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FAQ-Friday! (Automotive P1)

The weather has changed (BURRR) and has also allowed me some free time so, I figured hey, why not spend some time sharing some common detailing and cleaning knowledge and start a regular “FAQ Friday” Posting to share some of our knowledge and experience for all you DIY clients and our valued current & future customers!


We will be doing this every Friday on a move forward so please follow us if you’re interested!

For those of you that don’t know us let me start with an introduction:


My name is Michael St. Onge, and I am 51yr old local Troutman/Statesville NC. Resident, married to my amazing wife Kimberly and we are proud owner/operators of Saints Detail LLC., Ugly Duckling Rentals LLC. and Ugly Duckling Holdings LLC. We Launched Saint’s Detail and Ugly Duckling Rental/Holdings in 2020 and after I had a satisfying 35-year career in the collision repair/Auto body industry!

We launched Ugly Duckling Holdings consignment and storage center in 2022 and this location now houses all our companies located at: 737 River Hwy in Mooresville next to point blank on the 150 while Saints Detail is also Mobile and based out of Troutman as well.


I am not one to boast and just saying all this so you can be assured that this information you’re about to receive has some validity.


I will introduce more of our staff weekly with our FAQ Friday posts as well.


Some of the most common automotive misconceptions that customers have is how to maintain their vehicles paint and while there are several products to choose from it still all starts with the basics of a fresh uncontaminated surface or you will be wasting time and money with your maintenance needs.


Hopefully these FAQs with my Answers/Opinions and Recommendations will help you make some good decisions moving forward when it comes to maintaining your investments.


(Automotive P1) FAQ:


Q: Is it ok to take My vehicle to a low budget or drive thru car wash to get it “detailed”?


A: Absolutely! But this is not a “detail”, and we will touch on that later!

· Maintaining your car’s paint is like anything else and it requires attention on a regular basis, but this can also be a waste of time and money if you haven’t started with a freshly protected paint surface.


Recommendation: Troutman locals have been ranting about a new quick car wash but, I have not had time to visit them yet although, I trust our local’s judgement and we always recommend “hand washes” first because these types of detailers will rinse before wash mitts and brushes are utilized that can cause damage while also using nonaggressive soaps that have wax additives and not detergents. (This is not something we offer the GP at Saints’ Detail unless you’re a member and already had all your paint corrections done) We don’t recommend Drive-throughs but, if used, they should always be brushless in our opinion as well.


Q: How do I start with a fresh paint surface so I can safely, and cost effectively do normal maintenance properly with great results?


A: Currently this is referred to as Paint correction and usually requires some professional consultations with the unit in question to determine the need per unit:

· Newer and/or well-maintained units can utilize a “1 step paint correction” that normally includes an aggressive detergent base car wash, clay bar decontamination, and most importantly a machine polish. Then back to your normal wash and wax, Vacuum, wheels/tires and wipe down interior with conditioners.

· Older units or units that have a lot of contaminants or that have never been 1 step corrected with no substantial paint issue will require a “2 Step Paint Correction” that is the same process as a 1 step but add the machine buffing process prior to polishing.


Recommendation: You had to know this was coming 😉 call SAINTS DETAIL! LOL…OK so in all seriousness this investment is the most important and is a process done most of the time by a professional or someone with some experience with detailing machines. Transparency is the key to our business model, and we offer some direct pricing on our website that you’re welcome to check out and if you’re not paying somewhere in the tune or more than what we offer then you’re PROBABLY not getting the job done right!


Q: What is the difference between a “Detail” and a “Car Wash”?


A: Ok Google:

· What is the meaning of auto detailing?


Car detailing is the process of improving the condition of a vehicle's interior and exterior appearance. This involves the most thorough clean possible, any enhancement to deal with minor defects such as clear coat scratches, and protection to maintain the condition.


· What is the meaning of car wash?


Definition of 'car wash' 1. a place or structure having special equipment for washing automobiles. 2. the washing of an automobile. The service station is offering free car washes to draw customers.



Recommendation: Get your paint correction done first, whether professionally or yourself and assure you do this at least every 1.5 years to protect your investments! I am not taking anything away from car washers and especially the ones that go the extra mile and give you more bang for your buck, but your expectations shouldn’t be more than what it is and when a vehicle is “detailed” properly your normal car washes are lot easier, less frequent and makes everyone happier because it takes less effort with better results.



Thank you again for your time and I hope you enjoyed the information while also hoping it helped you understand more about automotive detailing. Feel free to comment if you have any additional questions or reach out directly!


Next week we will do Automotive P2 with FAQs regarding ceramic coatings!

2 step paint correction:


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