RESTORE THE PRIDE
IN YOUR CAR

EXPERIENCE OVER 17 YEARS

working with all types of vehicles, meeting and exceeding customer needs and expectations, retaining clients who I have known since I started the business

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FAQs

Autocare of Solihull operate a fully mobile vehicle valeting and detailing service throughout the West Midlands, Warwickshire and further afield.

Q; Do you take my car away?

A; No Autocare do not. Autocare is a mobile service which comes to you at home or work. You can view our work in progress and ask questions, all reassuring when you know what is happening to your car. You can see for yourself the care we take.

Q; What assurance do you offer?
A; Autocare is fully insured to valet or detail your car. The testimonials on this website are from existing customers and, upon request, you can view the originals of these. Autocare work to a very high standard and would like you to book us again and we know this will only happen if you are entirely satisfied first time and every time.

Q; How do I make a booking?

A; Telephone us to discuss your requirements for your car and we make an appointment for the valet or detail to take place. We confirm your booking by text or email. We do our best to be on time. If we know we are going to be delayed we promise to telephone you let you know in advance.

Q; How long will the work take?

A; That depends on the valet or detail you choose, size and condition of your car. Most valets are completed between 2 and 6 hours. Detailing can take up to 24 hours.

Q; What is the difference between valeting and detailing?

A; Valeting is primarily about refreshing your car. Although all Autocare work is very thorough at this level, Detailing is more about reviving every aspect of your car using slightly different techniques and materials and will take considerably longer.

Q; What are swirl marks, cob webbing and holograms?

A; On your car paintwork you may see in bright sunlight, particularly visible on the bonnet, roof and boot lid, very thin scratches. In fluorescent lights these can look like cobwebs. These types of scratches give the impressions of a lack lustre finish to your car paintwork and are usually caused by car wash machines or poor hand washing technique although to be truthful, some swirl marks are inevitable over time. Machine Polishing with the correct techniques and materials can rectify this situation returning your car to near flawless glossy finish. Some supermarket 'wash while you shop' services may not rinse the car first, before washing and simply carry the dirt already on your car around on the sponge causing scratches and then use the same sponge for the next car with the inevitable results. It cannot be over emphasised how important it is to choose someone to machine polish your car with the right level of experience and knowledge. The finish on all cars varies in depth and type. You would be surprised how many cars I come across with 'burn' marks through using the wrong technique.

Q;Someone has offered to MOP my car for £60 why do you charge much more?

A; A MOP or Machine Polish is open to misinterpretation. To correctly MOP a car involves, amongst other things, a series of polishing stages in order to remove surface scratches. Be wary of very cheap imitations of the real thing. A cheaper price usually means using not a real polish but one that contains 'fillers' to hide the scratches.
These 'fillers' will soon wash out and are only intended for short term effect.

For a professional to mop your car it will take time, experience and patience. Using the right equipment and technique are critical, in the wrong hands untold damage can and does occur.

Q;What is a Clear Coat Finish?

A; A clear coat or laquer finish is the final finish to the exterior surface of your car bodywork. It acts as a 'durable top coat' protecting the much softer and less durable colour coat beneath from the harsh effects of the sun, acid rain etc. The clear coat finish has ultra violet light blocking qualities. It is critical the clear coat finish is polished with this and other factors in mind. Too aggressive polishing or the wrong technique will drastically reduce your cars capability to cope with sun and rain. The colour can become pale in patches at the very least and an expensive respray is the only remedy. I believe using a digital paint depth gauge on every car I machine polish is the very minimum you the customer should expect.

Q; What is Machine Polishing, Mopping, Paintwork Detailing and Paint Correction?

A;These are terms for the systematic process of polishing by machine the exterior finish of your car. Using various grades of polish in order to remove as many surface scratches as possible.

Q; If my car has had an after market paintwork protection applied
what difference does this make?

A; If you require Paintwork Correction it is unlikely that machine polishing will make that much difference. One of the properties of these after market products is reducing the ability of the paintwork to stretch. Any scratches rarely close up or polish out. Bear in mind, this after market protection can be removed and would need to be in order to polish our any scratches.

Q; I have a very visible scratch in my paintwork can you remove it?

