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VOL. 2, NO. 4 FALL 2017




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C O N T E N T S One More Thing . . . IDA News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Detail Doctor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Ready for a Fright? Here’s the scary truth about bacteria and germs

Elbow Grease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Don’t forget about the trim!

Detail Mafia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Bellisimo! A Group of ‘Goodfellas’ take on Air Force One

Hall of Stains. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 “Up in Smoke”

Letter from the Editor

My thoughts and prayers are right now with our friends in Texas, Florida, Mexico and Puerto Rico. And while this issue is having some fun with its Halloween cover and content, I want you all to know, and with great seriousness, that we here at Auto Detailing News understand that many of you are hurting. Whether you or your business has suffered damage, or if your loved ones or friends have been affected by the recent hurricanes, we offer you our well wishes and adoration.

Porsche or Pinto. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 It’s all fun & games!

Industry News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Business Briefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 History BUFF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Nitty Gritty. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Getting to know Jim Goguen

Nitty Gritty. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Getting to know Michael Dickson

Cover Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Halloween Horror Stories

IDA Column. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Vol. 2, No. 4, Fall 2017 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 Copyright © 2016 2 Dollar Enterprises/Auto Detailing News All Rights Reserved.

continued ... VOL. 2, NO. 4 • FALL 2017 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS |


Letter from the Editor One More Thing continued ... Times like this in our nation and neighboring countries, can devastate, shock and rock us to the core. Sadness, interlaced with heart-breaking images and stories can overwhelm us all. But, these tough times can also unite people and bring hope and humanity to the surface. It is hard, but the bridges of compassion are strong, too. My son, Nathan, recently celebrated his 5th birthday. Nathan was born on 9/11. I cringed at first, uncomfortable with the day of his birth being on such a fateful day. But, as time wore on, I became enlightened. Many would tell me that good things have to also happen on

9/11 day. Tragedy doesn’t “own” a day. And, it is comforting knowing that 9/11 also was a platform for great heroism, patriotism and charity. One nation, brought together. Consumed by grief, but united by compassion. The hurricanes are strong, but the fortitude of the people affected is stronger. And, so is the will of the people who are helping. I was moved to read about Rusty Irick, owner of Lil Zo’s Carwash and Automotive Detailing in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Irick collected 5 tons of bottled water to donate to Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas. It is people like Irick that make me proud to be a part of this industry. Or how about Green Steam LLC, a detailing company out of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The business brought in a tractortrailer to one of its locations and


encouraged people to fill it up with donations. Then there’s Jose Gonzalez, of Ronkonkoma, New York, who owns NY Auto Detailing and Paint. He has family in Puerto Rico, and, at the time this issue was published, had not heard from them since Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Restless and sleepless while waiting to hear from them, Gonzales decided to put his nervous energy to good use and started collecting goods for the victims. He was able to collect tons of bottled water and non-perishables. Hopefully, by the time this publication has printed, he will have heard from his loved ones. If any of you want to share your story about how the hurricane(s) have affected you or your detail business, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. If you want to thank those that have helped you, please feel free to use

this as your platform. One more thing before I go. I am honored to have been named the new editor of our sister publication, Self Serve Car Wash News. Kate Carr stepped down in September to pursue her teaching career. SSCWN is an amazing publication and has a huge fanbase. If you also own a self-serve carwash, please feel free to share your story ideas or questions with me. And, as always, remember to support our advertisers. Until next time,

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The IDA wants you to get involved!

Volunteer with us and grow your leadership skills

By Erin Reyes,

IDA Communications Specialist

It has been said that leaders are made, not born. That is reassuring news for those of us who feel as though we missed out on the “Great Leader” genetic lottery. Luckily for members of the International Detailing Association (IDA), the organization offers numerous volunteer opportunities to get involved and develop your leadership skills. Whether you would like to help determine the direction of the IDA, contribute your knowledge to your fellow detailers, or make contacts within the industry, the IDA has a way for you to take your leadership experience to the next level.

Commit yourself… to a committee One of the best ways to get involved is to join a committee. Committees are the ‘working arm’ of the association and provide direct recommendations for IDA policy and programs. In addition to the obvious benefits of helping to strengthen your professional organization and your profession, committee members have the opportunity to interact with colleagues from other parts of the nation and across the world, all while gaining valuable leadership experience. Not to mention, service on professional committees looks great on your resume! Consider joining a committee to make yourself a key player vested in the future of the IDA. The IDA currently has several active committees: Certification, Marketing

Immediate Past President Rob Schruefer, CD-SV, RT (left) accepts the Outgoing President’s Award from incoming President Mike Dickson, CD-SV, RT at the 2017 Mobile Tech Expo awards ceremony.

& Communications, Membership, and Tradeshow/Education. The Certification Committee governs the IDA Certification Program, sets guidelines for exam materials and processes, and develops and oversees implementation of new certification phases. Meanwhile, the Marketing & Communications Committee handles all IDA communications from the e-newsletter and e-blasts, to the website and social media sites. This committee also administers IDA’s sponsorship and advertising programs. The Membership Committee spearheads IDA membership marketing

campaigns globally, and promotes development of IDA chapters in other countries. Finally, the Tradeshow/Education Committee facilitates IDA participation at various industry-related trade shows. This committee also coordinates IDA University at tradeshows and training facilities, in addition to monthly webinars and other educational offerings. Full descriptions of each committee’s responsibilities, along with current leadership, can be found on the IDA website. If you’re an active association member, you can also visit the website to fill out a

“Committee Interest” form, selecting the committee(s) on which you would like to participate. You will then be included in future communications and meetings concerning that committee. Members who wish to continue serving on a committee must be engaged participants – by attending meetings (held in a teleconference format), providing suggestions/insights, and offering assistance when needed. After all, active participation is what helps build leadership skills. After serving on a committee, you might continued ...



IDA News continued ... find yourself interested in furthering your leadership position by becoming a Committee Chair. If you have proven yourself dedicated, the Board Liaison for your committee may recommend you for the position when it becomes available. As a Chair, you should be prepared to attend all committee meetings and lead the discussion. Your committee members will look to you for ideas and guidance, and it will be your responsibility to be a trusted resource.

Let your voice be heard Maybe you are interested in sharing your expertise with the association, but you don’t have time to serve on or chair a committee. That’s okay, because we have plenty of additional volunteer opportu-

nities available that require less of a time commitment but still allow you to develop important skills. Perhaps you enjoy public speaking? If so, please consider hosting one of our monthly webinars, to share your expertise in an industry-related area of interest. Webinars are attended by both members and non-members, so you have the opportunity to reach a wide audience. Past topics have ranged from marketing/social media strategy to utilizing new products and technology to best business practices. Visit the event page on the IDA website to see a list of previous webinars. Are you an aspiring author, blogger, or someone who just loves to write? We would encourage you to consider becoming a regular contributor to our monthly newsletter, The Detail Dialogue. We are always seeking creative and informative articles to

share – both in the newsletter and across other channels – that will help your fellow members improve their businesses. Members can login to the website to access our Article Archives for examples of the type of content we prefer. You may also contribute your knowledge by answering questions from your fellow detailers on the forum boards. Provide insightful responses to show you are a trusted thought leader within the industry.

