The Prime Buyer's Report

The definitive guide to local shopping; methodically researched, updated daily.

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Prime Buyers Guide Auto Detailers

Find the Best Auto Detailers in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA


Selling your car (or trading it in) and need it to look its best to get the highest price possible? Or just want to impress by having a car that's shiny and clean? Then you want the services of auto detailers in Marin County CA. Auto detailing services perform an exceptional car cleaning including waxing, polishing and bringing a like-new shine to trim, windows, tire rims and wheels using special detailing clays, detergents, and cloths. And having regular cleanings not only looks better, it protects your investment by helping your auto body and trim last longer. The best auto detailers may also offer paintless dent repair & dent removal in Marin County. The following research by The Prime Buyer's Report identifies the best auto detailers in Marin County and issues related to hiring them.

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Updated September 19, 2017

 The TOP 10 Auto Detailers in Marin County CA

Hollywood Details
(415) 898-1172
7435 Redwood Blvd
Novato, CA 94945

Areas Served: Novato CA, San Marin CA, Ignacio CA, Hamilton CA, Bahia CA, Black Point CA

Precision Auto Detailing
(415) 456-8900
623 Irwin St
San Rafael, CA 94901

Areas Served: San Rafael CA, Santa Venetia CA, San Anselmo CA, Ross CA, Kentfield CA, Greenbrae CA

G Auto Detail
(415) 457-4307
757 Lincoln Ave
San Rafael, CA 94901

Areas Served: San Rafael CA, Lucas Valley CA, San Anselmo CA, Fairfax CA, Ross CA, Greenbrae CA

P & H Class Details Auto Customizing
(415) 332-9458
PO Box 1401
Mill Valley, CA 94942

Areas Served: Mill Valley CA, Sycamore Park, Strawberry, Almonte CA, Corte Madera CA

European Attention to Detail
(415) 454-5661
990 Francisco Blvd E
San Rafael, CA 94901

Areas Served: San Rafael CA, Greenbrae CA, Kentfield CA, Ross CA, San Anselmo CA, Lucas Valley CA

Find the Best Auto Detailers in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA 


Auto detailers in Marin County are not required to be licensed by the State, nor are they legally required to have liability insurance to protect you in the event of damage, however all auto detailers bearing The Prime Buyer's ReportTOP 10 symbol do have liability insurance for your protection, in addition to passing all of the other requirements for certification as Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 such as our research phone calls to their previous customers to verify high satisfaction, hiring only documented workers, sufficient length of time in business, clean complaint record, and more.


Auto detailers in Marin County offer far more than a mere car wash. Auto detailing services are what the dealerships use to make those used cars look brand new. Auto detailing services include rejuvenation (bring your car back to looking new) and protection (the use of sealants, waxes and other special products to prevent further damage or deterioration).  A car is expensive, so while auto detailers cost more than that corner car wash, they more than pay for themselves by protecting your investment.

Experience Counts With Auto Detailers in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA
Auto detailers are experts in getting your car body to a high gloss with special polishing and waxing, buffing out minor scratches, masking them with special clays, or retouching them with matching paint.  They also perform a thorough inside cleaning, vacuuming, and washing of car carpets, floor mats, and upholstery, and can even add that well-known ‘new car smell' back to your car. 

But you want auto detailers that know what they're doing. For instance, over-use of a polish can give a temporary shine but actually remove the protective clearcoat which prevents minor scratches and sun from damaging the actual body paint. The best auto detailers in Marin County will know if it's appropriate to wash your car again after claying to remove all clay residue and clay lubricant, how to use prewax cleansers to remove old layers of wax, how to use glazes that contain wax or fillers to hide small blemishes, and if it's best in your case to lay down a layer of paint sealant first before using carnauba wax to achieve a high gloss shine. 

Various Car Detailing Techniques Are Used By Auto Detailers in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA
Auto detailers can remove your seats to get at spills between the seats, especially ones that cause odor, and make it easier to do a thorough cleaning of seat upholstery and seat runners. 

