time to talk to me and answer my questions. I could not believe how cool they were. I started to learn that you can make 100s of dollars on a car. There is a lot of money to be made, if you do the work and the training. I started to see the possibilities and felt as if I was finally on the right path. Then I called my wife and said, ‘I have to do this.’” It has been over a year since Miami Luxe Detailing was started and William couldn’t be more proud of his business, which is now flourishing. A fully mobile business, Miami Luxe Detailing services the Miami and Florida Keys areas. And, now, along with having a successful detailing business, William also has the opportunity to now detail alongside Renny as part of the Detail Mafia. “I feel so secure in this industry, in continued ...

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19


the Detail Mafia, and with the network of detailers I have met,” said William. “This is a family. I feel as if I can call another detailer, a person and ask them anything and they will help me.” Along with crediting Renny and the Detail Mafia, William also says to be in this business, it takes hard work. “It is physically and emotionally challenging. It isn’t an overnight success type of thing. But, if you put in the hard work, are willing to learn and invest in the proper training, you can succeed, too.” William also credits his current success with his years of struggling professionally. “I love what I do. I feel as if I am finally on the right path. I look back at my kid years and working at the car wash for tips and I see where I am now and I am so grateful. It took a lot of hard work and determination, but it was worth it.” William said his goal now isn’t just to have a successful business, but to also make sure he can help and inspire others to do the same. “If I did it, anyone can. Like Renny has told me, ‘It’s not about the withdrawals you make, but the deposits you make into people’s’ lives.’”

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VOL. 3, NO. 3 • SUMMER 2018


Hall of Stains Stain horror stories

Fro Yo Oh No

Chances are, as a detailer you have probably seen horrible messes. Pigment, odors, or just plain grossness can turn stomachs and perhaps even make you wish you were doing something else for a living. This section is dedicated to those horror stories and will share the tales of the really bad spills and stains that took special treatments and extra man hours to eradicate.

The Survivor: Jason Thacker

The Victim: Business Van

The Gory Details: My stain horror story begins with a neighbor who is also a customer of mine. She and her husband own two frozen yogurt shops and frequently move product and supplies between the two shops. One day while transporting a fivegallon container of dairy based frozen yogurt mix, another vehicle pulled out in front of her and she slammed on the brakes to avoid the collision and the frozen yogurt mix went everywhere. The mix had formed about an inch-thick pool in the cargo area of the van she was

driving and also went under the carpets and trim half way to the front of the van. To make matters worse, this happened in July when temperatures were well into the 90’s. Instead of contacting me immediately, she decided to use beach towels to soak up as much as possible and then leave the windows down for a few days. By that time, the smell was unbearable. The odor was strong enough that you could smell it four houses down. She finally contacted me to ask for professional detailing help.

The Exorcism: Upon seeing the mess, I knew the first step would be to disassemble most of the interior starting at the back end and working forward. That would be the only way to be sure I could get rid

of the smell. Once I got most of the interior taken apart and could see the full extent of what I was dealing with, I began to extract everything. I used a mix of hydrogen-peroxide and water to begin breaking down the proteins in the yogurt mix. This started turning the dried spots back into a liquid that was easy to extract. After extracting the majority and cleaning the trim, I switched to my all-purpose-cleaner and continued to finish up the rest of the interior. Now that everything had been removed and cleaned I had to still deal with the horrific smell. Once the cleaning was almost complete, the smell had gotten much better, but still would be unbearable to most people. Since this was an odor that was caused by an organic source, I used a product called ValuGard Odor

Terminator. ValuGard Odor Terminator is not a cover up fragrance like most air fresheners. It works by altering the proteins that odor-causing bacteria feed on. If the bacteria cannot feed-it dies and the odor is permanently removed. ValuGard Odor Terminator works on any surface and is safe. It’s non-toxic and is even safe to use in extractors or can be mixed into other cleaners to aid in the cleaning process. ValuGard Odor Terminator doesn’t have a smell of its own either. So once used, you know instantly if it has worked or not. The start to finish on this project took roughly seven hours from start to finish. To this day, it’s still one of the worst stains I’ve ever had to deal with.

Got a scary stain story to share? Send it to Editor Debra Gorgos at debrag@autodetailingnews.com if you dare! VOL. 3, NO. 3• SUMMER 2018 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS |

21


DETAIL DOCTOR

Do you know the 7 Deadly Detailing Sins? Keep yourself from committing these mistakes and your business will flourish.