Put your knowledge on display If you would like to help in a way that also offers some face-to-face time with your fellow detailers, then we would suggest volunteering to work at an exhibit booth for

one of our annual events, such as Mobile Tech Expo (MTE) in January or the Car Wash Show in April. Tradeshow booths are a fun and interactive way to display your knowledge of the organization, while strengthening your presentation and networking skills – both essential qualities of a strong leader. Plus, you will get to meet a lot of new contacts, who will begin to identify you as one of the leaders within the association. Volunteering in a booth requires basic knowledge about the organization, including the benefits of joining, membership types, and certification opportunities. We will soon be seeking volunteers for the upcoming MTE, so keep your eyes and ears open if you would like to get involved.

JUMP on BOARD sible for the direction of the organization. It strives to uphold the IDA Mission Statement: “Promoting the success and growth of the professional detailing community,” and works toward its vision of being “the lead advocate and premier source of information” for detailers worldwide. Its primary functions are governance, policy and position development, visionary future focus, and fiduciary. The Board works to set a course for the association’s future with input from members, committees, and stakeholders. Meanwhile, it maintains focus on the mission and strategic goals. Directors’ duties include regularly attending Board and committee meetings, recruiting members to serve on committees, evaluating IDA programs and services, and more. What’s better than getting involved? Earning recognition for getting involved! Each year, Board members submit nominations for the IDA Leadership Award, which

If you are looking to play an even more integral role within the association, please consider seeking nomination for the Board of Directors (BOD). Board positions include President; Vice President, Operators; Vice President, Suppliers; Treasurer; Immediate Past President; plus, several additional Directors (current BOD members can be found on the IDA website). Each November, the Nominating Committee solicits nominations from the membership to replace those Directors whose terms are expiring and are not eligible to serve another term. The Nominating Committee then assembles a slate of candidates and presents them to the voting members of the association. At this point, it certainly helps if you have made a name for yourself within the IDA community, through committee service or other volunteer work, as you will likely be better recognized amongst your voting peers. Once selected, the Board is respon-





VOL. 2, NO. 4 • FALL 2017

is presented to an individual that has served in a leadership capacity for IDA (Board member or Committee Chair) and has greatly advanced not only the IDA as an organization, but the detailing profession as a whole. Candidates must be IDA members in good standing (or a retired past president). The winner is selected by the IDA Nominating Committee and announced at the Annual IDA General Membership Meeting, held in conjunction with Mobile Tech Expo. Hard work and leadership really do pay off!

If you’re looking to step up your leadership game, and you are interested in one (or more) of these opportunities, we encourage you to contact the IDA for more information. And if you’re not currently a member, visit our website to find out how to join the IDA and volunteer with us. the-ida.com | info@the-ida.com



a r o f y d a Re

? t h g Fri Here’s the

h t u r T y r a c S a i r e t c a B t u o Ab & Germs

Have you ever thought about the bacteria & germs in the motor vehicles? If you haven’t then you really need to read this article for these reasons: 1 . It can keep you, your employees and your customers safe. 2 . It can make you more money by educating your customers on need for regular interior cleaning as well as a new service, “interior disinfecting.”

By Bud Abraham buda@detailplus.com

When you talk about bacteria and germs in vehicle interiors most detailers will think of “biohazard cleaning,” if at all. Biohazard cleaning is done on interiors where someone has died in a vehicle or was shot and body fluids are all over the interior. This type of cleaning is an entirely different “breed” of cleaning than normal interior detailing and requires special training and special safety equipment. That will be the subject of a future article.

This article will report on a comprehensive study by Dr. Charles P. Gerba & Sheri L. Maxwell to determine the amount of bacteria and molds that build up in automobile interiors. There were several variables taken into account in conducting the study:  Geographic area of the country  Different areas of the vehicle interior  Type of vehicle  Whether there were children in the vehicle  Married or single drivers  Male or female drivers

The authors were kind enough to grant permission to allow me to use the results of the study for this article and you would be hard-pressed to find a study that is more comprehensive and scientific in its scope on vehicle interiors anywhere in the world. For the study, 100 vehicles were involved, conducted in the states of Illinois, Arizona, Florida, California, and Washington, D.C. which provided a good cross-section of climatic conditions across the country. Eleven different areas of the vehicles interior were tested. Each area of the interior was sampled with sterile swabs and then immediately sent overnight, packed in ice, by overnight courier to the Uni-

versity of Arizona to be processed. On each of the 11 sites a 4-square-inch area was sampled. The 11 interior sites included:  Steering Wheel  Radio Knobs  Dashboard  Door Handles  Seats  Child Car Seat  Change Holder  Window Opener  Cup Holder  Seat Belt  Food Spills continued . . .

Editor’s Note: While we here at Auto Detailing News admire and appreciate Bud Abraham, please note that his opinions expressed in his Detail Doctor columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Auto Detailing News. If you have a strong opinion about Bud’s article, feel free to write a Letter to the Editor and send it to Debra Gorgos at debrag@autodetailingnews.com.



Germiest vs. Cleanest Inside Dirt



Vehicles in

Vehicles in

Tampa, Florida Tucson, Arizona

This is a great point to make with customers; that food spills do, in fact, grow bacteria and should be removed immediately to prevent bacteria from growing. As for the dashboard, the amount of bacteria has to do with the movement of air over the dashboard. Air is drawn in from the dashboard and bacteria may be affecting the dashboard as the air is drawn into the air circulation system. It might also have to do with the fact that it is the warmest spot in the automobile as sun shines directly on it most of the day.

Germiest vs. Cleanest 1. Food spills 2. Dashboard

Radio knob

Types of Vehicles These results are obvious as Tampa has a hot, humid climate conducive to bacteria growth, whereas Tucson has a very hot, dry climate that tends to kill bacteria.

The bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus was found on the steering wheel more frequently than on any other area in the vehicle. This is logical since the steering wheel is in contact with the hands more than any other area. It was also determined the percentage of automobiles in which both Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA (Methicillin-resistent Staphylococcus aureus) were found. MRSA was isolated from a car seat and steering wheel. MRSA was found in 2% of the vehicles tested. Staphylococcus aureus is found in the nose and skin of humans and can cause minor skin infections, impetigo, boils and abscesses, pneumonia, meningitis, and toxic shock syndrome (TSS) to name a few. MRSA is a bacterium responsible for infections that are extremely difficult to treat due to its resistance to large groups of antibiotics.