Think hand buffing is best? Guess again. Auto detailers use machine buffing not because it's faster but because in the hands of an expert, it yields better results than hand buffing. Again, finding skilled auto detailers is key since improper use of high speed rotary buffers can cause swirls and excessive paint removal and there's a learning curve to getting it right, so go for experienced auto detailers.

Many of the best auto detailers in Marin County can steam clean your engine compartment of grease and dirt, but they need to be careful to keep water out of the computer and electronic modules under your hood. The application of engine dressing will give you a like-new look under the hood as impressive as the one on the car body.

Auto detailers should be experienced and knowledgeable since there's a lot for car detailers to know. This includes techniques, use of specialized equipment, and chemicals including products that both clean and protect. Special equipment used by auto detailers in Marin County includes polishers, power washers, dirt extractors, shampoos and much more.

Paintless Dent Repair  in Marin County.
Shops that practice paintless dent repair or paintless dent removal in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA use a series of techniques for removing dents and dings, without the need to repaint the damaged area. Paintless dent repair uses rods, glue, and other tools to push or pull out dents from the car body. Repairing car dents in this manner may only be feasible for less serious dents and minor bumper indentations, but avoiding the need to repaint the affected area may be a cost savings.  There are some shops offering paintless dent repair in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA.  

Some Car Detailing Services in Marin County Are Much Better Than Others

The Prime Buyer's Report lists these auto detailers in Marin County: European Attention to Detail, G Auto Detail, Precision Auto Detailing, Hollywood Details, P & H Class Details Auto Customizing. Other auto detailers in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael who might still be in business include: Doctor Detail Inc. Mobile Auto Detailing San Rafael CA. Didn't find what you wanted with the TOP 10 Auto Detailers in Marin County? Then click here to see additional companies in this category.

 

 

Questions To Ask Car Detailers in Marin County 


Step 1: Describe to the Auto Detailers the Results You Want

Tell the auto detailers what you're seeking to achieve by going to car detailers in the first place. Do you want your car appearance to meet "show car" standards? Are you looking to get the best price possible in an upcoming sale or trade in of the car? Or is your reason for car detailing the ongoing protection and maintenance of a car you intend to keep for years? 

Step 2: Questions To Ask Car Detailers in Marin County
You can learn a lot about the car detailers by asking questions before handing over your car. And you're likely to be treated better by the auto detailers by demonstrating some knowledge by asking these questions.  

Ask the auto detailers the following questions and note down their answers:

• How long have the auto detailers been in business? 

• How many cars do they detail per week or month? A decent stream of auto detailing customers can be a sign of a thriving business with much repeat business and referrals.

• Can they give you names and phone numbers of customers that you call as references? (All auto detailers bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already had their customer references called by our research staff so you don't have to.)

• Who will be doing your auto detailing? The owner may have experience but is it a less experienced staff member who will do your auto detailing service? 

• Can they prove that all their workers are legally allowed to work in the U.S.? (All auto detailers in bearing The Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already signed an agreement to only hire documented workers.)

• Do the auto detailers have an actual auto detailing shop or storefront, or are they a mobile service that does the car detailing at your home or office? 

• Do the auto detailers offer any written warranties or guarantees? 

• Do the auto detailers have up to date liability insurance to cover any accidental damage done during detailing, or while your car while is on their property?  (All car detailers bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have already had ther proof of liability insurance verified by our research staff so you don't have to. )

• What equipment will the auto detailers be using and how experienced are they with that equipment? 

• Do the auto detailers offer any incentive pricing if you commit to a regular schedule of repeat auto detailing? 

• Are the auto detailers members of professional trade associations like the ICA (International Carwash Association) or regional associations for the auto detailing industry? This can be a sign the auto detailers consider their service to be a profession, take it seriously, and are committed to running a long term auto detailing business. 