Bud Abraham is Founder and President Emeritus of DETAIL PLUS Car Appearance Systems, with more than 40 years of experience in the car care industry as a manufacturer, operator, distributor and consultant. He writes articles and gives seminars on the subject of auto detailing throughout the automotive industry. He can be reached at buda@detailplus.com.

By Bud Abraham buda@detailplus.com As a detail shop owner, you love to hear customers say, “I used to bring my car to ABC Detail, but now I’m coming to you.” If you are like most owners, your reaction is that you stole a customer from the competition. This scenario is bad for the competitor, but you can learn from it. What you have to ask yourself is: Why did this customer stop patronizing the other detail shop? Reasons will vary. But don’t pat yourself on the back just yet for gaining from your competitor’s loss. What happened to your competitor has probably happened to you too without you even knowing it. What you need to know and remember are the reasons why customers take their detail business to another shop.

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AUTO DETAILING NEWS

These are the seven deadly sins:

1.

2.

This is the cardinal sin in the eyes of the customer. With detailing, you are dealing with an imperfect science. It is difficult, especially with restoration detailing, to make an old car that has been neglected look like new again. So, it’s imperative that the customer’s expectations are clear. Just as important, you must be able to look over the vehicle and be completely honest about what you can do. If the customer has realistic expectations and understands your limitations, you will have no problems. If you don’t do this, you can probably kiss that customer goodbye.

If a shop is doing wholesale, “slam-bam, get-it-out” detailing and they do a retail car for the same price, then yes, your retail prices might seem high to a retail customer who has gone to the wholesale shop before. Should you compete with the wholesale shop? That’s up to you. But in general I would ask why, if you are in the retail detail business, would you want to consider doing cars for anyone at the wholesale prices most “back-alley” shops charge. To overcome any price objection you need to explain to the customer what your service includes, every single thing you do. Create value for the price you

THE VEHICLE WAS NOT DONE PROPERLY OR TO THE CUSTOMER’S SATISFACTION.

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VOL. 3, NO. 3 • SUMMER 2018

IT COSTS TOO MUCH. IN THE DETAIL BUSINESS, COST IS RELATIVE.

charge. Also, discuss the methods and equipment you use. For example, explain how you will correct and eliminate any scratches, oxidation or spots from the paint, by polishing the finish to a smooth high shine and finally you’ll protect it with a high-quality paint sealant. Compare this to a wholesale shop that will probably just hit the paint once with a low-quality one-step that provides little long-lasting protection. Discuss the interior cleaning process that includes a thorough vacuuming, spotting of all stains, a friction shampoo and finally a rinse with a heated extractor. Compare this with most wholesale shops that simply take a bucket, some shampoo and a scrub brush, and then vacuum some of the shampoo and dirt residue up with a shop vacuum, leaving continued ...


a lot of shampoo and dirt in the carpet and upholstery. If the customer understands what you do and how you do it for the price you charge, price will not be a major factor.

3.

THE VEHICLE WAS NOT READY ON TIME.

The worst thing that can happen is for the customer to arrive and find the vehicle not completed. All you had to do was make a phone call to let them know it was going to take a little more time. They may not like it, but they will tend to be more understanding if you at least call.

4.

LOANER CAR OR SHUTTLE SERVICE WAS NOT AVAILABLE.

There was a time when no detail shop ever considered loaner cars, with

the growth of retail trade for many shops it has become an absolute necessity. Some type of transportation is an amenity that every professional detail shop must have going into the 21st century. Why not make a deal with a local taxi company or Uber or Lyft to provide customer transportation? You could either get a lower rate or trade detailing and washing for shuttle service for clients.

5.

THE PAINT HAS SWIRLS THAT WEREN’T THERE BEFORE.

Customers are getting good at evaluating a good buff and polish and are less willing to accept a vehicle that has buffer swirls in it. Make sure you and your technicians are using the correct tools, pads and chemicals, and are skilled in buffing and polishing.

6.

THE WORK DONE WAS NOT PROPERLY EXPLAINED

Take time to make sure customers understand what you can do, what you are going to do and the price it will cost. If there is a possibility something might cost more, tell them up front. And, if you find that there will be more cost in a job, call the customer first before going ahead with the work.

7.