Germiest vs. Cleanest Vans & Suvs (especially those which carried children regularly)





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Passenger Car

Molds Found in Vehicle Interiors Ten different types of molds were found. Aspergillus was the most common mold found. The types of health problems caused by Aspergillus include allergic reactions, lung infections, and infections in other organs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ulocladium and Alternaria were the next most common detected molds. Ulocladium, according to moldbacteria. com, Ulocladium has two known species; Ulocladium chartarum and U. botrytis. “Ulocladium has been reported to cause Type I (hay fever) allergy. There have been cases of U. chartarum causing skin surface and deep skin infections in immuno-suppressed patients. Alternaria, according to moldbacteria.com, can be “responsible for the allergic symptoms

in individuals with rhinitis or bronchial asthma. Alternaria sensitivity can also lead to severe and potentially fatal asthma. It has also been recorded as an opportunistic pathogen causing skin diseases particularly in immunocompromised patients such as the bone marrow transplant patients. The other types of mold found were: Penicillium, Geotrichum, Chrysosporium, Trichoderma, Aureobasidium, Geomyces and Chrysonilia. The isolation of molds was the 15 times higher in Chicago than in Florida which tested for the least amount of occurrences. It was found that the occurrence of molds was directly related to a city’s mean temperature (The lower the mean temperature, the greater the number of molds in the vehicle interior and vice versa). There is also a correlation between

hard surfaces down. Then on carpets, fabric seats, headliners and door panels with cloth or carpet you spray the disinfectant on these surfaces. In just a few minutes you have provided a real needed service that the customer was not aware they needed. A easy sell to women, especially those with children. Good luck and I hope you make some money fighting bacteria and germs.

the amount of mold bacteria found and a city’s mean average monthly rainfall (most likely thanks to its survival rate in moist environments).

The Bottom Line As stated earlier, being aware of the amount of bacteria/germs in the vehicle interior gives the astute detailer business owner a chance to provide a reason (need) for regular interior cleaning. While you may not have to “detail” an interior all the time it is clear that a vehicle interior needs to be disinfected on a regular basis. To do this you can purchase a suitable disinfectant from a janitorial supply company that kills bacteria and mold on contact. So all you do is have the customer come in for a quick interior disinfectant. Just spray the disinfectant on a towel and wipe all of the

Bud Abraham, founder of DETAIL PLUS Car Appearance Systems, is a noted speaker and writer in the detail industry. Was a founding member of the International Detailing Association and its first executive director. He writes and consults on auto detailing all over the world. He can be reached at buda@ detailplus.com.

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ELBOW GREASE Don’t forget about the trim! By Jason Thacker jthacker222@aol.com

One of the best ways to improve the appearance of any vehicle is to make the trim look like new. As detailers, we often concentrate on the paint and interior portion as well as trim and in many cases the trim ends up being only a temporary fix. These quick fixes can help to sell the car and it looks good for a few hours to a day or two. And, at times, it may be all that is needed or all that can be done considering the budget. However, in many cases a temporary fix just isn’t enough and might not give you the results you and your customer are looking for. What can you do in those cases? To answer that we need to look at the available products on the market. Then examine what those products do and the differences of how they work on trim. The number of products on the market for this seems almost endless and the claims made on the label are true in some cases and farfetched or only in perfect conditions for others. It is important




to explore the various elements involved including dressings, specific trim restoration products, trim paints and then consider the necessary prepping involved to successfully restore the trim for the long haul.

Dressings These are over the counter products that are readily available at almost any store that sells detailing products and supplies. Results from these products range greatly and are very short lived in most cases. This is due to almost all of them being a polymerized siloxane that sits on the surface and doesn’t bond with the surface in any way. Polymerized siloxane is what is found in many products and dressings. It is a formulation of many different chemicals that form a water-based silicone dressing used in the product and is a proprietary blend unique to that manufacturer. By having many different blends, the manufacturers can produce very comparable products but still have better or worse results on the trim. Therefore, some of


VOL. 2, NO. 4 • FALL 2017

the dressing type products have a longer lasting effect. The downside to these, is that the formula is always water-based silicone. Having a water based dressing is what leads these to wash off very easily and can lead to an uneven finish and uneven wear of the product. The longevity of these water based PDMS dressings is typically only a few days to a few weeks at best.

Trim Restoration Products These are products that are designed to add a layer over the trim and provide a long-lasting finish. Unlike the water or even solvent based dressings, these last much longer. A common misconception is that the higher quality trim restorers are a dye and are capable of permanently dying the plastic back to the original color, but this isn’t true and they do not dye the plastic. The most popular ones on the market are either a polymer based or acrylic latex based.

Trim paint These are exactly what it sounds like. It’s paint that is made for trim. Just as we see with the other options on the market for trim dressings and restorations, not all trim paint is created equal. Some are a very cheap resin system that won’t last and may begin to flake or peel. Another factor to consider with trim paint is the prep work and type of plastic. Plastics aren’t universal and its composition can vary widely which can have an impact on the dressings, trim restorers and paint and can affect the longevity and final appearance of the trim. Trim paint isn’t usually a necessary step, but can be the only option in some cases. Some plastics just won’t let the dressings or trim restoration products adhere to them. I’ve had a few cases myself in which I used a product that should have lasted for years, but didn’t last for a month. This was because the plastic required an adhesion promotor for anything to stick. Even trim paint will not last long unless it’s used in conjunction with an adhesion promotor. continued ...

Prepping for Trim Restoration Before you begin any trim restoration, it’s a good idea to do some detective work and figure out the type of trim you’re working with. There are several types that may need a different product or preparation. All trim regardless of the type will need to be clean and stripped of any previously applied dressing, wax, silicone or anything else that could prevent proper adhesion to the surface. This can be accomplished by using a quality all purpose cleaner or alcohol, and then scuffing the surface or using the dedicated cleaner that comes with some products. Jason Thacker Currently owns a successful detailing business and is a contributor to numerous detailing forums. He can be reached at jthacker222@aol.com or at 757-273-5375.





Bellisimo! A Group of ‘Goodfellas’ take on Air Force One Anyone who knows Renny Doyle probably knows that he doesn’t back down from a challenge, even when it comes to impressing the president of the United States. As the leader of the Detail Mafia, a prestigious group of detailers with an even more prestigious collective résumé, Doyle was recently tasked with preserving the Original Presidential Jet “Air Force




One.” And if that isn’t impressive enough, his team was also asked to detail 16 other massively cool aircrafts which were also housed at the Seattle Museum of Flight. Some of those aircrafts included the Concorde Alpha Golf, a WWII B-52 Stratofortress Bomber, and the first “Jumbo Jet” Boeing 747. The Detail Mafia assembled at the


VOL. 2, NO. 4 • FALL 2017

Seattle Museum on July 24 and quickly got to work, improving and beautifying the massive machines. Fifty Mafia members worked for six days, buffing and polishing until each aircraft was presidentially perfect. The endeavor was sponsored by Flex power tools and polishers, Buff & Shine Manufacturing, Detailer’s Helper, San Francisco-based

P&S Sales, and makers of Renny Doyle’s Double Black Collection. “Our men and women detailers have willingly given their time and dedicated their skills to ensuring the original presidential jet looks as close to its original glory as possible,” said Doyle. This isn’t the first time Doyle has been continued ...

