X type 2004 173k - Car Valet - joegrundy

In an earlier post I mentioned that I planned to have the car valetted in recognition of her long and faithful service. Today was the day.

(This post will reveal my own inate laziness).

Last time car had a good wash/clean was just before her ill-fated, cut short, trip to Andorra in August and I'd felt a bit estranged from her after she came back on her own from her rescue.

Living in Pembs, you get used (once you venture outside the towns and onto country roads) to your car being coated with 'Pembrokeshire Underseal' aka cow s*** most of the time. On Sunday, against my better judgement, I called into a £5 handwash place and had most of it blasted off. 'Blasted' is a good word, they used commercial strength pressure wash which wouldn't have been out of place in a shipyard and who knows what chemicals. But still they missed a fair bit.

Today, I had a local firm come to me for a proper valet. Husband and wife, come to you in a van, have their own water, generator for (mild) pressure washer and vacuum cleaner.

An excellent job overall. Full inside and out clean, wax polish, leather polish, etc. Took them about an hour and a half, £45. Works out to £15/hour each, but that doesn't include the overheads.

They weren't 'detailers' with electric polishers and all the gubbins, and they didn't do anything I couldn't have done myself. But I was demotivated.

What this has done is to motivate me to get out there and follow up with my own stock of polish etc. to prepare the car for winter. And I have to say that when an x type is polished up her curves are very beguiling ...

X type 2004 173k - Car Valet - gordonbennet

Having the right equipment makes the world of difference.

I simply can't be bothered with this two bucket faff, i invested a good wedge in a Kranzle pressure washer, which with the two sorts of TFR i use (depending on soiling and if i wish to wax afterwards) means i can wash all three cars properly in about half and hour, and the right angle extension nozzle sees the underbody's cleaned off in next to no time too.,,as a bonus i have a telescopic lance too so am able to clean out the house gutters from the ground too as well as a drain jet for, well, the drains...i recommend a good pressure washer as a big boys toy well worth having :-)

I get cleaning chemicals from either Bilt Hamber or Chemiclean, and use Autosmart's ''finish'' for exterior unpainted plastics and interoir plastics and Chemiclean's window cleaner makes the rest of window cleaning stuff redundant, and Poorboys wheel wax is absolutely the business and keeps yer plastic headlights nice too, White Diamond for any metal that needs polishing to a mirror finish, oh and Bilt Hambers AutoWheel wheel cleaner is just the dogs doodahs.

I love to see what the detailers get up to but they a bit over the top with it all, says he after the last paragraph, though the wholesalers who supply pro detailers/valetters are very handy for supplies often at a decent discount.

Going to have to get some BIgDug shelving and a new tool chest on wheels in the spring, hire a large skip and have a massive clear out of me garage and around the back of the house, its got a bit out of hand now, though i'm now down to only 25 litres of engine oil and me last 6 oil filters for the Landcruiser in stock, so must be thinking of fresh stock this winter when the sales kick off.

X type 2004 173k - Car Valet - Steveieb

My local automated car wash in Wellingborough has reduced its prices to £1.99 yes £1.99 for a basic wash and dry .

The car is firstly given a spray of solvent stuff to loosen the dirt then the car is pulled through the washer brushes and dryers.

My Audi has never looked so good and miles better than washing by hand.

But the price!

My work colleague bought a car cleaning franchise when he retired and he has decided that it is not worth setting up with competition like this.

X type 2004 173k - Car Valet - galileo

£1.99 seems to be common for the most basic wash at the automated carwashes - for £2.99 our local one gives the wheels individual cleaning too, which is the option I usually take.

Today, being fine (and feeling energetic), however, I washed mine at home, put a coat of ArmorAll Shield on and re-RainExed the windows, in readiness for the winter.


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