THE ‘YOU SAID/ I THOUGHT’ CONFUSION

Any number of similar situations might arise in a detail shop, but the result is always the same. “You said… I thought” is the classic misunderstanding between operators and customers. Be sure you understand exactly what a customer wants done to a vehicle and

explain all you are going to do. Even if the customer didn’t ask you to remove the paint overspray and you didn’t mention it as part of the process, don’t assume the customer does not expect it to be removed. How are they to know it’s not removed in your next three-step paint finishing process? It seems logical that it might be removed. If you notice a car has paint overspray, mention it to the customer immediately. Ask them if they know where it might have come from. If they say a neighbor was having their house painted by ABC Painting, explain that this company is liable for the removal of the overspray, which would include a polish and wax. Help them contact the company and get things rolling. You will be a big hero and end up with more money in your cash register.

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VOL. 3, NO. 3• SUMMER 2018 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS |

23


EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DETAILING

CONVERTIBLES

By Debra Gorgos Editor

Now that the warmer weather is here, and the pools are open and school is out, it also means convertibles are out on the roads. Detailers have unique situations on their hands as convertible tops require special care. From acid rain to tree sap, tops need to be treated

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AUTO DETAILING NEWS

succinctly and there is little room for error. Thankfully, there are two experts who are here to offer up their expertise as well as precise detailing measures to take. First, we have Rick Goldstein, President of WOLFSTEINS PRO-SERIES, and a founding member, and first board member of the International Detailing Association. WOLFSTEINS is the leading manufacturer of convertible

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VOL. 3, NO. 3 • SUMMER 2018

top detailing products and solutions. And, next we have Matthew Williams, Director of Business Development for The Haartz Corporation, the world’s #1 supplier of automotive topping fabrics. Goldstein and Williams offer up superior information below on convertible top care as well as how to market your convertible detailing services to your customers.

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING A DETAILER SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN ASKED TO DETAIL A CONVERTIBLE? RICK GOLDSTEIN: Consider the condition

of the fabric or vinyl top, stitching and plastic back window where applicable. If the top looks to be on its last leg with continued ...


EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DETAILING CONVERTIBLES Premium RAGGTOPP/ Brush

CanGun1

decaying stitching and yellow/cloudy plastic window, it’s better to pass and recommend they replace. Automobile manufacturers recommend cleaning and protecting convertible tops at least two or three times a year.

WHAT KIND OF MATERIAL(S) ARE TOPS MADE OF NOWADAYS? WHAT ARE THE OLDER MODELS’ TOPS MADE FROM? GOLDSTEIN: If you are driving a convertible

automobile, it’s a safe bet you are likely riding underneath the fabric or vinyl topping manufactured by The Haartz Corporation. Today, over 90% of the worldwide convertible topping market is manufactured by Acton, Massachusettsbased Haartz. Every major aftermarket manufacturer uses genuine Haartz fabric and vinyl. A little history: In 1906 John Carl Haartz founded the company in Boston. The son of a German immigrant who owned a cloth inspection business knew the textile business. In the mid-20s he was specializing in mohair products for tops and seats. As the years passed, customers demanded more weather protection, multi-layered and rubber-coated fabric tops. Haartz introduced synthetic materials to the market in late 1930s. Vinyl coatings followed in the 1950s.

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AUTO DETAILING NEWS

Today’s top consists of multiple layers designed for weather protection, acoustic isolation and can lay flat and fold easily for the lifetime of the top. Cambria®, Landmark™, Stayfast®, Sonnenland®, and Twillfast® are the core fabrics and vinyl on today’s convertible automobile is manufactured by The Haartz Corporation. MATTHEW WILLIAMS: Today’s topping

fabrics are one of two basic constructions: 2-layer laminate of an embossed and colored PVC exterior surface on a PET or PET/Cotton lining textile. 3-layer laminate of solution-dyed acrylic exterior textile, rubber or urethane elastomer, and a PET, PET/ Cotton, or Cotton lining textile. Given that most new convertibles sold in the last 15 years were originally sold with the 3-layer laminate described above, this material type has become the most popular overall.

Spraying RAGGTOPP Fabric Protectant with CanGun1

WHAT TYPE OF MATERIAL IS EASIEST TO CLEAN? WILLIAMS: If you use the correct cleaning

product, brush, and procedure both PVCand cloth-faced toppings are easy to clean. continued ...

Using protective gloves to rub RAGGTOPP Fabric Protectant to the top |

VOL. 3, NO. 3 • SUMMER 2018


WHAT IS IT THAT DIRTIES A CONVERTIBLE TOP?