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Detail Mafiac continued... given such an prominent assignment. “This project began nearly 15 years ago with a Bush Administration official asking me to save an icon of aviation history that was falling into ruin on the tarmac at Seattle’s famous aircraft museum,” said Doyle. “I had about five detailers I trusted on such a difficult project, and when we saw the plane for the first time, we were horrified at its condition. I knew it would take years, but we could bring back the paint, maintain the bright work, and stop the aging of an aircraft that had served as a flying Oval Office for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.” The Museum was so impressed by Doyle and his team, that it asked him to return every two years. As for the Detail Mafia, it has existed within Doyle’s Detailing Success


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Network for a decade. Doyle, being born into a first-generation Italian family, was regaled with stories of his grandfather’s involvment in the Mafia between the 1930s and 1950s. He liked the concept of “Family” loyalty and decided to give the notion a positive spin for the detailing industry. Then, while being interviewed at SEMA show, a reporter asked Doyle about the humbleness of detailers. Doyle replied that, no, they are not really humble, but more like the Mafia, “more action than talk.” Hence, the Detail Mafia was born. The qualifications to be a Mafia member are intense. “Detail Mafia Membership requires being sponsored by a Detail Mafia member, and unanimous approval from all existing Board members. The Board members are made up of successful detailing business owners who have achieved the highest ‘Master’ level of certification,” states a press release. This past summer, Doyle formed a board of directors. “I have been thinking about forming a Board of Directors for a couple of years to help manage and organize these high-profile detailing projects where I am pulled in too many directions,” said Doyle. “Our group has been so successful and grown in size and diversity so that it is difficult for me to manage it on my own.” The six-member board includes, President “Dirty Harry” Sandwith of Dirty Harry’s Detailing in Rochelle Park, NJ; Vice-President Jim Goguen of Jim’s Auto Installations & Detail Center in Ipswich, MA; Doug Parfitt of Eye For Detail in Pittsburgh, PA; Doug Cunningham of Absolute Shine Auto Spa in Sag Harbor, NY; Craig MacKay of Clean Planet Car Wash in Woodinville, WA; and Andrew Swenson of Wolfeboro Car Wash & Executive Detail in Wolfeboro, NH. “Our mission is to ensure that all our detailers are expertly trained and follow Doyle’s proven approach to high-end detailing, and his advice on how to build a successful and profitable detailing business that assures customers a quality experience,” said Sandwith. “The automotive appearance industry is

Interesting Details Air Force One

WWII B-52G Stratofortress

Known as Special Air Missions (SAM) 970, the first Air Force One presidential jet entertained many international VIPs such as Nikita Khrushchev and Henry Kissinger. For more than a decade, it lived on the open tarmac exposed to Seattle’s notorious climate. It has taken more than a dozen years to restore it to as close to its natural glory as possible. In just the last year, the plane has been relocated under a covered hangar in the new open-air Airpark Pavilion, but it is still exposed to Seattle’s dampness. The team’s preservation stage with the plane still requires an annual cleaning and polishing — a responsibility assigned exclusively to Doyle’s Air Force One Detailing Team until 2020.

Last year, the Team, polished the WWII B-29 Superfortress “T-Square” and received commemorative mission patches from a WWII widow whose husband flew the plane. This year, polished an all-aluminum WWII B-52G Stratofortress, America’s first long-range, swept-wing heavy bomber that began as an intercontinental, high-altitude nuclear bomber. The U.S. Air Force deployed the plane in 1955 and it saw active duty during the Vietnam War as part of operation Bullet Shot/Linebacker. It spent its entire life in-service with Strategic Air Command.

Supersonic Concorde Alpha Golf The 2014 Team was the first to detail the supersonic Concorde Alpha Golf since its retirement in 2003. Due to its substantial length and the iconic shape of its slender delta wings and fuselage, the 204-foot luxury jetliner has always presented huge challenges for the Team.

Boeing 747 “Jumbo Jet” The team has cleaned the Boeing 747 “Jumbo Jet” in the past but this is the first year they polished the engine rings on the 300-ton jet. Standing taller than a 6-story building, the 747 is one of the most recognizable jets in existence and answered one of the first calls for the growing demand for air travel and the need for a large, mainstream passenger jet.

continued ... VOL. 2, NO. 4 • FALL 2017 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS |


Detail Mafia continued...

fluid and we must all be committed to ongoing education, regardless of how long we have been detailing. We must be dedicated as a group to using only the most innovative equipment, professional-grade products, and advanced paint correction and polishing techniques.” When you are dealing with multimillion-dollar museum aircraft like those at the Museum of Flight; or automobiles like those we work on at Monterey Car Week every August, said Goguen, “we require strict, enforceable rules and a commitment to quality we can trust.”

To find out more information about the Detail Mafia and its new Board of Directors, contact Harry Sandwith at (732) 687-2391, or Kimberly Ballard at (256) 653-4003.


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VOL. 2, NO. 4 • FALL 2017

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Stain Horror Stories:

“Up in Smoke”

Hall of


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: 13-year-old Subaru (that had been smoked in all 13 years)

The Gory Details: The nicotine, tar and other carcinogens were pretty bad as you can see from the pictures. The smell was worse than the pictures if you can allow yourself to imagine.

The Exorcism: Here is the process I used and here is why I DIDN’T use my ozone generator. First up was just to pull out the floormats, headrest and the spare tire that was located inside the trunk area of the vehicle and then I vacuumed everything. Next I pretreated the carpets and upholstery with Optimum Carpet & Fabric Cleaner & Protectant. I then added ValuGard Odor Terminator to my carpet extractor at 6 oz to 3 gal of fresh water. I then extracted the carpets and upholstery using that solution and, of course scrubbed it with a brush. While the carpets and upholstery were drying, I wiped down the headliner with the Optimum Carpet & Fabric

Cleaner & Protectant. Then did another good wipe down with a microfiber towel that had been soaked in ValuGard Odor Terminator. Next up were the hard surfaces. For those, I used Optimum Power Clean (my APC) at a 10:1 ratio and mixed in 4oz of Odor terminator with the APC. I also used this on the spare tire that I mentioned was in the trunk inside the vehicle. So, it needed to be treated also due to the rubber of the tire which had really held on to that smoke smell. After everything had been cleaned, I then used the spray bottle of Odor Terminator mixed full strength to spray into the HVAC (heat/AC) vents. This car didn’t have a cabin filter to replace. So, I had to do what I could on that

area. The smell was almost gone at this point. For a final step of odor removal, I misted the Odor Terminator on everything I could that was safe (which was almost everything that water would not damage). I had to be also be careful around any electronics. I then dressed the hard surfaces with Optimum Protectant Plus, cleaned the windows with ONR (Optimum No Rinse) mixed at the wash dilution ratio of 256:1 or ½ oz to a gallon of water (Side Note: I use ONR on windows all the time, but especially in a smoker’s car. Seems to really get the film off the glass better than anything else). Now, I’m sure a few would say I should next use my ozone generator. It’s a commercial grade unit that can

tackle doing a “shock treatment” on a 450-square-foot-room. More than enough for what’s needed in a car. So why not use it?? After looking at the vehicle’s wiring and rubber seals, I noticed that there was some dry rotting and other signals of wear. It’s a 13-year-old car, so I am not surprised! Using an ozone generator would have made this problem worse! I knew that if I used the ozone, I would have caused further damage. The customer probably would never know. But, I would. So, I took the long route and better choice and went with Odor Terminator to remove the smell versus a process that would have cut the life of the wiring and seals much shorter.