• Do the auto detailers subscribe to professional trade publications? This can show the auto detailers are concerned about continuing to better their skills and service by keeping up on the latest techniques and products.  

Step 3: Provide the Auto Detailers with an Incentive for Good Car Detailing Results and Good Service

Explain to the auto detailers that if you're highly satisfied with the results of the car detailing, that they will be rewarded with your repeat car detailing business and with your referrals for car detailing.

 

 

Tips About Auto Detailing in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA 



Take a look at the auto detailing shop.

Is it clean and does it protect a professional image? Since the job of auto detailers is car cleaning with close attention to details, the cleanliness and organization of their own auto detailing shop should reflect these qualities.

Choose Auto Detailers That Ask You Questions First Before Going To Work
Do the auto detailers start by asking you questions about what you seek to gain from the auto detailing, such as whether your priority is keeping your car to show car appearance, to sell or trade the car, or as protective maintenance?   Auto detailers have many options available as to the type of products and equipment they can use to detail your car and varying levels of results and pricing.  Auto detailers who ask you these questions are showing a commitment to customer satisfaction.

The Best Auto Detailers in Marin County Will Communicate With You
Are the auto detailers responsive to your questions and willing to explain to you what they intend to do, the products they will be using and what those will do to your car?  If so, you've likely found one of the good car detailing services. Auto detailers who can't or won't explain to you what they'll be doing and why are not a good choice for your car detailing.

 

 

Glossary of Terms Used by Auto Detailers 

Abrasive - Particles in polishes and compounds used by auto detailers to wear away some of the paint surface to remove imperfections. 

Accelerated Dry Paint Finishes - Refinish work put into an air make-up systems to speed up the drying time from many hours to less than one hour. 

Acid- Different types of acid such as oxalic, sulfuric, phosphoric, or hydroflouric are found in wheel cleaners used by car detailers.

Acid Rain - Rain containing sulfur compounds or other acidic compounds caused by industrial pollution which can harm car finishes. 

Acid Rain Spots - Known by auto detailers as spots of white mineral deposits, usually calcium or salt, produced when the sun evaporates water standing on the vehicle surface.  

Air Dry Paint Finishes - Unlike ‘Accelerated Dry Paint Finishes' above, refinish work allowed to dry naturally without the application of heat or moved air. 

Appearance Reconditioning - Including auto detailing, the restoration of a car's appearance to brand new. 

Bath Tubber - Slang for someone who mixes his own chemical products in large vats or drums, usually cheaper and of poor quality. 

Blushing - When paint finish turns cloudy after polishing new paint because solvents haven't fully evaporated from the paint yet. 

Buffer - Equipment used to apply products to the vehicle. Compared to hand buffing, reduces time and can achieve better results. 

Buffer Marks - Circular marks in the paint from improper use of a buffer. 

Burn - To accidentally scar or remove paint from improper use of a polisher. 

Carnauba Wax - Nature's hardest natural wax but one which melts at 160 degrees F which limits its durability.  Should be rewaxed after 90 days.

Cleaner-Glaze - Combines light abrasive cleaner with silicones to allow auto detailers to clean and provide shine in one step. 

Cleaner-Wax - Combines light abrasive cleaner with silicones plus waxes allowing auto detailers to add cleaning, shine, and protection in one step. 

Clear Coat - Thin transparent layer of paint applied over the basecoat (pigmented layer) to give a shiny finish and protect the basecoat beneath. 

Compound - Also known as 'Polish'. Liquid or paste abrasive that abrade a way a portion of the top paint layer or clear coat layer which contain swirls, scratches, water spots or other imperfections. Usually the first step in an auto detailing process. 

Compound Scratches - Tiny scratches in the painted finish caused by use of abrasive-containing compounds, buffing cleaners, and wool cutting pads. Can be removed with polish. 

Cracking, Crazing, or Checking - Paint with appearance of shattered glass. Usually caused by repeated fluxes between hot and cold weather temperatures leading to the paint drying out and losing elasticity. 

