Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ABOUT US

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What is detailing?

“Detailing can be defined as the systematic rejuvenation and protection of the various surfaces of a vehicle.”

So what does that all mean? Well, let’s break that statement down to its basic components.

 

“Systematic” refers to the specific procedures that are performed in an order that allows us to detail a vehicle efficiently. Let’s face it, given enough time (and knowledge), anybody can do a pretty decent job detailing a vehicle. But we do it efficiently and effectively, saving you time and money and producing results most other companies would charge a premium for.

 

“Rejuvenation” refers to procedures that we use to return a vehicle to at or close to showroom condition. In other words, anyone can clean a car, but we can make it look like brand new!

 

“Protection” refers to the procedures and products we use that will help to keep your vehicle looking new after we leave. That is, when we are done rejuvenating your vehicle, we apply protective products that will keep the paint from oxidizing, keep the leather from drying out, and keep the vinyl from cracking.

 

“Various surfaces” refers to the fact that a vehicle is made up of dozens of surfaces (paint, exterior trim, wheels, carpet, seating, interior trim, etc.) each of which has any number of possible compositions. Automotive paint for example can be made up of either polyurethane, lacquer, enamel, water-based, clear-coat/basecoat, or conventional single coat.

What is the difference between Atomic Auto Salon and the competition?

Knowledge. Experience. Innovation. Thoroughness. Take your pick. From our very inception in 2003, we sought out the proper training and certifications that separate the professionals from the weekend warriors. As vehicle surfaces change and evolve over the years, so to have the procedures in rejuvenating them. So we must constantly train and adapt.

 

Not to mention, our attention to detail is second to none. While many companies cut corners, we understand that taking the easy way will always show in the quality of the work. Even the choice of equipment that we use helps us stay ahead of the competition by leaps and bounds.

What kinds of training and certifications does Atomic hold?

Every one of our technicians under goes an extensive training program. After the initial training program, they we be teamed up with another seasoned technician so that their skills are under constant scrutiny. Coupled with regular refresher courses and procedure updates, a technician’s training is never over, but constantly adapting and evolving into an experienced and knowledge professional.

 

In addition to our extensive training, several of our senior staff members hold various industry certifications. Most noteworthy, being the International Detailing Association’s Certified Detailer Program.  This program is a validation of a detailer’s skill and knowledge, not to mention the detailer’s commitment to professionalism and continuing education.

How do I know the work will be completed properly?

Every job we complete is checked against a lengthy and thorough inspection sheet by two technicians. Also, while the work is being performed, each technician can utilize numerous types of tools, lights, and other items to assist in the completion of the work to the highest detail.

What types of products do you use?

We use only high quality and proven products. For our detailing services, a majority of our products are made by Meguiar’s and Carpro.

Do you offer a mobile service?

Yes, we do! There is a $60 mobile convenience charge for distances up to 20 miles from zipcode 21046. Each miles beyond 25 miles is $1.

How often should I wash my car?

No less than every 2 weeks.

Are car washes safe for my paint?

Automatic car washes are extremely damaging to vehicle paint and other surfaces. Even touchless washes can cause premature wear to vehicle surfaces due to the highly caustic chemical needed to remove dirt in place of physical agitation.

 

While high volume hand washes are slightly better than automatic washes, they can still cause problems with regards to the paint. Specially, the reuse of washing mitts and drying towels on numerous vehicles can still cause spider webbing and scratches.

 

Single vehicle hand washing is the safest method of washing a vehicle. Coupled with safe washing methods like the use of a double bucket method, fresh/clean towels, and an emulsifying car wash shampoo will help ensure that the possibility of paint scratches is reduced and vehicle surfaces are not dried out.

Does my new car need to be waxed/sealed?

We recommend waxing, sealing, or coating a vehicle 30 days after manufacture (or repainting). Long ago, it was usually necessary to wait a long time (sometimes up to a year) before protecting the paint. With the advances of new paint technologies, that time has been significantly reduced.

Surprisingly, a newly purchased vehicle is already several months old and is ready to be protected.  The vehicle manufacture date can typically be found inside the driver’s side door jamb on the vin plate sticker and is indicated by a two number month and two number year. For example, “03/15” indicates a manufacture date of March 2015.

What is the difference between polish and wax/sealant?

Quite simply, a polish is designed to remove light scratches and swirls and typically doesn’t offer any kind of protection against environmental influences.

 

A wax, sealant, or coating is almost always a purely protective product with hardly corrective or cleaning abilities.

 

There are some exceptions to these terms, particularly with a polish & wax one step products, however, corrective and protective capabilities can vary greatly.

What are ceramic nano coatings?

Ceramic Nano Coatings are a relatively new and advanced protection product known for it’s extremely hydrophobic, self-cleaning, and scratch resistant capabilities. More information about our Ceramic Nano Coating offerings can be found here (C.Quartz) and here (Ceramic Pro)

How do you clean carpets and upholstery?

This is an extremely important question that must be asked of every detailing company you’ll considering using, because the capabilities and offerings from each company can differ greatly. For us, carpet and upholstery cleaning is performed using a high quality, car shampoo and a commercial quality heated extractor.

 

The hot water extractor is necessary to completely remove a wide variety of stains and deeply embedded dirt particles. Unfortunately, many detail companies don’t use hot water extractors and instead use a high foaming carpet and upholstery shampoo, towels, and wet/dry vacuums to wipe up the dirt. This has been proven to be ineffective at completely removing embedded dirt, and in many cases, leaves behind a lot of soap in the carpet fibers, which in turn attracts dirt back to the carpets and upholstery faster than if they were cleaned with the extractor.

 

Beware of detail companies that claim hot water extractors will cause damage to the vehicle such as mold and smelly interiors. This is a common excuse as to why they don’t use an extractor. When properly used, a hot water extractor will leave behind virtually no moisture in the carpets and upholstery.

Will all the stains be removed from the carpet and upholstery?

While we will try very hard to remove every stain, not all stains will be removed. There a lot of variables that greatly effect which a stain will come out, including what caused the stain, how long it’s be there and if any prior attempts were made to clean the stain beforehand.

What is clay bar?

Clay bar is a purpose made, detailing product designed to remove embedded contaminants from vehicle paint. These contaminants are the results of a variety of reasons, however, they effect the paint in almost the same ways. By removing the contaminants, subsequent paint correction and protection steps are more effective and longer lasting.

I am selling my car or returning it for end of lease. Which package should I choose?

In most cases, the Standard Complete package will cover most of your vehicle needs. This will, however, vary from vehicle to vehicle. Please contact us for more information.

What types of payments do you accept?

All major credit cards and of course cash. Checks are accepted on approved accounts only.

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410.988.2213
mail@atomicdetailing.com
9235 Berger Road
Columbia, Maryland 21046

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