Got a scary stain story to share? Send it to Editor Debra Gorgos at debrag@autodetailingnews.com if you dare! VOL. 2, NO. 4 • FALL 2017 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS |




Porsche or Pinto?

It’s no secret that detailers know their cars . But, let’s put the skills to the test . Can you tell the make, model and year of each vehicle posted below? Answers are on the bottom of the page. Good luck!

___ 2017 Nissan Frontier ___ 2014 Kia Sorrento ___ 2010 Ford Fusion ___ 2003 Honda Element ___ 2014 Volkswagen Jetta ___ 2011 Ford Edge







d. 2014 Kia Sorrento e. 2010 Ford Fusion f. 2003 Honda Element


a. 2014 Volkswagen Jetta b. 2017 Nissan Frontier c. 2011 Ford Edge




VOL. 2, NO. 4 • FALL 2017

Polishing Systems Full Page with outlines.indd 1

9/29/2017 12:06:36 PM




2017 2017 SEMA Show OCT 31 - NOV 3, 2017

Las Vegas Convention Center Las Vegas, Nevada And for those who like to plan well ahead, dates have been announced for the next three shows as well, although the locations of the shows have not been released: • 2018 SEMA Show: October 30-November 2 • 2019 SEMA Show: November 5-8 • 2020 SEMA Show: November 3-6 www.semashow.com

Gulf Car Wash Car Care Expo 2017 NOV 7 - 9, 2017

Dubai World Trade Centre Dubai, United Arab Emirates http://mectw.com/gulf-carwash/

2018 Mobile Tech Expo

Now Open for Business

JAN 25-27, 2018

Caribe Royale Orlando Orlando, Florida www.mobiletechexpo.com

The 2018 Car Wash Show™ APRIL 26-28, 2018

Las Vegas Convention Center Las Vegas, Nevada www.carwash.org/thecarwashshow

Autogeek’s 2018 Detail Fest & Car Show MARCH 17-18, 2018

Palm Beach County Convention Center West Palm Beach, Florida www.autogeek.net/detail-fest.html

The 2018 Car Wash Show™ APRIL 26-28, 2018

Las Vegas Convention Center Las Vegas, Nevada www.carwash.org/thecarwashshow




Derby, Kansas

story. Services include a simple hand wash to a full-service detailing. Stan said in the story that it is important to sell, buy and provide the best quality of cars and services to the community. “We are a small community where word of mouth goes a long way. As a car dealership, you want to have a good reputation,” he said in the story.

Destin, Florida

Grand Island, Nebraska

Don Hattan Chevrolet opened up a new full-service maintenance shop in Derby, similar to the location in Park City, Kansas, KWCH12 reported. The location offers auto detailing, oil changes and new tires, as well as new and used cars. There are currently three Don Hattan shops in the area with the other one located in El Dorado.

Stan and Bunny Hall, owners of Emerald Coast Motor Cars, have also opened a detail shop, nwfdailynews.com reported. We are just trying to make it as convenient as possible for our customers,” Bunny Hall said in the |

VOL. 2, NO. 4 • FALL 2017

The Detail King opened here in Nebraska a few months ago, taking over the auto bay of a former K-Mart, The Grand Island Independent reported. Owner Philip Smith has been detailing for more than 30

years, having previously owned Quality Auto Detailing. Wanting to expand, Smith said his new location is a great fit for his business “Once I landed this location (the former Kmart building), we just figured that we changed the name to start new and to start fresh,” Smith said in the story. “I came up with the idea of the Detail King.” Smith said his business offers full-restoration detail services which starts with a degreasing of the engine. Next is a handwashing followed by a blow drying. Next, they “shampoo the interior; clean and recondition leather seats; buff and polish the paint to remove contaminants such as tar, tree sap and rust; then thoroughly continued ...

Now Open for Business continued... clean the tires and windows and offer an air freshener for the vehicle.”

Honolulu, Hawaii

The Detail Garage Hawaii store opened its doors last July, and could prove to encourage do-it-yourself detailers. The Los Angeles-based auto detailing supplies retailer is

gaining momentum across the United States and now has eight locations, according to Pacific Business News. Along with six locations in California, the chain opened up another location in Salt Lake City this past June. “When you create a destination, people will come from far and near

because what you have is not a brand it’s a lifestyle,” Paul Schneider, business development director at Detail Garage, told Pacific Business News. “We are extremely excited to announce the grand opening of Detail Garage Hawaii; the first detailing superstore that brings together the perfect blend of products, tools,

accessories and education combined with passionate people that show the world how to shine.”

to get the industry-leading products needed for the job without leveraging the business.” In other DRB news, DRB Systems and Unitec have opened an office in Fontana, California. The new office will provide sales and service support for the West Coast, as well as extended shipping hours for customers. Other offices are located in Akron, Canton, Ohio, and Elkridge, Maryland. Since its acquisition of Unitec in September 2016, DRB Systems has grown to include 300 employees and now services a combined install base of more than 14,000 car washes. “One of the most important focus points of our mission at DRB and Unitec is to create opportunities for our customers and employees. It’s a very rewarding moment when an expansion effort, like the addition of our California office, serves both our team and customers. We look forward to expanding the capacity and resources in all of our locations as we continue to build the world’s leading technology company serving the car wash industry.” said Bill Morgenstern, CEO of DRB and Unitec.

be responsible for the daily operation of the company, leading production, operation, and improvement of the business systems that create and deliver D&S’ products. He will also ensure that business operations are efficient and that the proper management of resources, distribution of goods and services to customers are at the highest levels. Huntington previously served as a project manager at D&S. Prior to that, he worked for t SunEdison Semi, MEMC Electronic, and Texas Instruments.

Know of a new location you would like to see listed in Auto Detailing News? Send the information to Editor Debra Gorgos at debrag@autodetailingnews.com.

Business Briefs

DRB selects private equipment finance company, opens new offices DRB Systems of Akron, Ohio, has selected Ascentium Capital for its Strategic Customer Financing Program. The private equipment finance company will develop a customized financing program aimed at helping car wash operators grow their businesses. “The program is open to new or existing customers of DRB Systems or Unitec, who have been in business at least two years and are considering new equipment or upgrades from a few thousand dollars up to $250,000. Popular products like DRB’s Growth Suite are easy




add-ons to a customer’s existing SiteWatch® POS system under this financing arrangement. Payment structures are competitive combined with a streamlined process including a one-page application with most credit decisions within two to four hours.” According to Joe Shoemaker, VP of Marketing for DRB, the company’s new financing program will allow for customers from both of their leading brands to easily purchase products with no money down while budgeting manageable monthly payments. “For our customers who have thought about expanding or upgrading their on-site experience through better automation, faster and easier customer processing or increased monthly plan sales, this financing option is a wonderful way |

VOL. 2, NO. 4 • FALL 2017

D&S names news COO D&S Car Wash Equipment Co, of St. Louis, Missouri, has promoted Tim Huntington to Chief Operating Officer. Huntington will

CSI® hires new regional sales manager Cleaning Systems, Inc. (CSI) of De Pere, Wisconsin, has hired Josh Smith as its Lustra® Regional Sales Manager for the state of Texas. Smith has over 10 years of experience in the car wash industry.  “I am excited to join the CSI - Lustra team. CSI has a great reputation and is known to be very progressive in developing the most advanced car wash chemical solutions in the industry. I look forward to the opportunity to grow relationships in Texas.” CSI is a manufacturer of cleaning and protection chemical products, as well as chemical application technology.

