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Cosmetic Maintenance: Washing, Waxing, Detailing, Bodywork, Protection Anything related to keeping your Camaro clean and in good cosmetic condition.

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Old 11-04-2012, 01:45 AM   #1
AdamEL
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$300 to $400 for a detail job?

Ever since the day I drove my car home, it's had very very light water spots on it. The car only sat on the lot for 2 weeks max [according to its build date and my purchase date], but probably several days less than that when you count in shipping time, so I know it's not from months of sitting on the lot and getting rained on. I carefully hand wash my car once a week and just gave it it's first serious paste wax job a couple of weeks ago. This did make the water spots look much better, but they're still there. They're super light, and you literally have to be at a certain angle to even see them, but I know they're there, so it sort of drives me nuts... So anyway, I contacted what is supposed to be the best detail shop in town, and they quoted me $300 to $400 to just get rid of the spots [I told them I didn't need any interior, wheel or window cleaning]. Does that sound about right, or is that guy trying to rip me a new one? Sorry about the novice question, but I've never been able to afford a car that was even worth detailing, so this is a first for me. But if $400 is on track, I'm going to have to save up for that, I guess. I do want the water spots gone. It's way too pretty of a color to not have it perfect...

Thanks in advance for the advice.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:55 AM   #2
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I think the guys here can give you some great advice on water spots. Check some of the stickies about what to do with a new car. The are some great DYI tips there.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:02 AM   #3
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300 for a detail...wth..are u getting the car gold plated :/
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:15 AM   #4
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That could be a little steep, or it could be just right. It depends what he has to do to remove them. It could be as simple as claying or it could need polishing. If it's just clay, you're getting ripped off. If it's polishing too, that's not bad.

However, I always recommend doing it yourself. It's not hard, I can walk you through it and it's way more rewarding to look at your work than someone else's

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Old 11-04-2012, 09:20 AM   #5
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However, I always recommend doing it yourself. It's not hard, I can walk you through it and it's way more rewarding to look at your work than someone else's

Completely agree!

Here's a link to just one of many DIY success stories:
http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=251673

Warning though, you will quickly become addicted!

Best of luck!
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:05 PM   #6
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Drive it over to me and you'll save 100-125 dollars enjoy a road trip and get a great detail.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:30 PM   #7
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It's cheap if the guy is a reputable detailer. The best indication would be a waiting list; if he can get to you right away, either he's a hack or you got lucky to slide in between jobs or somebody cancelled.
Depends on what you are willing to pay for. Ask him for a price on a full on paint correction job - the price should double or triple if he's previewed your car and he is a knowledgeable professional.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:10 PM   #8
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Way too much. Get yourself a dual action polisher kit for that price and do it yourself. Easy fix. I could clear it up with a wash, clay bar, wash and a few polishes.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:16 PM   #9
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Thanks a million for the advice, guys. Supposedly, this place is THE place to go in town. The website is great, Facebook page is filled with praises, and there's definitely a waiting list to get in. But believe it or not, I used to do PDI at a Ford dealer for a while, so I'm pretty good with waxing materials, I think. I'm going to look at your links, and do a bunch of research on here and see if I can't knock out the spots myself. If it needs a true paint correction, I'd be willing to fork over the cash eventually... But you guys are definitely right. I need to give it a shot myself. Perhaps next weekend will be the time to do it - weather permitting. Thanks again!
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:55 PM   #10
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It's cheap if the guy is a reputable detailer. The best indication would be a waiting list; if he can get to you right away, either he's a hack or you got lucky to slide in between jobs or somebody cancelled.
Depends on what you are willing to pay for. Ask him for a price on a full on paint correction job - the price should double or triple if he's previewed your car and he is a knowledgeable professional.
Not exactly true this time of year, a lot of people have already put their cars in storage for the winter... worst time to get it done is at the end of spring when you'll be waiting a month or so.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:57 PM   #11
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When you just print a large figure like 400-500 dollars it seems like a ton of money to make a car shiny. Thats why I won't give a estimate sight unseen. A customers idea of paint condition and reality could be worlds apart. Expectations are also sometimes.
out of line with reality. A correction may require as little as a one step correction to meet customer demand or as much as three or more steps taking 12-15 hrs plus. What would you charge in your field of employment for those kind of hrs and bringing your own equipment and product ? So sometimes those big numbers aren't as far out of line as they sound.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:49 AM   #12
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Its probably a LITTLE high for exterior only work, but not by some standards. I'd say $250 is probably the average, but depending on the quality of the guys work, if hes legit (carries insurance and is properly trained) it wouldn't be unreasonable to quote $300-$400. Many people get suckered in by "$100 details" and end up getting screwed by either a hack job that makes matters worse or not getting results expected/promised. As the saying goes "Cheap detailing isn't good and good detailing isn't cheap"

My rate is $45-$55 an hour depending on the work and a Camaro can take me in the range of 6-8 hours. So $270 on the low side and $440 on the high side as a guide.

On the flip side... if you opt to go the DIY route you can get the tools/supplies needed not only to do the job yourself once, but maintain it for a long time for about what it would cost to have the car done once professionally. The initial investment essentially pays for itself after you do your second paint correction.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:24 AM   #13
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Here in cali, it's 250 for an exterior detail that DOESN'T INCLUDE swril removing. If you want them to go over and remove swirls, the price jumps up to about 500 bucks or so. At least from a reputable guy.

Dylan, would you mind flying out to SF on Black Friday to detail my car before the SF Int'l Auto Show? I'd love to pay your price instead of what detailers out here charge.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:30 AM   #14
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LOL... no can do... I already wiggled my way out of going to Florida for a show on Thanksgiving. If I were gone anytime around there my wife would change the locks while I was gone... and I definitely don't want to sleep outside in Colorado winter.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:29 PM   #15
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To be honest that sounds fairly cheap/fair.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:59 PM   #16
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To be honest that sounds fairly cheap/fair.
I 2nd that,
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:15 PM   #17
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I just went to harbor freight, picked up their dual action polisher $60 and used Adams products to correct it by myself. As Dylan said, now I got the stuff to fix my paint in the future no matter the minor cosmetic defect, and I have the comfort of knowing its done to my high standards, not someone else's. All said and done beside my time, product are far less than $400.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:54 PM   #18
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And you've got a new hobby/skill out of it as well... which if you're a shine junky like some of us here can be a really rewarding thing.

Glad to hear you got it all sorted out.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:59 PM   #19
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300 for a detail...wth..are u getting the car gold plated :/
Are you joking? 300-400 for a pro detail isnt expensive at all.
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