Cutting Pad - A wool pad or coarse foam pad used to remove apply pre wax cleansers or remove small imperfections. 

Dressing - Liquids used to give protection and shine to rubber, plastic, leather, and vinyl. 

Extractor - Machine used by auto detailers to clean auto carpets and cloth seats by spraying a wet cleaning solution which is then sucked out by a vacuum. 

Finishing Pad - Used by auto detailers for polishing, usually wool or soft foam. 

Glaze
- Product which creates a high shine. Does not last as long as polymer sealants or waxes. 

Haze
- Dull or white milky appearance from a product which has dried on the surface before being rubbed off or due to dirt imbedded on the paint surface. 

Industrial Fallout - Particles of airborne pollution that becomes embedded in the car finish and oxidizes to appear as dark specks in the paint. Can be removed with special products. 

One Step - A polishing product that cleans and seals at the same time as a short cut. 

Orbital Buffer / Orbital Polisher - Mechanical buffer used by auto detailers that turns the pad in rapid ellipses to simulate the movement of hand buffing to remove compounding haze and to apply a wax or sealant. Different from a ‘Circular Polisher' or ‘Rotary Polisher' which is usually used in the preceding step.  

Oxidation - Loss of oils in the pint due to weather elements causing the surface to look dull, chalky and feel rough.  Black, red and other dark color paints oxidize quicker because they absorb more UV light from the sun than lighter colors which reflect more of it. Correction usually requires removing a portion of the top paint or clear coat which contains the oxidation using a compound (polish). 

Pad Washer
- Mechanical tool to remove build up of cleaners and compounds from buffing pads. 

Paint Sealer - Product applied to a clean surface to protect the paint. Comes with varying durability and gloss. 

Polish - Light abrasive product designed to smooth out scratches and swirls left by compounding. Usually the second step in the auto detailing process and also called ‘Pre-Wax Cleaners' by auto detailers. 

Pre-Wash - First step in preparing for auto detailing. 

Sealant - Product that penetrates the surface to bond with the paint finish and create a protective film more durable than wax. 

Silicone - A chemical polymer applied for exceptional water repellency and high gloss. Silicones are commonly used in automotive products to make product application and removal easier and improve their durability. When silicones were first used in the 1950's they were known to cause unsightly spots known as ‘fisheyes' when new paint was applied to a surface not thoroughly cleaned of silicone products. This has led to the persistence of a myth that silicones are bad but they work well now and are in wide use, though manufacturers will often refer to their product containing "modern polymers" when they're talking about silicone. 

Synthetic Wax - (Also known by auto detailers as ‘Paint Sealants' and ‘Paint Protectants') Formulas of man-made polymers, gloss agents and oils designed to protect painted or clear coated automotive finishes.  Some are water-based, others petroleum solvent-based, or a combination of both.  Compared to Carnauba waxes (the hardest naturally occurring wax) they have greater durability, are easy to apply and wipe off and produce a bright shine. They create a hard glass-like barrier to protect against detergents, acid rain and pollutants.  

Top Coat - Top layer of paint which is the color coat on conventional paint finishes, and the clear coat on basecoat/clearcoat finishes. 

Two Step - A term used by auto detailers to describe the process of cleaning or polishing followed by a separate step to apply a coat of wax or sealer.

Wax - Paste or liquid applied by hand or a mechanical polisher to protect and shine. The final step in the auto detailing process.

Wet Sanding - A technique of simultaneously sanding and rinsing an automotive finish to remove imperfections. A complicated technique requiring experience.