History BUFF License and history information, please? New York State was the first to require license plates on vehicles back in 1901. At the time, the plates were made by the car owners and included the owner’s initials. They were mostly made of leather and iron. A few years later in 1903, Massachusetts issued its own license plates and these were made of iron and porcelain enamel. The first license plate issued just displayed the number, “1”, and along the top was the word, “MASS”. Frederick Tudor was the recipient of the “1” license plate and one of his relatives inherited it and still has it today. The size of the plates grew larger as they length of the number increased.

Following Massachusetts, more and more states began issuing license plates. Some car owners were concerned that license plates would

block the flow of air to the radiator, so some states included slots in the plates. This went on until 1918. By 1918 all states were issuing

license plates which were still mostly made of sheet iron until 1920 when tin was more widely used. From 19321934 Arizona offered plates made of sheet copper. In 1942 Delaware was the first state to offer plates made of porcelain. During World War II, plates were made of soybean-based fiberboard so that metals could be used and saved for the war effort. Today, almost all license plates are made from sheets of aluminum. To find out more, visit: www. thoughtco.com/1903-the-first-licenseplates-us-1779187 and http://www. madehow.com/Volume-5/License-Plate. html#ixzz4t95vfym7


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Nitty Gritty Getting to Know . . .

Jim Goguen, Owner of Jim’s Auto Installations & Detailing Center and two-time Detailer of the Year award recipient. By Debra Gorgos Debrag@autodetailingnews.com

At the 2017 Mobile Tech Expo I was approached by a man with a thick Massachusetts accent. Want me to walk


What is the name of your business? Jim’s Auto Installations & Detailing Center located in Ipswich, Massachusetts


Are there any other owners? Just Myself


How long has it been open? We opened June 1, 1986, so, 31½ years it still never really feels like work so I guess that’s a good thing.


What kind of a business is it and what services does it offer? We actually started out as a car audio




around the tradeshow floor with you and introduce you to people? he asked. Grateful for his invitation, I speedily took him up on his offer and allowed him to take me from booth to booth. He knew everyone. And, as the magazine is only two years old, I am always look-

ing for ways to meet as many people as I can. And, that man, Jim Goguen, proved to be an abundance of knowledge and popularity. He introduced me to countless detailers, business owners and company executives. He also got me into exclusive Facebook groups,

gave me story ideas, and, has been a VIP on my advisory board — giving me story leads and answers to my questions. Now, it is my turn to turn the tables and introduce Jim Goguen to others and reveal a few things to the people he has already met.

and restyling shop and used detailing as fill in work and another service to offer our customer base. Oddly enough our detailing business has far surpassed the car audio end of the business now that work becomes fill in work and the restyling market has also grown. On the detailing end of things we offer anything from a simple express detail to full paint corrections and coatings. Consumers are finally taking notice to ceramic coatings by asking for it or when we suggest it they mention they have heard of them I don’t see this trend letting up any time soon. Our “Executive Clean” package which is a full in and out still remains our most popular package




VOL. 2, NO. 4 • FALL 2017

Is there a lot of competition in the area? If yes, what do you do to stand apart from the competition? I am in a unique situation where the town I’m in has a population of about 13,000. There are two other shops in town ranging from 25-years to 31-years in business and we are all within an ¼ mile of each other. The surrounding towns do not have any shops. I separate myself from the other shops by building a long-time relationship with my customers. I listen to what their needs are and I also treat everyone the same so if you drive a Kia you still get the same attention as someone who drives a Bentley.

How many people work for you? I have one full time assistant and usually hire another one during our busy season (spring to the fall).


How do you keep your employee motivated? I keep my staff motivated by not hiding anything from then and working alongside them. Keep them informed of what is going on daily and what is happening in the future. I have taken my employees to Mobile Tech and SEMA several times. I find by investing in them they become a better part of the team.


What are your hours? We are generally open Monday through Friday, 8 to 5. We also work weekends by appointment from fall to spring. We take Saturdays off in the summer as everyone needs a break once in a while and most of our customers respond, “Good for you!” when we tell them we don’t work Saturdays in the summer.


What ways do you  advertise your business? Well, in the 31 plus years we have done almost all of it. I have used the Yellow Pages when I had an 800 number (back when everything was a toll call). We got a website very early in the game and the traffic on our website is very good. We are always leaving a little something behind for our customers. At one point we used to leave a bag of hard candy with a thank you card. We currently are using small hand sanitizers with our company info on them. We have done and still do little direct mailings and of course we do all the social media marketing stuff. But, I would have to say our biggest advertising is our loyal customer base that gets us many referrals.


What type of clientele do you have? We have a wide array of clientele from very young drivers to soccer moms to a few high-end customers with multiple cars.


What plans are in store for the business? Just to keep offering the same high quality work and keep our current customers happy. We have been looking into adding clear Bra services in the future


What is the best advice you have for other detailers in terms of what not to do when detailing a car? Don’t ever think you know it all and no one can teach you anything. Be very open minded and willing to try new products and techniques. Also get involved in the detailing community and attend the Mobile Tech Expo. And, also join the IDA— it will be one of the best moves you can make.


How many cars do you service a year? Between 700 to 800


What is the most often requested service? Our most popular service would be our Executive detailing which a full inside and out clean. This package is where I recommend a new customer start with us so they get a feel for our services. Then next time if the want paint correction or a coating or maybe an express detail we can do that also.


You have been named Detailing Person of the Year twice at the Mobile Tech

Expo. How does receiving such a title two years in a row? I have to tell you, I was surprised to receive it once, but getting it two years in a row was something I would have never expected. It is a real honor to even to be nominated for this and to be presented with it knowing you were voted in by your peers in the industry is something I will never forget.


What is the best thing about the detailing industry? It’s like family. Through the years of attending tradeshows to participating in forums and on Facebook, I have met some amazing people and I have become best of friends with many even though we may only see each other once or twice a year.


What is the most challenging thing about the detailing industry? Trying to keep up with all the latest tools and technology. Also as manufacturers change the paints and interior material sometimes do as well and it can be a real challenge.


What do you like to do in your off time? In the summer, I spend a fair amount of time boating and going to the beach and I do like travel as much as I can.


Did you always have a passion for this kind of work? I always liked working on cars at a very early age. I acutally got my first car before I had a license. As the years went on in business, seeing how I could transform a car that looked “ok” into something better than the day it rolled off the lot is what really keeps me always looking for new products and techniques. I always want to outdo what we’re currently doing.


What did you think you would be doing when you were a little kid? I always wanted to run construction equipment which I did do for a very short time.