A; That depends on how deep and wide the scratch is. As a general rule if you run your finger nail over the scratch at right angles to the scratch and your nail catches in it then it is too deep and wide to polish out. If the scratch is not too wide or deep machine polishing may well improve the situation and can make it less visible or even disappear. Click here for Mercedes scratch removal However, if the scratch is on a plastic part e.g. bumper mirror casing, fuel filler flap it is probably not going to come out with polishing. This is because paint on these parts has been prepared differently from the steel parts and will not 'stretch' to fill the scratch. Similarly if your car paintwork has had an after market preparation e.g. Jewel Ultra Diamond Bright, Supagard etc machine polishing is unlikely to improve things a great deal.

Q; Why is it important to take paint depth measurements?

A; It is all about being prepared, understanding modern day paint finishes and thorough care and attention. The digital paint depth gauge measures the depth of the finish on your car and will give me information visual checks alone cannot. The final coating to your cars bodywork, called a clear coat finish, is there to protect the much softer and less durable colour coat beneath. This clear coat finish has ultra violet light blocking capabilities and is there, amongst other things to stop UV light fading the colour coat. If the wrong polishing technique is used the clear coat could be reduced too much and your cars colour will deteriorate rapidly.

To understand what has happened before with your cars paintwork digital paint depth measurements will tell me which areas need special attention. Some panels may have previously been resprayed or suffered over aggressive machine polishing. When you buy a new or used car you are not always given all the information about which panels have been resprayed.

Q; Before machine polishing my car paintwork why is it important to prepare the clear coat finish?

A; From the day your car left the showroom it has been bombarded by different types of air borne contaminants. Tree sap, brake dust, road tar and industrial fall out. Washing and polishing alone will not remove these. If we can give your car a smooth finish then less dirt and grime will stick afterwards and the polish is able to do its best job. After you have washed and dried your car, move your finger tips over the surface of the paintwork, if you feel any minute roughness this can be the contamination. If left it will start a process of oxidation and damage your paintwork. Also after parking in a railway station car park you are likely to find a number of tiny and very hard brown 'bits' on the upper facing surfaces of your car. This is where tiny particles of hot rail dust float in the air and settle on your car. They quickly bond to your paintwork and then rust. For an example of contamination removal go to Case Studies

Q; I have some unpainted black plastic parts on the exterior of my car (door handles, molding strips etc) these have some white marks on them and I cannot get them off-what has caused this?

A; This has probably been caused by applying a silicone based polish/wax to your car paintwork and some has got onto the plastic trim. I see this quite often and so I can usually remove these marks for you but it will take some time to rectify this.

Q; The alloy wheels on my car seem to have black dots on them, what has caused this?

A; Cleaning wheels and tyres regularly is not just for appearance sake alone but is important from a preventative maintenance point of view. If brake dust (particles of brake pad material and the adhesive used to bond them together) is allowed to set on your wheels, added to our mild acid rain and heat from the brakes it creates a very corrosive mixture. These black dots can also be tiny particles of metal from the brake discs. These too can become imbedded in the alloy wheel clear coat but can on most occasions be removed safely with specialist treatment available with Autocare.

Q; I have a bird dropping on my paint work, how do I remove it?

A; Bird droppings are acidic and if left will eat through the clear coat finish of your paintwork and leave a visible mark (I have even seen them eat right through to bare metel). For this reason it is vitally important the dropping is removed as soon as possible. Firstly try rinsing it off with water, secondly try hand hot water and a kitchen towel, be gentle though. If these do not work take a clean cloth, lay it over the dropping and pour hot water onto the cloth covering the dropping. Leave to soak before trying to wipe off the dropping. Do not rub the dropping or try to scrape it off - you are very likely to scratch the clear coat finish. If it has left a mark, depending on severity Autocare may be able to cure the situation by machine polishing.

Q; The bumpers front and rear of my car seem to have discoloured why is this?

A; The bumpers are most likely made of plastic instead of steel and are painted separately from the rest of the car. In order for the plastic parts to expand and contract the paint method and mixture is different so this could be what makes the colour appear different. You may notice the same with mirror casings and fuel filler flaps.

Q; The paintwork on my car has faded, it was red and now it has blotchy pink and dull patches. Can Autocare do anything for this?

