Ahorre miles en reparaciones de vehículos con Endurance.
Obtenga una cuota gratis

How Much Time Does Car Detailing Take?

POR: Alex Perrone
Man using fine brush and cleaning AC vents during car interior detailed cleaning

For most drivers, their vehicle is their pride and joy. From the second they get their hands on the keys, they want to keep it in the best possible condition—but sometimes, a simple car wash won’t quite cut it.

Auto detailing is the very best care your car can get, but how long does it take? And are there any additional benefits to taking care of your car? We’re here to answer all these questions and more.

The Difference Between Washing a Car and Car Detailing

Plenty of people think that car washing and car detailing are interchangeable terms, but they’re actually very different:

Car washing is as simple as it sounds and literally involves washing the exterior of your vehicle to remove dirt and restore shine. It’s so simple it’s been made into an automated process at gas stations around the globe.

Car detailing is a much more intricate process that can only be accomplished by hand. It starts off with a routine wash and moves on to all the cleaning and restoration processes necessary to make your car look like it’s just rolled off the production line. Detailing usually includes both the exterior and interior of your vehicle.

Quick Detailing vs. Comprehensive Detailing

One of the great things about detailing is that you don’t have to go all-in if you don’t want to. Depending on the time you have at hand, you can opt for a quick touch-up or a more comprehensive clean.

Quick Detailing

Quick detailing (aka waterless detailing) is ideal for keeping your car clean between full maintenance washes, and usually takes less than 30 minutes. If the paint is just slightly dusty or has light water spotting, grab some microfiber towels and a quick detailing spray. A car duster is also helpful for removing the top layer of dust before you get to work.

You can also include the interior of your car in a quick detail if you like, and there are interior sprays available. Using these sprays with microfiber cloths lets you keep on top of interior dust too.

Comprehensive Detailing

You can put much more time into your detailing for a higher standard of results. This generally starts with a maintenance wash, moving on to full exterior and interior detailing. If you’re aiming for quite a deep clean, this can take anywhere between 4 and 8 hours. If you’re including things like headlight restoration, paint correction, and a full body polish, it could be 2 to 3 days until you’re done.

Exterior Detailing

Exterior detailing ensures that your car’s outer surfaces are thoroughly cleaned and enhanced. There are plenty of variables you can add or remove, but our general and complete checklists should give you an idea of what’s involved and how long it’ll take:

General Exterior Detail

Approx. time: 2+ hours

  • Hand wash the paint, glass, and wheels
  • Apply a layer of wax or paint sealant

Complete Exterior Detail

Approx. time: 4+ hours

  • Hand wash the paint, glass, and wheels
  • Clean doors and jambs
  • Apply iron and tar remover to body paint
  • Clay bar paint and glass
  • Polish exhaust tips
  • Apply a layer of wax or paint sealant

Interior Detailing

With car washes being most people’s default car care, interiors don’t get as much attention as they really should. Interior detailing aims to fix that, bringing the inside of your vehicle back to its former glory. Just make sure to clear cup holders, footwells, and other interior storage areas before you get to work.

General Interior Detail

Approx. time: 2+ hours

  • Vacuum carpet, floor mats, and upholstery
  • Clean glass
  • Apply a leather and vinyl protectant

Complete Interior Detail

Approx. time: 4+ hours

  • Vacuum carpet, floor mats, and upholstery
  • Steam clean headliner, leather, vinyl, and plastic surfaces
  • Deep clean carpet, floor mats, and cloth upholstery
  • Clean glass
  • Apply a leather and vinyl protectant
  • Apply odor-eliminating product if necessary

Why Car Upkeep Is Important

Detailing keeps your car looking great, and a car that’s been cared for is much more appealing should you come to trade it in or sell it in the future. This ultimately means you can command a higher price, and it could mean up to 15% more money.

Another great way to increase your car’s trade-in value is by investing in a vehicle service contract. No matter how well you look after your vehicle, component failure is unfortunately inevitable, but a vehicle service contract covers you in the event of unexpected repair bills. Because all work is carried out to a high standard by a certified auto shop, prospective buyers can rest assured that your car isn’t all looks. Better still, coverage is often transferable, so the next owner can enjoy the same financial peace of mind.

The Most Comprehensive Way to Care for Your Vehicle

So, how long does it take to detail a car? While our estimates make a good guide, it’s important to remember that all cars are different. Older cars will require more time and attention than newer cars. The same goes for dirtier cars too.

While detailing is certainly a great idea, there’s little point caring for your car’s appearance when you aren’t protecting what’s under the hood too. A vehicle service contract from Endurance can keep you driving with confidence, knowing that whatever happens, we have your back.

Our auto protection plans are fully flexible, so there’s something to suit everyone’s individual needs and budget. We also include 24/7 roadside assistance, trip-interruption costs, and replacement travel reimbursement as standard, plus every new customer gets free access to our suite of Elite benefits, adding on total loss protection, tire replacement, and more.

If you’d like to know more about Endurance and how we can protect you from unexpected repair bills, make sure to give our award-winning customer service team a call at (800) 253-8203 or tienda en linea today. You can also carry on reading about all things automobile by checking out the rest of our blog de garantía extendida del automóvil.

Más como esto

Comience con una cotización GRATIS.

        Obtenga una cuota gratis