What advice could you give to some new to the industry. I have seen this industry change in my over 31 years. When I started out you had to teach yourself a lot and could mostly only get products from the local distributor and there was no real networking. In today’s market, you can find information anyplace along with being able to get products from just about anywhere. I would recommend someone new (or even seasoned) attend some on the tradeshows or even some of the training events available to gain a little knowledge out there and meet other detailers. There is a wealth of knowledge out there.



Getting to Know...

Nitty Gritty

Michael Dickson, President of the International Detailing Association By Debra Gorgos


There are no problems, only solutions. Those of the words of Michael Dickson who took over as IDA president this past January. Michael is passionate about the industry and Association. Words he uses when talking about his involvement include: Fun, camaraderie, gratefulness, and pride. I recently had the chance to interview Michael and find out more about him and his role and goals as president of the world’s largest detailing organization.


How did you get started in the detailing industry?

I started working with my father in 1980 at Ohio Auto Supply. He had taken on the BAF/Pro line in 1970, distributing to car dealers. We sold both hard parts and chemicals. In 1983, we started the manufacturing of 5 products, which marked the beginning of the PDP (Professional Detailing Products) line. Both sides of the business grew, but detailing and PDP were my passion. The auto parts side of the business was sold off, so we could concentrate fully on automotive detailing manufacturing and distribution. As it often happens with big decisions where a leap of faith is needed, it turned out to be the best choice we ever could have made.





When did you get involved with the IDA?

I began in 2011 as a member of the Certification committee. We were working on getting the first Certified Detailer program up and running. The next year a board position opened up, and I have served on the board since then.


How and why do you think you got to become president? The executive director and board asked me to serve as president last year, and I gratefully accepted as it is an opportunity to continue to play a role in a mission that is larger than myself. Being a member of the IDA helps individuals with their personal growth, career goals, financial


VOL. 2, NO. 4 • FALL 2017

stability, and they eventually contribute to our detailing industry and society as a whole, much in the same way our current board members are doing. Hopefully, the cycle continues on for generations.


What are your goals as president?

Our committees each have specific annual goals that hone our focus and activities. The four committees are: Certification Membership Tradeshow & Education, and Marketing & Communication. My tenure so far has been fun, because in the past two years we have seen satisfying results from our efforts in each area, and now we are working at refining those

efforts further. I’m proud and energized to be involved with such an array of insightful, committed leaders of our industry. One specific item we will be working on next, is to better involve car dealerships in the IDA.


What are some issues or problems with the industry you hope to address? First off, I would say, “There are no problems, only solutions.” But I think the core issue that we have addressed from the start, and made incredible headway with, is setting a professional standard for detailers. The objective standard of Certification of Detailers, combined with our constant effort to create a community that grows aware-

ness of the science, art, and craft of detailing, not only brings awareness and respect of our chosen profession to consumers and dealership management, but more importantly, to the detailer! The detailer’s self-image has also been changed, now operating with more pride, confidence, and purpose.


tailers began to join together in seeing the benefits of membership and certification. IDA awareness has reached a tipping point and membership is now growing globally, and fast, on a monthly basis.


What advice do you have for others who have not joined the IDA?

What is your favorite thing about the industry?

I enjoy sharing time and ideas with my peers, and helping teach what I can from my experience. It is gratifying to see the detailing industry becoming more aware, after years of working in the shadows, so to speak. America’s love affair with their vehicles has been going on for more than a century, and the passion of detailers is catching fire, largely in part to the sharing of ideas through networking and social media.


How have you seen the IDA evolve over the years?

The initial core group conceived the organization over a breakfast at Denny’s in 2008. It took a good seven years after that

for the IDA to really gain the momentum it has achieved today. During those years, the IDA board held tight to their vision of creating awareness and helping fellow detailers. It was very gratifying when de-

I would say that once you do join the IDA and realize the intangible benefits of support, camaraderie, and networking that fuel your imagination and career, you will regret not having joined sooner. You may think that your personal growth and business goals can be reached on your own, and of course they will be, to an extent. But when you multiply your family of brothers and sisters, with like ideas and experiences to spark your own ideas, you gain access to a whole new world of possibilities.



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Frightening stains?!

, b o j y r a c s It’s a but somebody has to do it By Debra Gorgos Debrag@autodetailingnews.com

As the Stain Horror Stories started pouring in when this publication began, it became very obvious that you guys deal with a lot of

frightening stuff. From suicides, to blood and vomit, the things you all encounter would be suited for the movie Saw. Along with the messes, you also have to deal with monstrous customers. Ones who simply don’t get it. Ones who don’t understand the scope of your work. And, then

there’s scammers. The con-artists who prey on small businesses. And, even though, they can be somewhat innocuous, sometimes a true criminal can cross the line, threatening bodily harm and family members. So, in honor of Halloween, and in honor of the terrifying things you all

encounter, this cover story is for all of you. These aren’t necessarily the absolute worst nightmares you have ever heard, but maybe these stories accounts will make you feel like you’re not the only one dealing with ghoulish troubles.



One scammer goes

too far

How one con artist made death threats to a Florida detailer A completely bizarre and muddled scam seeped its way into the detailing industry. And, while, scams are usually frivolous and forgettable, one of recent months went too far and resorted to death threats. Robert DiTerlizzi of Stuart, Florida is a professional detailer and founder of the Detailing for Dummies Facebook group. DiTerlizzi was sent a text, the same one many detailers in the country have received. In fact, this particular scam has been around for years, but DiTerilizzi decided to hear them out. Red flags popped up immediately when he noted the following: The English and grammar was questionable. They immediately ask if he accepts credit cards The cars named are high-end and not made in the U.S.A. or ones that are extremely rare and/or expensive. Or, the list of cars will vary in price, i.e. “I have four Escalades and a Nissan Versa…” When DiTerilizzi decided to have a little fun with the con to see how far it would go, he didn’t think it would turn ugly and hostile. After a few texts back and forth, death threats were thrown into the mix. Allow for the following texts to speak for themselves. If you Google the number, 404900-1858 (which is an Atlanta, Georgia, area code) it comes up as “fake” and has a negative score. If you dial it you get a voicemail recording.




What to do if it happens to you!

And while DiTerilizzi said he wasn’t too worried about swindler’s threats, he does worry that others who are just starting out, or are more trusting, will pay a heavy price. “I


VOL. 2, NO. 4 • FALL 2017

want to share my story and these texts to help warn others out there, that this scam is happening. I hope it stops altogether, but if it doesn’t, we can at least let others know about it.”