WHAT TOOLS AND PRODUCTS ARE NEEDED?

GOLDSTEIN: Fabric and vinyl toppings are

GOLDSTEIN: Since 1998, The Haartz

faced with a myriad of potential contamination including: acid rain 9 Heat 9 Ultraviolet rays 9 Smog 9 Tree sap 9 Bird droppings 9 Salt 9 Tar 9 Grease 9 Dirt 9 Grit 9 Mold Also, driving on the highway exposes the top to petroleum fumes and if you are near an airport you can bet aviation fumes will adhere to the top. It’s so important to adhere to a regular cleaning and protection schedule to remove these contaminants from fabric and vinyl before they create a potential problem.

Corporation exclusively recommends using RAGGTOPP Convertible Care products to safely clean and protect fabric and vinyl topping. RAGGTOPP Cleaner exclusively formulated for fabric and vinyl will safely remove the toughest roof soils and stains and can be safely washed down a storm drain. RAGGTOPP Fabric Protectant with UV Blockers contains no silicone designed to renew and extend the life of convertible tops. It restores water and stain repellency to factory-like new condition. RAGGTOPP Vinyl Protectant with UV Blockers contains no silicone or petroleum distillates helps to repel dust, grease, dirt and mildew stains. RAGGTOPP products will not harm automotive/truck finishes, chrome, glass and plastic windows. So, it is important not to use products that contain silicone, petroleum solvents and CFC’s.

WHAT ARE THE STEPS A DETAILER SHOULD FOLLOW WHEN DETAILING A CONVERTIBLE? GOLDSTEIN: Determine if the convertible

top is fabric or vinyl. Don’t laugh, we receive this question often from the DIY group to the professional detailer. Easy way is to put a few drops of water onto the top and rub it with your fingers. If it absorbs, the top is fabric and if the water smears and does not absorb its vinyl. Once you have the right products for cleaning and protecting convertible tops the process is quite simple.

FOR FABRIC: • Start with a clean, dry convertible top. • Shake well before use and several times during application. • Hold can upright and spray evenly 24-36 inches from material. • Spray 2-3 even coats using gentle

sweeping motion, alternating horizontally and vertically. • Allow to dry 10 minutes in the sun between coats. • Allow 24 hours to dry. Artificial heat can be used to speed drying times. • Use a clean cotton towel, rag, or microfiber towel to wipe off any overspray.

FOR VINYL: • Start with a clean, dry convertible top. • Shake bottle and spray 18-24 inches from convertible top. • Spray on using gentle sweeping motion, or spray onto clean towel or applicator pad and wipe onto vinyl convertible top. • Wipe dry with clean cotton towel or microfiber towel. • Apply every 6-8 weeks for maximum protection from sun and rain. • Use a clean cotton towel, rag, or microfiber towel to wipe off any over spray continued ...

VOL. 3, NO. 3• SUMMER 2018 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS |

27


EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DETAILING CONVERTIBLES

Mike Phillips washing convertible top using the new premium brush

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE NEW PRODUCTS AND TECHNIQUES DETAILERS ARE USING TODAY ON CONVERTIBLES? GOLDSTEIN: RAGGTOPP Convertible Top

Brush is the first brush exclusively designed and endorsed by The Haartz Corporation in the company’s 111-year-old history. The brush’s bristles are made from NYLEX which is soft, yet strong to loosen dirt and debris from fabric and vinyl tops without damage. Easy to use and holds a lot of RAGGOPP Cleaner making the job for the professional easier and faster. CanGun1 pistol grip snaps onto the can of RAGGOPP Fabric Protectant transforming the can into a professional style spray gun. ZAP Cloth with zero-fiber advanced cleaning technology safely cleans plastic and glass windows, chrome, and mirrors without glass cleaners. Reusable and replaces paper towels. Gets dirty, throw in washing machine with no added softener. I had the honor to attend Mike Philips’

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AUTO DETAILING NEWS

3-day Detailing Boot Camp that teaches the DIY students to the professional detailer every step of detailing including convertible tops. Mike had the teams rinse each convertible top with water, apply RAGGTOPP Cleaner and lightly brush with RAGGTOPP/HAARTZ premium brush, and then rinse. After a few minutes letting the top dry, Mike appears wearing orange Nylex gloves, grabs a can of RAGGTOPP Fabric Protectant and sprays an area and rubs the product into the fabric. I was suspect, but again this is Mike Philips and he is one of the best of the best. The results were outstanding with the top drying faster without applying multiple coats of RAGGOPP Fabric Protectant and every inch was protected. Massaging the fabric with the protection of throwaway gloves was unreal. I highly recommend this procedure for the professional detailer.

