Friday, June 18, 2010

Automotive Finishes - What Goes Into What Goes On?

To work with the finish of an automobile, you need to have some amount of knowledge as to the product and process of automotive finishes. Automotive manufactures begin with a primer coat, which makes the paint adhere to the metal surface of the body of the automobile. Most commonly, this is referred to as an “e-coat” (electrocoat) as this coat is applied using a negatively charged body and positively charged primer in a tank of the solution. After a rinse, the remaining primer is baked and cured. Following the primer, the pigmented or colored coat is then added. Following additional curing, baking and drying, and additional coat of clear resin (clearcoat) is added for gloss, shine, UV and color protection. This is commonly known of as two stage paint—one which has been in place since the 1980’s. While this sounds like a thick application, all three layers combine to equal the thickness of two sheets of kitchen plastic wrap. Leading manufacturers of car finishes are Dupont, BASF and PPG. So what does this mean to you?

This thin surface is best maintained by protecting it with wax, sealants or a combination of the two products. While that “just waxed” look gives automobiles optic clarity and depth, it also provides much needed protection to the finish. Waxes and sealants can be diminished over time from exposure to the sun, excessive washing and washing with a strong soap (dish washing liquid is often used). This process of protection and beautification should be scheduled based on the individual driving, parking and watching habits of each driver and vehicle—a specialized aspect of our service.

At Wilson’s Precision Detailing, we understand your need to protect your automotive investment and we want to help you maintain the finish of your car so it will serve you for as long as you own your vehicle. Contact us and let us develop a customized plan for you and your automobile.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What is “Clay” and how does ”Claying” help the surface of a car?

When people contact me about a Precision Detail for their vehicle, I will mention the process of claying the horizontal surfaces of the vehicle. The inevitable question is, “What is claying and how does it help my car?” Well, here’s the answer: Claying removes ‘bonded surface contaminants’ from the vehicle. Bonded surface contaminants are substances like sand, rubber powder from tires, acid rain, airplane exhaust, sap from trees and ‘orange peel’ or paint overspray.

Professional detailers have known the benefits of the use of clay or the process of “claying” a car for quite some time. Automotive surface clays have been around for quite a while, but their availability to the consumer market has just occurred in the past several years.

The process of claying involves a professional detailing clay, a spray lubricant (spray detailer) and a microfiber towel. The horizontal surface (hood, roof and trunk) is sprayed with the lubricant and the clay, molded into a flat shape, is rubbed across the surface with a minimal amount of pressure. After the area (24”X24”) is wiped in two directions, the remaining lubricant is wiped dry.

As you can see, the process is fairly simple, yet it yields amazing results. Cars that have just been washed can still maintain a gritty feel to the surface. As the clay removes the bonded contaminants, the painted surface is restored to a smooth buttery feel--making your vehicle pleasing to the eyes and the touch.

So does it really work? Take a look at the ‘’after’ picture of this clay. The contaminants that were removed now darken the clay bar. And the surface of the vehicle? “Like butter”.

In West Texas, claying is usually an annual process depending on the driving conditions of the vehicle and frequency of cleanings.

At Wilson’s Precision Detailing, claying is a routine practice for new customers and an annual occurrence for our regular clients.

As we like to say, “Keep Abilene Clayed.”

Wilson’s Precision Detailing, Leave Your Car with People You Trust.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Customers and curious friends alike ask me about caring for their car. I offer these seven tips that have proven helpful no matter how meticulous they are about the appearance of their vehicle.

If your schedule allows, take the time to hand wash your vehicle. It’s the best way to keep your car looking good.
If you are going to go to the time and trouble of a good hand wash, use soap especially formulated for cars. Dishwashing liquids and general household cleaners are too strong and can strip away the wax/sealant that is there to protect and beautify your vehicle.
Good, foamy soap is best applied with a gentle applicator. Microfiber, chenille, sheep skin and even sea sponge are excellent.
Wash in the shade and let the surface of the car cool in the shade, or run cool water on the surface to lower the temperature. The cooler the surface of the car, the better the drying and less the chance of spotting.
If your schedule (or location) doesn’t allow for hand washing, automatic car washes can get the job done. A well waxed (or sealed) vehicle, will clean nicely in a touchless automatic car wash (it all has to do with surface tension, but we’ll talk about that later).
I recommend after every other tank of gas, get THE WORKS and let the machine do it’s magic. The spray on additives (wax, clear coat glaze, etc.) do seem to have properties that enhance the wax/sealant that is already on the surface.
While automatic car washes with brushes are popular and effective, they do put small scratches on the clear coat (and headlight lenses) that will eventually need to be removed. If you frequent one of these fine establishments in town, look at the surface of your hood, roof and trunk in the bright sun. You can see what look like “spider webs” or “holograms” on the surface of the paint. While you car gets clean (that you can see) it will also get tiny scratches (which you can’t always see).

Cleaning, polishing, protecting and sealing are all steps that are needed to both beautify and protect our automotive/marine investment. Wilson’s Precision Detailing would value the opportunity to serve you. Call us at 325-518-6550 for a free estimate/assessment.

Monday, July 13, 2009

It All Started...

It all started a couple of years ago when I purchased my car, a previously owned 2000 Toyota Avalon (my second such model). The vehicle had been well-cared for and was in great shape. With a daughter nearing graduation and a son not far behind her, I realized something was going to have to give, because something else was about to take (college tuition). Looking over my family budget, I saw that another source of income was on the horizon. Working to maintain the finish on this new (to me) set of wheels, I discovered a new passion—detailing the three cars that were in our automotive stable.

I found it enjoyable and could do it for hours (to my wife’s concern). This was one of the first symptoms. At the same time, I found myself offering to detail cars that belonged to friends (the second symptom). While all this was going on, I found myself bookmarking automotive detailing web sites…and visiting them almost daily.

With my wife’s intuition honing in on the symptoms, she asked me, “Could you make money detailing cars?” Of course I could, I think. After eight months of further research, a meeting at the Small Business Development Center, discussions with several trusted friends, and an appointment with the capable people at IN-Focus Digital, I set an April 1st target date (this was no joke) to start this new part-time venture.

At first, I wanted to control the growth of the company, but by the end of my first full year, I realized I could step things up and allow Wilson’s Precision Detailing to grow.

All along the way, I have continued to find ways to add services and products that allow me to better serve my customers. I have also learned how to do what I do better, and that is reflected in my work.

Whether you are a private individual or a professional seeking corporate assistance, I want to be the one you call when you need your car or boat detailed. More than that, though, I also want you to know that I will use this BLOG and my WEBSITE to help everyone who reads it take better care of their cars. As a matter of fact, I am offering a free carpet/mat/upholstery extraction ($50 value) to the first four people who schedule a Precision Detail. Just send an email with “IN-Focus Digital” in the subject line, include your name, contact information, and the best time to call.

Leave your car with someone you trust, Wilson’s Precision Detailing.