Report any phone calls like this to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-888-382-1222 or report it at ftc.gov/complaint. Also post your experience on commonly used detailing forums and Facebook pages (such as Detailing for Dummies) to let others know. Sometimes, these con artists will be using a master list of people within the same professional. According to the FTC, nowadays, you cannot even trust your caller ID. “Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up,” states the FTC.

e l ic h e v r e t s u b t Ghos ats possessed by r

Stain horror stories are one of the most popular features of Auto Detailing News. An entire magazine could be filled with just the tales of disgusting soils and smells. But, what about when the entire vehicle, from the engine to the hood to the seats is repulsive? It’s not just a stain horror story—it’s a stain upon stain upon stain horror story. So, without further ado, meet the Cadillac ‘Ghostbuster’ ambulance. “This car came in to our shop on life support,” said Tom Shearer, coowner of Mr. Detail Auto Salon of Seattle, Washington. “It looks like it had been living in the woods for the past 50 years.” Moss, and grime were on, and inside the vehicle and a rats’ nest and a dead rodent were found inside the engine. “Thankfully, no rats were alive and inside the engine at the time the vehicle was delivered to us,” Shearer shared. Shearer, co-owner Mike Rafael and paint polishing guru Jason Kilmer took one look and questioned whether or not to take on the project. The client needed it turned around in two days for a parade they wanted to enter it in, said Shearer. He asked that they just concentrate on the exterior as the interior would take too long. Even the customer’s expectations were not high. “But,” shared Shearer, “after cleaning off the layers of dirt and debris we did some test spots” and thought we could give it a try. “We decided to under-promise and try to over deliver,” shared Shearer. The team then worked for two days straight. First was cleaning out the rat’s nest which they determined was a fire hazard due the nest materials. With gloves on, Shearer said the thought

that a rodent could creep out of the nest or out from the engine kept everyone on edge. They also found a completely flattened rodent which resembled a pancake. “We had no idea how long that thing was in there for. It was disgusting.” Next, they pressure washed for a few hours. Followed by using a Meguiar’s cutting compound with a rotary buffer. Next was s polish with a dual action buffer followed by a sealant. The results? After two days of working their magic, Shearer said they definitely over delivered. “The customer could not believe how well it looked. They were beyond impressed.


What to do if it happens to you! As Shearer said, with vehicles in this kind of shape and with such a tight deadline, be sure to “under promise and then over deliver.” Be honest with the customer(s) about what you think you can accomplish. Do not exaggerate or oversell. Make sure to enlist a good team of employees who are willing to put in the extra time and effort. Also, take before and after photos to post to Instagram, Facebook and on your website and showcase your hard work and talent.


continued . . .



f f o s e iv g r e m o t s u C

e b i v y p e e r c Is there anything worse than being watched while you detail their vehicle? And doubt your methods? And question your skills? Jimbo Balaam, owner and operator of Jimbo’s Auto Detailing, of Southern California, and the host of the popular Auto Detailing Podcast, experienced all of that. Balaam had a “feeling” this one customer was a little off. He got a creepy vibe, he explains in his podcast. I dealt with a real interesting and rare circumstance, Balaam explained. I get called by an old client that I had not seen in at least three years. And this guy gave me a weird vibe. The client wants Balaam to do a simple wash and wax on a black Mercedes C230 and a black Porsche 911. One red flag was that he asked if his prices were the same as they were three years ago. I had to explain to him that they were not and we worked out a price. Something was not quite right with this guy—he was kind of standoffish, but also nice, and there was a weird “spidey sense” that something was off, said Balaam. And, that is why there was such a gap in doing his cars. I don’t pursue those kinds of clients. But, he added, if they contact me, I will give them another try… Balaam goes to this man’s house and immediately, he gets a weird vibe as if “something” is going to happen, but he pushes through. So, I get to




work right out in front of his house, Balaam explained, knowing that the customer went back inside to his house and started watching him from the windows. So, I get to work and per usual, I like to do both cars at the same time, as it is the most efficient way to work, like an assembly line, Balaam explained, but he came outside and he seemed to not be comfortable with that for some reason and he was weird with how I wanted to position the cars. Balaam said he tried explaining that by doing both cars at once, it will be more efficient. But, this customer does not seem to understand. Balaam then gets back to work and within 5 minutes of him doing a no-rinse treatment (with an Si02 base so there is some retention built in) and a spray wax as a drying aid, he comes out again and starts questions his methods. “Are you sure it isn’t scratching the car?” he asks, “are you sure it’s not creating webs?” he asked Balaam. I explain about no-rinse and how it works, said Balaam. Now, these cars were about 2 years old and never well maintained. And, one was a teenager’s car and it was pretty beat up, he added—and this was the first time I had worked on them. I explain to him that, no, that won’t happen, and explain that we have to do a wash and wax a certain way to due to runoff California ordinances. After that, he and his son must have come out every 5 to 10 minutes and would just walk around the car and watch what I was doing, shared Balaam. “As everyone knows, sometimes the car is uglier before it gets better and with no


VOL. 2, NO. 4 • FALL 2017

rinse half the car is done, half the car is clean. And these guys are seeing the cars mid-detail.” “Then my ‘spidey sense’ goes off and I know, ‘Oh my gosh, something is wrong here. NO customer comes out this much.’” These guys seem to automatically think that they are the experts on this. “What’s funny is that on the 911 he had swirl marks and buffer trails. I pointed those out to him, but he said he couldn’t see them.” Balaam said he was using a spray wax that will fill in minor swirls, spider webbing – perfect for a wash and wax, and even though It will just hide the imperfections it works for this kind of service. “I knew I was not correcting the paint, but filling it and giving a better appearance to the paint. With that said, I knew I was producing a better result.” After he comes out what felt like 4 million more times, said Balaam, he says to me, “Hey these cars look WORSE.” I was really caught off guard, said Balaam. “I was only an hour in. I reply, ‘what do you mean?’ dumbfounded. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am delivering a great service.” Balaam then decides to immediately stop working. We have a serious problem at this point, he said. “If he thinks I am doing something worse then… If I move forward, I am wasting my time and his time.” And, being open and transparent (I have dealt with enough crazy customers and my patience for dealing with them is very low), said Balaam, I have found that if a person is unhappy, then, in their minds, it is very difficult

to change their minds. And then the customer says, “You know what why don’t you just stop there.’” He apparently wanted to pay me to do a process that would have gotten him a worse result. Balaam leaves and suffers the loss of time spent, but knows that not only will he never deal with that client again, he also knows he will always stand by his products and process.

What to do if it happens to you! Educate your customers as much as possible before you begin. Let them know the process and products you’ll be using. Also, be confident in your methods and products. If they balk and complain, cut your losses and walk away. You are allowed to fire customers. Some are not worth the time, energy and stress. And, trust your gut. If something tells you that a particular customer seems “off” or “creepy”, do not work with them. If they leave a bad review on Yelp or Facebook, there are ways to remedy those occurrences. See page 5 in the first issue of Auto Detailing News, which can be found at: https://issuu.com/1carwash/ docs/winter_2016.

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Disgusting vehicle captured on video One of the most popular sections of this publication are the Stain Horror stories. From births to clam chowder, a lot of you have seen some disgusting messes. But, nothing compares to the vehicle featured in the YouTube video: Worst car ever at Hyundai. A push broom was needed to clear out the trash. The amount of garbage inside the vehicle filled four trashcans. And, the detailers had to continuously sniff Tide Detergent (two unopened containers were found inside of the truck) to clear out their nose as the stench inside the truck was so horrific. And if you’re upset about a certain rude customer you have had to deal with, feel better about your experience by watching the YouTube video: Customers GONE BAD! - ANGRY Customer Compilation!

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VOL. 2, NO. 4 • FALL 2017

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