A; The fading of the colour is usually caused by ultra violet light reacting on paintwork without a clear coat finish and is found mostly on the upper facing surfaces of the car. In most circumstances it can be rectified. Machine polishing will remove a very thin layer of the oxidised paint to reveal fresh colour then finishing with a wax. Though the result is not a permanent fix, it should be maintained by regular and frequent applications of polish/wax by hand. Careful washing afterwards is important. Choosing the correct wash shampoo is critical as some can contain additives to hasten the cleaning effort which will in time accelerate the oxidation effect.

Q; How do I maintain the condition of my car once Autocare have finished?

A; Tips and advice on how to maintain the condition of your car are freely given at the end of the valet/detail. However, if you feel you do not have the time or feel you cannot achieve the result you desire then Autocare offer a regular valeting/detailing service to keep your car in top condition. Your requirements can be discussed with Autocare and discounts for regular customers are available.

Q; Why do you shampoo the interior carpets and cloth seats instead of steam cleaning?

A; General dirt builds up over time and with carpets is ground in by feet. Steam cleaning, although this method reduces the drying time, tends to shuffle the dirt about rather than deep cleaning and extracting it. Shampooing will leave the material damp for a time but with the 2,200 watts machine I use you can actually see the dirt coming out and I can repeat the process until I know no more dirt is there. Spillages will probably have passed through the cloth covering on the seat and into the sponge padding beneath. Shampooing is the best method to be sure the stain will not return. If you are concerned about bacteria and odour use the Autocare deodorising and sanitising service. It must be considered when steam cleaning that not all materials can withstand 100 degrees Celsius and not show a permanent adverse effect to the material and its texture.

Q; I had a spillage on the car seat the other day, what do I do?

A; As with any type of spillage, tea, coffee, milk etc it is important to act promptly to achieve a satisfactory clean up. Blot the spillage do not rub and call Autocare. We can shampoo just one seat if required, please telephone for more information. A sanitising and deodorising service is also available.

Q; I had a milk spillage inside my car and the smell is very unpleasant, what do I do?

A; Because of the nature of milk (cream, yoghurt etc) it is vital to act quickly. The quicker it is dealt with the better the chance of success. I use a bio active formula which kills the bacteria causing the smell. However, it must be noted that the bacteria destroying action is only working whilst the treated area remains damp. 'Injecting' the upholstery to ensure the 'clean up process' reaches fully the depth to which the spillage has gone is critical. Therefore after shampooing and treatment the upholstery can remain damp for 48 hours.

If inside your car there are crumbs of food crisps, sandwiches, chocolate etc bacteria can 'feed' on these and treating just the milk spillage area may not be sufficient.

Q; My leather seats seem to have gained a blue stain on them. What has caused this?

A; Modern day leather upholstery is mostly pigmented leather or semi aniline finished with a water based dye. Unfortunately there is a tendency for clothing dye, such as found in denim, not particularly colour fast, to transfer in time to the leather seats. This is particularly visible with pale coloured leather upholstery. It can be very difficult to remove and depending on the age of the upholstery not always recommended as the leather finish nowadays is not as robust as it used to be. Careful and regular cleaning and conditioning is recommended at least every six months. Be aware, some conditioning materials with well known names on the packaging are not suitable for today's leather. Those with white spirit will give a good clean initially but in time will accelerate the ageing of the leather.

Q; The inside of my car seems to have grown some mould, can this be rectified?

A; Yes this can be removed but the success rate depends on how long the mould has been in place and what type of materials it has got a grip of. Plastics and vinyls (dashboard, steering wheel, door casings) for the most part, are easy to cure. Some pale colour seats/carpets, even after extensive treatment can be permanently stained by the mould. Seat belts can be difficult too. The treatment I recommend includes a mould removal cleaner followed by an enzyme eliminator. All areas must be treated very thoroughly. Please consider what may have caused the mould to grow in the first place. If you have a leaking windscreen (recently replaced), ineffective rubber door seals allowing damp to build up inside get these fixed asap. Areas likely to receive 'spillages' etc need to be treated quickly. I have found general dirt in damp conditions is enough to grow mould. Apart from the odd tomato (at least I think it was) or Satsuma that has rolled out of a shopping bag under a seat that had grown 'a coat' and eaten the carpet pile away. Mould generally grows when it has bacteria to feed on.
To read what our customers have to say about our work go to Testimonials