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST MISTAKES A DETAILER SHOULD NOT MAKE WHEN |

VOL. 3, NO. 3 • SUMMER 2018

Mike Phillips finished cleaning convertible top

DETAILING A CONVERTIBLE? GOLDSTEIN: Not adding convertible top

care to their menu guide of services is the biggest mistake followed by not letting the top thoroughly dry before adding fabric or vinyl protectant. Detailing three convertible automobiles each week in some cases will pay the detailer’s monthly rent and provide a service to the customer. Another mistake is using homemade concoction of cleaner that contains caustic chemicals to clean a top and wonder why the stitching is compromised around the back-glass window. Use only manufacturer recommended products and you have the guarantee and history from the company, making it trouble free for everyone. Replacing a convertible top can cost anywhere from $1000 to $3,000 and that’s on the low side. So, you should protect your customer’s investment with regular care and keep the convertible top looking good for many years.

WHAT SHOULD DETAILERS TELL THEIR CUSTOMERS ABOUT CONVERTIBLE TOP CARE? GOLDSTEIN: A program of keeping the

convertible top clean through regular washings before it gets dirty will enhance the beauty and life of the fabric and vinyl and make successive cleanings easier. Most convertibles if properly maintained on a regular schedule will be easier to clean versus someone bringing in one that has never been cleaned or protected during the life of the car. Now, you are looking at restoration, that will cost more due to added time to clean the top and taking several applications of fabric protectant to seal the top to factory specs. Unfortunately, most convertible automobile owners will bring their cars to be detailed after problems with leaking, stitching and fading that has left damage(s). Now, the professional detailer has to take chicken poop and turn into chicken salad to restore the


Know when to say NO when you get a top like this one

top. Cannot say enough about having convertible tops cleaned and protected at least twice a year. This creates repeat business and saves the customer from replacing a top. Every professional detailer should have the knowledge to safely clean and protect fabric and vinyl tops. Adding Convertible Top Care to your menu of services will create a new revenue stream and sets you apart from the competition. Be a specialist in your community and get the reputation as the ‘go to’ for cleaning and protecting convertible topping.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU CAN SHARE WITH OUR READERS? GOLDSTEIN: In retrospect, it took many

years to get the word out that over 2 million convertible automobiles on the road today need products to safely clean and protect convertible toppings. It’s unfortunate to have someone bring you their convertible automobile and the

stitching around the back-glass window has already been compromised in several places. This car was only a couple of years old and the owner was using household cleaner with bleach to remove bird dropping and sap. Top was clearly damaged by the owner thus voiding any remaining warranty causing the owner to replace the top. About 10 years ago, I get a telephone call from a detailer at a Porsche Dealership asking if we have a product that will remove the bubbles from a brand-new Porsche Turbo Cabriolet fabric top. After asking several questions, he decided to clean the top with steam and accidentally left it on the fabric top causing the rubber membrane under the fabric to bubble from the extreme heat. Next question to him was: Do you own the business? He said “no” and said he was just working hourly. My advice to him? RUN! The fabric top is ruined and you are looking at $5,000 to replace.

Should have been treating the top from the beginning

Water beading on fabric top

THE FUTURE OF CONVERTIBLE TOPS According to Matthew Williams, over the years, softtop materials have evolved to be more inclusive of unique surface designs and enhancements of acoustical performance and durability. “Haartz still sees coated fabrics as fundamental to the future of open-air driving. New material designs will continue to focus on enhancing material durability and functionality. We additionally envision the material of the future to compliment the market trend towards e-mobility and autonomous driving.” VOL. 3, NO. 3• SUMMER 2018 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS |

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Comic

‘CON’SOLE

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AUTO DETAILING NEWS

In case you thought you were the only one having to deal with disgusting car consoles, do not fret as you’re not alone! Here are pictures of some disgusting interiors, provided by fellow detailers. Some provided after pictures as well. If you have been presented with an equally gross console, please send it in to debrag@autodetailingnews.com.

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VOL. 3, NO. 3 • SUMMER 2018


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