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What exactly do you get in a £5 valet? (A cautionary tale)

DannyDanny Argent ~ 27/01/07

Well, it's debatable that you could actually call anything that cost £5 a valet. It's better described as
a car wash. So what do you get in a £5 car wash? One of our customers took a 3 week old BMW
to one of these drive in places, the results are pictured below!

 

Front Wing

 

Front Wing again

 

Top of door - our guess is that this was caused by a dirty sponge covered in grit.

 

Boot area - note the deep scratches as well as the normal wash-marks
The whole car was absolutely covered in scratches!

 

Mark sees what he can do with it, machine polishes the car boot twice, with two different grades of polish and pads.

 

After machine polishing - most of the washing marks have been removed, but the deeper scratches remain. This car will require much more work to get it looking like a car which is only 3 weeks old and has only 400 miles on the clock!

Now don't get me wrong! We don't expect anybody to pay out for a full valet every time their car
Gets dirty! I certainly don't, and I freely admit that I have paid somebody a tenner to give my
car a quick wash... but only after having watched them for 20 mins to see how they do it, making
sure they used the correct gear and plenty of clean water.
Anna has a great series of articles on how you should wash your car Here, and if you aren't
washing your car yourself, then you should ensure that whoever is is following these instructions.

The damage pictured above was basically caused by bad washing technique and lack of care.
A decent car shampoo or TFR (Traffic Film Remover) is needed to lift the dirt from the car, plus
plenty of water to rinse it off. A purpose made traffic brush is best for removing heavy soiling
without causing scratches, this is pretty much as soft as a baby's hair brush.
We also suggest using a wool wash mitt rather than a sponge which is hard and can trap grit.
Plenty of water is the key... I'll use between 5 and 9 buckets of water while washing my car,
which is a fair bit smaller than the one pictured.

These days the paintwork on cars is very soft and easily scratched. Great care needs to be taken
while washing. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for and unfortunately, we are
seeing damage like this all too frequently.

I can only wonder how much this damage has devalued the car by. I can tell you that we would
ask £650 to put it right.

car washing

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This page was last updated on Fri, 27 September, 2013-->
     
 
 
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