 

 

Resources About Auto Detailing in Marin County 

Organizations & Associations Related to Auto Detailers in Marin County
AAIA Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (http://www.sema.org/)
CAA California Autobody Association (http://www.calautobody.com/)
IADA Independent Automotive Damage Appraisers (http://www.iada.org/)
IDA International Detailing Association (http://www.iada.org/)
ICA International Carwash Association (http://www.sema.org/)
Diamond Certified www.diamondcertified.org
NAPDR National Association for Professional Detailing and Reconditioning (http://www.sema.org/)
NAPDRT National Alliance of Paintless Dent Repair Technicians (http://www.sema.org/)
WCA Western Carwash Association (http://www.sema.org/)


Media Related to Car Detailers in Marin County
Professional Carwashing & Detailing Magazine (518) 783-1281
Auto Laundry News
Detailers Digest (727) 531-7885
Carwashing Online (http://www.sema.org/)
Auto Care Forum (http://www.sema.org/)







The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Auto Detailers in Marin County CA within the following zip codes:

94964, 94965, 94945, 94971, 94963, 94940, 94938, 94956, 94912, 94904, 94941, 94925, 94974, 94960, 94901, 94979, 94957, 94914, 94946, 94915, 94933, 94903, 94948, 94929, 94930, 94976, 94924, 94937, 94947, 94966, 94977, 94913, 94949, 94973, 94942, 94978, 94920, 94970, 94939 and 94950

 


The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Car Detailing in Marin County CA within the following cities:

Belvedere Tiburon, Greenbrae, Inverness, Strawberry Point, Dillon Beach, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Tamal, Sleepy Hollow, Marin City, Muir Beach, San Rafael, Nicasio, Ross, San Anselmo, Novato, Lagunitas, Forest Knolls, Terra Linda, Mission Rafael, Ignacio, Fairfax, Stinson Beach, Tiburon, San Geronimo, Santa Venetia, Lucas Valley, Sausalito, Larkspur, Kent Woodlands, Muir Woods, Tamalpais Valley, Corte Madera, Woodacre, San Quentin, Black Point, Dogtown, Bel Marin Keys, Kentfield, San Marin, Marshall, Almonte, Olema, Belvedere, Point Reyes Station, Bolinas and Tomales

 

 

 

 

Prime Buyers Report

Record or Write a Review

Consumers use the Prime Buyer's Report to avoid the scam, fraud, and businesses with low customer satisfaction.

Independent research conducted by Prime Buyer's Report editors includes phone call surveys with customers of local businesses, checks with state agencies on license and complaint history, verification that each business has insurance coverage to protect you as a customer, phone interviews of business owners, signed agreements that they use only legal workers, and more to determine the businesses that are safe to spend with.

See All The Research Steps

Auto Detailers in Marin County serving Belvedere Tiburon, Greenbrae, Inverness, Strawberry Point, Dillon Beach, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Tamal, Sleepy Hollow, Marin City, Muir Beach, San Rafael, Nicasio, Ross, San Anselmo, Novato, Lagunitas, Forest Knolls, Terra Linda, Mission Rafael, Ignacio, Fairfax, Stinson Beach, Tiburon, San Geronimo, Santa Venetia, Lucas Valley, Sausalito, Larkspur, Kent Woodlands, Muir Woods, Tamalpais Valley, Corte Madera, Woodacre, San Quentin, Black Point, Dogtown, Bel Marin Keys, Kentfield, San Marin, Marshall, Almonte, Olema, Belvedere, Point Reyes Station, Bolinas and Tomales

 

Learn:

Questions To Ask Car Detailers in Marin County

When it comes to hiring car detailers in Marin County, ask these questions about their abilities, experience, and credentials. more »

 

Resources:

Tips About Auto Detailing in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA

Click here to see tips to help you get the best auto detailing services from auto detailers in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA.more »

 

Learn:

Glossary of Terms Used by Auto Detailers

Know the terms used by auto detailers to describe the condition of your car and their auto detailing services and procedures.more »

 

Learn:

Resources About Auto Detailing in Marin County

The following list of car detailing resources provides information about everything from industry associations for auto detailers in Marin County to media available to car detailers in Novato, Sausalito and San Rafael CA.more »