Making a car shiny and spotless on the inside as well as the outside is the main job description of a car detailer. A detailer may work for a car dealership, a car wash, a specialty detail shop, a mechanic shop or as an independent contractor.
A car detailer cleans most parts of a car including cracks and crevices that are notcleaned by standard car wash systems.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Car Detailer
•Uses various types of cleaning equipment and solutions.
•Details vehicle according to the customer’s specific instructions.
•Shampoos carpets and upholstery.
•Vacuums floors and seats.
•Cleans and vacuums the trunk.
•Cleans out ashtrays and cup holders.
•Conditions vinyl and leather.
•Cleans all trash, debris and dirt from the interior of the vehicle.
•Uses special foams and detergents designed for specific types of microfibers.
•Polishes the dashboard, steering wheel, trims and moldings inside the vehicle.
•Cleans door frames and instrument panels.
•Cleans all dirt, grease and tar from the exterior of the vehicle.
•Reconditions the vehicle’s exterior.
•Cleans all glass on the vehicle, inside and out, with the appropriate type of rag and cleaning solution.
•Cleans all mirrors with the proper substance.
•Steams the engine.
•Removes grease from the engine and other parts under the hood.
•Waxes and buffs vehicles after washing.
•Polishes the exterior chrome and all trim on the exterior of the vehicle using special chrome cleaners.
•Uses air compressors and special equipment to dry the inside and outside surfaces.
•Applies chemicals to surfaces to protect against spots and stains.
•Uses various paints, waxes and dyes to protect the leather parts of a vehicle’s interior.
•Uses hoses and pumps for washing and rinsing vehicles.
•Dries floor mats.
•Cleans and polishes wheel rims and makes them sparkle.
•Cleans the headlights, brake lights and taillights making them brighter.
•Fixes minor scratches and chips with touch-up vehicle paint.
•Manages the inventory of cleaning supplies.
•Keeps records of customers and calls when it might be time for another detail.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
•Must have exceptional customer service skills.
•Must be detail oriented.
•Must have excellent communication skills.
•Must be an active listener and exercise sound judgment.
•Good critical thinking and problem solving skills are essential.
•Must be a good time manage and multi-tasker.
•The ability to follow complex instructions is a plus.
•Must have the ability to effectively manage material resources and keep track of an inventory of supplies.
•Should have ample knowledge of safety precautions.
Education and Experience
•High School diploma.
•Training program at place of employment.
•Certificate from a vocational or technical school in auto detailing.
•Certificate from an auto detailing school or course.
•Online seminars about auto detailing.
•Certification from the International Detailing Association or IDA.
•Time is spent inside and outside of vehicles.
•Must be able to work with strong detergents and chemicals.
•Time is spent working outside in both very hot and very cold weather.
•Must be willing to wear gloves and eye and ear protection.
•Salaries average $18,000 to $24,000 a year depending on the detail shop.
•Hourly wages range from $9 an hour to $12 an hour.